In his speech at the S. S. Jain Conference held at Lahore in 1917, Principal A. C. Woolner of the Oriental College pointed out that the absence of Ardha-Migadhi Grammars and Readers was one of the chief causes why the study of Jaina scriptures was not so popular among European scholars as that of the Buddhist. At that time I had been collecting Jain books for the Panjab University Library and in the course of a few months more, it seemed to me that sufficient materials had become available in the Library for the compilation of an Ardha-Magadhi Reader. I, therefore, requested Principal Woolner to prepare an Ardha-Magadhi reader for the benefit of the Jains and others. He considered my request, and in October of the same year advised me to undertake it. After working at it for two years, I showed him what I had done. He approved of my work and agreed to include it in the Oriental publications of the Panjab University. The manuscript was consequently sent to a press at Lahore but unfortunately the press stopped work soon after. In the meantime Principal Woolner had left India on leave. On his return from England I obtained his fresh sanction for the estimate of cost submitted by the Allahabad Mission Press to which the work of printing was entrusted in April 1921. On account of long time required for exchange of proofs by post and for other reasons the printing has taken more than two years.
As the Press had not all the diacritical marks for printing Sanskrit and Prakrit according to the modern system of transliteration I, therefore, had to follow the old system shown on p. ix under Alphabet.
In the course of my trip during the Summer vacation 1920, I showed my manuscript to several Jains, laymen and monks at Calcutta, Bombay, Poona, Ahmedabad, Girnar, Palitana etc. They all agreed that really there was a great 'need for such a book.
My best thanks are due to Principal A. C. Woolner for encouraging me to write this reader, for including it in the Oriental Publications of the Panjab University and for going through the English translation and the sketch of grammar.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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