This volume presents the paper of the two seminars on 'Haribhadrasuri and his works ' organized by the Bhogilal leherchand Institute of Indology, Delhi, in 1986 (on27-28 September) and 1987(on 25-27 September), respectively. Although Maha- mahopadhyaya Vinaya Sagaraji and Dr.V.Venkatachalam working with the institute , as the then Director had gone through them, they were not finalized unto the year 1999, and the material was still lying unpublished .I was ,therefore requested by the current Director , Dr.Vimal Prakash Jain to go through them, make my recommendations and finalize the papers to be published.
All the scholars seen to have taken for granted that the Haribhadrasuri around whom this seminars revolved is the one well known as the disciple of Jinadattasuri of the Vidhyadhara Gaccha ,and who mentions himself as'Yakini-sunu ' and whose works are saidto be 'Virahanka' due the occurrence of the word "Viraha" in the last verse of his composition. It is this famous Jain Acharya whose contribution is intended to be discussed bye the organizers of these two seminars. He flourished during the eight century ,according to the opinion of modern scholars , though the jain tradition would place him a couple of centuries earlier, i.e during the sixth century AD. Prof .H.R Kapadia has noted about six other jain Acharyas , with the nomenclature 'Harubhadra' who lived during the two hundred and fifty years , between the twelfth and the fourteenth century AD.Our Haribhadra preceded them all. The traditions preserves more or less mythical details in various accounts that at times cover and confound the identify of our Haribhadra with his later namesakes who originaaly had nothing in common bot their name and fame. As has been showed by muni Jinavijayaji in a brilliant exposition , some of the writings ascribed to our Haribhadra must, judging from their contents , be later then the date fixed for his death(about 800AD).
Prof.R.Williams seems think that Haribhadra, the 'Yakini-sunu ' who was the disciple of Jinabhadra is possibly different from Haribhadra known as 'Virahanka'. He has inferred that one can discern in th ework sof our Haribhadra certain characteristics that are inferred to be typical of him. Thus, in the first place his Sanskrit style is correct and classical , with Paninian purity of the language. His erudition goes far beyond the purely Jaina field . he knows Brahmanical lore and pauranic legends with the absurdities of which he makes free play .He is aquainted with the doctrines of the Buddhists and can quote their scriptures. And, for an early svetambara context it is necessary to note that he is ready to acknowledge the authority of the Tattvartha-Sutra. More over , though attaching importance to the technique of mantras and vidyas, he takes pleasure in clothing dry dogma and ritual with a new moral significance. R. Williams has also alluded to what we might call the signature element of his writings. First, there are in the printed editions of certain works concluding verses of very similar content. Thus, All such verses in his Astaka, Yoga-bindu, Lalita -Vistara , Dasa - vaikalika -tika, Avasyaka-tika, Nandi-tika ,Panca-Vastu-tika and Anuyoga -dvara-tika are characterized by an almost identical wording , yad arjitam (or avaptam or praptam) punyam (or kusalam), and certain other phrases recur in several of them.
At the same time, R.Williams , certain works ,Viz., the Anekanta-jaya-pataka has noted that sasta- varta-samuccaya, the yoga- drsti- samuccaya, and the commentaries on the Anuyoga- dvara , Avasyaka, Caitya- Vandana (Lalita -Vistara),Dasa- Vaikalika, nandi panca -vastu and dravaka- pranjnapti, show a colophone containing one or more of the following elements: krtir iyam/ sitambaracaryasya /Jina-pada- sevakasya/ jinadatta- sisyasya/ dharmato yakini-mahattara -sunor/ haribhadrasya. Evcenthsi second element of this is distinctive , for very few early svetambara writers are accustomed thus to stress that they belong to a particular sect. More , the special mention of the nun Yakini , in association with the two other people, viz., jinabhata and his guru jinadatta , who had influenced the writers life , justifies us in applying to the author of the works that bear this colophone the designation of Yakini-putra.
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