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Jainism in Southern Karnataka

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Item Code: NAW078
Author: S.P Chavan
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8124603154
Pages: 300 (20 Color Illustration)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 640 gm
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Book Description

About the Book
The book is on the development of Jainism in southern Karnataka from the time of its emergence in the region after the fourth century AD to AD 1565. Examining numerous inscriptions and literary works of the time, studying Jain historical monuments, it reconstructs the stages of development of Jainism concentrating on the rise and development of centres of Jainism like Sravanbelagola and Humcha which became the capital of Santara dynasty and a sacred place associated with Goddess Padmavati, and Jain centres in South Kanara district like Karkala, Moodabidri and Venur. It examines the contributions of Bhattarakas, religious rulers who were also erudite Jain scholars who protected the Jain sacred literature and promoted the course of Jainism in the region generally from the eighth century onwards. It also includes a discussion of physiography and formation of modern Karnataka to understand the way the Jain centres played a vital role in the spread of Jainism. It presents a detailed account of Jainism as a religion and philosophy, the message of Mahavira and the cardinal principles of Jainism, role of tirthankaras in Jainism, and founding of Jainism by rulers in north India. Referring to erection of Jain temples and installation of Jain sculptures, it deals with the contributions of Jain religious scholars to development of Jainism and the influence of Jainism on social and political life of the people.

About the Author
Dr. (Ms.) S.P. Chavan (Ph.D), b. 1962, is a scholar of history holding the post of senior lecturer and head of department of history in Jayawant Mahavidyalaya, Ichalkarunji district, Kolhapur since 1998. She has specialised on the history of South Karnataka. She has participated in national conferences and workshops and presented papers on the subject.

IT gives me a great pleasure to write foreword to this monumental work on Jainism which is one of the leading and minority religion of India. The author Dr. S.P. Chavan took much labour to present the systematic account on "Jainism in Southern Karnataka."

Jainism was born in north India, i.e., in Bihar but later on Karnataka became the second home of Jainism since fourth century sc. She has provided a good account for the development of Jain centres in south Karnataka like Sravanbelagola, Humcha, Moodabidri, etc., which are the most important Jain Sacred places even today where number of devotees visits, every year.

The idol of Bahubali installed by the Camundaraja in AD 981 at Sravanbelagola is one of the wonders of the world and the author describes this in detail, which forms an interesting reading. The author makes use of epigraphical and archaeological evidences to trace the development of Jainism in south Karnataka, besides the works of B.L. Rice, R. Narasimhachar, H.K. Sastri, B.A. Saletore. The personal visit to the historically important places like Humcha, Moodabidri, Sravanbelagola, etc., helped the researcher to get better insight into the problems dealt in this thesis. Thus it can be said that, she is familiar with the relevant sources both primary and secondary.

Author also narrated very nicely the role of Bhattarakas of south Karnataka in spreading and projecting Jainism in early medieval period. No doubt this book will be welcomed by academic world at a large scale and for everyone interested in religious history, this book is in the collectors segment as well as a must for the devoted and true institutions, college and public libraries engrossed in preserving the world religions chronically.

THIS study focuses on Development of Jainism in Southern Karnataka up to AD 1565, with a special reference to the contribution of Sravanbelagola, Humcha, Moodabidri and Venur along with the services rendered by Bhattarakas of these for promoting the course of Jainism in this area. Jainism first came into existence in northern India, but after fourth century BC, it penetrated into south Karnataka and Sravanbelagola became the earliest Jain settlement in south Karnataka. From fourth century BC to AD 1565, i.e., at the end of Vijayanagara empire; Jainism received royal patronage from various royal dynasties like Rastrakutas, Gangas and Vijayanagara empire in Karnataka.

Therefore Jainism was a force which flourished for more than two thousand years in Karnataka. Fortunately, there are a number of epigraphs, inscriptions and old historical monuments available to reconstruct the various stages of development of Jainism in this period.

Some earlier archaeologists, epigraphists and historians of south India like B.L. Rice, R. Narasimhacharya, K.A. Nilkanthasastri, H.K. Sastri, S. Setter, etc., have rendered great services by making all these inscriptions available in English. In addition to epigraphical sources, an abundant literary sources, produced by pandits and Jain acaryas and other scholars during this period, are also important and useful to fill up the gaps. There is no systematic study of the role played by temple cities like Sravanbelagola, Humcha, Moodabidri, Karkala and Venur in promoting Jainism in south Karnataka.

Jainism is one of the prominent religions in India. Though now in minority, it has been one of the oldest religions of India. Ahimsa, vegetarianism, controlled way of life and the concept of aparigraha constitute the main tenets of Jainism. These doctrines emphasize the importance of simplicity, charity and service in life. Jainism has played an important role in shaping the human life and in maintaining balance in environment.

Philosophy apart, Jain monks and their followers have also contributed handsomely to the literature, art, architecture and culture of India. The Jain grantha bhandaras are recognized as a part of our proud heritage. The Jain temples have attracted people for their sculpturesque beauty.

Tirthankaras and Jain munis have preached love, non-violence and renunciation of 4st/a (passion). The fundamental concept underlying the doctrines of Jainism is LIVE AND LET LIVE.

Since the times of Bhagwan Rsabhadeva this religion has spread over the different parts of the country. Although the tirthankaras of Jainism were born in Bihar and in the northern provinces of the country, the religion preached by them has also blossomed and flowered in Karnataka as well.

Jainism was founded by 24 tirthankaras from Rsabhanatha, also known as Adinatha, to Vardhamana Mahavira. All these tirthankaras flourished in north India and due to their endeavour Jainism as a heterodox religion came into existence. Last two of the 24 tirthankaras, namely, Parsvanatha of eight century BC and Mahavira of the sixth century BC are regarded respectively, as historical personalities.

In the fourth century BC, during the period of Candragupta Maurya, Jainism penetrated into the south and Karnataka became the second home of Jainism. Fortunately, Jainism received royal patronage from Royal dynasties like Kadambas, Calukyas, Rastrakatas, Gangas, Hoyasalas, and Vijaynagara rulers who ruled Karnataka area from time to time. Even today, there are a number of sacred Jain places like Sravanbelagola, Humcha, Moodabidri, Karkala, which are located in southern Karnataka. Rich archaeological and literary sources are available to study the spread of Jainism in South Karnataka. Therefore, sincere attempts have been made in this research work, to study the development of Jainism in southern Karnataka upto AD 1565.

Here it would be quite apt to include a brief physiography and formation of modern Karnataka State which would be of great help in understanding the sites of southern Karnataka and the Jain centres which played a vital role in the development and spread of Jainism in south Karnataka, upto AD 1565.

Formation of Karnataka State

Karnataka is the land of primeval forests, lovely cities, ornate shrines and scenery abounding with all charms of the tropics. Situated between 2000 to 3000 ft above the sea level, it has a mild and salubrious' climate attracting and appealing a great number of tourists. EXTENT, LOCATION AND BOUNDARY Karnataka may be broadly described as the region inhabited by the Kannada-speaking people in south India.

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