This work deals with the important but neglected study of Prakrit narrative literature. It is the elaborate study spanning over 2000 years from the 6th cent. BC to 15th cent. AD. It gives a vivid account of tales discussing the use of social, religious, magical bird and journey motifs, representing the realistic life with social, cultural, and socioeconomic condition of the common people, delineating their commercial, and educational activities and their objects and nature of worship, god and goddesses, ritual and practices, festivals and ceremonies etc. the linguistic aspects of the book show that the Jain writers gave a new twist to the literature by introducing new ideas. From every viewpoint the book must be of immense help in the reconstruction of cultural history of India.
About the Author
Dr. Jagdishchandra Jain, who has been a Research Professor in the Department of Indology, University of Kiel, West Germany and Professor of Hindi in the University of Peking, China, is a renowned author of over 60 books on Ancient Indian Culture, Indian Philosophy, Prakrit Studies etc. His outstanding works are:
The Vasudevahindi - An authentic Jain Version the Brhatkatha; Life in Ancient India as Depicted in Jain Canon; The Gift of Love and other Ancient Indian Tales about Women; Bhagwan Mahavir; History of Prakrit Literature; Syadvadamanjari.
Recently he lectured on ancient Indian history and culture, in various US, Canadian and Latin American universities.
Map: India at the time of Mahavira (500 BC) facing
Prakrit Jain Tales - Their Growth and DevelopmentIndia -A Land of Tales Popularity of Story-Telling Functions of Tales Animal Tales Types of Stories Erotic Stories Arthakatha or the Tales Related to Acquiring Wealth Narrative Tales in Jain Canonical Literature Tales in Pro-Canonical Literature Narrative in Post-Canonical Literature Realism in the Stories Account of Slaves Predominence of Religious Teaching Didactic Narrative Literature Biographical Literature The Compilation of Kathakosas
Motifs and Tale-types in Narratives Social Motifs Religious Motifs Popular Motifs Motifs Pertaining to magic The Motif of Conversation of Birds Motifs Pertaining to Journey Riddles
Magical Practices and Supernatural Power Affinity with Birds and Animals Tribal Relationship Stock list of Tribal People Significance of Mountain in Jain Narratives Accomplishment of Magic Spells Magic Lores and Aboriginals The Sabari Spell Rules of Morality Popularity of Magic Powers Great Magical Spells
Asceticism in Narrative Literature Renunciation and cause Renunciation CeremonyAsceticism not Favoared Position of Women Hardship of Ascetic Life Standing in Meditating Posture (Kayotsarga)
Popular Deities Indramaha (Festival of Indra) Skandamaha (Festival of Skanda) Yaksamaha (Festival of Yaksa) Bhutamaha (Festival of Bhuta)
Nagamaha (Festival of Naga) Other Folk-Deities of Antiquity
Secular Prakrit Works
Social and Cultural Life Centre of Activities of Jain Monks Customs and Practices Prevalent in Various Countries Trade and Commerce The Movement of the Caravan Nautical Information Education and Learning Stock Phrase and Ready-Made Material
General Survey The Study of Prakrit Jain Narrative Literature The Genesis of Prakrit Jain Narrative Literature, its Growth and Development The Study of Motifs Magical Practices Asceticism Popular Deities Secular Writings Social and Cultural Life
Conclusion Need for Comparative Study Lost Narrative Literature Writing in Sanskrit and Regional Language Finding And Conclusions Suggestions for Further Research Important Work Done on the Subject Bibliography Index
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