Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The spoken language in Vedic times.

The following information is from Dr. S.Kalyanaraman.


I wish to add some thoughts to the third issue he has mentioned,

on language used in olden times.

In Valmiki Ramayana (Sundara khanda),

we come across a narration about Hanuman’s dilemma on the language

he had to speak to Sita.

If he speaks in Sanskrit that is spoken by the “twice –born”

(Brahmins or those who have had thread-ceremony)

Sita might get terrified to see a monkey speak that

and would even think that it was the handiwork of Ravana to lure her.

If he speaks in manushya bhasha, the language of the common man,

she might listen, though she would still be wondering

how a monkey can speak the language of man.

Thinking like this, Hanuman decides to speak the language that common people speak.


It is known from this,

that two languages were in use as early as Ramayana times.

One was Sanskrit – the ‘deva bhasha’, the language of Vedas and rituals

and another was the ‘maanusha bhasha’,

the language of man.

The deva bhasha was a well developed one, supported by 6 angas (vedangas)

Education was about learning the 6 angas of Vedantha

of which the first 4 are about the nuances of Sanskrit language.

(examples are

Yajnavalkhya Siksha,

Panini Vyakarana,

Pinagala chandas and

Yaska niruktham - Acharya Ramanuja draws the meaning of “Maya” from Yaska only)

The rituals and mantras were all in oral form only.

They were not recorded in written form.

But to learn them correctly, written Sanskrit was needed.

Commentaries, sutras and many sastras were the only recorded books in those times.


But manushya bhasha was not a recorded or a written one in those times.

Even as late as 2nd century BC, we find the human language was not in written form.

Magasthenes has also recorded in Indica

that the people had no recorded versions.

All transactions happened orally and people did not resort to written documents

and everything happened in Trust

that the other would not go against the promise made orally.

No written documents at all.



Usually a written document is needed only as an evidence.

A promissory note or Will or a rule book or a written law

or a transaction note is needed

to remind one or bind one into complying with a deal made.

When every deal or action was done in the name of God

or could not be violated in the name of Dharma,

there existed no necessity to record such a deal.

That is why the people of this ancient land

did not find a need to transform language

into written form for a very long time.

Everything happened on Trust and dharma.

If at all anything was needed to be recorded,

it was done in Sanskrit.




It was only with the onset of Kaliyuga and

decline in the study of Vedas,

the written language came into being.

By the time Kali arrived, adharma and mis-trust had set in

and vedas which were in thousands were lost.

The first attempt at written form happened with

Vyasa (Krishna Dwaipayana) deciding to pass on

the core concepts of vedas in written form.


The surge in adharma necessitated written records for all transactions.

That is perhaps why, the human language started getting a written form.

The Jains and Buddhits also would have played a role in transferring

the human language into written form.

They were no believers of Vedas, though they drew their inputs from

Vedantha only.

The Jain books of Surya Pragnapti, Chandra pragnapti and Jambhoo dweepa Pragnapti

were all inspired by Vedantic notions and Mahabharatha only.

But to give an indigenous colour to it and to take it to the masses,

they introduced written libi for the human language.

The prakrit is thus a development of post-Mahabharatha period (of Kali yuga)

and the development it further underwent is

what we have as many languages of India today.


Coming to Tamil, it is a totally different one

in that it came up from Dakshin Bhoomi.

It could have been the oldest language spoken in the Arya vartha of olden times,

prior to the formation of Himayalas,

when Aryavartha was surrounded by seas on all four sides.

It could have been the ‘human bhasha’ of the previous Arya vartha.

The Shiva cult, the Muruga cult and festivals that were so distinct to

Southern hemisphere and Dakshinayana period

make me think that the Tamil culture had its origins

in the south of the equator.

But the Tamils were different from the Asuras of south,

or they could have been from the Yakshas of the South.

But what ever it be, they are not and can not be Dravidas

that present day politicians think they are.


-jayasree


****************************************************


From Dr S. kalyanaraman:-


http://sarasvati97.blogspot.com/2008/07/sarasvati-and-rama-setu-waves-2008.html

Sarasvati and Rama Setu -- WAVES 2008 presentations (July 28 and 29, 2008)

  1. Rama Setu, Vedic Traditions and struggle to protect the world heritage



Rama Setu is an abiding cultural tradition of not only Bharatam but of many countries of the world. Rama Setu embodies the quintessence of Valmiki's statement: 'Ramo vigrahavaan dharmah.' Setubandhanam becomes a tirthasthanam in the Vedic tradition of remembering the pitr-s and offering pitr-tarpanam on Ashadha amavasya day every year. The ongoing struggle to protect this world heritage has been long, protracted and tough. Active support of world citizens will make a difference and this struggle to protect an abiding, sanatana tradition will succeed. Rama Setu tradition is a continuum of Vedic traditions defining dharma in action. Two messages are conveyed in such a definition: 1. determination and samarthyam can find solutions even to bridge the ocean; 2. to establish dharma and to fight against a-dharma, the effort is imperative. Skandapurana is emphatic that three s'ivalingas were installed by Sri Rama, one at Rameshwaram (Dhanushkodi end), one at Tirukkedeeshwaram (Talaimannar end) and the third in the middle of the Setu. Setubandhanam becomes a tirthasthanam in the Vedic tradition of remembering the pitr-s and offering pitr-tarpanam on Ashadha amavasya day every year. http://www.scribd.com/doc/3757980/Rama-setu-heritage



2. Ongoing attack on Hindu symbols:

Vedic Sarasvati river, ancestor worship, svastika



The discovery of over 2000 archaeological sites on the banks of Vedic River Sarasvati and the possibility of identifying Vedic people from new discoveries such as those in Bhirrana provide a challenge to all researchers to unravel the language spoken by the creators of the Sarasvati civilization. There is an ongoing attack from some in Western academia, on Hindu symbols including svastika and the denial of the Vedic River Sarasvati whose ancient channels have been emphatically, scientifically identified. This state of academic denial is pathetic and is governed by a compulsive motive to establish Aryan supremacy through invasion or migration scenarios. Such Aryan Invasion/Migration Theories are in fact the myths. Sarasvati is not a myth but a reality and will flow again in North-west India thanks to the brilliant effort of scholars, researchers, scientists and engineers of Hindusthana. http://www.scribd.com/doc/3757941/sarasvati-Cultural-continuum



3: Sarasvati, Vedic language and cultural traditions



The discovery of over 2000 archaeological sites on the banks of Vedic River Sarasvati and the possibility of identifying Vedic people from new discoveries such as those in Bhirrana provide a challenge to all researchers to unravel the language spoken by the creators of the Sarasvati civilization. I have posited that mleccha was the lingua franca and mlecchita vikalpa was the writing system of the civilization evidenced by nearly 4000 epigraphs containing 'signs' and 'pictorial motifs' -- most of which are hieroglyphs. The resource of an Indian Lexicon providing comparative lexemes from over 25 ancient languages of Bharatam including Vedic provide a framework for testing the mleccha spoken by Yudhisthira in his conversations with Khanaka and Vidura and the mlecchita vikalpa mentioned by Vatsyayana as one of the three arts: 1. des'a bhaashaa jnaanam; 2. akshara mushthika kathanam; and 3. mlecchita vikalpat (correctly interpreted as cryptography). Given the fact that many mleccha word occur in the Vedic texts (words which cannot be explained by Indo-European constructs), it is possible to provide a framework for language studies of ancient Bharatam and of Vedic times, which integrate language as a medium of cultural expression by a community of speakers, rejecting the language family metaphor. Many ancient texts clearly refer to mleccha as a 'language' or 'dialect'. The framework for a Sarasvati Hieroglyph Dictionary was presented. http://www.scribd.com/doc/3757859/Sarasvati-and-mleccha

25 comments:

திவா said...

i am still a bit confused.
what was the language in use in the olden times?
language is different from lipi which is the written form. i can write tamil in tamil lipi or english lipi or devanagari lipi etc

tamil is the language and the rest are lipis. of course a language with its own lipi is best suited to write clearly representing all the sounds.

so what was the language of the masses?
prakrutam?

zen said...

You have stated that"
"The Jains and Buddhits also would have played a role in transferring
the human language into written form.
They were no believers of Vedas, though they drew their inputs from
Vedantha only.
The Jain books of Surya Pragnapti, Chandra pragnapti and Jambhoo dweepa Pragnapti
were all inspired by Vedantic notions and Mahabharatha only.
But to give an indigenous colour to it and to take it to the masses,
they introduced written libi for the human language.
The prakrit is thus a development of post-Mahabharatha period (of Kali yuga)
and the development it further underwent is
what we have as many languages of India today."

What you have stated is far from truth.You have not spelt out clearly that what jains /buddhas have taken from Vedas except making a sweeping statement?
This is the problem with Hindus that they live in false glory and dont shy away from doing anything to suppress facts.All te hind historians did the same thing.While narrating history, their hindutwas come into play and that is why they have never given due place to jains and buddhas in the history.Majority of the famous hindu temples in the south are looted ones from Jains and Buddhas.Otherwise,hindus were what?They were the people busy in sacrificing animals in the name of vedas that is all.For knowing what they have stolen from shramans, pl read a book written by Dr.Sohan Lal.Just tell me one thing-why we across only jain idols during digging at any historic place?Recent example is PUSHKAR, RAJASTHAN.Why Bharta was ruled by Muslims for such a long period?Because Hindus cant remain united and can never be loyal to others.King Mansingh was a rajput -a tribe famous for bravery(?)-who had even surrendered his sister JodhaBai to Akabar.Why?Thus rather than making false claim and allegations on others,pl introspect first.

jayasree said...

Zen,
The 3 books I quoted of Jain astrology (Surya pragnapti, Chandra Pragnapti and Jambhoodweepa pragnapti)are testimony to what I said.

jayasree said...

Diva,
What was the language of the masses?
This is not known. The 'Maanusha bhasha' is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana.In Mahabharatha too there is mention of speaking manushya language. Magasthanes also said about the spoken language and the absence of it in writing.

From the available records we have now,we infer that Prakrut must have been the spoken language of the masses. The early works of Jains were in Prakrut. For instance the 3 Jain astrology books I mentioned were adaptations from Lagadha's Rig jyothisha, Surya siddhnatha and narration from Mahabhratha and were written in Prakrut.

zen said...

I have gone thru hundreds of the books on Jainism but never heard of such books.You have stated that these books pertains to Jain astrology (Surya pragnapti, Chandra Pragnapti and Jambhoodweepa pragnapti).You should know Jainism is not astrology. Any sect/religion is known by the books of their Philosophy.I wish you should have read some books on the same before forming your biased opinion. For your benefit,I am enclosing an article written by a foreign researcher.
===================================

zen said...

Historical and Ethnical Roots of Jainism
Mrs. N. R. Guseva

According to the author's knowledge, the question viz. in which ethnical environments Jainism or the elements of the cult and those philosophic conceptions which lay at the basis of the faith of the Jains arose and developed, has not been elaborated so far.

It is possible only to surmise approximately which elements of spiritual culture of non-Aryan peoples penetrated into the new philosophic systems and religions, shaping themselves in India, in the first half of the first millennium B.C. and to attempt to bring those elements to light by the method of counter-posing them to those elements, which were characteristic of the Vedic (i.e. Aryan) society.

There are at least eight features which distinguish Jainism from Vedic religion and Brahmanism. Those features are so much substantial that they do not afford any possibility of regarding Jainism as a sect of Brahmanism or its some other product. These features can be reduced to the following:


(1) Jainism rejects holiness of Veda.
(2) Stands against the dogma that gods are the main objects of worship.
(3) Rejects bloody sacrifices and a number of other elements of Brahmanic ritual.
(4) Does not recognise Varna-Caste System-of the Brahmanic society.
(5) Prescribes defence of other's life.
(6) Prescribes asceticism.
(7) Prescribes nudity at the time of ritual.
(8) Allows women monkhood, learning of holy books etc.


At the same time, it must not be forgotten that the philosophy of Upanishads which developed within the bounds of Vedic faiths or more probably, on the basis of several Vedic doctrines, accepting non-Brahamanic (and sometimes directly ant-Brahmanic) character rendered significant influence on Jainism (as also on Buddhism and Bhagvatism). In particular, we have in mind the conception that man can directly turn to God (to the Absolute), can achieve salvation by his own deeds and thoughts without the medium of Brahmin-priest without numerous sacrifices or offerings.


The basic philosophic conception, on the basis of which all the anti-Brahmanic teachings developed on the so-called outskirts of the Vedic world lies precisely in this fact.
It is also possible to assume that the Upanishadis, although included in Vedic literature, adopted a number of elements of non-Brahmanic i.e. in the main, non-Aryan cults.


Pannikar's contention that the teachings of Upanishadas demanded 'high development of individual' causes some doubt. This was a teaching rather having its source in that situation where a full-fledged community member-kshatri-occupied the position of performer of a number of communal functions in the kin-tribe commune. Later on in the republic Janapada, this position was occupied by the independent warrior-Kshatriya. Probably, because of this, the teaching of Upanishadas spread widely in the Kshatriya republics.


It is not accidental that the philosophy of Upanishadas is called the philosophy of Kshatriyas by research scholars in the course of many years. And it is probable that precisely as a result of its proximity to the Kshatriya ideology, the Upanishadas had much in common with Jainism.
H. Jacobi, comparing Jainism with Buddhism and Brahmanism, came to the conclusion that there are elements, common to all the three religions and these according to him are precisely: faith in rebirth of spirit, teaching about Karman (retribution according to deeds, performed in the previous birth), belief that it is possible to achieve salvation from further rebirths and belief in the periodical manifestations of prophets (or gods), who strengthen religion and truth on the earth. The first three positions are related to the prescriptions to spare other's life and cannot be agreeable with the Aryan prescriptions of innumerable sacrifices. That is why they are apparently borrowed by the later Brahmanism from non-Vedic faiths and it means that they are hardly brought into Jainism by the Aryans. It is possible that only the last one out of the four positions constituted a contribution by the Aryans to reformative faiths since this position reminds us of the Aryan tradition of succession by word of mouth of geneological birth and tracing of their births to prophets and great grand-parents.


It is possible that the prominent contribution of Aryans to the rise of these faiths consists in that after having moved forward along India and having come in contact with its various peoples, they played the role of collectors of their traditions and carried to the eastern Gangetic regions many cult elements and ethical prescriptions, which came later in Jainism, Budhism and other religions.


According to legends of the Jains, their religion in ancient times had spread over the whole of India, and all of them were Kshatriyas. According to another legend, Devananda, a Brahmin woman should have given birth to Mahavir Jina (founder of Jainism in that form in which this religion has come down to us), but the embryo had been transferred to the bosom of Trisala, a Kshatriya woman, since Mahavir was not to receive life from Brahmins or from the members of the lower castes. (Can there be anything more characteristic in India than showing repulsion towards Brahmins?)


Research scholars of the philosophy of Hinduism emphasise that it was precisely Kshatriyas who introduced in this philosophy the conceptions known by the name of atmavidya and mokshadharma. According to the first incept the place of supreme origin is assigned to the soul (atman) and it is considered higher than the gods. The second prescribes the way of self-perfection, the way of moral maturity for those who aspire for freedom-Moksha. Both these conceptions are not in agreement with the Brahmanic teaching about the way of salvation through performance of ritual actions, directed towards the propitiation of gods. But they agree in full with the principles of Jain (and equally buddhist) philosophy.


The tradition, widely represented in the ancient Indian literature asserts that the conception of atmavidya had spread precisely in eastern Gangetic regions (i.e. where the faith of Jainism was formed) and that even Brahmins used to come to listen to the sermons of Kshatriya rulers of these regions. (For example, to listen to the sermons of the members of the dynasty of Janaka, to which belonged father of Sita, glorified in Ramayana.) Ancient Indian literature contains indications of the deep antiquity of the sources of Jainism and it also indicates that the Kshatriyas and ascetics from Vratyas i.e. non-Aryans played noticeable rule in establishing non-Vedic teachings. Alluding to the fact that monks-Shraman (and more ancient name of Jainism and Jain monks is precisely 'Shraman') are referred to in Rigveda, in Taitiriya-aranyaka and in Bhagvat-puran, and also alluding to the fact the word 'muni' though rarely referred to in the works of Vedic literature meant in antiquity an ascetic-hermit of non-Vedic tradition, several authors contend that during the time when Vedas were taking shape, a number of elements which had entered subsequently in Jain religion were already known. This is confirmed by the fact that monks are called arhanas or arhatas in Rigveda and Atharvaveda i.e. by the word which is invariably applied in Jain tradition for the designation of great teachers and preachers of this religion.


Vratya-khand-part of Atharvaveda-glorifies learned ascetic-vratya i.e. asetic-non-Brahmin, who came superior to Vedic gods, had subdued four countries of the world and by his breath had given birth to the whole world.


Colebrooke indicates that many Greek authors of the third century B.C. divided all the philosophers in two groups-samans (shramans) and brahmans-and emphasised such a great difference between them that they considered them belonging to different races. This testimony is very valuable in as much as it emphasises racial differences between Jains and non-Jains. Whatever the Greeks understood by the word 'race'-whether belonging to different linguistic families or to different anthropological types, the fact that the difference between the bearers of religions-Brahmanism and Jainism-was so much noticeable that it gave ground to ascribe them to different races is important. Only one interpretation can be given to this and that is in those time, followers of Jainism were, in the main, representatives of pre-Aryan population of the country. This means that there is a basis to assert that the chief components of this non-Vedic religion were engendered by non-Aryan ethnical environments.


Many contemporary research scholars have also come to the conclusion that the roots of Jainism are significantly more ancient than the middle of the first millennium B.C.


One of the contemporary leaders of Jain community,sanskritologist Acharya Shri Tulsi finds confirmation in the four Puranas, of his opinion that the Asuras, already referred to in our work were not only non-Vedic i.e. non-Aryan people but they were the priests of Jain religion. He also considers that the pose of Yogasana, in which several human figures are drawn on the seals of Mohenjodaro was worked out by the Jains, was widely known in pre-Aryan India and was borrowed much later by the Hindu ascetics.


The description in one of the sections of the canonical literature of the Jains 'Naiyadhamakahao', of the marriage of the heroine of Mahabharat, Draupadi with five brothers-the Pandavas-as a polyandrical marriage which Draupadi performs fully consciously, serves as an interesting testimony of the deep antiquity of the Jain religion and the cultural-historical tradition of Jainism. In this work it is shown that the girl accepts the five borthers as husbands voluntarily and according to her desire.


Such a description is important for us for two reasons. Firstly, it clearly relates to that epoch, when polyandrical marriages were not prohibited, were not disreputable. It bears more ancient character in comparison to Mahabharat itself and all the subsequent literature, developing and explaining these and other episodes of this epic, since in all these works attempts are invariably made as if to make apologies for the very fact of this marriage, to elucidate, to legalise, or to ascribe external reasons for this form of marriage, which was not acceptable to the Aryan society of the epoch of formation of Mahabharat and was denounced by the social opinion, religious canons and the code of rights. Secondly, it shows that Jains did not denounce polyandrical marriage. This again gives ground to connect Jainism with that ethnical environment, in which such a marriage was the norm of family relations i.e. it was possible with the Dravidian tribes, amongst whom, even at present, strong survivals of polyandry exist.


It is worthwhile turning attention to the Swastik signs, seen on the seals of Cultures of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, and which are common in the symbols of Jainism. Swastik is the symbolic sign of the 7th priest (Tirthankar), Suparshva (the Jains consider that there were 23 Tirthankars before Mahavir) and the middle part forms the sign of the 18th Tirthankar Ara. This sign is always drawn in manuscripts, in miniatures and in the ornaments of the Jain temples etc.


Several scholars consider that the system of counting of periods of time, called yuga, kalpa and manvantara, known to Hinduism (and correspondingly in Indological literature) arose before Vedic culture and that in Hinduism this system penetrated in that epoch, when it had to withstand Buddhism and Jainism.


While agreeing that the sources of Jainism arose in non-Aryan environment and that Kshatriyas (Aryans as well as Vratyas) played a significant role in forming new faiths, we cannot all the same, explain to which people these Vratya-Kshatriyas belonged-to Mundas or to Dravids, to Tibetan, Burmese or to Mon-khmerese. The ethnical map of the settlement of these people in ancient India is not yet made.


The ancient Aryans in the process of their marching along India must have undoubtedly had contacts with all these peoples and borrowed from them many elements of materaial and spiritual culture, but it is difficult to ascertain what precisely was borrowed in the west, in the regions of the civilisation of the valley of the Indus and what in the east, on the plains of the Ganga.


Several research scholars assume that the kins of Saudyumna and Satadyumna, referred to in the geneological lists of Puranas originated from the Mundas. The culture of the hidden copper treasure and yellow ceramics, the contemporary civilisation of the valley of Indus, which is widely known at present and referred to in every work on the ancient history of India, was also quite possibly created by the ancestors of the Mundas.


The territory of this agrarian culture was spread along the lower and middle course of the Ganges and precisely the regions from where Jainism started to spread from the 6th-5th centuries B.C. were included in this.


Non-Aryan orgin of many rulers of ancient Indian kingdoms is frequently shown directly in the geneologies, contained in the Puranas. It is also shown therein that the local people could originate from Aryans only by means of some miracle or transformation. The Brahmin-warrior Vishwamitra himself was connected by his birth to the people of Mundhatara (middle Ganges), which is considered non-Aryan. He was the priest of Karna (step-brother of the five Pandavas-the heores of Mahabharat) and this Karna as informed in the poem was the pre-marital son of the mother of Pandavas from the Sun-god and having been reared by the member of much lower caste than Kshatriya did not have the right even to contest with them in the war-games. Later he was accepted in the caste of Kshatriyas and became a ruler but then he ruled in the extreme eastern regions of the Ganges (it is worthwhile turning our attention to this). The whole legend of Karna can be understood as only one more illustration of the history of the rise of Vratya-Kshatriyas from the environments of local population of India and in particular, the Eastern India.


Mahabharat abounds in episodes in which in direct or metaphorical form extremely various contacts between the Aryans and the non-Aryans are described. In many works of Vedic literature and in the ancient codes of rights the people of eastern Indian religions are spoken of as of mixed origin.


The ritual of Brahmanism had prescribed for a person from the countries of Vedic culture to undergo rites of purification, after he visited the eastern Indian regions. Aryans considered as barbarous (Mlenchhas) those regions, of India, where there were not four Varnas i.e. estates, already formed in their own society.


The fact of borrowing the holiday (festival) of temple chariots, by the later Aryans which was not known to the Vedic Aryans, established by the researchers speaks of the penetration of elements of local cultures in Brahmanism in eastern Gangetic land. Amongst all Dravidian peoples in the south of India every temple has its own day, when the chief deity of this temple is carried in a solemn procession in a richly decorated chariot along the streets of the town.


In the north and north-west of India this ceremony bears a rather symbolic character, since its world-famous centre is the town of Puri in Orissa, the age-old centre of worship of God Krishna, in the form of Jagannatha. In Jainism festivals of temple chariots are also known.


The bearers of the 'culture of hidden copper treasure' probably did not have the custom of mass offerings of cattle in sacrifice to the deities and expressed indignation at these bloody killings of hundreds of domesticated animals in the name of Aryan gods. Apparently, this practice was not prevailing amongst the Dravidians, since in the very early works of South Indian literature, coming down to us (in Tamilian epics of the beginning of our era) this practice is not reflected.
The indignation at sacrificial offerings must have been very deep, because the Aryans did not offer in sacrifice only cattle-herds but the representatives of local people-such cases are repeatedly described in Mahabharat, where these people are referred to as Nagas (serpents), Rakshasas (demons) etc. In the ancient texts in Pali language it is indicated precisely that Brahmins practised Purushmedh i.e. sacrificial offerings in the form of human beings.
If it is assumed that the people of 'the culture of hidden copper treasure' in the east had not developed philosophy, then it must be assumed that in the west, amongst the creators of civilisation of the valley of Indus, i.e. in the established class society, it could have reached high degree of development. That is why it is natural to think that clashing with this ancient civilisation and existing side by side with it and it creators in the course of certain period, the first Aryan newcomers adopted from them a number of philosophic conceptions and marching towards the east should carry them with themselves. It is possible that precisely those conceptions formed the component part of the reformatory faiths, which were born there.
Prescription of strict vegetarianism, which is one of the principles of Jain ethics developed in all probability in non-Aryan environment. Vegetarianism could not have been natural to the ancient Aryans, if only due to climatic conditions of those countries from where they came to India (also Vedas do not give us any ground to affirm that vegetarianism was prevalent with cattle-breeders-Aryans). But in the climatic conditions of India, full or partial abstention from meat as food is singularly possible to imagine and that is why it is natural to assume that the first Aryan newcomers living in India, possibly several centuries before the arrival here of basic waves of tribes of their kinsmen adopted from the local population the custom of vegetarianism, which occupied a very important place also in the syncretic faith of Jainism.


The Asuras attract much attention from amongst pre-Aryan peoples of India, who have left behind a noticeable trace of complex, syncretic faiths, which had developed in Bihar. there were apparently numerous people or more probably a big group of tribes, settled in the north and east of India and undoubtedly underwent forced assimilation with the Aryans coming on their soil. The resistance of Asuras as also of other local peoples to this assimilation served as the greatest reason for the formation of anti-Brahmanic, reformatory faiths in Bihar.


It is known that Aryans called the Asuras, demons, enemies of their gods and consequently their own enemies. It is difficult to ascertain which of the local peoples were covered by this appellation (as it is difficult to ascertain whether Asuras lived in the valley of Indus). But since ethnography knows about the autochthonous people called Asuras (Asura, Asur) living in Bihar even at present, there is every ground to asume that precisely this ethnonym lies at the basis of the term 'Asura' in Vedic literature. The word Asura or Akhura is found not only in Rigveda but in 'Avesta' also. Does it not speak of the Asuras, having settled sometime much distant towards the west than where they live at present?


Let us turn our attention to the traces of distant past of the Asuras on the territories which are of interest to us in this context.


In Mahabharat, the description of the unjust rule of the ruler of ancient Magadha, Jarasandha, and the manner in which Pandavas, incensed by his wicked acts, killed him with the support of their colleague Krishna, occupies significant place.


This Jarasandha, according to the epic, was born in the form of two halves of a child, from two wives of his father, who abandoned these halves. But a she-demon (rakshasi) found those parts, composed them together and the child came to life. That is why, in the epic, Jarasandha is called the son of rakshasi, which explains his wicked nature (read Anti-Aryan Tendency).
Jarasandha is portrayed as an Asura in many works of Vedic literature.


The other legend (contained in the Puranas) says that at one time an Asura-giant named Gaya lived on this earth, who was a zealous bhagwat. He was an adherent of God Vishnu. Vishnu endowed him with great sanctity. Then the gods turned to Gaya with a request to be allowed to perform sacrificial offerings on his body. Gaya agreed and the gods, placing his head to the north and feet to the south started to perform the sacrificial ceremony. But Gaya's head began to shake and this disturbed them. Then all of them climbed on his head but until Vishnu himself appeared, it continued to shake. After this, Gaya requested that gods should always stay on his head, and since then, that place, where according to the legend, lay his head, and now called Gaya, is considered one of the very holy places in India. It is situated in the southern part of Bihar.


The other Sanskrit names of this place are Gyashiras (head of Gaya) and Munda-prishtha (the hind part of the head, back of the head). It is possible to assume also another interpretation for the last name, that is, 'shaved back of the head' or possibly 'back of the Munda', since the word Munda also means 'head' and 'shaved' and also the Munda people.


From this legend, it is possible to conclude that Asuras, who were related possibly to the Munda people lived in closest contact with the Aryans, who had come before although it is fully possible to assume that these contacts started with the Aryans bringing the Asuras for offerings to their own gods (this is unequivocally reflected in the above legend). It is also apparent that Arya-Kshatri from amongst the first newcomers adopted from Asuras and included in their own religious beliefs a whole number of new cultural notions. It must not also be forgotten that, living in the regions of iron ore deposits and having been able to smelt it, the Asuras apparently stood higher in the sphere of material production than the early Aryans. In the remains of the ancient settlement, which local tradition ascribes to the Asuras, ruins of brick buildings in stone temples, funeral urns, huge flagstones and columns were found. Smelteries for iron ore, copper objects and gold coins were also detected. Borrowing of new production skills by the Aryans from the Asuras must have also promoted this borrowing of the elements of spiritual culture from them.
In Bihar, before the arrival of the Aryans, worship of funeral structures was developed. The Aryans did not adopt this custom but in the ancient Jainism, this custom was one of its essential component parts. This is a clear illustration of how actively new religions, arising in eastern Gangetic regions absorbed local tribal ways of worship (in Buddhism also worship of stupas-structures for worship related to the funeral was prevalent). Gaya since then is a centre of pilgrimage for those who wish to perform shraddha-sacrificial offering for salvation of the souls of ancestors.


In Gaya and nearby, worship of trees which is also an indigenous cult of many local peoples, the Asuras, Birhores, Oraones, Mundas, Gonds and others, is highly developed. This cult is part and parcel of Jainism and Buddhism. It is considered that Mahavir Jina secured 'enlightenment', while sitting under the Ashoka tree, and Buddha under the boor nim tree.


Worship of Yakshas-wicked and kind spirits inflicting diseases and also driving them away, sometimes saving men's lives in the forest and sometimes destroying them-existed in ancient Bihar. Yakshas are described as spirits of trees, springs and mountains. In Vedic literature and in the Epic about them, they are spoken of as people, which apparently reflects the meeting of Aryans with the people who worshipped Yakshas. Such animist representations, characteristic of the cults of all local people occupy an important place in the philosophy of Jainism.


There are many references in literature about enmity and clashes of the Aryans with the Asuras.
It is described in Mahabharat (III, 90, 301) that the Asura by name Vatapi behaved with the Brahmins so scornfully and with such enmity that one of the Aryan sages reduced him to ashes by his curse.


In Arthashastra (XIV, 178-3) Asuras are referred to as indulging in magical conspiracies, from which it is clear that the Aryans in their images connected them with black magic (black magic, witchcraft, sorcery are even today spread amongst the Asuras and other local tribes of Bihar).
'Manavadharmashastra' (Laws of Manu) considers that marriage called 'asura' is a lower form of marriage and does not conform to the religious-ethical prescription of Dharma; marriages of Paishacha and Asura form must never be performed. According to this form of marriage 'Dahej' (bride-price) is given for the bride. This practice is not adopted by the Aryans and to this day is condemned by all 'pure' castes. (a rational father must not take even the smallest insignificant recompensation for the daughter. But with the aboriginal tribes, including Mundas, 'Dahej' (bride-price) is compulsorily paid for the daughter and this custom is widely spread amongst the lower castes which were formed out of the pre-Aryan population of India. From such prohibitions it is seen how Aryan (Brahmin law-givers) tried to protect their society from the influence of the customs and social institutes of local peoples and in particular the Asuras.
It is possible to speak with certainty that the Asuras were the bearers of the ancient forms of Jainism as is done by Acharya Tulsi? Probably it is more correct to say that the cults of Asuras entered into Jainism. The word 'Asura' is used by the Jains themselves in a sense close to the brahmanic sense i.e. as meaning the spirits of the dead wicked people but more frequently Asuras are called retinue of Tirthankaras i.e. an honourable place is given to them.


It is possible that the other autochthonic people-the Bhils-who had also widely settled in ancient Indian practised the cults which were one of the component parts of Jainism.


A viewpoint exists in ethnography that the Bhils at one time spoke one of the Munda languages. It is considered that Nishadas, always referred to in the Epic, Puranas and other works of ancient literature were Bhils. According to the geneological lists contained in the Puranas a ruler by name Nishadha (who must be understood as ethnonym) originated from Vena whom the priests killed because he restricted their power. This Vena in his turn had Anga as his father (Anga-name of an ancient state on the eastern border of modern Bihar) and his sons-in-law were sons of Sudyumna, by names Udlaka, Gaya and Vinateswa (rulers of eastern Gangetic states). Let us remember that the Sudymna people were possibly related to the Munda family, as has been referred to above.


According to geneologists all the abovementioned persons are traced to Manu Chakshusha, who through his ancestor Dhruva (polar star) can be traced back to still distant ancestor Uttanapada. The name 'Uttanapada' can be translated as the 'Northern country'. Thus the line of Sudymna somehow can be traced back somewhere to the north. But since we do not have weighty grounds to assume that the Munda people or other pre-Aryan peoples of India, close to them did not appear from the northern country, we are left to think that this line of kinship, carried in the geneological lists of the Aryans speaks rather about the process of inter-breeding of local eastern Gangetic peoples with the Aryans-descendants of ancient people who had actually come sometime from the northern regions.


Thus, if Bhils-Nishads-Sudymnas can be recognised as Mundas then precisely the faiths of this central and eastern Indian mass of tribes of Mundas must have played a significant role in the formation of Jainism.


Ethnography has not as yet established whether the Dravidians also lived in Bihar in those ancient times. Many scholars assume that precisely Dravidians formed the chief mass of the settlements of the Indus valley in the most ancient period. Judging from the legends of the Jains themselves, their religion had sometime spread beyond the borders of India, towards its west. It is interesting to note in this connection that the elements of Dravidian languages are traced back to the ancient languages of eastern shores of Africa, in several Mediterranean languages and the languages of the countries of Near East.


It is possible that the Aryans ejected Dravidians from the regions lying towards the west of India or out of North India, compelled them to cross forests and mountains of Central India and push out in the south. It is also fully possible that the Dravidians marched along the Gangetic valley in the east, in the region which is of interest to us but when this actually took place is difficult to ascertain.


There is evidence that the ancestors of the strongest contemporary Dravidian people-Andhras-lived in antiquity from the shores of Jamuna to eastern Bihar and that only from the sixth century B.C. they started to move forward towards the south.


A whole number of peoples lived on the territory of Bihar and near it. The monuments of ancient Indian literature unite them under the name of Eastern Anavas, tracing them to the universal ancestor Anu from the Lunar dynasty. It is interesting to turn our attention to the name of this Anu and to the assumption that many Anavas had settled in the eastern Gangetic regions, which are of interest to us in this context.


In the opinion of Pargiter, the work 'Anu' in Rigveda means non-Aryan. He indicates that the god of heaven Anu from Uruk was worshiped in Babylon (the god of heaven was named An in Shumer and Anu in Akkad). If we remember the Elamo-Baby-lonic Mediterranean connections (or ways) of the proto-Dravidians and also that the word 'ur' in Dravidian languages means 'place', settlement', then the suggestion is thrust on us that 'Anu' Rigvedas 'and people of Anava' can be ascribed to the Dravidians and that the very ruler Anu was included by the Aryans in the lists of Lunar dynasty with the sole intention of Aryanising individual heroes and rulers. And apparently, this was done by post-Vedic Aryans, who in the persons of their Brahman-sages and lawgivers started to manifest strong alarm in connection with the penetration of elements of spiritual culture of non-Aryan environment in the culture of first Aryan newcomers, and in their own culture.


If it is recognised that the Dravidians lived in North India, then undoubtedly their cults also must have served as sources of Jain cult-notions and rites.


While describing the ethnical map of ancient India, it is worthwhile dwelling on the Naga people (who are called people of serpents) referred to in the Vedic and Epic literature.


Judging from the assumption that these people lived also in the region of Mathura, and along the Ganges, this was probably a big group of tribes in whose cult serpents occupied a prominent place. It is also known that in the middle of the first century B.C. Rajagriha or Rajgir (in modern Bihar there is a town with this name), the capital of Magadha, was the centre of worship of serpents of the cult of Naga people (or more probably Naga peoples).


The Aryans fought and also tried to assimilate the Nagas as also other autochthons of India. Instances of marriages of Aryan rulers with Naga women are quite well-known. For example, the marriage of Arjun, one of the Pandavas with Ulupi, the daughter of the ruler of Nagas is described in Mahabharat. At the same time there are also description in the works of ancient Indian literature of how the Aryans offered Nagas as sacrifices, burning them alive and how they fought with them with all the means at their disposal. And although the Nagas are called partly snakes and partly half-human beings i.e. semi-mythical beings in the much later editions of these works, the fact that the Aryans had fought mercilessly against the local people, whose main cult was the cult of serpents is perfectly apparent.


In view of the fact that this cult stands hitherto highly developed amongst the Dravidians, and also amongst Bhils and Mundas, it is possible to assume that the Aryans called all the local population with which or with a significant part of which they came into collision in India, as Nagas. It is therefore not accidental that the symbol of the serpent (cobra) became one of the chief symbols in all reformative religions and in particular in Jainism. In the Jain iconology Jeena is often portrayed sitting under the inflated hood of many-headed cobra (as also Buddha in buddhist iconology and Balaram, Krishna's brother, in Krishna iconology).


One must not glass over the existence of the Pani tribe. But again it is not quite certain where this tribe had settled. It is referred to in Rigveda and in other Vedic literature but to which group it belonged-whether to the Dravidian or Aryan-it is as yet not possible to say definitely.
This literature tells us about the riches of Pani. A Pani is called 'ayajnic' i.e. not a sacrificer (they think of him in this way, called the Pani Dasas, as they call all non-Aryans). The Aryans fought against Pani tribe, subjugated and plundered them and turned them into slaves.


These people are described as liers, evil-doers and demons, robbers of treasures and cows.
D. D. Kosambi considers that these people carried on trade with Aryans and that the words 'Baniya' and 'Vanik'-merchant, are of non-Sanskrit origin and can be traced back to the ethnonym Pani.


Several Indian scholars express the opinion that Pani were the bearers of the 'culture of Shramana' i.e. the Jainic religion.


We may fully agree with the opinion that the doctrine of ahimsa i.e. prohibition of killing of living beings, which is one of the basic prohibitions imposed by Jainism was adopted by the founders of Jainism from these Pani people as the term 'ayajnik' characterizes the cult of Pani people as a cult which is first of all, not connected with the bloody sacrifices.


The process of coming in contact with the local peoples and correspondingly the assimilating processes were especially intensive, owing to the fact that several ancient Indian states united ethnical territories of various peoples within their borders. After the republic-Janapadas (in a number of regions of India) and simultaneously with them, appeared monarchic states, ruled by Raja-Aryans, but the subjects of these rajas were mainly represented by the local peoples.
Sh. B. Chaudhuri, basing himself on Vedic, Epic, Jain and Buddhist literature, writes for example, that considerable part of the territory of modern states of Bihar and Orissa formed part of the Mahakoshal state after the reign of Rama. The other name of this country was Dakshini-Koshala-Southern Koshala.


The eastern sea-coast of modern Orissa and a part of the regions to the south of the river Mahanadi were a part of the Tosala state. Its population consisted, in the main, of the Kalinga people, whose antiquity and independence is referred to by Ashoka in his edicts and who figure as 'Impure' people (and this means non-Aryan) in the writings of Brahmin authors of the earlier period.


The borders of the Kalinga state embraced at several times the territory from southern Bihar in the north to the Godavari in the south.


To this day, the population of Bihar is anthropologically classified as exceedingly mixed. Various scholars describe it in various ways. Risley called it Aryan-Dravidian, Guha observes negro features in the members of the low castes and calls the population of Bihar Paleomediterranean. Von Eickstedt relegates them to Melanids etc.


The present author heard several times in India, the opinion that the Biharis are Dravidians. It is impossible to agree with this but it speaks of the traditional attitude towards the population of Bihar as basically non-Aryan.


On a level with the already enumerated peoples, the peoples of north Bihar, speaking the languages of the Himalayan group contributed to the formation of Jainism. The connection between the population of the Himalayas and the Gangetic plains disappears with its roots in such antiquity that it is not possible to trace it.


Several historians state that the Mongoloid racial type is reflected in the sculptures of Buddhist monuments in the stupas in Bharhut and Sanchi-and from this conclude that the people of this type had spread in India more widely in the second-first century B.C. than in the much later epoch. They believe that the peoples living here were possibly Mongoloids adopting the language of the peoples of the plains in the process of communication with them, although the Brahmin literature calls them Aryans.


Most interesting testimony of the Indo-Himalayan ties in which at the same time, the affirmation of the deep antiquity of the sources of Jainism can also be detected is available. An ethnic group called Thakur lives in western Nepal, whose sect is called Pen-po. Members of this sect believe in God, whom they call 'leading to the heaven' (towards the heaven)-compare the designation. 'Tirthankar-leading or carrying the being across the ocean or the 'joined conqueror' (compare 'jeena' the conqueror). They portray this god fully naked, as the Jains their Tirthankars. The difference consists in that this god has five faces and ten hands (that is why he is called 'joined') but these faces are painted in those colours, in which Jains paint the statues of their Tirthankar-blue, red, white, green and yellow. The symbol of this god is a bird, which also is the symbol of Tirthankars. The Pen-po sect also portrays their godly ancestors naked, painting their figures white or blue.


It is considered that the Pen-po religion can be called 'original Buddhism' but all the same, it is rather closer to Jainism. There are portrayals of Buddha, sitting on the throne, but on these thrones (as also on the pedestals of statues of Tirthankars) symbolic signs portrayals of birds and animals are marked.


Although the Pen-po religion is nearly not studied at all, it is certain that there is no idea of the creator of the world in it, as also in Jainism. Pen-po is also similar to Jainism in that vegetarianism is strictly observed. In the patterns of ornaments which they plot on the house and on the utensils and on cloth etc. Swastikas, a motif is widespread. It is also often met with on ornaments and on various things from the Indus valley and on the things belonging to Jains and on the sculptures. the Thakurs consider that the saints of their faith are 'full ascetics' who, similar to Tirthankars, lead on to the path of salvation.


It is not clear to whom this group of Nepalese populaion ethnically belongs. They are described as little Mongolianised Indians, but they consider that their rulers come from Pandavas i.e. they trace themselves back to Indian and that too very ancient and probably pre-Aryan origin. Apparently they are actually emigrants from India and preserve to this day the most ancient forms of religious faiths which in India became the component parts of Jainism.


Probably quite a large range of Indo-Himalayan peoples was, in antiquity, the bearer of close religious ideas. It is certain that in the middle of the 1st millennium B.C., caravan routes existed from Bihar to Nepal and Tibet, along which trade was carried on and the elements of the faiths of various peoples spread out along with it. The Greek, Ktesy, the late witness of the war of Artakserks II with Kir the Junior in 401 B.C. describing the inhabitants of the lower Himalayas from Bhutan to Indus, said that they maintain contacts with the population of the plains.
The English scholar F. Wilford observes that the rajas of near-Himalayan regions were probably of Nepalese origin. From all this data, the picture of long and constant contacts between the populations of ancient Bihar and the Himalayas can be drawn.


From the near-Himalayan regions also comes the tribe of Chero, which was at some time strong in North-Western Bihar-the representatives of which ruled there in the course of seven generations. This tribe is sometime relegated to proto-Australoids. It is possible that Ktesy wrote precisely about them.


The ancient history of Chero is not completely studied but it is in no way possible to exclude the probability of their resistance to the settlement of the Aryans and to the forcible introduction of Aryan culture. This means that probably their cultural and ethical concepts also formed a part of the reformatory anti-Aryan ideology.


The Lichhavi tribe played a significant role in the history of Jainism, about which 'Manusmriti' says that Lichhavi is born out of 'Vratya-Kshatriyas'. The linguistic and racial affiliation of this tribe is not determined by ethnography. In the ancient Indian literature, it is referred to as an independent and proud tribe.


Lichhavi, along with the not less known tribes of the first half of the first millennium B.C., such as the Malla, Vrijji (vajji), Shakya, Koliya and Bhagga created so-called republican states. Lichhavi constituted a part of the confederation of eight tribes-Atthakul (eight kinships) and the confederation if the Vajji, which existed in the course of several centruies.


The territory of the last-mentioned embraced approximately the contemporary North Bihar and part of Nepal but its borders went on changing. There is a mention of the Brahmins being peasants in the villages belonging to the Kshatriyas in north Bihar and this means that they did not play there a noticeable role.


Here in the republics in Bihar, the original population of which consisted of tribes mentioned above, anti-Brahmanic reaction was at its highest. All land, property, slaves-belonged to the Kshatriyas. This confirms our suggestion that the conception Kshatriyas, as mentioned in Chapter I covered all the males, related by blood of the family-kin group. If the Kshatriyas had represented the narrow privileged caste, then commanding top of the army could be made up out of them only and the ordinary warriors would be simple people.


If one agrees with the idea that the doctrine of reformatory faiths was formed in Bihar, absorbing many elements of the cults and faiths of the local, pre-Aryan tribes of north-India, then it is worth while acknowledging that these elements went on accumulating gradually before adopting the form of new religious-philosophic-ethical system. This gradual assimilation, this fusion of religious and cult-ideas of quite a number of abovementioned tribes must have started in all probability in north west India, i.e. where Aryans first appeared, as an expression of their protest against the forcible introduction of religious codes and laws of Brahmanism, foreign to them.


The extent of ideological and cult-ideas, which the local tribes advanced against this influence, which to them signified a forcible assimilation grew in proportion to the extent of settlement of Aryans in the valley of the Ganges and the Jamuna and the growth of resistance of the local peoples to their penetration and ideological influence.


Many elements of the customary rights of local peoples and their traditions formed a part of these ideas. Thus, affirmation of anti-Vedic Krishnaism was evident in the region of Mathura, which was connected with the existence of institutes of matrilineal succession. Here, amongst tribes, who had developed institutes of matriarchy, a protest arose against the humiliating position, leading women to the patriarchal society of the Aryans. And this was later accepted by Jainism.


It is evident that the gradual rise of separate elements of Jainism was reflected in the teaching of Jains about the existence of the 23 Tirthankars, who created and preached that religion even before Mahavir Jina.


It is interesting to make an attempt to trace the geography of the spread of the initial form of Jainism according to the given Jain legends.


It is considered that the first of these 24 Tirthankars Rishabha, who lived immeasurably long, long ago, performed the ascetic feat in Prayag (Allahabad); the 16th, 17th and 18th Tirthankars (Shanti, Kunthi and Ara) reached 'enlightenment' in Hastinapur (near the modern city of Meerut); 23rd Tirthankar (Parshvanath or Parshva) was born, lived and preached in Kashi (Benaras) and finally the 24th Tirthankar (Mahavir) was born in the East, in Vaishali.
Of course all these beliefs are not historically exact but all the same, they afford the possibility of carrying the line from the Jamuna-Gangetic delta from Kashi and farther to the East.
Kashi was historically closely connected with east Gangetic states and since long was the cultural centre, widely known in these states. Probably their intercourse with the western regions took place mainly by waterways, along with the Ganges, and Kashi, lying on the bank developed first of all, as trade centre. The waterway also went into the border of ancient Koshal (the inhabitants of which, as the inhabitants of Kashi, are called non-Aryans in the Puranas).


Possibly the initial forms of Jainism marched forward from west to east, through Kashi and by the time of Mahavir's birth, new religious faith reached the confederation of Vajji, and it developed and completed its development there.


In the Puranas, it is said that the first Tirthankar, Rishabha performed acts of Yoga, which were incomprehensible to the people (possibly it should be read, to the Aryans) and he was subjected to persecution. He left for the south, and preached there. After his death, Arhan (the word means a Jain ascetic), one of the southern rulers, founded the sect but the people who adopted this new teaching started for the underworld.


At the same time, Rishabha was included in the Brahmanic pantheon in the form of one of the incarnations of the God Vishnu. This circumstance, and also the name Tirthankar, which bears Sanskrit character, confirms the idea that the Aryans had also participated in the development of early forms of Jainism.

zen said...

Jainism in Bihar
Mr.Helmuth Von Glasnapp



Mahavira was closely connected with the most significant princes of his home land. He visited the most important cities of their kingdoms in Bihar on his wanderings, Champ, Anga’s capital, Mithila in Videha, Rajgriha, the capital of Mithila, etc. and he was most respectfully received everywhere. King Bimbisara (Jainas called him by the name of Shrenik) of Magadha, the same king, who also patronised Buddha, was considered by the Jaina as a special admirer of their master. They therefore presumed that he would be born as a Tirthankara in his later experience. Even Ajatshatru, Bimbasara’s cruel son who exposed his father to death by starvation, was well-disposed towards Jainas. His successor, Udayi, was in fact, a patron of their doctrine. The religion flourished even under the dynasty of nine ‘Nandas’, who had (at the time when Alexander the great marched into India) usurped the throne of the Saisunaga kings, and there was no change in the situation, even when the last unpopular Nanda king was relieved of his throne by the great Maurya king, Chandragupta, the Sandrakottos of the Greeks. Jainas reckon this first historical emperor of India as also his great Chancellor, Chanakya among Jains. Chanakya is said to be a son of a Jaina layman Chani and a diligent champion of their faith. He is said to have weaned Chandragupta from his kindness towards heretics. Thus, due to Chanakya’s influence, Chandragupta became a diligent Jaina and bestowed his favours only on them. Finally, he renounced his throne in accordance with the Digambara tradition, became an ascetic and went to Mysore along-with Saint Bhadrabahu and is said to have lived and died there at Sravana Belgola in a cave.

It is said that Chanakya’s name was darkened by his envious colleague, Subandhu with Chandragupta’s successor, Bindusara (298-273 B.C.) and he was relieved. He therefore distributed his wealth among the poor, sat on a dung-hill outside the city and died there by starvation Bindusara tried his best to pacify him and sent Subandhu to ask for forgiveness but the latter threw at his dung-hill an incense coal so that Chanakya was burnt alive.
Indisputably authentic material is available about the close connection of Bindusara’s son, Ashokavardhana (273-232 B.C.) with Jainas. Ashoka was a great and a far-sighted ruler , who made it a point to promote the religious and moral life in his great empire. He therefore supported the religious brother-hoods of his lands in a liberal manner. Personally, he embraced Buddhism in his later years. Jainas however, opined that he belonged earlier to their religion. In any case, he did not stop in showing equal concern to the welfare of various sects and he appointed special officers to look after individual religious orders. Ashoka has spoken of Jainas in his seventh column-edict (shila-lekha), which deals with the duties of the law authorities, saying that he has made arrangements that his supervisors of law will, apart from other things, deal with the matters of Nigranthas (Jainas) and will deal with all the different religious brother-hoods. He commanded his subjects to show obedience to parents, decent behaviour to saints and ascetics, poor and the miserable, asked them to practice charity, generosity, truthfulness, purity, humility and saintliness and reminds them of prohibition of injury to the living beings. He concluded his commands with the intention that that these may remain valid, as long as his sons and grand sons rule, as long as sun and moon shine and that human beings act according to them. If a person acts according to them, he obtains salvation in this and in the other world.Asoka’ successors to the throne of Magadha were since his son, Kunala was blind, his grand sons, Dasaratha and Samprati. The Jaina-tradition mentions only of Samprati, who is aid to have resided in Ujjain and describes him as a follower of their faith. He is said to have built several Jaina temples and developed a lively missionary activity and erected Jaina monasteries even in non-aryan regions. Not much is known about Jaina faith under the last Maurya rulers and the dynasties which replaced them. The Chinese traveller, Hiuen-Tsiang, came across numerous Nigranthas in Vaisali near Rajgriha, Nalanda, and other places. Jainism appears to have gradually shifted , in an increasing degree, the centre of its activity from its home land, Bihar to other regions.The Exodus and the great conflict

Significant changes took place in the Jaina order during the period when Jaina faith flourished in the Maurya empire. There was a great famine in Bihar during Chandragupta’s rule. Bhadrabahu, the head of the community at that time, realised that it was not possible either for the people to feed a great number of monks under these circumstances, or for ascetics to follow all the precepts. He, therefore, thought that it was advisable to immigrate with a group of devotees to Karnataka, while the remaining monks stayed back in Magadha under the supervision of his pupil Sthulabhadra. The unfavourable period burdened heavily on Magadha and the monks could not strictly observe all the holy customs any more and maintain the holy scriptures. It was therefore found to be necessary to acquire the canon anew. A Council was called for the purpose in Patliputra. This assembly, however, did not succeed in putting together the whole canon. When the monks who had emigrated to Karnataka, returned, they did not approve the resolutions of the Council. Besides, there surfaced a difference in the ascetic conduct of life between those who had emigrated and those who had stayed back. Further, Lord Parsva Nath’s followers were allowed to wear clothes, whereas Mahavira’s followers did not wear any clothes. Mahavira’s pupils followed his example, it appears, the ascetics were not generally moving in nude. Monks staying back in Magadha gave up the custom of moving around in nude and got accustomed to wearing white garments. When the emigrants returned to Magadha, and found that their brothers were wearing white clothes, they had the impression that practices laid down by the Lord had been abandoned. ON the other side, those who had stayed back and adopted white garments, felt that the emigrants were showing undue fanaticism. Thus, there came an estrangement between the two trends, the stricter one of the Digambaras (those who were clothed by the sky) and the shwetambaras (who clothed in white).This trend gradually led to a complete divide or schism. It can not be said how and where the formal separation came in. What is narrated by both the parties , differs widely, because every side tries to show that it alone represents the ancient Jainism and the opposite one had arisen by the succession from the pure faith. However, it has established fairly accurately that final divide took place at the end of the first century.

Each one of the branches of Jaina religion went there own way since that period. The differences between the two, inspite of the division are quite negligible. The most conspicuous of these differences concerning the garments does not seem to be so strict now. On the other hand, there are important differences in the social organisation of the two sects; they trace back to the original differences in faith and rites. Digambaras think that a woman can never get salvation.Their cult idols show the Tirthankaras naked without a loin cloth and without ornaments. shwetambaras show these on their idols. Digambaras do not believe like their opponents that Mahavira, before being born to queen Trishala, was in the womb of Devananda and that he was married before he renounced the world.

The different attitude taken by both the sects with respect to the holy tradition has a far-reaching importance. Both accept that Bhadrabahu was the last Srutakevali and that teachers after him did not possess any knowledge of all the holy scriptures. But, while Digambaras believe that the canon has been gradually completely lost, so that it does not exist now, Swetambaras presume that its main part has come down to the present day. When there was a danger of the collection of the holy scriptures, as far as they had been saved through the stormy times from getting lost, Swetambaras called a meeting of the Council in the year 980 or so after Mahavira’s nirvana under the chairmanship of Devarddhi Gani in the city of Vallabhi in Gujarat. This Council finally edited the canon, and gave it a form which it is said to possess even now for the most part.
Although Swetambaras have a canon and Digambaras do not have it, and although there are differences in the dogmatism and the cult of two sects, the dividing line between them, inspite of all the antagonism has never been so strong. Both the orientations have been constantly aware of their common origin and goal and have never lost spiritual contact with each other. This is most clearly seen from the fact that members of one group very often use philosophical and scientific works of other and that Swetambaras have written commentaries on the works of Digambaras and vice versa.

zen said...

You said "Those articles were based on lack of grasp of Sanatana Dharma."

If a jain/buddha say something, you will say they are biased.If an independent person, who would obviously be a foreigner, say something,howsoever logical it may be, he does not have grasp of Sanatan Dharma and hence his views are also not correct.

You only know the truth. Yes Entire world is created by sanatanists.All others are its offshoot.

jayasree said...

Zen said :-
What you have stated is far from truth.You have not spelt out clearly that what jains /buddhas have taken from Vedas except making a sweeping statement?


I have gone thru hundreds of the books on Jainism but never heard of such books.You have stated that these books pertains to Jain astrology (Surya pragnapti, Chandra Pragnapti and Jambhoodweepa pragnapti).You should know Jainism is not astrology. Any sect/religion is known by the books of their Philosophy.I wish you should have read some books on the same before forming your biased opinion. For your benefit,I am enclosing an article written by a foreign researcher.

*******************
Jayasree says :-


I, as a sanatanist, will not indulge in the kind of mud-slinging on Jainism, as Zen has done on Sanatana dharma.

I also think it unnecessary to write a rebuttal, after reading the articles he has sent.
The articles sent by Zen are themselves self- explanatory of how Jain cult is an off-shoot of Vedic Thought.

The 8 points mentioned in the article speak for themselves.
The denouncement of an existing order of Vedism on certain issues, is indicatory of its origin from the mother religion which is Hinduism (or sanatana dharma or Vaaideeka matham as it was known in those days)

The Jains mainly differ from Sanatana Dharma in not accepting Vedas and Ishwara tattwam
Works by Azwars describe how and where the Jains differed.
A number of times in the past, Jain thought has been out-witted by stalwarts like Ramanujacharya.
What people talk (like Zen) are what has been fed by foreign researchers who have a long way to go to understand Hinduism first, before attempting to pass comments on it.


The assumptions in the articles sent by Zen on Aryan – non- Aryan issues are unacceptable even to researchers of today.
Those articles were based on lack of grasp of Sanatana Dharma.
I suggest Zen read my posts on Hinduism – General issues to know what Hinduism is about.
If he knows what Hinduism says, he can then know how Jain Thought is an off-shoot of Hinduism.


Coming to the books I quoted.

Astrology is Jyothisha which is nothing but a Vedanga.
By writing books on astrology, the Jains have accepted Vedanga.
Here again they could not whole heartedly accept this Vedanga and
have come up with fanciful notions that the earth has 2 suns and 2 moons!!

Apart from this they have adopted most concepts of Vedas, such as Pancha varsharthmaka Yuga and Siddhanthic literature on Universe and geography of the world.
Works on astrology provide a vital clue on what the Jains thought about Liberation, papa, punya, world, universe etc.
The quoted books on astrology by Jains reveal without any doubt that they are adaptations from Vedanga Jyothisha.


Surya Pargnapti is in Arthamagadhi prakrit language and it has been dated at 100 BC.
Most works on astrology by Jains have been around this time or later to this time.

But the information contained in them are already found in Vedas that have been dated to a much olden time.

For instance, the Pancha varshathmaka yuga as mentioned in Rig Veda is dated to a period when the equinox was at the star, Punarvasu.
Presently the equinox is 110 degrees behind this! At the rate of 72 years degree, one can calculate the sun’s regression for these 110 degrees.
So many thousands of years ago, the Vedic knowledge ushered in Pancha varshathmak yuga system.

This has been adopted in Jain writings of 100 BC.

jayasree said...

Zen said,
You only know the truth. Yes Entire world is created by sanatanists.All others are its offshoot.<<

jayasree says,
One correction.
The entire world is not created by Sanatanists.
But the entire world and creation are anchored in Sanatana Dharma which is Universal Dharma.

I can quote an example in science to explain this. Law of gravitation existed even before Newton discovered it. It will continue to exist in future too. If some one fails to understand it or interpret it in a way he likes which is contrary to it, even then it does not get vitiated. But the one who understands it and knows how it works in keeping the worlds together, will be knowing why things behave in certain fashion under the influence of gravitation. The same with the universality of Sanatana dharma and the way it works.

The Jains explained the way as things are perceived, but could not see what caused the things to behave in such ways. (there comes the relevance of Vedas which they refuse to accept) They accepted the existence of pot but not the mud that went into the making of the pot.

The similar anomaly can be seen in the Jain jyothisha books. They perceived the way the sun and moon move, but arrived at an inference that 2 suns and 2 moons existed, one for each half of the world.
The world in their perception was flat and not round.
Prathyaksha is their only way to knowledge.
But one has to proceed from prathyaksha to other cognition and other levels to get a better grasp of the nature of things.

We can find a similar type of prathyaksha- alone- b(i)ased notions in later jain Jyothisha. These works were mostly on nimitthas (sakunas / omens) which are based on perception or seeing.
The notable exception among the later writers was Sridharacharya who followed Varahamihira and Kalyana varma, but he did not acknowledge them in his works. The reason is easy to deduce.

Anish Shah said...

Jayshree....You are just parroting the hindutvavadis without understanding the real history that has been subverted thru ages. Have you ever read vedas? For nmost hindus, vedas are something cool. Vedics were not aware of Ahimsa and slaughtered animals in name of sacrifices. They were not aware of karmic theory which they learned from Sramanas. All philosophical concepts like re-birth, moksa and jnana were derived from Sramanas. Vedas contain references to jain Tirthnakaras and muni proving that Jainism predates vedic religion. What more proof you want?

jayasree said...

Hello Anish, read all my posts before passing a judgment on me. I have no political agenda like you have, as seen in your blog. The purpose of my blog is to bring out the Ancient wisdom of this land, its rationale and the universality of it going beyond time and land boundaries in application.

Sanatana Dhrama has no time beginnings. It is that which exists. Those who realized it and fashioned their life style according to it, were later called by others as Hindus. Until 5000 years ago, the earth was peopled by such sanatanists only. And this Sanatana Dharma is revived in every Kalpa, every Manvanthra and every Chathur yuga.

Read this
http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2008/02/countries-and-worship-that-existed.html

Your notions on Vedas show the crucial issue that you don’t know of Vedas.
Vedas are not for interpretation for meanings. One such interpretation led to the discovery of the non-existent ‘Drvaida’ which was ‘culled’ out of Vedas. But now it is being realized how absurd it is. Here again your theory on references to Jain muni in Vedas. The less said as comment, the better. My sanatanic grooming deters me from making a comment on this.

Vedas are meant for recitals, capable of bringing out what ever one desires, but not Moksha or Final Release. For that, one has to make an inward journey by seeking an inquiry into the Lord that Vedas glorify. The ‘Vigjana’ of Vedas and the knowledge of this Lord are understood or derived not from Vedas but from the 3 gems, Upanishads, Brahma sutras and Bhagavad Gita. The ultimate goal of Release is possible only through knowledge got from these 3. Those who could not fall in line with this knowledge of Vedantha, deviated from it. Thus Jain thought was a later born.
To say that it pre-dates Sanatana Dharma is like putting the cart before the horse.

jayasree said...

How sanatanic theories can not have sprung from Jain views, but only vice versa can be understood from the following refutation of Jain concepts in Brahma sutras ( commentary given here are by Ramanujacharya)


http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe48/index.htm

(Brahma sutras - chapters 2-2-31 to 35)

31. Not so, on account of the impossibility in one
33. And likewise non-entireness of the Self
34. Nor also is there non-contradiction...
35. And on account of the endurance of the final size...

***

It is like this.
Mud is the prime cause and pot is the later born. The Jains talk about pot, the later born - and discuss about permanency and non- permanency based on on its appearance and /or whether it is broken. But Vedantha looks at the mud that goes to make the pot to decide about the permanency question. Without mud the pot can not come into existence. The Vedantin or sanatansit is like the potter who works with mud. The Jain theory is like that of the buyer of the pot, for whom the question of permanency or otherwise is restricted to the fate of the pot that he has bought.Who has come first, the potter or the buyer?

jayasree said...

You can not deny something which is non-existent. By denying Vedism, jain thought demonstrates that Vedas had existed before.

Anish Shah said...

Jainism is not denying vedas. Only denouncing the sacrifices and slaughter of animals.

Anish Shah said...

Jayshree...Having a "so-called" political agenda does not change the truth. Comment on the strength of facts and not pre-conceived opinions. For your information, I am posting the testimony of the scholars. It is upto you if you still want to live in delusion and pass of the Hindu orthodox view-points as facts. I know it is difficult to undergo paradigm shift in front of truth but It is upto you you. Denying substantial Jain influence on Hindu thought and Indian philosophy will not change facts. Now the testimony ofthe scholars :



A. Dr. Vilas Sangave (2001) In : Facets of Jainology: Selected Research Papers on Jain Society, Religion, and Culture . Popular Prakashan: Mumbai ISBN 8171548393

1) Dr. Vilas Sangave in his address delivered on the basis of his paper “Jainism : the Oldest religion” at ‘Parliament of World religions- Centennial Celebrations, Chicago, 1993 says “ Further, Jainism is an Independent religion of India and This fact is now acknowledged at all levels. It is established beyond doubt that Jainism is a distinct religion of India and not on offshoot of either Hinduism or Buddhism.
The Jain religion, philosophy, ethics, gods, temples, sacred places, scriptures, teachers, ascetics, vows, holy days festivals, and outlook on life and culture, with and emphasis on Ahimsa are not only distinct from their Hindu counterparts but also not accepted and followed by Hindus. “
Page 99-100

2) “Further the jain communities is one of the very ancient communities of India. The existence of the Jain religion can not only be traced to the vedic period but even to the Indus valley period of the Indian History. The names of Jain Tirthankars are mentioned in the Vedas and there is evidence to show that the Indus valley people must be worshipping Rishabhdeva the first Tirthankar of the Jains along with the other deities. Thus Hoary antiquity is a special feature of the Jain community and it is pertinent to note that this feature is not present in other religious minorities in India.

3) Apart from antiquity, the jain community enjoys the characteristic of unbroken continuity Few communities can claim such a long and continued existence”
Page 3-4

4) “But now it is generally accepted that Jainism is a distinct religion and that it is as old as, if not older than, the Vedic religion of the Hindus.” Page 14

B. Mary Pat Fisher (1997) In : Living Religions: An Encyclopedia of the World's Faiths I.B.Tauris : London ISBN 1860641482

“The extreme antiquity of Jainism as a non-vedic, indigenous Indian religion is well documented. Ancient Hindu and Buddhist scriptures refer to Jainism as an existing tradition which began long before Mahavira.” Page 115


C. Joel Diederik Beversluis (2000) In: Sourcebook of the World's Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality, New World Library : Novato, CA ISBN 1577311213

Originating on the Indian sub-continent, Jainism is one of the oldest religion of its homeland and indeed the world having pre-historic origins before 3000 BCE, and before the propagation of Indo-Aryan culture….Page 81


D. J. L. Jaini, (1916) Jaina Law, Bhadrabahu Samhita, (Text with translation ) Arrah, Central jaina publishing House)

As to Jainas being Hindu dissenters, and, therefore governable by Hindu law, we are not told this date of secession [...] Jainism certainly has a longer history than is consistent with its being a creed of dissenters from Hinduism. P.12-13

E. P.S. Jaini, (1979), The Jaina Path to Purification, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, p. 169

Jainas themselves have no memory of a time when they fell within the Vedic fold. Any theory that attempts to link the two traditions, moreover fails to appreciate rather unique and very non-vedic character of Jaina cosmology, soul theory, karmic doctrine and atheism.

F. Y. Masih (2000) In : A Comparative Study of Religions, Motilal Banarsidass Publ : Delhi, ISBN 8120808150

1. “Till very recently it was believed that Vedic Hinduism is really the oldest form of Indian religion. But, at the present time, it would not be correct to hold this view. Even at the time of Rgveda, there were at least the Dasas/Dasyus who racially differed much from the Aryans, and certainly much more in their religious theories and practices. The Dasas Dasyus were linga-worshippers and had a god different from Indra. They did not have animal-sacrifice and had observances quite different from those of the Vedic Aryans. Most probably proto-Shiva of Mohenjo-daro was one of their deities.
It is not possible to know much at present about the Dasas Dasyus.But certainly,we find Ajivikism, Jainism and Buddhism as three religions which did not share the Vedic Aryan religion called Brahmanism which accepted the Vedas as the only religious scripture for it, and, keeping to the caste maintained the excellence and supremacy of the Brahmins over all other castes and people. The non-Vedic religions of Ajivikism*, Jainism and Buddhism did not accept the Vedas as their holy books and did not have castes.” Page 17

2. “There is no evidence to show that Jainsim and Buddhism ever subscribed to vedic sacrifices, vedic deities or caste. They are parallel or native religions of India and have contributed to much to the growth of even classical Hinduism of the present times.” Page 18

3. “This confirms that the doctrine of transmigration is non-aryan and was accepted by non-vedics like Ajivikism, Jainism and Buddhism. The Indo-aryans have borrowed the theory of re-birth after coming in contact with the aboriginal inhabitants of India. Certainly Jainism and non-vedics [..] accepted the doctrine of rebirth as supreme postulate or article of faith.” Page 37

4. “We know only this much that the doctrine of karma-samsara-jnana-mukti is first seen in the clearest form in the shramanic tradition. It is now even accepted by orthodox bhramins. This doctrine is not clearly spelled out in Rgvedas and not even in the oldest parts of Upanishads called chandogya and Brhadaranyaka.” Page 149

5. “Jainism is a very old non-Vedic religion and some of its features go back to the times of Indus Valley Civilization. Like the Upanishads and Buddhism, Jainism was a kshatriya movement. It had its locus in a religion which was not yet touched by Brahmin cult. These regions East of Sadanira (modern Gandaka) were inhabited by non-Aryan tribes.
[..]
Jainism is not an offshoot of Vedic Brahminism. It belonged to the people who were essentially agriculturist, who valued bulls and cows. They therefore had simple living and could practice ahimsa and austerities. In contrast, the Vedic Aryans were essentially pastoral people and they were used to animal-sacrifice. Naturally the Aryan and non-Aryan people of India were always in conflict, and, so in their religious beliefs too they held opposite views. In the long run, the Vedic Aryans accepted all that was of importance in Jainism and Buddhism. The present Hinduism is a commingled stream of Aryan and non-Aryan cults. Keeping in mind the independent and parallel development of Jainism, we can proceed further.” Page 235

6. “The four pillars of Jainism karma-samsara-jnana-mukti have been assimilated into Hinduism. The Pancamahavrata of Jainism (Satya, Ahimsa…) have been fully adopted by Hinduism though not with the same rigour.” Page 237-8


G. Heinrich Zimmer (1969) Joseph Campbell ed. In: Philosophies of India, Princeton University Press NY, ISBN 0691017581

"Editor's note: Like Buddhism (cf. supra, p. i8, Editor's note), Jainism, Sankhya. and Yoga do not accept the authority of the Veda*, and are therefore reckoned as heterodox, i.e.. doctrines outside of the orthodox Brahman tradition of the Vedas, Upanisads, and Veda ma. It was Dr. Ziminer's contention that these heterodox systems represent the thinking of the non-Aryan peoples of India, who were overcome and despised by the Brahmans, but nevertheless could boast of extremely subtle traditions of their own.
Dr. Zimmer regarded Jainism as the oldest of the non-Aryan group, in contrast to most Occidental authorities, who consider Mahavira, a contemporary of the Buddha, to have been its founder instead of, as the jainas themselves (and Dr. Zimmer) claim, only the last of a long line of Jaina teachers. Dr. Zimmer believed that there is truth in the Jaina idea that their religion goes back to a remote antiquity, the antiquity in question being that of the pre-Aryan, so-called Dravidian period, which has recently been dramatically illuminated by the discovery of a series of great Late Stone Age cities in the Indus Valley, dating from the third and perhaps even fourth millennium b.c. (cf. Ernest Mackay, The Indus Civilization, London, 1935; also Zimmer, Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization, pp. 93ff.).

Sankhya and Yoga represented a later, psychological sophistication of the principles preserved in Jainism, and prepared the ground for the forceful, anti-Brahman statement of the Buddha. Sankhya and Yoga belong together, as the theory and the practice of 3 single philosophy. Kapila, the reputed founder of Sankhya (cf. infra, pp. 38if), may have been a contemporary of the Upanisadic thinkers, and seems to have given his name to the city in which the Buddha was born, Kapilavastu.
In general, the non-Aryan, heterodox philosophies are not exclusive in the same sense that the Brahman philosophies are: for they are not reserved to members of the three upper castes.” Page 60

H. Gavin D. Flood (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University
Press : UK ISBN 0521438780

“The origin and doctrine of Karma and Samsara are obscure.These concepts were certainly circulating amongst sramanas, and Jainism and Buddhism developed specific and sophisticated ideas about the process of transmigration. It is very possible that the karmas and reincarnation entered the mainstream brahaminical thought from the sramana or the renouncer traditions.” Page 86

“Yet on the other hand, although there is no clear doctrine of transmigration in the vedic hymns, there is an idea of re-death i.e. person who has died in this world, might yet die again in the next.” Page 86

“It is significant that early Brahnanism does not contain institution of renounciation akin to those of Buddhism or Jainism. There are certainly lineages of teachers going back many generations, but these are not monastic institutions.” Page 90

“In Brhadaranyaka Upanishad retributive action first appears to be a secret and little known doctrine. [..] By later Upanashids (Svetasvatara Upanashid 400 – 200 BCE) the doctrine is firmly established.” Page 86

I. S. Cromwell Crawford, review of L. M. Joshi, Brahmanism, Buddhism and Hinduism, Philosophy East and West (1972):
“These (Sramanas) were not direct outgrowths of Vedism, but counter-movements heavily influenced by Brahmanical traditions. [..]Alongside Brahmanism was the non-Aryan Shramanic culture with its roots going back to prehistoric times.”


J. Robert J. Zydenbos

In the view of so many basic differences between the two traditions, [Jain and Vedic] it is amazing that there are still people who speak of Jainism as a “heterodox sect of Hinduism” An Impartial study of the literary evidence, both Jaina and Brahamanical, leads to a conclusion that the latter offshoots of the vedic tradition have borrowed a lot from Jainism : the theory of karma and re-birth, the vegetarianism of the higher Hindu castes, perhaps also temple worship. Page 59
The most intriguing is the fact that two early Upanishads, (the Brhadaranyaka and the Chandogya) mention that the theory of Karma and rebirth , this perhaps the most Indian of all religious idea, was first taught to the Brhamin priesthood by a non-brahmin : a king, a Ksatriya. Had this theory been a vedic and thus a Hindu origin, one would have expected it to have originated among the Brahmins, who were the religious authorities, the only persons who were allowed to teach and explain the Vedas. But the texts testify that the theory was first taught to the brhamins by a ksatriya, that is to say: by a member of the same social class in which the most prominent personalities of the Jaina and Buddhist history, Mahavira and Buddha were born. P.p 56-7
Jainism is one of the oldest living religions of the world. Perhaps it is the oldest living religion that has served as a major civilizing force, giving birth to roughly 2,000 years of written literature, to wonders of art and architecture, and to a system of philosophy and ethics that gave inspiration to political giant like Mahatma Gandhi. Several Religious ideas that are today considered “typically Indian”, either originated in or were spread by Jaina teachers. This ought to be common knowledge, but as with many other things in the world, this is not the case. Page 11
Students of Traditional Indian Yoga of Patanjali will recognize in the five Jaina vows an obvious parallel to the five yamas or the constraints which are part of the basic personal discipline of the yoga. It may only be a slight exaggeration to say that essentially, Jainism is a system of yogic thinking that has grown into a full fledged religion. And when one realizes that yoga was an unorthodox addition to Hindu thought, one may well wonder whether its source lies in the tradition which has brought forth Jainism. Page 66

zen said...

Jayasreeji,

Please read coolely following:

What the vedas & hindu puranas say about jainism:



Rigveda which you regard as the oldest known epic. Rigved says- "om treylokya pratisthitaan chaturvinshati tirthankaraan vrishabhadaan vardhmanaantan sidhhaan shardam prapadheyey
om pavitra nagnam upvisprasamahey esham nagnam esham jaatam esham veeram suveeram---------"

Have you noticed that in the underlined part of the shloka ,there is name of lord Mahavir(i.e. Vardhman-his original name)'s name is written as the last of the 24th tirthankars?

By the history we know that Mahavira was born many centuries after the vedic age, then how come his name is there in the rigveda & that too with his correct description?

2 possibilities occurs here: 1st is that the writters of rigveda were aware of the tirthankaraas & their entire lineage , & as they r being worshipped by the writter of vedas in these lines ,it must be accepted that they also adored the tirthankars & regarded as gods.
2nd possibility is that the vadas are written after Lord Mahavir or if not then atleast they are edited after Lord MAHAVIRA.

Again in another of the 4 vedas i.e. in the Yajurved it says :- om vrishabh pavitram puruhtamdhwajamindro om swastino indro vrjassravaaha-------------( ref:- yajurved chapter 25 & no. 6 varg 1)

the under lined part is the famous swasti mantra of the vedics which they chant in all their marriage & other ceremonies.

Here , you can find the names of many tirthankaras( vrishabh as written in italics) . But the most notable here is the name of Aristhnemi( Lord Neminath).

This shows the importance of the tirthankaraas.

Now, let us see what Nagar puran says.
It says "dasbhirbhojiteiiviprey yatfalam jaayatey kratey
muner arhat subhaktasya tatfalam jaayatey kalo"

This means that whatever is the reward of giving food to 10 brahamans in the krat yug, the same reward is got while giving the food to one muni who is bhakt of arihant( jain muni) in the kalyug.

Now,this shlok of the hindu puran is enough to prove that the jain munis are regarded as very adorable & great even by the hindus also.Giving food to brahmans is very great punya in hinduism but you see the above comparison, it clearly states that the jain munis are much greater( 1 muni compared to 10 brahmans as equal).

Again, in the same puran it is well said that "arham" is the post( pad) of paramtatva(the supreme substance), there occurs the attainment of the paramgati( supreme state) . What now remains in proving that this puran accepts the importance of the jainism?

Prabhas puran:- it describes that Vaman had the darshan of the padmasan digamber Neminath , & Shiv is the name of this Neminath thyself. And by his sight(darshan) there is the reward of the crores of yajnas.It also regards Neminath as 'jina' & thy's place is regarded as the saint's aashram & the cause of salvation.

In the Hanumannatak's mangalaacharan's 3rd shlok , it says that there is the same god in the 6 beliefs(i.e the 6 believes of the ancient India like mimansak, budhhiet, jains etc).It includes jainism as 1 of these 6 believes & there they clearly say that Arihant is also the eeshwar(god).

In dakshinmurtisahastranaam, it is said " shivovach jainmarg rato, jain jin krodho jitamaya"
What more could be done to prove the place of jainism?

In the Bada yogavaashishtha's 1st chapter which is the vyaraagya prakaran - in this Lord Rama is saying to his guru that"ramovach naaham ramo na mey vaanchham bhaveshu cha na mey manah
shantima sthaatumichhamee swaatmannaiva jino yatha"

It means that I am not 'Ram', neither I have any desire , nor I have any attraction in the substances or materials.I want to get silence in my own soul as the jina dev has got.
Here lord Rama thyself wants to be a jina-a way of salvation.
===============================
Madam,
Here idea is not to score over others or to have any false sense of supremacy.Idea is that opinions/beliefs should also be analysed.If some referances as above are available , there should not be need to get angry with others who donot follow yr line of thinking.

With kind regard and best wishes.

jayasree said...

1)What a climb- down. From your angry and impatient outbursts, you have come down to tell me that I must coolly read!! I anyway read them coolly. This is where many can't understand what a Sanatanist is like.

2)Having a political agenda does have an influence on your motive.It even blinds logic.

3)The logic you have lost is, since the entire Jain thought is based on rejection of Vedas, it goes without saying which preceded what. The kashthriya origin is another proof of subsidiarity to Vedic culture.

4)I can see your agenda to project Jainism as an independent thought to get minority status for Jains.I feel sorry for the majority Jains who I think are still adhering to non-materialistic approach of Jainism.

5)About your comment on sense of superiority- that too, a false sense of superiority. This comment shows that you have not read most of - if not all my posts.

6)The rebuttal to the views in the articles you have sent have already been handled by many Vasihnavite Gurus. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of them any further, it will throw out some sad revelations. For instance, it was a sad twist of destiny that the himsa-based silk from China was introduced in India by none other than a Jain, King Kumarpal of Gujarat, a disciple of Jain acharya Hemchandra.The king wanted to use the best for his puja and procured silk from china without knowing that it was made by killing silk-moth.

Anish Shah said...

The facts are out in open, the testimony of the scholars is stated, there is no rebuttal, hence the point is proved and my objective is achieved. Thank you Madam for the opportunity, it was interesting talking to you. Have a good day.

jayasree said...

Tell me what 'facts' you have placed and what testimony you have produced.
There is nothing other than a repetition that Jains were the oldest. In what way you proved that they pre-dated sanatana Dharma.
When nothing of that sort is produced how can you expect me to give rebuttals to them?

On the other hand you could not give a reply to the basic questions I asked -
(1)Without vedas already in existence, how could they frame their Thought as denial of vedism. The 8 points Zen gave in his comment as basic principles of Jainism are about denial of Vedism and personal code of ethics for monks.
(2)If as you claim kshathriyas became Jains, is it not proof that it is an off-shoot of Vedic religion that followed varna dharma?


I could see only 3 issues from all the comments from Zen and Anish, which they project as proofs.

Issue -1 :- One is the doctrine of Renunciation. That is the basis of Vedism. The Jains and Buddhists too have this in their doctrine. But that is not proof to say that Vedism borrowed it from them and hence was later to them (Jainism).This doctrine of renunciation is enshrined in sharanagathi or prapatthi tattwa of sanatana dharma - arising from the realization that the jeeva is subsidiary to Paramtma.
The 'sarva dharmaan .' sloka of Gita, characterized as Charama sloka is the core preaching brought out in avatars too (vibheeshana in Rama avatar is a ready example to understand).

Issue -2:- Another one is the sloka from yajur Veda (though I can not locate such a chapter in Yajur veda as quoted by you)on Om Vrishabh pavitram.. Going by the context of this sloka and the meaning, it is obvious that vrishabh in this sloka indicates strength, vigour, manliness. might etc and also the 'aaya' the direction of a deity. To pick it out to mean a person, I am sorry to say that this is the way Vedas have been misunderstood.

This sloka :- 'om vrishabh pavitram puruhtamdhwajamindro om swastino indro vrjassravaaha--------'
is obviously about some glorification of deities in the direction of east (dwaja means eastern aaya in Aya-prakaraNa)and Vrishbh means aaya of the West and Imdra here indicates the Imdrasthan in the eastern Dhwaja who is propitiated by this mantra.

If you want to know more about these Vrishabh,Dwaja and Indra mentioned in this sloka, read the chronologically older Vishwakarma prakashika. It was only after him, the Jain monk Bhattovasari has written about these ayas and worship of gods in respective ayas such as Vrishabh, Dhwaja etc in his book "Aayagnana Thilakam". He learnt it from Damanandi (written that 'ithi digambaracharya pandita DAma nandi sishya Bhattovasari..)But this book is dated at 10th century AD by Nemi Chandra sastry.

The inference from the above is that this sloka from yajur Veda (presumed by yourself)is not about Vrishbhacharya. It is about worship of deities of respective directions.

Issue no 3:- The association of the first thirthankara, Vrishbhacharya with Prayag. This is a crucial information. Prayag and all those places connected with his life are all in the gangetic course. That is, Vrishbha's birth happened after the Ganga was born! But ganga's origins happened in krita yuga and had been detailed in Valmiki Ramayana. (refer my posts on RAmayana / RAm sethu) The ganga was brought by Bhageeratha, Rama's ancestor some 20 generations prior to him. It was the time that Vedic society was flourishing in pristine purity and Sanatana dharma was glowing at its peak. This dharma and culture were very much in place even before Ganga was born and when Saraswathy was flowing. The vedism has such unparalleled antiquity. Vrishbha came much later - after Ganga started flowing.
If you still want to say that the birth of GAnga was a myth, ask scientists about its probable time of birth. Or look at the Copper inscriptions of Thiruvalankadu (refer my blog). It has been chronicled there too.

I hope that attempts to belittle Vedic religion are stopped and I am not for entertaining such ideas in my blog.

Vijay said...

Dear Jayashree,

I am proud to see you not only stand up to ignorant people like Zen and Ashish, but also take on their ignorant judgments and prove them wrong.

Every singly argument Zen & Ashish presented here reflects that Jainism has its roots in sanatana dharma. They are yet to see what is in front of their eyes.

I believe that had Zen and Ashish understood sanksrit language, their ignorance would have been self discovered, and they wouldn't have parrot-ted what they heard from others here.

jayasree said...

Thank you Vijay.

jayasree said...

I have written more on the issue of Manushya Bhasha in my Tamil blogs. Read

http://thamizhan-thiravidana.blogspot.in/2011/08/66.html

From 65th to 69th articles in this blog, one can read how Tamil was a spoken language throughout India even at the time of Ramayana.

While Tamil had a written script, the spoken Tamil / 'Kodum Thamizh' (known as Apa-brahmsa in rest of India and later as Prakruth) had no written form. It is where Jains came into the picture. The Brahmi script was introduced by them to write Prakruth.

Thanks to Colonial intervention, the until- then existing knowledge of and distinction between sanskritised Prakruth and non- sanskrit Prakruth (Apa brahmsa) were erased from memory and indoctrinated with Dravidan and Indo Aryan languages. My future articles will be on these issues.

Dhanesh Rathinasamy said...

மாரியும் கோடையும் வார்பனி தூங்கநின்று
ஏரியும் நின்றங்கு இளைக்கின்ற காலத்து
ஆரிய முந்தமி ழும்உட னேசொலிக்
காரிகை யார்க்குக் கருணைசெய் தானே
-திருமந்திரம் 65

வடமொழியை பாணிணிக்கு வகுத்து அருளி
தொடர்புடைய தென்மொழியை உலகமெலாம்
தொழுதேத்தும் குடமுனிக்கு வலியுறுத்தார் கொல்லேற்றுப் பாகர்
கடல் வரைப்பினிதன் பெருமை யாவரே கணித்து அறிவார்
- திருவிளையாடற் புராணம்

இரு மொழிக்கும் கண்ணுதலார் முதற்குரவரியல் வாய்ப்ப
இரு மொழியும் வழிப்படுத்தார் முனிவேந்தரிசை பரப்பு
மிருமொழியுமான்றவரே தழீஇயனாரென்றாலிவ்
விருமொழியு நிகரென்னு மிதற்கையமுளதேயோ
- காஞ்சிப்புராணம்

jayasree said...

Thanks for the quotes Mr Dhanesh.