SOAS University of London

Centre of Jaina Studies

International Journal of Jaina Studies

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Nāth and Dādūpanthī Critique of Jains

Author: Monika Horstmann

Year: 2017

ISSN: 1748-1074

International Journal of Jaina Studies (Online) Vol. 13, No. 1 (2017) 1-72

In sixteenth- und seventeenth-century Rajasthan, Nāth and Sant authors of vernacular compositions were ardent critics of beliefs and practices that did not share their form of monism averring the interior unity of Self and self and consequently rejecting iconic worship. Amongst many others, invariably Jains qualified as their target. Their critique focused particularly on the figure of the yati, the Śvetāmbara ascetic. Underlying this were ancient clichés that kept being updated so that it is to be cautioned against attempting to extrapolate from these to reality. Nonetheless it can be argued the particularly the Sant critique of the Jains was bitter because Jain ascetics relied on  merchant-caste patrons whose attention was also courted by Sant monks. Two critiques are analyzed in this essay, one by the Nāth Siddha Prithīnāth (second half of the 16th cent.) and the other by the Dādupanthī Rajab (17th cent.).

The persistence of the polemic stance against Jains as it forms a literary convention may obfuscate that a more conciliatory stance prevailed in reality. This is illustrated by the fact that from the Sant spectrum Dādūpanthīs and Nirañjanīs engaged with the writings of the Jain merchant-caste intellectual Banārsīdās. This is testified to by manuscripts from the turn of the 18th century on. A social trajectory of Sant interest in Banārsīdās may have been formed by the merchant-caste patrons of both these groups.

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On Corresponding Sanskrit Words For The Prakrit Term Posaha: With Special Reference To Śrāvakācāra Texts

Author: Kazuyoshi Hotta 

Year: 2017

ISSN: 1748-1074

International Journal of Jaina Studies (Online) Vol. 13, No. 2 (2017) 1-17

In Brahmanism the purification rite called upavasatha has been practiced on the day before the Vedic ritual is performed. For example, we can see the description about such purification rite in Taittirīyasaṃhitā, Śatapathabrāhmaṇa, etc. Jainism and Buddhism have borrowed the rite in different ways and called it posaha or uposatha, etc. in Prakrit and Pāli. Buddhism mainly has developed the rite as a ritual of the mendicant group. On the other hand, Jainism mainly has developed the rite as a practice of the layperson.

The article surveys the corresponding Sanskrit words of Prakrit posaha and its etymological meaning seen in the Śrāvakācāra texts. In this field, the study of Robert Williams (Jaina Yoga 1963.) is the most excellent work which has to be referred to initially. However, it has been over fifty years since its publication, so it should be corrected in some respects. Firstly, his two opinions will be examined as follows. One is that there have come into existence a number of false sanskritizations pauṣadha, proṣadha, poṣadha for the Prakrit posaha. The second point is that the word form poṣadha seems to have attained the most general currency. On the first point, his opinion is mostly right. But we can add that the word form upoṣadha is seen in the printed text of Vratodyotanaśrāvakācāra as the only exception. The word form upoṣadha can be seen in the Buddhist texts like Divyāvadāna too. As to the second point, his assumption is not sufficient. Nevertheless, many modern scholars (for example, P. S. Jaini, Willem Bollée, Kristi Wiley etc.) seem to consider that the word form poṣadha have attained the most general currency. By investigating about sixty kinds of Śrāvakācāra texts, it can be said that the word form proṣadha has attained the most currency. Furthermore, we can precisely point out the tendency according to the sect. That is to say, Śvetāmbara uses poṣadha or pauṣadha and Digambara uses proṣadha.

The article also investigates the etymological interpretations of the respective word forms seen in Śrāvakācāra texts, especially focusing on texts which Robert Williams did not deal with. In Jainism, the original word form upavasatha has been re-sanskritized via the Prakrit form posaha, so they have lost the sight of the preverb upa and assumed that √puṣ etc. are the etymological origin. Here, the article examines the etymological meaning included in the respective word forms, comparing it with the etymological interpretation seen in Brahmanical texts and Buddhist texts.

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The Treatment Of Series In The Gaṇitasārasaṃgraha Of Mahāvīrācārya And Its Connections To Jaina Cosmology

Author: Catherine Morice-Singh 

Year: 2017

ISSN: 1748-1074

International Journal of Jaina Studies (Online) Vol. 13, No. 3 (2017) 1-39

The Gaṇitasārasaṃgraha (850 A.D.) is a well-known and significant mathematical text in Sanskrit, composed by Mahāvīrācārya, a Digambara Jaina ācārya. It has been edited and translated into English in 1912, by M. Rangacharya, and since then, different aspects of its rich content (more than thousand verses) have been studied by various scholars.

This work certainly belongs to the category of pāṭīgaṇita works (board mathematics), however, it presents some unexplained peculiarities regarding issues of classification of topics and structure. For instance, the usual distinction between the parikarman (operations) and the vyavahāra (procedures) sections is not retained here. But, more importantly, the basic addition and subtraction of numbers have been removed from the list of fundamental operations, to be replaced by two more sophisticated operations, the addition and subtraction with respect to arithmetical and geometrical series. Mahāvīrācārya is the only author to have proceeded in this way, and we do not know why.

After presenting some excerpts of the Gaṇitasārasaṃgraha to show how the rules on progressions and series were applied, I will argue that an exploration of the mathematical content of a cosmological work such as the Tiloyapaṇṇaṭṭī can help us shed more light on the subject and bring some answers to explain these peculiarities.

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