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s'rutakevali Bhadrabahu came to Mysore, accompanied as his chief
disciple by the abdicated emperor Chandra Gupta, and that they died
at S'ravana Belgola, the introduction of Jainism into this State cannot
be placed later than early in the third century B.C. But two generations
after, we have the testimony of the edicts of As'oka discovered by me,
that Buddhism was established in the north of Mysore. Dr. Biihler

• We shall perhaps find that the past did not differ so much from the present as
might at first appear ; that India has always had, alongside of the Veda, something
equivalent to its great Sivaite and Vishnuite religions, which we see in the ascendant
at a later date, and that these anyhow existed contemporaneously with it for a very
much longer period than has till now been generally supposed. — Barth, Religions of
India, Pref., xv.

- Tilak's Orion : Jacobi's Date of the Rig Veda (Ind. Ant., XXIII, 154). Cf. the
valuable Note by Dr. Biihler, toe. cit., 238.

=* See Dr. Thibaut, Ind. Ant., XXIV, 85.


also considers^ that the iwu geographical names which these edicts
contain are Aryan, and point to the conclusion that the country was by
that time thoroughly under Aryan influence. The record of the
despatch by A'soka of missions to Banavasi and Mahis'a-mandala (the
Mysore District) to propagate the faith, indicates that the north-west and
south were not then Buddhist. They may, therefore, have been to
some extent, if not entirely, Jain. Jainism was in the main the State
religion of Mysore throughout the first thousand years of the Christian
era, and ceased not to be influential till after the conversion in the
twelfth century of the Hoysala king since known as Vishnuvardhana,
and the murder some time later of the Kalachurya king Bijjala by the

The actual introduction of Brahmans into Mysore is assigned to -^
the third century a.d. According to tradition, the Kadamba king
Mukanna or Trinetra at that time settled them at Sthanagundur
(Talgunda in the Shikarpur taluq). This was in the west. In the east
the Pallava king Mukunti is said to have introduced Brahmans at
about the same period. In the south the Ganga king Vishnugopa,
belonging to the same century, is said to have become devoted to the
worship of Brahmans, and to have thus lost the Jain tokens which were
heirlooms of his house. But the evidence of inscriptions is in favour
of an earlier existence of Brahmanism in this country. The Malavalli
inscriptions of the second century, discovered by me, show the king
Satakarni making a grant to a Brahman for a S'iva temple, followed by
a Kadamba king also making a grant to a Brahman for the same.
Moreover, the remarkable Talgunda inscription discovered by me,
represents the Kadambas themselves as very devout Brahmans, and
one of them, perhaps the founder of the royal line, as going with his
Brahman guru to the Pallava capital (Kdnchi) to study there. It also
states that Satakarni, probably the one above mentioned, was among
the famous kings who had worshipped at the S'iva temple to which it
belongs. We must therefore suppose that I)rahmanism, more parti- ^
cularly the worship of S'iva in the form of the Linga, existed in Mysore
in the first centuries of our era, concurrently with other forms of faith,
Buddhism or Jainism, but that the latter were in the ascendaiU.
Hence the traditions perhaps indicate the time when Brahmanism
received general public recognition by the State.

But the chief revival of Brahmanical religion took place in the eighth
century, when the labours of Kumarila and of S'ankaracharya, the first
apostle of S'ringeri (Kadar District), dealt a deathblow to Buddhism

» Op. iiL, .\XIII, 246.


and raised the Saiva faith to the first place. In hke manner, in the
twelfth century, the Vaishnava religion gained ground, and through the
teaching of the reformer Ramanujacharya, put an end to the influence
of Jainism, Vishnu worship thus became a national religion, but
divided the empire with the followers of Siva, a compromise of which
the form Harihara was symbolical, uniting in one person both Hari or
Vishnu and Hara or Siva. For the reformation of the Saiva religion,
which was effected about the same time by Basava, ending in the
establishment of the Lingayit sect, imparted to it a vitality which it has
never since lost in the south, especially amongst the Kannada-speaking
races. Forty years later a somewhat similar reformation of the
Vaishnava religion was brought about through the teaching of
jNIadhvacharya, and before another century further innovations were
introduced by Ramdnand, and afterwards by Chaitanya and

Jainism. — Though so ancient, the existence of the sect of the Jains
was first brought to light in Mysore, the discovery being due to
Colonel Colin Mackenzie, the distinguished officer who conducted the
survey of Mysore in 1799 and following years. They are dispersed
throughout India, and their numbers are probably understated at a
million and a half according to the census of 1891. They are most
numerous in Rajputana, Gujarat, Central India, and Mysore. In the
north and west of India they are chiefly engaged in commerce ; in the
south they are also agriculturists. As before stated, they were more
or less predominant in Mysore from the earliest part of the Christian
era to the twelfth century. And in the Chola and Pandya countries,
and in Kanara (South and North), Dharwar, and other adjacent
parts, they were also generally established from a very early
period. The oldest Kannada and Tamil literature is of Jain
authorship, and to the Jains is due the first cultivation of these

The principal seats of the Jain faith in Mysore now are at S'ravana
Belgola in Hassan District, Maleyur in Mysore District, and Humcha
in Shimoga District. The first place is the residence of a guru who
claims authority over the Jains throughout the south of India, and is, I
believe, admitted to be their chief pontiff' The consecration of
Chandra-giri, the small hill there, dates back to the third century B.C.

' He professes to be guru to all the Jaiiia Kshatriyas in India : and in an inscrip-
tion dating so late as 1830, claims to be occupant of the throne of the Dilli (Delhi),
Hemadri (Maleyur), Sudha (Sode in North Kanara), Sangitapura (Haduvalli),
Svetapura (Bilige), Kshemavenu (Mi'idu Bidare, these last three in South Kanara),
and Belgula (S'ravana Belgola) samsthanas. — Ins. at Sr. Bel.., Xo. 141.


{see p. 287). But the foundation of the present religious establishment
is attributed to Chamunda Raya, who, in about 983, set up the colossal
statue of Gomata on the biggest hill, Indra-giri or Vindhya-giri. To
provide for the maintenance and worship of the image, he established
a matha and other religious institutions, with liberal endowments.
According to a list from the matha the following was the succession of
gurus. They were of the Kundakundanvaya, Mula-sangha, Des'i-gana,
and Pustaka-gachcha.

Nemichandra Siddhautacharya appointed by Chamunda Raya c. 9S3


Pandya Raya


Vira Pandya


Kuna Pan((lya


\'inayaditya "^



Tridama \'ibiidhanandyacliarya

Hoysala J



Prahhachandra Siddhdntacharya





Ballala Raya


1 102


Bitti Deva



From 1 1 1 7 the gurus all bear the name of Charukirti Panditdcharya,
and endowments have been granted to the matha by all succeeding
lines of kings.

The Maleyur matha is subordinate to that of Sravana Belgola, and
is now closed. According to Wilson, Akalanka, the Jain who con-
futed the Buddhists at the court of Plemasitala in Kanchi in 788,
and procured their expulsion from the south of India, was from
Sravana Belgola, but a manuscript in my possession states that he was
a yati of IMaleyur, and that Bhattakalanka is the title of the line of
yatis of that place.

The Humcha matha was established by Jinadatta Raya, the founder
of the Humcha State, in about the eighth century. The gurus, as
given in the following list, were of the Kujidakiindanvaya and Nandi-
sangha. From Jayakirtti Deva they were of the Sarasvati gncJichii.
The descent is traced in a general way from Bhadrabahu the s'nitake-
vali, through Vis'akhamuni the das'apurvi, his successor, through
Umasvati, author o^ i\\Q Tattvdrtiha-si'ih-a, and then the following : —

.Samantal)hadra, author of Diroagaiita stolra.

Pujyapada, author o{ Jaitioidra lydkaraiia, of a nyiisa on Panini called

Sahdik'atdra, and of a Vaidya s'astra.
Siddhantikirlti, guru to Jinadatta Raya. ? about 730 A. p.

Akalanka, author of a hhdshya on the Dctuigania s/o/m.
Vidyananda, author of a bhdshya on the A'ptamitndmsa, also of Sloka

Prahhachandra, autlior of Nydyalatmrtdachandrodaya and of a nydsa on



\';u(lilliam;in;i iminiiKlra, by iho power of whose iiiaiilra Iloysala sul;-

(hied the tifjer' 980-1040

1 lis successors were gurus lo the Hoysala kings.
\';isupi'ijya vrati, guru to Ballala Raya ... ... ... ... ... 1040-1100

Sripala. I Subhakirtti Deva.

Nemichandra. I l'a(hiianandi.

Abhayachandra, guru lo Charama Maghanandi.

Jayakirtti Deva.






Visalakirtti. Dhanunjaya.

Dharmal)hushana, guru to Deva Raya ... ... ... ... ... 1401-1451

\'idyananda, who debated Ijefore Deva Raya and Krishna Raya, ... 1451-1508

and maintained the Jain faith at Bilgi and Karkala. His sons were : —
Sinihakirtti, who debated at the court of Muhammad Shah ... ... 1463-1482





Visalakirtti, who debated before Sikandar and Virupaksha Raya ... 1465- 1479

Nemichandra, who debated at the court of Krishna Raya and Achyuta

Raya ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... 1508-1542

The gurus are now named Devendra Tirtha Bhattaraka.

There are two sects among the Jains, the Digambara, clad with
space, that is naked ; and the Svetambara, clad in white. The first is
the original and most ancient. The yatis in Mysore belong to the
former division, but cover themselves with a yellow robe, which they
throw off only when taking food. The yatis form the religious order,
the laity are called srdvakas. Certain deified men, termed Tirthan-
karas, of whom there are twenty-four principal ones, are the chief
objects of Jain reverence. Implicit belief in the doctrines and actions
of these is obligatory on both yatis and sravakas. But the former are
expected to follow a life of abstinence, taciturnity and continence ;
whilst the latter add to their moral and religious code the practical
worship of the Tirthankaras and profound reverence for their more
pious brethren. The moral code of the Jains is expressed in five
mahd-vratas or great duties : — refraining from injury to life, truth,
honesty, chastity, and freedom from worldly desire. There are four
dharmas or merits — liberality, gentleness, piety, and penance ; there are
three sorts of restraint — government of the mind, the tongue, and the
person. To these are superadded a number of minor instructions or
prohibitions, sometimes of a beneficial and sometimes of a trivial or

' For an e.xpkinaiion of this allusion see p. t,"^},.


even ludicrous tendency.' The Jains hold the doctrine of Xindna,
but it is with them a state of beatific rest or quiescence, cessation from
re-birth, but not annihilation. The practice of salkkhana or religious
suicide is considered meritorious, and was at one time not uncommon,
especially to bring to a close a life made intolerable by incuraijle
disease or other dire calamity. At the same time, ahimsd or avoidance
of the destruction of life in whatever shape, is a fundamental doctrine,
carried to extremes.

The ritual of the Jains is as simple as their moral code. Thej-rt//
dispenses with acts of worship at his pleasure ; and the lay votary is
only bound to visit daily a temple where some of the images of the
Tirthankaras are erected, walk round it three times, make an obeisance
to the images with an offering of some trifle, usually fruit or flowers,
and pronounce a mantra or prayer.^

The Jains reject the Vedas, and have their own sacred books. The
original Purvas, fourteen in number, were lost at an early period, but
the forty-five A'gamas, which include the eleven Angas (specially con-
sidered the sacred books), the twelve Upangas, and other religious works
have been handed down. In their present form they were, according
to tradition, collected and committed to writing in the fifth century at
"Wilabhi, under the directions of Devarddhiganin, but the Angas had
previously been collected in the fourth century at Pataliputra. The
sacred language of the Jains is called Arddha-Magadhi, but is a Prakrit
corresponding more with Maharashtri than with Magadhi. In the
eleventh century they adopted the use of Sanskrit.'* Caste as
observed among the Jains is a social and not a religious institution.
In the edicts of As'oka and early Buddhist literature they are called
Nirgranthas (those who have forsaken every tie). AVith reference to
their philosophical tenets they are also by the Brahmans designated
Syadvadins (those who say perhaps, or // may be so\ as they
maintain that we can neither aftirm nor deny anything absolutely
of an object, and that a predicate never expresses more than a

Parsvanatha and Mahdvi'ra, the twenty-third and twenty-fourth Tirth-

' Such as to al)stain al cerlaiii seasons from salt, flowers, green friiil and root.s,
honey, grai)es, and tobacco ; not to deal in soap, natron, intligo and iron : and
never to eat in the dark lest a fly shoidd lie swallowed. The hair must not l)o cut
Init should be plucked out.

' The prayer-formula of the Jains is : — Nanio .Vrihanlanam namo Siddhanam
namo Ayariyanam namo Uvajjhayanam namo loe sabba-sahi'inam. (Reverence to
the Arhats, to the Siddhas, to the A'char)as, to the Upadhyayas, to all Sadhus in
the world.)

3 Jacobi, Kalpa si'itra. * Barth, Religious of India.



ankaras,! were historical persons, of whom the former it is supposed
was the real founder of Jainism, while the latter, whose country,
descent, connections and life bear a close resemblance to those of
Buddha (also called Mahavira and Jina, and the last of twenty-four
Buddhas), and whose period also nearly corresponds with his, was its
greatest apostle and propagator.

Pdrs'va or Pdrs'vandtha was of the race of Ikshvdku, and the son of king
As'va Sena by Vdmd. or Bdmd. Devi. He was born at Bhelupura, in the
suburbs of Benares, and married Prabhdvati, daughter of king Prasenajita.
He adopted an ascetic life at the age of thirty, and practised austerities for
eighty days before arriving at perfect wisdom. Once, whilst engaged in his
devotions, his enemy Kamatha caused a great rain to fall upon him. But
the serpent Dharanidhara, or the Ndga king Dharana, overshadowed his
head with his hood outspread as a chhatra, whence the place was called
Ahichhatra.- After becoming an ascetic he lived seventy years less eighty
days, and at the age of 100 died, performing a fast, on the top of Samet
S'ikhara. He wore one garment, and had under him a large number of
male and female ascetics. His death occurred 250 years before that of the
last Tirthankara, or about 776 B.C.

Varddhamdna or Mahavira, also of the race of Ikshvaku, was a N^yaputa
or Ndtaputta, that is, a Jndtri Rajput and Kshattriya, the son of Siddhdrtha,
prince of Pavana, by Trisald., and was born at Chitrakot or Kundagrdma.
He married Yasodd, daughter of the prince Samara Vira, and had by her a
daughter Priyadarsana, who became the wife of Jamali, his nephew, one of
his pupils and the founder of a schism. Varddhamdna's father and mother
died when he was twenty-eight, and two years afterwards he devoted him-
self to austerities, which he continued twelve years and a half, nearly eleven
of which were spent in fasts. As a Digambara " he went robeless, and had
no vessel but his hand." At last the bonds of action were snapped like an

' The following is the list of the twenty-four Tirthankaras : —



Silsana Devi.



Sdsana Devi.

Rishabha or






































Water jar





Muni Suvrata







Blue waterlily





















or Mahavira



Ahi, serpent ; chhatra, canopy or umbrella.


old rope, and he attained to Kevala or the only knowledge, becoming an
Arhant or Jina. Proceeding to Papapuri or Apdpapuri (Pd\a) in Behar, he
commenced teaching his doctrines. Several eminent Hrr.hmans of Magadha
became converts and founded i^anai or schools. The chief of tliem was
Indrabhuti or Gautama (not to be confounded, as has sometimes been done,
with Buddha, also so called, who was a Kshatriya). Mahavira continued
to teach, chiefly at the cities of Kausambi and RAjagriha, under the kings
Sasanika and Srenika, and died at the age of seventy-two at Apdpapuri.
The date of his death is the era from which Jain chronology reckons, and
the traditional date corresponds with 527 H.c, but this should probably be
sixty years later.'

Buddhism. — The evidence of the establisliment of ] in the /
north of Mysore in the third century r..c., and the efforts made at
that time to propagate it in other parts, have already been referred to."'*
The S'dtavdhana and Pallava kings, from the remains of their erections
at Amaravati and Mamallapura, were to some extent Buddhist, and
there are references in early Pali writings to Buddhist scholarship in
Karnataka.'^ Inscriptions record the maintenance, as one of five great
mathas, of a Buddhist establishment (Bauddhalaya) at Balagami
(Shikarpur taluq), the capital of the Banavasi country, down to 1098,
and apparently the residence there at that time of a nun named
Nagiyaka. But the long ascendancy of their great rivals, the Jains,
makes it unlikely that Buddhists were more than an inconsiderable
minority. The Jain traditions, however, preserve some memory of
argumentative collisions with expounders of the rival system. A Jain
named Akalanka, whom "Wilson brings from Sravana Balgola in 788,^
finally confuted the Buddhists in argument at the court of Hemasitala
at Kanchi, and procured their expulsion to Kandy in Ceylon.

So many works are now available on the subject that it is un-
necessary in this place to give more than the briefest outline of the life
of IJuddha and the doctrines he taught.

Gautama (Gotama in P.-lli) was a Sakya and a Kshattriya, prince of
Kapila-vastu, south of Nepal, about 100 miles north-east of Benares. His
wife was Yas'odhara. He was naturally of a serious disposition, and had
become satiated with a life of pleasure and indulgence, during which every
object of sadness had been studiously kept out of his view. The accidental
sight, in succession, of an old man, a diseased man, and a dead man, led
him to reflect on the illusory nature of youth, health and life. This wciglied

' Jacobi, op. (it.

■■' In Mr. Fcrgusson".s opinion, "it is nearly coirccl to assert thai no people
adopted Buddhism, except those among whom serpenl-woiship can certainly he
traced as pre-existing." — Tr. Ser. Jl'or., 21.

* I am indebted for this information to Professor Rhys Davids.

•• J/cA'. Co//., I, Ixv.



on liis mind imtil one day he saw a religious mendicant, calm in his
renunciation of tlie world. It suggested to him a mode of relief. He fled
at midnight from the royal palace and all its gay inmates, forsaking his
young wife and their infant son, assumed the yellow garb of an ascetic, and
gave himself up to austerities and meditation in the forest of Buddha (]aya,
acquiring the name of Sdkya Muni. But penance and austerities had not
power to appease his spiritual yearnings. Eventually, by meditation, he
became a Buddha or Enlightened, in order that he might teach mankind
the true way of deliverance from the miseries of existence. He entered
upon his mission in the district of Magadha or Behar when 35 years old,
and died or attained nirvana at the age of eighty, while travelling through
the country of Kosala or Oudh, about 543 B.c.^

After his death a council was held by Ajdtasatru, king of Magadha, at
which all the teachings and sayings of Buddha were collected into three sets
of books, called Tripitaka, the three baskets or collections, which form the
Buddhist sacred scriptures. Of these the Siitra pitaka contains the maxims
and discourses of Sdkya Muni, which had all been delivered orally ; the
Vinaya pitaka relates to morals and discipline ; and the Abhidharma pitaka
is philosophical. Three other great Buddhist councils were held, one in the
middle of the fifth century B.C. by Kalasoka, when the scriptures were
revised ; the third by Asoka in 246 B.C., after which missions were sent
abroad for the propagation of the faith ; and the fourth by Kanishka, king
of Kashmir, in the first century A.D., when the Tripitaka were finally
established as canonical. According to some accounts they were not
committed to writing before this. The sacred language of the Buddhists is

Buddhism may be described as two-fold, consisting of dharina, or
religion, and vinaya, or discipline. Buddha's enlightenment had led
him to recognize existence as the cause of all sorrow. Avidya or
ignorance was the remote cause of existence, and Jiin'dna or extinction
of existence the chief good.

The dharma or religion was for the masses or the laity, the so-called
ignorant, who had no longing for nirvana, but only desired a happier
life in the next stage of existence ; for life, of gods and animals as well
as of men, was held to continue through an endless series of trans-
migrations, introducing to a higher or a lower grade according to the
merit or demerit of the previous existence. This religion was based
upon the law of universal benevolence or kindness, and found
expression in five great commandments, namely, against killing,
stealing, adultery, intoxication, and lying, each of which was amplified
into numerous precepts intended to guard not only against the

' This is the traditional date, but the correct date is probably about 412 K.c,
according to Rhys Davids (Ntimis. Or., Ceylon), or l^etween 482 and 472 according
to others. — Earth, /.V/. of Ind., 106.


commission of sin but against the inclination or temptation to sin. The
practice of universal goodness or kindness, in thought, word and deed>
was the only way by which man could raise himself to a higher state of

The vinaya or discipline was for the wise, the monastic orders, those
who cared not to continue in the vortex of transmigrations, but sought
only to purify their souls from all desire for the hollow and delusive
pleasures of the world and to escape from all the pains and miseries of
existence into the everlasting rest of nirvana. To effect this deliverance
it was neces.sary to renounce five things, namely, children, wife, goods,
life and self; in short, to lead a religious life of celibacy, mendicancy
and strict discipline, in order that the soul might be freed from every
stain of affection or passion. Four great truths, known as the hnv of
/he wheel, resulted in indicating four paths to nirvana, namely, perfection
in faith, in thought, in speech, and in conduct : and the only true
wisdom was to walk in these paths. The Buddhist formula of faith
is expressed in words meaning, " I go for refuge to the Buddha, the
Dharma and the Sangha."

At the time when Buddha began to proclaim his doctrines, all the

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 55 of 98)