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Weber, Bhagavati Sutra, II, 266 267; Hoernle Upasakadasa
Sutra, pp. 4462; Acharahga Sutra, in S. B. E. Vol. XXII,



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.



From these general rules follow numerous special
ones, regarding the life of the disciple of Jina. The
duty of sacrifice forces him, on entrance into the
order, to give up his possessions and wander home-
less in strange lands, alms-vessel in hand, and, if
no other duty interferes, never to stay longer than
one night in the same place. The rule of wounding
nothing means that he must carry three articles with
him, a straining cloth, for his drinking water,
a broom, and a veil before his mouth, in order
to avoid killing insects. It also commands him to
avoid all cleansing and washing, and to rest in
the four months of the rainy season, in which
animal and plant life displays itself most abundantly.
In order to practice asceticism, it is the rule to
make this time of rest a period of strictest fasts,
most diligent study of the holy writings, and deepest
meditation. This duty also necessitates the ascetic
to pluck out in the most painful manner his hair
which, according to oriental custom, he must do
away with at his consecration a peculiar custom of
the Jainas, which is not found among other penitents
of India.

Like the five great vows, most of the special
directions for the discipline of the Jain ascetic
are copies, and often exaggerated copies, of the

pp. 70 73. Among the Digambara the heads of schools still, as
a rule, fall victims to this fate. Even .among tho Svetambara, cases
of this kind occur, see K. Forbes, Ras Mala^ Vol. II, pp. 331 332,
or 2 nd ed. pp. 610 611.



1 6 THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.

Brahmanic rules for penitents. The outward marks
of the order closely resemble those of the San-
nyasin. The life of wandering during eight months
and the rest during the rainy season agree exactly;
and in many other points, for example in the use of
confession, they agree with the Buddhists. They
agree with Brahmans alone in ascetic self-torture,
which Buddhism rejects; and specially characteristic
is the fact that ancient Brahmanism recommends
starvation to its penitents as beneficial 5 .

The doctrine of the right way for the Jaina
laity differs from that for the ascetics. In place of
the five great vows appear mere echoes. He vows
to avoid only serious injury to living beings, i. e.
men and animals; only the grosser forms of untruth
direct lies ; only the most flagrant forms of taking,
what is not given, that is, theft and robbery. In
place of the oath of chastity there is that of con-
jugal fidelity. In place of that of self-denial, the
promise is not greedily to accumulate possessions
and to be contented. To these copies are added
seven other vows, the miscellaneous contents of
which correspond to the special directions for the

5 An example may be found in Jacobi's careful comparison of
the customs of the Brahmanic and Jaina ascetics, in the beginning
of his translation of the Acharahga Sutra, S. B. E. Vol. XXII,
pp. xxi xxix. In relation to the death by starvation of Brahmanical
hermits and Sannyasin, see Apastamba, Dharmasutra, in S. E. E.
Vol. II, pp. 154, 156, where (II, 22, 4 and II, 23, 2) it, says of
the penitents who have reached the highest grade of asceticism :
"Next he shall live on water (then) on air, then on ether".



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.



discipline of ascetics: Their object is, partly to
bring the outward life of the laity into accordance
with the Jaina teaching, especially with regard to
the protection of living creatures from harm, and
partly to point the heart to the highest goal. Some
contain prohibitions against certain drinks, such as
spirits; or meats, such as flesh, fresh butter, honey,
which cannot be enjoyed without breaking the
vow of preservation of animal life. Others limit the
choice of businesses which the laity may enter; for
example, agriculture is forbidden, as it involves the
tearing up of the ground and the death of many ani-
mals, as Brahmanism also holds. Others have to do
with mercy and charitableness, with the preserving
of inward peace, or with the necessity of neither
clinging too much to life and its joys nor longing
for death as the end of suffering. To the laity, how-
ever, voluntary starvation is also recommended
as meritorious. These directions (as might be ex-
pected from the likeness of the circumstances) re-
semble in many points the Buddhist directions for
the laity, and indeed are often identical with regard
to the language used. Much is however specially
in accordance with Brahmanic doctrines . In prac-

6 The Upasakadasa Sutra treats of the right life of the laity,
Hoernle, pp. u 37 (Bibl. Ind.), and Hemachandra, Yogasutra,
Prakasa ii and iii; Windisch, Zeitschrift der Deutsch Morg. Ges.
Bd. XXVIII, pp. 226246. Both scholars have pointed out in
the notes to their translations, the relationship between the precepts
and terms of the Jainas and Buddhists. The Jainas have borrowed

2



1 8 THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.

tical life Jainism makes of its laity earnest men
who exhibit a stronger trait of resignation than
other Indians and excel in an exceptional willing-
ness to sacrifice anything for their religion. It makes
them also fanatics for the protection of animal life.
Wherever they gain influence, there is an end of
bloody sacrifices and of slaughtering and killing
the larger animals.

The union of the laity with the order of ascetics
has, naturally, exercised a powerful reaction on the
former and its development, as well as on its
teaching, and is followed by similar results in Jainism
and Buddhism. Then, as regards the changes in the
teaching, it is no doubt to be ascribed to the in-
fluence of the laity that the atheistic Jaina system,
as well as the Buddhist, has been endowed with a
cult. The ascetic, in his striving for Nirvana, en-
deavours to suppress the natural desire of man to
worship higher powers. In the worldly hearer, who
does not strive after this goal exclusively, this could
not succeed. Since the doctrine gave no other
support, the religious feeling of the laity clung to
the founder of it: Jina, and with him his mythical'
predecessors, became gods. Monuments and temples

a large number of rules directly from the law books of the Brahmans.
The occupations forbidden to the Jaina laity are almost all those
forbidden by the Brahmanic law to the Brahman, who in time of
need lives like a Vaisya. Hemachandra, Yogasastra. Ill, 98112
and Upasakadasa Sutra^ pp. 29 30, may be compared with Manu,
X, 83 89, XI, 64 and 65, and the parallel passages quoted in
the synopsis to my translation (S. B. E. Vol. XXV).



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS. 1 9

ornamented with their statues were built, especially
at those places, where the prophets, according to
legends, had reached their goal. To this is added a
kind of worship, consisting of offerings of flowers
and incense to Jina, of adoration by songs of praise
in celebration of their entrance into Nirvana, of
which the Jaina makes a great festival by solemn
processions and pilgrimages to the places where it
has been attained 7 . This influence of the laity has
become, in course of time, of great importance to
Indian art, and India is indebted to it for a number
of its most beautiful architectural monuments, such
as the splendid temples of Abu, Girnar and Satrun-
jaya in Gujarat. It has also brought about a change
in the mind of the ascetics. In many of their hymns
in honour of Jina, they appeal to him with as much
fervour as the Brahman to his gods ; and there are
often expressions in them, contrary, to the original
teaching, ascribing to Jina a creative power. Indeed
a Jaina description of the six principal systems goes
so far as to number Jainism as also Buddhism
among the theistic religions 8 .

1 For the Jaina ritual, see Indian Antiquary. Vol. XIII, pp.
191 196. The principal sacred places or Tirthas are Sameta
Sikhara in Western Bengal, where twenty of the Jinas are said
to have attained Nirvana; Satrunjaya and Girnar in Kathiawad
sacred respectively to Rishabhanatha and Neminatha; Chandrapuri
where Vasupujya died; and Pawa in Bengal at which Vardhamana
died. Ed.

8 The latter assertion is to be found in the Shaddarsanasa-
muchchaya Vers. 45, 77 78. A creative activity is attributed to



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.



But in other respects also the admission of the laity
has produced decisive changes in the life of the
clergy. In the education of worldly communities,
the ascetic whose rules of indifference toward
all and every thing, make him a being concentrated
entirely upon himself and his goal is united
again to humanity and its interests. The duty of
educating the layman and watching over his life,
must of necessity change the wandering penitents
into settled monks who dedicate themselves to
the care of souls, missionary activity, and the
acquisition knowledge, and who only now and
again fulfil the duty of changing their place of
residence. The needs of the lay communities re-
quired the continual presence of teachers. Even
should these desire to change from time to time, it
was yet necessary to provide a shelter for them.
Thus the Upasraya or places of refuge, the Jaina
monasteries came into existence, which exactly
correspond to the Buddhist Sangharama. With the
monasteries and the fixed residence in them ap-
peared a fixed membership of the order, which, on
account of the Jaina principle of unconditional obed-
ience toward the teacher, proved to be much

the Jinas even in the Kuhaon inscription which is dated 460-461
A. D. (Ind. Antiq. Vol. X, p. 126). There they are called adikartri
the 'original creators'. The cause of the development of a worship
among the Jainas was first rightly recognised by Jacobi, 5. B. E.
Vol. XXII, p. xxi. The Jaina worship differs in one important
point from that of the Buddhists. It recognised no worship of
relics.



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.



stricter than in Buddhism. On the development of
the order and the leisure of monastic life, there fol-
lowed further, the commencement of a literary and
scientific activity. The oldest attempt, in this re-
spect, limited itself to bringing their doctrine into fixed
forms. Their results were, besides other lost works,
the so-called Anga, the members of the body of the
law, which was perhaps originally produced in the
third century B. C. Of the Anga eleven are no
doubt preserved among the Svetambaras from a
late edition of the fifth or sixth century A. D.
These works are not written in Sanskrit, but in a
popular Prakrit dialect : for the Jina, like Buddha,
used the language of the people when teaching.
They contain partly legends about the prophet and
his activity as a teacher, partly fragments of a
doctrine or attempts at systematic representations
of the same. Though the dialect is different they
present, in the form of the tales and in the manner
of expression, a wonderful resemblance to the sacred
writings of the Buddhists . The Digambaras, on the
other hand, have preserved nothing of the Anga

9 A complete review of the Anga and the canonical works which
were joined to it later, is to be found in A. Weber's fundamental
treatise on the sacred writings of the Jainas in the Indischc Studien^
Bd. XVI, SS. 211479 and Bd. XVIII, SS. 190. The Achardhga
and the Kalpa-sutra are translated by H. Jacobi in the S. B. E.
Vol. XXII, and a part of the Upasakadasa Sutra by R. Hoernle
in the Bibl. Ind. In the estimates of the age of the Anga I follow
H. Jacobi, who has throughly discussed the question. S. B, E. Vol.
XXII, pp. xxxix xlvii.



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.



but the names. They put in their place later syste-
matic works, also in Prakrit, and assert, in vindi-
cation of their different teaching, that the canon
of their rivals is corrupted. In the further course
of history, however, both branches of the Jainas have,
like the Buddhists, in their continual battles with
the Brahmans, found it necessary to make them-
selves acquainted with the ancient language of the
culture of the latter. First the Digambara and later
the vetambara began to use Sanskrit. They did
not rest content with explaining their own teaching
in Sanskrit works : they turned also to the secular
sciences of the Brahmans. They have accomplished
so much of importance, in grammar, in astronomy,
as well as in some branches of letters, that they
have won respect even from their enemies, and some
of their works are still of importance to European
science. In southern India, where they worked
among the Dravidian tribes, they also advanced
the development of these languages. The Kanarese
literary language and the Tamil and Telugu rest
on the foundations laid by the Jaina monks.' This
activity led them, indeed, far from their proper
goal, but it created for them an important position
in the history of literature and culture.

The resemblance between the Jainas and the
Buddhists, which I have had so often cause to bring
forward, suggests the question, whether they are
to be regarded as a branch of the latter, or whether
they resemble the Buddhists merely because, as their



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS. 23

tradition asserts 10 , they sprang from the same period
and the same religious movement in opposition to
Brahmanism. This question, was formerly, and is still
sometimes, answered in agreement with the first
theory, pointing out the undoubted defects in it,
to justify the rejection of the Jaina tradition, and
even declaring it to be a late and intentional fab-
rication. In spite of this the second explanation is
the right one, because the Buddhists themselves
confirm the statements of the Jainas about their
prophet. Old historical traditions and inscriptions
prove the independent existence of the sect of the
Jainas even during the first five centuries after
Buddha's death, and among the inscriptions are
some which clear the Jaina tradition not only from
the suspicion of fraud but bear powerful witness
to its honesty '.

10 The later tradition of the Jainas gives for the death of their
prophet the dates 545, 527 and 467 B. C. (see Jacobi, Kalpasutra ,
introd. pp. vii ix and xxx). None of the sources in which
these announcements appear are older than the twelfth century
A. D. The latest is found in Hemachandra who died in the year
1172 A. D. The last is certainly false if the assertion, accepted
by most authorities, that Buddha's death falls between the years
482 and 472 B. C. is correct. For the Buddhist tradition maintains
that the last Jaina Tirthakara died during Buddha's lifetime (see p. 34).

i Apart from the ill-supported supposition of Colebrooke,
Stevenson and Thomas, according to which Buddha was a disloyal
disciple of the founder of the Jainas, there is the view held by
H. H. Wilson, A. Weber, and Lassen, and generally accepted till
twenty-five years ago, that the Jainas are an old sect of the Buddhists.
This was based, on the one hand, upon the resemblance of the Jaina



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.



The oldest canonical books of the Jaina, apart
from some mythological additions and evident

doctrines, writings, and traditions to those of the Buddhists, on the
other, on the fact that the canonical works of the Jainas shew a
more modern dialect than those of the Buddhists, and that authentic
historical proofs of their early existence are wanting. I was myself
formerly persuaded of the correctness of this view and even thought
I recognised the Jainas in the Buddhist school of the Sammatiya. On
a more particular examination of Jaina literature, to which I was
forced on account of the collection undertaken for the English
Government in the seventies, I found that the Jainas had changed
their name and were always, in more ancient times, called Nir-
grantha or Nigantha The observation that the Buddhists
recognise the Nigantha and relate of their head and founder, that
he was a rival of Buddha's and died at Pava where the last
Tirthakara is said to have attained Nirvana, caused me to accept
the view that the Jainas and the Buddhists sprang from the same
religious movement. My supposition was confirmed by Jacobi, who
reached the like view by another course, independently of mine
(see Zeitschrift der Deutsch Morg. Ges. Bd. XXXV, S. 669. Note i),
pointing out that the fast Tirthakara in the Jaina canon bears the
same name as among the Buddhists. Since the publication of our
results in the Ind. Ant. Vol. VII, p. 143 and in Jacobi's intro-
duction to his edition of the Kalpasutra. which have been further
verified by Jacobi with great penetration, views on this question
have been divided. Oldenberg, Kern, Hoernle, and others have
accepted this new view without hesitation , while A Weber
(Indische Studien Bd. XVI, S. 240) and Earth (Revue de rHistoire
des Religions, torn. Ill, p. 90) keep to their former standpoint. The
latter do not trust the Jaina tradition and believe it probable that
the statements in the same are falsified. There are certainly great
difficulties in the way of accepting such a position especially the
improbability that the Buddhists should have forgotten the fact of
the defection of their hated enemy. Meanwhile this is not absolutely
impossible as the oldest preserved Jaina canon had its first authentic



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS. 25

exaggerations, contain the following important notes
on the life of their last prophet 2 . Vardhamana
was the younger son of Siddhartha a nobleman
who belonged to the Kshatriya race, called in Sans-
krit J n a t i or J n a t a, in Prakrit N a y a, and, ac-
cording to the old custom of the Indian warrior
caste, bore the name of a Brahmanic family the
Kasyapa. His mother, who was called T r i s a 1 a ,
belonged to the family of the governors of Vide ha.
Siddhartha's residence was Kundapura, the Basu-
kund of to-day, a suburb of the wealthy town of
Vaisali, the modern Besarh, in Videha or Tir-
hut 3 . Siddhartha was son-in-law to the king of
Vaisali. Thirty years, it seems, Vardhamana led
a worldly life in his parents' house. He married,
and his wife Yasoda bore him a daughter Anojj a,
who was married to a noble of the name of Jamali,
and in her turn had a daughter. In his thirty-first

edition only in the fifth or sixth century of our era, and as yet
the proof is wanting that the Jainas, in ancient times, possessed a
fixed tradition. The belief that I am able to insert this missing
link in the chain of argument and the hope of removing the
doubts of my two honoured friends has caused me to attempt a
connected statement of the whole question although this necessi-
tates the repetition of much that has already been said, and is in
the first part almost entirely a recapitulation of the results of
Jacobi's researches.

2 The statement that Vardhamana's father was a mighty king
belongs to the manifest exaggerations. This assertion is refuted by
other statements of the Jainas themselves. See Jacobi, S. B. E. Vol.
XXII, pp. xi xii.

3 Dr. Biihler by a slip had here "Magadha oder Bihar". J. B.



26 THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.

year his parents died. As they were followers of
Parsva the twenty-third Jina, they chose, accor-
ding to the custom of the Jainas, the death of the
wise by starvation. Immediately after this Vardha-
mana determined to renounce the world. He
got permission to take this step from his elder
brother Nandivardhana, and the ruler of his
land divided his possessions and became a homeless
ascetic. He wandered more than twelve years, only
resting during the rainy season, in the lands of the
Lad ha, in Vajjabhumi and Subbhabhumi,
the Rarh of to-day in Bengal, and learned to bear
with equanimity great hardships and cruel ill treat-
ment at the hands of the inhabitants of those dis-
tricts. Besides these he imposed upon himself the sever-
est mortifications; after the first year he discarded
clothes and devoted himself to the deepest medita-
tion. In the thirteenth year of this wandering life
he believed he had attained to the highest know-
ledge and to the dignity of a holy one. He then
appeared as a prophet, taught the Nirgrantha doc-
trine, a modification of the religion of Parsva,
and organised the order of the Nirgrantha as-
cetics. From that time he bore the name of the
venerable ascetic Mahavira. His career as a
teacher lasted not quite thirty years, during which
he travelled about, as formerly, all over the country,
except during the rainy seasons. He won for himself
numerous followers, both of the clergy and the lay
class, among whom, however, in the fourteenth year



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS. 27

of his period of teaching, a split arose caused by
his son-in-law Jamali.

The extent of his sphere of influence almost
corresponds with that of the kingdoms ofSravasti
or Kosala, Videha, Magadha, and Ahga,
the modern Oudh, and the provinces of Tir hut
and Bihar in Western Bengal. Very frequently
he spent the rainy season in his native place
Vaisali and in Rajagriha. Among his contem-
poraries were, a rival teacher Gosala the son of
M a m k h a 1 i whom he defeated in a dispute, the
King of Videha Bhambhasara orBibbhisara
called Srenika, and his sons Abhayakumara
and the parricide Ajatasatru or Kunika, who
protected him or accepted his doctrine, and also
the nobles of the Lichchhavi andMallaki races.
The town of Papa or Pava, the modern Padra-
ona 4 is given as the place of his death, where he
dwelt during the rainy season of the last year of
his life, in the house of the scribe of king Hasti-
pala. Immediately after his death, a second split
took place in his community 5 .

4 This is General Cunningham's identification and a probable
one. Ed.

5 Notes on Mahavtra's life are to be found especially in Achardhga
Sutra,'va. S. B.E. Vol. XXII, pp. 84 87, 189 202; Kalpasutra,
ibid. pp. 217 270. The above may be compared with Jacobi's
representation, ibid. pp. x xviii. where most of the identi-
fications of the places named are given, and Kalpasutra introd.
p. ii. We have to thank Dr. Hoernle for the important information
that Vardhamana's birthplace Kundapura is still called Vasu-



28 THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS.

On consideration of this information, it imme-
diately strikes one, that the scene of Vardhamana's
activity is laid in the same part of India as Buddha
laboured in, and that several of the personalities
which play a part in the history of Buddha also
appear in the Jaina legend. It is through the
kingdoms of Kosala, Videha and Magadha,
that Buddha is said to have wandered preaching,
and their capitals Sravasti and Rajagriha are
just the places named, where he founded the largest
communities. It is also told of the inhabitants of
Vaisali that many turned to his doctrine. Many
legends are told of his intercourse and friendship
with Bimbisara or Srenika, king of Videha,
also of the murder of the latter by his son A j Etta-
s' a t r u, who , tortured with remorse , afterwards
approached Buddha; mention is also made of his
brother Abhayakumara, likewise Makkhali
Go sal a is mentioned among Buddha's opponents
and rivals. It is thus clear that the oldest Jaina
legend makes Vardhamana a fellow country-
man and contemporary of Buddha , and search
might be suggested in the writings of the Buddhists
for confirmation of these assumptions. Such indeed
are to be found in no small number.

Even the oldest works of the Singalese Canon,
which date apparently from the beginning of

kund: Upasakadasa Sutra p. 4. Note 3. The information on the
schisms of the Jainas is collected by. Leumann in the Indische
Studien, Bd. XVII, S. 95 ff.



THE INDIAN SECT OF THE JAINAS. ' 29

the second century after Buddha's death, or the
fourth century B. C., and which at any rate had
their final edition in the third, frequently mention
an opposing sect of ascetics, the Nig ant ha, which
the northern texts, written in Sanskrit, recognise
among the opponents of Buddha, under the name
Nirgrantha, whom an old Sutra describes
as "heads of companies of disciples and students,
teachers of students, well known, renowned, founders
of schools of doctrine, esteemed as good men by the
multitude". Their leader is also named ; he is cal-
led in Pali Nataputta, in Sanskrit Jnatiputra,
that is the son of Jnati or Nata. The similarity
between these words and the names of the family
Jnati, Jfiata or Naya, to which Vardhamana be-
longed is apparent. Now since in older Buddhist
literature, the title 'the son of the man of the family
N. N.' is very often used instead of the indivi-
dual's name, as for example, 'the son of the Sakiya'


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