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Jain Literature in Hindi

Profile image of Gregory Clines

2020, Brill's Encyclopedia of Jainism

which Hindi would be a part -date back only to recent decades.3 What is more, to think of Jain Hindi literature only in terms of kāvya would leave out huge swaths of innovative and important textual compositions from the 12th century up to the present day. This article, then, takes a wide view of what can be termed "literature" and, though it is impossible to cover the contours of Hindi literary production by Jain authors in its entirety, introduces major textual developments, patterns, and continuities in order to provide as complete a picture as possible of the history of Jain Hindi composition.

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International Journal of Jaina Studies (Online) Vol. 8, No. 1 (2012) 1-47

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During the early 15th century AD, when Hinduism and Jainism experienced stress due to Iconoclast Muslim Rulers, who divided India into believers of Islam and non-believers of Islam who formed the majority of people of indigenous origin, the merchant class suffered and a new reformist movements arose to provide alternatives that allow them to escape the unjust Jeziya taxes while maintaining their own religious traditions as long as idols were not present. Unknown Lonka Shah, belonging to the merchant class got acquainted with the Muslim king of Gujarat and developed a relationship. How much this relationship contributed to the revival and introduction of Mahavira's gospel is unknown. However, some relationships did exist and a layman named Lonka Shah advocated non-idolatry form of Svetamabara Jainism that the established order rejected. Lonka Shah's ideas and reforms survived, even though Muslim rule was extinguished by the British during the 18th century AD. This article discussed the establishment of Stanakvasi Jainism in 15th cntury AD by Lonka and Lavaji Swami.

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The Periyapurāṇam, a twelfth-century collection of hagiographies of Tamil Śaiva devotees, and the Tamil devotional poems of the Tēvāram, composed in the seventh century, both feature violence and invectives against Jains as a prominent theme. This paper examines the place of these themes in each work as part of an overall strategy of establishing Śaivism as the sole legitimate religion of Tamil-speaking South India. It further examines the historiography of South India that has been written using these sources to argue that there has been a problematic connection made between aesthetic claims of violence and actual historical events, as other historical, literary, and archaeological evidence points to a continuous, if diminishing, presence of Jains in Tamilnadu throughout this period and afterward.

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The article critically discusses the underlying principles for the writing of literary history. It rejects a universalized model and proposes a new approach of "localized literary history" that is theoretically rooted in metahistorical concepts of "textory" and "sub-text". The method takes its starting point in local text-collections rather than national literature. With the Jain Āmer Śāstrabhaṇḍhār repository in Jaipur as a point of departure, it is demonstrated how a study of a local manuscript collection reveals a literary history, which cannot be encountered by the universalized approach.

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