The Jaina sect is a religious society of modern India, at variance to Brahmanism, and possesses undoubted claims on the interest of all friends of Indian history. This claim is based partly on the peculiarities of their doctrines and customs, which present several resemblances to those of Buddhism, but, above all, on the fact that it was founded in the same period as the latter.
Larger and smaller communities of Jainas or Arhata,—that is followers of the prophet, who is generally called simply the Jina—'the conqueror of the world',—or the Arhat—'the holy one',—are to be found in almost every important Indian town, particularly among the merchant class. In some provinces of the West and North-west, in Gujarât, Râjputâna, and the Panjâb, as also in the Dravidian districts in the south,—especially in Kanara,—they are numerous; and, owing to the influence of their wealth, they take a prominent place. They do not, however, present a compact mass, but are divided into two rival branches—the Digambara and Śvetâmbara [Footnote: In notes on the Jainas, one often finds the view expressed, that the Digambaras belong only to the south, and the Śvetâmbaras to the north. This is by no means the case. The former in the Panjâb, in eastern Râjputâna and in the North West Provinces, are just as numerous, if not more so, than the latter, and also appear here and there in western Râjputâna and Gujarât: see Indian Antiquary, vol. VII, p. 28.]—each of which is split up into several subdivisions. The Digambara, that is, "those whose robe is the atmosphere," owe their name to the circumstance that they regard absolute nudity as the indispensable sign of holiness, [Footnote: The ascetics of lower rank, now called Paṇḍit, now-a-days wear the costume of the country. The Bhaṭṭâraka, the heads of the sect, usually wrap themselves in a large cloth (chadr). They lay it off during meals. A disciple then rings a bell as a sign that entrance is forbidden (Ind. Ant. loc. cit.). When the present custom first arose cannot be ascertained. From the description of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang (St. Julien, Vie. p. 224), who calls them Li-hi, it appears that they were still faithful to their principles in the beginning of the seventh century A.D. "The Li-hi (Nirgranthis) distinguish themselves by leaving their bodies naked and pulling out their hair. Their skin is all cracked, their feet are hard and chapped: like rotting trees that one sees near rivers."]—though the advance of civilization has compelled them to depart from the practice of their theory. The Śvetâmbara, that is, "they who are clothed in white"—do not claim this doctrine, but hold it as possible that the holy ones, who clothe themselves, may also attain the highest goal. They allow, however, that the founder of the Jaina religion and his first disciples disdained to wear clothes. They are divided, not only by this quarrel, but also by differences about dogmas and by a different literature. The separation must therefore be of old standing. Tradition, too, upholds this—though the dates given do not coincide. From inscriptions it is certain that the split occurred before the first century of our era. [Footnote: See below p. 44.] Their opposing opinions are manifested in the fact that they do not allow each other the right of intermarriage or of eating at the same table,—the two chief marks of social equality. In spite of the age of the schism, and the enmity that divides the two branches, they are at one as regards the arrangement of their communities, doctrine, discipline, and cult,—at least in the more important points; and, thus, one can always speak of the Jaina religion as a whole.
The characteristic feature of this religion is its claim to universality, which it holds in common with Buddhism, and in opposition to Brahmanism. It also declares its object to be to lead all men to salvation, and to open its arms—not only to the noble Aryan, but also to the low-born Śûdra and even to the alien, deeply despised in India, the Mlechcha. [Footnote: In the stereotyped introductions to the sermons of Jina it is always pointed out that they are addressed to the Aryan and non-Aryan. Thus in the Aupapâtika Sûtra § 56. (Leumann) it runs as follows: tesiṁ savvesiṁ âṛiyamanâriyanaṁ agilâe dhammatṁ âikkhai "to all these, Aryans and non-Aryans, he taught the law untiringly". In accordance with this principle, conversions of people of low caste, such as gardeners, dyers, etc., are not uncommon even at the present day. Muhammadans too, regarded as Mlechcha, are still received among the Jaina communities. Some cases of the kind were communicated to me in Aḥmadâbâd in the year 1876, as great triumphs of the Jainas. Tales of the conversion of the emperor Akbar, through the patriarch Hîravijaya (Ind. Antiq. Vol. XI, p. 256), and of the spread of the Digambara sect in an island Jainabhadri, in the Indian Ocean (Ind. Ant. Vol. VII, p. 28) and in Arabia, shew that the Jainas are familiar with the idea of the conversion of non-Indians. Hiuen Tsiang's note on the appearance of the Nirgrantha or Digambara in Kiapishi (Beal, Si-yu-ki, Vol. I, p. 55), points apparently to the fact that they had, in the North West at least, spread their missionary activity beyond the borders of India.] As their doctrine, like Buddha's, is originally a philosophical ethical system intended for ascetics, the disciples, like the Buddhists, are, divided into ecclesiastics and laity. At the head stands an order of ascetics, originally Nirgrantha "they, who are freed from all bands," now usually called Yatis—"Ascetics", or Sâdhus—"Holy", which, among the Śvetâmbara also admits women, [Footnote: Even the canonical works of the Śvetâmbara, as for example, the Âchârâṅga (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XXII, p. 88-186) contain directions for nuns. It seems, however, that they have never played such an important part as in Buddhism. At the present time, the few female orders among the Śvetâmbara consist entirely of virgin widows, whose husbands have died in childhood, before the beginning of their life together. It is not necessary to look upon the admission of nuns among the Śvetâmbara as an imitation of Buddhist teaching, as women were received into some of the old Brahmanical orders; see my note to Manu, VIII, 363, (Sac. Bks. of the East, Vol. XXV, p. 317). Among the Digambaras, exclusion of women was demanded from causes not far to seek. They give as their reason for it, the doctrine that women are not capable of attaining Nirvâṇa; see Peterson, Second Report, in Jour. Bom. Br. R. As. Soc. Vol. XVII, p. 84.] and under them the general community of the Upâsaka "the Worshippers", or the Śrâvaka, "the hearers".
The ascetics alone are able to penetrate into the truths which Jina teaches, to follow his rules and to attain to the highest reward which he promises. The laity, however, who do not dedicate themselves to the search after truth, and cannot renounce the life of the world, still find a refuge in Jainism. It is allowed to them as hearers to share its principles, and to undertake duties, which are a faint copy of the demands made on the ascetics. Their reward is naturally less. He who remains in the world cannot reach the highest goal, but he can still tread the way which leads to it. Like all religions of the Hindûs founded on philosophical speculation, Jainism sees this highest goal in Nirvâna or Moksha, the setting free of the individual from the Saṁsâra,—the revolution of birth and death. The means of reaching it are to it, as to Buddhism, the three Jewels—the right Faith, the right Knowledge, and the right Walk. By the right Faith it understands the full surrender of himself to the teacher, the Jina, the firm conviction that he alone has found the way of salvation, and only with him is protection and refuge to be found. Ask who Jina is, and the Jaina will give exactly the same answer as the Buddhist with respect to Buddha. He is originally an erring man, bound with the bonds of the world, who,—not by the help of a teacher, nor by the revelation of the Vedas—which, he declares, are corrupt—but by his own power, has attained to omniscience and freedom, and out of pity for suffering mankind preaches and declares the way of salvation, which he has found. Because he has conquered the world and the enemies in the human heart, he is called Jina "the Victor", Mahâvîra, "the great hero"; because he possesses the highest knowledge, he is called Sarvajña or Kevalin, the "omniscient", Buddha, the "enlightened"; because he has freed himself from the world he receives the names of Mukta "the delivered one", Siddha and Tathâgata, "the perfected", Arhat "the holy one"; and as the proclaimer of the doctrine, he is the Tîrthakara "the finder of the ford", through the ocean of the Saṁsâra. In these epithets, applied to the founder of their doctrine, the Jainas agree almost entirely with the Buddhists, as the likeness of his character to that of Buddha would lead us to expect. They prefer, however, to use the names Jina and Arhat, while the Buddhists prefer to speak of Buddha as Tathâgata or Sugata. The title Tîrthakara is peculiar to the Jainas. Among the Buddhists it is a designation for false teachers. [Footnote: The titles Siddha, Buddha and Mukta are certainly borrowed by both sects from the terminology of the Brâhmaṇs, which they used, even in olden times, to describe those saved during their lifetimes and used in the Śaivite doctrine to describe a consecrated one who is on the way to redemption. An Arhat, among the Brâhmaṇs, is a man distinguished for his knowledge and pious life (comp. for example Âpastamba, Dharmasûtra. I, 13, 13; II, 10, I.) and this idea is so near that of the Buddhists and the Jainas that it may well be looked upon as the foundation of the latter. The meaning of Tîrthakara "prophet, founder of religion", is derived from the Brâhmanic use of tîrtha in the sense of "doctrine". Comp. also H. Jacobi's Article on the Title of Buddha and Jina, Sac. Books of the East. Vol. XXII, pp. xix, xx.]
The Jaina says further, however, that there was more than one Jina. Four and twenty have, at long intervals, appeared and have again and again restored to their original purity the doctrines darkened by evil influences. They all spring from noble, warlike tribes. Only in such, not among the low Brâhmaṇs, can a Jina see the light of the world. The first Jina Ṛi̐shabha,—more than 100 billion oceans of years ago,—periods of unimaginable length, [Footnote: A Sâgara or Sâgaropamâ of years is == 100,000,000,000,000 Palya or Palyopama. A Palya is a period in which a well, of one or, according to some, a hundred yojana, i.e. of one or a hundred geographical square miles, stuffed full of fine hairs, can be emptied, if one hair is pulled out every hundred years: Wilson, Select. Works, Vol. I, p. 309; Colebrooke, Essays, Vol. II, p. 194. ed. Cowell.]—was born as the son of a king of Ayodhyâ and lived eight million four hundred thousand years. The intervals between his successors and the durations of their lives became shorter and shorter. Between the twenty third, Pârśva and the twenty fourth Vardhamâna, were only 250 years, and the age of the latter is given as only seventy-two years. He appeared, according to some, in the last half of the sixth century, according to others in the first half of the fifth century B.C. He is of course the true, historical prophet of the Jainas and it is in his doctrine, that the Jainas should believe. The dating back of the origin of the Jaina religion again, agrees with the pretensions of the Buddhists, who recognise twenty-five Buddhas who taught the same system one after the other. Even with Brahmanism, it seems to be in some distant manner connected, for the latter teaches in its cosmogony, the successive appearance of Demiurges, and wise men—the fourteen Manus, who, at various periods helped to complete the work of creation and proclaimed the Brahmanical law. These Brahmanical ideas may possibly have given rise to the doctrines of the twenty-five Buddhas and twenty-four Jinas, [Footnote: For the list of these Jinas, see below.] which, certainly, are later additions in both systems.
The undoubted and absolutely correct comprehension of the nine truths which the Jina gives expression to, or of the philosophical system which the Jina taught, represents the second Jewel—the true Knowledge. Its principal features are shortly as follows. [Footnote: More complete representations are to be found in Colebrooke's Misc. Essays. Vol. I, pp. 404, 413, with Cowell's Appendix p. 444-452; Vol. II, pp. 194, 196, 198-201; H. H. Wilson's Select Works, Vol. I, pp. 297-302, 305-317; J. Stevenson, Kalpasûtra, pp. xix-xxv; A. Barth, Religions de l'Inde, pp. 84-91.]
The world (by which we are to understand, not only the visible, but also imaginary continents depicted with the most extravagant fancy, heavens and hells of the Brahmanical Cosmology, extended by new discoveries) is uncreated. It exists, without ruler, only by the power of its elements, and is everlasting. The elements of the world are six substances—souls, Dharma or moral merit, Adharma or sin, space, time, particles of matter. From the union of the latter spring four elements—earth, fire, water, wind—and further, bodies and all other appearances of the world of sense and of the supernatural worlds. The forms of the appearances are mostly unchangeable. Only the bodies of men and their age increase or decrease in consequence of the greater or less influence of sin or merit, during immeasurably long periods,—the Avasarpiṇi and the Utsarpiṇi. Souls are, each by itself, independent, real existences whose foundation is pure intelligence, and who possess an impulse to action. In the world they are always chained to bodies. The reason of this confinement is that they give themselves up to the stress of activity, to passions, to influences of the senses and objects of the mind, or attach themselves to a false belief. The deeds which they perform in the bodies are Karman, merit and sin. This drives them—when one body has passed away, according to the conditions of its existence—into another, whose quality depends on the character of the Karman, and will be determined especially by the last thoughts springing from it before death. Virtue leads to the heavens of the gods or to birth among men in pure and noble races. Sin consigns the souls to the lower regions, in the bodies of animals, in plants, even into masses of lifeless matter. For—according to the Jaina doctrine—souls exist not only in organic structures, but also in apparently dead masses, in stones, in lumps of earth, in drops of water, in fire and in wind. Through union with bodies the nature of the soul is affected. In the mass of matter the light of its intelligence is completely concealed; it loses consciousness, is immovable, and large or small, according to the dimensions of its abode. In organic structures it is always conscious; it depends however, on the nature of the same, whether it is movable or immovable and possessed of five, four, three, two, or one organ of sense.
The bondage of souls, if they inhabit a human body, can be abolished by the suppression of the causes which lead to their confinement and by the destruction of the Karman. The suppression of the causes is accomplished by overcoming the inclination to be active and the passions, by the control of the senses, and by steadfastly holding to the right faith. In this way will be hindered the addition of new Karman, new merit or new guilt. The destruction of Karman remaining from previous existences can be brought about either spontaneously by the exhaustion of the supply or by asceticism. In the latter case the final state is the attainment to a knowledge which penetrates the universe, to Kevala, Jñâna and Nirvâṇa or Moksha: full deliverance from all bonds. These goals may be reached even while the soul is still in its body. If however the body is destroyed then the soul wanders into the "No-World" (alôka) as the Jain says, i.e. into the heaven of Jina 'the delivered', lying outside the world. [Footnote: On the Jaina Paradise see below. Dr. Bühler seems here to have confounded the Alôka or Non-world, 'the space where only things without life are found', with the heaven of the Siddhas; but these are living beings who have crossed the boundary] There it continues eternally in its pure intellectual nature. Its condition is that of perfect rest which nothing disturbs. These fundamental ideas are carried out in the particulars with a subtilness and fantasy unexampled, even in subtile and fantastic India, in a scholarly style, and defended by the syâdvâda—the doctrine of "It may be so",—a mode of reasoning which makes it possible to assert and deny the existence of one and the same thing. If this be compared with the other Indian systems, it stands nearer the Brâhmaṇ than the Buddhist, with which it has the acceptance in common of only four, not five elements. Jainism touches all the Brâhmaṇ religions and Buddhism in its cosmology and ideas of periods, and it agrees entirely with regard to the doctrines of Karman, of the bondage, and the deliverance of souls. Atheism, the view that the world was not created, is common to it with Buddhism and the Sâṅkhya philosophy. Its psychology approaches that of the latter in that both believe in the existence of innumerable independent souls. But the doctrine of the activity of souls and their distribution into masses of matter is in accordance with the Vedânta, according to which the principle of the soul penetrates every thing existing. In the further development of the soul doctrine, the conceptions 'individual soul' and 'living being' to which the Jaina and the Brâhmaṇ give the same name,—jîva, seem to become confounded. The Jaina idea of space and time as real substances is also found in the Vaiśeshika system. In placing Dharma and Adharma among substances Jainism stands alone.
The third jewel, the right Walk which the Jaina ethics contains, has its kernel in the five great oaths which the Jaina ascetic takes on his entrance into the order. He promises, just as the Brâhmaṇ penitent, and almost in the same words, not to hurt, not to speak untruth, to appropriate nothing to himself without permission, to preserve chastity, and to practice self-sacrifice. The contents of these simple rules become most extraordinarily extended on the part of the Jainas by the insertion of five clauses, in each of which are three separate active instruments of sin, in special relation to thoughts, words, and deeds. Thus, concerning the oath not to hurt, on which the Jaina lays the greatest emphasis: it includes not only the intentional killing or hurting of living beings, plants, or the souls existing in dead matter, it requires also the utmost carefulness in the whole manner of life, in all movements, a watchfulness over all functions of the body by which anything living might be hurt. [Footnote: The Digambara sect, at least in southern India, do not seem to be all quite so punctiliously careful in this as the Śvetâmbara of western India.—Ed.] It demands finally strict watch over the heart and tongue, and the avoidance of all thoughts and words which might lead to dispute and quarrel and thereby to harm. In like manner the rule of sacrifice means not only that the ascetic has no house or possessions, it teaches also that a complete unconcern toward agreeable and disagreeable impressions is necessary, as also the sacrifice of every attachment to anything living or dead. [Footnote: On the five great vows see the Âchârâṅga Sûtra, II, 15: S.B.E. Vol. XXII, pp. 202-210. The Sanskrit terms of the Jains are: 1. ahiṁsâ, 2. sûnrita, 3. asteya, 4. brahmâchârya, 5. aparigraha; those of the Brahmanical ascetics: 1. ahiṁsa, 2. satya, 3. asteya, 4. brahmâchârya, 5. tyâga.]
Beside the conscientious observance of these rules, Tapas—Asceticism, is most important for the right walk of those, who strive to attain Nirvâṇa. Asceticism is inward as well as outward. The former is concerned with self-discipline, the cleansing and purifying of the mind. It embraces repentance of sin, confession of the same to the teacher, and penance done for it, humility before teachers and all virtuous ones, and the service of the same, the study and teaching of the faith or holy writing, pious meditations on the misery of the world, the impurity of the body, etc. and lastly, the stripping off of every thing pertaining to the world. On the other hand, under the head of exterior Asceticism, the Jaina understands temperance, begging, giving up all savoury food, different kinds of self-mortification such as sitting in unnatural and wearying positions, hindering the action of the organs, especially by fasts, which, under certain circumstances may be continued to starvation. Voluntary death by the withdrawal of nourishment is, according to the strict doctrine of the Digambara, necessary for all ascetics, who have reached the highest step of knowledge. The Kevalin, they say, eats no longer. The milder Śvetâmbara do not demand this absolutely, but regard it, as a sure entrance to Nirvâṇa. In order, however, that this death may bear its fruits, the ascetic must keep closely to the directions for it, otherwise he merely lengthens the number of rebirths. [Footnote: With reference to asceticism, comp. Leumann, Aupapâtika Sûtra § 30. The death of the wise ones by starvation is described, Weber, Bhagavatî Sûtra, II, 266-267; Hoernle Upâsakadaśa Sûtra, pp. 44-62; Âchârâṅga Sûtra, in S.B.E. Vol. XXII, pp. 70-73. Among the Digambara the heads of schools still, as a rule, fall victims to this fate. Even among the Śvetâmbara, cases of this kind occur, see K. Forbes, Râs Mâlâ, Vol. II, pp. 331-332, or 2nd ed. pp. 610-611.]
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 homeless 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 Brâhmanic rules for penitents. The outward marks of the order closely resemble those of the Sannyâsin. 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 Brâhmaṇs alone in ascetic self-torture, which Buddhism rejects; and specially characteristic is the fact that ancient Brâhmanism recommends starvation to its penitents as beneficial. [Footnote: An example may be found in Jacobi's careful comparison of the customs of the Brâhmanic and Jaina ascetics, in the beginning of his translation of the Âchârâṅga Sûtra, S.B.E., Vol. XXII, pp. xxi—xxix. In relation to the death by starvation of Brahmanical hermits and Sannyâsin, see Âpastamba, Dharmasûtra, in S.B.E. Vol. II, pp. 154, 156, where (IT, 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 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 conjugal 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 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 animals, as Brâhmanism 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, however, voluntary starvation is also recommended as meritorious. These directions (as might be expected from the likeness of the circumstances) resemble 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 Brâhmanic doctrines. [Footnote: The Upâsakadaśâ Sûtra treats of the right life of the laity, Hoernle, pp. 11-37 (Bibl. Ind.), and Hemachandra, Yogasûtra, Prakâsa ii and iii; Windisch, Zeitschrift der Deutsch Morg. Ges. Bd. XXVIII, pp. 226-246. 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 a large number of rules directly from the law books of the Brâhmaṇs. The occupations forbidden to the Jaina laity are almost all those forbidden by the Brâhmanic law to the Brâhmaṇ, who in time of need lives like a Vaīśya. Hemachandra, Yogaśâstra, III, 98—112 and Upâsakadaśâ Sûtra, 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).] In practical life Jainism makes of its laity earnest men who exhibit a stronger trait of resignation than other Indians and excel in an exceptional willingness 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 influence 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 Nirvâṇa, endeavours 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 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 Nirvâṇa, of which the Jaina makes a great festival by solemn processions and pilgrimages to the places where it has been attained. [Footnote: For the Jaina ritual, see Indian Antiquary. Vol. XIII, pp. 191-196. The principal sacred places or Tirthas are—Sameta Śikhara in Western Bengal, where twenty of the Jinas are said to have attained Nirvâṇa; Śatruñjaya and Girnâr in Kâthiâwâḍ sacred respectively to Ṛishabhanâtha and Neminâtha; Chandrapuri where Vâsupûjya died; and Pâwâ in Bengal at which Vardhamâna died.—Ed.] 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 Âbu, Girnâr and Śatruñjaya in Gujarât. 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 Brâhmaṇ 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. [Footnote: The latter assertion is to be found In the Shaḍdarśanasamuchchaya Vers. 45, 77-78. A creative activity is attributed to the Jinas even in the Kuhâon inscription which is dated 460-461 A.D. (Ind. Antiq. Vol. X, p. 126). There they are called âdikartri the 'original creators'. The cause of the development of a worship among the Jainas was first rightly recognised by Jacobi, S.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.]
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 of knowledge, and who only now and again fulfil the duty of changing their place of residence. The needs of the lay communities required 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 Upâśraya or places of refuge, the Jaina monasteries came into existence, which exactly correspond to the Buddhist Sanghârâma. With the monasteries and the fixed residence in them appeared a fixed membership of the order, which, on account of the Jaina principle of unconditional obedience toward the teacher, proved to be much stricter than in Buddhism. On the development of the order and the leisure of monastic life, there followed further, the commencement of a literary and scientific activity. The oldest attempt, in this respect, limited itself to bringing their doctrine into fixed forms. Their results were, besides other lost works, the so-called Aṅga,—the members of the body of the law, which was perhaps originally produced in the third century B.C. Of the Aṅga eleven are no doubt preserved among the Śvetâmbaras from a late edition of the fifth or sixth century A.D. These works are not written in Sanskrit, but in a popular Prâkrit 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. [Footnote: A complete review of the Aṅga 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 Indische Studien, Bd. XVI, SS. 211-479 and Bd. XVIII, SS. 1-90. The Âchâráṅga and the Kalpasûtra are translated by H. Jacobi in the S.B.E Vol. XXII, and a part of the Upâsakadasâ Sûtra by R. Hoernle in the Bibl. Ind. In the estimates of the age of the Aṅga I follow H. Jacobi, who has throughly discussed the question S.B.E. Vol. XXII, pp. xxxix-xlvii.] The Digambaras, on the other hand, have preserved nothing of the Aṅga but the names. They put in their place later systematic works, also in Prâkrit, and assert, in vindication 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 Brâhmaṇs, found it necessary to make themselves acquainted with the ancient language of the culture of the latter. First the Digambara and later the Śvetâmbara 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 Brâhmaṇs. 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 Draviḍian 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 tradition asserts, [Footnote: The later tradition of the Jainas gives for the death of their prophet the dates 545, 527 and 467 B.C. (see Jacobi, Kalpasûtra 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 Tîrhakara died during Buddha's lifetime (see p. 34).] they sprang from the same period and the same religious movement in opposition to Brâhmanism. 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 fabrication. 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. [Footnote: 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 doctrines, writings, and traditions to those of the Buddhists, on the other, on the fact that the canonical works of the Jainas show 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 Sammatîya. 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 Nirgrantha or Nigaṇṭha. The observation that the Buddhists recognise the Nigaṇṭha and relate of their head and founder, that he was a rival of Buddha's and died at Pâvâ where the last Tîrthakara is said to have attained Nirvâṇa, 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 1), pointing out that the last Tîrthakara 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 introduction to his edition of the Kalpasûtra, 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 Barth (Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, tom. III, 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 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 necessitates 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.]
The oldest canonical books of the Jaina, apart from some mythological additions and evident exaggerations, contain the following important notes on the life of their last prophet. [Footnote: The statement that Vardhamâna'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.] Vardhamâna was the younger son of Siddhârtha a nobleman who belonged to the Kshatriya race, called in Sanskrit Jñâti or Jñâta, in Prakrit Nâya, and, according to the old custom of the Indian warrior caste, bore the name of a Brâhmanic family the Kâśyapa. His mother, who was called Triśalâ, belonged to the family of the governors of Videha. Siddhârtha's residence was Kuṇḍapura, the Basukund of to-day, a suburb of the wealthy town of Vaiśâlî, the modern Besarh, in Videha or Tirhut. [Footnote: Dr. Bühler by a slip had here "Magadha oder Bihâr".—J. B.] Siddhârtha was son-in-law to the king of Vaiśâlî. Thirty years, it seems, Vardhamâna led a worldly life in his parents' house. He married, and his wife Yaśodâ bore him a daughter Anojjâ, who was married to a noble of the name of Jamâli, and in her turn had a daughter. In his thirty-first year his parents died. As they were followers of Pârśva the twenty-third Jina, they chose, according to the custom of the Jainas, the death of the wise by starvation. Immediately after this Vardhamâna 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 Lâḍha, in Vajjabhûmi and Subbhabhûmi, the Rârh of to-day in Bengal, and learned to bear with equanimity great hardships and cruel ill treatment at the hands of the inhabitants of those districts. Besides these he imposed upon himself the severest mortifications; after the first year he discarded clothes and devoted himself to the deepest meditation. In the thirteenth year of this wandering life he believed he had attained to the highest knowledge and to the dignity of a holy one. He then appeared as a prophet, taught the Nirgrantha doctrine, a modification of the religion of Pârśva, and organised the order of the Nirgrantha ascetics. From that time he bore the name of the venerable ascetic Mahâvîra. 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 of his period of teaching, a split arose—caused by his son-in-law Jamâli.
The extent of his sphere of influence almost corresponds with that of the kingdoms of Srâvastî or Kosala, Vidcha, Magadha, and Aṅga,—the modern Oudh, and the provinces of Tirhut and Bihâr in Western Bengal. Very frequently he spent the rainy season in his native place Vaiśâlî and in Râjagṛiha. Among his contemporaries were, a rival teacher Gosâla the son of Maṁkhali—whom he defeated in a dispute, the King of Videha—Bhambhasâra or Bibbhisâra called Sreṇika, and his sons Abhayakumâra and the parricide Ajátaśatru or Kûṇika, who protected him or accepted his doctrine, and also the nobles of the Lichchhavi and Mallaki races. The town of Pâpâ or Pâvâ, the modern Padraona [Footnote: This is General Cunningham's identification and a probable one.—Ed.] 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 Hastipâla. Immediately after his death, a second split took place in his community. [Footnote: Notes on Mahâvîra's life are to be found especially in Âchârâṅga Sûtra in S.B.E. Vol. XXII, pp. 84-87, 189-202; Kalpasûtra, ibid. pp. 217-270. The above may be compared with Jacobi's representation, ibid. pp. x-xviii. where most of the identifications of the places named are given, and Kalpasûtra introd. p. ii. We have to thank Dr. Hoernle for the important information that Vardhamâna's birthplace Kuṇḍapura is still called Vasukund: Upâsakadaśâ Sûtra p. 4. Note 3. The information on the schisms of the Jainas is collected by Lemmann in the Indische Studien, Bd. XVII, S. 95 ff.]
On consideration of this information, it immediately strikes one, that the scene of Vardhamâna'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 Śrâvastî and Râjagṛiha are just the places named, where he founded the largest communities. It is also told of the inhabitants of Vaiśâlî that many turned to his doctrine. Many legends are told of his intercourse and friendship with Bimbisâra or Śreṇika, king of Videha, also of the murder of the latter by his son Ajâtaśatru, who, tortured with remorse, afterwards approached Buddha; mention is also made of his brother Abhayakumâra, likewise Makkhali Gosâla is mentioned among Buddha's opponents and rivals. It is thus clear that the oldest Jaina legend makes Vardhamâna a fellow countryman 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 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 Nigaṇṭha, which the northern texts, written in Sanskrit, recognise among the opponents of Buddha, under the name Nirgrantha, whom an old Sûtra [Footnote: The Mahâparinibbâṇa Sutta, in S.B.E. Vol. XI, p. 106.] 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 called in Pâli Nâtaputta, in Sanskrit Jñâtiputra, that is the son of Jñâti or Nâta. The similarity between these words and the names of the family Jñâti, Jñâta or Naya, to which Vardhamâna belonged 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 individual's name, as for example, 'the son of the Sâkiya' is put for Buddha-Sâkiyaputta, so that it is difficult not to suppose that Nâtaputta or Jñâtiputra, the leader of the Nigaṇṭha or Nirgrantha sect, is the same person as Vardhamâna, the descendant of the Jñâti family and founder of the Nirgrantha or Jaina sect. If we follow up this idea, and gather together the different remarks of the Buddhists about the opponents of Buddha, then it is apparent that his identity with Vardhamâna is certain. A number of rules of doctrine are ascribed to him, which are also found among the Jainas, and some events in his life, which we have already found in the accounts of the life of Vardhamâna, are related.
In one place in the oldest part of the Singalese canon, the assertion is put into the mouth of Nigaṇṭha Nâtaputta, that the Kiriyâvâda—the doctrine of activity, separates his system from Buddha's teaching. We shall certainly recognise in this doctrine, the rule of the Kiriyâ, the activity of souls, upon which Jainism places so great importance. [Footnote: Jacobi, Zeitschrift der Deutsch. Morg. Ges. Bd. XXXIV, S. 187; Ind. Antiq. Vol. IX, p. 159.] Two other rules from the doctrine of souls are quoted in a later work, not canonical: there it is stated, in a collection of false doctrines which Buddha's rivals taught, that Nigaṇṭha asserts that cold water was living. Little drops of water contained small souls, large drops, large souls. Therefore he forbade his followers, the use of cold water. It is not difficult, in these curious rules to recognise the Jaina dogma, which asserts the existence of souls, even in the mass of lifeless elements of earth, water, fire, and wind. This also proves, that the Nigaṇṭha admitted the classification of souls, so often ridiculed by the Brâhmaṇs, which distinguishes between great and small. This work, like others, ascribes to Nigaṇṭha the assertion, that the so-called three daṇḍa—the three instruments by which man can cause injury to creatures—thought, word, and body, are separate active causes of sin. The Jaina doctrine agrees also in this case, which always specially represents the three and prescribes for each a special control. [Footnote: Jacobi, Ind. Antiq. Vol. IX, p. 159.]
Besides these rules, which perfectly agree with one another, there are still two doctrines of the Nigaṇṭha to be referred to which seem to, or really do, contradict the Jainas; namely, it is stated that Nâtaputta demanded from his disciples the taking of four, not as in Vardhamâna's case, of five great vows. Although this difficulty may seem very important at first glance, it is, however, set aside by an oft repeated assertion in the Jaina works. They repeatedly say that Pàrśva, the twenty-third Jina only recognised four vows, and Vardhamâna added the fifth. The Buddhists have therefore handed down a dogma which Jainism recognises. The question is merely whether they or the Jainas are the more to be trusted. If the latter, and it is accepted that Vardhamâna was merely the reformer of an old religion, then the Buddhists must be taxed with an easily possible confusion between the earlier and later teachers. If, on the other hand, the Jaina accounts of their twenty-third prophet are regarded as mythical, and Vardhamâna is looked upon as the true founder of the sect,—then the doctrine of the four vows must be ascribed to the latter, and we must accept as a fact that he had changed his views on this point. In any case, however, the Buddhist statement speaks for, rather than against, the identity of Nigaṇṭha with Jina. [Footnote: Jacobi, loc. cit.. p. 160, and Leumann, Actes du Vlième Congrès Int. des Or. Sect. Ary. p. 505. As the Jaina accounts of the teaching of Pârśva and the existence of communities of his disciples, sound trustworthy, we may perhaps accept, with Jacobi, that they rest on a historical foundation.]
Vardhamâna's system, on the other hand, is quite irreconcilable with Nâtaputta's assertion that virtue as well as sin, happiness as well as unhappiness is unalterably fixed for men by fate, and nothing in their destiny can be altered by the carrying out of the holy law. It is, however, just as irreconcilable with the other Buddhist accounts of the teaching of their opponent; because it is absolutely unimaginable, that the same man, who lays vows upon his followers, the object of which is to avoid sin, could nevertheless make virtue and sin purely dependent upon the disposition of fate, and preach the uselessness of carrying out the law. The accusation that Nâtaputta embraced fatalism must therefore be regarded as an invention and an outcome of sect hatred as well as of the wish to throw discredit on their opponents. [Footnote: Jacobi loc. cit.. p. 159-160.]
The Buddhist remarks on the personality and life of Nâtaputta are still more remarkable. They say repeatedly that he laid claim to the dignity of an Arhat and to omniscience which the Jainas also claim for their prophet, whom they prefer simply to call 'the Arhat' and who possesses the universe-embracing 'Kevala' knowledge. [Footnote: See for example the account in the Chullavagga, in S.B.E. Vol. XX. p. 78-79; Ind. Antiq. Vol. VIII, p. 313.] A history of conversions, tells us further that Nâtaputta and his disciples disdained to cover their bodies; we are told just the same of Vardhamâna. [Footnote: Spence Hardy, Manual of Budhism, p. 225.] A story in the oldest part of the Singalese canon gives an interesting and important instance of his activity in teaching. Buddha, so the legend runs, once came to the town Vaiśâlî, the seat of the Kshatriya of the Lichchhavi race. His name, his law, his community were highly praised by the nobles of the Lichchhavi in the senate-house. Sîha, their general, who was a follower of the Nigaṇṭha, became anxious to know the great teacher. He went to his master Nâtaputta, who happened to be staying in Vaiśâlî just then, and asked permission to pay the visit. Twice Nâtaputta refused him. Then Sîha determined to disobey him. He sought Buddha out, heard his teaching and was converted by him. In order to show his attachment to his new teacher he invited Buddha and his disciples to eat with him. On the acceptance of the invitation, Sîha commanded his servants to provide flesh in honour of the occasion. This fact came to the ears of the followers of the Nigaṇṭha. Glad to have found an occasion to damage Buddha, they hurried in great numbers through the town, crying out, that Sîha had caused a great ox to be killed for Buddha's entertainment; that Buddha had eaten of the flesh of the animal although he knew it had been killed on his account, and was, therefore guilty of the death of the animal. The accusation was brought to Siha's notice and was declared by him to be a calumny. Buddha, however preached a sermon after the meal, in which he forbade his disciples to partake of the flesh of such animals as had been killed on their account. The legend also corroborates the account in the Jaina works, according to which Vardhamâna often resided in Vaiśâlî and had a strong following in that town. It is probably related to show that his sect was stricter, as regards the eating of flesh, than the Buddhists, a point, which again agrees with the statutes of the Jainas. [Footnote: S.B.E. Vol. XVII, pp. 108-117.]
The account of Nâtaputta's death is still more important. "Thus I heard it", says an old book of the Singalese canon, the Sâmagâma Sutta, "once the Venerable one lived in Sâmagâma in the land of the Sâkya. At that time, however, certainly the Nigaṇṭha Nâtaputta had died in Pâvâ. After his death the Nigaṇṭha wandered about disunited, separate, quarrelling, fighting, wounding each other with words." [Footnote: The passage is given in the original by Oldenberg, Leitsch. der D. Morg. Ges. Bd. XXXIV, S. 749. Its significance in connection with the Jaina tradition as to their schisms has been overlooked until now. It has also been unnoticed that the assertion, that Vardhamâna died during Buddha's lifetime, proves that the latest account of this occurrence given by traditions 467 B.C. is false: Later Buddhist legends (Spence Hardy, Manual of Budhism, pp. 266-271) treat of Nâtaputta's death in more detail. In a lengthy account they give as the cause of the same the apostacy of one of his disciples, Upâli who was converted by Buddha. After going over to Buddhism, Upâli treated his former master with scorn, and presumed to relate a parable which should prove the foolishness of those who believed in false doctrines. Thereupon the Nigaṇṭha fell into despair. He declared his alms-vessel was broken, his existence destroyed, went to Pâva, and died there. Naturally no importance is to be given to this account and its details. They are apparently the outcome of sect-hatred.] Here we have complete confirmation of the statement of the Jaina canon as to the place where Vardhamâna entered Nirvâṇa, as well as of the statement that a schism occurred immediately after his death.
The harmony between the Buddhist and Jaina tradition, as to the person of the head of the Nirgrantha is meanwhile imperfect. It is disturbed by the description of Nâtaputta as a member of the Brâhmanic sect of the Âgniveśyâyana, whilst Vardhamâna belonged to the Kâśyapa. The point is however so insignificant, that an error on the part of the Buddhists is easily possible. [Footnote: According to Jacobi's supposition, S.B.E. Vol. XXII, p. xvi, the error was caused, by the only disciple of Vardhamâna, who outlived his master, Sudharman being an Âgniveśyâyana.] It is quite to be understood that perfect exactness is not to be expected among the Buddhists or any other sect in describing the person of a hated enemy. Enmity and scorn, always present, forbid that. The most that one can expect is that the majority and most important of the facts given may agree.
This condition is undoubtedly fulfilled in the case on hand. It cannot, therefore be denied, that, in spite of this difference, in spite also of the absurdity of one article of the creed ascribed to him, Vardhamâna Jñâtiputra, the founder of the Nirgrantha—or Jaina community is none other than Buddha's rival. From Buddhist accounts in their canonical works as well as in other books, it may be seen that this rival was a dangerous and influential one, and that even in Buddha's time his teaching had spread considerably. Their legends about conversions from other sects very often make mention of Nirgrantha sectarians, whom Buddha's teaching or that of his disciples had alienated from their faith. Also they say in their descriptions of other rivals of Buddha, that these, in order to gain esteem, copied the Nirgrantha and went unclothed, or that they were looked upon by the people as Nirgrantha holy ones, because they happened to have lost their clothes. Such expressions would be inexplicable if Vardhamâna's community had not become of great importance. [Footnote: See for the history of Sîha related above, Spence Hardy, Manual of Budhism, pp. 226, 266, and Jacobi, Ind. Antiq. Vol. VIII, p. 161]
This agrees with several remarks in the Buddhist chronicles, which assert the existence of the Jainas in different districts of India during the first century after Buddha's death. In the memoirs of the Chinese Buddhist and pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang, who visited India in the beginning of the seventh century of our era, is to be found an extract from the ancient annals of Magadha, which proves the existence of the Nirgrantha or Jainas in their original home from a very early time. [Footnote: Beal, Si-yu-ki. Vol. II, p. 168.] This extract relates to the building of the great monastry at Nâlandâ, the high school of Buddhism in eastern India, which was founded shortly after Buddha's Nirvâṇa, and mentions incidentally that a Nirgrantha who was a great astrologer and prophet had prophesied the future success of the new building. At almost as early a period the Mahâvan̄sa, composed in the fifth century A.D., fixes the appearance of the Nirgrantha in the island of Ceylon. It is said that the king Paṇḍukâbhaya, who ruled in the beginning of the second century after Buddha, from 367-307 B.C. built a temple and a monastery for two Nirgranthas. The monastery is again mentioned in the same work in the account of the reign of a later king Vaṭṭâgâmini, cir. 38-10 B.C. It is related that Vaṭṭâgâmini being offended by the inhabitants, caused it to be destroyed after it had existed during the reigns of twenty one kings, and erected a Buddhist Saṅghârâma in its place. The latter piece of information is found also in the Dîpavan̄sa of more than a century earlier. [Footnote: Turnour, Mahâvaṅsa, pp. 66-67 and p. 203, 206: Dîpavan̄sa XIX 14; comp. also Kern, Buddhismus, Bd. I, S. 422. In the first passage in the Mahâvaṅ sa, three Nighaṇṭas are introduced by name, Jotiya, Giri, and Kumbhaṇḍa. The translation incorrectly makes the first a Brâhmaṇ and chief engineer.]
None of these works can indeed be looked upon as a truly historical source. There are, even in those paragraphs which treat of the oldest history after Buddha's death, proofs enough that they simply hand down a faulty historical tradition. In spite of this, their statements on the Nirgrantha, cannot be denied a certain weight, because they are closely connected on the one side with the Buddhist canon, and on the other they agree with the indisputable sources of history, which relate to a slightly later period.
The first authentic information on Vardhamâna's sect is given by our oldest inscriptions, the religious edicts of the Maurya king Aśoka, who, according to tradition was anointed in the year 219 after Buddha's death, and—as the reference to his Grecian contemporaries, Antiochos, Magas, Alexander, Ptolemaeus and Antigonas confirms,—ruled, during the second half of the third century B.C. over the whole of India with the exception of the Dekhan. This prince interested himself not only in Buddhism, which he professed in his later years, but he took care, in a fatherly way, as he repeatedly relates, of all other religious sects in his vast kingdom. In the fourteenth year of his reign, he appointed officials, called law-superintendents, whose duty it was to watch over the life of the different communities, to settle their quarrels, to control the distribution of their legacies and pious gifts. He says of them in the second part of the seventh 'pillar' edict, which he issued in the twenty-ninth year of his reign, "My superintendents are occupied with various charitable matters, they are also engaged with all sects of ascetics and householders; I have so arranged that they will also be occupied with the affairs of the Saṁgha; likewise I have arranged that they will be occupied with the Âjîvika Brâhmaṇs; I have arranged it that they will also be occupied with the Nigaṇṭha". [Footnote: See Senart, Inscriptions de Piyadasi, tom. II, p. 82. Ed. VIII, l. 4. My translation differs from Senart's in some points especially in relation to the construction. Conf. Epigraphia Indiea, vol. II, pp. 272f.] The word Saṁgha serves here as usual for the Buddhist monks. The Âjívikas, whose name completely disappears later, are often named in the sacred writings of the Buddhists and the Jainas as an influential sect. They enjoyed the special favour of Aśoka, who, as other inscriptions testify, caused several caves at Baràbar to be made into dwellings for their ascetics. [Footnote: See Ind. Antiquary, vol. XX, pp. 361 ff.] As in the still older writings of the Buddhist canon, the name Nigaṇṭha here can refer only to the followers of Vardhamâna. As they are here, along with the other two favourites, counted worthy of special mention, we may certainly conclude that they were of no small importance at the time. Had they been without influence and of small numbers Aśoka would hardly have known of them, or at least would not have singled them out from the other numerous nameless sects of which he often speaks. It may also be supposed that they were specially numerous in their old home, as Aśoka's capital Pâṭaliputra lay in this land. Whether they spread far over these boundaries, cannot be ascertained.
On the other hand we possess two documents from the middle of the next century which prove that they advanced into south-eastern India as far as Kaliṅga. These are the inscriptions at Khaṇḍagiri in Orissa, of the great King Khâravela and his first wife, who governed the east coast of India from the year 152 to 165 of the Maurya era that is, in the first half of second century B.C.
The larger inscription, unfortunately very much disfigured, contains an account of the life of Khâravela from his childhood till the thirteenth year of his reign. It begins with an appeal to the Arhat and Siddha, which corresponds to the beginning of the five-fold form of homage still used among the Jainas, and mentions the building of temples in honour of the Arhat as well as an image of the first Jina, which was taken away by a hostile king. The second and smaller inscription asserts that Khâravela's wife caused a cave to be prepared for the ascetics of Kalinga, "who believed on the Arhat." [Footnote: The meaning of these inscriptions, which were formerly believed to be Buddhist, was first made clear by Dr. Bhangvânlâl's Indrâji's careful discussion in the Actes du Vlième Congrès Internat. des Orientalistes Sect. Ary. pp. 135-159. H; first recognised the true names of the King Khâravela and his predecessors and shewed that Khâravela and his wife were patrons of the Jainas. We have to thank him for the information that the inscription contains a date in the Maurya Era. I have thoroughly discussed his excellent article in the Oesterreichischen Monatsschrift, Bd. X, S. 231 ff. and have there given my reasons for differing from him on an important point, namely, the date of the beginning of the Maurya Era, which, according to his view begins with the conquest of Kaliṅga by Aśoka about 255 B. C. Even yet I find it impossible to accept that the expression, "in the hundred and sixty fifth year of the era of the Maurya Kings", can mean anything else than that 164 years have passed between the thirteenth year of the rule of Khâravela and the anointing of the first Maurya King Chandrugupta. Unfortunately it is impossible to fix the year of the latter occurrence, or to say more than that it took place between the years 322 and 312 B.C. The date given in Khâravela's inscription cannot therefore be more closely fixed than that it lies between 156 and 147 B.C. I now add to my former remarks—that appeals to the Arhat and Siddha appear also in Jaina inscriptions from Mathurâ and may be taken as a certain mark of the sect. Thus it is worthy of note that even in Hiuen Tsiang's time, (Beal, Si-yu-ki, Vol. II, p. 205) Kalinga was one of the chief seats of the Jainas.]
From a somewhat later period, as the characters show, from the first century B.C. comes a dedicatory inscription which has been found far to the west of the original home of the Jainas, in Mathurà on the Jamnâ. It tells of the erection of a small temple in honour of the Arhat Vardhamâna, also of the dedication of seats for the teachers, a cistern, and a stone table. The little temple, it says, stood beside the temple of the guild of tradesmen, and this remark proves, that Mathurâ, which, according to the tradition of the Jainas, was one of the chief scats of their religion, possessed a community of Jainas even before the time of this inscription. [Footnote: This inscription also was first made known by Dr Bhagwanlal Indiaji, loc. cit. p. 143.]
A large member of dedicatory inscriptions have come to light, which are dated from the year 5 to 98 of the era of the Indo-Skythian kings, Kanishka, Huvishka, and Vâsudeva (Bazodeo) and therefore belong at latest to the end of the first and to the second century A.D. They are all on the pedestals of statues, which are recognisable partly by the special mention of the names of Vardhamâna and the Arhat Mahâvíra, partly by absolute nudity and other marks. They show, that the Jaina community continued to flourish in Mathurâ and give besides extraordinarily important information, as I found in a renewed research into the ancient history of the sect. In a number of them, the dedicators of the statues give not only their own names, but also those of the religious teachers to whose communities they belonged. Further, they give these teachers their official titles, still used among the Jainas: vâchaka, 'teacher', and gaṇin, 'head of a school'. Lastly they specify the names of the schools to which the teachers belonged, and those of their subdivisions. The schools are called, gaṇa, 'companies'; the subdivisions, kula, 'families' and śâkhà, 'branches'. Exactly the same division into gaṇa, śâkhà, and kula is found in a list in one of the canonical works, of the Śvetâmbaras, the Kalpasûtra, which gives the number of the patriarchs and of the schools founded by them, and it is of the highest importance, that, in spite of mutilation and faulty reproduction of the inscriptions, nine of the names, which appear in the Kalpasûtra are recognisable in them, of which part agree exactly, part, through the fault of the stone-mason or wrong reading by the copyist, are somewhat defaced. According to the Kalpasûtra, Sushita, the ninth successor to Vardhamâna In the position of patriarch, together with his companion Supratibuddha, founded the 'Koḍiya' or 'Kautika gaṇa, which split up into four 'sâkhà, and four 'kula'. Inscription No. 4. which is dated in the year 9 of the king Kanishka or 87. A.D. (?) gives us a somewhat ancient form of the name of the gaṇa Koṭiya and that of one of its branches exactly corresponding to the Vairi śàkhâ. Mutilated or wrongly written, the first word occurs also in inscriptions Nos. 2, 6 and 9 as koto-, keṭṭiya, and ka ..., the second in No. 6 as Vorâ. One of the families of this gaṇa, the Vâṇiya kula is mentioned in No. 6, and perhaps in No. 4. The name of a second, the Praśnavàhaṇaka, seems to have appeared in No. 19. The last inscription mentions also another branch of the Koṭiya gaṇa, the Majhimâ sâkhâ, which, according to the Kalpasûtra, was founded by Priyagantha the second disciple of Susthita. Two still older schools which, according to tradition, sprang from the fourth disciple of the eighth patriarch, along with some of their divisions appear in inscriptions Nos. 20 and 10. These are the Aryya-Udehikîya gaṇa, called the school of the Ârya-Rohaṇa in the Kalpasûtra, to which belonged the Parihâsaka kula and the Pûrnapâtrikâ śâkhâ, as also the Charâṇa gaṇa with the Prîtidharmika kula. Each of these names is, however, somewhat mutilated by one or more errata in writing. [Footnote: Dr. Bühler's long note (p. 48) on these inscriptions was afterwards expanded in the Wiener Zeitschrift fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes Bd. I, S. 165-180; Bd. II, S. 141-146. Bd. III, S. 233-240; and Bd. IV, S. 169-173. The argument of these papers is summarised in. Appendix. A, pp. 48 ff.—Ed.] The statements in the inscriptions about the teachers and their schools are of no small importance in themselves for the history of the Jainas. If, at the end of the first century A.D.(?) many separate schools of Jaina ascetics existed, a great age and lively activity, as well as great care as regards the traditions of the sect, may be inferred. The agreement of the inscriptions with the Kalpasûtra leads still further however: it proves on the one side that the Jainas of Mathurâ were Śvetâmbara, and that the schism, which split the sect into two rival branches occurred long before the beginning of our era. On the other hand it proves that the tradition of the Svetâmbara really contains ancient historic elements, and by no means deserves to be looked upon with distrust. It is quite probable that, like all traditions, it is not altogether free from error. But it can no longer be declared to be the result of a later intentional misrepresentation, made in order to conceal the dependence of Jainism on Buddhism. It is no longer possible to dispute its authenticity with regard to those points which are confirmed by independent statements of other sects, and to assert, for example, that the Jaina account of the life of Vardhamâna, which agrees with the statements of the Buddists, proves nothing as regards the age of Jainism because in the late fixing of the canon of the Śvetâmbaras in the sixth century after Christ it may have been drawn from Buddhist works. Such an assertion which, under all circumstances, is a bold one, becomes entirely untenable when it is found that the tradition in question states correctly facts which lie not quite three centuries distant from Vardhamâna's time, and that the sect, long before the first century of our era kept strict account of their internal affairs. [Footnote: See Weber's and Barth's opinions quoted above in note I, p. 23.]
Unfortunately the testimony to the ancient history of the Jainas, so far as made known by means of inscriptions, terminates here. Interesting as it would be to follow the traces of their communities in the later inscriptions, which become so numerous from the fifth century A.D. onwards and in the description of his travels by Hiuen Tsiang, who found them spread through the whole of India and even beyond its boundaries, it would be apart from our purpose. The documents quoted suffice, however, to confirm the assertion that during the first five centuries after Buddha's death both the statements of Buddhist tradition and real historical sources give evidence to the existence of the Jainas as an important religious community independent of Buddhism, and that there are among the historical sources some which entirely clear away the suspicion that the tradition of the Jainas themselves is intentionally falsified.
The advantage gained for Indian history from the conclusion that Jainism and Buddhism are two contemporary sects—having arisen in the same district,—is no small one. First, this conclusion shows that the religious movement of the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. in eastern India must have been a profound one. If not only one, but certainly two, and perhaps more reformers, appeared at the same time, preaching teachers, who opposed the existing circumstances in the same manner, and each of whom gained no small number of followers for their doctrines, the desire to overthrow the Brahmanical order of things must have been generally and deeply felt. This conclusion shows then that the transformation of the religious life in India was not merely the work of a religious community. Many strove to attain this object although separated from one another. It is now recognisable, though preliminarily, in one point only, that the religious history of India from the fifth century B.C. to the eighth or ninth A.D. was not made up of the fight between Brahmanism and Buddhism alone. This conclusion allows us, lastly, to hope that the thorough investigation of the oldest writings of the Jainas and their relations with Buddhism on the one hand and with Brahmanism on the other will afford many important ways of access to a more exact knowledge concerning the religious ideas which prevailed in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C., and to the establishment of the boundaries of originality between the different systems.