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Chronology Of Jainism

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Chronology Of Jainism

Prior to the 8th century C.E. dating is often uncertain. Estimates may vary by as much as five centuries. When applicable, both traditional dating and the range of scholarly opinions on dating have been included. The person or event has usually been placed in the earliest century within the range of scholarly opinions. The term Murtipujaka ("image worshiping") was not used prior to the establishment of non-image-worshiping sectarian traditions in the Svetambara community. However, I have used it as a term of reference beginning in the 11th century with the formation of mendicant lineages (gacchas) that com­prise the Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant community today.

'PREHISTORIC PERIOD'

Rishabha, the first Tirthankara of this era, through Neminatha, the 22nd Tirtharikara of this era.

'10TH CENTURY-9TH CENTURY B.C.E.'

Parsvanatha, the 23rd Tirthankara of this era establishes his mendicant lineage. He is believed to have born in Banaras 250 years prior to the time of Mahavira (traditional dating, ca. 950-850 B.C.E.).

'6TH CENTURY B.C.E.'

Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthahkara of this era, establishes his mendicant lineage. He attains liberation (nirvana) at the the age of 72 at Papa (modern Pavapuri, near Patna). Traditional dating varies: 599-527 B.C.E. (Svet.), 582-510 (Dig.), 499-427 B.C.E. (Svet. Hemacandra). In accordance with the revised later dating of the Buddha as proposed recently by some scholars, Mahavlra’s dates would be approximately 100 years after the earliest traditional dating. Eleven chief disciples (ganadharas) of Mahavira compose the Purva and Anga texts based on the teachings of Mahavira. Indrabhuti Gautama and Sudharman, chief disciples (ganadharas) of Mahavlra, assume leadership of the mendicant community. Ganadhara Indrabhuti Gautama attains omniscience hours after the death of Mahavlra (traditional dating, 527 B.C.E.). Ceases leadership of mendicant community. Attains liberation 12 years later. Beginning of the Vlra-nirv&na period, longest continuous era in Indian his-tory (527 B.C.E.). Ganadhara Sudharman, last chief disciple of Mahavira, leads the mendicant community for 12 years and teaches the sacred texts to Jambu. Attains omniscience and liberation 24 years after the death of Mahavira. King Srenika (= Bimbis&ra), contemporary of Mahavira, rules Magadha (modem Bihar) from Rajagrha (540-490 B.C.E.). Life of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, younger contemporary of Mahavira (563-483 B.C.E., scholarly dating varies).

5TH CENTURY B.C.E.

Jambu, first elder (sthavira) in the lineage of Mahavira, leads mendicant community for eight years. Attains omniscience and liberation 64 years after the death of Mahavira. Last person in this era to attain liberation. Jina- kalpa mode of mendicancy comes to an end. 4TH CENTURY B.C.E. Bhadrabahu, seventh elder (sthavira) in the lineage established by Mahavira, the last person to have knowledge of all Purva and Anga texts. Died 175 years (Svet.) or 162 years (Dig.) after the death of Mahavira (ca. 352 or 348 B.C.E.). Sthulabhadra. eighth elder (sthavira) in the lineage established by Mahavira. presides over the First Council at Pataliputra where mendicants gathered to recite the sacred texts 160 years after the death of Mahavira (traditional dating, 367 B.C.E.). (Authenticity of recitation not accepted by Digambaras.) Nanda dynasty rules Magadha (ca. 364-320 B.C.E.). Candragupta Maurya rules from Pataliputra in Magadha (ca. 320-293 B.C.E.). According to some Digambara accounts, Candragupta becomes a Jain monk, migrates to the south with Bhadrabahu, and fasts to death at Sravana Belgola.

3RD CENTURY B.C.E.

Inscriptions at Mathura from the pre-Kusana and Kusana periods contain names of mendicant lineages that are listed in the Svetambara Kalpa Sutra of Bhadrabahu (mid-2nd century B.C.E.-3rd century C.E.). Monks on the pedestals of Tirthankara images at Mathura from the pre- Kusana and Kusana periods are depicted covering their nudity with a half piece of cloth (ardhaphalaka) (2nd century B.C.E.-3rd century C.E.). Asoka Maurya rules from Pataliputra in Magadha (268-233 B.C.E.). Mauryan dynasty comes to an end with assassination of Brhadratha (185 B.C.E.). Hithigumpha inscription at Udayagiri in Orissa (late 1st century B.C.E. or the early 1st century C.E.) mentions that King Kharavela of Kalinga invaded Magadha to recover a Tirthankara image carried off by an army of the Nanda dynasty (ca. 364-320 B.C.E.). Dharasena. Digambara mendicant leader (ca. 137 C.E.), transmits knowl¬edge of scriptures to Puspadanta and Bhutabali. who write the satkhandagama (traditional dating. 156 C.E.), Gunabhadra, Digambara mendicant leader, writes Kasayaprdbhrta (tradi-tional dating. 2nd century). Kundakunda, Digambara mendicant leader, writes a number of important works, including the Pravacanasara and Samayasara (ca. 4th—5th cen-turies. but dated as late as 8th century, traditional dating, 2nd~3rd cen-turies). Umasvati/Umasvami writes the Tattavartha Sutra, accepted by Svetam- baras and Digambaras (ca. 4th-5th centuries, dated as early as 2nd century). Second Council convened at Mathur& under the leadership of Skandilasuri (300—343) for recitation of the sacred texts. Concurrently, there was a recitation at Valabhi under the leadership of Nagarjuna. (Authenticity not accepted by Digambaras.) Siddhasena Divakara, logician claimed by both Svetambara and Digambara traditions. writes Nyayavatara and Sanmati-sutra (ca. 4th—5th centuries). Earliest extant image of a Tirthankara wearing a lower garment found at Akota (near Baroda) (ca. 450); cognizances found on Tirthankara images. Earliest extant manastambha, Kahaon Pillar, Uttar Pradesh (460). Third Council convened at Valabhi under the leadership of Devarddhigani Ksamasramana to resolve differences in the two previous recitations of the sacred texts. Compiled the final redaction of the extant canon in written form (456 or 466). (Authenticity not accepted by Digambaras.) Dravida (Dramila) Sangha, extinct Digambara mendicant lineage, founded at Madurai, Tamil Nadu, by Vajranandin (d. 469). Kastha Sangha, extinct Digambara mendicant lineage, established by Loha I (5th century) or by Kumarasena (7th century). Samantabhadra, Digambara mendicant leader and logician, writes Aptamimamsa and other works, including Ratnakaranda, the first Digambara work on lay conduct (ca. 5th century). Kundakunda. Digambara mendicant leader, writes a number of important works, including the Pravacanasara and Samayasara (ca. 4th—5th cen-turies. but dated as late as 8th century, traditional dating, 2nd-3rd cen¬turies). Umasvati/Umasvami writes the Tattavartha Sutra, accepted by Svetambaras and Digambaras (ca. 4th-5th centuries, dated as early as 2nd century). Second Council convened at Mathura under the leadership of Skandilasuri (300-343) for recitation of the sacred texts. Concurrently, there was a recitation at Valabhi under the leadership of Nagarjuna. (Authenticity not accepted by Digambaras.) Siddhasena Divakara, logician claimed by both Svetambara and Digambara traditions, writes Nyaydvatdra and Sanmati-sutra (ca. 4th-5th centuries). Earliest extant image of a Tirthankara wearing a lower garment found at Akota (near Baroda) (ca. 450); cognizances found on Tirthankara images. Earliest extant manastambha, Kahaon Pillar. Uttar Pradesh (460). Third Council convened at Valabhi under the leadership of Devarddhigani Ksamasramana to resolve differences in the two previous recitations of the sacred texts. Compiled the final redaction of the extant canon in written form (456 or 466). (Authenticity not accepted by Digambaras.) Dravida (Dramila) SaAgha, extinct Digambara mendicant lineage, founded at Madurai. Tamil Nadu, by Vajranandin (d. 469). Kastha Sangha, extinct Digambara mendicant lineage, established by Loha I (5th century) or by Kumarasena (7th century). Samantabhadra. Digambara mendicant leader and logician, writes Aptamimdmsd and other works, including Ratnakaranfa, the first Digambara work on lay conduct (ca. 5th century). Kundakunda. Digambara mendicant leader, writes a number of important works, including; the Pravacanasdra and Samayasdra (ca. 4th-5th cen¬turies. but dated as late as 8th century, traditional dating, 2nd-3rd cen¬turies). UmSsvatiAJmasvftml writes the Taitavdrtha Sutra, accepted by Svetam- baras and Digambaras (ca. 4th-5th centuries, dated as early as 2nd century). Second Council convened at Mathura under the leadership of Skandilasuri (300-343) few recitation of the sacred texts. Concurrently, there was a recitation at Valabhl under the leadership of Nagarjuna. (Authenticity not accepted by Digambaras.) Snidhasena Divakara. logician claimed by both Svet&mbara and Digambara traditions, writes Nydydvatdra and Sanmati-sutra (ca. 4th-5th centuries). Earliest extant image of a TirthaAkara wearing a lower garment found at Akota (near Baroda) (ca. 450); cognizances found on TirthaAkara images. Earliest extant m&nastambha, Kahaon Pillar, Uttar Pradesh (460). Third Council convened at Valabhi under the leadership of Devarddhigani ICsacaasramana to resolve differences in the two previous recitations of the sacred texts. Compiled the final redaction of the extant canon in written form (456 or 466). (Authenticity not accepted by Digambaras.) Dr*vida fDramila j SaAgha, extinct Digambara mendicant lineage, founded at Madurai, Tamil Nadu, by Vajranandin (d. 469). K£f#Ui SaAgha. extinct Digambara mendicant lineage, established by Loha I (5th century) or by Kumirasena (7th century), Samantabhadra, Digambara mendicant leader and logician, writes Aptamimdmsd and other work*, including Ratnakaranfa, the first Digambara work on lay conduct (ca. 5th century). Manatuhga, devotional poet, composes the Bhaktamara Stotra accepted by Svetambaras (44 verses) and Digambaras (48 verses) (second half of the 6th century). pujyapada, Digambara monk, writes Sarvarthasiddhi commentary on the Tattvartha Sutra. Yogindu, Digambara author who flourished sometime after Kundakunda and Puspadanta and prior to Hemacandra (6th-10th centuries), writes the Paramdtmaprakasa and Yogasara. Earliest inscription near Sravana Belgola (ca. 600) mentions previous migration of the community to the south under the leadership of Bhadrabahu.

7th CENTURY C.E.

Memorials erected at Sravana Belgola for mendicants who ended life by fasting until death (7th-10 centuries). Haribhadra, Svetambara mendicant leader and philosopher, writes a num¬ber of important works including Saddarsanasamuccaya, Yogabindu, Yogadrstisamuccaya, and Yogasataka (traditional dates of death 478 and 529; ca. 7th-8th centuries C.E.).

8TH CENTURY C.E.

Akalanka, Digambara logician, writes Nyayaviniscaya, the Rajavartika commentary on the Tattvartha Sutra (780), and the Astasati commentary on the Aptamimamsa. Destruction of Valabhi by Turkish invaders (782). Virasana, Digambara monk, completes the Dhavala commentary on the Satkhandagama (816). Jinasena (ca. 770-850), Digambara mendicant leader, writes the Jayadhavala commentary on the Kasayaprabhrta (820) and the Adipurana, which is completed by his disciple Gunabhadra. Gunabhadra, Digambara monk, writes the Uttarapurana (completed 897). Vidyananda, Digambara monk, writes the Slokavarttika commentary on the Tattvartha Sutra. Silanka, Svetambara monk, writes Sanskrit commentaries on the first two Artgas (Acaranga Sutra and Sutrakrtanga Sutra). 10TH CENTURY C.E. Harisena, Digambara monk, composes the Brhatkathakosa. Gommatesvara, colossal image of Bahubali, erected at the Digambara pil-grimage site of Sravana Belgola by Camundaraya, minister to kings in the Ganga dynasty (981). Memorials erected at Sravana Belgola for laity who ended life by fasting until death (10th-15th centuries). Nemicandra, Digambara monk, writes Gommatasara at the request of Camundaraya (late 10th, early 11th century).

11TH CENTURY C.E.

Earliest inscription at Mount Satrunjaya on image of Pundarika (1007). Abhayadevasuri, Svetambara mendicant leader, writes Sanskrit commen-taries on the remaining nine Angas of the Svetambara canon. Hemacandra (1089-1172), Svetambara mendicant leader, appointed court scholar and historian by Jayasiqiha Siddharaja of the Caulukya dynasty of Gujarat. Writes Trisastisalkapurusacaritra and Yogasastra. Kharatara Gaccha, Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant lineage, founded either by Vardhamanasuri (d. 1031) or by his pupil Jinesvarasuri (fl. 1024). Vimala Vasahl, Svetambara temple dedicated to Rsabha, erected at Mount Abu by Vimala Sah, a minister to Bhima I of the Caulukya dynasty (1032).

12TH CENTURY C.E.

Acarya Jinadattasuri (1075-1154), the first Dadaguru, becomes mendicant £ leader of the Svetambara Murtipujaka Kharatara Gaccha (1112). Svetambara temple dedicated to Neminatha erected at Mount Gimar by Sajjana, a minister to Jayasimha Siddharaja of Saurashtra (1128). Svetambara temple dedicated to Rsabha erected at Mount Satrunjaya by Vagbhata, a minister-to Kumarapala of the Caulukya dynasty (1154). A(n)cala Gaccha. Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant lineage, founded by Aryaraksitasuri (1156). Acarya Jinacandrasuri (1140-1166), Svetambara Murtipujaka Kharatara Gaccha mendicant leader and the second Dadaguru, converts many follow¬ers to Jainism. Svetambara temple dedicated to Ajitanatha erected at Taraftga by King Kumarapala of the Caulukya dynasty (1164). Agamika Gaccha, Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant lineage, founded by Silaguna and Devabhadra (1193).

13TH CENTURY C.E.

Growth of the institution of bhattarakas in the Digambara community. Tapa Gaccha, Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant lineage, founded by Acarya Jagaccandrasuri (1228). Luna Vasahi, Svetambara temple dedicated to Neminatha, erected at Mount Abu by Tejahpala, a minister to Bhima II (1230). Acarya Devendrasuri (d. 1270), Svetambara Murtipujaka Tapa Gaccha mendicant leader, writes the Karmagranthas.

14TH CENTURY C.E.

Temples on Mount Satrunjaya desecrated by Turkish invaders (1313). Acarya Jinakusalasuri (1280-1332), Svetambara Murtipujaka Kharatara Gaccha mendicant leader and the third Dadaguru, revives Jainism in Sindh.

15TH CENTURY C.E.

Digambara temple at Mudbidri, Tribhuvana-Tilaka-Cudamani Basadi (The Crest-Jewel of the Three Worlds Temple), erected (1429). Svetambara temple at Ranakpur, Dharna Vihara, dedicated (1441). Kadua Gaccha, Svetambara Murtipujaka ascetic lineage, founded by Kadua Sah (1438-1507). Lonka Sah (15th century), Svetambara layman, begins efforts to reform lax mendicant practices and discourages laity from financing temple construc¬tion and performing temple rituals (ca. 1451). Lonka Gaccha, Svetambara mendicant lineage that rejects image worship, founded by Muni Bhana, the first disciple of Loftka Sah (ca. 1475). Soon thereafter, image worship was reaccepted.

16TH CENTURY C.E.

Taran Svami (1448-1515), Digambara layman who late in life takes vows of a naked monk, rejects image worship and the authority of bhattarakas. Followers establish the Taran SvamI Panth in the Bundelkhand region of central India. Parsvacandra Gaccha, Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant lineage, found¬ed (1515). Lonka Gaccha splits into separate branches and sublineages. Renaissance of image worship and lax mendicant practices especially among the quasi¬mendicants (yatis) who did not take the five mendicant vows (mahavratas) (last quarter of the 16th century). Acarya Hiravijayasuri (1527-1596), Svetambara Murtipujaka Tapa Gaccha mendicant leader, invited to the court of the Moghul emperor Akbar (1506-1605) at Agra. Persuades Akbar to ban the slaughter of ani-mals on Paryusana (1587-1590). Acarya Jinacandrasuri II (1537-1612), Svetambara Murtipujaka Kharatara Gaccha mendicant leader, persuades the Moghul emperor Akbar (1506-1605) to protect Jain temples from desecration (1591). Banarsidas (1586-1643), lay reformer and mystical poet associated with the Adhyatma Movement in Agra, writes Ardhakathanaka (“Half-a- Story”).

17TH CENTURY C.E.

Muni Anandghan (1603-1673), Svetambara monk and mystical poet, com¬poses hymns in praise of the 24 Tirthankaras. Five reformers, Muni Jivaraja (ca. mid-16th to mid-17th centuries), Muni Dharmasimha (1599-1671), Muni Lavaji (ca. 1609-1659), Muni Dharmadasa (ca. 1645-1703, or 1717), and Muni Hara (17th century) split from branches of the Lonka Gaccha and the Ekal Patriya Panth (a lay movement of unknown origin) and found the principal Sthanakavasi men¬dicant traditions, which still exist today. These mendicants and their lay followers rejected image worship. Mendicants permanently wear a mouth- cloth (muhpatti) and adhere to strict mendicant conduct with an itinerant lifestyle as described in the 32 Svetambara scriptures acceptable to them. Mahopadhyaya Yasovijaya (1624-1688), Svetambara Murtipujaka Tapa Gaccha reformer, authors works on philosophy and logic, including Jainatarkabhasa, Jnanabindu, and Nyayaloka, and a polemical work enti¬tled Adhyatmikamatakhanda. defending the Svetambara view of the nature of an enlightened being and the ability of women to attain liberation. Adhyatma movement flourishes in north Indian cities, including Agra, Banaras, Delhi, Lahore, and in towns near Jaipur (mid-17th to mid-18th centuries). Digambara Terapanthi tradition founded under the influence of the Adhyatma movement in the region of Jaipur, Rajasthan. They reject the authority of bhattarakas (mid-17th century). Dyanatray (1676-1726), Digambara mystical poet associated with the Adhyatma movement in Agra and Delhi, composes liturgies and devotional poetry.

18TH CENTURY C.E.

Pandit Todarmal (fl. first half of the 18th century), leader of the Digambara Terapanth! tradition in Jaipur, writes Moksamargaprakasaka. Gumaniram, son of Pandit Todarmal and leader of the Digambara Terapanthi tradition in Jaipur, establishes the Guman Panth (1770s). Acarya Bhiksu (Muni Bhikhanji) (1726-1803) and four other monks sepa-rate from the Sthanakavasis over disagreement regarding merit-making activities (1760). Founder and first mendicant leader (acarya) of the Svetambara Terapanthi tradition.

19TH CENTURY C.E.

Yatis and Sripujyas predominant in Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant community. Bhattarakas lead the Bisapanthi Digambara community in north India and the undivided Digambara community in south India. Acarya Jaya (1803-1881) appointed fourth mendicant leader of the Svetam-bara Terapanthls (1852). Writes rules of mendicant conduct used today and establishes the annual meeting of all mendicants (maryada mahotsava) and the office of chief nun (sadhvi pramukha). Fully initiated mendicants (samvegi sadhus) of the Svetambara Murti- pujakas and leaders of the lay community begin reform of lax mendicant practices (mid-19th century). Srimad Rajacandra (1867-1901), mystic and reformer, composes works, including Atmasiddhi, about the direct experience of the inner soul. Corresponds with Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi. Followers establish the Kavi Panth. Vircand Raghavji Gandhi (1864-1901) represents Jain community at World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago (1893). Migrations of Jains to east and south Africa.

20TH CENTURY C.E.

Decline of bhattarakas in the Digambara community. Revival of the tradition of naked monks (munis) in the Digambara community. Decline of yatis in the Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant community and disintegration of their mendicant orders headed by sripujyas. Svetambara Murtipujaka mendicant community grows from about two dozen fully initiated mendicants (samvegi sadhus) at the beginning of the 19th century to around 6,800 monks and nuns at the end of the 20th century. Establishment of Jain lay community organizations, including the Bharatavarsiya Digambara Jain Mahasabha (1895), Jain Svetambara Conference (1902), Akhil Bharatavarslya Svetambara Sthanakavasi Jain Conference (1906), Terapanth Sabha (1913), and Akhil Bharatavarsiya Digambara Jaina Parisad (1923). Establishment of Jain institutions of higher education, including Yasovijaya Jain Pathsala, Banaras (Svet., 1902); Syadvada Jain Mahavidyalaya, Banaras (Dig., 1905); Parsvanatha Vidyapith, Banaras (Sthanakavasi, 1937); Jain Vishva Bharati, Ladnun (Svet. TerapanthI, 1970). Kanji Svami (1889-1980), Sthanakavasi monk, renounces his vows and becomes a Digambara layman (1934). Founds the neo-Digambara Kanji Svami Panth at Songadh, Gujarat (1934). Acarya Tulsi (1914-1997) becomes ninth mendicant leader of the Svetambara Terapanthis (1936). Anuvrat movement begun by Svetambara Terapanthi Acarya Tulsi (1949), Centrally organized Sramana Sangha of the Svetambara Sthanakavasls established (1952). Chitrabhanu travels to the United States (1971). Establishes Jain Meditation International Center in New York City. Jain Samaj established in Leicester, U.K. (1973). Reconstituted as Jain Samaj Europe (1980). Celebration of the 2,500th anniversary of Mahavira’s nirvana. Adoption of the Jain pratika (symbol of the Jain faith) (1974). Acarya Sushil Kumar (1926-1994), Sthanakavasi mendicant leader, travels to the United States (1975). Establishes Siddhachalam in Blairstown, New Jersey (1983). Saman/samanI, intermediate class of novice mendicants in the Svetambara TerapanthI tradition, established by Acarya Tulsi (1980). Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA) established (1981). Institute of Jainology (IoJ) established in London (1983). Acarya Mahaprajna becomes 10th mendicant leader of the Svetambara Terapanthls (1994).

21 ST CENTURY C.E.

Celebration of the 26th birth centenary year of Mahavira (2001-2002).