A Brief Survey of Jaina Prakrit and Sanskrit Literature

Posted: 17.01.2012

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The modern scholars have written many valuable and lengthy accounts of Jaina literature, Jaina logic and Jaina philosophy. They are useful for all types of scholars. In this project which is undertaken by Dr. Mrs. Nalini Joshi (Prof. H.R.Jain Chair, University of Pune) is not one more survey of Jaina literature (Sanskrit and Prakrit) only. It has a ring of originality. She has taken a brief survey of the Jaina writing in various types of Prakrit renderings. Till fifth century, the Jaina traditions were maintained orally. Jaina writings, especially in Ardhamāgadhī are available from 5th century A.D. Dr. Nalini Joshi has given a brief but exhaustive survey of Jaina literature. Dr. Mrs. Joshi has presented century wise, language wise, author wise and subject wise survey in a tabular form of the entire Jaina literature written in five middle Indo-Aryan languages in her work - viz. Ardhamāgadhī, Jaina Śaurasenī, Jaina Mahārāshtrī, Sanskrit and Apabhrarmśa. Generally in the earlier period, books of the history Jainology and Jaina literature in all these five languages were not presented comprehensively. The emphasis on languages was not uniform. In this survey, the authors of each century are all noted in a tabular form, covering all the five languages with the best possible methodological approach.

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