Repetition in Jaina Narrative Literature [Part 4]

Published: 12.04.2012

The paper was published in Indologica Taurinensia (Vol. XI, 1983, pp. 27-75).


§ 7. Specifications vis-ā-vis § 6 (and figs. 1-2)

(Narrative units:) Our analyses (in parentheses) of the nine narrative units of Ant. do not refer to their contents but to the works Which are required to fill the gaps. These works are enumerated after the abbreviation va°REP, e.g. «va°REP (Ant., …)». The titles are abbreviated and appear in alphabetical order. If the varṇaka to be supplied is very short, we put the title of the work in square brackets; if it is very long, we mark this by underlining. Our data is perhaps not very accurate, but it gives an impression of the situation. Again the three types (square brackets, no symbol, underlining) are not to be understood as an attempt at classification, but as a cautious hint. In the case of underlining, the varṇaka is only a varṇaka by name: actually the text to be inserted may cover several folios (see § 6 on «large varṇakas»). Varṇaka-repetition in Ant. is no uniform strategy.

(Variation units:) Here we distinguish between three different types which are marked by raised figures (hero-VAR1-2-3). Figure 1 means that only the name of the hero is given in the text. Figure 2 refers to the technical instruction to repeat the story with a new name for the hero and with some additional substitution: evaṃ (follows the new name for the hero), navara (follows the additional substitution). Figure 3 says that initially the semblance of a true story is created: tea kālea (follow a few words of text). However, there is no complete story, and what matters are only the instructions for repetition (with substitution) which appear at the end of the unit.

There are also intermediate cases, but instead of employing double or triple figures we have used in all these cases figure 2 (which is thus slightly ambiguous).

On the whole, the persons designated by us as heroes (heroines) are in the centre of the stories. But the main point is that these heroes or pseudo-heroes (Gautama etc.) reach salvation. This happens either in this existence or (Varga I) after an intermediate divine existence in Mahāvideha. The two formulas are not restricted to Ant. [25] There existed «moka-accounts» with two allomotifs:

  1. liberation in this existence,
  2. reincarnation as a god and liberation in Mahāvideha.

All references contain the risk of chain formations (text A refers to text B, and text B to text C). The problem becomes acute when we have to say «which» story is to be repeated according to the instructions of a variation unit. There is sometimes an element of double referencing when a series of variations follows after a single case (e.g. compare lines 223-224: repetition of III 9? of I 1?).


§ 8. Further Specifications

Before concluding the treatment of Ant. we have to mention a few points which are not (or not directly) connected with repetition.

The work consists of vargas, adhyayanas, and sūtras. The rationale of sūtra-division is a more general problem. For the adhyayanas we refer the reader to § 6, fig. 2 (right hand side), and to the end of the present section. Here we shall merely discuss the varga division. One might expect that each varga consists of one narrative unit followed by variation cases (i.e. 1 + N adhyayanas). This, however, is not the case, as made clear by figs. 1-2. The jai-phrases form a technical detail which is connected with the vargas. Ant. as such, all of its eight vargas, and all the initial adhyayanas (I, 1; II, 1, etc.) are introduced by jai-phrases. (We will ignore one or two possible irregularities in the case of the adhyayana introductions.) We have marked in figs. 1-2 the lines with the varga introductions (11. 5, 37, 40, etc.) with a single asterisk (see the panels), and the line with the introduction to Ant. (1. 3) with a double asterisk. The jai-phrase for Ant. is preceded by a stereotype introduction, the so-called «Ajja Suhamma frame»: Sudharman - fifth gaṇadhara and spiritual successor of Mahāvīra - stays near the city of Campā. There he is questioned by his disciple and spiritual successor Jambū about the work to be narrated (Jñātādharmakathāḥ, Antakṛddaśāḥ, etc.). [26]

In his translation, L. D. Barnett has supplied the varṇakas for the initial portion of the frame (sources in this case not given in our conspectus). The concluding portion of the frame is found in lines 578-579. This contains one varṇaka which is found on p. 11 of the translation. The colophon (lines 579-582) gives the adhyayana totals for the eight vargas found in Ant. - but there is a minor discrepancy between the extant text and the colophon: varga II has 8 adhyayanas in the text and 10 according to the colophon. Besides that, the colophon uses the term uddeśaka instead of adhyayana.

Varga VIII (10 heroines) employs the patterning of hero-variation for the exposition of ten different modes of fasting. Thus the variation units are more substantial than in the previous cases. We have therefore given the names of the heroines (Sukālī, Mahākālī, etc. besides Kālī or no. 1). Otherwise we mentioned the names only in the case of the narrative units (see the list in § 6 and the conspectus). The numbers for adhyayanas VIII, 2-10 have been added.

A few proper names (in quotation-marks) have been given in their original Prakrit form.


Jump to occurrence in text


Jump to occurrence in text


Indologica Taurinensia

Compiled by PK


Click on categories below to activate or deactivate navigation filter.

  • Institutions
    • History / Studies
      • Jainology
        • Sanskrit and Prakrit
          • Center for Jaina Studies FU Berlin [CfJS.FU], Germany
            • Share this page on:
              Page glossary
              Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
              1. Das
              2. Fasting
              3. Gautama
              4. Gaṇadhara
              5. Indologica Taurinensia
              6. Mahāvīra
              7. PK
              8. Prakrit
              9. Schubring
              10. Uddeśaka
              Page statistics
              This page has been viewed 1676 times.
              © 1997-2021 HereNow4U, Version 4.5
              Contact us
              Social Networking

              HN4U Deutsche Version
              Today's Counter: