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Jainism in Maharashtra
2 La grotte Jain Indra Sabha Ellora Caves, India.jpg
Indra Sabha, Ellora Caves
Regions with significant populations
 India
Maharashtra
Languages
Marathi and Kannada
Religion
Jainism

Jainism has been present in Maharashtra since ancient times. The famous Ellora Caves demonstrate that Jainism was part of a thriving religious culture in Maharashtra in premodern times.

History

981 A.D. Marathi inscription at the foot of Bahubali statue at Jain temple in Shravanabelagola is one of the earliest known Marathi inscription found. It was derived from Jain-Prakrit language.
981 A.D. Marathi inscription at the foot of Bahubali statue at Jain temple in Shravanabelagola is one of the earliest known Marathi inscription found. It was derived from Jain-Prakrit language.

Jainism in Maharashtra has a long history. The oldest inscription in Maharashtra is a 2nd-century BC Jain inscription in a cave near Pale village in the Pune District. It was written in the Jain Prakrit and includes the Navkar Mantra. The first Marathi inscription known is at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka near the left foot of the statue of Bahubali, dated 981 CE.

Maharashtra was ruled many Jain rulers such as the Rashtrakuta dynasty and the Shilaharas. Many of forts were built by kings from these dynasties and thus Jain temples or their remains are found in them. Texts such as the Shankardigvijaya and Shivlilamruta suggest that a large number of Marathi people followed jainism in the ancient period.

Jain communities in present day Maharashtra

Office of the Hindi Granth Karyalay, Mumbai, publishers of books on Jainism
Office of the Hindi Granth Karyalay, Mumbai, publishers of books on Jainism
Kumbhoj Jain temple is seat for Bhattaraka

There are many native jain communities in present day Maharashtra. The communities tend to be endogamous, and generally do not intermarry with the Jains who have arrived from North India.They belong to the Digambar sect.The four largest communities by numbers are:

Each of the above communities are affiliated to their own Matha and led by the Matha leader called Bhattaraka. In addition to the above four, there are several smaller native Maharashtrian Jain communities.

Jains from other regions have a large population in Maharashtra. Majority of them are from Rajasthan and Gujarat. Some of them are from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Some of these communities have been in Maharashtra for centuries, and are now indistinguishable from the native residents of Maharashtra. They are divided in following large groups:

Religious organizations

Main article: Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha

The Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha is a religious and social service organization of the Jains of South India. The organization is headquartered at Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.[3] The association is credited with being one of the first Jain associations to start reform movements among the Jains in modern India.[4][5] The organization mainly seeks to represent the interests of the native Jains of Maharashtra (Marathi Jains) and Karnataka (Kannada Jains).

Jainism in Mumbai

Main article: Jainism in Mumbai

Mumbai has one of the largest populations of Jains amongst all the cities in India. Mumbai also has numerous Jain temples.

Jain Tirthas and Temples

Painting inside Indra Sabha cave at Ellora Caves
Statue of Ahimsa - Largest Jain statue

Gallery

Notable Marathi Jains

See also

References

  1. ^ Bhanu, B. V. (2004). People of India: Maharashtra - Kumar Suresh Singh, Anthropological Survey of India - Google Boeken. ISBN 9788179911013. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  2. ^ Hassan, Syed Siraj ul (1989). The Castes and Tribes of H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions - Syed Siraj Ul Hassan - Google Boeken. ISBN 9788120604889. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  3. ^ Bhanu, B. V. (2004). People of India: Maharashtra - Kumar Suresh Singh - Google Books. ISBN 9788179911006. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  4. ^ Carrithers, Michael; Humphrey, Caroline (4 April 1991). The Assembly of Listeners: Jains in Society - Google Books. ISBN 9780521365055. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  5. ^ Markham, Ian S.; Sapp, Christy Lohr (26 May 2009). A World Religions Reader - Google Books. ISBN 9781405171090. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  6. ^ Jahaj mandir Archived 13 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)