Early Giithaa sculptures

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 29 01:58:21 UTC 1998

*Which early bhakti phenomena in Jainism do you have in mind?

Actually, I have not read anything on Jainism yet.
Suggestions for me please.

Ainslie T. Embree, Encyclopaedia of Asian history, 1988
Bhakti, p. 154
"Early Bhakti: The ancient roots of Vedic practice are easy to
establish, since the relevant texts have been preserved. Equally
ancient bhakti texts do not exist, but it would be a mistake to
conclude that the emphases of bhakti religion are on that account
more recent in their origins. When non-Vedic religion does begin
to leave its traces - in early Buddhist and Jain texts - much of
it sounds like bhakti. In these texts one hears of such
characteristic bhakti practices as the enthusiastic offering of
flowers and perfumes; the love of music, singing, and dancing;
the veneration of particularly sanctified places. The divinities
who are the objects of worship change over time, from the spirits
and snakes whose images dominate the earliest Hindu sculptures ..."

 In South India, about 100 short one- or two-line Tamil inscriptions
 exist. They are dated from 2nd century BC to 1st century AD.
 Most of them are by patrons to Jain monks, excavating a rock
 shelter, .. In the formation and growth of Tamil literature
 and grammar, the contributions from Jainism are quite large.
 Similarly, in the jump-starting of Kannada language and
 nurturing its growth, Jain stamp is highly visible.
 In PaaTalipuram (modern Cuddalore),a Jain monk translated
 LokavibhAga from Prakrit to Sanskrit in early 5th century.
 Buddhist monks were doing the same things. eg., Buddhadatta
 in Kaveri delta. The schools (paLLi in Tamil) started by
 Jain and Buddhist (?) monks were spreading literacy.
 People started supporting these institutions and managers
 with money and other resources.

 Seeing all the support for heretic religions and the eventual
 result that they will lose the mass following, the Hindu priests
 devised a process, that allowed popular emotional outpourings in the
 peoples' native language. This process, known as
 bhakti mass movement,  first gets going  in the Tamil South and
 spreads northward.

 With kind regards,
 N. Ganesan

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