Lineages (RE: Madhava, Vidyaranya, Sringeri, and Kulke)

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Mon May 22 15:53:32 UTC 2000

Prof. Zydenbos wrote:
>To give two other parallels ....: the Jaina presence at
>Shravanabelagola is ancient, tradition placing its beginning
>in the 3rd cent. BC, but it seems that it was only in the
>10th century that a matha was established with support from
>the Ganga dynasty.

That is correct. While Shravanabelagola as a Jain center is older,
the current seat (of MulaSangh-DeshiyaGaNa-PustakaGachchha) was established
later. Amoghavarsha (815-880) of Rashtrakuta clan had a general
Vira-Bankeya-Rasa. He had settled a city Bankapur. Bankapur became the host
for a Jain institute. Mahapurana of Gunabhadra was released here in 898. The
last Rashtrakuta king retired to Shravanabelgola in 973. In 982, a year
after the consecretation of Gommateshvar, he died in sallekhana. Around this
time, the school at Bankapur shifted to Shravanabelgola.

Incidentally it should be noted that the Jain Matha at Humacha,
about 30 miles north of Sringeri, is older. It belongs to the
MulaSangh-NandiSangh-BalatkaraGana-SaraswatiGachchha (MNBS) order.

The MNBS has been the most widespread order in India, which had seats at
some time or another at Surat (Guj.), Idar (Guj.), Ajmer (Raj.), Jaipur
(Raj.), Chittor (Raj.), Nagaur(Raj.), Delhi, Gwalior (MP), Chanderi(MP),
Sironj(MP) and many other places. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of
Tirthankara idols from Surat to Decca (Bangladesh) mentioning the MNBS
order, having been mostly installed by the Bhatttaraks of this order in the
past 7-8 centuries. Many of these Bhattarakas were prolific authors. In the
early part of this century the existing Bhattaraka seats in North India
became vacant.

Bhattaraka Devendrakirti of Humcha heads the original home of the order. I
think he is the only surviving Bhattaraka of the MNBS order. It is believed
that the Bhattaraka seat at Humcha was founded in 8th cent. during the reign
of JinadattaRai.  The Mahamandaleshvar Chandarayaras in 1048 AD had made a
donation to a Bhattaraka of BalagaraGana at Balligame near Banavasi.

Since a Bhattaraka is a semi-ascetics, he is not restricted by the ordinary
rules for  Jain ascetics. The present Bhattaraka has presided over
installation ceremonies from California to Australia.


Ordinarily Jain ascetics are prohibited from staying in a place longer than
a few days, except during the rainy season.

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