Translated by Cavelly Boria, Brahmen, for Major C. Mackenzie1

[Extracted from Asiatic Researches, vol. 9, 1809, p. 244-86.]

In former times, the Jains being without a Guru, or spiritual director, to guide them in a good course of life, Vrishabhanatha Tirthacar2 was incarnate in this terrestrial world; and reformed or corrected their errors; and made laws, purposely designed for this sect: he took upon himself the office of Guru of the Jains. At this time there existed five sects, viz. 1 Sanchya, 2 Saugata, 3 Charvica, 4 Yoga, 5 Mimansa.

This Guru composed several books, on the laws, customs, ceremonies and regulations of the Jain religion, from his profound knowledge, for the use and benefit of mankind.


The son of this Guru, who was called Bharata Chacravarti, conquered the terrestrial world, with all its islands; and ruled, for a considerable time, as chief sovereign, above all other inferior princes.

Before the death of the Guru, as he had placed his son Bmarata-Chacravarti in the government of the state, he appointed one of his disciples, in his own room, to guide and instruct the people of this religion, in following his instructions and laws; he gave him the sacred name of Ajita,3 and departed from this world.

Since that period, the following principal Tirthacars, or pontiffs, were incarnate in this world at different times.

1 Vrishabhanatha, 2 Ajita, 3 Sambhava, 4 Abhinandana, 5 Sumati, 6 Padmaprabha, 7 Suparswa, 8 Chandraprabha, 9 Pushpa-danta, 10 Sitala, 11 Sreyaxsa, 12 Vasupujya, 13 Vimala, 14 Ananta, 15 Dharhia, 16 Santi, 17 Cunthu, 18 Ara, 19 Malli, 20 Munisuvrata, 21 Nami, 22 Nemi, 23 Parswa, 24 Vardhamana.

These were the first Gurus, or pontiffs of this religion, who, as twenty-four incarnations of their first Guru, appeared in the beginning of the present age, or Cali-yuga.

Up to the beginning of the Cali-yuga, the world was ruled, at twelve different times, by twelve Nara Chacravartis, or monarchs, among whom are, 1 Bharata, 2 Sagara, 3 Maghavan, 4 Sanatcumara, 5 Santi, 6 Cunthu, 7 Arasubhuma,4 8 Jayasena, 9 Harishena, 10 Brahmedatta. These sovereigns of the world are said to have been Jains.


Besides these, nine Ardhachacratartis ruled at different times; their names are, 1 Aswagriva, 2 Taraca, 3 Meruca, 4 Nisunbha, 5 Caitabha, 6 Bali, 7 Prauarana, 8 Ravaiva, 9 Jarasandha: these were renowned by the title of Vasudevacula.5

The government of these kings was overthrown by a race distinguished by the honorable title of Prati-asudeva-cula, viz. 1 Triprishta, 2 Dwiprishta, 3 Swayambhu, 4 Purushottama, 5 Purushavara, 6 Pundarica, 7 Datta, 8 Lacshmidhara, 9 Narayana.

The title of the other inferior kings was Mandaladhisa. These Narachacravartis and Ardliachacravartis, wresting the sovereignty from each other, ruled at different periods, up to the beginning of the present age.

Narachacrwcarti signifies entire sovereign, ruling, without interruption, the six parts or divisions of the terrestrial world.6 Ardhachacravarti signifies half sovereign; or who ruled three Chandas or divisions of the earth. The Mandaladhisas were Rajas of particular divisions: these governed the world, at different periods, to the expiration of the last age.

In the beginning of this age, during the life of Vardhamana Swami, who was the twenty-fourth Tirthacar, or pontiff of the Jain religion, there was a Mandaladhisa, called Shentica Maharaj. In his reign, the religion and people of the Jain sect were protected; he reigned for a considerable time at Rajagrihapur, and departed from this world. After his death, the kings Chaundaraya, Janantaraya [p.247] and other princes (nine Cholarus and nine Ballols7) governed the dominions of Hindustan, to the time of Bijjalraya, who ruled with renown in the city of Calyana. Afterward, the Dacshin of Hindustan was conquered by the Sabdapramas,8 or those who receive and admit the authority of the Vedas. Next, the kingdom was ruled by Pratap-Rudra, Raja of Voranggall; and, after his death, by the kings of Bijaynagar, called Rayil; till the time of Crishna-Raya and Rama-Raya; from which period, the Dacshin fell under different Musulman governments.

The Jains are divided into four classes or casts, in like manner as the followers of the Vedas, viz. Brahmens, Cshatris, Vaisyas, and Sudras; the Brahmens are the priests, or ministers of religion, for the other three casts; their duty is to study the Puranas and Sastras, but they have no Vedas. However, they have the Agama Sastra, treating of prayers and other religious duties. They worship the fire, in the ceremony of marriage, and in that of initiation (Upainayana).9 The Jains observe the time of mourning for their deceased relations, according to their casts, as follows: an ascetic or Yati should mourn for the death of his relations one minute; Brahmens are to mourn ten days; Cshatris, five; Vaisyas, twelve; Sudras, fifteen. Their lower or inferior cast consists of the Pariyas or Chandalas.

There are four orders of priests among the Jains, as among Hindus in general, 1 Brahmachari or student, 2 Grihastha or householder, 3 Vanaparasta or hermit, 4 Bhicshuca or mendicant.


There are sixteen ceremonies, which the Jains, as well as the followers of the Vedas, observe. Among which are, 1 (Garbadhana) the ceremony at the consummation of a marriage, 2 (Simant) adorning a married woman's head with flowers, when she is six months gone with child, 3 (Jutacarma) ceremony on the birth of a child, 4 (Namacarma) on naming a child, 5 ( Annaprasuna) when, at six months old, or within a year, the child is weaned, or first fed with other sustenance than his mother's milk, 6 boring the ear, shaving the head, and placing the sacred thread round his neck, 7 (Vivaha) the first marriage, or rather betrothing, 8 (Sastrobhasa) the ceremony observed when the young lads begin to read the Sastras, at the age of five years, five months, and five days, 9 they also observe other ceremonies, together with those of funerals, &c. &c. &c.

They perform the ceremony of Upanayana, or initiation, for a boy, between five and nine years of age; which is the period when children begin to study the books of the law. A student, till he is married, should tie only a thread round his loins, with a rag to cover his nakedness: he should carry constantly in his hand a small staff. This is practised till his wedding-day; when, as soon as he is married, he attains the second rank, or that of householder: then he may dress properly at his pleasure; and should now endeavour, by labour, service, or trade, to provide for, and subsist his family: he should act in all respects agreeably to the instructions of his preceptor. Besides these duties, there are six particularly assigned, to be performed in the station of householder, as follows: 1 Worshipping God; or the images of the ancient saints. 2 Venerating spiritual parents. 3 Studying or reading their holy books. 4 (Tipasya) internal or mental devotion, abstracted from all thoughts but that of the deity. 5 Making [p.249] and fulfilling of vows for the attainment of wishes. 6 Giving to the poor.

There are three classes of Yatis, or ascetics, among the Jains, viz. Amarata, Mahavrata, Nirvana. To attain the rank of Amarata, one must forsake his family, entirely cutting off his hair, throwing away the sacred thread, holding in his hand a bundle of peacock's feathers, and an earthen pot (Camandalu), and wearing only tawny coloured clothes: he must reside for some time in one of their temples. He next proceeds to the second rank Mahavrata; when, totally abandoning any degree of elegance in his dress, he uses only a rag to cover his nakedness, as a Brahmachari: he still retains the fan and pot; he must not shave the head with razors, but employs his disciples to pull out the hair by the roots.10 On the day, on which this operation is performed, he abstains from food; at other times he eats only once, daily, of rice put in the palm of his hand. Having, for a considerable time, remained in this state of probation, he attains the third degree of Nirvana; he then lays aside even rags, and, being quite naked, he eats, once every second day, of rice, put by others in the palm of his hand; carrying about with him the clay pot and a bundle of peacock's feathers: it is the business of his disciples to pull out his hairs; and he is not to walk, or move about, after the sun sets. He now is called by the dignified title of Nirvan; and the Jains worship him as god of their tribe, in like manner as the images, which they worship in their temples, of their ancient Nirvans or Gurus. Yet they say, that these are not the likeness of God; "because no one knows God, or has seen his likeness, that he should be able to describe him." However, they adore these images of their Nirvana-naths as gods.


Agreeably to their laws, the Jains ought to make three ablutions daily, in the morning, afternoon, and evening. In the change and vicissitudes of all things, that degree of strictness is omitted, and they now wash only once a day before they eat: generally they eat their food on leaves, and sometimes in brass vessels; but that is not practised in this country.

The Cshatris, Vaistas, and Sudras, among the Jains, may eat victuals dressed by Jain Brahmens; but Brahmens never eat food prepared by any but their own tribe.

"To abstain from slaughter is the highest perfection; to kill any living creature is sin." Hence the Jains abstain from food after sunset, lest sin be incurred by depriving any animal, even the minutest insect, of its life, in their food; for the same reason, they never drink water without straining it through cloth.

The principal tenets of their religion, translated from a stanza of their books, follows: "The Jains should abstain from the following things, viz. eating at night; slaying any animal; eating the fruit of those trees that give milk, pumpkins, young bambu plants; tasting honey, flesh; taking the wealth of others; taking by force a married woman; eating flowers, butter, cheese; and worshipping the gods of other religions. To abandon entirely the above-mentioned, is to be a proper Jain. The Jains (even the young lads) never taste honey, as it would occasion expulsion from their cast. They never taste intoxicating liquors, nor any other forbidden drink.

A man who neglects to observe due precautions, that no living creature be exposed to danger, from the following five domestic occupations,11 will not [p.251] be admitted to the sacred presence of God. 1 In splitting firewood, 2 Forming the floor, and smearing it with cow-dung, 3 Cleaning the fire-place, 4 Straining water, 5 Sweeping the house. When about to perform these offices, he should first be careful that there he no insect, for it is a mortal sin to hurt any living being.

The women should marry before their monthly courses appear; though, owing to changes, and particularly their poverty and depression, they are now obliged to put off this ceremony till long after their proper age, for want of money to defray the expense. When a woman is unclean, she must stay at a distance from her relations, in unchanged clothes, for four days. On the morning of the fifth day she is permitted to mix with her family, after ablution.

A Jain woman never marries but once; and, if the husband dies when she is young, she must remain a widow as long as she lives, being forbidden to wear ornaments or delicate apparel, or to use nice food. In the western quarter, towards Saondha, Caodyal, &c. when the husband departs from the world, the widow's head is shaved in like manner as the Brahmen widows of other countries; but this custom has gone out of use in this country for a considerable time: a widow never dresses elegantly; and is not allowed to wear glass rings, or the Mangalashtra, (an ornament on the wedding-day, tied round the neck of the bride by the husband,) nor to use the yellow and red colours, or paint, by which married women are particularly distinguished. While the husband lives, they may wear all ornaments allowed by the law: opulent people of this tribe are still permitted to dress like other Hindus, in all kind of costly apparel suited to their station.


When a man dies, they burn the corpse, and throw the ashes into water; the rich cast the ashes into rivers. They never perform other obsequies, as their law says, "the spirit is separate or distinct from the body, which is composed of five elements; when, therefore, the corpse is burnt, the several parts which composed it, return to their former state: consequently, to the deceased, no ceremony is due." After death, as nothing of him remains, therefore they omit to perform the monthly and annual ceremonies, which other Hindus observe on this occasion; and they give these reasons in vindication, "A man should feed himself with the best food, while he lives in this world, as his body never returns after it is burnt."

They further say, that the foolish people of other tribes, being deficient in sacred knowledge, spend money in vain, on account of deceased relations: for how can a dead man feel satisfaction in ceremonies, and in the feeding of others? "even a lamp no longer gives light by pouring more oil into it, after its flame is once extinguished." Therefore it is vain to make feasts and ceremonies for the dead; and, if it be wished to please relations, it is best to do so while they are yet living, "what a man drinketh, giveth, and eateth in this world, is of advantage to him, but be carrieth nothing with him at his end."

"A man of sense should believe only what he seeth with his own eyes; and should never believe what he heareth from others." The Jains do not (like the followers of the Vedas) believe, that this world exists by the supreme power of God; for they say, that the world is eternal, and that its changes are natural. They deny, that the world is wholly subject to destruction, for all things are born by the power of nature; God only is exempt from Carman or the frailties and inconveniencies of nature.


As the Jains profess, not to put faith in oral testimony, and only believe in what is perceptible to their own organs of sense; therefore, they do not believe that God is in the heavens above, "because no one ever saw him," and they deem it impossible for others to see him; but they believe in their Tirthacars, as their ancestors have seen and given a full description of the first prophet or Guru, who attained the station of Nirvana by his extraordinary perfections and actions, to the satisfaction of mankind down to the present age. Since his time, they have images of the several Gurus, who succeeded him, and were incarnate as protectors of their religion. These naked images they worship in their temples with all due ceremonies; they consider them as gods, or rather as representatives of God, whom they describe as follows:—"He has a likeness, and no likeness; he may be compared to an image of crystal: He has eight good qualities, and is exempt from eight evil qualities. He is all wise; all seeing; the father, or the origin, of all; enjoying eternal bliss; without name, without relation, or beginning; infinite; undescribable." The eight evil qualities, from which the nature of God is exempt, are ignorance, mental blindness, pain incident to nature, the distinction of name, of tribe, delusion, mortality, dependence. He who possesses these good qualities, and has overcome these evils, or is superior to them, is the God of the Jains, or Jineswara, being incarnate in the shape or body of one of their Gurus, or Tirthacars. Therefore, the Jains worship the images of their Gurus, as the means of attaining the following stations:—1 (Saloca) a station whence God is beheld at a distance; 2 (Samipa) one in the presence of, or near, God; 3 (Sarupa) similarity to God; 4 (Sayoga) union with God. According to these several gradations, he belongs either to the order of, 1st, (Grihastha) a householder; 2dly, (Anuvrata) the lowest rank of ascetics; 3dly, (Mahavrata) the second; or 4thly, (Nirvana) the highest. [p.254] But a bad man, who leads an evil course of life, in contradiction to their sacred laws, departs at his end to hell, or Naraca.

The Jains of this country never follow any other trade than merchandise. They wear a cloth round the loins, a turband on the head, and a jacket to cover the body; and put a mark with sandal powder on the middle of their foreheads: some have a small circlet with red powder, in the centre of the sandal mark, by way of further decoration.

The following is the formula used by the Jains of the Carnatac, on beginning to perform their ceremonies.

"Now in the holy religion of Adi-Brahman, of the philosopher who was created by the supreme power of God; and in the centre of the three worlds, in the central world, and in the island of Jambudwipa, (in which appears the renowed Jambu tree;) southward of the great mountain of Maha-Meru, in the land of Bharat, on the good soil of the renowned division of Carnat'aca-Desa, in the village or town of — , and in the — part or quarter of the present age of Cali-yuga; and it being now within the fifth division of time; according to the Saca of Raja Vicramarca, (as accepted by many great and excellent people, who observe the gracious laws), and in the present year of Salivahana, and in the present year of the cycle month of fortnight of and on this holy day, (including also weeks, stars, signs, hours, and minutes,) I now begin this," &c. &c. &c.

The preliminary form of addressing letters by the Jains, to one another, is as follows, viz.

"To him, who possesses all good qualities, who performs all charities (or bestows alms), according to [p.255] the laws, who observes the rules of the Jains, who has zeal to repair the Jain temples, who perseveres in observing the ceremonies of Ashtami and Chaturilasi, (8th and 14th of each half month;) he who purifies his head by the drops of the sandal water, in which the images of the Jains are bathed, to such I bow my head," &c. &c.

As the Brahmens, who follow the Vedas, fast on the day called Ecadasi, (11th of each fortnight;) in like manner the Jains fast on the 8th and 14th days. (Ashtami and Chaturdasi), twice a fortnight: they also worship the serpent Naga, on the festival of Anantachaturdasi, in like manner as other Hindus, and tie over their shoulders a red thread.

At this time, the Jains have four Mathadhipas, or chief pontiffs, at the following places, 1 Penugonda or Penaconda, 2 Canchi or Conjeveram, 3 Collapur, 4 Delhi.

Their Sannyasis, for a long time back, have resided in these places, with power over all those professing their religion; these pontiffs teach their laws, duties and customs; and, if they observe any irregularities among their flocks, punish them according to the nature of the offence.

The Jains intermarry with women of other families, or Gotras, and eat with the disciples of their several priests and casts. But, though the Jains of all countries are of the same religion, they should not employ the Gurus of one Matha, or college, to attend funerals, and perform the ceremonies of another; but they are to behave with respect and civility to them, on account of their profession and rank.

Sravana-Belligola is the principal residence of the Jain Gurus: even the Jains, below the Ghats, consider [p.256] it as the chief place; but with the permission of the head pontiff, as it is too distant from them, his disciples established three subordinate Gurus, in three different places, below the western Ghats, at Mooda, Beedcery, Caroocollom, and Soda. Jain Sannyasis now reside in these places, to attend to the laws and ceremonies of their religion.

There is a famous image, of eighteen times the height of man, upon a rock near Belligola, named Gomateswar Swami.12

In the books of the Jains, it is mentioned that there was formerly a golden image, of 500 times man's height, at Padmanabhpur, which was inundated by the sea; and they believe that it can still be sometimes seen in the water.

They generally account modestly for all their tenets, and conduct themselves with propriety; and never assert that their bodies are eternal, and that there is no God; nor do they, like the Baudhists, say, "After death there is no pain in the flesh, or feeling: since it feels not pain, nor death, what harm is there in feeding upon it, when it is necessary to procure health and strength."

Charucirti Acharya,

Their Chief Pontiff, at Belligola, in Mysore.

FOR the information of mankind, be it known, that the foundation of ages or times is countless; that the origin of Carina, or passion, is inconceivable; for the origin of the soul, or spirit, is too ancient to be [p.257] known, therefore, we ought to believe, that human kind is ignorant of the true knowledge of the origin of things, which is known only to the Almighty or Adis'wana, whose state is without beginning or end; who has obtained eternal victory over all the frailties of nature and worldly affections.

There are two great divisions of time or ages, established in the universe by God; called Avasarpini, and Utsarpini: each of them are reckoned at ten Crors, of Crors of Sagaropamas.13 Utsarpini is divided into six portions, which are named, 1 Atiduchamci, 2 Duchama, 3 Duchama Hachama, 4 Suchama Duchama, 5 Suchama Suchama, 6 Suchama. The second age, Avasarpini, is also divided into six parts, by name, 1 Suchama, 2 Suchama Suchama, 3 Suchama Duchoma, 4 Duchama Suchama, 5 Duchama, 6 Atiduchama. These two grand ages, eras, or periods, as well as their divisions, revolve for ever in the universe, like the course of the fortnights, and the increase and decrease of the moon, in the regions frequented by mankind. The number of these regions is a hundred and seventy; ten of which are distinguished by the names of five Bharatas, and five Airavatas. These divisions are particularly explained in the book called Trilocasataca.

Among the ages above-named, the revolution of four Crors of Crors of Sagaropamas was assigned to the first, or Suchama. During that age, men subsisted on the produce of ten different Calpatricshas, or celestial trees, called Bhojananga, Vastranga, Bhushandnga, Malanga, Grihanga, Racsh'rudnga Jyotiranga, Taryduga, and Bhajananga. Thus men used to subsist on the spontaneous produce of the trees; and kings ruled not the earth; all were abundantly [p.258] happy; and the people of that age were distinguished by the name Uttama-bhoga-bhumi-pravartacas, supremely happy inhabitants of the earth.

On the commencement of the second age, Suchama Suc'hama, which lasted for three Crors of Crors of Sagaropamas, the miraculous gifts of the heavenly trees were less than in the former age, though they still supplied the wants of mankind and their subsistence; but the men of that age were inferior in complexion, stature, strength, and longevity: hence they were called Madhyama-bhoga-bhumi-pravartacas, moderately happy inhabitants of the earth.

This was followed by the third age, Suchama Duchama: its measure is two Crors of Crors of Sagaropamas. During this period, the people were still more straitened in the produce of the Calpavricshas, as well as inferior in longevity, color, health and happiness: the people of this age were named Jaghanya-bhoga-bhiimi-pravartacas, or least happy inhabitants of the earth.

In these periods there were born, at different times, fourteen Mantis, by name, 1 Pratisruti, 2 Sanmati, 3 Cshe'mancara, 4 Cshemandhara, 5 Srihancara, 6 Srimandhara,14 7 Vimalavahana, 8 Chacshushman, 9 Yasaswi, 10 Abhichandra, 11 Chandrabha, 12 Marudeva, 13 Prasannajita, and 14 Nabhiraja. The last Manu, having married Marudeva, begot a son, named Vrishabanatha Tirthacar.

The fourth age, called Duchama Suchama, is in measure 42000 years less than the amount of one Cror of Crors of Sagaropamas; and no miraculous fruits were produced in this age. [p.259] Before the commencement of the fourth age of the Avasarpini, when the time of destruction appeared to be nearly approaching to mortals or mankind, through the disappearance of the Calpavricshas or celestial trees, Vrishabhaisratha Tirthacar was incarnate, in this world, as son of the fourteenth Menu, Na'bhiraja, at the city of Ayodhya. By his auspicious birth (at the prayer of mankind, who were distressed for food, and were dying;) and by his instructions, the knowledge of good and bad, of possible and impossible, and of the means of acquiring the advantages of earth and of heaven, was obtained. He also, arranged the various duties of mankind, and allotted to men the means of subsistence, viz. Asi the sword, Masi letters (literally ink), Crishi agriculture, Vanijya commerce, Phupala attendance on cattle. Upon this arrangement, he became king over all mankind, and composed the four sacred books, called Prathamanuyoga, Carananuyoga, Charananuyoga, and Dravyanuyoga. Thus Vrishaihanatha Tirthacar established the religion of the Jains, in its four classes, or casts, of Brahmens, Cshatris, Vaisyas, and Sudras; and delivered the charge of those sacred books to their care. These writings becoming obsolete, and the language not being understood by the common people since that time, the meaning of the original has been explained, in various works, in the language of different countries. He also composed several books on the sciences, for the improvement of mankind.

After he had settled and arranged laws and regulations of all kinds, mankind, from that period, began to follow his institutions, looking on him, in every respect, as equal to God; and, upon his departure from this world, to Mocsha, or the state of the Almighty, his image was venerated as Jaineswar, or the Lord of Jains: as he had early subdued, by his wisdom, all worldly affections, and was relieved from restraints and carnal ties.


Before the departure of Vrishabhanatha Tirthacar, his wives were Asasvati and Sunandadevi; by the former he had a son, named Bhakata Chacravarti; and by the latter Gomatesvara Swa'mi. The eldest, Bharata Chacravarti, ruled over the whole of the six divisions of the earth, and named it Bharatacshetra; from that period the earth bears his name. The metropolis of this king was Ayodhya (or Oude). After he had ruled for a considerable time, he appointed his younger brother, Gomate's'wara Swami, to the government. Then abandoning the (Carma) actions or affections of mankind, he obtained the fruits of his sacred contemplation, and proceeded to Mocsha, or heavenly salvation.

Gomatesvara Swami, after he was charged with the government, ruled for a considerable time, in a town named Padmanabhpur; in the end,15 he attained (Nirvana) beatitude in heaven, and departed thither. Since his death, the people worship him, in all respects, as Jineswara, or God. From that period, twenty-four Tirthacars have passed, during the age of Avasarpini, up to the end of the Dwapara-yuga.

According to the Jains, there were born other twenty-four Tirthacars in the world, during the first age, besides the twenty-four from the birth of Vrishabhanatha Swami. The names of the Tirthacars of Atitacala or past times, are as follows, 1 Nirmana,16 2 Sagara, 3 Mahanatha,17 4 Vimalahprabha,18 5 Sridhara,19 6 Sudanta,20 7 Amalaprabha,21 8 Sudara,22 9 Angira, 10 Sumati, [p.261] 11 Sindhu,23 12 Cusum'njari, 13 Sivaganga,24 14 Utsa'ha, 15 Ganswara, 16 Parameswara, 17 Vimaleswara,25 18 Yasodhaka, 19 Crushta,26 20 Ganamurti,27 21 Sidbhamati, 22 Sribhapa,28 23 Atriconta,29 24 Santi.

To the Tirthacars, who departed to Mocsha in the times of antiquity, the Jains pay a respectful adoration, even more assiduously, and with greater veneration, than to their Tirthacars, who were incarnate, according to their accounts, in the age, or period of time, called Utsarpini.

In their prophecies it is said, that the following are the names of the Tirthacars, yet to be incarnate, in the future or next Utsarpini period: 1 Maha'padma,30 2 Suradeva, 3 Suparswana,31 4 Swayamrabha, 5 Sadatmabhuti,32 6 De'vaputra,33 7 Culaputra,34 8 Udanca,35 9 Crusta,36 10 Jayaceti,37 11 Munisuvrata,38 12 Ara, 13 Nepompa,39 14 Nishcashaya, 15 Vipuaca, 16 Nirmalla, 17 Chitragupta, 18 Samadhigupta,40 19 Syarambhu,41 20 Anuvarttaca,42 21 Jaya,43 22 Vimalla,44 23 Devapala,45 24 Anantavirya.46

Their ancient Tirthacars, being endowed with the gift of prophecy, predicted the future succession of these Tirthacars, for the information of the world.


Thus it is truth, that time and age gradually revolve for ever; yet no decay or destruction arises hence to the universe, and its various worlds, to the earth, to spirits, and to souls; but the mortal bodies of mankind and Dhatas perish, while the Vimanas47 endure.


IN ancient times, an image was at this place, self formed from earth, under the shape of Gomat Iswara Swami, which Ravana, the monarch of the Racshases, worshipped to obtain happiness. After many ages were elapsed, and on the access of the present age, a king of the southern dominions reigned, named Rachamalla. His minister of finance was named Chamunda-Raya, who was remarkably devout in the performance of the religious duties of the Jains. It was reported to him, by a travelling merchant, that there was, in the city of Padmanabh-pura, an image of Gomat Iswara Swami. On hearing this relation, he made a vow, before all the people, not to drink milk, until he saw the image of Gomat Iswara. When he retired from the public hall to his own apartments, he found his mother also disposed to follow the same resolution; and they both [p.263] went immediately into the presence of Sinvananda Acharya, who was their sacred minister of religion, and acquainted him with the vow, and obtained his consent to the journey. Then setting off, with a moderate retinue of the four descriptions, (horse, foot, elephants and cars,) towards Padmandbh-pura, he halted at this village, during a few days, for refreshment; and being informed by the inhabitants, that there was a sacred temple of the Jain worship on the summit of Chandragiri, which was founded by Chandragupta Maharaj, he there performed the customary ceremonies and worship. As he slept there on that night, the heavenly nymph Cushmandama appeared to him in a dream, and recommended to him to desist from his intended journey to Padmandbh-pura, as it was too distant; and to worship another image of Gomat Iswara Swami, eighteen times man's height, on the mountain of Indragiri; equal for miracles to the image that was in height fifty-two fathoms at Padmandbh-pura. To make the discovery, he was directed to shoot an arrow towards the south, and follow its flight; by this means he would discover the image, on the spot where that arrow should fall.

On the next morning, Chamundaray acted according to the advice given to him in his dream, and was extremely rejoiced at the discovery of that wonderful image. He afterwards fixed his residence on that spot for twenty years; and made the workmen cut it out into a regular shape, with the utmost accuracy of proportion in all its parts; the several proportions of the body resembling the original likeness of Gomat Iswara Swami, in profound contemplation, to obtain Mocsha. He also caused several buildings to be constructed, as temples and other edifices, round the God. On their completion, he established the worship of the image, as God, with great ceremony and devotion, in the year of the cycle Vibhava, [p.264] when 600 years were past of the Cali-Yuga.48 After he had placed the image, Chamundaray granted in gift, to the God, the lands situated on all sides of the place; to the value of 19,000 pagodas, for the performance of the daily sacred ceremonies, as well as those which return periodically.

Afterwards this kingdom was ruled by several Rajas, from the time of Balalray down to Vishnu-Varddhan. In their reigns, the Jains added several buildings to the former work, and were allowed the enjoyment of the lands assigned to the God.

The successors of Sinvananda Acharya, who was Guru to Chamundaray, resided here, to manage the religious affairs of this place, and of other places of the Jain tribes. The present Guru at Belligola is the regular successor, according to the following list of Gurus, from the last of the ancient twenty-four Tirthacars in the fourth age, who was named Vardhamanaswami, and who attained beatitude (Mocsha) 2464 years before the year of the cycle Jurmati (or A. D. 1801);49 at the time when Srenica-Maharaj, having ruled for the space of a hundred years, departed to heaven.



From the last Tirthacar of Ancient Times, down to the present Guru,
The twenty-fourth Tirthacar of the last List.

1. Gautama,50 2 Sudharma,51 3 Jambunaha, 4 Virasen Acharya,52 5 Vrishabhasen Acharya, 6 Siddhasen Acharya, 7 Virasen Acharya, 8 Sinvan and Acharya, 9 Cundacund Acharya, 10 Gridhrapench Acharya, 11 Mayurapench Acharya, 12 Dharasen Acharya, 13 Bahusen Acharya, 14 Caliparameswar Swami, 15 Jinasen Acharya, 16 Gunabhajdr Acharya, 17 Akalonka Swami, 18 Veekalonka Swami, 19 Abhayachandra Siddhant, 20 Srutamunivatarca, 21 Pujyapada, 22 Vidyanajha, 23 Jayasena, 24 Avirasena, 25 Lacshmisenabalarca, 26 Charucirtipandit Acharya, the present priest at Belligola: his age is 65; and he arrived at his present rank 30 years ago.

Chamundaray, after having established the worship of this image, became proud and elated, at placing this God, by his own authority, at so vast an expense of money and labour. Soon after this, when he performed, in honour of the god, the ceremony of Panchamrita Snana, (or washing the image [p.266] with five liquids, milk, curds, butter, honey, and sugar;) vast quantities of these things were expended, in many hundred pots: but, through the wonderful power of the god, the liquor descended not lower than the navel, to check the pride and vanity of the worshipper. Chamundary, not knowing the cause, was filled with grief, that his intention was frustrated of cleaning the image completely with this ablution. While he was in this situation, the celestial nymph Padmavati, by order of God, having transformed herself into the likeness of an aged poor woman, appeared, holding in her hand the five Amntas, in a Belliyagola, (or small silver pot,) for washing the statue: and signified her intention to Chamundaray, who laughed at the absurdity of this proposal for accomplishing what it had not been in his power to effect. Out of curiosity, however, he permitted her to attempt it: when, to the great surprize of the beholders, she washed the image with the liquor brought in the little silver vase. Chamundanay, repenting his sinful arrogance, performed a second time, with profound respect, his ablution, on which they had formerly wasted so much valuable liquids; and washed completely the body of the image.

From that time, this place is named after the silver vase (or Belliyagola) which was held in Padmavati's hand. Sravana (Sramana) is the title of a Jain Sannyasi; and, as this place is the principal residence of these Sannyasis, the people call it Sravan-Belligola.

Many years after this period, a king, named Bhattavardhan, reigned at Dwaratipaitan; which the people now call generally by the name of Doragul, or Dorammudran. It is said, that he wanted a finger. One day, as he sat with his concubine (who was of the Vaishnava sect) upon the terrace of his palace, she observed, in the public street, a Jain Sannyhi passing, who avoided conversing with any person, [p.267] and was under a holy vow of abstaining from taking food in the house of any person who was lame, or deficient in any of the members of his body. Upon hearing of the vow which he had made, she asked the king, from motives of curiosity, "Behold your Guru! will he, at your request, eat food with you?" The Raja, not recollecting the customs of the Gurus, replied "Why not? will he not come to the house of his own disciple? if he refuse at my request, I will abandon my sect, and bind myself to your command; but, if he comply, contrary to your expectation, you must conform to my sentiments." Then the Raja, descending from the terrace, advanced to the Guru, and asked him to take food, walking, at the same time, round him, with closed hands, and pronouncing, three times successively, the following sacred form of words, according to the rules of their religion. "O Lord! reverence be to you! stay!—for Bramaryah's sake—comply!":—After he had used this prayer, he took water into his hands, to give to him, with the following form. "Adoration! O Lord! Adoration! do purify this water!" But the Swami, without speaking, retired to the temple; where he resolved to fast that day, as an expiation for being invited to eat by a maimed man.

Bhattavardhan, following his Guru to the temple, upon inquiry was informed of its being forbidden by their law: he then explained to the Guru, what had passed between him and his beloved mistress, and earnestly intreated the priest to comply with his request; declaring, that if it were refused, he must join the other sect, whence great misfortunes would befal their religion: the Swami replied, that he would suffer death, or any other misfortune, rather than for the king's favor do what was contrary to the law.

Upon this refusal, Bhattavard'han, agreeably [p.268] to the commands of his mistress, whom he loved, joined her sect, which was that of the Vaishnavas; and, from that time, his name was changed from Bhattavard'han, to Visihnuvardhan, This country was ruled, for many years, by his descendants. On the downfal of that dynasty of princes, their dominions were conquered by the kings of Bijayanagar.

After the Rajas of Mysore had obtained possession of this country, under the Ancgoudi kings, they granted lands, of the amount of 1000 pagodas annually, to the god; and of the amount of 120 pagodas, to the college of Sannyasis. While their power lasted, they protected the Jains without permitting the intolerant spirit of other sects to disturb their religious ceremonies and duties. In the reign of Chicca-Devaraja Vadeyak, a Jain, named Annaya Chetty, constructed, at this place, the tank named Calyani.

Formerly Ramanuja, the famous Vaishnava reformer, under the encouragement of the confusion which then prevailed in the government, came hither, with the plain desire of disputing with the Jains, about their laws and religion. After his conference with them, he had it proclaimed, that he had worsted the Jains, in their disputations on religion and law; and erected here a pillar, on which were inscribed the symbols of the Sancha and Chacra; and, cutting off a small piece of the finger of the left hand of Gomat Iswara Swami, he departed.

Belligola is the most revered place of the Jain worship above the Ghats. Here are two mountains; one called Indragiri, and the other, Chandragiri: the former is situated on the north-west, adjoining to the village: on its summit stands their famous image of Gomat Iswara Swami,53 of the height of eighteen [p.269] fathoms, inclosed within a strong wall, with many small temples and other buildings. Here were, in former times, seventy-two well shaped images; of which there now remain, in good condition, only forty-two, placed in a gallery, under a portico, supported by pillars, which is carried inside, along the wall. They say, that these are images of their Tirthacars, of the last, present, and future ages. The great image, being of too great height to be covered, is in the open air; appearing like a column on, the hill, when viewed as far as eight cós on all sides.

On the other hill, called Chandragiri, close to the village, are several sacred temples; there are also many temples in the town. The Sannyasi resides in a Matlia within the town; where are some images of stone and metal, for his domestic worship: in other places, he employs people to perform worship to them regularly. In the government of the Mysore Rajas, and of Haider Nayac, certain villages were granted, in Jagir, to the god and the college. There are not any families of any other principal casts, excepting Jains, in the village of Belligola.

At this place they used to celebrate, once a year, a great festival to the god. Two months before its commencement, the head of the Matlia used to send a written notice over the country, to announce the festival to all Sravacs or Jains: On the receipt of this paper, great numbers of this sect, even from Hindustan, came to attend the ceremony, and worship the god. This festival was neglected. After six or seven years, through the oppression of the late government; and has not yet been renewed; because their lands have been resumed, and included in the lands of government.


Translation of an Inscription, act on a Stone, upon the Hill of Belligola, in front of the Image.


BE success to the famous Ra'manu'ja,54 who is lord above the lords of Atithis or Sannyasis; who, like the mighty fire from the face of Vadavanala, disperses or dries up the water of the ocean of Pashandas, or infidels; who is chief among the slaves of the Lily feet of Srirangaraja; who allows a passage through Vicunta, ornamented with many edifices of precious stones.

In the year of the Saca 1290,55 in the Cilaca year of the cycle, on Thursday, the 10th of the month of Bhadrapad, be success and glory to the honourable monarch, the sovereign and destroyer of envious princes, lord of foreign kings, whose name is Buccarava. During his reign, on account of the disputes of the Jains and Bhactas, the principal citizens of the new city of Hasapattan, of Anegondi, of Penugonda, of Caldhatti pattan, and of other places, represented to the prince the injustice committed by the Bhactas: he assembled a court, composed of the following people: Covila Tikamala, Peru Covila Tiramala Rayana, and other chief Acharyas, judges, inhabitants, and other followers of the Tiruman and Tcruhadi marks, and the head people or chief officers of districts, and the Vaishnavas of Tirucul and Jambavacul; in which it was determined, that there was no real cause of difference between [p.271] the Jains and Vaishnavas. The Maharaja, putting the hands of the Jains into the hands of the Vaishnavas, ordered that the Jains he permitted to use their former and usual great drums, as well as the Calahans-nada, which had been taken away by the Bhactas; and, for the performance of this, he ordered it to be made public, by inscriptions carved upon stones, in the Jain temples, all over the empire, that no distinction, or contradiction, appeared between the religion of the Jains and Vaishnavas: therefore the Vaishnavas should agree to protect them, while the sun and moon endure. Terumatia, and the other chief people, then resolved, in token of their good will, that all the Jains, who are inhabitants of the different divisions of the world, should contribute annually, at the rate of one tanam for each family, to defray the ceremonies of their god at Belligola Tirth, and to repair the buildings of the Jinalayas, or temples of Jina.

By continuing the above yearly gift for this purpose, while the sun and moon remain, will be obtained the advantage of great reputation and grace. If any person refuse its execution, he shall go to the hell of those who betray their kings and holy religion; and he, who prevents this charity, shall incur the sin of killing a cow, or a Brahmen, on the bank of the Ganga river.

"Whoever resumes gifts, in money or lands, granted by himself or others, shall be born as an insect in dung, for sixty thousand years."



Feb. 21, 1797. Near Calyani. On arriving at Mudgiri several appearances, indicated a change in the country, viz. the style of building of the pagodas; as we here found them of the mosque kind, with domes and pillars in front; others in which the Lingam was worshipped of a large size: in the Derval of Ramalingam, one of them was a groupe of five Lingams,56 and a great number of stones were placed round the temple, covered with sculptures. At a temple of Hanuman (the only one seen since we came into the Canara country,) were several sculptures, also placed round the building; in one, a god or hero carried a cocoa tree; another was drawing a bow; a hand, in one place, covers a horseman; and an inscription, in two columns, was surmounted by the sun, moon, Lingam, &c.

But that which most attracted my attention, was, close to the mud wall, a round temple of blue stone, with a portico of four pillars, curiously carved and ornamented: in the portal within, facing the north, was a figure, sitting cross legged, naked, his head covered with curls, like the figure of Buddha; the nose was defaced, and a fracture run through the figure. The annexed sketch will give some idea of it.57 A poor woman, near, said it was "the image of Chindeo, or Jain-deo." Without was a greater figure of the same kind, also apparently defaced [p.273] and neglected: and particularly, the several heads of snakes, which as a group shaded it, were mutilated. I could obtain no further information respecting it.

In consequence of notices received at Ongole, I determined to call at Amresvaram to see the antiquities lately discovered there, as the place is near the banks of the Crishna, and we could reach the place whither our tents were to be sent early in the day. I therefore, dispatched my interpreter Borta, accompanied by some Brahmens and two Sepahis, in the evening to Amresvaram, with directions to make some previous inquiries into the history of the place: and to conciliate the inhabitants; particularly the Brahmens, who are apt to be alarmed on these occasions.

In the morning before day, we left Ibrampattan by moonlight, and passed along the north bank of the Crishna. We observed, a few miles off, a dry but deep calava, or canal, leading off from the river, probably intended for the purpose of cultivation. At daylight, we were in the sandy bed of the river, which seems to be nearly two miles wide, including the islands; and contains no water at present. We ascended the shallow bank to Amrhvaram. The temples appear to be new, and are said to have been recently built by the Chintapelli Raja, who has fixed his chief residence here, since Lacshmpuram was occupied by our troops. A high mud square wall encloses the temples and his houses; and the rest of the place is laid in regular streets, at right angles, in the same manner with his other places of Lacshmipuram, &c. A street, going south from a gate of the temple, seems to be 200 feet wide; and an open choultry stands in the intersection of four principal streets. I found Boria ready to receive me, attended by some Brahmens; who said, that the people here [p.274] were rather surprised and alarmed at the approach of Europeans and Sepahis, until he assured them that our object was merely to view the lately discovered ruins. We were then conducted to those remains of antiquity. We found a circular trench, about 10 feet wide, dug about 12 feet deep, into a mass of masonry, composed of bricks of 16 inches square, and 4 inches thick. It is probable, that this body of masonry did not extend to a greater depth. The central area was still untouched; and a mass of rubbish was thrown outside of the ditch, which prevented any observation of its original state; but I conjecture that the whole had, previous to its opening, formed a solid circular mound. In this ditch, a white slab lay broken, which still exhibited some figures in relievo, of which Mr. Sydenham took a sketch. Against the outside of the trench, were placed three or four slabs, of the same colour, standing, but inclining inwards; on the inside, where these were uncovered, they had no figures, except where the top of one rose above the earth. Without, some sculptures appeared, which lead me to conclude that these sculptures were exposed on that side to view. From the inquiries of my Brahmens, I could obtain no other account, than that this place was called Dipal-dinna, or the hill of lamps. The Raja, about a year ago, had given orders to remove a large stone, to be carried to the new pagoda, which he was building, when they discovered the brick work, which induced them to dig up the rest for the buildings. The white stones were then brought to light, and unfortunately broken; at least we could perceive few of them; and though it was said that some were carried into the temple,58 the Brahmen, who was admitted, had perceived only some broken pieces. The sculptured stones observed, were as follows:


A broken piece,59 still lying in the ditch, or excavated foundation, on which appeared something like a Lingam, or a pillar, rising through what seemed shaped like a desk, but was probably designed for an altar; a male figure stood on the left, with its arms disposed as if pouring something on it; but as the upper part, and what beheld, were broken off, this seems doubtful. Near him stood a female, holding a Chamhu, or pot on her head, in the Hindu style. My Brahmen naturally enough concluded, that this represented a female carrying water to assist in the offering to the Lingam. The feet of two figures remained on the right, which probably had appertained to two figures in the same attitude on that side. The stone was a white marble, called by the natives Palrdyi, or milk stone.

Near it stood three slabs, inclining inwards against the masonry, which had been dug out. On the side on which they were viewed, no figures were seen; and they were rough and unpolished: it is probable that they have sculptures on the side still covered with earth; and I have already mentioned, that some designs appeared at the top of one. If the whole of the circle was faced with these slabs, it is to be regretted, that this treasure of antiquity did not fall into better hands.

On the rubbish above, near these, and belonging to some unfortunately broken, were two pieces of the same white stone; one of these seemed divided into two compartments, by a border, on which three wild hogs running were sculptured: the outline is well designed. The leg of a figure sitting, and the hind leg of a horse appear above, remaining of the original design. Below the border, the plane was inclined to a lower border: and in the space of about 6 inches, two lines of characters were carved: on [p.276] cleaning off the dust, the first line appeared very legibly. I have to regret, that the approaching heat prevented my remaining, to copy this inscription in facsimile. Some of the characters are, however, as I believe, faithfully given in the annexed attempt;60 and I left a Brahmen to transcribe the whole, but his copy was not satisfactory. In the place marked cc, some of the letters seem to resemble those of the Ceylon inscription. The other piece contained the head of a horse, and some defaced heads and prominent ornaments.

Near the gate of the temple lay a slab, grey with the crust of ages; but of the same white marble. On it, five or six figures appeared, sitting in various attitudes, on what at first sight seemed to be Lingams: but upon close examination, their seats resembled our chairs.

The most curious and most complete piece of sculpture, we found as we returned along the high mud wall of the temple; laid as a roof, over a small temple of Lingam, of the same materials. It represented the attack and escalade of a fortified place. The principal figure, on an elephant (with the usual attendants, the driver and the fanner,) seemed issuing orders: before him, a pedestrian figure, with a round shield, seemed prostrating himself: a graceful figure at full length, stood close to the gate of a tower, fronting them. The tower, which was octangular, was surmounted by a rounded roof on pillars, of the shape of an Ambari; under which an archer was represented, in the act of drawing his bow, and shooting at an assailant, who covers himself with his shield, while mounting the rampart by a ladder: another figure, from behind the rampart, appeared peeping over, and covered by some defensive arms: several horsemen, and a man mounted on a bullock, seemed [p.277] to support the attack. The town and rampart seem to be of stone, from the lines drawn obliquely to represent the perspective, which, however awkwardly done, was the first attempt of the kind I had observed in Indian sculpture. To whatever age this is to be attributed, we here find an escalade, defence by flanking towers, and their use, and the mode of attack and defence, illustrated by a Hindu sculpture.

When mention of these sculptures was first made to me at Ongole, it was hinted, that they contained marks of the worship of the Jains;61 but nothing of the kind appeared here. Without my mentioning the subject, I found that the same idea prevailed at this place, though my Brahmen could give me no good reason for it; and the account which he received of the Jains, was very obscure: it was said that they were formerly a powerful people, who contested the sway with the Brahmens.

On the lower part of the same slab, and divided by a border containing figures of animals, were sculptured four figures of men sitting on chairs, and reclining, in attitudes different from each other, but all significant of a graceful negligence, indicating careless ease. One of them had his hand disposed on his breast, or in the chain which hung from it; another seemed to incline to one side, leaning against his chair, with one leg and thigh thrown over the other; and wanted nothing but a hooka to be placed in his hand, to give a complete idea of that languid attitude, in which we sometimes see an Indian throw himself, when satiated with these fragrant steams that overpower and gratify the sense. The chairs were circular, of a cylindrical form, and the back forming half a circle. A number of small lines divided them longitudinally, and seemed to represent cane work. The thrones or seats represented in [p.278] other Hindu sculptures, I had never observed before with backs; so that these seem to have another origin. The figures were too small to admit of distinguishing ornaments: the head dress was round, and not raised so high as those commonly represented on stones.

On another stone, but uncertain whether belonging to these, was represented the remains of a god, or chief, sitting on a chair, and fanned by a female, holding a choury. It is well known, that Hindu princes, sitting in state, were generally thus attended. So Crishna Raja is described, sitting on his royal throne, attended by two beautiful women, fanning him according to royal usage.

A horse on another stone, is preceded by a human figure in a flying attitude, remarkable for its graceful outline; but the upper part of both is destroyed.

The legs of all the figures are more slender and gracefully disposed, than I have observed in any other Hindu figures; nor have they that drapery, which usually marks with rigid observance their costume. Another remarkable trait is the vast number of rings about the feet, resembling those worn by the lombadi or benjari women. None are observed on the toes or arms.

After all, though this differ widely from the carvings observed on Hindu buildings, it would be rash to draw any conclusion, until an opportunity offers of observing more sculptures collected. A correct drawing of the complete slab, over the temple of Mahadeo would be extremely desirable, and a complete section across the area of Dipal-dinna would perhaps exhibit more remains.

I was disappointed in not finding anything like the figure of Jaindeo, which I had seen at Calycmi (see annexed plate).



During Travels in Canara.

Having invited Pandita Acharya Swami, the Guru of the Jains, to visit me, he came, attended by his most intelligent disciples, and gave me the following account of his sect.

The proper name of the sect is Arhata; and they acknowledge that they are one of the twenty-one sects, considered as heretical by Sancara Acharya, Like other Hindus, they are divided into Brahmen, Cshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra. These casts cannot intermarry together; but a man of high cast is not disgraced by having connection with a woman of a lower one, provided she be of pure descent. A similar indulgence is not granted to the women of the higher casts. The men are allowed a plurality of wives, which they must marry before the age of puberty. The man and woman must not be of the same family in the male line. Widows ought not to burn themselves with the bodies of their husbands; but those of the Sudra only are permitted to take a second husband. The Brahmens and Vaisyas in Tulava, and every cast above the Ghats, consider their own children as their heirs; but the Rajas and Sudras of Tulava, being possessors of land, follow the custom of the country; and their heirs are their sister's children. Not even the Sudras are permitted to eat animal food, or to drink spirituous liquors: nor is it lawful for any one to kill an animal, except for the Cshatriya when engaged in war. They all burn the dead.


The Arhatas reject the Vedas and eighteen Puranas of the other Brahmens, as heretical. They say, that these books were composed by a Rishi named Vya'sa, whom the other Brahmens consider as an incarnation of the deity. The chief book, of which the doctrine is followed by the A'rhatas, is named Yoga. It is written in the Sanscrit language, and character of Carnata; and is explained by twenty-four Puranas, all written by its author, who was named Vrjshabha Sayana, a Rishi, who had obtained a knowledge of divine things, by long continued prayer. They admit, that all Brahmens are by birth of equal rank; and are willing to show their books to the Brahmens who heretically follow the doctrine of the Vedas; but they will not allow any of the lower classes to look upon their sacred writings.

The gods of the A'rhatas are the spirits of perfect men; who, owing to their great virtue, have become exempt from all change and misfortune; and are all of equal rank and power. They are called collectively by various titles, such as Jineswara, A'rhat, and Sidd'ha; but each is called by a particular name, or names; for many of them have above a thousand appellations. These Sidd'has reside in a heaven, called Mocsha; and it is by their worship only, that future happiness can be obtained. The first person, who by his virtue arrived at this elevated station, was A'diparameswara; and by worshipping him, the favour of all the Siddhas may be procured. He has a thousand and eight names, the most common of which, amongst his adorers, is Jineswara, or God.

The servants of the Siddhas are Devatas, or the spirits of good and great men; who, although not so perfect as to obtain an exemption from all future change, yet live in an inferior heaven, called Swarga; where, for a certain length of time, they enjoy great [p.281] power and happiness; according to the merit of the good works, which they performed, when living as men. Swarga is situated higher in the regions of the air than the summit of Mount Meru, and its inhabitants ought to be worshipped by men, as they possess the power of bestowing temporal blessings. Concerning the great gods of the Vedas, the A'rhatas say, that Vishnu was a Raja, who having performed certain good works, was again born a Raja, of the name of Rama. At first he was a great hero and conqueror; but afterwards he retired from the pleasures of the world, became a Sannyasi, and lived a life of such purity, that he obtained Siddhi (beatitude,) under the name of Jina, which he had assumed, when he gave up his earthly kingdom.62 Mahe'swara or Siva, and Brahma, are at present Devatas; but are inferior in rank and power to Indra, who is the chief of all the happy beings, that reside in Swarga. In this heaven are sixteen stages, containing so many different kinds of Devatas, who live in a degree of bliss in proportion to their elevation. An inferior kind of Devatas, called Vyantaras, live on mount Meru, but their power and happiness are greatly inferior to those of the Devatas of Swarga. The various Sactis, are Vyantaras, living on Maha-Meru; but they are of a malevolent disposition.

Below Maha-Meru, and the earth, is situated Bhuvana, or hell; the residence of the spirits of wicked men. These are called Racshas and Asuras, and are miserable, although endowed with great power. Bhuvana is divided into ten places of punishment, which are severe in proportion to the crimes of their respective inhabitants.


The heavens and earth in general, including Maha-Meru and Bhuvana, are supposed never to have been created, and to be eternal; but this portion of the earth, Arya or Bharata, is liable to destruction and renovation. It is destroyed by a poisonous wind, that kills every thing; after which a shower of fire consumes the whole Canda. It is again restored by a shower of butter, followed by one of milk, and that by one of the juice of sugar-cane. Men and animals then come from the other five Candas of the earth, and inhabit the new A'rya or Bharatacanda. The books of the A'rhatas mention many Dwipas, surrounding Maha-Meru, of which the one we inhabit is called Jambu Dwipa. People from this can go as far as Manushottara, a mountain in the middle of Pushcara-Dxvipa, between which and Jambu-Dwipa are two seas, and an island named Dhatuci. Jambu-Dwipa is divided into six Candas, and not into nine, as is done by the Brahmens who follow the Vedas. The inhabitants of five of the Candas are called '^Mlechlias or barbarians. A'rya or Bharatacanda is divided into fifty-six Desas or provinces as is done by the other Brahmens. As Arabia and China form two of these Desas, A'rya would seem to include all the world, that was tolerably known to the Arhatas, who composed the books of this sect.

Every animal, from Indra down to the meanest insect, or the most wicked Racsha, has existed from all eternity; and will continue to undergo changes, from a higher to a lower rank, or from a lower to a higher dignity, according to the nature of its actions, till at length it becomes perfect, and obtains a place among the Sidd'has. A Sudra must be born as one of the three higher casts, before he can hope for this exemption from evil; but, in order to become a Brah- [p.283] men, it is not necessary, that he should be purified by being born of a cow, as many of the followers of the Vedas pretend. The A'rhatas, however allow, that to kill an animal of the cow kind is equally sinful with the murder of one of the human species. The death of any other animal, although a crime, is not of so atrocious a nature. The A'rhatas, of course, never offer sacrifice, but worship the gods and Devatas, by prayer, and offerings of flowers, fruits, and incense.

The A'rhatas are frequently confounded, by the Brahmens who follow the Vedas, with the Saugatas, or worshippers of Buddha; but this arises from the pride of ignorance. So far are the A'rhatas from acknowledging Buddha as their teacher, that they do not think he is now even a Devata; but allow that he is undergoing various low metamorphoses, as a punishment for his errors. Their doctrine, however, it must be observed, has in many points a strong resemblance to that taught by the followers of Buddha.

The Jain Brahnens are all Vaidya, and dress like the others, who follow the doctrine of the Vedas. They have Gurus, who are all Sannyasis; that is to say, have relinquished the world, and all carnal pleasures. These Gurus, in general, acknowledge, as their superior, the one who lives at Sravana Belligola, near Seringapatam:63 but Pandita A'charya Swami pretends to be at least his equal. In each Matha there is only one Sannyasi; who, when he is near death gives the proper instruction to one of his followers, who must relinquish the world and all its enjoyments, except perhaps an indulgence in the pride of devotion. The office is not confined to the [p.284] Brahmens; none but the Sudras are excluded from this highest of dignities; for all the Sannyasis, after death, are supposed to become Siddha; and of course do not worship the Devatas, who are greatly their inferiors. The Sannyasis never shave, but pull out all their hair by the roots. They never wear a turban; and are allowed to eat and drink but once a day. In fact, they are very abstemious; and the old Swami, who, from his infirmities, expected soon to become a god, mortified the flesh exceedingly. The Gurus have the power of fining all their followers, who cheat or lie, or who commit murder and adultery. The fines are given to the god; that is to his priest. These Gurus excommunicate all those who eat animal food, or fornicate with persons who are not Jains; which, of course, are looked upon as greater crimes than those that are only punished by fine. The married Brahmens act as priests for the gods, and as Purdhitas for the inferior casts. The follower may choose any Brahmen he pleases, for his Purohka. The Brahmen receives alms; and reads prayers on the occasion; as he does also at the marriages, funerals, and commemorations of the deceased ancestors of his followers.

The Jains are spread all over India; but at present are not numerous any where, except in Tulava. They alledge, that formerly they extended over the whole of A'rya or Bharatacanda; and that all those, who had any just pretensions to be of Cshatriya descent, were of their sect. It no doubt appears clear, that, in the south of India, many powerful princes were their followers, till the time of Ra'ma'nuja Acharya. They say, that, formerly they were very numerous in Arabia; but that, about 12500 years ago, a terrible persecution took place, at Mecca, by orders of a king named Pa'rswa Bhat'taraca, which forced great numbers to come to this country. Their ideas of history and chronology, however, as usual with Brah- [p.285] mens, are so very confused, that they suppose Pa'rsvva Bhat'taraca to have been the founder of the Muhammedan faith. None of them have the smallest trace of the Arabian features; but are in every respect entirely Hindus.

There are two kinds of temples among the Jains; one covered with a roof, and called Basti; and the other an open area surrounded by a wall, and called Bettu, which signifies a hill. The temples of Siva and Vishnu, the great gods of the followers of the Vedas, are called here Gadies. In the Bastis are here worshipped the images of twenty-four persons, who have obtained Sidd'hi, or become gods. These images are all naked, and exactly of the same form; but they are called by different names, according to the person, whom they are meant to represent. These idols are in the form of a man sitting. In the temples called Bettu, the only image of a Sidd'ha, is that of a person called Gomata Raja, who, while on earth, was a powerful king. The images of Gomata Raja are naked, and always of a colossal size. That, which is at Kurcul (or Cercal), is made of one piece of granite, the extreme dimensions of which, above ground, are 38 feet in height, 10 feet in breadth, and 10 feet in thickness. How much is below ground, I cannot say; but it is probably sunk at least three feet, as it has no lateral support. According to an inscription on the stone itself, it was made by Vira-Pandia, son of Bhairavendra, 369 years ago.

The Jains deny the creation of man, as well as of the world. They allow, that Brahma was the son of a king, and that he is a Devata; and the favourite servant of Gomata Raja; but they altogether deny his creative power. Brahma, and the other Devatas, are worshipped, as I have said, by the Jains, who [p.286] have not become Sannyasis; but all the images of these supposed beings, that are to be found in the Bastis, or Bettus, are represented in a posture of adoration, worshipping the Sidd'ha to whom the temple is dedicated. These images, however, of the Devatas, are not objects of worship, but merely ornamental; and the deity has not been induced to reside in the stone by the powerful invocations of a Brahmen. When a Jain wishes to adore one of these inferior spirits, he goes to the temple dedicated to its peculiar worship. Rama is never represented by an idol in a Basti, although he is acknowledged to be a Siddha: and, although Ganesa and Hanuman are acknowledged to be Devatas, these favourites of the followers of the Vedas have no images in the temples of the Arhatas.

The Jains have no tradition of a great deluge, that destroyed a large proportion of the inhabitants of the earth; but they believe, that occasionally most of the people of Arya are destroyed by a shower of fire. Some have always escaped to the other Candas, and have returned to re-people their native country, after it has been renovated by showers of butter, milk, and the juice of the sugar-cane. The accounts of the world, and the various changes, which the Jains suppose it to have undergone, are contained in a book called Loca Swarupa. An account of Gomata Raya is given in a book called Gomata Raya Cheritra. The Camunda Raya Purana contains a history of the twenty-four Siddhas worshipped in the Bastis.


1 The language of this translation has been corrected; and some of the passages transposed: but without altering the sense. The orthography of Indian words has been, in general, adapted to the system of Sir William Jones: which is usually followed in the Asiatic Researches; but, in instances of modern names of places and persons, where the original term has not been known to me, I have left the translator's orthography untouched. H. T. C.

2 In Pracrit, Titthayar; in Canara, Tirthara.

3 The Jains at Sravana Belligola say, that Ajita did not appear as Guru, until many years after the death of the first Tirthara. C. M.

4 Should be 7 Ara, 8 Subhuma, 9 Padma, 10 Harishena, 11 Java, 12 Brahmedatta. H. T. C.

5 This designation belongs to those named in the subsequent list. H. T. C.

6 The six Chandus of Bharata varsha.

7 The Ballols or Balharas, as Sovereigns or Emperors of India, are mentioned in the relation of two Mahommedan travellers translated by Renaudot. C. M.

8 So the Jains affect to call the followers of the Vedas, as believing on hearsay, what they cannot know, or demonstrate to be true, from the evidence of their senses. C. M.

9 This must arise from employing, at those ceremonies, Brahmens of the orthodox sect. The Jains, themselves, do not appear to Worship fire. H. T. C.

10 To the effects of this operation, they attribute the appearance on the heads of the images of their Gurus, which Europeans suppose to represent curly or woolly hair. C. M.

11 See Menu 3, v, 68. The same notion occurs there; but the orthodox have sacraments to expiate the involuntary sin. The Jains, not admitting the efficiency of religious acts, are content to use precautions to avoid the sin. H. T. C.

12 This image is represented in the annexed drawing. At Kurcul, near Mangalor, there is also a gigantic image of Gometeswar, C. M.

13 Oceans of years. This measure of time will be subsequently explained. H. T. C.

14 Or Simadhara.

15 Nirvani, in Hemachandra's vocabulary.

16 Mahayasas, H.

17 Vimala, H.

18 The 5th is Sarvanubhuti, and 6th is Sridhaka, according to Hemachandra.

19 Datta, H.

20 Unnoticed by Hemachandra.

21 Damodara, H.

22 Unnoticed by Hemachandra, who states, 9th Suteja, 10th Swa'mi, and 11lth MUNISUVRATA.

23 Unnoticed by Hemachandra.

24 Sivagat, H.

25 Anila, H.

26 Cetartha, ii.

27 Jineswara, H.

28 Savacara, H.

29 Syandana, H.

30 Padmanabha, according to Hemachandra.

31Supa'rswaca. H.

32 Sarvanubhuti, H.

33 Devasruta, H.

34 Udaya, H.

35 Pet'hala, H.

36 Pottila. H.

37 Satacirti, H.

38 Suvrata, H.

39 Amampa, H.

40 Samadhi, H.

41 Sambara, H.

42 Ya'sodhara, H.

43 Vijaya, H.

44 Malla, H.

45 Deva, H.

46 Hemachandra, having omitted one of the preceding (Ara), adds Bhadracrit as the 24th of these Jinas.

47 The abodes of deities of various classes.

48 Major Mackenzie remarks the inconsistency of this with the subsequent computation of 2464 years. The Cali-yuga is not a mode of reckoning in use among the Jains, though repeatedly mentioned in these papers. Perhaps the present or first age, according to their computation, may be here meant: it begins the fourth year after Vardhamana's demise. H. T. C.

49 I have been informed by Jains in Bengal that they reckon Vardhamana to have lived 580 years before the Era of Vicramaditya. H. T. C.

50 Meaning Vardhamana's eldest disciple, named Indrabhuti, and surnamed Gautama, because he was of that family or Gutra. H. T. C.

51 Sudharma was one of Vardhamana's disciples, and the only one who has left successors. H. T. C.

52 The disciple and successor of Jambuswami, was Prabhava. The person, who furnished this list, has skipped from Sudharma's disciple to some priest, who may have been his remote successor, at an interval of several hundred degrees. H. T. C.

53 See Plate 2.

54 Ra'ma'nuja, the famous author of the Sri-bhashya, and reformer of the Saiva doctrine, was born A.D. 1008. The invocation to him shows, that the inscription was placed with the consent of government. C. M.

55 A.D. 1567.

56The five Lingams, signifying the powers of nature united in its five component elements, are sometimes seen in this form. C. M.

57 See Plate 4.

58 Some of these have been discovered lately (1804) by Mr. William Brown, containing sculptures, inscriptions, &c. of which it is probable, that copies may be procured. C. M.

59 Plate 4, a.

60 Plate 4, b, cc, bbb.

61 A figure cross legged has been since discovered on some of the sculptures found there, C. M.

62 I am informed, that the Jains have a legendary history of Ramachandra, which is termed Padmapurana, and is quite distinct from the Purana received under that title by the orthodox Hindus.

63 Within four miles of Chinray-patten.