A Comprehensive History of Jainism (2 Vols-Set)

Asim Kumar Chatterjee, Munshiram Manoharlal, 2000, 2nd revised edition, 724 p, 2 vols, ISBN : 9788121509305, $52.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

A Comprehensive History of Jainism/Asim Kumar Chatterjee

Contents: Vol. I. From the Earliest Beginnings to AD 1000: Preface. Introduction. 1. Tirthamkaras from Rsabha to Aristanemi. 2. Parsvanatha. 3. Life of Mahavira. 4. Spread of Jainism (The early phase). 5. Jainism in Mathura. 6. Jainism in Orissa. 7. Jainism in North India (200 BC-AD 600). 8. Jainism in South India (The early phase). 9. Jainism in North India (AD 600-1000). 10. Jainism in South India (AD 600-1000). 11. Svetambara canonical literature. 12. Non-Canonical Svetambara literature. 13. Digambara literature. 14. Jaina thinkers. Appendix: 1. Ajivikism and Gosala. 2. Early Jainism and Yaksa-worship. Bibliography. Index.

Vol. II. AD 1000-1600: Preface. 1. Jainism in North India (AD 1000-1300). 2. Jainism in South India (AD 1000-1300). 3. Jainism in North India (AD 1300-1600). 4. Jainism in South India (AD 1300-1600). 5. Svetambara literature (AD 1000-1600). 6. Digambara literature (AD 1000-1600). 7. Jaina tirthas. Bibliography. Index.

"In this book an attempt has been made to write a comprehensive and connected account about Jainism from 800 BC to the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Jainism is older than Buddhism and first to protest against Brahmanical Hinduism, though most of the authorities on Jainism were Brahmins by birth and a few Ksatriyas also took part in the propagation.

"Parsvanatha, who was the real founder and penultimate Tirthamkara of this religious system, lived 250 years before Gautama Buddha. Vardhamana Mahavira, a contemporary of Buddha was the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthamkara of this religious system whereas Rsabhanatha was the first Tirthamkara. Mahavira made Jainism vastly popular with the masses of Northern India. Afterwards from first century BC, Jainism became popular in South India. Inspite of systematic vilification by the Buddhist and the Brahmins, Jainism still continues to be a dominant religious system in India, although there is practically no trace of the doctrine of Buddhism, in the country of its birth. Even now in India, some twenty million people are Jainas and they are quite prosperous.

"Towards the end, this book also carries descriptive account of the well-known Jaina tirthas (sacred places) and nearly three hundred places have been discussed." (jacket)

[Asim Kumar Chatterjee was Senior Reader in the Department of Ancient Indian History and Culture, Calcutta University.]

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