This is the colophon of a manuscript of the Uttarādhyayana-sūtra, a fundamental text for Śvetāmbara Jains.
A colophon in a manuscript is found at the end, and is similar to the publication information at the beginning of modern books. It usually contains the title and sometimes details of the author, scribe and sponsor. The colophons of Jain manuscripts may also include the names of owners, readers and libraries where they have been stored. They frequently have decorative elements, as with this example.
The Uttarādhyayana-sūtra is a scripture in the Śvetāmbara canon. It belongs to the class known as Mūla-sūtras, which include the most basic texts new mendicants learn at the beginning of their monastic education. It consists of didactic chapters, stories or parables and ascetic poetry teaching the fundamentals of Jainism. For instance, it opens with a chapter on the rules of respect and politeness that all monks have to observe, especially junior ones. It ends with an extensive chapter describing the rich world of living beings according to the Jain conception.
The Uttarādhyayana-sūtra is one of the most frequently illustrated texts. Nevertheless, there are manuscripts, such as this one, which just have the Prakrit text and nothing more.
This manuscript is notable for its detailed colophon, digitised here. The manuscript is relatively old, since it was copied in 1464 CE.
Not everything in this colophon is clear so a translation would be premature. However, the following observations can be made at this point.
The production of this manuscript was inspired by Jinaharṣa-sūri of the Kharatara-gaccha, one of the most powerful Śvetāmbara Mūrti-pūjak monastic orders in western India.
The monastic lineage shown here is a dissident branch of the main Kharatara-gaccha sect, known as the Pippalaka-śākhā. Jinavarddhana-sūri was its first leader, in approximately the second half of the 14th century. His successors are named here as Jinacandra-sūri, Jinasāgara-sūri, Jinasundara-sūri and Jinaharṣa-sūri. They are also known from many other sources.
The remaining part gives information about the extended family of lay Jains who were involved in getting the manuscript copied. Although not everything is clear, it seems that the family, including the women, are known for other pious activities recorded here. Given the nature of these actions, it is likely that the family was wealthy and closely devoted to Jinaharṣa-sūri, the head of the monastic order. Their other devout activities include:
- organising a pilgrimage to the holy place of Shatrunjaya in Gujarat, in which the ceremony where Jinaharṣa-sūri was given the highest monastic title – sūri, meaning pontiff or head of the monastic order – took place
- partly funding the restoration of temples in another significant Jain holy place, Mount Girnar
- other religious works in the service of Jainism – sādharmika-vātsālya.
The two persons who arranged for the manuscript to be copied did it for the benefit of their brother. This means that it was done in his memory after he had died.
Text of the colophon:
4. iti śrīUttarādhyāyanāni samāptāni //śrī// //cha// //cha// śrī: // //cha// śrī// śrī// śrī//
5. // saṃvat 1521 varṣe śrīKharataragacche śrīJinavarddhanasūri-paṭṭa-prabhu-śrīJinacaṃddhanasūri-paṭṭālaṃkāra śrīJinasāgarasūri-paṭṭa-prabhākara-śrīJinasuṃdarasūripraṃ°-paṭṭa-pra-
6. bhākara-dinakara / śrīJinaharṣasūrīṇām upadeśena / śrīMaṇḍapadurgga-vāstavya- Sotīdelhā-putra-śrī-Śatruṃjaya-mahātīrtha-yātrā-śrīJinaharṣa-sūripada-sthāpanā-sā-
7. dharmmika-vātsalyādy-aneka-puṇya-caritra-pavitrā Sodyadharaṇā-bhāryā Laṣāī-putra śrīGirināra-giri-śṛṃgāra-cāru-caturmukha-prāsāda-samuddharaṇa-
8. [X damaged syllable] raso° śrīJiṇarāja-so° śrīMāṇikyābhyāṃ bhāryā śrī° Gaurāī śrā° Hāsū so° Maṇḍalika so° baḍūyā so° Īsara so° Kuṃ-
9. [X damaged syllable]rapāla-pramukha-sāra-parivāra-yutābhyāṃ śrī-pustaka-bhāṃḍāgāre / sva-bhrātṛ- Sopanayaṇā-puṇyārthaṃ / śrīUttarādhyayanaṃ lekhayāṃ cakre / śubhaṃ bhavatu.
- ‘Some Illustrated Jain Manuscripts’
Jeremiah P. Losty dt>
- British Library Journal
volume 1, 2
- Gujarati School and Jaina Manuscript Paintings
- N. C. Mehta Collection series; volume 1
Gujarat Museum Society; Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India; 2010
- Catalogue of the Jain manuscripts at the British Library: including the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum
Nalini Balbir, Kanhaiyalal Sheth, Kalpana Sheth and C. B. Tripathi
- British Library & the Institute of Jainology; London, UK; 2006
- Manuscript Illustrations of the Uttarādhyayana Sūtra
W. Norman Brown
- American Oriental series; volume 21
American Oriental Society; New Haven, Connecticut USA; 1941
- ‘Is a Manuscript an Object or a Living Being?: Jain Views on the Life and Use of Sacred Texts’
- The Death of Sacred Texts: Ritual Disposal and Renovation of Texts in World Religions
edited by Kristina Myrvold
Ashgate; Aldershot, Hampshire UK; 2010
- Jain manuscript paintings – essay and slideshow
Art historian John Guy writes a brief essay on the development of Jain manuscript paintings in western India. A slideshow of folios held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA, illustrates his points. The essay and slideshow are available on the website of the Met.
- Bhaktāmara-stotra – Digambara manuscript
The International Digamber Jain Organization provides a digitised manuscript of the Bhaktāmara-stotra. This manuscript contains:
- the Digambara version of the hymn in the original Sanskrit
- accompanying yantras
- Kālakācārya-katha folio
The richly decorated page of a manuscript of the Śvetāmbara Kālakācārya-katha contains the text of the story of ‘the religious teacher Kālaka'. Although it does not have a conventional illustration, the lavishly coloured page boasts figures in the side margins, floral borders and silver writing. Held in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the 14th-century folio is from Gujarat. The whole tale relates how Prince Kālaka is inspired to become a monk and goes through various adventures in which his religious practice gives him magical powers.
- A Jina renounces
This highly decorated page from a 15th-century manuscript of the Kalpa-sūtra is provided by the National Gallery of Australia. A young man performs the rite of keśa-loca – ‘pulling out of the hair’ – which indicates indifference to the body. It is part of the initiation ceremony of dīkṣā, in which an initiate renounces the world and becomes a mendicant. He is watched by Śakra, king of the gods who takes an active role in the lives of the 24 Jinas.
- Bhaktāmara-stotra – illustrated pages
The University of Michigan Museum of Art holds pages of a Digambara manuscript which Phyllis Granoff of Yale has identified as illustrated pages of a Digambara Bhaktāmara-stotra. Her 2010 article, 'Illustrating the Bhaktāmarastotra', can be seen on the HereNow4U website.
- Bodleian Library
The Bodleian Library is part of the University of Oxford, the official university library with various specialist libraries. It boasts extremely extensive collections of books, newspapers, magazines, journals, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, and official and personal papers, both ancient and modern. With large Jain holdings, the Bodleian is a JAINpedia partner.
- Common Era
- The period of time starting with the year when Jesus Christ was traditionally believed to have been born. Using CE is a more secular way of dating events in a multinational, multi-religious world.
- Follower of the 24 Jinas or an adjective describing Jain teachings or practices. The term 'Jaina' is also used although 'Jain' is more common.
- Subsect of the Śvetāmbaras, chiefly found in Rajasthan and Mumbai and established in the 11th century.
- Sanskrit term meaning 'with a home’ – that is, a ‘householder’ or lay Jain. A synonym for a lay person, emphasising that he or she is a member of a household, with responsibilities to the family, community and society that a Jain mendicant does not have.
- An ancient Jain text outlining the rules of monastic conduct, said to be Mahāvīra's final sermon. These 36 lectures provide rules for ascetics but also discuss various topics, such as karma and the substances in the universe, and recount the tale of Nemi's renunciation.
- Someone who withdraws from ordinary life to meditate and practise physical hardships in order to advance spiritually. Jain ascetics or mendicants beg for food from devout lay followers and wander the land. Also used as an adjective to describe the practice of rigorous, even extreme, physical hardships in the belief that it leads to a higher spiritual condition.
- Mendicant lineage
- Ascetics are initiated into a tradition handed down from a named religious teacher. Religious instructions and principles are passed on orally and in writings from one generation of mendicants to the next, continuing the monastic lineage.
- Monastic order
- A single-sex group of ascetics that vows to follow rules set out by a founding religious teacher. They formally renounce the world to become monks and nuns. They usually have a hierarchy of leaders at different levels to govern them.
- A sequence of actions that must be followed to perform a religious ceremony. The set of actions is largely symbolic, for example offering food to statues symbolises sacrificing to a deity. The ritual actions are often accompanied by set phrases.
- Set of sacred texts that believers accept as authoritative within a religion. Synonymous with canon.
- An organised group of believers in a religion, often distinguished from other groups within the same religious faith who have differences of doctrine or practice.
- A term for any of the dead vernacular languages of ancient and medieval India. It may be contrasted with classical Sanskrit, the language used by priests and the aristocracy. The Jains used a large variety of Prakrits, with the Jain canon written chiefly in Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit.
- A donor gives freely. He or she may give alms to a mendicant or money to an institution. This donation may be for specific items or purposes, such as the creation of art. A donor, sponsor or patron may be named or pictured in the artwork.
- The westernmost state in India, which is a stronghold of Śvetāmbara Jainism.
- Found at the end of a Jain manuscript, a colophon is similar to the publication information at the beginning of modern books. It usually contains the title and sometimes details of the author, scribe and sponsor. The colophons of Jain manuscripts may also include the names of owners, readers and libraries where they have been stored. They frequently have decorative elements and very commonly contain a wish for good fortune for any readers. Written mainly by the scribes who copy texts, Jain colophons are often written in Sanskrit.
- Someone who copies manuscripts for a living. Scribes are common in societies where literacy is rare. In the past, however, scribes could not always read and write fluently.