Article: Añjanāsundarī

Contributed by M. Whitney Kelting

Other written sources

This painting from an 18th-century Ādityavāra-kathā manuscript depicts ladies venerating a monk. Though he is dressed in white, like a Śvetāmbara monk, the mendicant is of the Digambara sect. His water pot and broom nearby, the monk sits on a low platform

Ladies pay their respects to a monk
Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

Outside the Rāmāyaṇa context, Añjanā's story has appeared in popular Jain didactic literature over the centuries and contemporary accounts are widespread. The tale of Añjanā offers a template for marital fidelity in a difficult marriage and is another example of a satī or virtuous Jain woman.

Versions appear in medieval anthologies of stories, such as Śubhaśila-gaṇi's 15th-century Bharateśvar Bāhubalī Vṛttiḥ. The story forms part of the Rāma story in collections of Jain universal history, such as Book 7 of Hemacandra's 12th-century Trīśaśṭi-śalāka-puruṣa-caritra.

Contemporary Jain satī narrative collections tend to remove Añjanā's story from the frame of the Rāmāyaṇa and contextualise her with other Jain satīs, highlighting the characteristics of the notion of the satī. Tellings in contemporary collections and single volumes dedicated to the story of Añjanā abound.

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