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Antiquity of Jainism References

    1. Manusmriti
    In the Manusmriti, there is resemblance between the fourteen Kulkars and the incarnations of Manu, as has been said.
    Kuladibeejam sarvesham prathmo Vimalvahana
    Chakshushman Yashashvi Vabhichandroth Prasenjit
    Marudevashch Nabhishch Bharate Kulsattama
    Ashtamo Marudevyam tu Nabhejit Urkrame

    The first is Kul Vimalvahan, the second being Chakshushman, followed by Yashasvi, Abhichandra, Prasenjit, Marudev and the seventh being Nabhiraj. These haven been the Kulkars of the Bharat Shetra. Out of these, Lord Rishabh Dev, the eighth incarnation, was born to Marudevi from Nabhiraj.

    2. Bhagwat
    In Bhagwat also Rishabh Dev has been described as the eighth incarnation of Vishnu.
    Bhagwan Paramrishibhi prasadito naabhe priyachikirshya tadavarodhayane
    merudevyam dharman darshyitukamo vaatarshananam
    shramananamrishinamudharvmanthinam shuklya tanuvavtar.

    In the religious sacrifices Shri Bhagwan in order to please Maharaj Nabhiraj was born to his wife Maharani Marudevi and appeared from Shudhsatvamay vigreh sharir to manifest the religion for the udhvarcheta saints.

    3. Vayupuran
    It has been said in Vayupuran –
    Nabhisatvajnayat putram, Merudevyam mahadyuti
    Rishabham parthivam shreshtham, sarvashatrasya purvajam
    Rishbhad Bharato jagye, veer putrashatagraj
    sobhishichyath Bharatam, putram pravrajyamasthit
    himaham dakshinam varsham, Bharatay nyavedyat
    tasmad Bharatam varsham, tasyam namna vidurburdham

    It is said that queen Marudevi of Nabhiraj gave birth to Rishabh. Rishabh Dev had one hundred sons; Bharat was the eldest. Rishabh Dev took to asceticism after coronating Bharat and giving him the territory starting from Himachal to the south to rule. This country is called Bharat after the King Bharat.

    4. Vedic Literature
    There are also evidences in other Vedic literatures –
    Yesham khalu mahayogi Bharato jayeshtho shreshthagun aaseed
    yenedam varsham Bharat-miti vyapadishanti
    Rishabhad Bharato Bharaten chirkalam dharmen palitatvadidam
    Bharatam varashambhutam.

    5. Rig Veda
    In Rig Veda there is shloka –
    Om trelokyapratishthitan chaturvinshatitirthakaran Rishabhadyan
    Vardhamanantan siddhan sharanam prapdye.
    Om consecrated in the three worlds from Rishabh Dev to Vardhman the twenty-four Tirthankars and Siddhs, I take your shelter. Please note the name of Vardhman Swami in Rig Veda. Certainly this prooves that this part of rig veda was written after Bhagwaan Mahavir.

    6. Buddhist Reference
    The famous scholar of Buddhism Acharya Dharmkirti writes –
    Rishabhyo Vardhmanashch tavadao yasya sa Rishabhvardhmanadi digambaranam
    shasta sarvagya aaptshcheti
    It is evident that even in the eighth century the Jain scholars used to worship the first preacher, Lord Rishabhdev, and the last one, Lord Vardhman.

    7. Skanda Purana
    In the Skanda-purana, it is specifically stated:
    Nabheh putras’-cha Rsabhah Rsabhad Bharato’bhavat tasya namna tvidam varsam
    Bharatam cheti kirtyate.
    That is, Rsabha was the son of Nabhi and Rsabha gave birth to son Bharata and after the name of this Bharata, this country is known Bharatavarsa.

    8. Buddhist Scripture – Majjima Nikaya
    In the Buddhist scripture Majjima Nikaya, Buddha himself tells us about his ascetic life and its ordinances which are in conformity with the Jain monk’s code of conduct. He says, “Thus far, SariPutta did I go in my penance. I went without clothes. I licked my food from my hands. I took no food that was brought or meant especially for me. I accepted no invitation to a meal.” Mrs. Rhys Davis has observed that Buddha found his two teachers Alara and Uddaka at Vaisali and started his religious life as a Jaina.

    9. Buddhist ScriptureDighanikaya’s Samanna Phal Sutta
    In Dighanikaya’s Samanna Phal Sutta, the four vows of Lord Parshvanath (who flourished 250 years before Mahavira’s liberation) have been mentioned. Attakatha of Anguttara Nikaya has reference to Boppa Sakya a resident of Kapilvastu who was the uncle of Buddha and who followed the religion of the Nigganathas i.e. Jains.

    10. Yoga Vasistha Ramayana
    In the Yoga Vasistha Ramayana in the Chapter of Vairagya, Rama expresses to be of a peaceful nature like Jinendra. There is also mention in the Ramayana of Valmiki that the king Dasaratha, the father of Rama entertained the sramanas as the guests. The word sramana indicates the Jain saints and not saints of Buddhism which is of late origin. Please note that in all of the above,The Tirthankaras have been given respected position which shows its influence on Hinduism and Budhism during earlier times.

    11. Indus Valley Civilization
    The excavations made at Mohenjodaro and Harappa shows that Jainism existed five thousands years ago, because the pose of the standing deities on the Indus seals resembles the pose of standing image of Rushabhadeo obtained from Mathura. The feeling of abandonment that characterizes the standing figure of the Indus seals, three to five with as bull in the foreground may be the prototype of Rishabha. The nude Jain idol of 320B.C., in Patna Museum, of Lohanipur helps us to support the above contention.

    Some statues have been discovered also in the meditative mood, the half shut eyes, being fixed on the tips of the nose both in the sitting and standing poses. These statues and images on the seals may be taken to indicate that the people of the Indus Valley at this time not only practiced Yoga but worshipped the images of Yogis. 12) When the Alexander invaded India he came across a host of nude Jain saints in Taxila whom the Greek writers call ‘Gymnosophists.’ The Greek word connotes the nude philosopher. The mystic group of Israel, called the Essenes, was much influenced by these ‘Gymnosophists’, who were preaching their message of Ahimsa, the central truth in Jainism to the people of Alexandra in Egypt. Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity was much influenced by John’s Non-violence cult and other teachers of Essenism.

    Article Courtesy : Mr. Manish Modi (Posts from Jain List Discussion Group)

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