Jain lives of haribhadra: An inquiry into the sources and logic of the legends [Book Review]

Journal of Indian Philosophy 17 (2):105-128 (1989)
I have attempted here to trace the development of Haribhadra's biography. My contention throughout has been that there is a basic incongruity between what one can discern from the actual works about the author Haribhadra and the legends that came to be associated with him. I have argued that the legends initially came from elsewhere in part from the legends of the arrogant monk who challenges the schismatic Rohagutta, and in part from the stories told of Akalanka, who probably was Haribhadra's contemporary. The question must inevitably arise as to why these stories were attached to Haribhadra, when they so poorly match what we can clearly know to be the attitudes displayed by the writer of the works associated with his name. That is a question I cannot satisfactorily answer, although I suspect that in general the hostile attitude of the prabhadhas and related texts towards Buddhism is a late, deliberately contrived and very political stance.30 It would seem that these legends of Haribhadra and the stories told of others which are also replete with examples of Jain hostility to the Buddhists came to take shape around the 12th century A.D., during a period when Jainism was making significant Hindu conversions, particularly among royalty. We know that the prabandhas were primarily written for royal audiences or for ministers close to the kings. A natural question is then whether we can discern anything specific in the relationship between Buddhism and royal power during the 12th century in India that might have led Jain writers deliberately to cast the Buddhists in an unfavourable light and portray Jains as the extirpators of the Buddhist menace and thus as champions of the true faith. In fact the mid -12th century was a low period for the fortunes of Buddhism in its final stronghold in Bengal. Valāllasena of the Sena dynasty came to power c. 1158 A.D. His Dānas-agara was completed in 1169 A.D. and gives ample evidence of the strong emphasis on orthodox Hinduism and promotion of the cause of the Brahmins that historians have associated with the Senas.31 It is tempting to see in the prabandhas, which were addressed to the ruling class, and in the legends of Jain religious and intellectual leaders which emphasize the conflict between Jainism and Buddhism, a continued attempt to separate Jainism radically from Buddhism which was anathema to these kings in Bengal. Hindus had historically regarded Jains and Buddhists as equally outside the Hindu fold and outside the fold of civilization. That Jains in the 12th century devise biographies with a distinct emphasis on the Jain triumph over a Buddhist enemy requires some explanation. That the collections of these biographies were usually addressed to kings and their ministers suggests that courting the royal court may have had something to do with the tone of the biographies. The most obvious historical circumstance that suggests itself by way of explanation for the anti-Buddhist tone of medieval Jain biographies is the contemporary Hindu revival in Bengal with its decidedly anti-Buddhist stance. Perhaps Jain writers in seeking to win royal patronage for their faith and indeed royal converts felt the need to divorce Jainism from the religion with which it had been so closely associated and which became so obviously out of royal favour elsewhere in the country. I offer this only as a suggestion which must await further research for confirmation
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00157835
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,349
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Eastern Side of the Circle: The Contribution of Mikhail Tubjanskij.Craig Brandist - 2015 - Studies in East European Thought 67 (3-4):209-228.
Genres of Jain History.John E. Cort - 1995 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 23 (4):469-506.
A Renaissance Man in Memory: Appayya Dīkṣita Through the Ages.Yigal Bronner - 2016 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 44 (1):11-39.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Hippocratic Lives and Legends.Lawrence J. Bliquez - 1994 - Ancient Philosophy 14 (2):445-448.
Haribhadra on Giving.Paul Dundas - 2002 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 30 (1):1-42.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
14 ( #341,953 of 2,193,295 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #290,646 of 2,193,295 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature