THE JAIN KINGS AND MONARCHS
Jain had in its fold not only great saints and sage but also Kings,monarchs,and gerarals, a very brief history of some of these is given below.
Shrenika Bimbsara. Shrenika Bimbsara is the first Indian Monarch of
whom anything substantial is
known* . When he came to throne of Magadha his rule extended over only a small state, with his capital
at Rajagrah. But with remarkable prudence he sat himself to extend his Kingdom. He formed alliances
with his powerful border Kings of Koshala and Vajji and then let his troops to absorb the Kingdom of
Anga. With the annexation of Anga, Magadha became a great power in Northern India* . So much so that
the King of distant Gandhara (modern Kandhar) sent an embassy to Bimbsara probably with the object of
invoking his assistance against the threatened advance of the Achaemonid power ***. We also learn from
the Jain sources that Shrenika Bimbsara sent a contingent of his troop to help a border King, who was
his ally. The young general who let this army was the Merchant-Prince Jambukumara, who after returning
triumphantly from this campaign , adopted the lift of a Jain monk**** .
Shrenika Bimbsara was a powerful, kind and just King whose reign lasted for 28 years . The efficiency of his Civil and Military administration was the main reason for the ascendancy of Mogadhan power. He maintain a rigid control over his officers and to ascertain the internal affairs of his Kingdom he used to meet the headmen of all the villages
*& ** Smith’s Early History of India P. 33
*** Modern Review, Oct. 1940 P. 438
**** Jambu Kumar Charitra.
Shremika Bimbsara was a convert from Budhism to Jainism**. This conversion was due to his Chief Queen Chelna, the accomplished daughter of King Cetak of Vaisali. The Literacy and legendry tradition of Jains describe him as putting a very large future, Atma and Parmatma and what not, and Lord Mahavira replying to those questions. The tradition runds tha the built many shrines on Parshnath Hill in Bihar***. Jain believe that Shrenika Bimbsara will be a Tirthankaras in the next cycle of time****.
Kunika Ajatshatru, Kunika Ajatshatru one of the sons of Shrenika Bimbsara came to the those about 554 B.C. His capital was Champapuri , near Bhagalpur, and so he is sometimes called Champapuri Naresh. The Chief events***** of his reign are:
1. Nirvana of Mahavira
2.A war with Kosala
3. The conquest of Vaishali
4. The founding of Patliputra and
5. The Massacre of the Sakyas.
Daring and impetuous he passed his life in warfare with his neighbour , but in his after life he
becme disgusted with worldly pursuits , and soon after the Nirvan of Mahavira took the vows of a
Jain house-holder from Sudharma Swami, the surviving the chief apostle of Mahavira. Thenceforth he
utilised his exuberant energy his inner soul’s enemies and giving the throne to his son ‘ Darsaka’
became a Jain reclse* to pass his life in religious retirement**. He was agreat monach among the
Sasurnagas ad a patron of Jains***.
King Nandavardhana- Among the Nandas who ruled after the Sarsutnagas King Nandavardhana ws a great monarch. With his huge army he conquered Kalinga and the most of upper India. was agreat hero who attacked the Persanl garrisons on the N.W.Frontier of the British days, ad liberated India from their yoke. He was also a patron of Jainism.****
Smarat Chandra Gupta Mauriya- Chandra Gupta the son of Raja Morar Dass,
a descendant of Manipal, the
fourth sone of Maharaha Uggar Sain, who was the ruler of Agroha. Morar Dass married Chandravati, the
daughter of Raja Sham Karan. After marriage when Chandravari came to the house of Morar Dass, she was
accompanied by a woman servant, Sundri who though a Nayan by caste, was very beautiful & well versed
in Sanskrit. Rani Chandravati became the mother of Chandragupta and about the same time Sundri gave
birth to a son. Unfortunately Chandravati died after a few months and Chandragupta was brought up by
this women servant.
About this time Maharaja Maha Padma Nand, the ruling King of Magadha attacked Agroha and Rana Morar Dass was killed in the battle.
He also wanted to kill Chandra Gupta , but when Sundri was asked the whereabouts of Chandra Gupta she pointed out to hwe own son and thus saved the minor king.
When Mahanand saw Sundri he was enticed with her bewitching beauty and taking her along with the minor
prince to the capital of Magadha forcibly made her his
*Dr. K.P. Jain S.J. Itihasa, Vol II P. 24
** Jain Encyclopaedia (Hindi) Vol. I p. 25
*** Chambridge History of Ancient India, Vol. I p. 161
**** Journal of the Bihar & Orrisa Research Society,Vol IV. P.463
Exuberant= a. Overabundant; overflowing.
Queen . Sundri then wrote a book Surya Gyam Chalisi in which she disclosed all the facts relating to the real parentage of Chandra Gupta. The young prince on reading this book was beside himself in rage and left the palace of Mahanand.*
While he was in this self-imposed exile the young Kshatiya swa that sitting under the scorching Sun a Brahman with curses on his trembling lips and bleeding hand was uprooting a thorny bush. When asked the reason f his action the man peevishly replied. “Well don’t you see this bus has without any offence on my part tore away my garments it has not spared one, and’ surely I will not spare it.”
The rustic looking man was none other tat te well-known stateman and politician , Chankaya, whose Chanakaya Niti is even to this day read and quoted with reverence its deserves. The Nanda ing had on some previous occasion offered a slight to mother Chandra Gupta would have long been slain. Both of them thus became friends and Chankaya** undertook the onerous duty of teaching and training the young prince.
When this interprising and chivalorous prince heard of the Greek invasion on the N.W. frontier of India he proceeded with his friend to the Punjab and befriended the Macedonian monarch. But he had hardly been many days in the Greek camp when he exchanged hot words with Alexndar the Great. From a Kshtrya youth like Chandra Gupta, brought up in the traditions of free
• Translation and abridged from a book in Urdu entitled Maharaja Chandra Gupt Maurya Jain, by Lala Sumer Chand Jain, Divil Accountant Punjab, Ambala.
• Chankya was himself the some of a Jain Layman= The Doctrine of the Jainas by walther Sehuloring Ph.D.Prof. University of Hmburg. Page. 52.
Aryans. It was not to be expected that the could stand the humiliation of insult and an alliance with an agreessor of his motherland. The subterfuge* ended and he set himself to work for the freedom and unification of India. Collecting a formidable forceof the war-like and predatory** clans a “War of Liberation” against the foreigners began. But first he avenged his father’s death by overthrowing the Nanda King of Magadha, and got from him huge army. He then attacked the Macedonian garrisons and conquered the Punjab and as well as Sind. Further attempts made by the Greeks under Seleucos Nikator, the Satrap*** of Western Asia , to recover the Indian , dominion ended in a treaty with the victorious Hero of India, according to which the whole of Afganistan became incorporated into the empire of Magadha and the Greek Satrap also gave his beautiful daughter; Helena, in marriage to his Indian rival.****
With the end of the above campaign, the victor turned his armies against the South and came back with complete success. Chandra Gupta now became the first historical Emperor of India and the founder of the great Mauryan empire, which became famous for the “ Steel frame” of its administration and highly organised civil Services. India then became united and entirely free from any foreign aggression.
Chandra Gupta became an active and a keen member of the Jain Church when he accepted as his spiritual preceptor the Jain sage Bhadrabahu, who predicted a twelve years’ famine in Northern India. When this great famine occurred and Bhadrabahu with his large community of the Jain saes retired to South India, Chandra Gupta abdicated in favour of his son Bimbsara and accompanied
*Subterfuge=aftifice; trick; pretence pretext
** Predatory=adj, characterised by plundering ; hungry;ravenous.
***Satrap,n.The Governer of a province.
**** Smith ‘Early History of India’ pp. 45.46 and 123-125
the jain Guru. He practised austerities at Shravan belagola in Mysore, where his name is still held in high esteem. The hill containing the foot=prints of his preceptor is called Chandra agri. With its carved and decorated walls portraying senses from the life of the great Emperor and performing salakana* Chandra Gupta attained “heaven from the hill. An oder of Jain munis was also started in his sacred memory, which was called Chandra Gupta ana**.
The fact that he was a Digambras Jain can be further proved from the inscription No: 40 at Sravanbelgola in Mysore:
“Shree Bhadrabahu was the last of the knowers of the entire of Tirthankara’s instructions. Chandra Gupta, whose renown was more radiant than the moon’s was his pupil.”
Bindusara. Bindusara was Samarat Chandra Gupta Maurya’s son and father of famous Indian monarch Ashoks. He was known by the title of Amitghata i.e. slayer of foes.
Emperor Ashoka. There was only one independent power in India, the Kingdom of Kalinga, left unconquered by Chandra Gupta. Ashoka completed this task, but with the conquest he was moved to passionate remorse at the sight of bloodshed and misery wrought in the war. He ten forsook agreession and preached the Law of Dharma.His ordinances concerning the sparing of animal life and advocating the moral precepts agree much more with the ideas of Jainas, as expressed in their sacred books.he was , in fact, greatly influence by the human techings of Jains,*** and even put 24 (the number of Jain God) spokes in the Dharma Chakra on the piller.
*Narasimhachara. The Sravanabelga and K.P. Jain Samksipta Jain Itihasa Vol. II. Pp. 218-244.
** Inscriptions of Sravanbelgola ; p.No. 95, 1163 A.D.
**** Indian Antiquity 243; Jain Antiquity Vol. V Nos. 2-4&Vol.VI Nos. 1-3
‘Ashoka supported Jainism in Kashmir as his father Bimbsara and grand –fater Chandra Gupta had supported its throughout Magadha Empire’*
A news item appearing in the Hindustan Times of Feb. 12, 1967 reads Ashoka edicts found near Kandbar.
New Delhi , Feb 11, 67 (Uni)- The wellknown French archaeologist. Prof. Dupond-Sommer has discovered two inscriptions of Ahsoka near Kandhar in Afghanistan,
In a paper he has submitted to the French Academy of Inscriptions. Prof. Sommer said that that one of the two inscriptions in Greek and the other in Aramaic. A language then current in this area, which was at that time part of the Maurya Empire.
In content, these inscriptions are broadly in agreement with the famous bilingual inscription (Greek and Aramaic) found at Shark-Quna- the old city of Kandhar.
This bilingual inscription mentions Ashoka’s title Piyadarsi in both languages and say that due to the initiative of the king people desisted from mead-eating and had increased their respect for father, mother and other elders.
Ashoka’s injunctions against meat-eating confirm his leaning towards Jainism rather than Budhism, which has never been so partial in favour of vegetarianism.
Samprati. The immediate successor of Ashoka was Samprati. With the true spirit
of a Jain he wielded to the sword to help the poor and the oppressed. He expanded the Maurya Empire
beyond the bordersof the present day sub- continent of India and Pakistan and established centres of
Jain cultures in the countries of Arbia and Persia. He founded Jain monasteries in non-Aryan counties
and sent out Jains sages to propagate the Dharma there. He himself practised Jain rules in his after
life, and worked hard for the uplifting of Jainism in various ways*. He erected thousand of jain temples
throughout his empire.**
*Aini Akbari Page 29.
Salisuka, Sampati was succeeded Saurashtra (Gujrat) and preached Jainism far and wide***
Mahameghavahana Kharvela. In the modern province of Orissa in India there once ruled Mahameghavahanas. Among them Kharvela was a famous monarch. He was born in 207 B.C in the great city of Kalinga.
In the eight years of his reign Kharvela invaded Magadha. The fame of his valour
and prowess which travelling before him made the Greek King Demetrius evacuate Mathura
without a fight, was considered a remarkable deed of national emanicipation
Kharvela was declared an emperor after his victories over Pushyamitra, who was powerful orthodox monarch on the imperial throne of Magadha. From there he got rich trophies including the statue of Rsabha which had been carried away by King Nanda.
From Orissa to N.W. India and to Magadha and again back to Orissa in the same year. Kharvela moved with rapidity. He covered thousands of miles and maintained his huge army thousands of miles away from his Kingdom. For his victories he is called the Indian Napoleon.
Satisfied with the extension of his empire he devoted his energies to the welfare of his soul. On te Kumari Pasvata he raised various pillers and prepare caves for the Jain ascetics in its vicinity. He was known as the King of Peace. Prosperity and Dharma. In the Hathigumpha Kharvela is styled as a king of saints.
Early Historic of India pp. 202-203
Epitome of Jainism. jain Sidhant Bhaskara Vol. XIV page 114.
Journal of Bihar & Orisa Research Society Vol. XIV 29.
Konguni Varma. King Konguni Varma, who was also called Didiga, was the
famous of the great ruling dynasty
of South India called the Gangas. Prior to their avent in the south, the Gangas ruled in Northern India in the
Gangetic Valley amd belonged to the Iksavaku race. Something in the second century A.D. they branched off
in a southerly direction. Didiga and Madhava, the two princes of the Ganga dynasty case to the town of
Perur in South India, where they met the Jain Acharya Simhanandi.
Both the brothers bowed before the great teachers, who gave them instructions in the doctrine os Syadvada and obtain for them a boon from the goddess Padmavati confirmad by the gift of the sword and the province of a Kingdom. The saint also gave the brothers the following advice: “ If you fail in what you promise, if you descent from the Jain Shahana, if you take the wives of others, if you become addicted to liquors or flesh, if you flee in battle, our race will go to ruin.” “ With the lofty Nandairi as their fortress, Kuvalal as their capital and with the blameless Jina as their Lord. Victory as their companion on the battle field, the Jinbani as their faith and with were increasing grentness greatness the king Didiga and Madhava ruled over the earth.”
Among the later Gangas the name of King Avinita outshines the others. He was the posthumous son of his
father. Tradition has it that while young , Avinita once swam across the River Kaveri, when it was in full
flood, with the image of a Jina on his head in all safety. He was brought up under the care of the Jain
sage Vijayanandi; who was also his uncertain inscription described as a “ Prodigy of valour , unrivalled
in the managing of elephants, in horsemanship , archery and as a prince of unstinted liberality.”
Durvinita was the son of Avinita. He was a very remarkable sovereign among the Gangas and was a good Jaina. It is said that the celebrated Jain grammarian Pujyapada was his spiritual Guru. He ruled too efficiently that his reign “ marked a transitions from a grey lifeless period to one that considerably altered and the rigid orthodoxy gave way to a liberal cosmopolitanism”. Durvinita was not only a great soldier and patron of learning and piety. In short he was one of the great South Indian monarch, who deserves an honoured place in Indian history.
King Ninimarga I as the next hero of powess and piety. Undertaking ceaseless wars he defeated the Banas & the Rashtra Kuta King Amogvarsha, who gave his daughter in marriage to Butuga, the Ganga crown prince. Nitimarga died in 870 A.D. adopting the Jain manner of death Sallekhna.
King Butuga was proficient in the art of using the bow
and arrow and secured a good name in the Chola war.
He was a liberal administrator and well-veresed in Jain philosophy.
King Marsingha was the illustrious son of King Futuga, who bore several, titles such as ‘Incarnation of Religion’, ‘The Hero of the World.’
Rakkasa Ganga was the last great king of Gangavadi. He devoted his name in performing
works of merit and
encouraging the Jain religion. He was the patron of the famous Kannada poet Nagavarma, who was a Jain by
belief and author of Chandambudhi as well as Kadambari.
The Kadambas were one of the ancient rulers of Mysore,
who ruled in the early centuries of the Christian
era. In this renowned family flourished King Mragesh Varma, who ruled in the fifth century A.D.
Although his queen Prabhavati was a ardent devotee of the Brahmins, yet he himself followed the
creed of the Jinendra. He issued grants for the support of Jain temples.
Ravi Varma succeeded him and ruled nearly for half century. His wars were many and arduous. In order to further the cause of Jainism he passed a law that the worship of the Jinendra should be perpectually performed by the pious country-folk and citizens.
Hari Varma succeeded Ravi Varma. He followed his father in promoting the cause of the Jain religion.
Deva Varma was the last prominent ruler among the Kadambas. He was also famous for his liberality and religious favour*
The Rashtra Kuta Monarchs. The Rashtra Kuta Kings were the greatest monarchs of their time in India. They belonged to the Chandra Vansa of the Kshtriyas. Foreign scholars was visited India at the time ,spoke highly of the Rashtra Kutas. Sulaiman the Arab wrote of the ruling prince Rashtra Kuta of India in 851 A.D.:
“Every price in India even in his own land paid him homage. He was the owner of many elephants ad of great wealth. He refrained from wine and paid troops and servants regularly . In his territory, property was secure, theft & robbery were unknown, commerce was encouraged and foreigners were treated with consideration and respect.”
Mediaeval Jainism PP. 30-34
The Rashtra Kutas were brave and war-like tribesmen. Their Kings made alliance with the Arabs who regarded them as great friends of Islam. Al-Idrise, the Arab writes:
“The Rashtra Kuta territory was vast, well-peopled, commercial and fertile. The people lived mostly on a vegetable, diet, rice, peas, beans and lentils, being their daily food....... These Indians are naturally inclined to Justice and in their actions never depart from it. Their reputation for good faith, honesty and fidelity to their engagements brings strangers flocking to their country and thus adding to its prosperity.”
Most of them followed the Jain religion and they diffused the best humane and moral teaching all round
Jainism flourished under the patronage of these glorious Kings.
King Dantidurga. With the Rashtra Kuta monarch Dantidurga we see the ascendency of Jainism in the Rashtra Kuta territories. He honoured one of the greatest figures in all Jain history-Acharya Aklankadeva. Amazing as it is, the field and period of work of both the heroes-one belonging to the realm of state and the other to the spiritual Kingdom -was one and the same. Jainism out-shone all else with the combind support and wisdom of these two personalities . In South India while King Dantidurga subdued the powerful chalukyas under their King Kartavirya Aklanka won a great victory over his religious opponent of Kanchi and at other seats of learning.
King Govind III was a great soldier and a prudent statesman. His people looked upon him as the terror of their enemies. He also favoured Jainism ,and Jain Sadhus had a free access to his palace.
Amoghvarsha I ruled from 815 till 877 A.D. He was the disciple of the Jain Guru Shri Jinsena, te famouns author of the Sanskrit work Adipurana.
Ganit Sr Sangrah, a great work on Mathematics was written by the Jain Rishi Mahavira Carya in his time. A copy of this valuable book in Shalokas with its English translation may be found in the Madas University liberary.
As to King Amoghvarsha’s state victory it may be said that he was a great worrier, who offered a feast to yamaraja on the battle-field. His pious meritorious deeds carved for him the title of Atishayadhavala. Under his rule trade, education, literature and the social status of the people increased. The great treatises on Jain philosophy i.e. Dhavala and Jaya-Dhavala Tikas were complied during his reign.
Jainacharya, Ugraditya wrote his famous work on medicine called Kalyanakarka during the reign of Amoghvarsha, which contains at the end a long discourse on the harm and uselessness of a flesh diet. Which the author, true to his Jain feelings and convictions, is said to have delivered in the court of that King.
The Arab writers portray Amoghvarsha as a worshippers of Jina and one out of the four famous Kings of the world. A profound scholar and a pious followers of religion , the renowned King Amoghvarsha was a living ideal of Jain Ahimsa.
Krishna II was the son and successor of Amoghvarsha.
He also was a devout Jain, and a brave warrior
and wise monarch. His preceptor was the Jain Guru Gunabhadra Carya, who completed his Uttarapurana during
his reign. His court was a resort for Jain scholars.
Indraraj III was the grandson of Krishna II and succeeded him. His crowning ceremony took place on 24th February, 915 A.D. He ruled for five years and keenly supported Jainism and so did his generals Shrivijaya and Narasimha. Despite their beignJains by faith they fought several battles and over ran the whole of Central India and Madhya desa.
The Rattas and their generals. The Rattas of Saundatti were great feudatory lords of the imperial Rashtra Kuttas. They were called Mahamandaleshvaras and ruled over the greater part of the modern Dharwar and belgaum district in the Bombay Presidency, from 850 till 1250 A.D. Almost one and all of the rulers of this princely house followed the religion of Jinas* . They were brave rulers and ever sided with their monarch in their military campaigns.
Merad is the first known King of the Rattas. He was a brave soldier and was seen always on the right hand of his master on the battlefield. His regard for Jainism was great.
Shantiverma, Kalasena, Kanna Kair, Kartavirya, Kalasena II, Laksamdeva and Kartavirya-Malli Karjuna succeeded in turn to the throne of the Rattas. They were all believers of the Jain Dharma. The Ratta queens and princesses were not lacking in this spirit, and some of them outshone their lords in observance of the religious piety All the four kinds of charities viz. Shelter, food, medicine, and knowledge were freely distributed from the pavilions of the Jina temples built by them.
The Shilahara Kings. The Shilahara Kings of the Vidyadhara clan of Kshtryas were ruling from the 10th to the 13th centuary A.D. over the tract of country which falls now under the ambit of modern Belgaum Kolhapur districts in the Bombay Presidency.
*Sewell, Arch Survey of India Vol II, p. 234
Gandraditya was a famous and great King among the Shilaharas. He ruled from 1110 to 1136A.D. He honoured all the sects of his dominion and to express his liberal views he constructed a big tank in which he built a shrine for the idols of Shri Jinendra, Budha and Shiva.*
His son Vijayaditya succeeded him. His valour knew no bounds and he was rightly styled as the ‘God of death’ to his enemies. Although engaged in bloody warfare, he was always anxious for the good of his soul as well.
Bhoja II next ascended the throne of the Shilaharas and was well-known for valour and piety. He rulled between 1179 and 1205 A.D.
Among the generals of the Shilaharas, Nimbadeva, Boppana and Laksidhar were ardent followers of Jainism.
The Chalukyan Kings. The Chalukyans were a ruling line of powerful Kastriyas, who ruled throughout the ‘Bombay Presedency.’ Deccam amd Mysore state during the 15th to 12th centuries A.D. Their ancestors belonged to the regal house of Chandra Vansi Kshtriyas of Ayodhya, the central seta of Jainism. He made from hoary antiquity. The chalukyas wer without doubt, great supporters of Jainism.**
Satyashraya Pulakesin II succeeded to the chalukyun throne in 609 A.D. and was a great monarch of his time. He had a great leaning towards Jainism. He made a grant to the beautiful Jain temple at Aihati constructed by Ram Kirti, the celebrated Jain poet. Pulakesin II excelled Harsha in the art of war and military ability. His fame reached Khusru II King of Persia leading to an exchange of gifts and embassies.
King Tailapa II of the western chalukyas had a strong attachment for the religion olf Jinas. His queen was the Rashtra Kutta princes. He patronised the great Kanarri poet Ranna, who wrote Ajit Purana in A.D. 993.
*Bhandakar Bombay Gazetteer Vol. I part II.
**Smith, Early History of India , P.444.
Satyashrya Iriva ruled from A.D. 997 to A.D. 1009. He is believed to be a followers of Jainism.
Someshvara I succeeded Jayasimha III. The former ruled from 1042 to 1068 A.D. and the latter from 1018 to 1042. Both of them were devout Jains.
Vikramaditya VI Tribhavanmala ruled from 1074 to 1126 A.D. He was the paramount ruler of the Deccan. He started an era after his name in commemoration of his crowning ceremony of King. He built many Jain temples.
King Bijjala the Great. Belonged to the Kakachuri clan of Kshtriyas, who hailed from the Bundhelkand province of Northern India. In the 12th centuary A.D. a branch of the Kalachuri Kshtriya came to rule ver a portion of the District of Bijapur in the Deccan. The Kalachuris, which literally means “ the destroyers of the fleshy bodis” were great warriors and conquerors.
Bijjala was the commander-in Chief of the Chalukyan army, but he crusing the feudatory and provincial rulers under the Chalukyan King Tailap III, set himself as the paramount monarch.
He was indeed a great ruler, whose reign lasted peacefully from 1156 to 1167 A.D. he was a Jain and took keen interest in safeguarding Jainism. Chief among his generals was Basudhaika Rechimayya, who obtained the seven fold wealth of empire to be enjoyed by the lion of Kings who succeeded the emperor. King Bijjala gave him the beautiful province of Nagarkhand, which he ruled with exceeding glory. Like his master Bijjala, his efforts for the propogation of Jainism were unending.
The Hoysala Kings of Doranumdra.
These Kings were the yadava Kshatriyas of Somavamsa. In 1116 A.D. they expelled the Chola Kings and
became rulers of the whole reign laying in the west of Mysore. The progenitor of the family was Sala.
Once when in the temple of Basantidevi he was taking religious instructions from the Jain Guru, Sudatta
Vardhaman Munindra. A tiger glaring with rage came bounding out of the forest. The Jain sage in order to
test his bravery handed his rod to the Chief and exclaimed “Pay Sala!” meaning “O Sala strike”. Where
upon Sala hit the tiger and saved the Guru.
It was from the rescued Jain Guru’s excamation that the Chief assumed the name ‘Poysala’ which later on changed to ‘Hoysala’.
Poysala was only a chieftain when he approached the Jain Guffu Sudatta for aid. Sudatta was anxious for the rebirth of the rebirth of the Jain Dharma in the Deccan and he set to work to devise ways and means of rejuvenating the political life of the country. He was successfull in creating the Hoysala Kingdom and once again after the Gangas, a Jain state came into existence.
King Vinayaditya was the first noble King after Sala among them. He ruled from 1047 to 1100. A.D. and extended the Hoysala Kingdom by his wisdom and prowess. He was an ardent followers of Jainism. His religion preceptor was the Jain Guru Shanti Sena.
King Ereyanga succeeded him. He was also a great warrior and supporter of Jainism. His preceptor was the celebrated Acharya Gopanandi.
Kind Ballal I, the elderest son of Ereyanga ruled next from 1102 to 1106 A.D. The great debater Charukirty Muni was his Guru. When the King was in moribund* condition through severe illness, he quickly restored him to health.
Vishnu Vardhana Deva succeeded Kind Ballal. He was the most brilliant monarch of Karnataka and was the rescuer of his country from the
*Muribund=a. At the point of death; likely soon to perish
Cholas.Many of the notable victories which marked his rule were won by his great Jain generals. In his early life he was a firm believer of Jainism, but he was converted to Vaishnavaism by Ramanuj in 1116. Inspite of his conversion he continued to honour and patronise the Jain Gurus.
His queen Shantladevi was a devout Jain. An expert in singing, instrumental music and dancing , he was renowned for her beauty. Her activities for glorifying Jainism were uneding and she was styled “a rampart of the Jain faith”.
His son Narasimha was crowned from the very day of his birth. One of his most capable generals was the Jain commander Hulla, who intense devotion to the Jain Dharma was responsible for the devotion Narasimha showed to the Jain religion.
The Chuhanas and the other Rajour Clans. It was during the 7th century A.D. that the Rajpur Chiefs came into prominence. They were great warriors , whose home was Rajputana. According to the legend, current in Rajpurana, the new race of Rajputas was produced from the children of fire on Mount Abu, the Jain place of pilgrimage, the rule the earth by the gods, when the Ksatriya were entirely destroyed by Parshuram. They ruled for a long time and most of their earlier princes patronised and followed the religion of the Jinas:
King Parithvi Raj I of Ajmer honoured the Jain Saint Abhaya deva Maladhari. He receied religious instruction from him and constructed the gold pinnacle of the Jain temple at Ranathambhora.*
King Prothvi Raj II was also a patron of Jainism and a powerful Kind. He gained the Chauhan throne through his prowness and heroism. He was pleased to honour the Jain Gurus of Bijaloya (Mewar) and bestowed the village of Morakuti for the keep of a Jain temple. He was succeeded by
*Peterson’s Report IV. P. 87.
His uncle Someshwara Partapa-Lankesva, who was a great and powerful King. Someshwara patronised the Jains and made a fift of the village Renuka to the Parshwa Nath temple of Bijoyala. He was the illustrious fater of Prithvi Raj III who fought bravely with Shahabudin Mohmmed Ghori.*
King Ashvaraja was a feudatory lord. He patronised the Jain and gave commands for the full observance of Ahimsa in his Kingdom on certain days in a year.
His son Alhandeva was also an ardent lover of Jainism. He fought may battle for his King Emperor Kumarapal and like his father iussued commands for the stopping of himsa on the 8th, 11th and the 14th day of every lunar fortnight. In 1162 A.D. he made a grant in favour of the temple of Lord Mahavira at Nadol.** Jainism flourished well under him.
King Bhoja , the Parihar Rajpur, was a powerful ruler if the whole of Northern India, he honoured the Jain Guru Boppa Suri. He was a Sanskrit scholar and a follower of Jainism.
King Kakkuka. He was another Prithihara rular, who ruled at Mandore(Rajputana). He became famous for his victories over the Kings of Maru, Meda, Valla, Guyar and the Bhillas. He was a Sanskrit scholar and followest of Jainism. He had built temple of Jinendra.***
King Manuja Vakpatiry II the Paramara Rajput conquered the southern countries of Karnataka, Lata, Kerla and Chola. He was himself a great scholar and a good poet. His court was ever thronged with learned a men and poets. In his time the Jain scholar were successful in making many convert to Jainism.
*Ojha, History of Rajputana (Hindi) Vol. P. 363
** Tank, Dictionary of Jain Biography (Arrah) p. 43
*** Ojha History of Rajputana (Hindi) pp. 148-149
The Solankis ruled over Gujrat from 964 to 1242 A.D. and Jainism flourished under them.
Kumarapal gained the Solanki throne through his Valour and prowness. He became a paramount monarch by waging successful wars with many important rules of his time. The Shevtambra Jain scholar Hem Chandra converted him to Jainism. The Jain wielded great power at his court. Kumarapal’s conversion to Jainism produced a great change in him. He gave up flesh food, abstained from intoxicating drink, refused to make aggressive wars and expressed great respect for the rights of his weaker neighbours. Like the Mauryan Emperor Ashkka he sent religious missions to the rulers of different territories. He founded 21 libraries and had copied hundred of old manuscripts.
The Rathors of Hathundi (Rajpurana) were a ruling clan, during the 10th centuryA.D. King Vidhoraj of these Rathors was a Jain, who built a temple of Rsabha Deva at Hathundi and also made a gift of land on it.-
Abridged from a book “ Some Historical Jains Kings and Heroes” by Dr. Kumta Prasad, Ph.D., M.R.A.S., Published by the Jain Mandal, Delhi.