Friday, October 26, 2012

Royal patrons of Jainism

Samprati, grandson of Asoka, the great Mauryan Emperor, had embraced Jainism. His contribution to Jainism is similar to that of Asoka to Buddhism. In the latter half of the first century B.C. King Kharavela of Orissa professed Jainism and became its great patron. It is interesting to note that though Kharavela had embraced Jainism, which stresses on non-violence, he was an imperialist to the core and entered in sanguinary conflicts with his adversaries all over India. He is credited with setting up several images and his chief queen granted a rock-cut cave to the Jain monks.
From the fifth century AD onwards, famous rulers of royal dynasties of South India, such as the Chalukyas, the Gangas, the Kadambas and the Rashtrakutas were patrons of Jainism. Amoghavarsha of the Rashtrakuta dynasty became a Jain monk and patronized Jinasena, author of Adipuarana.

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