THE CONTRIBUTION OF JAINISM

The jains contributed much to the growth of literature in Pali, Prakrit and Tamil. In Tamil Seevaka Shinthamani by Thiruthakka Thevar, Nannool, a Tamil grammar by Pavanandhi Munivar are rich literary works by the Jams. Even Thiruvalluvar is considered to be a Jain. Hemachandra was probably the greatest Jain historian. He wrote A History of Gujarat. He compiled two lexicons (dictionaries) and wrote his famous Prakrit grammar. He also wrote the Yoga Sutra. The Holy books of Jains are Angas and Purvas.

The contribution of the Jain to art and architecture are note worthy. The Jain temple, called Dilwara temple, at Mount Abu in Rajastan is famous for its art and architecture. The Jam temples at Khajuraho, Chittor and Ranakpur are also famous for their architecture. Ranakpur is one of the main holy places of the Jains. The carvings at Udayagiri, Hathigumpha, Ellora and Girnar are good examples of Jam Art. The huge Gomateswara statue at Sravana Belgola near Mysore is another Jain monument.

Causes for the decline of Jainism

Jainism did not spread all over India. It preached severe ahimsa which was highly impossible for a commoner to follow. The lack of royal support was also another cause for its decline. The followers of Mahavira failed to propagate Jainism vigorously.

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