Page:History of India Vol 1.djvu/386

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

tra, entered the Holy Order at the age of twenty-eight, and after twelve years of self-mortification became a saint and prophet. During the last thirty years of his life he organized his order of ascetics. He was thus a rival of Gautama Buddha, and is mentioned in Buddhist writings under the name of Nataputra as the head of a numerous sect in Vaisali. Mahavira's death occurred some time after 500 b. c., probably shortly before the decease of Buddha.

Jain tradition goes on to say that in the second century after Mahavira's death at Papa there was a famine in Magadha. The renowned Chandragupta was then the sovereign of Magadha. Bhadrabahu, with a portion of his Jain followers, left Magadha under pressure of the famine and went to Karnata. During his absence, the Jains of Magadha settled their scriptures, consisting of the eleven Angas and the fourteen Puvvas, the latter sometimes called the twelfth Anga. On the return of peace and plenty, the Jains again sought Magadha; but within these years a difference in custom had arisen between those who had stayed in Magadha, and those who had gone to Karnata. The former had assumed a white dress, and the latter adhered to the old rule of absolute nudity. The former were accordingly called Svetambaras, and the latter Digambaras. The scriptures which had been settled by the former were not accepted by the latter, and the Digambaras therefore have no Angas. The final division between the two sects is said to have taken place in 83 a. d.

In course of time the scriptures of the Svetambaras