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the original home of jainism

'The Original Home of Jainism' by Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri

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Published in "The Jaina Antiquary", Vol. XIV,  No. 2, January 1949

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The Original Home of Jainism by Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri

It has become customary to take granted the statements of certain historians that Jainism like Buddhism represents a reaction to the sacrificial cult of Vedic Aryans and in the case of Jainism many scholars are reluctant to take back the history of the faith before Parsva in about the 9th century B. C. Magadha which happened to be outside the pale of the Vedic sacrificial cults in the earliest times happened to be the birthplace of both Jainism and Buddhism and hence many have thought that these religions were perhaps of non-Aryan origin. Another theory is that there was at first a wave of non-Vedic but Aryan peoples who had spread all over Hindustan and that later on a new branch of the same Aryans but with Vedic cults, came and established themselves, driving out the earlier non-Vedic Aryans into Magadha, where Jainism and Buddhism arose. The Indus Civilization of C, 3000 – 2500 B. C. with its cults of nudity and yoga, the worship of the bull and other symbols has resemblances to Jainism and therefore the Indus Civilisation is supposed to be of non-Aryan or non-Vedic Aryan origin. The Protagonists of the non-Aryan theory are many and some of them call the civilisation definitely Dravidian.

I have shown in my “Proto-Indic Religion” that the so called non-Aryan characteristics are really those of Atharva-Veda civilization and that the Vedas themselves provide ample proofs of the worship of the Mother Goddess, the Bull, Serpent, Yoga etc. Therefore the Indus Civilization is post – Vedic and an admixture of many Tantric practices. It is impossible to assign a Dravidian origin to the Jaina and Buddhist religions as the Tirthankaras and Buddhas are clearly designated as Kshatriyas and Aryas.

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Miniature Painting in Jain Manuscripts

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