Jain Hymn Book
A Jain hymn to Mahavira in elaborate Sanskrit poetic style. Copied for Rayamalashva of Bimdara, Jakshapura.
The King of Bhoja, Gujerat, a large province of Bombay Presidency, was unusually fond of learning and literature. In his time there was a great revival of Sanskrit literature. Hundreds of learned men came to his court from all quarters of India, and all were rewarded according to their merits. Among these Punditas came a certain Jain monk, Manatungacharya. He was bound with many chains and thrown into the great hall and shut in with many locks. He began to compose this “Sorta” or “Collection of Hymns” and no sooner did he finish one hymn than one chain was broken. Thus when he finished 48 hymns, 48 chains and locks were broken and the monk appeared before the king free from bondage. In transmitting this story, the Pundit Lalan state in 1862 that, “This may appear untrue in this age of materialism, but the secret of this lies in the spirit , which has the power to overcome all material barriers…”
The poet Manatunga lived during the Christian millennium, possibly as early as the 3 century since his works are used and highly regarded by the different sects of Jains who have diverged and ceased to use each other’s literature since then.