JAIN RESPONSE TO ISLAM IN AN OVERALL DHARMIK-HINDU NARRATIVE
Abrahamic propaganda of Jihaad-bil-Zubaan,Jain intellectualism, Hindu narrative
Opposition of Islam or Christianity to moorti Pooja is well documented as it is there is Abrahamic scripture. This blog series 1-to-3 highlights how Jains faced the standard Abrahamic psychological propaganda machine, the “Jihad-bil-Zubaan”, as well as actual physical threats, and places Jain resistance squarely in the Hindu side of the overall ‘Hindus-facing-Abrahamics’ narrative.
Blog 1-The need for discovering a narrative by Jains to ‘Chrislam’ and the positioning of the narrative in the overall Hindu narrative; Jain reactions to Islamic presence, enlisted and reviewed from another Jain webpage
Blog 2-Jain intellectuals from medieval times to the present, their arguments against moorti repudiation, and review of some Jain Indologists
Blog 3-Jain military participation against Islam
Thus, in this blog series, we shall be discussing how well the Jain response fits into the overall Hindu narrative of first being fear-struck and then striking back both intellectually and militarily.
Blog 1-The need for discovering a narrative by Jains to Chrislam and the positioning of the narrative in the overall Hindu narrative; and, Jain reactions to Islamic presence, enlisted and reviewed from another Jain webpage
Jihad-bil-Zubaan is a verbal Jihad-of-words – attacking the foundational siddhaanta of Indian faiths – where Muslim rulers condemned moorti Pooja, challenged the upholding of Ahimsa by purposefully supporting slaughtering of Cows, derided celibacy and abstinence, etc. It was done whenever Islamic or Christian invaders couldn’t physically demolish moortis or Mandirs, or kill or forcibly convert Hindus in India. In the specific case of Jain Kaffirs, the attacks of Islamic propaganda focused on Jain beliefs like moorti Pooja, vegetarianism and Ahimsa, nakedness of Digambars, etc. This blog series also leads the reader to the different reactions Jains showed under Islamic rule, from dhimmitude to resilience to active resistance, and how this whole spectrum of Jain reactions quite matched the response spectrum of the Vaidiks, to the common Islamic threat.
When Islam invaded India, as Kafirs, how the intra-Dharmik minority of Jains too suffered due to Jihad (temple depradation, killing, conversion, taxation, enslavement, prying on womenfolk, etc.) like the majority Vaidik-Aastik community is already compiled as an overview in our previous blog: ‘Jihad against Jainism’ on HinduCause (read: http://hinducause.org/2017/12/24/jihad-against-jainism-mandir-destruction-conversion-lovejihad-terrorism/). Jains also lost extensive centres of learning to Islamic ravagement (Eg. Vallabhi) and entire urban centres (Eg. Fatehpur Sikri) to Islamic appropriation, besides losing entire Jain kingdoms.
To quote another Jain webpage: “…rulers of Delhi were all staunch followers of Islam, and intolerant towards the Hindus and the Jains. According to them, these Indians were Kafirs. For their trivial military, religious and political interest, they did not hesitate even a mite to shed blood of the non-Muslims and plunder their property. They were totally iconoclasts. It was a part of their religious activities to destroy temples, idols and deprive property of the Jain and the Hindu temples and the businessmen. Qua rulers, these foreigners did not provide patronage to Jain and other religions and their sacred places. The rigid religious injunctions given by their staunch ulemas were the last word to them. Their sole interest was to convert Indians to Islam, and to impose extra and heavy taxes on those who did not accept their religion, and to suppress them a hundred other ways…” https://www.jainworld.com/general/prem/Chapter%20XIV%20fe.htm
How could Jainism with its non-violence survive the medieval times of Islamic aggression amidst the Holocaust of all Hindus? Jains adjusted themselves to turbulent times. Yes, Jain subjects (along with all other non-Jain mostly Vaidik subjects) got protected under Vaidik kings who would militarily counter Islamic aggression to protect their kingdoms. The Jain tradition was kept alive by sheer practice by the Jain commoner (quite like the lay follower of any sect or faith under attack) and by many known and unknown Jain munis and suris who abided with Jain agamas. Jain paathshalas survived too. Jain monies helped, as did Jain resourcefulness. The tradition of mandir building, art and sculpture was also kept alive by successful investments by Jain merchants who were patrons of Jain Mandirs and Derasars, though friendships of some wealthy Jains with the invader rulers has been negatively reviewed of late.
But what kept alive the innate, Dharmik character of Jainism – the ancient Jain parampara of scriptural study, review, new compositions, shastraartha and parisamvaada, that too amidst Abrahamic propaganda, was the intellectual resurgence of Jainism, which initially started as an intra-Jain counter to certain viewpoints of some Jain sects which shared iconophobic doctrine with iconoclastic Islam, but grew into the pro-moorti Jain intellectual argument participating in the greater Hindu narrative against the greater Abrahamic enemy. Yet, all viewpoints of the rival sects were accepted into the greater conglomerate of viewpoints, under Jain anekantwaad. The corpus of the blog deals with Jain arguments countering not just sects of their own who seemed influenced by Islamic propaganda, but Islamic teachings itself, right up to questioning Christian doctrine in the British rule era. The greater picture deals with how all Dharmik sects could deal with all swattwa-sapping ideologies in the anti-Dharmik anti-India line: Islam, Christianity, colonial imperialism, etc.
Besides, even some Jains have militarily participated in rebuking Islamic armies, not just benefitting from military protection by Vaidik armies but with Jain soldiers extending even military protection to Vaidik leaders in times of need, with success in operations in battle! This would be best illustrated by the oral and documented histories of Bhama Shah and Tara Chand, whose Jain clan helped the Mewad royals for generations. Even this fits into the overall Hindu narrative of armed resistance to Islam, but that is the matter of yet another later blog.
Abrahamic psychological propaganda: An indirect Jihad attacking Jain siddhaantas:
Islamic propaganda of Jihad-bil-Zubaan triggered a response of Jain Intellectualism which formed a Hindu narrative
A: The common Dharmik history, the overall virtual battlefield and the common pan-Hindu narrative:
B: Disqualification of Abrahamism from participation in a Dharmik sammelan:
C: Case specific to Jains
A: The common Dharmik history, the overall virtual battlefield and the common pan-Hindu narrative:
Abrahamic invaders launched not just a political – military onslaught but also launched a psychologically subversive onslaught, a propaganda against all Dharmik societies. First Islam, then Christianity and colonialism and still later, Communism have all left a trail of subversive propaganda against Dharmik beliefs. This included Islam making caustic comments about all Hindu beliefs like Moorti Pooja (Vaidik / Jain / animist / Buddhist), monasticism, stress on celibacy, non-violence, etc. Thus, even when Islam (or later, Christianity) was not physically attacking Jain (and other Dharmik) temples and killing or converting Jain (and other Dharmik) people, Islam was still busy seeking to accomplish its mission of trying to finish off kufr and shirk by propaganda – verbal attacks, insults and indignities, sowing of doubts about the Dharmik way of life in the minds of impressionable Hindus of the time and trying to change the very character of Dharmik beliefs from within.
When an Abrahamic sect, with an invader, proselytising and colonial mindset, raises questions about practices and beliefs of native indigenous sects of Sanatana Dharma, it is fishing for accommodation of Abrahamic dogma one bit at a time, and setting the stage for more acceptance of and accommodation with even further bits of religious and political dogma of the Abrahamic invader, eventually leading to full acceptance of Abrahamic dogma after a critical threshold. This way, a confused individual from within Dharma not self-grounded could be picked up for brainwashing and conversion into Abrahamism, or at least the ground could be prepared for further conversion later.
Worse, what if a sect of Dharma starts showing changes in beliefs which seem to accommodate the beliefs of the Abrahamic? It may also start off with the atmosphere of Abrahamic Rule making fashionable and politically correct the giving up of certain practices of Dharma most targeted by Islam. This propaganda by Islam was more sinister in the post-Pruthviraj and pre-Shivaji centuries of the medieval times, especially when Islam politically ruled from Delhi / Agra and was considered ruling the capital of India. It renewed itself under British colonial Rule. It is clear that while temple appropriation and military raids impoverished the local Dharmik communities, Abrahamic psychological propaganda diluted Dharmik sentiment without victims being physically killed or converted.
A psychological uprightness also makes one’s military response sharper and precise, while a weak intellectual response makes one hesitate at the diplomatic table, even ceding back militarily conquered gains.
There is no way Jains or any other Dharmiks can counter any psychological propaganda without being self-aware, or without knowing one’s own basis and history; not knowing anything about one’s own tradition leaves a less uninformed individual vulnerable; but a community can change this by swa-adhyaay.
But countering propaganda point-by-point can trap one into the narrative of the opponent, where the shots are called by the opponent. The true counter is by shaking the opponent’s basis of belief and subjecting him to his or her own game. Hindus in general have to learn that. Hindus (Dharmik societies) must rise to call Chrislamist bluff and counter Abrahamic nonsense by launching a virtual psychological Dharmik counter-offensive against Chrislamist dogma, which is quite easy to demolish, as the dogma, in the words of Ram Swarup ji, is not a proof but simply a high-decibel claim, a “da’wa”.
A pan-Abrahamic propaganda requires a pan-Dharma response. The various Darshans of Hindus (Astik and NaAstik) can actually give us a whole plethora of options. Like political parties working on a common minimum program for a coalition, Hindus too can create a counter to Abrahamic propaganda which is based on all siddhaantas of Dharma. In fact, weaving together a pan-Bhaarateeya, pan-Hindu, sarva-Dharmik response to Abrahamic, communist and colonial verbiage is something which is the need of the hour.
Islamic Da’wa was bolstered by political patronage in the medieval times, and is now shielded from Dharmik attacks by a secularist minority of pseudo-intellectuals with mendacious logic. A fifth-column press also gags Dharmik upright response; yet even there, the social media arms offer a solution to mainstream media. Technology provides a virtual battlefield (सूक्ष्मस्तरे युद्धम्).
This blog is to lay the ground for crystalising out this larger narrative: When (1) all anti-Hindu (Biblical-Quranic-Communist) forces launched attacks which were (2) not just physical but propaganda-based ideological attacks against Sanatan Dharma (faith-insulting, anti-national and subversive attacks Eg. Abrahamic deriding of moorti Pooja) and even racial insults, against (3) all sections of Hindu-Sanatan Dharmik society (including Jains) against which (4) not just Vaidiks-Astiks but even Jains retaliated intellectually and even militarily, it becomes the national narrative of India. Anti-India forces seek to dilute and end away this national narrative for the break-up of India.
B: Dharmik debate: Abrahamism as a mata, not worthy of being called a Darshan, and is disqualified from attending any Dharmik debate:
One sect of Sanatana Dharma getting questioned about its siddhaanta by other sects, or, one darshana exponent getting debated by exponents of other sects, in the tradition of almost brutal shaastraartha, has always existed and should always exist within Dharmik schools; did not Vadigalaai and Thengalaai Iyengars, Advaitavaadins and Dwaitavaadins, Shaivas and Vaishnavas, Astiks and NaAstik sects debate each other? Similarly, Jains and Astik darshans, Jains and Buddhists, Jains and Chaarvaakawaadins, Jains and Vaidiks and also Svetambar and Digambar Jain sects debated each other as did sub-sects amongst each Jain sect. In case of Jains, the acceptance of the inevitability of many viewpoints – anekaantwaad – without trying to choose one over another – is the Jain ‘Darshan’.
But the crude ideology of Abrahamism which advocates willful genocide of and taking away of the womenfolk of non-adherents, iconoclasm (moortibhanjan and mandirbhanjan), lays out loot as a scripture-sanctioned method, orders conversion of non-adherents or appropriation of sites of the Goyeim / Kaffir / gentile is not worthy of the status of a Darshan, and cannot fit into Sanatan Dharma, to get due respect of poorva-paksha at a sarva-darshan sammelan. The Old and New Testaments and the Quran are filled with hateful invectives against moorti Pooja. Ram Swarup ji calls the Abrahamic propensity an Aasuri Sampada.
C: The specific case of Jains:
This picture of military subjugation, conversion and insult of Jains by Islam was not at all different from how the Vaidik Dharma and Boudhda Dhamma practitioners too had to face diabolical Jihad. Jain grief in the wake of an Islamic invasion is an edition of overall Hindu grief, Jain glory is part of total Hindu glory (or, Dharma glory) without compromising the distinct identity of Jains as a segment of Dharma differing from Buddhists or Vaidiks otherwise in certain respects.
The spectrum of Jain responses:
Vaidik, Jain or Buddhist: overall, Dharma was first on the backfoot. But that is not the full story. As Jains adjusted to an Islamic ruling environment in a number of ways, Jains showed a whole spectrum of responses to the invasion and colonisation by Islam: from being strategic, conceding, accommodating and negotiating with Islamic political authority, to standing upright against Islamic propaganda, to participating in the sarva-Hindu struggle for independence from Islamic, and later colonial and still later, Secularist rule.
1.Enumerating Jain responses which were suggestive of bending before Islamic aggression:
(1) Surrender and withdrawal;
(2) Change in cherished Jain ritual and beliefs of Jain praxis under (Islam-imposed) duress;
(3) Jain Dhimmitude: The status of paying jiziya tax;
(4) Jains giving up moorti Pooja in Islamic times;
(5) An economic, opportunistic and anti-national streak;
(6) Remaining sectarian towards Vaidiks and remaining cocooned, indifferent to fellow-Indic suffering
2.Enumerating Jain responses which show Jain uprightness before Islamic (and later, Christian) aggression:
(1) Intra-Jain debate: Jains pro- and against moorti Pooja: Jain Moorti-poojaks retain traction
(2) Jains daring to comment against Islam;
(3) Jain uprightness before Christianity;
(4) Jain resilience;
(5) Jain military response (worth a separate blog series)
The need to study Jain response to Islamic rule propaganda against moorti-pooja:
What could have happened if Jainism, with medieval anti-Vaidik rhetorical accretions, would have overall, largely turned moorti-rejecting, that too, in the ruling times of Islamic iconoclasts? After all, Jainism was a very ancient branch of Hindu society. It is obvious that the rise of aniconic (moorti repudiating) Jains remains a development circumspect if not suspect in matching contemporariness with Islamisation of Delhi’s rulers.
Having witnessed how the moorti-rejection rhetoric and polemic of breakaway sects of Vaidik Dharma – like Sikhism, Kabir Panth, Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj – and the outright anti-Brahmin propaganda of the Satya Shodhaks or Dravidianists who also violently attacked moortis – lead to either soft support for or direct participation in separatist movements, it sounds retrospectively alarming to have moorti rejection gain fashinable traction within such an important branch of Sanatan Dharma, as Jainism is, considering the monetary and mercantile capabilities of Jains, and their clout with Islamic rulers. While it was considered elite and reformist to be Brahmo or Arya Samaji before or around 1947, their clout continues till today amongst Breaking India forces: many individual leaders of origin in moorti repudiator movements have provided soft power to naxalites, Khalistanwadis or LTTE.
But, rather than moorti-repudiation becoming the dominant discourse in Jain society during the era of Islamic rule, moorti-poojak Jains evolved an intellectual culture supporting their stand of moorti Pooja based on Jain viewpoints itself, as with collaterals in Vaidiks too sticking to worshipping moortis, amidst Abrahamic criticism. Moorti-aadar is indeed one of the indices with which one may measure the extent to which Hindus have escaped complete colonisation.
Whether Jains worship with or without moorti Pooja remains their individual and internal matter; Jains are the Dharmik brothers of Vaidiks anyway; and the most integrated amongst the NaAstik or AVaidik branches of Dharma. But for all of us Hindus today, recovering historical narrative back from history-distorting leftists, this episode of Jain history, of the doctrine of some Jains rejecting moorti Pooja, and its intra-Jain khanDan, requires a detailed study, as many arguments supporting moorti Pooja in general, within Vaidik sects, can also be gained by osmosis.
JAIN BEHAVIOUR WHICH SUGGESTED BENDING BEFORE ISLAM:
1. Surrender and withdrawal:
When overpowered without a Vaidik king to protect them, Jains had to abandon their homesteads and flee. They lost control over their shrines and premises.
In case of Southern India, we have a stark example of Wyanad, Kerala, which had a thriving Jain centre, and which was turned into a fort or godown to store heavy ammunition by Muslim tyrant Tipu Sultan, stands out. (A weapon place of Islamic rulers over a place of non-violent Jains.) The original place was called Hannaredu Bedhi (Twelve Streets) and is now called Sultan Bathery. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/150919/nation-current-affairs/article/jain-temple-gives-peek-historical-past
2. Change in cherished ritual and beliefs of Jain practice:
Jains who continued moorti parampara started making moortis which were less bejeweled, buried their moortis or concealed their moortis underground to keep their moortis safe from Islamic attack, or tried carving images into rock faces. But hese too were not a guarantee from Islamic attack for defilement. http://www.jainpedia.org/themes/places/jainism-and-islam/jains-and-muslim-iconoclasm/contentpage/1.html
Some Jains started installing small images in chaityalayas (home-temples). They had to acquire firmāns (royal proclamations) – which gave permission for pilgrimage -from Delhi Sultans to do Teertha Yatra. https://www.jainworld.com/general/prem/Chapter%20XIV%20fe.htm
Digambar Jains gave up moving naked. Quotes a website: “…Who are the Bhattārakas? If they represent the Digambara tradition, how come they are not “sky clad”? … Bateshwar Pattavali… mentions Prabhāchandra as the āchārya who originated the tradition of clothed Bhattarakas in the 14th century… ‘One time the Muslim Emperor of Delhi wanted to convert all local Jains. The Shravakas went to Gujarat. Acharya Prabhachandra came to Delhi to meet the Emperor to protect the Shravakas from becoming Muslim… thinking about the time, Prabhachandra created the order of clothed monks. Saved Jainism… and after Prabhachandra, all the Acharyas became Bhattarakas, because this is bad time.’… A Prashasti in Sanskrit and Kannada that is traditionally recited at Shravanbelgola, mentions several Bhattaraka Pithas, the very first of them ‘Dehali’, suggesting the custom originated at Delhi…During the Muslim rule, it was impossible for any sky-clad monks to wander freely… 13th to 20th centuries, the Digambaras of North India only had Bhattarakas and no full-fledged monks. Until recent times, Bhattarakas was actually initiated as a sky- clad monk…followed by a ceremony…Shravakas would request the newly initiated Bhattaraka: ‘These are adverse times. It is no longer possible for sky-clad monks to move around freely. Please accept wearing of clothes’… The Bhattaraka would then accept clothes, sometimes giving them up during meditation…” http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/bhattaraka.html
3. Jain Dhimmitude: The status of paying jiziya tax:
When faced without military protection and with limited alternatives to survive, while keeping their Jain faith and identity intact and without having to convert to Islam in these difficult medieval times, Jains tried negotiations with Muslim rulers at least for their sect but often, like all helpless Indic-faith adherents back then, Jains also bought protection with Jiziya tax payment to Islamic rulers expending their earnings from hard-earned wealth (Jains, as traders, often had slightly more money to spare to pay Jiziya and could remain Jain, one tax-paying-year at a time). Else, Jains had to convert or die or escape alive, if they could at all. This attitude was shown by several Hindus of the Muslim rule era.
4. Jains giving up moorti Pooja in Islamic times:
Interestingly coinciding with the presence of an ‘imperial’ Islamic rule which countered moorti-pooja, some Jains did give up moorti Pooja, which may or may not be related to any aniconic option within Jainism but where aniconism was certainly upheld and fashionable under political and ideological pressure from the rule of iconoclastic (moortibhanjak) Islam.
Aniconism affected both Shwetaambars and Digambars. In Bundelkhand in central India a Digambara ‘aniconic’ community had developed under Tāraṇ Taraṇ Svāmī (1448–1515 CE) (Cort 2006). In Shwetambars, two moorti-repudiating sects have evolved by breaking away from the moorti poojaks mainstream. To quote a Jain webpage: “Gada sav, the father of Taran Swami… was one of the officers of the Lodis. Originally, he was from Bundelkhand. He was a revolutionary Jain thinker, who opposed idol-worship and all other forms of worship in the fashion of Lonka Shah. For him, this was all a piece of sheer ostentation, and a mere false ostentation of religion. His teaching in this regard had a wide impact on people. As such a large number of people became his followers. A separate community of such people came into existence in the name of Sammaiya community. This came to be known as Taranpanth.” https://www.jainworld.com/general/prem/Chapter%20XIV%20fe.htm
Quotes another Jain website: “Digambara groups such as the Taraṇ Svāmī Panth also developed at this time… In the 15th century, Jain reform movements that rejected idol worship surfaced in the Śvetāmbara tradition… In Gujarat, Loṅkā Śāh condemned the veneration of idols as inconsistent with Jain scriptures. Many of his followers returned to standard mūrti-pūjaka practices in the 16th century, but five monks renewed Loṅkā Śāh’s criticisms in the following century. Each one founded his own monastic lineage. Today these are collectively referred to as the Sthānaka-vāsin Jains. In the 18th century, the sect of the Śvetāmbara Terāpanthin developed into a separate aniconic community. While the timing of Loṅkā Śāh’s objections seems to coincide with the growing presence of Islam on the subcontinent, there is no evidence of specific connections. Loṅkā Śāh’s own followers did not produce written historical records until the 19th century. Only with 20th-century murti-pujak Jains, such as Jñānsundar, does the notion arise that Islamic ideas prompted Loṅkā Śāh’s suspicion of idol worship.” http://www.jainpedia.org/themes/places/jainism-and-islam/jains-and-muslim-iconoclasm/contentpage/1.html
5. An economic, opportunistic and anti-national streak has been shown by some Jain merchants as was argued by some articles on myind.net (Saswati Sarkar et al); but numerous other mercantile classes of India, not just the Jain class, showed mercantile attitudes. This blog seeks to counter that narrative that all Jains were simply selfishly mercantile and had contributed nothing to the struggle of Dharma against Abrahamism or colonialism. The myind.net series banks on the behaviour of three Jain merchants – Virji Vora and Shantidas Jhaveri of the Islamic era, and by Jagat Seth of the early colonial era, to press their case.
Well, the splinters of Jain sects are called the Gachhas; devotees and adherents did cross from one gachha to another. Even adherents of Shwetaambars and Digambars crossed into each other’s folds. Many Gachhas vied for ruler loyalty, and nagarseth Shantidas Jhaveri had meddled with appointment of Acharyas. Yet, ONE PARTICULAR GACHCHHA, the Tapa Gachha of the murtipujak Shwetambars has continuously remained the ideological bulwark of Jainism.
The particular merchant Virji Vora of Surat was a member of the sect of Jains most implicated for mercantile collaboration with Islamist rulers: that of the moorti-rejecting Lonka Shah: the sect called Lonkagacchiya Sthanakwasi. We must remember, Shwetambar Tapagacchiya Jain intellectualism has always targeted the Lonkagacchiya as being intellectually slack, not studying Sanskrit texts regularly and being unnecessarily influenced by iconoclastic Islam. (Also see previous paragraphs and refer to the book by Cort, whose exact particular quotes cannot be presented for copyright reasons) https://www.jainworld.com/general/prem/Chapter%20XIV%20fe.htm
Jagat Seth, the other Jain merchant implicated, was an Oswal Jain; but the Oswals are a community which has dual identity: Vaidik and Jain http://www.kothari.org.in/history.html. It was the pair of Oswal brothers (Kothari bandhu) who unfurled the saffron flag atop the Babari in the 1990 kar sewa at Ayodhya. The blog writer would like to respect the Oswals for producing the Kothari bandhus, rather than typifying Oswal behaviour after one Jagat Seth. http://www.kothari.org.in/salute_to_martys.html
The vast population within any Dharmik (Indic) Jaati was the lay person who was quite devoted to Dharma and Rashtra, and all trade cannot be considered anti-national. No Hindu jaati (or, as the article says, ‘Indics’) was inherently antinational.
Since the focus of this hinducause.org blog is on Jain behaviour during medieval Islamic times, this blog of hinducause.org seeks to project the truth: that as and where possible, the Jain community (with its lay Jain householders, patrons of Jain mandirs, merchants and the class of Jain Munis and Jain Acharyas) stayed firmly with Dharma. We shall instead see further ahead in this blog that, contrary to the allegation made in the articles of Saswati Sarkar et all in the myind.net series, Jains did exhibit an intellectual response, and wherever possible, even a military one, albeit on a scale proportional to their population.
6. Remaining sectarian towards Vaidiks and remaining cocooned, indifferent to fellow-Indic suffering:
Jain religious leaders had a millennium of experience of competing with Buddhism and Vaidik-Pouranic Dharma, so Jains had generated a lot of sectarian literature. But when Islam arrived, some Jain leaders did not read the Islamic writing on the wall (“Death to kaaffirs, mushriks and butparasts!”), and despite Islamic aggression continued either to harbour contempt towards the Vaidiks, or stay aloof and indifferent, as long as their own sect was protected; this behaviour is noticed even to this day.
Southwards, at Kolhapur and all of Southern Maharashtra at the border with Northern Karnataka, we have Jains who speak Kannada or Marathi (‘Kolhapuri Jains’ as we may generically refer to them). What happened to them under the invasions of the Muslims (Khilji onwards) and how well they were treated by the Vaidik (read: ‘Hindu’) Vijayanagara empire is self-evident. Quotes a Jain webpage: “In the beginning of the early mediaeval period, military expedition of the Khiljis, the Tughlaq rule and the rise of Bahamani Kingdom, indeed, curbed the growth and development of Jainism in South India, but it could not be faded altogether. It again got momentum in the Hindu Vijayanagar Kingdom. This kingdom was quite tolerant and patronizing.” https://www.jainworld.com/general/prem/Chapter%20XIV%20fe.htm
Goa (adjacent to Kolhapur) too had Jain presence in pre-Portuguese Vaidik (read: “Hindu”) Kadamba and the Vijayanagara kingdoms, where Jains have received patronage, protection, freedom of faith and of mercantile pursuits. Quoting a website: “A stone inscription from Nagueshi exhibited in the Museum of Archaeological Survey of India refers to the reconstruction of this Jain Basti during Vijayanagar period in 14th century. The Neminath Basti of Bandivade is square shaped and built of laterite blocks with grilled windows. An arch is provided at the entrance. It is possible that a dome existed over the structure.” https://sites.google.com/site/abafna/jainrelicsingoa But the Goa Jain Mandirs are now ruins; the reason the temple required reconstruction is most likely the iconoclasm of Muslims like Khilji, and the later abandonment and neglect (if not demolishment) is obviously due to the next edition of Abrahamic iconoclasm namely, Portuguese Christian moorti-bhanjak rule, and not due to any Vaidik (read: “Hindu”) rule which in fact had allowed reconstruction(fact pointed out to the chagrin of Secularists). Goa is so close to Kolhapur (border share) that even today, motorists enter Goa through the Kolhapur highway, through a pass in the Sahyadri. Marathas could stop the advance of the Portuguese at Kolhapur (Sambhaji, Peshwas). So there remains scope for investigating Jain-Muslim encounters (before Vasco da Gama landed) and after da Gama, for Jain-Christian encounters too.
Jains of Kolhapur and around, later in time (colonial times), established the “dakṣin mahāraṣṬra jain sabhā” https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/modern-asian-studies/article/concretely-imagining-the-southern-digambar-jain-community-18991920/6D0786F8E6C94434A67FA4EDAA1BC994.
As such, some Kolhapuri Jains may show a sectarian trait of opposing Brahman Dharma even today, although Brahmans following Jainism have contributed to the growth of Jainism even in Kolhapur Jains. (http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Jain_Brahmans) It is as if this Kolhapur Jain community never came out of a time warp when Jains, over centuries and millennia of classical times, competed for traction only with Adwaitavadis, Vishishtadvaitavadis, Dwaitavadis, Lingayats and Buddhists with no Abrahamic on the scene… and with complete nonchalance towards the events when ancient classical times had changed to the turbulent medieval times when Islam (Khilji, Bahmanis, Adil Shahi, Mughals around Vijayapura / Bijapur and later Hyder Ali and the Nizam) and Christianity (Portuguese at Goa) had both gate-crashed into the vicinity of Kolhapur and attacked every sect of Dharma, which cannot exclude jains.
We have the case of Annasaheb Latthe, an elite Kolhapuri Jain leader of colonial times, who displayed some classical signs: anti-Brahmanism, anti-Bania-ism, non-Brahmin unity against Brahmins, opposition to joining a Hindu party by thinking about what will happen to Muslims, opposing merger of Kolhapur State with the Indian Union after 1947, etc. Latthe joined forces with the anti-Brahmin movement of Jyotiba Phule, lent support to the anti-Brahmin politics of the peninsula at all possible political levels, networked with Sikhs and Dravidianists, etc till Marathas elbowed him away. http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/135712/13/13_chapter%207.pdf
Other Marathi Jains have supported Jain separatism for claiming minority status.
Even on the Hinduphobic circuit today, along with a corpus of upper jaati Hindu names, we have some names indicating Jain identity.
But… Being sectarian, cocooned or uninvolved in nationalism:
Not just Jain, but certainly a very pan-Hindu behaviour:
To be fair, Jains cannot be singled out for this attitude to remain cocooned or sectarian or non-nationalistic. We have had Vaishnav Satras of Assam also seek military help of the British against each other. Hindu princely states also sought help of the British against another; some princely states even supported the British East India company forces against the independence soldiers in 1857; but we do not label the communities (or the full citizens of the Indian Union whose ancestors were subjects of these princely states whose rulers and troops sided with the British), as anti-national all along, either. There are nationalistic Sikhs who oppose Khalistanis; there are Hindu non-Brahman Tamilians who oppose LTTE and support a unified India; there are nationalistic Assamese and overwhelmingly, nationalistic Jains. So we cannot label the entire Jain community as being anti-national. Besides sectarianism, there are two more attitudes which helped Hindu downfall and which cannot be squarely blamed onto Jains– 1, some leaders and individuals from the sects of Vaidik Dharma or from the upper jaatis of the Chaaturvarnya upheld the vice of practice of untouchability over resistance to Islam, opposing jaati cohesion – a form of collective Hindu failure which must be reversed and 2, in case of Jains, we also note a disconnect North-South in terms of their behaviour and response (Eg. Gujarati and Hindi speaking Jains behaving differently from Marathi Jains during British rule).
JAINS STANDING UP TO ISLAM
1. Jain resilience: (i) Jains go on building temples:
Even as Muslim rulers would destroy Jain Mandirs, Jains could use their money to go on building new temples or to repair old temples or temples damaged by Islamic armies.
“While by orders of the iconoclast Sultans, temples and idols were brought down to earth in Shatrunjay, Girnar, Stambha-tirtha, (Cambay or Khabhat) Arbuda etc., the Jain public was busy in the construction and reconstruction work right under their nose. Destroyer or destructor was tiring, but not the builder. There came a sort of flood of the small temples titivated with small beautiful images and copper-yantras during this period. Thickly Jain populated places like Palitana, Girnar, Prahladpur, Tarangarh, Ahmedabad, Devakula patan etc. were throbbing with the new creation of Jain literature and ancient Jain granthas (scriptures).” https://www.jainworld.com/general/prem/Chapter%20XIV%20fe.htm
Jain Mandirs were built anew in the times of brief or prolonged Rajput (Vaidik) rule that always patronized Jainism. Jains had built new Mandirs in the times of the Tomars of Gopadri (before it ended into Muslim control) and under the factions of the Mewad kings after Rana Pratap too; likewise under the Bhatis of Jaisalmer, the Rathods, the Chahamanas, etc.
Even this tendency, to develop indigenous arts and Dharmik sculpture, is seen in Vaidiks. Did not Tenali Rama, Purandar Dasa exist only because there was Hindu Vijaynagaar? Did not Marathi poets and saints exist under protection of Shivaji?
1. Jain resilience: (ii) Jains stay alive under Islamic rulers also by the power of money:
Muslim rulers, who never did a day’s hard work, lived off the fat of the land of India. Their economy of loot had divine sanction from the Bible to the Quran.
[Biblical sanction of plunder: Old Testament: Book of Numbers: Conquest of the Midianites, Division of the Plunder 25-54 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers%2031;&version=NLT
Quranic sanction of plunder: 8:69: Sura 8 (Sura Al-Anfal: The Spoils of War), Ayat 69: “So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good, and be afraid of Allah.” https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/noble/sura8.html#69 ]
But any economy of loot becomes unsustainable because there is only expenditure with suspension or cessation of any new production for anything to be looted; this happened in India too, under the rule of the very Sultans who had looted India. So the Sultans had to reduce or stop looting and allow economic revival by encouraging agriculture and trade under law and order, which also reduced popular revolts and allowed some stability. And that is when the Muslim rulers needed the merchants (most of whom were Jains). By itself, being a merchant is not a crime but a sign of healthy social economics. This point is best conveyed by a quote from a Jain website: “…when the loot-point began to touch its last marginal limit, the Sultans had no other alternative than to depend on the wealthy Jain community to meet their fiscal needs and casualties. This way the prevailing situation forced these bigots to surrender with no condition whatsoever….The economy of loot was crossing the marginal or rather its elasticity limit. Their war and luxurious tendencies caused terrible spendthrift and told heavily on the exchequer. And this made them dependent on the wealthy who were mostly Jains. Hence, they thenceforth began to attract the rich Jains of the nearby areas to their side by guaranteeing the security of their life and belongings. Thus many Jain families emerged as a well established class during the Muslim period. Now they got an opposite opportunity to display the skill and craft, ability and wisdom which they had acquired from centuries old traditions. And, because of this very reason, they were given high posts of administration and honour. Only the Almighty knows what they cherished and nourished within their bosom, but it is certainly true that had to allow or overlook the new constructions and old reconstructions of the Jains, and issue firmans for the Sangha-Yatras. Along with this , they had to give due regards to some influential Jain sadhus, saints and acharyas… it were these Jains only who by spreading out their financial and intellectual net could, to a greater extent, build up the atmosphere of tolerance during the reign of intolerant Muslim rulers, and thus keep intact Indian values and voices. This too needs be delineated that the Jain shreshthis cooperated with the Hindu dynasties open heartedly and quite liberally. Bhamashah who gave his all for the sake of freedom was after all a Jain.” https://www.jainworld.com/general/prem/Chapter%20XIV%20fe.htm
In Hindu society, earning money is one of the purushaarthas. Even today, many a Hindu social and dharmik enterprise is funded by Jain money, as also resistance to threats like slaughterhouses.
2. Jains, Islamic environment and Moorti Pooja:
Either Jainism always had or always never had any moorti Pooja as a necessary rite from the most ancient times; or, may be, both ways of ritual worship, with or without worshipping moortis, co-existed in Jain society since ancient times. Eventually, those Jains who continued to do Moorti Pooja and those other Jains who didn’t do Moorti Pooja in their rites coalesced into their own respective sects that ritually always did or simply never did any moorti Pooja.
But when Islamic rule and moorti bhanjan appeared on the scene, supporting Moorti Pooja, which was opposed by Islam, fell from political correctness and invited attacks. It became politically fashionable and also tactful giving up moorti Pooja and politically incorrect sticking to doing moorti Pooja to survive in an environment of Islamic iconoclasm. It is debatable whether the atmosphere of Islamic iconoclasts had made Jain Dharmiks rethink their earlier cherished values, like moorti Pooja, which was scoffed at or attacked outright by Islam, prompting them to continue to remain Jain but without moorti Pooja anymore, or whether the option of aniconic ritual worship existed within Jainism. But the coincidence of moorti-repudiating sects like the Lonka gaccha arising in the time frame of Islamic rule over Northern India remains undeniable. Also, too many Jain websites mention Jain opposition to doing moorti Pooja as influenced by Islam, which Western-born Jainology Indologists may choose to misrepresent due to Western cultural bias against morti worship.
So now, those Jain sects which were moorti-nirapeksha (never did moorti Pooja – or the imperfect word ‘aniconic’ used by Jainology Indologists) became active moorti-virodhaks (anti-iconic; another imperfect translation would be ‘iconophobes’), ridiculing moorti Pooja as a rite filled with violence (Eg. due to lamp burning), likened to the ‘himsa of Vaidik Dharma’, the bête noire of Jain fundamentalists. These same neo-iconophobe Jain sects never uttered a single word about the real himsa which was Islamic iconoclasm, and the whole genocide being unleashed onto all branches of the Sanatan Dharma family, even as they developed rhetoric and polemic opposing other Jain sects (and Vaidiks) who worshipped Moortis, which polemic they could also apply against Vaidiks.
In this changed environment, those Jain sects which did moorti Pooja had to be brave and uphold it with sect-canonical sanction.
3. Jain criticism of Islamic violence:
That Jain leaders criticized Islamic Himsa as juxtaposed against Jain Ahimsa has not lost the attention of Jainology Indologists like James Cort, who call it a ‘long-standing trope by Jains against Islam’, and stated that Jains have called Islam the global root of all iconoclasm. This is discussed in detaill in the very next blog of this series.
4. Jain uprightness before Christianity: covered in the next blog
5. Jain military response: (worth a separate blog) – covered in the next-to-next blog of HinduCause
EVOLUTION OF JAIN RESPONSES TO ISLAM ACROSS CENTURIES: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A JAIN INFORMATION SITE:
From being timidly negotiative and defeatist to being upright and resilient, from losing self-esteem to rediscovery of self-esteem, a community shows one’s character. To see this flow of Jain responses to Islam, we hereby critique and evaluate the content from an authentic Jain website www.jainpedia.org and analyse what is written from a pan-Hindu perspective: pages 1, 2 and 3 are referred to. http://www.jainpedia.org/themes/places/jainism-and-islam/jains-and-muslim-iconoclasm.html
“Jain traditions offered numerous material and cultural responses to Muslim iconoclasm. They responded practically by changing the materials used to carve religious icons. They also produced monumental statues intended to withstand the inevitable apocalypse of this cycle of time, which was being brought about by Islamic attacks. Jains also cultivated a myriad of literary responses. Many Jain thinkers pass over instances of violent iconoclasm in pre-modern texts and instead focus on other topics. Others interpreted iconoclastic episodes according to Jain concepts of regressive time or as an opportunity to showcase the durability of their faith. Jains took several practical measures against Muslim assaults on religious images and buildings. For example, many stories narrate that the Gods instructed people not to make bejewelled images but, rather, to use stone or brick to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Earlier writers, such as Jinaprabha-sūri, refer to images being buried in order to avoid damage by Muslims. Later writers, such as Samayasundara, also confirm that idols were concealed underground by attesting that they were reintroduced to the Jain community in the 17th century. Jains often replaced and, less frequently, recovered images that had been taken by Muslims…”
- ‘Passing over’ instances of Jain moorti or Jain Mandir desecration is a sign of cowardice; the very words ‘pass over’ prove that the event was recorded elsewhere in some other chronicle, but some (only some) contemporary Jain sources withheld the recording of the insult, but events of attacks by Islamic armies did get recorded and centuries later we are in no position to court martial the Jains of that time about why they did not record such history, when polemic against the Vaidiks was so fashionable otherwise and was being generated. In any case, not all Jains denied their own defeats; many honestly did, as the Jain pedia website maintains the narrative that Jains did record events of Islamic attacks.
2. Thus Jains altered the way they built their Mandirs and made their moortis. Leaving a bejeweled moorti covered with soot to look unattractive to invaders or making moortis without jewels could reduce the lure quotient to an Islamic plunderer. What else could lay Jains do, when the attackers were so ferocious, defeating even valiant Rajputs?
3. Since some Jains made their main moorti inaccessible to Muslim invaders, say by using the basements of the Mandirs, the idea was strategic: such Jain moortis could be exposed to quiet abhishek once a year to a limited Jain congregation, and hidden again, a method which matches how the original Jagannath moorti of Puri was sought to be protected by Odia tribal communities and other astikas, ruler, laymen or Brahman alike.
Further… “Jains also produced artistic responses to Islamic iconoclasm and the associated end of the world. Most notably, in the 15th century, Digambar followers carved a series of monumental Jain images into the rock face of the Gwalior fort in Madhya Pradesh. A poet known as Raidhū oversaw the creation of the statues, which was largely financed by wealthy lay donors. Raidhū left no direct account of the motivations behind this project. However, his poetry and writings by later Jains suggest that the colossal images were designed to survive the end of the world, which was linked with the spread of Islamic power.
Incidentally, these same naked figures disconcerted the Mughal Emperor Babur in the early 16th century. He records in his Turkish memoirs that he ordered many to be mutilated…”
- The Jain moortis which were cut into the fort mountain slope were made during the 15th Century CE to see if that could discourage Islamic defacers due to their large sizes, but no, they were damaged in the 16th Century, just a 100 years or so afterwards. So Islam could not be dissuaded anyway, and was limited by other distraction to their iconoclastic mission with Islamic-Islamic warfare and Hindu armed resistance not sparing them enough time for a full completion of their ‘job’ of iconoclasm.
2. In case of similar structures cut into a mountain side, like Herat Soorya or the Bamiyan Buddha in Afghanistan, Islam which conquered in 1000CE but could not damage these structures could wait until Taliban arrived another 1110 years later, circa 2011 CE. Technology – much more powerful cannons and missiles – could do a more effective job at defacing the moortis.
- The Jains could actually make newer moortis in the 15th century CE despite all the raging war around, which again can only be attributed to Vaidik (read: ‘Hindu’) protectionism towards Jains.
4. Whether the moorti is Jain or Buddhist or Vaidik-Astik, Islam treats them all with equal disgust and consistent zeal of iconoclasm. So far Islam has not been able to use such technology for complete destruction of a moorti, but who says they would not get better technology later?
5. Where Islam can avail of technology, Islam WILL achieve more iconoclasm, but not embrace progressiveness that gives birth to technology. The modern-ness of the era of technology cannot keep Vaidik, Buddhist and Jain (read: ‘Hindu’) structures safe.
6. That an ‘idea’ like carving a larger moorti could dissuade Islam is proven useless. Are we going to stop carving moortis? Should Hindus give up an ancient cultural practice out of fear of or out of submission before a rampaging creed?
Continuing… “Jain texts, primarily from the 14th century and later, mention some specific Muslim attacks that resulted in lost or damaged idols but tend not to dwell on these events. Jain authors most frequently note the damage and subsequent renovations at highly symbolic locations, such as Somanatha and Shatrunjaya in Gujarat. But often they do not refer to these incidents at all, preferring to describe other episodes, such as conflicts between Jain and Hindu groups and even clashes between Hindus and Muslims
Indeed, when Jains writers do record instances of temple destruction, they almost never characterise these assaults as religious conflicts. Rather, they viewed Islamic attacks as merely one symptom of the inevitable cosmic trend towards depravity in the current corrupt age. …”
This is Jain apologia. Jains have indeed had clashes with Vaidiks (read:’Hindus’) but there was always more amity amongst the two sects, which was only reinforced with the common enemy of Islam. Such a Vaidik-accusing narrative when Islam affects both the Jain and the Vaidik, can be held responsible for shielding the Jain reader from a discussion on Islam by instead deflecting the agony towards Vaidiks (read: ‘Hindus’), which Jain scholars continue to see as their main contender, not Islam which has rampaged all the way. It is also defeatism, and will disillusion any proud Jain, making the Vaidik structure of Kshatriyahood more appealing, causing desertion of Jain practices at least partly. And last of all, such a narrative by Jains is part of an overall Hindu tendency of whitewashing Islam.
And there are Jains who expose Islam too: quoting another Jain webpage to counter what Jain apologia shown above: “…One Jain structure was converted into Islam and given the name-‘Adhai-din-ka Jhonpra’. The Jain temples of Sanchor, Jalor, Jiravalli etc. were completly smashed-up and form their remains were built mosques. This Process continued even during the Tughlaq period. One Tughlaq governor of Bayana did many unworthy deeds. Taking advantage of an-ex-parte and simplistic references, some Muslim historians have tried to prove that this was an age of cultural cordiality and social coordination between the Jains and the Sufis, but in so doing they are, really overlooking the intolerant policy of the staunch ulemas and their misdeeds and blackdeeds, and putting a sign of interrogation before the impartiality of history. The liberal quality of the Sufis will have to be connected with the rigidity and staunchness of the Sunnis. Only then, an impartial presentation of Jaino-Islamic relations would be possible…” https://www.jainworld.com/general/prem/Chapter%20XIV%20fe.htm
[To know more Adhai din ka jhonpra, which was showed mixed Jain-Vaidik carvings, read “chapter 8. Instant Vandalism of the Book: Hindu Masjids by Praaful Goradia ji of the Jana Sangh. http://janasangh.com/book.aspx?bid=2&gid=0&cid=47]
Continuing: “Some Jains formulated strong criticisms of idol worship during the height of contact with Islamic traditions. Among the Śvetāmbaras, Loṅkā Śāh led the most influential movement against using religious images. Digambara groups such as the Taraṇ Svāmī Panth also developed at this time. However, there is no proof of any direct link between strains of Islamic thought and these aniconic Jains.
In the 15th century, Jain reform movements that rejected idol worship surfaced in the Śvetāmbara tradition. Their relationship to Islamic ideas remains unclear, however. In Gujarat, Loṅkā Śāh condemned the veneration of idols as inconsistent with Jain scriptures. Many of his followers returned to standard mūrti-pūjaka practices in the 16th century, but five monks renewed Loṅkā Śāh’s criticisms in the following century. Each one founded his own monastic lineage. Today these are collectively referred to as the Sthānaka-vāsin Jains. In the 18th century, the sect of the Śvetāmbara Terāpanthin developed into a separate aniconic community.
While the timing of Loṅkā Śāh’s objections seems to coincide with the growing presence of Islam on the subcontinent, there is no evidence of specific connections. Loṅkā Śāh’s own followers did not produce written historical records until the 19th century. Only with 20th-century murti-pujak Jains, such as Jñānsundar, does the notion arise that Islamic ideas prompted Loṅkā Śāh’s suspicion of idol worship.
Additionally, Digambara movements that do not use icons, such as the Taraṇ Svāmī Panth sect, also arose in the 15th to 16th centuries. They do not have any ideological relationship to Islam, although Muslims were among the earliest followers.
Moreover, scholars have pointed out that there have been criticisms of idol worship throughout Jain history. Thus, it is perhaps not necessary to look outside the tradition to explain different opinions about the role of images. Indeed, early-modern Jain thinkers who authored texts defending image worship directed their remarks against other Jain groups. For instance, Dharma-sāgara and Yaśovijaya wrote against the practices of Loṅkā Śāh and his followers.”
1. It seems there was so much was the destruction of Jain mortis and Mandirs (in villages of the Indian countryside) by Islamic iconoclasts that some sects of Jains gave up moorti-pooja altogether.
2. When it is Jainism that is credited with the Vaidiks (read:’Hindus’) ‘taking up’ the propensity of carving moortis and building Mandirs, there are wordings here (at the end of the paragraph quoted above) that say, some sects in Jainism never originally had moorti Pooja, and that rejection of moortis was not attributable to Islamic influence! So, on one hand, Jainism is given the credit of imparting the idea of moorti Pooja to Vaidiks (read: ‘Hindus’) as the most splendid component of Vaidik Dharma (read: ‘Hinduism’) which makes Hinduism beautiful for the Western tourist’s consumption, and on the other hand, there were Jain ‘thinkers’ rejecting moorti-pooja who seem to interestingly crop up right during the era of maximum iconoclasm in Bharatvarsha, namely the Islamic colonisation era of medieval India. 3. If refusing to do moorti-pooja may be a thought put forward by SOME Jain thinkers of that diabolical segment of Hindu history, the blog writer would like to call it “fashionable Dhimmitude”.
4. But Jains also do show an internal mechanism of standing by the practice of moorti Pooja, in both Digambars and Shwetambars. The blog writer would like to uphold these polemics over the moorti-rejecting ones.
5. Without analyzing the Jain behaviour of this segment, there is the case of Jains of modern times joining ranks against the Vaidiks (read: ‘Hindus’) and with the Muslims, to be classified as non-Hindus. Selective quoting by Leftist authors can complete the distortion of the truth. It is important to quote the full article and analyse it threadbare with a pan-Hindu non-sectarian narrative to unravel the real facts: that moorti-rejection was rejected within Jainism by Jains themselves.
6. The blog writer would also like to not use terms like idol and idol-worship or idolatry and instead use Moorti and Moorti Pooja respectively (crediting Rajiv Malhotra ji’s influence: Sanskrit-to-English non-translatables). In any case, the Jain moorti is endowed with praan after praanapratishtha. It is not a statue. And even the agnostic Jain has a criterion for who is to be worshipped: besides a Teerthankaar, a person who realised the Siddha state is worthy of being worshipped.
Continuing further: “In the 19th and 20th centuries, Jain thinkers began to address Islam directly in discussions on the use of religious images… Some mūrti-pūjak authors, such as Jñānsundar, attributed Loṅkā Śāh’s rejection of icons to Islamic influences. This suggestion also carries the implicit and deliberately unfavourable comparison of aniconic Jains to the meat-eating Muslims… Many Jain thinkers in the colonial and modern periods explicitly traced the origins of Muslim iconoclasm to Muhammad’s misunderstanding of the world. Bhadrankarvijay articulates this idea in the greatest detail, although several others shared it… Bhadrankarvijay argued that religious images are part of the very nature of reality, which Muhammad ignorantly opposed. .. Other intellectuals provided alternative ways of undermining Christian and Islamic criticisms. For example, Kalyanvijay wrote that all religions use icons, including Christianity and Islam. Buddhi-sagar provided numerous examples of such contradictions between doctrine and practice in Islam, such as Muslim veneration of the Qur’an and the required pilgrimage to Mecca.”
As Jain writers noted down destruction of their heritage at the hands of Muslims, Jain writers have also shown a change in the way they looked at Islam, over centuries.
1. At the peak of overall Hindu suffering as hordes of Turkish or Afghan rulers poured across Bharatvarsha, the ascendency of Islam, Jain writers fatalistically and helplessly wrote that moorti destruction was sheer fate in the utsarpini –avasarpini cycle of time.
2. But as centuries advanced, with the decisive nation-wide subjugation of Islamic political power first by several resurgent successful Hindu power centres and later by British colonisers, the Jain narrative changed to one of confidence: of eventually countering the adamant Islamic stand on opposing veneration of symbols of faith expression (what Islam calls shirk) by sticking to the classical Jain position of having moorti pooja as part of Jain life.
3. Uprightness has two arms: physical and intellectual.
INAUGURATING A STUDY ON JAIN UPRIGHTNESS:
Respected for their art and money-making skills, Jains are considered to be nothing other than rich banias in popular perception, due to no less reason than media-stereotyping.
Vaidiks will do well to remember that Jainism is quite an ancient tradition of India and has influenced and got influenced by Vaidik Dharma. Jainism and Vaidik Dharma have evolved together and shared a lot with each other.
What is not known so well is that Jains have resisted Islamic advances both intellectually and even militarily.
This blog series is meant to set the record straight.
Jain uprightness – of defending a core and ancient practice of Jainism of venerating moortis (against the challenge of questioning moorti Pooja and also attacking moortis first by Muslims and later by European Christian colonisers)- is indeed the stuff of what shares space amongst the different narratives of pan-Hindu intellectual uprightness.
We shall be seeing the physical arm further ahead.
But for the non-physical or intellectual version of Jain uprightness against Islam, Jain polemists like Dharmasagara, Yashovijay, Bhadrankarvijay, Kalyanvijay and Buddhisagar need to be mentioned and studied by all Hindu history students.
…For this, we shall be following the series on Jains further…
REFERENCED LINKS AND SUGGESTED FURTHER READING:
2. Framing the Jina: Narratives of Icons and Idols in Jain History… John Cort… This book denied copying of content. So the reader is directed to searching out the content online or purchasing the book in original, while due credit is given to the author for his research.