From the Jacket
As one of the world's major religions, founded on the spiritual principles ofahimsa (non-violence), truth, and righteous conduct, Jainism has today 2,600years of a splendid living tradition - with a well-defined world view,metaphysics and code of ethics. A leading scholar, V.K. Sharma here presents analtogether fresh, pan-Indian historical survey of this great religion, spellingout its beginning, antiquity, doctrines, tirthamkaras, country-wide spread and,among other aspects, its contribution to India's culture and art heritage - inall its varied manifestations.
In the latter part of the book, the author comes to focus upon Jainism in thespecific contexts of Mathura - one of the India's ancient cities, which not onlyis venerated as the legendary birthplace of Lord Krsna, but is also famed as aneminent centre of Brahmanical Buddhist and Jaina art. Thus shows Dr. Sharma howthis principal Vaisnava centre today had been a stronghold of Jainism: from c.second century BC to about eleventh century AD; how it has contributed to Jainacanon, literature and iconography; and how in Mathura is traceable thecenturies-long, unbroken history of Jaina plastic art.
Setting out a panoramic view of Jaina architecture, sculptural art, andsocio-religious life over the ages, specially in the sacred city of Mathura,this study is based on wide ranging authoritative sources and supplemented by anumber of highly representatives illustrations.
About the Author
V.K. Sharma Agra University's Ph.D. (History) is a reputed scholar withvaried academic and research concerns -which are abundantly reflected in hiswritings. Besides the co-authorship of Terracotta Catalogue of Mathura Museum(published in AD 2000) and his numerous presentations at regional/national/Internationalseminars and conferences, he has published articles on varying themes indifferent print media and has, in addition, produced biographical profiles ofeminent Indian personalities for certain reputed journals as well as books.Currently, he is working on The History of Mathura - a projectwhereupon he has already expended over a decade-long researcheffort.
Having taught at several collages affiliated to the universities of Panjaband Agra for abut thirty five years, Dr Sharma retired as Head, Department ofHistory, K. R. Post-Graduate Collage, Mathura.