Varanasi/Kashi has been a confluence of several religious and philosophical thoughts including Jainism. Four pontiffs (Tirthankara) viz. Supargya-natha, Sreyamsanatha, Chandraprabha and Pargyanatha are supposed to have been born in the Varanasi region. It was thus natural that the town grew into a pilgrim place for the followers of Jaina faith. The book highlights multiple aspects of cultural contribution of Jainism to Varanasi such as religion, philosophy, literature, art, iconography, architecture and educational institutions.
Prof. R.C. Sharma headed important Museums of the country like Government Museum, Mathura; State Museum, Lucknow; Indian Museum, Kolkata and finally, the National Museum, New Delhi as the Director General, and Vice-Chancellor, National Museum Institute. He also served the Banaras Hindu University as the Director, Bharat Kala Bhavan and Professor of Indian Art and Museology. Presently, he is the Honorary Director/Acarya of Jnana-Pravaha — Centre for Cultural Studies and Research, Varanasi. Besides authoring several books and editing journals and bulletins in the field of early Indian art, he has contributed a large number of papers published in India and abroad.
Dr. Pranati Ghosal is a promising scholar in the field of Sanskrit and Vedic studies and engaged in the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Varanasi Branch. She has contributed brilliant papers in different seminars and co-edited five issues of the Annual Research Bulletin and twelve proceedings of Jriana-Pravaha. Her important publications are PraSndvali and Lifestyle of the Vedic People. Besides the present volume, the two authors have co-edited impressive books on Buddhism and Gandhara Art, Interaction Between Brahmanical and Buddhist Art, Vaisnava Contribution to Varanasi and ,alcta Contribution to Varanasi.
VARANASI or KagI radiated the rays of knowledge in all the directions, and the sages, seers and preceptors have been thronging the city from time immemorial. They either aimed at seeking knowledge or disseminating their faith or testing their wisdom among the galaxy of learned scholars before the propagation of their philosophy. There was generally no barrier of any religion, creed or sect as the education was available easily for all. But sometimes the conventions compelled the seeker of knowledge to remain in cognito. These factors were responsible for shaping the city as a centre of different religions from a hoary past and it does continue till date.
The Jnana-Pravaha has resolved to organize an annual feature under the caption of Radiance of Kagr, in which contribution made by the eminent people or well-known sects can be discussed and appreciated. All have contributed in their own way in spreading the glory of the city and they have to be given due homage by the present generation. The Jaina Contribution to Kagi was also a remarkable feature and the perusal of papers presented will certainly shed valuable light on various aspects of the subject. The present book incorporates the revised and edited version of the proceedings of a two day colloquium held on April 11-12, 2000 at Plana Pravdha and coordinated by Sri Kranti Kumar. Most of the papers were presented in Hindi which have now been rendered in English.
Smt. Bimla Poddar, Founder and Managing Trustee Jnana Pravaha and Sri Susheel K. Mittal of D.K. Printworld deserve deep appreciation for their keen initiative in the publication this volume. The assistance rendered by Dr. Niraj Pandey and Sri Chandraneel Sharma is also appreciated.
**Contents and Sample Pages**