To commemorate the great sacred event of 2018 lustration of Lord Bahubali, it is thought of publishing a series of Books of socio-cultural and literary importance. This series is titled as akshara abhisheka. We are indeed glad to publish ''The Gift of Knowledge'', edited by Prof. Christine Chojnacki and Dr. Basile Leclere. The volume is a collection of valuable articles on Jainism, with the main theme being the 'Patterns of Patronage in Jainism'. The contributors include a galaxy of eminent scholars including Piotr Balcerowicz, Johannes Bronkhorst, 01le Qvarnstrom, Peter Hugel, Hampana. Eva de Clercq, Natalia Zheleznox a, Christine Chojnacki etc. Thus the importance of the book needs no exaggeration.Prof Chojnacki and Dr. Basile Leclere had organised an International Workshop entitled - ''The Constitution of a Literary Legacy of the Tradition of Patronization in Jainism'', on 15-17 September 2016, in Lyon University, France. Most befittingly the editors have Dedicated the volume ''as an homage to Professor Hampa. Nagarajaiah for his unflagging zeal in patronising Jain Studies''.
It is our pleasure to place on record our special appreciation of Hampana's multiple service to Karnataka and Kannada Literature for over five decades and more. As an author and exponent, historian and research scholar, Professor Hampana has carved a dignified niche in the galaxy of great scholars.
We congratulate the editors and hope the readers will gladly welcome this invaluable book.
They obtain the fortunate bliss of the divine or the human state,
the men who have books on Jain doctrine copied,
who have them explained publicly, who read them or have them read,
who listen to them and take great care of their preservation.
With this verse, the 151h century Svetambara author Ratnamandiraganin opens the section devoted to the writing of books (atha pustaka-lekhanopa-des'ah) of his didactic work entitled Upadescatarangini before recalling the well-known examples of Kumarapala or Vastupala.2 That this tradition of fostering written culture existed at least from the 10th century in both Jaina traditions is proven by Mahegvara's Nanaparncamikaha in Prakrit for the Svetambaras and by Dhanapala's Bhavissayattakand in Apabhrarn§a for the Digambaras. Indeed both texts are written as an homage to the Celebration of Knowledge.
In keeping with this tradition, Professor Hampa Nagarajaiah is renowned not only for his own literary and scholarly works in English and Kannada languages on the history and literature of Jainism in South India, but also for his remarkable commitment to the promotion of Jain studies inside and outside India, his endeavours to strenghten the links between Western and Indian scholars, and his support to knowledge in various literary idioms from India. For instance he has played a decisive role in the creation of the annual Prakrit Jnanabharati International Award, which retributes important scientific contributions to the too much ignored field of Prakrit literature. Thus, as an active patron of Jain culture, Professor Hampa Nagarajaiah appears to be the heir of a long lasting tradition in the Jain community whose importance still needs to be highlighted.
A landmark in the study of patronage in South Asia was the collective volume The Powers of Art which Barbara Stoler Miller edited in 1992 as a sequel of a symposium held seven years earlier during the Festival of India in America. As made clear by Barbara Stoler Miller and Richard Eaton in their seminal introduction, the purpose of this publication was to transcend the stereotypical conceptions about patronage - in India maybe more than elsewhere - as a bilateral and unbalanced relationship involving a wealthy member of a socio-political elite, most often a ruler, and a needy artist compelled to humble himself and offers his talents for earning his livelihood. Actually, the social interactions broadly referred to under the word of patronage were far more complex in as much as they involved a far greater number of actors - artists could receive commands from individuals or social groups of various nature - and actions - patronage could concern not only the production of works but also their performance or social use and preservation as well -, and they evolved quite extensively during the long history of the Indian subcontinent because of the coexistence of or comp-etition between socio-political systems informed by a plurality of religions. Indeed, ''the ideological basis of a patron's authority was rarely obscure; it usually rested on one or another of India's major ideological systems -Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, or British Imperialist.' Accordingly, the nineteen contributions of the volume were organized in four sections combining the chronological, spatial and socio-religious factors, so that the variety of patronage relations on a given period could be perceived in a more accurate way.' However, while the editor of the volume succeeded in dealing with India in its great diversity, it is noteworthy that Jainism was on the whole not taken into account, apart from stray mentions like the brief paragraph in Stoler Miller and Eaton's introduction on Jain patronage in Mathura under Kushan rule.5 That Jainism constituted a kind of blind spot of the volume is all the more surprising since in contrast with Buddhism the Jain community endured under Moghol and British rules and strived to play a role in the socio-political sphere throughout the centuries.
Fortunately the steady development of Jain studies since 1992 has improved, among other topics, the knowledge about the specificities of patronage patterns in Jainism.
**Contents and Sample Pages**