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Sanskrit Manuscripts : Kālakācāryakathā


Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> A manuscript of Samayasundara's <i>Kālakācāryakathā</i>. Samayasundara's version of this story, one among numerous renderings in Prakrit, Sanskrit or Gujarati, was composed in 1609 (V.S. 1666) in Bikaner. The author is a Śvetāmbara Jain monk from the Kharataragaccha, and a prolific and learned author of several compositions in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Gujarati. This text is both in verse and in prose and makes use of all three languages. It belongs to the 'later encyclopedic versions' of the story, 'that draws from all foregoing versions and possibly also from oral sources. The expansion of the Gardabhilla episode is especially marked' (Norman Brown 1933: 34). The <i>Kālakācāryakathā</i>, the story of the Jain monk Kālaka, is one of the most famous legends and one of the most often illustrated Jain Śvetāmbara works. It is often appended to the <i>Kalpasūtra</i>, because both have a strong connection with the eight-day Jain festival of Paryushan (August /September) which marks the climax of the rainy season. The ancient teacher Kālaka is held to be at the origin of the specific date where the last day of the festival takes place: the 4th day of the bright half of Bhadrapada. The story is eventful and also shows how the Jain teacher took the help of a foreign king, the Sāhi, to restore the <i>dharma</i> and how he could use his magic abilities for this purpose. </p>

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