Willibald Kirfel's basic work on ancient Indian cosmography and geography 'Die Kosmographie der Inder; nach den Quellen
dargestellt' first appeared in 1920. it treated the Brahmanic, Buddhist and Jaina views on the construction of the
universe and of our 'middle' world and, it was entirely based on primary sources. However, since then relatively little work
has been carried out in the field of Indian cosmology and geography. In particular editions and translations of basic
post-canonical texts, whether extensive (Brhad) or concise (Laghu or Samgrahani), are lacking.
The primary literature on the building of the cosmos that originated in India is extensive. Especially the Jaina
tradition is rich in cosmological and geographical texts. The Jaina Agama or Siddhanta already contains numerous cosmological
and geographical data. The Jivajivabhigama, Prajnapana (Pkt. Suriyapannatti), Jambudvipaprajnapti (Pkt.
Jambuddivapannatti) Candraprajnapti (Pkt. Camdapannatti) and Nirayavali contain materials that are
essential for the study of Jaina cosmography. But it was primarily in the post-canonical tradition that cosmographical and
geographical treatises abound. In the first part of the 'Bibliography' included in this work a tentative list of Jaina
treatises on the matter, Svetambara and Digambara, is given.
I fully realize that, in the first place, a through analysis of the canonical cosmographical and geographical data is
needed. However, the Jaina Agamas still require extensive and profound critical editions. But I also think that, meanwhile,
editions of the minor and major post-canonical texts can already be undertaken in order to pave the way for a profound
analysis of the canonical data. I have opted for a critical edition and annotated translation of the
Jambudvipa-samgrahani for two reasons. First, Kirfel included this text and its commentary in the primary sources for
his analysis of Jaina cosmography. The second reason was less deliberate. For, initially, I thought that the composer,
Haribhadra Suri, was the same as the famous author of a number of important post-canonical texts such as the
Anekantajayapataka, Saddarsana-samuccaya, Yogabindu, etc. I was wrong here, but the Jambu-dvipasamgrahani and
its commentary by Prabhananda Suri proved important and informative enough for the study of Jaina geography in general to
start an analysis of the basic Prakrit text together with its Sanskrit commentary.
I wish to thank the following persons for their valuable support and advice: Prof. Dr. R.I. Nanavati of the Oriental
Institute, Vadodara; the Profs. Dr,. S.D. Laddu and A.M. Ghatage of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune; Prof.
Jitendra B. Shah and Dr. Lalit Kumar of the L.D. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad; Prof. V.P. Jain and Mrs. Dr. Aruna Anand
of the Bhogilal Leherchand Institute of Indology, Delhi; Dr. K.C. Sogani of the Apabhrams Sahitya Akadami, Jaipur; Dr. Eva De
Clercq and Mrs. Hilde De Keukelaere of Ghent University. Especially I want to express my gratitude to Pt. Amrit Patel for his
assistance in tracing the Agamic origins of a number of quotations, Dr. Jean-Michel Delire of the University of Brussels for
his Persistent help in unraveling the mysteries of Jaina mathematics.
From the Jacket
The present work provides a critical edition and translation of the Jambudvipasamgrahani of Haribhadra Suri (c. 1123
A.D.) together with its Sanskrit commentary by Prabhananda Suri. The Jambudvipasamgrahani is one of the minor (Laghu)
texts of Jaina Geography written in standard Maharastri. It consists of thirty gathas and describes the structure of
Jambudvipa in a very concise manner. Together with its commentary it was one of the primary sources used by W. Kirfel for his
comprehensive Die Kosmographie der Inder nach den Quellen dargestellt (1920)
Frank Van Den Bossche (b. 1955) is docent at the Department of Languages and cultures of South and East Asia
of Ghent University, Belgium. He obtained his Ph. D. in Eastern Philology in 1993. Currently he teaches Sanskrit, Prakrt and
related subjects. He has published on Jaina philosophy (Journal of Indian Philosophy, Asian Philosophy) and Prakrt
(A Reference Manual of Middle Prakrit Grammar; The Prakrits of the Dramas and the Jain Texts, 1999).
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