From the Jacket
As one of the world's major religions, founded on the spiritual principles of
ahimsa (non-violence), truth, and righteous conduct, Jainism has today 2,600
years of a splendid living tradition - with a well-defined world view,
metaphysics and code of ethics. A leading scholar, V.K. Sharma here presents an
altogether fresh, pan-Indian historical survey of this great religion, spelling
out its beginning, antiquity, doctrines, tirthamkaras, country-wide spread and,
among other aspects, its contribution to India's culture and art heritage - in
all its varied manifestations.
In the latter part of the book, the author comes to focus upon Jainism in the
specific contexts of Mathura - one of the India's ancient cities, which not only
is venerated as the legendary birthplace of Lord Krsna, but is also famed as an
eminent centre of Brahmanical Buddhist and Jaina art. Thus shows Dr. Sharma how
this 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 Jaina
canon, literature and iconography; and how in Mathura is traceable the
centuries-long, unbroken history of Jaina plastic art.
Setting out a panoramic view of Jaina architecture, sculptural art, and
socio-religious life over the ages, specially in the sacred city of Mathura,
this study is based on wide ranging authoritative sources and supplemented by a
number of highly representatives illustrations.
About the Author
V.K. Sharma Agra University's Ph.D. (History) is a reputed scholar with
varied academic and research concerns -which are abundantly reflected in his
writings. Besides the co-authorship of Terracotta Catalogue of Mathura Museum
(published in AD 2000) and his numerous presentations at regional/national/International
seminars and conferences, he has published articles on varying themes in
different print media and has, in addition, produced biographical profiles of
eminent Indian personalities for certain reputed journals as well as books.
Currently, he is working on "The History of Mathura" - a project
whereupon he has already expended over a decade-long research
Having taught at several collages affiliated to the universities of Panjab
and Agra for abut thirty five years, Dr Sharma retired as Head, Department of
History, K. R. Post-Graduate Collage, Mathura.
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