views updated

1. An occasional title of Brahma purāṇa.

2. A Jain work in Skt. on the ‘origin’ and past history of the world. It was written by Jinasena in S. India, and completed by his disciple Guṇabhadra who also continued the narrative in the Uttara-purāṇa, which his own disciple Lokasena finished in c.892 CE. These two parts, also called together Mahā-purāṇa, contain the Jain world history, from its beginnings up to the time of the Mahāvīra, the last tīrthaṅkara (and historical founder of Jainism). Within the framework of the (mythical) adventures of the sixty-three śalākā-puruṣas (lit. ‘staff-men’, denoting here ‘heroic men’), a vast store of Indian and specifically Jain story material has been arranged.

Jinasena's intention was to provide, in an increasingly ‘Hindu-conscious’ southern Indian environment, a Jain answer to the Hindu purāṇas.