Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (3) ► Kadamba Dynasty

Posted: 21.06.2016

Mayūra Varmana or Mayūra śarmana had been considered as the founder of Kadamba dynasty. The origin of this dynasty is estimated as 2nd century AD or earlier. Kadamba dynasty had been an ancient Jain dynasty.

When the rulers of Kadamba dynasty moved from Magadha downwards toward south, they came to Kaliṃga and established their independent rule there. There they built several villages, towns, Jain monasteries and stayed there.

A popular hillock by the name Kadamba Siṃgī is there in Pāralā of Medī tālukā in Gaṃjama district. This is a famous Jain hillock. There is a place nearby this hillock called Muni Śiṃghī (Muni Śraṃgī) where a big Jain monastery exists for stay and observance of austerities by Jain monks. Kadamba dynasty was an ancient dynasty of southern region. All the rulers of this dynasty provided exemplary support and patronage to Jainism during their rule. Some of the rulers of this dynasty were firm believers and practitioners of Jain code of conduct and doctrine.

Devarāja, son and heir of King Kraṣṇa Varmā was a follower of Jainism. There are inscriptions indicating that when Prince Devarāja Varmā ruled the three hills town (Triparvata), he donated agricultural land to get the temple of Lord Arhat in village Siddhakedāra refurbished and renovated along with for regular means to perform worship and other religious rituals therein. Not only the rulers of Kadamba dynasty but even their ministers and advisers were ardent believers and followers of Jainism.

We also find inscriptions of the last donations of villages and income from these villages to be used for performing the eight days of worship (Aṣṭāhnikā) festival in the month of Kārtika every year and the expenses associated with the rainy season halt of Jain monks belonging to Yāpanīya congregation there in the temples etc by King Kākutastha, his son Śānti Varma and heir King Mŗageśa and his son Ravi Varmā all belonging to Kadamba dynasty.

Kings and rulers of Kadamba dynasty had deep faith in Jain temples and monasteries. Their donations for the refurbishing of old Jain temples are found abundantly in inscription. Similarly we find in these inscriptions mention of deep interest and commitment of King Mrageśa Varmā not only in refurbishing the old Jain temples but in there cleanliness and proper upkeep thereby establishing the deep faith and alertness of all kings of Kadamba dynasty not only in Jainism but holy places of Jains. In this way during their rule of 967 years, rulers of Kadamba dynasty contributed immensely for the observance and spread of Jainism by extending their exemplary royal patronage, practice and donations to it.

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