Bhadrabahu
(c. 300 B.C.E.)
   early Jain leader Bhadrabahu is revered by both DIGAMBARA and SHVETAMBARA Jains (see JAINISM). Both sects regard him as the last of the persons who knew all the early sacred texts of the Jain tradition.Bhadrabahu was born in Pundravardhan in what is now Bangladesh, during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, the great Indian king. According to the Digambara tradition he led a large group of his adherents from North India to Karnataka and thus introduced Jain tradition to South India. That tradition further recounts that on his return to Pataliputra (Patna) in the north, he found that there had been an official recension of the Jain scriptures; he and his monk followers refused to accept this “new” Jain canon. He also found that the northern monks had taken up unacceptable practices, especially the wearing of clothing, which is forbidden to Digambara (sky-clad) monks. Bhadrabahu and his adherents declared themselves to be the only true Jains.
   Another Bhadrabahu (c. sixth century) was the author of the Shvetambara work KALPA SUTRA.
   Further reading: Paul Dundas, The Jains (New York: Routledge, 1992); P. S. Jaini, Jaina Path of Purification (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1973).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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