Hemachandra
(c. 1200 C.E.)
   Jain yogi and philosopher
   Hemachandra was one of the foremost Jain SHVET-AMBARA sages and teachers. He is known for his many writings, including the vast Jain PURANA in Sanskrit, which catalogued the lives and adven-tures of the 63 venerated personages in the tra-dition of JAINISM. Included among the 63 are all the TIRTHANKARAS, enlightened teachers, of the current half-era, plus the story of BAHUBALI, one of the sons of the first Tirthankara, and even a Jain version of the story of KRISHNA. This work was highly influential in popularizing and spreading the Jain faith.
   Hemachandra’s Yogashastra is one of the best sources for some of the lost practices of Jain YOGA. In the area of philosophy Hemachandra wrote Pra-manamimamsa and Anyayogagavyavacchedika, which are widely studied as Jain contributions to the Indian logical school of the NYAYA. The second of the two is famous for its commentary by Mall-ishena, entitled Syadvadamanjari, which laid out a sophisticated Jain relativistic philosophy.
   Further reading: Helen M. Johnson, trans., The Lives of the Sixty-Three Illustrious Persons, 6 vols. (Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1962); E. Windsch, trans., “Hemach-andra’s Yogasastra,” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgen-landishcen Gesellshaft no. 28 (Leipzig, 1874).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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