Purvas
(c. 700 B.C.E.)
   The Purvas are 14 Prakrit (a language derived from SANSKRIT) language works that are understood to be the original texts of the Jain canon; they are no longer extant. BHADRABAHU (c. 300 B.C.E.) is said to be the last Jain teacher to know all 14 of these texts by heart. Brief descriptions of the Purvas appear in later literature. They must have included cosmol-ogy, speculations on the karmic substance that holds a soul in transmigration, polemics, astrology, astronomy, and disquisitions on esoteric powers and YOGAs. The Purvas were transmitted orally and preached by MAHAVIRA, the last TIRTHANKARA (saint) of our half-era.
   Further reading: Padmanabh S. Jaini, The Jain Path of Purification (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1990).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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