swadeshi jagran manch logo

Mewar as Focus of Guhila State (Part-XVIII)

Once the Guhilas conquered Chittorgarh and made it their capital, they politically incorporated economically the strongest community, the Jains of Mewar into state apparatus. The Jains were integrated into administration as well as Military apparatus; they dominated the commercial economy as well. — Prof. Nandini Kapur Sinha


These donations indicate the control of merchants over mandapikâs. It is in teresting to note that Nagdâ, the famous Päúupata centre of Mewar, was a centre of Jain pilgrimage too. Temple of the Digambara sect, Aloka Pârúvanâtha, icons installed at the temple of Aloka Pârúvanâtha by the Úvetämbaras of Kharataragaccha in the fifteenth century and Tapagacchapattâvali’s references to Pârúvanâtha temple, all indicate patronage of Nâgda by the Jains. Significantly, the Ekalingaji Temple Inscription of AD 971 mentions a joint session of the Pâúupata and Jain ãcãryas at Nâgahrda in which Pâúupatas are claimed to have defeated the Jains in discourse.

The temples of Adbhutnâtha and Pârúvanâtha (built in AD 1373) continued to be an important Jain tirtha throughout the fifteenth century. Ahada and Udaipur (built in the mid-sixteenth century by Rãnã Udaisimha II) also figured in the network of Jain tirthas, testified by nearly one hundred and five inscriptions recording installations of icons of Jinas mostly by the merchant families of Prâgvaa, úrimäla, Upakeúa and Ukeúa (Osvâl) lineages at the temples of Úitalanätha, Vâsupûjya and Gauri Pârúvanâtha. 

The Jain Pustaka Praúastis records composition of some of the famous manuscripts such as Srâvakapratikramanasütracürni, patronized by Mahâmâtya Samuddhara (chief minister at the court of Guhila King Tejasirnha), Daúavaikâlâdisütrapatrikâ, by Jagatsirnha (chief minister at the court of Guhila King Jatirasirmha) at Âhadamahâdurga. The composition of these manuscripts was made possible by a grant in cash. Other contemporary tirthas of the Jains, Dhuleva, Zawar, Bhatevar, Râòakpur and Kumbhalgarh were located within the Mewar hills indicating the circulation of wealthy merchants in the very core- area of the Guhila state. A text, composed in the fourteenth century, the Vagod Pravâsa, refers to Dhuleva as a Jain tirtha. Other references also point to widespread Jain patronage. For instance, we have references to the patronage of the temple of Ðântinâtha by Nãnã of Prâgvaa lineage, the construction of a new devakulika, and patronage of acâryas, etc., at Zawar (the famous mining centre), to the enlargement and building of the shrines at Ränakpur temple complex by the wealthy merchant Dhârana Sâh, to the succession ceremnonies of the acarys at Kumbhalgarh, to the beginning of Bhartrpuriyagaccha at Bhatevar, to the composition of the manuscripts of Saptamâñgacürni at village Baragrama and that of Kalpasütra Kâlikâcâryakathã at village Bauna. Such scale of patronage points to the socio-economic Importance of the Jains in Mewar between the thirteenth and the fifteenth centuries.

The earliest direct evidence of Guhila patronage of Jain establishments in Mewar appears in the late thirteenth century. Guhila Queen Jayatalladevi, wife o of Tejasimha and mother of Mahãrâval Samarasimha was a staunch Jain. The Guhila queen, at the instance of Âcãrya œri Dradvumna Siri of Bhartrpuriyagaccha, got a temple of Úyäm Pârúvanâth constructed in Chittaur in AD 1278, The Guhila queen is likely to have patronized local gaccha – Bhartrpuriyagaccha probably being one of the most influential Jain institutes in thirteenth-century Mewar. The inscription also refers to the grants of land and dramma coins from the mondapikâs of Citrakûatalahati, Ahada, Khohar and Sajjanapura, and those of oil, ghee, etc., by the reigning king, Mahârâjakula Samarasimha. This inscription, interestingly, was not composed by any Jain âcârya but by the brâhmaòas, usually employed by the royal court. Such patronage attests to the importance of the Jains for the Guhila state once it acquired the most prominent centre of the Jains in Mewar Chittaur.

Because of their vast knowledge, the Jain âcâryas were employed by the non-Jain members of society to compose their records. The Chiravâ Inscription (AD 1273) was composed by Acãrya Ratnaprabha Sûri of the Caitragaccha, The Tämarâda family from Chiravâ significantly mentions that Ratnaprabhasûri was revered by King Visaladeva (Bâghelâs of Gujarat) and Tejasirmha, the Guhila king. This evidence indicates royal patronage enjoyed by the âcâryas of Mewar beyond the territorial boundary of the Guhila state. 

The peak of Guhila patronage of the Jains was reached in Rânâ Kumbha’s reign. The Abu Inscription of Rânã Kumbha of AD 1449 records the Guhila order for the abolition of the pilgrimage tax, customs, valvâhi (armed escort), caukîdâri (security) and cattle taxes levied in Abu, The Guhila order is politically very significant as most travellers to Abu were Jains, and because Abu was contested between Gujarat and, the Devadâs of Sirohi.

The Guhila patronage of Jain tirthas was parallel to the process of Incorporation of the Jains into the political structure. The Jains begin to Hgure as important officials in Mewar by the thirteenth century. The first Jain family formally inducted into the administrative structure was from Ahada. Thus, Jagatsirmha of Âhada, who had patronized Daða-vaikâlikãdisûtrapatrikâ appears as the mahâmâtya (chief minister) of King Jaitrasimha, Two more Jains figure as official favourites in the court of Jaitrasirhha. The Pâksikasûtravrtti mentions that the writing of its manuscript was patronized by mahan (mahantak: accountant) Œri Talhana, Œri Karana and others who had received the favours of King Jayasimha (another name for Jaitrasimha). Influential Jains continued to occupy the post of chief minister in the Guhila court in succeeding years. The ministers of Tejasimha (Jaitrasimha’s successor), Jalha Samuddhara and Kãngâ, were all devout Jains. In particular, minister Samuddhara seems to have been a man of great wealth and status as he figures in a number of contemporary records. He figures in a copper plate inscription, the Ghagsa Inscription dated AD 1260, and in the manuscript of the Sr§vaka Pratikramanasütracirni dated AD 1261 Kângâ figures as pradhâna rãjã in the administration of King Tejasimha. It is important that he received the title of rãjaputra This indicates absorption of the influential Jains into the political structure with a status higher than that of chiefs in the sâmanta hierarchy. Ðresthi Dhãndhal and Sreþthi Ratnâ seem to have been the two most important Jain merchants in the reign of Guhila King Samarasimha, The families of Samuddhara, Kângâ, Sresthis Dhãndhal, Ratnã, Ralha, etc., must have been quite influential in the Chittaurgarh belt. In the early fourteenth century, Sreþthi Jijâ and Punyasimha of Bâgherwal lineage figure as important Jain families of Chittaur. 


Share This

Click to Subscribe