Jainology and Prakrit

Brief History of Department

The contribution of Wodeyars of Mysore for the cause of education in Karnataka is very significant and invaluable. The services rendered by His Highness Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar for comprehensive development of Karnataka is indeed phenomenal. He is the founding father and the first Chancellor of the University of Mysore, one of the oldest Universities in the country, established in 1916.

Thanks to the dedicated service of the former Vice Chancellors like Dr. K.V.Puttappa, Dr.K.L. Sreemali and Prof. D.Javaregowda who toiled hard and contributed their best for the prosperity of the University, the University is acknowledged for its eminence in the field of higher education. Under the dynamic leadership of the present Vice Chancellor the University today is an advanced centre of educational excellence both in teaching as well as research.. During his Vice Chancellorship, Prof. D.Javare Gowda introduced new disciplines of study at the university level. As many as 28 new departments came into existence during his tenure. He encouraged the study of not only arts, science and other faculties but also of literature and cultural subjects. Jainology Department was one such brainchild of Dr.Javare Gowda.

Jainism, an ancient religion, attempted to rebuild the society and improve the quality of spiritual life of the people based on the principle of non-violence. Syadvada of Jainism gives inspiration to its followers to respect the views of people of other living faiths and ideologies. It emphasizes the theory of relativity of knowledge and thus stand for openers and catholicity. Jainism thus contributes ideologically to the harmony of religions in India. Its impact on language, literature, arts, architecture and philosophy is paramount. Jaina poets were successful in introducing Prakrit along with Sanskrit.

The study of Jainism is much interlinked with the land and language of Karnataka. Jaina religion played a significant role not only in the history of Karnataka but also in upholding the human values, thus making an individual a perfect man and an universal man. "Manujakula tanonde valam" (Mankind is one) is the basic concept through which Jainism knitted the lives of people in all walks of life. It paved way for careful and absorbed study in detail.

The Department of Jainology and Prakrit was established at the University of Mysore in 1971. Sri Sahu Jain of Delhi, institutor of the Jnanapeetha award, supported the opening of this Department with liberal financial assistance. The Department was first attached to the Institute of Kannada Studies, though independent in having its own Board of Studies and Board of Examiners. Post-graduate courses and diplomas were conducted in Jainology and Prakrit language.