Historical Evidences of Yapaniya
Epigraphic evidence has been found that relate about Yapaniya. The first inscription that relates about the Yapaniya is by Mrigesavarman (A.D. 475-490) a Dadamba king of Palasika. He is credited with constructing a Jain temple in the city of Palasika. He contributed towards forming sects of Yapaniyas, Nirgranthas and the Kurchakas. Yapaniya have also been mentioned in the last inscription that was found in the Tuluva country, in southwest Karnataka. It is dated Saka 1316 (A.D. 1394). The sect existed for at least a thousand years and later was absorbed in the Digambara community.
History of Yapaniya
According to the history, the Yapaniya worshipped nude images of the Tirthankaras in their temples. Some of these temples can still be seen and are now worshipped by the Digambaras. The Yapaniya monks themselves also used to remain nude.
Origin of Yapaniya
The origin of this sect is attributed to Srikalsa Swetambara monk who is stated to have founded it in Kalyana Nagar in 205 (A.D. 148). The origin of Yapaniya is not certain. As per the records of Darshanasara by Devasena, the Yapaniya Sangha was started by a Swetambara monk in the year 205 after the death of king Vikram. It is firmly believed by the Digambaras that the original affiliation of the Yapaniyas was with the Swetambaras. However, on the other hand a Swetambara author Gunaratna states that the Digambaras were divided into 4 Sanghas namely, Kastha, Mula, Mathura and Gopya or Yapaniya. These last Sangha were different from the other three on grounds like they believed that the Kevalis lived on food, and they allowed women to find salvation.
It is believed that there were no clear views whether the Yapaniyas had any separate sacred texts of their own. Certain references regarding Yapaniya Tantra by the Digambara author Haribhadra Suri have been found but they are not available at present. The Yapaniyas for religious purposes used the Swetambara sacred texts.
Sacred Texts of Yapaniya
Currently, Yapaniya is not much talked about except for their one great grammarian, Shakatayana. He was a contemporary of the Rashtrakuta king Amoghavarsa (c. 817-877) and was a Yapaniya. It is evident from the note by Malayagira in his commentary on the Nandi Sutra. His famous work is "Shubdanushasana".
All the available commentaries on the Shubdanushasana are by Digambara authors. Two other works, the "Stri-mukti-prakarana" and the "Kevali-bhukti-prakarana" which are also said to be by Shakatayana can be found only in the Swetambara collections. Thus while one work of Shakatayana is accepted by the Digambaras, his two other works are accepted by the Swetambaras only.
Thus, slowly and gradually due to different reasons this sect had to dissolve-itself. It does not exist anymore.
|More Articles in Jain Sects (10)|