History of Jainism has been presented here in three parts. The first part tries to prove through the archaeological and literary sources the historicity of Tirthankara, Parshvanatha and Mahavira, explaining their life and education besides religious, political, social, artistic and literary conditions of their times.
The second part surveys the history of the Jaina dharma, its expansion and significance. The effects of Jaina dharma increased when Mauryas were ruling Magadha and Kharawelas ruled Orissa. No doubt, the period from the ninth to twelfth centuries ce was a golden time in the history of Jainism and even traders, labourers and craftsmen were highly influenced by it during Kushana period. Seen geographically, Cauhana, Paramara and Calukya were acting as watchmen for Jainism in the north, and in the south it was being nourished by Rashtrakuta and Ganga (Kingdoms). Many Jaina temples were constructed, and monuments erected in honour of their deities. This part illustrates the many ways in which Jainism was served by the Jaina monks, saints, scholars and the politicians and answers questions such as: What kind of religious and social unions were made after the division and what were their traditional characteristics? How were the different leagues and monasteries of Jaina sages made? What was the lineage of various castes and how it originated?
The third part, associated with the middle ages of Jainism, describes that even though there was Muslim rule, still many organizations were sponsored with the influence of Jainism. Truthfully, there was a decline in Jainism during the middle ages but it remained protected. Many pilgrimages and historical places were established with the great influence of Jainism. Dr A.H. Nizami has written here about the Muslim reign, conditions of Jainism and also about the admirable Jainas. Dr Surendra Gopal has described the social and financial conditions prevailing during this period. Dr Shyam Sunder Nigam has penned on the Middle Ages of India and Dr Prakash Chandra Jain has written about the Jaina religion in the Middle Ages in Malwa region.
This monumental work will be a treat for the minds and eyes of people curious about Jainism.