Scholars have long known that Jain authors from the early centuries of the common era composed their own versions of the story of Rāma, prince of Ayodhyā. Further, the differences between Jain and Brahminical versions of the narrative are well documented. Less studied are later versions of Jain Rāma narratives, particularly those composed during the early modern period. This paper examines one such version of the Rāma story, the fifteenth-century Sanskrit Padmapurāṇa by the Digambara author Brahma Jinadāsa. The paper compares Jinadāsa’s work with an earlier text, the seventh-century Sanskrit Padmapurāṇa, authored by Raviṣeṇa, as Jinadāsa explains that he has at hand a copy of his predecessor’s work and is recomposing it to make it “clear”. The paper thus demonstrates the multiple strategies of abridgement Jinadāsa employs in recomposing Raviṣeṇa’s earlier narrative and that, to Jinadāsa, this project of narrative abridgement was also one of clarification.
Clines, G. M. (2019). So that it might become clear: The methods and purposes of narrative abridgement in early modern Jain Purāṇic composition. Religions, 10(6), Article 335. http://doi.org/10.3390/rel10060355
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