SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Williams, R. H. B. (1951) A critical edition of the Jaina Prakrit text "Munivaicariyam," with translation and grammatical notes. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (42MB) | Preview


The edition of this work here presented is based on a collation of four manuscripts of dates varying between the 16th. and the 18th. centuries. The final text is fairly satisfactory but some half dozen verses still present corruptions. In noting the variants no account has been taken of mere orthographical peculiarities. The translation has been kept as close to the original as intelligibility allowed and lays no claim to literary style. The work consists of 646 verses and is built up, after the common Indian pattern, from a frame-story, incidents of which serve as a pretext for the introduction of sixteen tales of varying length. In addition a number of other tales are found inserted in the subsidiary narratives. The larger part of the introduction to this edition is taken up by a detailed analysis of these stories and of their parallels in Indian katha literature. Special attention is paid to the Jaina commentaries on the sacred books insofar as these are available for study. Many of the tales are a part of world folklore but it is beyond the scope of this short study to pursue their history outside India. One and, as far as know, only one, has been discussed elsewhere (by Belloni-Filippi In RSO vol. IV, 1911-12). It Is difficult to arrive at any clear conclusions on the origin and development of these fables, but it seems probable that most, if not all the 'boxed' stories belong to the common fund of narratives which Jaina preachers used for purposes of edification and which are preserved in the voluminous commentarial literature, whilst one is tempted to see in the frame-story a legend which has a special connection with Gujarat where the Munipaticarit a would seem to have been written. The introduction also includes a note on the various versions of the legend of Munipati (or Manipati for there is some hesitancy even about the name) which are known to exist and a discussion of the attribution of authorship (in the text itself) to Haribhadra Suri who cannot be identical with the famous Jaina commentator. Some considerable importance is attached in considering the date of the work to the occurrence in the Brhatkathakosa, a collection of Jaina tales dated A.D, 932, of a narrative so close to that of the Munipaticarita that it seems impossible not to assume that one has borrowed front the other. Prom internal evidence one is led to assume that the Munipaticarita is the older. Finally the introduction includes brief notes on popular Jainism as it appears in the stories and on the language and metre, as well as a short glossary of the more uncommon words.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:19

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item