New Delhi: Sanmarga, the international conference on the influence of Jainism in the areas of arts, culture and literature, organised by the Centre for Management Studies at Jain University on Monday, paid tribute to one of Kannada’s biggest poets, Adikavi Pampa.
“Kannada literature came into being due to Jain literature. The journey started from Pampa,” said Chandrasekhar Kambar, prominent Kannada writer and winner of the Jnanpith award.
“Pampa is one of the greatest Kannada poets of all time. His commendable work, Adipurana, written in Champu style — a mixed form of prose and verse — is a Kannada version of the Sanskrit work by Jinasena and details in 16 cantos the life of the first tirthankara of Jainism. Sensitive, modest and imaginative, Pampa has earned a veritable place in the world of Kannada literature, which has remained unquestioned,” he added.
Kambar also said that Pampa was one of the key influences on Kannada literature.
“Pampa showed the way to writers who succeeded him. He was responsible for starting the model for two poetic phases. During the first phase, the poet focuses on materialistic literature, and in the latter phase, the poet turns to spirituality. Even today, this tradition is followed,” he explained.
Prof Hampa Nagarajaiah, a Kannada scholar on Jainism, said Jain studies have become popular in the recent years. “The trajectory of Jain influence on arts is phenomenal,” he added. He attributed the decreasing influence of Buddhism as one of the reasons Jainism has flourished. “Jainism never had an independent language or script. The ideas propagated by Jainism are universal, so there are spiritual implications to studying it,” he elucidated.
On the occasion, Dr Chenraj Jain, chairman of Jain Group of Institutions, spoke about the importance of the state of supreme being (also known as jina in Jain culture).