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‘Tataḥ Śrī-Gurus-Tasmai Sūrimantraṃ Dadyāt’, ‘Then the Venerable Guru Ought to Give Him the Sūrimantra’: Early Modern Digambara Jaina Bhaṭṭāraka Consecrations

Independent Researcher, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Religions 2019, 10(6), 369;
Submission received: 14 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Jainism Studies)


As recent research on the former bhaṭṭāraka lineages of Western and Central India has shown, the early modern Digambara tradition, rather than constituting a distinct, and defective, ‘bhaṭṭāraka era’, shows much similarity to contemporary Digambara Jainism. Bhaṭṭārakas were regarded and venerated as ideal renouncers. Many of their practices accorded to those of today’s Digambara munis, and the bhaṭṭāraka saṅghas also featured renouncers of the muni and ācārya ranks, long thought to have abruptly become obsolete in the late medieval period. This new understanding of early modern Digambara Jainism is corroborated by the present article, which deals with early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecration rituals (paṭṭābhiṣeka, dīkṣā). The study is mainly based on two genres of sources. Sanskrit bhaṭṭāraka consecration manuals (dīkṣā-vidhi, pada-sthāpanā-vidhi), firstly, outline the preparations, the ritual proceedings, and the festivities to be held. Some vernacular songs of praise (gīta, etc.) of individual bhaṭṭārakas, secondly, focus specifically on their consecrations. These song compositions confirm many of the manuals’ prescriptions, while also adding elements not attested in the latter. Read in conjunction, both sources allow a relatively detailed understanding of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, show they closely resembled contemporary Digambara initiations, and confirm the former venerability of early modern bhaṭṭārakas in their own times.

1. Introduction

In Western and Central India, seats and lineages of male Digambara Jaina renouncers called bhaṭṭārakas were the stronghold of Digambara asceticism from the end of the late medieval period (1000–1350 CE) onwards and throughout the early modern period (1350–1800 CE).1 It is often thought that the Western and Central Indian bhaṭṭāraka traditions declined and disappeared right after the 17th and 18th century CE rise and formalization of the Terāpantha, a reform movement which, next to its ritual reforms, also opposed the bhaṭṭārakas. However, a majority of bhaṭṭāraka lineages were continued up to the 19th and 20th century CE. While all bhaṭṭāraka lineages of Western and Central India have now been discontinued, in South India bhaṭṭāraka traditions continue to flourish, and new seats have been established in recent decades. For long, scholarship on Sultanate and Mughal era Digambara Jainism seems to have been strained under the influence of a limited understanding of these contemporary, South Indian bhaṭṭārakas, who are clothed, sedentary, and oversee large monastic properties. Early modern bhaṭṭārakas have long been conceptualized as a type of ‘cleric’ or ‘administrator’, or as holding a position in between laypeople and renouncers. As such, bhaṭṭārakas present and past are unfavorably contrasted to the naked, itinerant Digambara muni, a figure who has reappeared in increasing numbers during the 20th century CE, a development often referred to as the ‘muni revival’. Negative assessments of early modern bhaṭṭārakas, and of early modern Digambara Jainism more broadly, were also informed by, and have in turn reinforced, contemporary perceptions of the period of ‘Muslim rule’ as an era of oppression and decline of indigenous traditions. These assumptions in turn derive from colonial depictions that served to contrast enlightened, colonial rule to preceding dark and despotic middle ages. Widely disseminated in popular Jaina and Hindu thinking, such understandings of the extended early modern period also spill over into scholarly analyses. In the case of the Digambara tradition, it takes the form of a tripartite historiography: the ancient and early medieval tradition; Sultanate and Mughal era Digambara Jainism as a distinct ‘bhaṭṭāraka era’; and contemporary Digambara Jainism since the muni revival.2
Recent research gainsays such periodization by bringing to light deep continuities running right across the ‘bhaṭṭāraka era’. In their own times, the Western and Central India bhaṭṭārakas were considered venerable, ideal renouncers by the castes connected to them (Detige 2019; forthcoming). Deceased, early modern bhaṭṭārakas were probably very commonly venerated with rituals like pūjā and āratī (Detige 2014, 2015, pp. 162–67), and the present study adduces evidence that ritual veneration was also practiced of living bhaṭṭārakas, as it is of today’s munis (Detige, in preparation b). At least some early modern bhaṭṭārakas seem to have followed practices associated with ideal Digambara munis, like itinerancy (vihāra), rain-retreats (caturmāsa), and, at least occasionally, nudity (Detige, forthcoming). Far from an intermediary between renouncers and laypeople, the early modern bhaṭṭārakas stood at the very apex of the ascetic hierarchy, above the munis and ācāryas. And contrary to what is commonly thought, the latter ranks were still in usage well into the early modern period (Detige 2018, in preparation a). Studies of funerary monuments (Detige, in preparation a) and manuscript colophons (Detige 2018, esp. pp. 354–56) show that records of munis disappear after the early 17th century CE, while ācāryas continued to flourish up to the end of the 18th century CE. By then, the rank of the ācārya, and that of the bhaṭṭāraka, were possibly applied to figures we would now recognize rather as paṇḍitas or brahmacārīs (ibid.). Yet, well into the Mughal period bhaṭṭārakas as well as ācāryas were perceived, depicted, and venerated as ideal renouncers and as distinguished munis.
In sum, striking similarities exist between the late medieval and early modern bhaṭṭāraka traditions and today’s muni saṅghas. The case of bhaṭṭāraka consecration rituals (paṭṭābhiṣeka, pada-sthāpanā, dīkṣā)3 constitutes another aspect that clearly shows the former status of early modern, Western Indian bhaṭṭārakas as ideal renouncers and revered spiritual leaders, rather than mere clerics, and of the continuity of renunciant praxis, conduct, and ritual from the ‘bhaṭṭāraka era’ to contemporary Digambara Jainism. In order to make this case, the present article presents a study and translation of available texts related to early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations. Śāstrī (1992, p. 84) already proffered that the procedure of contemporary muni dīkṣā was based on muni initiations in the former bhaṭṭāraka lineages, and Gough (forthcoming) showed the similarity between the consecration rites used in the contemporary Digambara muni saṅghas and medieval and early modern Digambara renunciant initiation. Next to the ritual veneration of early modern bhaṭṭārakas, the case of initiation praxis might indeed constitute one of the best documented examples of the Digambara tradition’s continuity from the early modern to the contemporary era. Although beyond the scope of the present study, the importance of mantra within early modern Digambara consecration practice and other features of the rituals employed are also proof of the by then completed, and still preserved, ‘mantricization’ (Dundas 1998) or ‘tantrization’ (Gough 2017) of Jainism.

2. Sources

Notably two genres of texts are available attesting early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecration practice, both little-known, little-used in scholarship, or newly discovered. Undated Sanskrit manuals for bhaṭṭāraka consecrations (Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi, Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi), firstly, offer prescriptions for the organization of consecration rites and festivals. A shorter and a longer recension are found, the former preserved in a single manuscript, the latter known in three versions (Section 2.1). Bhaṭṭāraka gītas, secondly, are vernacular songs of praise of individual early modern bhaṭṭārakas. Some of these compositions include references to their consecrations to the bhaṭṭāraka seat, and some even revolve around these events specifically (Section 2.2). In a combined reading, these two textual genres allow a relatively detailed understanding of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecration practices. I first introduce both sources separately, and then proceed to draw from both to paint as complete a picture as possible of the consecration rituals, discussing its various, successive elements (Section 3 and Section 4).

2.1. Consecration Manuals

I found copies of two different manuals for the consecration of a bhaṭṭāraka in the manuscript collections (bhaṇḍāra) of two former seats of the Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa bhaṭṭāraka tradition in Central India.4 The first manuscripts were discovered by chance while randomly browsing through manuscript bundles in the collection of the Sonagiriśākhā5 bhaṭṭārakas at the Bhaṭṭāraka Koṭhī in Sonagiri, Madhya Pradesh, which at the time of my visit in December 2013 was in a state of disarray. A manuscript with a shorter consecration outline (uncatalogued) has proven to be the thus far single existant version of this text, while other versions of a longer manual (no cat. no., cloth no. 806, ‘Mantra saṅgraha’) were also found subsequently. A second copy, featuring important and unique additions (see next), was discovered in the Chandranātha Digambara Mandira in Kārañjā, Maharashtra, the home of the Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa Kārañjāśākhā (cat. no. 517, cloth no. 99, ‘Bhaṭṭārakapada sthāpanā vidhi’) in January 2015. By this time I had also come across a third version of this longer text edited (pp. 116–17) and translated into Hindi (pp. 117–18) by Jaina (2009).6 His text stems from an edition by Āryikā Śītalmati, itself based, according to Jaina (2009, pp. 115–16), on a manuscript retrieved from a manuscript collection in Beḍiyā, Gujarat by Ācārya Sanmatisāgara.7 Premī (1913, p. 59) had obtained a manuscript of a bhaṭṭāraka consecration manual from Īḍara. Although Premī writes (ibid.) he only had a part of the text, from the contents he reports the copy seems to have been complete and clearly resembles the longer text, thus forming a fourth known copy of the latter. Although to date no further versions of either manual have been found in any of the other bhaṭṭāraka manuscript collections consulted in the course of my research, they can be anticipated to exist.
I follow the manuscripts in referring to the longer manual as the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi (‘Method for establishing the bhaṭṭāraka rank’, BPSV), occasionally using as a shorthand Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi, and to the shorter text as the Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi (‘Method for the initiation of a bhaṭṭāraka’, BDV), or Dīkṣā-vidhi. I also refer to the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi of the Sonagiri manuscript as version S, that from Kārañjā as version K, and Jaina’s text recovered from Beḍiyā as version B (v. S, v. K, v. B).
Barring minor differences, Jaina’s Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi is largely identical to that from Sonagiri. The Kārañjā manuscript stands out from these two, differing more substantially at some points. Judging from scribal errors8 as well as multiple additional phrasings which it alone carries,9 the text from Kārañjā seems to represent a later version based on, but diverging from, a text resembling the more closely related Sonagiri and Beḍiyā versions.
The shorter Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi largely overlaps with the latter part of the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi. The Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi mostly adds prescriptions for preparations and preliminary rituals (Section 3.1, Section 3.2 and Section 3.3). The Dīkṣā-vidhi largely limits itself to outlining the actual consecration rituals, following the Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi also into its descriptions of the concluding celebrations, and differs from the parallel sections of the latter text only in its initial phrases (Section 3.4).
Importantly, in the manuscripts the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhis occur within a set of outlines of initiation rites for various Digambara mendicant ranks. Also featured in the Sonagiri and Kārañjā manuscripts are a Laghu-dīkṣā-vidhi, an outline of the method for a kṣullaka (‘junior monk’) initiation;10 a manual for ‘Mahāvrata-dīkṣā’ or ‘Bṛhad-dīkṣā’, in effect the method for a muni initiation;11 and upādhyāya and ācārya consecration manuals.12 Jaina (2009, p. 121) also gives the text of the Ācārya- and Upādhyāya-pada-sthāpanā-vidhis, again from the Āryikā Śītalamati booklet (referring to pp. 72–73 and p. 72 respectively), and it seems likly the Beḍiyā manuscript also contained the full set of initiation manuals. My discussion below refers to these methods for initations into the other Digambara ascetic ranks whenever most pertinent, but I postpone a fuller analysis of these texts for another occasion. Obviously, a closer study of these texts and a consideration of their implications will be of much importance for our knowledge of the constitution of early modern bhaṭṭāraka saṅghas. For one thing, the order in which the various initiation rites are given, that for the bhaṭṭāraka following that for the upādhyāya and ācārya, confirms that the bhaṭṭāraka rank was at that time paramount.
In prescribing the recitation of a Gurvāvalī or lineage list as one of the concluding parts of the consecration (see below, Section 3.7), both the longer and the shorter manual refer to the Mūlasaṅgha Nandyāmnāya Sarasvatīgacha Balātkāragaṇa Kundākundācāryānvaya. Next to everything we know about early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecration hence applies to this tradition (in short, the Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa), as a single song composition is our only source offering some indications of Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha bhaṭṭāraka consecrations (Section 2.2). However, other close parallels between Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha and Mūlasaṅgha practices indicate that other traditions probably held similar consecration practices as the Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa, excepting probably specific details or procedural differences. One source certainly confirms that Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha bhaṭṭāraka–rank renouncers were similarly distinguised from lower ranking Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha renouncers by possessing the Sūrimantra, and we can presume the mantra was also imparted to them during their consecrations, as it was to Balātkāragaṇa bhaṭṭārakas (see below, Section 3.5).
All manuscripts of the consecration manuals are undated. Jaina (2009, p. 122, see also Gough, forthcoming) remarked that the manual’s reference to the Gurvāvalī of the Balātkāragaṇa indicates that the texts were composed no sooner than the 12th century CE, when the epithet Nandyāmnāya is first attested. It is, however, also possible of course that the inclusion of this appellation is merely a feature of the preserved copy, added to an earlier version of the text. Based on material features, I estimate that all manuscripts to which I had access (the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhis, from Kārañjā and Sonagiri, and the Sonagiri Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi) date from later than the 15th century CE and earlier than the 19th century CE (perhaps 17th or 18th century CE). Given the proliferation of Balātkāragaṇa branches in the 15th and 16th centuries, this might have been the time of formalization and recording of consecration practices, and the procedures prescribed by our sources perhaps best represent practices of the 16th to 17th and 18th centuries CE.
In appendices to this article I present an edition and English translation of both manuscripts from Sonagiri: the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi (Appendix A) and the shorter Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi (Appendix C). I also offer an edition and translation of those sections of the Kārañjā Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi manuscript which differ most significantly from the other versions (Appendix B). In my discussion of the texts below, I refer to Jaina (2009, pp. 116–17) for the Beḍiyā version of the longer recension. Significant differences between the various versions of the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi are discussed in my analysis in the next section (Section 3), while minor variations are footnoted in my edition of the Sonagiri text in Appendix A. Notable differences between the Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi and the parallel Dīkṣā-vidhi sections are also analyzed below. Differences in orthography, grammatical variants, exchange of words for synonyms, etc., are not systematically noted. Probable scribal errors are not necessarily amended, but those of some consequence are discussed in footnotes to the text editions.13

2.2. Bhaṭṭāraka Song Compositions

Bhaṭṭāraka songs of praise are devotional and jubilant compositions singing the praises of individual bhaṭṭārakas’ virtues (guṇa-gāna), describing their subjects as ideal Digambara renouncers observing all the normative ascetic rules of conduct.14 As such, they can be read as expressions of the venerability ascribed to the early modern bhaṭṭārakas by their contemporaries. Many of these song compositions also include biographical data like the renouncers’ caste, place of birth, and parents’ names, their beauty, learnedness, and dexterity, and their earlier lives both as laymen and as renouncers. References are found to their peregrinations (vihāra), the image consecrations (pratiṣṭhā) and pilgrimages they conducted, and the honors they received from rulers. Variously titled gīta, jakhaḍī, hamacī, lāvaṇī, etc., such songs are found from the 15th to the 18th century CE. We know of several dozens of bhaṭṭāraka gītas, many edited, cited, or referred to in the work of Kastūracanda Kāsalīvāla and other Jain scholars, others newly retrieved from manuscript copies (Detige 2019, pp. 276–77).
Compositions are preserved relating to bhaṭṭārakas of various lineages of Western and Central India, though the majority relate to incumbents of the Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa. The greater availability of sources deriving from the latter tradition is a mere reflection of its regional predominance. Yet, examples of bhaṭṭāraka song compositions are also found on incumbents of Mūlasaṅgha Senagaṇa and Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha seats, and, again going from other close parallels between the practices of different bhaṭṭāraka traditions, we can surmise that their composition was a shared practice across traditions. Chāpas or colophons, whenever available, reveal that these songs were composed by pupils of bhaṭṭārakas, either lay paṇḍitas or celibate brahmacārīs, or by bhaṭṭārakas themselves, in praise of their predecessors.
The quantity of preserved texts shows that bhaṭṭāraka praise hymns were commonly composed and constituted a distinct genre of devotional literature. We also find evidence that they were performed. They served as benedictory verses (maṅgalācaraṇa) in welcoming visiting bhaṭṭārakas and were used during the performance of āratī (lamp offering ritual) of the bhaṭṭārakas (Detige 2019, pp. 278–79). We also have indications that such songs were used during bhaṭṭāraka consecrations. Thus, after the consecration of the Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa Īḍarasākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Guṇakīrti in Ḍūṅgarapura in s. 1632 (1574–1575 CE), attractive women (kāmanī) reportedly sang maṅgalagītas (auspicious songs) about the newly minted bhaṭṭāraka, and dancers and musicians with various instruments also presented songs in his praise (Kāsalīvāla 1969, p. 454). The bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, and the festivities held in the margins thereof, might well have formed the inspiration for the composition of many of the bhaṭṭāraka gītas, notably of those songs which focused on the consecrations themselves.
A relatively substantial number of preserved bhaṭṭāraka gītas record their subjects’ consecrations. Fifteen bhaṭṭāraka gītas at least refer to a bhaṭṭāraka’s consecration, relating to in sum twelve individual bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, chronologically listed in Table 1.15 These compositions typically record the place and year of the consecration, sometimes also the precise date. Eight of these relate to 16th century CE bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, four 17th century CE, and three 18th century CE. Not surprising given the general predominance of gītas from the Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa, bhaṭṭāraka song compositions attesting their subjects’ consecrations are also predominantly found on incumbents from this tradition. Seven record the consecrations of four consecutive incumbents of the Sūrataśākhā sub-branch which I refer to as the Bāraḍolīśākhā (see Detige 2019, p. 276, fn. 27), three compositions deal with the consecrations of as many individual bhaṭṭārakas of Joharāpurakara’s (1958) Dillī–Jayapuraśākhā, which I refer to as the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā (see Detige 2018, p. 283), and one composition each relates to the Nāgauraśākhā, Īḍarasākhā, Jerahaṭaśākhā, and Kārañjāśākhā. One composition mentions the consecration of a Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha bhaṭṭāraka (see further below in this section).
While in the present article the gītas’ records of the rituals that took place as part of the bhaṭṭāraka consecrations are of central concern, and are called upon in subsequent sections, the texts are of further interest too. A few name ācāryas, munis, brahmacārīs, āryikās, and brahmacāriṇīs present at the consecration events. These references constitute one of the sources allowing us to establish the occurrence of renouncers of muni and ācārya ranks in the early modern period (Detige 2019), and they provide a sample of the composition of the bhaṭṭāraka saṅghas more broadly (see also Detige 2018). Names of attending paṇḍitas and lay donors are also recorded, both sometimes recorded as playing a role in the ritual proceedings (Section 4.1). While compositions with long lists of names of attendees and participants may have been commemorative, literary texts (as proffered in Detige 2019, p. 280), they might also have functioned as vehicles for praise of the present renouncers and lay sponsors, and as such they might also have been actually performed during consecration festivities.
Some gītas merely mention their subject’s consecration, or describe it very summarily in their broader narratives of the bhaṭṭāraka’s life and career, or amongst their verses of praise. Others, however, revolve specifically around the consecration and were clearly composed to eulogize, or commemorate, the consecrations themselves. I refer to these as paṭṭa-sthāpanā-gītas (‘songs on the consecration to the seat’). Among these are the three compositions from the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā and that from the Nāgauraśākhā, and it is notably the two Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā compositions brought to light, edited, and discussed by Nyāyatīrtha (1985a, 1985b) that will add to our knowledge of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations as gleaned from our reading of the ritual manuals (Section 4).19 The composition on the consecration of the Jerahaṭaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Narendrakīrti, as reported by Śāstrī (1992, pp. 88–89), also revolves around the bhaṭṭāraka’s consecration, and also features some unique contents (Section 4.4).
With the exception of the latest, that on Bhaṭṭāraka Śubhacandra, the compositions on Bāraḍolīśākhā bhaṭṭārakas edited and discussed by Kāsalīvāla (1981) mention only a few of the rituals performed at the consecrations. Yet they are relatively consistent in recording the names of lay patrons (Section 4.1) and the recitation of the Sūrimantra (Section 3.5), some also mentioning a practice of anointment (Section 4.2). The compositions on the Īḍarasākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Guṇakīrti (Kāsalīvāla 1969, pp. 453–54; 1981, pp. 234–35) and the later Kārañjāśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti (Joharāpurakara 1958, pp. 69–70, lekha 190) deal with their subjects’ entire lives. Yet, as already mentioned, the former, judging from Kāsalīvāla (1969, p. 454)’s account of it, seems to offer a lively picture of the festive atmosphere at the consecrations, including song and music. And the latter song touches upon similar elements as the Western Indian paṭṭa-sthāpanā gītas in its verses on Devendrakīrti’s consecration, notably its scheduling under an auspicious constellation (muhūrta), the gathering of the fourfold community (caturvidha saṅgha) of laypeople and renouncers for the event, the organization of festivities (utsava), the pouring of a pitcher (kalaśa, Section 4.2), and the guru establishing his pupil on his own seat, giving him a new name (Section 3.5). The single known composition recording a Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha consecration is, unfortunately, rather sparse with regards to details of the rituals performed. However, those few elements mentioned do accord to common Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa practice: the pouring of a pitcher, festivities held, and the incumbent bhaṭṭāraka Viśālakīrti himself establishing his successor Viśvasena on the seat. Interestingly, the composition also refers to the initiand ‘taking Digambara dīkṣā’ (‘grahī dīkṣā digaṃbara’, Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 270, lekha 672, see also footnote 55).
Although the amount of detail of the ritual proceedings recorded thus varies greatly between individual song compositions, when read as a whole and in combination with the consecration manuals, the songs’ descriptions help us develop a reasonably good idea of the overall procedure of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations. The song compositions often confirm the prescriptions of the manuals, adding to the latter specificity as well as ambience and a certain graphic quality (Section 3). Sometimes song compositions also attest features not prescribed by the vidhis, among which a few seemingly important actions which, if presumed to have been practiced more commonly too, are oddly missing from the manuals (Section 4). Notable features are the initiand’s taking of or reflecting on ascetic vows (Section 4.3); his performance of keśaloñca, the pulling out of the hair of the head (Section 4.4); the gifting of ascetic paraphernalia to him (Section 4.5); an anointment of possibly the initiand’s head (Section 4.2); and a ritual called āñjalī performed by laypeople, next to more acknowledgement and detail of laypeople’s roles in the rituals and celebrations more generally (Section 4.1).

3. Early Modern Bhaṭṭāraka Consecrations as Prescribed by Ritual Manuals and Confirmed by Songs of Praise

In my edition of the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi (Appendix A and Appendix B), I divide up the text in eight sections, roughly thematically delineated (A.1–8). The Kārañjā Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi differs most notably from the Sonagiri text in Section 1, Section 3 and Section 5, and only these are edited, translated, and numbered as such in Appendix B (B.1, B.3, B.5). The shorter Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi consists of close parallels to the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhis’ sections 4–8, and these are therefore numbered as such in Appendix C (C.4–8). The following sections of this article (Section 3.1, Section 3.2, Section 3.3, Section 3.4, Section 3.5, Section 3.6, Section 3.7 and Section 3.8) largely overlap with the consecutive sections of the bhaṭṭāraka consecrations manuals: (Section 3.1) description and selection of a worthy candidate (A.1, B.1); (Section 3.2) preparations and preliminary rituals (A.2, B.2); (Section 3.3) recitation of Bhaktis (A.3, B.3, and A–C.7); (Section 3.4) ablution of the initiand’s feet, praise of the bhaṭṭāraka (bhaṭṭāraka-stavana), and recitation of a bhaṭṭāraka’s virtues (guṇāropaṇa) (A–C.4); (Section 3.5) transmission of the Sūrimantra (A–C.5); (Section 3.6) performance of pūjā and other devotions of the newly consecrated bhaṭṭāraka, including āvāhana (A–C.6, and A–C.8); (Section 3.7) recitation of the bhaṭṭāraka lineage (Gurvāvalī) (A–C.7); and (Section 3.8) concluding festivities (A–C.8).
In each of the following sections of this article, I discuss the contents of the corresponding sections of the manuals, adding considerations of the broader implications of their contents, and referring to findings from other sources wherever possible or relevant. Prime among these are the bhaṭṭāraka gītas and their confirmations of specific elements from the manuals. Features of individual bhaṭṭāraka consecrations attested in gītas, but not confirmed by the manuals, are discussed separately in a subsequent part of this article (Section 4).

3.1. Description and Selection of a Worthy Candidate

As noted, the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi adds prescriptions for preparations of the consecration not discussed in the shorter Dīkṣā-vidhi. Before naming the rituals due to be performed prior to the consecrations (Section 3.2), it firstly defines who is a suitable candidate for the bhaṭṭāraka rank and how he should be nominated. Importantly, all three versions of the text agree that a prospective bhaṭṭāraka should be a muni already having the rank of ‘junior’ or ‘lower’ (laghu) ācārya (‘laghvācārya-padaṃ […] muniṃ’). The candidate should furthermore be loved by the whole saṅgha, well-versed in the śruta knowledge, steadfast in perpetuating the dharma of the jina, and adorned with the three jewels (ratnatraya) of right faith, knowledge, and conduct (‘sakala-saṃghābhirucitaṃ […] śruta-jñaṃ jina-dharmmodharaṇa-dhīraṃ ratna-traya-bhūṣitaṃ’, BPSV, v. S).
The Kārañjā manuscript is unique among the three known versions in adding a further requirement for the initiand to be observing (to be ‘a storehouse of’) “vows, the samitis and guptis, self-restraint, mental restraint, concentration, and morality” (‘vrata-samiti-gupti-yama-niyama-saṃyama-śīla-nidhānaṃ’ BPSV, v. K). It is not clear whether the terms yama, niyama, and saṃyama here carry any more specific, technical connotation. The three guptis—restraint of mind, speech, and body—and the five samitis—care in walking, speaking, accepting alms, picking up and putting down things, and excretory functions—are still stipulated for contemporary Digambara munis. The term vrata might well refer to the five mahāvrata or major vows of the Digambara muni—nonviolence (ahiṃsā), truthfulness (satya), not stealing (asteya), chastity (brahmacharya), and nonpossession (aparigraha).20 Its occurrence in conjunction with the gupti vows and samiti rules of conduct also seems to indicate this much. Outside of the context of their consecrations as well, songs of praise quite commonly describe bhaṭṭārakas as observing this set of vows also referred to as the thirteen ways of (correct) conduct (teraha cāritra: five mahāvratas, five samitis, three guptis).21 The 18th century CE Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti is recorded to have taken, or more probably recollected, observed, or renewed, the five mahāvratas, five samitis, and three guptis during his consecration (Nyāyatīrtha 1985b, p. 36; see further discussion below, Section 4.3).
The requirement of observance of these vows is one aspect (see also Section 4.4 and Section 4.5) rendering the profile of an early modern bhaṭṭāraka-candidate recognizably close to that of an ideal Digambara renouncer as understood today. Yet a major question remains concerning the bhaṭṭārakas’ and other early modern renouncers’ nudity, and here we need to take caution in our reading of the prescriptive manuals concerning the practical, early modern application of such vows. The Mahāvrata-dīkṣā-vidhi of the Sonagiri and Kārañjā manuscripts prescribes the muni-initiand to abandon his clothes during his initiation and to take the 28 mūlaguṇas, one of which is nudity. If we take this for granted, this would mean that a bhaṭṭāraka-initiand already was a naked renouncer. However, evidence concerning the nudity or clothedness of early modern bhaṭṭārakas is inconclusive, indications and attestations of both being found (Detige, forthcoming), and less than that is known about early modern Digambara renouncers of other ranks. While it is often taken for granted that the change from naked to clothed renouncers occurred as a singular and decisive shift in the Sultanate period, it is much more likely that it was in reality far more gradual and not decisive, and that well into the Mughal era there existed a diversity of practices in different periods, regions, and perhaps traditions, less likely so between different branches of a single tradition.
As noted, we do not have a precise dating for any of the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi manuscripts. Yet, the reference to a suitable bhaṭṭāraka-initiand as already being a muni and an ācārya, observing the vows associated with these ranks as generally understood, is another confirmation of the preservation of these ranks in the early modern Digambara tradition, next to more ample proof from other sources (Detige 2018, in preparation a). The fact that the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi occurs together with similar outlines of the procedures for the initiation of an ācārya, upādhyāya, muni, and kṣullaka also shows that, at least in theory22, the early modern Digambara tradition had safeguarded its entire gamut of ascetic ranks, adding that of the bhaṭṭāraka on top of its hierarchy. This gainsays hitherto widespread conceptions of the absolute disappearance of the muni (upādhyāya) and ācārya ranks in the period, of the bhaṭṭāraka saṅghas solely being composed of celibate brahmācāris and lay paṇḍitas, and of the bhaṭṭārakas themselves as being mere clerics or intermediaries between laypeople and renouncers (see also Detige 2018, 2019, in preparation a). Instead, in the early modern period, the bhaṭṭāraka rank was a higher promotion for a muni or ācārya. What distinguished the bhaṭṭārakas from the latter, as already remarked by Gough (2017, p. 296), or set them apart as “a special class of Digambara ācāryas” (ibid., p. 297) was their possession of the Sūrimantra, transmitted to the initiand further in the consecration procedure as probably its single most empowering feature (see below, Section 3.5).
At the same time, while the manual demands a muni, or an ācārya, as an initiand, we also have some early modern sources attesting brahmacārīs or even lay paṇḍitas being initiated to the bhaṭṭāraka seat directly.23 The latter certainly must have been a common practice by the 19th and 20th century CE,24 when the Western and Central Indian bhaṭṭāraka lineages were themselves coming to an end and the bhaṭṭārakas no longer had pupillary circles of fully initiated renouncers as the ranks of muni and ācārya had by then effectively ceased to exist. In earlier centuries too, it was possible that specific seats or regions at times did not have a sufficient number of initiated renouncers of lower ranks to select from. On the other hand, new incumbents also seem to have been attracted from elsewhere if necessary,25 and this certainly would have been possible given the transregional connections of early modern bhaṭṭāraka seats, as confirmed for example through the case of bhaṭṭārakas consecrating incumbents of sister lineages (see Section 3.5). Further studies of the composition of specific bhaṭṭāraka saṅghas might bring to light regional differences or certain patterns of historical development.
It is unclear what the laghu-ācārya rank (laghvācārya-pada) attested in the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi’s initial phrasing refers to precisely. It does not seem very likely that the term laghu would here refer to youth. Some Paṭṭāvalīs include the number of years each incumbent had spent prior to his consecration to the bhaṭṭāraka seat, both as a layperson and as a renouncer (e.g., Hoernle 1891, pp. 351–55; 1892, pp. 74–77, 79). If we take these data at face value, bhaṭṭārakas were on average consecrated between their early thirties and late forties, though some already in their twenties, and others as late as their sixties. We might expect that experienced renouncers, at least somewhat advanced in age, would have been preferred for this high-ranking position, but particularly charismatic or talented renouncers might indeed have been consecrated to the seat at a relatively young age. Yet again others only reached the bhaṭṭāraka rank at a much more mature age.
Though also building up to a rather weak hypothesis only, we could also try to understand the term laghu-ācārya in relation to the figure of the maṇḍalācārya.26 The latter rank, or title, is attested quite commonly at the time of the proliferation of Balātkāragaṇa branches in the 15th and 16th century CE and in some Balātkāragaṇa lineages (Bhānapuraśākhā, Nāgauraśākhā) still in the 17th and 18th century CE. A maṇḍalācārya originally, at least theoretically, seems to have been responsible for a certain region of his superior bhaṭṭāraka’s wider sphere of influence. At some point, successions of maṇḍalācāryas often claimed bhaṭṭāraka-status for themselves. It is noteworthy that there is no outline of the procedures for the consecration of a maṇḍalācārya among the various initiation manuals found in the manuscripts. This probably indicates that it was not considered a separate ascetic rank, but rather a distinction for an ācārya. The maṇḍalācārya then stood in between the ācārya and the bhaṭṭāraka in the ascetic hierarchy, probably closer to the former, distinguished from the latter again because of the bhaṭṭāraka’s monopoly over the Sūrimantra, which granted him the privilege of icon consecrations (see Section 3.5). The term laghu-ācārya could then be taken to refer to an ācārya who was not (also) a maṇḍalācārya, although it might otherwise be exactly these maṇḍalācāryas who could be thought of as qualified to make the final promotion up to the highest ascetic rank of bhaṭṭāraka. Another, at least slightly more probable interpretation presents itself in the fact that bhaṭṭārakas were themselves also understood to be ācāryas and were regularly referred to such. A laghu-ācārya could then apply to an ācārya lower than the ‘bhaṭṭāraka-type ācāryas’. Either way, the lack of further attestations of the term laghu-ācārya also indicates that it was probably not a fully formalized rank.
What I distinguish as the first section of the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi concludes with short instructions for the selection procedure of a suitable candidate, the choosing of an auspicious moment for the consecration to take place, and the dispatching of invitations27 for the event. The latter ought to be done by the leader of the lay congregation (saṅghādhipa, v. S & B; saṅghādipati, v. K). While the text is slightly ambiguous, it also seems to present it as the latter’s responsibility to look for a worthy candidate in the first place and to deliberate on his fitness with the whole fourfold saṅgha (caturvidha-saṅgha), lay men and women and male and female renouncers. The text thus points out the involvement of the lay community in the selection of a new bhaṭṭāraka. I have indeed sometimes heard accounts of the large extent of the lay community’s say in the selection of a successor to a deceased ācārya in today’s muni saṅghas. And yet it probably often was the former bhaṭṭāraka, when still alive or by some proclamation before passing, who held the prerogative of electing his successor. Typically, this could have been his favorite pupil or the most skilled or learned renouncer of his circle of pupils. This probably happened in the case of bhaṭṭārakas consecrating their own successors (see below, Section 3.5). According to Kāsalīvāla’s (1981, p. 235) account of the composition on Bhaṭṭāraka Guṇakīrti, the latter announced a pupil of his to become his successor at a festival seemingly especially organized for this purpose. It certainly seems to have been very common for the fourfold saṅgha to gather for bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, as it is explicitly recorded in several song compositions,28 and gītas also offer more indications of the responsibilities and roles of laymen in the consecrations rituals and festivals (see Section 4.1).
The manual continues by indicating that, apparently once a candidate has been accepted by all, an astrologically auspicious moment (lagna)29 needs to be determined for the consecration. Immediately after its Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi, the Kārañjā manuscript indeed continues with a ‘Description of the auspicious and inauspicious constellations for initiation and consecration’ (Dīkṣā-paṭṭābhiṣeka-nakṣatra-phalāphala-varṇana). The Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi texts themselves, in the next section, proceed with prescriptions for preparations of the consecration event and rituals to be performed by laypeople in the days leading up to the consecration.

3.2. Preparations and Prefatory Rituals

A colorful pavilion (maṇḍapa), stage or platform (vedi), and throne (siṅhāsana) are to be erected for the consecration. Laypeople should hold a festival (mahotsava) in a temple (caityālaya) performing the Śāntikā-, Gaṇadharavalaya-,30 Ratnatraya-, and other pūjās.31 Like many contemporary vidhānas or mahāpūjās (collective pūjās), these rituals seem to have lasted for several days, for the manuscript repeats its prescription to perform the Śāntikā and Gaṇadharavalaya rituals (arcana) on the auspicious day selected for the consecration. After this, a procession with water pitchers (jalayātrā-mahotsava) ought to set out. The auspicious number of 108 pitchers (kalaśa) filled with (water suffused with) herbs are to be brought on and established on a svāstika. It is not explicated who the singular individual is who ought to establish the pitchers (‘sthāpayet’), possibly the pratiṣṭhācārya referred to later (see Section 3.4). Happily married lay women (saubhāgyavatī strī) make another svāstika on the ground with lines of sandalwood paste and pearls. On top of it the throne (siṅhāsana) for the initiand should be erected, and he should be seated there facing east. It is here that the actual consecration and the rituals most closely surrounding it will begin, as prescribed in the next sections of the manual.
Individual bhaṭṭāraka gītas regularly confirm elements of the preparatory rituals and festivals prescribed by the Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi. An account of the paṭṭābhiṣeka of the Balātkāragaṇa Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti in Āmera in s. 1770 (1712–1713 CE, Nyāyatīrtha 1985b, p. 36; see also below, Section 4) relates how the initiand, a muni, was seated on a throne (‘siṅghāsaṇi’), and above his head a parasol (‘chatra’), a symbol of reverence, was spread. A composition on the consecration of Devendrakīrti’s successor Mahendrakīrti in Delhi in s. 1792 (1734–1735 CE) shortly refers to the performance of further unspecified pūjās before the dīkṣā. Through these, the poem says, obstacles were removed (‘vighana dūri viḍāriyo’, Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, p. 423), which indicates that such rituals were understood to render the consecration auspicious and successful. In his hamacī on Bhaṭṭāraka Śubhacandra, the poet Śrīpāla records the performance of jinapūjā, śāntika, homa (a fire ritual), vidhāna, and a jalayātra, the latter also featuring coconuts (śrīphala), before the consecration of Śubhacandra on an auspicious date and time (‘śubha muhūrata’) in s. 1721 (1663–1664 CE, Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 227). According to Kāsalīvāla’s (1969, p. 454) account of the composition on Bhaṭṭāraka Guṇakīrti, a procession (jalūsa) of ornamented elephants, palanquins, and other vehicles went out before his consecration, and the whole area was perfumed with flower garlands.32 Reminiscent of jalayātras as they are still performed today, women decked out with jewels and decorated clothes (‘no less then goddesses’) went out carrying pitchers (kumbha) on their head filled with fragrant water, which was subsequently used for Guṇakīrti’s paṭṭābhiṣeka.

3.3. Recitation of Bhaktis

The Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi next prescribes that an announcement be made of the commencement of the ritual for conferment of the bhaṭṭāraka rank.33 Immediately after this, we find a first reference to the recitation of Bhaktis. The Digambara Bhaktis are ancient devotional texts, of which independent sets exist set in both Prakrit and Sanskrit. They are used by laypeople during the veneration of jina icons or living renouncers, at fasts, and annual festivals.34 The Bhaktis are already attested as forming part of renunciant initiations in medieval texts, and they are still used during contemporary Digambara initiations (Gough, forthcoming). Although their usage is not mentioned in the paṭṭa-sthāpanā-gītas, the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi prescribes in sum five Bhaktis (Siddha-, Śruta-, Ācārya-, Śānti-, and Sāmādhi-bhakti) to be recited at three different moments during the consecration ritual. The different versions all agree that firstly the Siddha-, Śruta-, and Ācārya-bhakti ought to be recited immediately after the announcement of the ritual’s commencement. The Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi joins in on the Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi’s outline only in the subsequent steps, but both texts agree that further on during the consecration, after the āvāhana (see below, Section 3.6), single bhaktis ought to be recited twice more: the Śānti-bhakti before, and the Samādhi-bhakti after the Gurvāvalī (see below, Section 3.7).
In the first occurrence of Bhakti recitation, the texts from Sonagiri and Beḍiyā hold that a singular individual ought to recite (‘paṭhet’) the first three bhaktis. The version from Kārañjā, however, has a plural optative form (‘paṭheyuḥ’). All three versions use the singular optative ‘paṭhet’ for the third bhakti recitation (‘samādhi-bhaktiṃ paṭhet’, ‘he ought to read the Samādhi-bhakti’) and use the, in regards to number, inconclusive absolutive form for the second (‘śānti-bhaktiṃ kṛtvā’, ‘after having performed the Śānti-bhakti’). It is, thus, not always clear who ought to read out the various Bhaktis, but in contemporary Digambara muni dīkṣās both the initiand and the consecrating guru read out specific Bhaktis (Gough, forthcoming), and the Kārañjā version presumably refers to these two participants, even if through a plural rather than a dual verbal form.

3.4. Ablution of the Initiand’s Feet, Bhaṭṭāraka-Stavana, and Guṇāropaṇa

After the recitation of the first three Bhaktis, the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi prescribes the pratiṣṭhācārya to wash the feet (of the initiand) with water from the 108 pitchers brought on before, spelling out a mantra to be recited at this time stating the purity of the water.35 This is the text’s single reference to the figure of the pratiṣṭhācārya, the ācārya in charge of the consecration (pratiṣṭhā), in this case not of an icon but of a bhaṭṭāraka. In contemporary dīkṣās, icon consecrations, and mahāpūjās, a lay ritual specialist sometimes referred to as pratiṣṭhācārya (Gough 2017, p. 286), a sort of paṇḍita-cum-MC, is typically in charge of at least the less esoteric aspects of the proceedings. Given that it would be odd for a guru to wash a pupil’s feet, here too the term probably refers to a layperson rather than the consecrating bhaṭṭāraka-guru.
The initiand’s feet are then to be touched ‘from all sides’, meaning probably by all those attending, and we can imagine a crowd thronging around the initiand. At this time some verses of praise of the bhaṭṭāraka (bhaṭṭāraka-stavana) are to be recited starting with ‘aidaṃ yugīn-’ (v. K & B).36 Given that it is only the transmission of the Sūrimantra in the next section (Section 3.5) which seems to turn the initiand into a bhaṭṭāraka, the hymn probably concerns praise of the figure of the bhaṭṭāraka more generally, rather than of the individual initiand. The Pada-sthāpanā-vidhis next prescribe the performance of guṇāropaṇa, the attribution of virtues, possibly the recitation of the virtues, vows, rules of conducts, etc., which a bhaṭṭāraka-rank renouncer ought to observe, and their administration to him. This is the closest the manuals get in terms of referring to the initiand’s taking of vows, attested more explicitly in gītas (see Section 4.3 and, already, Section 3.1).
It is around this point of the proceedings that the Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi commences. Though it closely follows the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi in its outlines of further rituals and actions (Section 3.5, Section 3.6, Section 3.7 and Section 3.8), it differs from the latter text in its initial lines. It offers alternatives to some actions and, in doing so, is also a little more explicit about the interactions between initiand and guru. In its first phrase, the Dīkṣā-vidhi refers consecutively to the performance (‘giving’) of devotion to the teacher (‘guru-bhaktiṃ dattvā’), clearly by the initiand; the gift of a tilaka by the guru, to the initiand undoubtedly, this step more or less replacing the feet ablution of the Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi; the recitation, not clear by whom, of a hymn (stavana) starting with the words or dealing with detachment (nirveda) and skillfulness (sauṣṭava), a closer parallel again to the bhaṭṭāraka-stavana referred to in the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi; recitation of the words ‘śānti jinaṃ’ (etc.?) while (?) touching the guru’s feet, clearly by the initiand; and finally the guṇāropaṇa, which, as this text clarifies, ought to be performed by the guru.

3.5. Transmission of the Sūrimantra

Certainly an important part of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, and probably the most central, empowering act, seems to have been the transmission of the Sūrimantra. Multiple variants of the typically well-secreted Sūrimantra are used to consecrate icons (mūrti) by both Digambaras and Śvetāmbaras (Gough 2017) and to initiate Śvetāmbara ācāryas (Gough, forthcoming).37 As a part of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, it is prescribed by both the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhis and the Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi, confirmed in several song compositions,38 and also attested by other sources.39 Gough (2017, p. 296) already understood the imparting of the Sūrimantra to the bhaṭṭāraka-initiand as “the key ritual action in distinguishing between an ācārya and a bhaṭṭāraka”. In describing the ideal bhaṭṭāraka in his composition Sanghāṣṭaka, Brahmacārī Jñānasāgara also glosses a renouncer of this rank as possessing the Sūrimantra (Joharāpurakara 1964, p. 232). Interestingly, Jñānasāgara was affiliated to the late 16th/early 17th century CE Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha Bhaṭṭāraka Śrībhūṣaṇa (Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 298). This forms a so far unique, though unsurprising, confirmation that the Sūrimantra was also used in the Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha, where it was probably similarly passed on to its bhaṭṭārakas during their consecrations, as in the Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa. The importance attached to the Sūrimantra, and the reason for its transmission to the highest-ranking renouncers, bhaṭṭārakas, probably lies in its usage within image consecrations (see Gough 2017). Dundas (1998, p. 45) however remarks that Śvetāmbara Sūrimantras were “more than a simple formula involved in the installing of a senior ascetic or an image”, and also need to be seen in relation to issues of authority in situations of sectarian strife, and as expressive of specific attitudes towards Jain teachings (ibid., pp. 45–46). Though we lack further information about the Sūrimantra of even the Balātkāragaṇa, and especially that of other traditions, I take it however that the various Balātkāragaṇa sister and daughter lineages, which were typically on good footing, used the same Sūrimantra (see below in this section).
In nearly identical formulations, the longer and the shorter consecration manuals both allow for two ways of transmitting the Sūrimantra. Either the Sūrimantra is passed on from guru to initiand directly, or it is transmitted through a paper copy. We have evidence that, in the case of the first procedure, the living guru could either be the direct teacher of the initiand or the bhaṭṭāraka of another lineage coming over to perform the consecration. In the former case, the incumbent bhaṭṭāraka apparently abdicated to personally anoint his successor.40
Gītas certainly offer attestations of bhaṭṭārakas consecrating their own successors and, at that time, giving them a new name. Thus, in the 16th century CE, the Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha Bhaṭṭāraka Viśvasena was consecrated by his guru Viśālakīrti in Ḍūṅgarapura (Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 270, lekha 672). A paṭṭa-sthāpanā-gīta on the seventeenth century CE Bāraḍolīśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Kumudacandra explicitly asserts that he was consecrated and given the Sūrimantra by his guru Ratnakīrti in Bāraḍolī in s. 1656 (1598–1599 CE, Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 56, and ibid., no. 1). Another composition adds that Kumudacandra was given his new name by the abdicating Bhaṭṭāraka Ratnakīrti during the consecration (Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 233). In s. 1792 (1734–1735 CE), Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti consecrated his successor Mahendrakīrti on the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā seat (Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, p. 423). And in the second half of the 18th century CE, in yet another Balātkāragaṇa branch, Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti of Kārañjā was established on the seat and at that time given a new name by his guru Bhaṭṭāraka Dharmacandra (Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 69, lekha 190).
While the consecration manuals’ reference to the guru might, thus, have referred to the abdicating bhaṭṭāraka, we also know of cases in which a seat’s new incumbent was consecrated by the bhaṭṭāraka of a sister lineage—another branch, that is, of the same tradition. This second manner of transmitting the Sūrimantra would presumably have been practiced typically when an incumbent bhaṭṭāraka had passed away before anointing his successor. This might also have been a fairly usual procedure, given that bhaṭṭārakas, probably often senior renouncers, may well have regularly passed away unexpectedly. The consecration manuals’ slight ambiguity of speaking of the ‘guru’, never explicitly referring to the incumbent bhaṭṭāraka, might in fact be taken as consciously allowing for this latter option, even if in this case the relation between the initiating bhaṭṭāraka and the initiand is not the same, close teacher–pupil (guru-śiṣya) relationship as in the case of a bhaṭṭāraka anointing his actual, probably often years-long, pupil. Both recensions of the consecration procedure refer to the transmission of the ‘traditional Sūrimantra’ or the ‘Sūrimantra of the tradition’ (‘paramparagataṃ sūrimantraṃ’).41 It is assumed that different seats of a single tradition, e.g., those of the various Balātkāragaṇa branches, by default used the same Sūrimantra, which precisely would have facilitated bhaṭṭārakas of one lineage to anoint new incumbents of other branches.42
We have two probable attestations of this procedure from the Balātkāragaṇa, where bhaṭṭārakas of neighboring seats were called upon to install a new incumbent. In s. 1721 (1663–1664 CE) Śubhacandra was given the Sūrimantra and established on the Bāraḍolī seat not by his predecessor Abhayacandra but by one Gachapatī Dharmabhūṣaṇa from the South, probably Bhaṭṭāraka Dharmabhūṣaṇa who was then on the Kārañjā seat (Śubhacandra hamacī; Kāsalīvāla 1981, pp. 227–28). Half a century later, in s. 1770 (1712–1713 CE), the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti was consecrated in Āmera by Candrakīrti, most probably the bhaṭṭāraka of that name then incumbent in the Nāgauraśākhā (Nyāyatīrtha 1985b, pp. 34, 36). It indeed seems quite plausible that Devendrakīrti’s own guru Jagatkīrti had died before anointing his successor, given that Jagatkīrti’s pādukā (memorial stone with carvings of the commemorated renouncer’s feet) at the Kīrtistambha Nasiyāṃ in Āmera was consecrated in s. 1771 (Detige 2014, p. 28), such monuments probably often finalized and consecrated only some time after their subject’s death.
As mentioned, next to the direct transmission of the Sūrimantra from guru to initiand, the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi and Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi both offer a second method, or a third method when counting our distinction between transmission from either the previous bhaṭṭāraka of the seat or an incumbent of another seat. At the end of his life,43 an incumbent bhaṭṭāraka can write down the Sūrimantra on a piece of paper, which is then sealed, properly stored, and, according to the version from Kārañjā, covered with stamped paper and deposited in a treasure box (‘rūpya-patrā-chādita-saṃpuṭikāyāṃ muktaṃ bhavati’).44 The Dīkṣā-vidhi adds that this manuscript ought to be entrusted to the main devotees and (?) a good pupil (śisya), not clarifying whether lay or renunciant. While it could also be taken as a method to secure the continuity of the lineage when even inviting an initiating bhaṭṭāraka from another lineage proved impossible, the Balātkāragaṇa branches generally seem to have been sufficiently interconnected to always have had recourse to the latter option. Instead, the manuals in fact prescribe the transmission of the Sūrimantra via a paper copy in the absence of a sadhu worthy of the bhaṭṭāraka post, towards the end, it can be understood, of the incumbent bhaṭṭāraka’s life.
The Sonagiri and Beḍiyā Pada-sthāpanā-vidhis indicate that, later on it appears, once a suitable candidate has been found, a man ought to hand over the Sūrimantra manuscript to ‘him’. While the Kārañjā Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi omits this latter passage, the Dīkṣā-vidhi clarifies that this signifies ‘the one engaged in the bhaṭṭāraka rank’ (‘bhaṭṭārakapadasthāya’), which I take to be the initiand. A more straightforward interpretation would perhaps be ‘the one being in’, or already having the bhaṭṭāraka rank, referring then to a bhaṭṭāraka from another seat coming over to consecrate the candidate once the latter has been found. In that case, however, it seems there would be no need for the former to read the Sūrimantra from a paper, taking it, as proffered before, that different Balātkāragaṇa branches probably used the same Sūrimantra. Both Sonagiri manuscripts, the Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi and the Dīkṣā-vidhi, also mention a rite of ‘establishing’ the manuscript, the former explicating that it is to be performed by the man handing it over.45
This procedure might have been applied in the case of many consecrations on which gītas remain silent about the manner of transmission of the Sūrimantra. It seems probable especially in the case of the paṭṭābhiṣeka of the 18th century CE Bhaṭṭāraka Mahendrakīrti. No consecrating bhaṭṭāraka is mentioned in an otherwise relatively detailed composition, and Mahendrakīrti is said to have recited the mantra and himself performed keśaloñca—the ritual pulling out of the hair from the head—an act otherwise typically performed at least partially by the initiating renouncer (Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, pp. 422–23, see below, Section 4).46
Although the Kārañjā Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi often seems the faulty copy, as noted it also stands out from the more closely related versions from Sonagiri and Beḍiyā because of some additional phrasings not included in the latter versions. By far the most important among the latter is a long section in which it supplies three mantras to be recited, seemingly, surrounding the transmission of the Sūrimantra. The first of these starts with the Namokāramantra (Pañcanamaskāramantra), the obeisance to the five parameṣṭhins or ‘supreme lords’, the well-known five Digambara figures worthy of veneration (arihantas or jinas, siddhas, ācāryas, upādhyāyas, and ‘all sādhus’, the latter mostly taken to mean munis);47 adds salutations to the supreme renouncer (paramahaṃsa) and the parameṣṭhin; a series of seed syllables (bīja-akṣara) with vocalic variations on the syllable ‘haṃ’; and an invocation of the jina.48 ‘At the right moment for the dīkṣā to take place’ (‘dīkṣāvelāyāṃ’), this mantra should be imparted at the top of the head of the initiand, repeated 38 times. A second mantra, to be recited 37 times, largely repeats the latter parts of the first, now also using variations of ‘hraṃ’ as bīja-akṣaras. The third, short mantra again offers obeisance to the renouncer (haṃsa) and is indicated to be repeated 17 times. This unique section of the Kārañjā manuscript concludes by stating that ‘in between these three [mantras] one [more] mantra ought to be given’, the latter presumably the actual Sūrimantra not disclosed here. The manuscript then turns to the procedure for transmission of the Sūrimantra through a paper copy, henceforth running parallel with the other versions again.

3.6. Āvāhana and Bhaṭṭāraka Pūjā

After describing the possibilities for the transmission of the Sūrimantra, both manuals announce the method for the performance of āvāhana. The manuscripts’ term āvāhana functions here as a short-hand for the standardized, tripartite mantra-preamble which typically introduces a Digambara pūjā. Āvāhana, the invocation of the object of veneration, is itself only its first part, the second and third parts being sthāpanā, the establishment of the object of veneration, and sannidhi-karaṇa, its placing in the nearness of the devotee. While the shorter Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi only spells out the āvāhana, the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhis also communicates the mantras for the sthāpanā and the sannidhi-karaṇa. In each, the object of veneration is the bhaṭṭāraka. The fact that the āvāhana follows immediately after the recitation of the Sūrimantra indicates it is precisely the latter that turns him into a subject suitable for veneration, or at least that which establishes him as a bhaṭṭāraka and renders him venerable in that capacity specifically. The latter is probably more accurate if we take it early modern bhaṭṭārakas had typically already had an earlier ascetic career as a muni (upādhyāya) and/or ācārya, at which point they would already have been suitable objects of veneration. In confirmation of this, in all known versions the upādhyāya and ācārya consecration manuals also give āvāhana verses for renouncers newly consecrated to these ranks, and in the latter case laypeople are also prescribed to perform eightfold pūjā (‘aṣṭatayiṃ iṣṭiṃ’) of the newly minted ācārya.
After the āvāhana, the bhaṭṭāraka consecration manuals add another mantra, slightly different in both texts, but in both cases repeating some parts of the āvāhana verses. This latter mantra is said to be meant to be recited while applying a tilaka of camphor and sandal to the feet of the initiand, by now bhaṭṭāraka. Both manuals then proceed with prescribing the recitation of Śānti-bhakti, Gurvāvalī (see next), and Samādhi-bhakti. The texts in other words give the standard preliminary to pūjā (āvāhana), but do not, at this point, refer to the performance of an eightfold pūjā of the bhaṭṭāraka. Bhaṭṭāraka pūjā is, however, duly prescribed after the Gurvāvalī section, when both texts similarly instruct all renouncers (yati) to give guru-bhakti and to bow (‘guru-bhaktiṃ datvā|sarve yatinaḥ praṇāmaṃ kuryuḥ||’, BPSV v. S, section 8, variants in other BPSV versions and BDV) and all laypeople to also perform eightfold pūjā (‘tataśca sarve upāsakāḥ aṣṭayīm-iṣṭhiṃ kṛtvā guru-bhaktiṃ datvā praṇamaṃti’, ibid.). Our sources on bhaṭṭāraka consecrations here offer important proof of the ritual veneration of living, early modern bhaṭṭārakas, adding to our prior knowledge of the performance of such rituals of deceased bhaṭṭārakas evident from other sources, notably the combination of bhaṭṭāraka pūjā and āratī texts and bhaṭṭārakas’ funerary monuments (Detige 2014; 2015, pp. 162–67).
We again find some confirmations of this element from the manuals in the corpus of bhaṭṭāraka gītas. In his jakhaḍī, Paṇḍita Akairāma reports how pūjā, and praise, of Bhaṭṭāraka Mahendrakīrti were performed after his consecration in s. 1792 (1734–1735 CE, ‘guru pūjana vaṃdana karai jī’, Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, p. 423). And according to Kāsalīvāla’s (1969, p. 454) reading of Jayadāsa’s account, a century and a half earlier in s. 1632 (1574–1575 CE), all the sādhus of the saṅgha accepted the newly consecrated Bhaṭṭāraka Guṇakīrti as a guru, and coconuts were gifted to him while shouts of ‘jaya jaya’ (hail, hail!) were heard everywhere.
The manuals’ triple āvāhana verses offer further indications of the extent to which early modern bhaṭṭārakas were regarded by their contemporaries as ideal, venerable renouncers, beyond their featuring as an object of veneration in the āvāhana and pūjā. Importantly, the mantras refer to the bhaṭṭāraka as a parameṣṭhin (‘paramabhaṭṭārakaparameṣṭinn-’, with orthographic variants in both manuals, all versions). Much unlike contemporary bhaṭṭārakas in the eyes of most of today’s Western and Central Indian Jains, early modern bhaṭṭārakas were thus included among the parameṣṭhins, the five classes of venerable beings (arihantas, siddhas, ācāryas, upādhyāyas, and sādhus), probably more specifically as ācāryas. This understanding of the bhaṭṭārakas as a type of ācāryas is also confirmed by the reference to the bhaṭṭāraka as a ‘leader and ācārya of dharma’ (dharmācāryādhipati) in both the triple āvāhana mantras and the subsequent mantra meant to be recited while applying a tilaka to the bhaṭṭāraka’s feet. This term is not attested elsewhere, and most certainly was not a formal ascetic rank. The latter mantra also includes the Prakrit phrasing ‘ṇamo āyarīyāṇaṃ’, ‘salutations to the ācāryas’, well-known from the Namokāramantra. This could be taken as linking the bhaṭṭāraka(s) to the ācāryas of ancient lore, although our historiographical understanding should probably be that of a natural, historical connection between both, rather than a discontinuity in need of rhetorical patchwork. Gurvāvalīs (also Paṭṭāvalī, Virudāvalī, see next) indeed depict the bhaṭṭāraka lineages as a continuation of earlier ācārya lineages. Early modern ācāryas on the other hand were clearly less highly authorized and of lesser standing than both the bhaṭṭārakas contemporary to them and the premodern ācāryas. The bhaṭṭāraka rank, once again, developed as an addition to the premodern Digambara ascetic hierarchy, superseding the ācārya rank at the apex.

3.7. Gurvāvalī Recitation

The consecration manuals next prescribe another element which is still featured as part of contemporary Digambara initiations: the recitation of a Gurvāvalī or lineage text.49 Gurvāvalī recitation is also prescribed in the consecration manuals for kṣullakas (Laghu-dīkṣā-vidhi) and munis (Mahāvrata-dīkṣā-vidhi, Bṛhad-dīkṣā-vidhi). The manuscripts merely supply the standard, generic formula in which the names of the subsequent seat-holders of the lineage of the newly consecrated bhaṭṭāraka are still to be inserted: ‘on the seat of so and so, a bhaṭṭāraka of such and such a name’ (‘amukasya paṭṭe amuka-nāmavān bhaṭṭārakaḥ’, v. S, and variations). However, as mentioned before, both texts do refer to the incumbent bhaṭṭārakas as standing in the Mūlasaṅgha Nandisaṅgha/Nandyāmnāya Sarasvatīgaccha Balātkāragaṇa Kundākundācāryānvaya.50 Here, we are reminded that everything we believe we can derive from these prescriptive texts about early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, and initiations of lower renouncers, applies to this tradition only. Gurvāvalīs are found in multiple copies in former bhaṭṭāraka seats’ manuscript libraries, especially in guṭakas — bound manuscripts or ‘notebooks’ often holding an anthology of a wide variety of different genres of texts. Verses of praise added for at least the more recent incumbents differentiate most manuscript Gurvāvalīs from the mere sequence of successive incumbents’ names needed for the initiand’s confirmation of his affiliation as part of his consecration. Yet the recitation of the lineage list at this time might have been an additional purpose for recording Gurvāvalīs in guṭakas, next to the far more numerous usage of bare-bones succession lists also in image inscriptions. Bhaṭṭāraka gītas themselves regularly feature verses about their lineage’s successions, giving the names of the successive incumbents interspersed with some praise of each. In doing so, one composition indicates that a lineage list was also performed in song at the Bāraḍolīśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Śubhacandra’s consecration in s. 1721 in Poravandara (‘birudāvalī bole’, Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 228).

3.8. Concluding Festivities

After the lay community’s expression of devotion and formal pūjā veneration (Section 3.6), both manuals enjoin the newly consecrated bhaṭṭāraka to give his blessings, to the leader of the lay congregation (saṅgha-nāyaka) according to the Dīkṣā-vidhi, to the donor (‘dātre’, the patron of the consecration) and all lay Jains according to the Pada-sthāpanā-vidhis (upāsaka, v. B & S; śrāvaka, v. K). Both vidhis then instruct all lay folks to bring gifts from their own houses to congratulate the newly consecrated bhaṭṭāraka (‘navīna bhaṭṭārakaṃ’, BPSV v. K). The Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi’s Sonagiri and Beḍiyā copies add that this ought to be accompanied with great festivities (‘mahā-mahotsavena’). References to such concluding festivities, or at least to festivities more generally (utsava, mahotsava, etc.), can also be found in the paṭṭa-sthāpanā-gītas,51 including the performance of music and song after the consecration of Bhaṭṭāraka Guṇakīrti mentioned before (Kāsalīvāla 1969, p. 454).
The Bhaṭṭāraka-dīkṣā-vidhi concludes with mentioning a meal offered to the whole saṅgha (‘sarva-saṃgha-bhojanaṃ’). This can probably be taken to mean both renouncers and laypeople, appropriate provisions separately made for both as in contemporary praxis. The Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi adds that the patron ought not only to feed the saṅgha but also make an offering of cloth(es) etc. to the saṅgha (‘vastrādinā saṃghārcanaṃ’), which in this case must refer to the renouncers’ congregation. Jaina (2009, p. 120) argues on the basis of this fragment that early modern bhaṭṭārakas were clothed, while ācāryas and upādhyāyas contemporaneous to them were not, given that the consecration manuals for the latter ranks contain no such mention of cloth gifted to them upon their promotions. However, as noted, we don’t have conclusive evidence concerning the nudity or clothedness of early modern Digambara renouncers, be it bhaṭṭārakas or of other ranks (see Section 3.1). But in light of the plentiful evidence of a clear ascetic hierarchy with the bhaṭṭārakas at the top, the implication of Jaina’s interpretation that naked ācāryas and upādhyāyas (and munis) were subordinated to clothed bhaṭṭārakas seems very unlikely. The Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhis conclude in ordering that beggars, poor people, and orphans should also be satisfied.

4. Further Glimpses from Songs of Praise

Although most bhaṭṭāraka gītas offer only very partial, unsystematic, or ad hoc accounts of specific bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, they largely confirm the rites prescribed by the manuals, at the same time presenting us a more vivid account of the rituals, preparations, and festivities. Some songs also add elements not included in the manuals’ outlines, including a few seemingly important ones. This is the case, most notably, for the compositions on the paṭṭābhiṣekas of two consecutive Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā bhaṭṭārakas, Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti in Āmera in s. 1770 (1712–1713 CE), and Bhaṭṭāraka Mahendrakīrti in Delhi in s. 1792 (1734–1735 CE). Notable additional elements attested in either or in both texts concern the role played by laypeople in the festivities and rituals, amongst other in the performance of a ritual referred to as āñjalī (Section 4.1); the anointment of the initiand with kalaśa pitchers (Section 4.2); the initiand’s taking or probably rather recollection of the five mahāvrata vows, five samiti regulations, and three gupti restraints (Section 4.3); his performance of keśaloñca, the pulling out of the hair (Section 4.4); and the gifting of ascetic paraphernalia to the initiand: a water pitcher (kamaṇḍalu), whisk (picchī), and lotus (Section 4.5).
Here is the relevant section from Nemacanda’s account of the consecration of Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti, as edited by Nyāyatīrtha (1985b, p. 36):
Eka jatī paṇḍita pañca saba mili kalasa kañcaṇa ḍhāliyā|
Āñjalī sāha ghāsīrāma jhelī sāṃga jyo sujasa kīyā||6||
Siṅghāsaṇi baidā śrī munirājaï sira para chatra dharāyajī|
Kavalī kamaṇḍala pīchikā dayā upakaraṇa livāyajī||ṭeka||
Livāï upakaraṇa saṃjama līdho pañca mahāvrata mani dharyā|
Pāñca samiti triya gupati pālai pāñca indrī basi karyā|
One yati [and] five paṇḍitas52 together poured the golden pitcher.
As he poured the āñjalī, Sāha Ghāsīrāma brought fame to the saṅgha (?, sāṃga = ?).
The king-like muni was seated on a throne, above his head a parasol spread.
Taking lotus, kamaṇḍalu, and picchī as insignia of compassion.
Taking the paraphernalia, he took renunciation, keeping the five mahāvratas in mind. He observed the five regulations (samiti) and the three restraints (gupti), bringing his five senses under control.
In his composition on the paṭṭābhiṣeka of Devendrakīrti’s successor Bhaṭṭāraka Mahendrakīrti a little over two decades later, Paṇḍita Akairāma touches upon similar elements as Nemacanda, while again adding a few more features unrecorded in the manuals (Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, p. 423):
Kari pūja mahimā śrī jineśvara vighana dūri biḍāriyo||
Taba sūri mantra ucāri mukhasyoṃ loñca nija karasyoṃ liyo|
Satavaṃta sūra sadhīra samarasa bhāva niramala tharapiyo||
Jayakāra sabada ucāra karatāṃ kalasa masataka ḍhāliyā|
Śrī rāva kirapārāmajī nija sujasa jaga visatāriyā||3||
Dīkṣā vidhi saba jugati syoṃ jī kīnhīṃ subudhi vicāri|
Kaulī kaṃaḍala pīchikā jī dayā upakaraṇa sudhāri||
Purava vidhi jaba āñjulī jī jhelī sāhāṃ tibāri||
Tihiṃ bāra chājūrāmajī paradhāna pañca milyā dhaṇā|
Gachapati gurupada dīyo mili kari sakala pañca mahājanā|
Performing pūjā and praise of the jina, he removed all obstacles,
then pronounced the Sūrimantra, with his own hands pulled out the hair from his head.
The virtuous wise man, steadfast and equanimous, fixed his pure mind.
Shouting ‘Hail!’, he poured the pitcher over the top of the head,
Śrī Rāva Kirapārāmajī spread his glory through the world.|3|
Wisely and considerately he organized the consecration rite according to all [correct] methods.
He took hold of [?, sudhāri] lotus, kamaṇḍalu, and picchī, insignia of compassion.
When Sāha Tibari poured the āñjalī according to the manners of old,
at that time Chājurāmajī [and the] foremost, virtuous pañca united,
together the pañca of mahājanas gave the rank of leader of the gaccha [and] guru.

4.1. Participation and Role of the Laity, Āñjalī

A first point recorded in more detail in the song compositions than in the manuals is the participation of laypeople, both patrons and paṇḍitas—scholars or ritual specialists. A list of some of the attending paṇḍitas is included in both Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā paṭṭābhiṣeka compositions, both also referring to the presence of 51 paṇḍitas (Detige 2019, pp. 281–82). The compositions also name other laymen, probably prominent members of the Digambara communities. At least one of the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā texts also gives a role to the pañca, the committee of elders (compare footnote 52), and references to mahājanas, members of the merchant gild, are found elsewhere too. Particularly common are records of saṅghapatis, principal patrons known to have sponsored icon consecrations, pilgrimages, and—we can add here—renouncer’s consecrations. The Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi indeed identified the latter as main actors in the selection procedure of the bhaṭṭāraka candidate and the preparations for the consecrations, and here we see them taking part in the rituals and reaping fame for their service and donations.
The three compositions reporting the consecration of the Bāraḍolīśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Kumudacandra in Bāraḍolī in s. 1656 (1598–1599 CE) all record the name of Saṅghapati Kahānajī (Kāsalīvāla 1981, pp. 101, 204, 233), the former song most explicitly confirming Kahānajī was the main patron of the consecration festival (‘kare pratiṣṭhā pāṭa mahotsava’, ibid., p. 101). Śrīpāla’s hamacī on the Bāraḍolīśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Śubhacandra’s consecration in Poravandara in s. 1721 (1663–1664 CE) records a list of saṅghapatis who apparently came to the consecration from elsewhere (ibid., p. 227). Compositions on other consecrations in the same lineage, of Bhaṭṭāraka Abhayacandra in Bāraḍolī in s. 1685 (1627–1628 CE, ibid., p. 105) and Bhaṭṭāraka Ratnakīrti in Jālaṇapura in s. 1630 (1572–1573 CE, ibid., p. 104) respectively list several saṅghavīs, and one saṅghapati and two saṅghavīs.
In the composition on Devendrakīrti’s consecration, Sāha Ghāsīrāma reaps fame by pouring the ‘āñjalī’ (añjalī). In the composition on Mahendrakīrti, this action was performed by Sāha Tibari, while Rāva Kiripārāma (Kṛpārāma) took the honor of pouring the pitcher (see next section), and Chājurāmajī and the pañca are said to have recognized (?) the newly consecrated bhaṭṭāraka as guru. The precise meaning of the āñjalī ritual remains somewhat obscure, but probably involves a pouring of water or other liquids with cupped hands. Although not dictated by the manuals, its attestation in both compositions indicates it might have been another common part of the consecration festivals.
We can also pause to consider the signification of the ‘jati’ who at the consecration of Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti poured a kalaśa together with the paṇḍitas. In the modern period, there sometimes occurs a specific Digambara ascetic rank called yati, used to designate a celibate close to but below a bhaṭṭāraka (Detige 2018, pp. 310–11). In the early modern period, however, the term is used for renouncers of any rank. I, therefore, assume the ‘jati’ who assisted the paṇḍitas in pouring the golden pitcher was a full renouncer.

4.2. Anointment

The Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi’s instructions as we saw included a procession with pitchers and their subsequent use for the ablution of the initiand’s feet. In the case of Mahendrakīrti, it is clear that Rāva Kiripārāma poured a pitcher over his head instead, performing a mastakābhiṣeka (head anointment) of sorts. Other songs attesting anointments however fail to indicate whether it was the initiand’s head or feet being anointed. A composition on the consecration of Bhaṭṭāraka Kumudacandra in s. 1656 (1598–1599 CE) refers to the 108 pitchers of pure water we encountered in the vidhis’ prescriptions (‘eka śata āṭha kuṃbha re ḍhālyā nirmala jala atisāra’, Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 205). According to Śāstrī (1992, p. 89), the composition on the consecration of the Jerahaṭaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Narendrakīrti in s. 1740 (1682–1683 CE) also mentions an abhiṣeka (lustration) with 108 pitchers. A layman also poured a kalaśa during the consecration of the 16th century CE Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha Bhaṭṭāraka Viśvasena in Ḍūṅgarapura (‘tīnaï avasarī śrīpāla sāhi kula kalaśa caḍāvyo’, Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 270, lekha 672). With reference to the Kārañjāśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti in the second half of the 18th century CE, a song seems to indicate that the guru poured the kalaśa (‘kalaśa ḍhāḷunī nija padi sadguruna’, ibid., p. 69, lekha 190). A reference to the pouring of a kalaśa, unspecified by whom, is also found in the composition on the consecration of the Bāraḍolīśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Śubhacandra in s. 1721 (‘ḍhāle kalaśa uttaṃga’, Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 227).

4.3. Mahāvratas

Three further additions to our knowledge of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations as reconstructed from the manuals also concern the initiand, and are major parts of today’s muni initiations. A first of these is the reference to the five mahāvratas, five samitis, and three guptis in the composition on Devendrakīrti, also found in another section of the related composition on Mahendrakīrti (Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, p. 423). As noted (Section 3.1), the reference to this set of ascetic rules, also summed up as the tera(ha) cāritra (thirteen ways of conduct), is very common in bhaṭṭāraka gītas as part of the observances ascribed to them more generally.53 The Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi profiled a suitable candidate for the bhaṭṭāraka rank as a muni, as a ‘junior ācārya’, and, according to the Kārañjā version’s addition, as one observing the (mahā)vratas, samitis, and guptis (Section 3.1). And from Kāsalīvāla’s (1969, p. 454; 1981, p. 234–35, see also Detige 2019, pp. 282–83) account of the composition on Bhaṭṭāraka Guṇakīrti, we learn that he had first taken the five mahāvratas at a function in Ḍūṅgarapura organized by Saṅghapati Lakharāja. While Kāsalīvāla does not report an attestation of the muni rank from the composition, a muni is presumably what Guṇakīrti became at that time. As noted, the Kārañjā Mahāvrata-dīkṣā-vidhi, the outline for the initiation of a muni, also included the administration of the five mahāvratas to the initiand, the Sonagiri version remaining imprecise about which vows (vrata) ought to be taken (see footnote 11).
Despite some examples to the counter (see above, Section 3.1), I take it that, at least in the Sultanate and early Mughal period, as a standard practice bhaṭṭāraka-initiands were munis already. The fact that the bhaṭṭāraka consecration manuals do not explicitly prescribe the taking of specific vows but only feature a reference to guṇāropaṇa (Section 3.4) might also be taken as a confirmation that bhaṭṭāraka-initiands already observed the muni vows. Devendrakīrti’s ‘taking’ of the five mahāvratas, five samitis, and three guptis during his bhaṭṭāraka consecration would then constitute a mere renewal of vows, or an act of contemplation thereof, rather than his first taking of these precepts. Nemacanda’s phrasing also seems to indicate that rather than newly adopting them, Devendrakīrti concentrated on the five major vows and observed the five samitis and three guptis while controlling his senses. Albeit not in explicit connection to the vratas, the composition on Mahendrakīrti’s consecration also depicts the initiand as steadfastly and equanimously focusing his mind. Today, such a state of concentration also seems to be an expectation, or a good practice for Digambara initiands.54

4.4. Keśaloñca

Prime among the additional features of the bhaṭṭāraka consecrations attested by the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā compositions is also Mahendrakīrti’s pulling out his hair (keśaloñca). Although this act, a central feature of contemporary Digambara muni dīkṣās, is not referred to in the bhaṭṭāraka consecration manuals, it is noteworthy that both Sonagiri manuals (BDV, BPSV) proceed with a mantra meant to accompany keśaloñca (‘keśotpāṭanamantraṃ’, BPSV manuscript). Keśaloñca is furthermore also prescribed as part of the initiation of a kṣullaka and a muni in the respective vidhis of both the Sonagiri and Kārañjā manuscripts. Keśaloñca, the previous case of the taking of the mahāvratas, and the receiving of ascetic paraphernalia discussed next, might all have been actions already performed by the initiand in his prior ascetic career. Or, in as far as they were repeated during the initiation to these higher ranks, the bhaṭṭāraka as well as ācārya and upādhyāya consecration manuals’ silence about them might be understood as indicating that this much seemed self-evident to the manuals’ authors or users.
While the fact that Mahendrakīrti pulled out his hair himself might be an indication that no consecrating bhaṭṭāraka was present, as proffered above (Section 3.5), today initiands commonly pull out their own hair before their dīkṣā, leaving only a few strands of hair to be pulled out by the initiating renouncer, and for this would be praised for their endurance. Interestingly, and uniquely, according to Śāstrī’s (1992, p. 89) reading of the composition on the Mūlasaṅgha Jerahaṭaśākhā bhaṭṭāraka, Narendrakīrti before his consecration in Siroñja (Madhya Pradesh) in s. 1740 (1682–1683 CE) was first decked out with clothes and jewels and was taken to a temple where he took off his whole outfit and performed keśaloñca.55 Remarkable because of its singularity in early modern sources, such accoutrement and parading of the initiand is again fully recognizable from contemporary Jain praxis. Here, it certainly seems to indicate that Narendrakīrti was not yet a muni or ācārya, but instead directly initiated into bhaṭṭāraka-hood as a layman or at most brahmacārī, since fully-initiated renouncers would not typically be expected—or allowed—to take on civil clothes, let alone jewelry.

4.5. Renunciant Paraphernalia

Finally, both Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā paṭṭa-sthāpanā-gītas also record the gifting of a water pitcher (kamaṇḍalu), whisk (picchī), and lotus (kavalī, kaulī) to the initiand. This differs from contemporary Digambara initiations, in which instead of a lotus, a scripture (śāstra) is sometimes gifted as a third item next to the common ascetic paraphernalia of kamaṇḍalu and picchī. Yet a third, independent attestation indicates that the gifting of a lotus was probably a common practice, the lotus also mentioned in connection to the other two in a composition on the consecration of the Nāgauraśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Sahasrakīrti in s. 1634 (1576–1577 CE) (‘piṃchī-kamaṃḍalu-sahita-kaulī’, Ajmer Guṭaka, cat. no. 148, pp. 42a–55a).
While the bhaṭṭāraka consecration manuals make no mention of ascetic props, the gifting of kamaṇḍalu and picchī are mentioned as part of the initiation of a kṣullaka and a muni in, respectively, the Laghu-dīkṣā-vidhi and Bṛhad- or Mahāvrata-dīkṣā-vidhi of both the Sonagiri and Kārañjā manuscripts. This confirms that not only bhaṭṭārakas, but other early modern renouncers too, resembled contemporary Digambara renouncers in wielding these ascetic insignia. The donation of kamaṇḍalu and picchī to the newly minted bhaṭṭārakas would then again have been a mere gift-giving practice in which a new set of these items was offered to a renouncer who already carried them from earlier on in his ascetic career. Nowadays, munis’ whisks indeed seem to be annually and ceremoniously renewed, new picchīs being offered by laypeople at specifically organized functions (picchi-parivartana-samāroha, see, shortly, in Detige, in preparation b).

5. Conclusions

Most of the elements prescribed by the bhaṭṭāraka consecration manuals are sufficiently confirmed by song compositions or other sources to take it for granted that they commonly featured in actual consecration practice. This is also the case for what seems to have been the central act of the consecration: the transmission of the Sūrimantra. In further studies we will, however, need to exercise caution in our reading of elements like the Mahāvrata-dīkṣā-vidhi’s prescriptions for the muni-initiand to dispense with his clothes during his initiation, or when considering the possible early modern application of vows like nudity. We have little reason to structurally doubt the contents of the song compositions, yet it is not certain whether those elements not prescribed by the vidhis, but attested in songs, sometimes in single compositions only, formed part of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations more generally, across Western and Central India, and throughout the centuries. If so, it remains a question why the manuals failed to include these seemingly important acts in their outlines. As a partial explanation, it is possible that the procedures for some parts of the proceedings were preserved as nontextualized knowledge.
Today, ācāryas nor munis receive the Sūrimantra as part of their initiation, although contemporary Digambara muni-initiands do receive the Varddhamānamantra (Padmanandi et al. 1982, p. 233). Other probable elements of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecrations, however, like the contemplation of the five mahāvratas, five samitis, and three guptis, and the pulling out the hair (keśaloñca), are crucial parts of contemporary muni initiations. Ablution of the initiand, recitation of Bhaktis, Gurvāvali, and recitation of the desired qualities and virtues for the specific rank into which he is being initiated (guṇāropaṇa) are also still practiced. The performance of pūjā veneration of early modern bhaṭṭārakas is now sufficiently well-known for us not to be surprised by the veneration similarly of living bhaṭṭārakas. It is also performed of today’s South Indian bhaṭṭārakas, and although little-known, pūjā veneration of contemporary Digambara munis and especially ācāryas is a fairly common practice, especially on mass events like image consecrations and, indeed, renouncers’ initiations (Detige, in preparation b). The performance of rituals by laypeople in the days leading up to the consecration (Gough, forthcoming), the grand and festive setting, and the view that laypeople accrue much honor and merit through patronizing and participating in consecrations are also recognizable dimensions of contemporary Digambara initiations. These all form part of the continuity of Digambara initiation praxis from the early modern period, and perhaps beyond, to the present times.
I have not been able to observe bhaṭṭāraka consecrations among the still flourishing lineages in Southern India, which would of course form an interesting ground for comparison. Another field of further inquiry, beyond the scope of the present paper and my linguistic competences, is researching (the availability of) analogous textual sources from South India contemporary to the Western and Central Indian texts discussed here. As mentioned, a more in depth discussion of the pada-sthāpanā-vidhis for other ranks included in the manuscripts of the longer bhaṭṭāraka consecration outline is also postponed for another occasion.
Meanwhile, apart from showing the considerable similarity of early modern bhaṭṭāraka consecration rituals to contemporary Digambara praxis, and perhaps more importantly, our study of bhaṭṭāraka consecration manuals confirms a few crucial insights concerning early modern Digambara Jainism more broadly. The sources and the ritual procedures attested offer proof of the former venerability of early modern bhaṭṭārakas. They appear as parameṣṭhins, as standing in line with the ancient and medieval ācāryas, and as a special, higher class of ācāryas in the saṅghas of their own times. The late medieval origins and the continued early modern usage of the bhaṭṭāraka rank as a superimposition at the very apex of the prior Digambara ascetic hierarchy, rather than an inferior substitute after the latter’s breakdown, is now beyond doubt. Our sources also confirm the preservation and usage in the early modern period of the ascetic ranks of ācārya and muni, that of the upādhyāya less plentifully attested, and the manuals’ theoretical confirmation of the kṣullaka rank not yet borne out by records of early modern individuals, this rank perhaps having been conflated with that of the brahmacārī.
While early modern bhaṭṭārakas are nowadays often denounced for, supposedly, having been overly concerned with tantric practices (‘yantra-tantra-mantra’), the similarity between the tantric initiation praxis in the West and Central Indian bhaṭṭāraka saṅghas and those of contemporary munis stands as one example of the likeness, rather than disparity, of early modern and contemporary Digambara renouncers. Both understood as venerable ascetics in their own milieus, both equally engaged in tantric practices. In contrast to the contemporary historiography of the early modern period, our sources and their Digambara authors’ voices show no sign of any self-conception as belonging to an oppressed and declining tradition. Instead, a picture appears of a flourishing ascetic culture with diverse renunciant communities and dynamic practices, well-organized, transregionally connected, well-supported by lay communities and wealthy sponsors, and eager, able, and apparently allowed to flaunt itself to the broader society. The present study, then, confirms that in many ways the Digambara Jaina tradition in the Sultanates and Mughal Empire prospered, stood in continuity with earlier eras, and in turn also resembled ours much closer than generally thought.


Research partly facilitated by a grant of the FWO, Research Foundation Flanders (2012–2016).


Of taxpayers’ financing of my hometown’s public library, a wonderful place to work. Salutes to those Jains from throughout the centuries whose traditions are represented here, hopefully not misrepresented.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Appendix A. Bhaṭṭāraka-Pada-Sthāpanā-Vidhi, Sonagiri Manuscript, Text, and Translation

[Section A.1: description and selection of a worthy candidate]
atha bhaṭṭārakapadasthāpanāvidhirlikhyate||||laghvācāryapadaṃ sakalasaṃghābhirucitaṃ|idaṃ yogi56 śrutajñaṃ jinadharmmodharaṇadhīraṃ|ratnatrayabhūṣitaṃ bhaṭṭārakapadayogyaṃ muniṃ dṛṣṭvā caturvidhasaṃghaiḥ sahālocya lagniṃ57 gṛhītvopāsakamukhyaḥ saṃghādhipaḥ sarvatrāmantraṇapatraṃ preṣayet|
Now the rite for establishing the bhaṭṭāraka rank is written. Upon finding [seeing] a yogi with the rank of junior ācārya, beloved by the whole saṅgha, a muni well-versed in the śruta knowledge, skilled in uplifting the jina dharma, endowed with the three jewels, worthy of the rank of bhaṭṭāraka, after deliberating with the fourfold saṅgha, having determined an auspicious date, the saṅghādhipa, the chief of the laypeople (upāsaka), should send around an invitation letter.
[Section A.2: preparations and preliminary rituals]
tato vicitraśobhānvitaṃ maṇḍapaṃ|maṇḍapaṃ58 vedikā siṃhāsanaṃ cakārayet|Sarve upāsakāṃ cetyālaye59|śāntikagaṇadharavalayaratnatrayādi|pūjāmahotsavaṃ ca kurvaṃti|lagnādine śāntikaṃ|gaṇadharavala60yārcanaṃ vidhāya jalajātrāmahotsavaṃ ca vidhāya kalaśān||108 ānīyasasarvauṣadhī|tanmadhye kṣiptvā tān|svastikopari sthāpayet||Tataḥ saubhāgyavatī strī bhūmau caṃdanena chaṭā dāpayitvā mauktikaiḥ svastikaṃ kārayitvā tasyopari|siṃhāsanaṃ sthāpya tatra pūrvābhimukhaṃ taṃ bhaṭṭārakapadayogyaṃ munimāsayet||atha bhaṭṭārakapadayogyaṃ munimāsāyet61||
Then a colorful and beautiful pavilion (maṇḍapa), a platform (vedikā), and a throne (siṅhāsana) should be constructed. And in a temple all the laypeople (upāsaka) should perform a great festival with the Śāntika, Gaṇadharavalaya, Ratnatraya, and such pūjās. On the auspicious day, having performed the Śāntika and Gaṇadharavalaya veneration (arcana), and having held a great festival with a procession of water pitchers (‘jalajātramahotsavaṃ, jala-yātra), having brought 108 pitchers, having mixed in all herbs, he ought to establish them on top of a svastika. Then, after happily married women (saubhāgyavatī strī) have drawn lines on the ground with sandal [and] have made a svastika with pearls, [and] after setting up a throne (siṅhāsana) on top of it, that muni worthy of the rank of bhaṭṭāraka out to be seated there facing East. Now that muni worthy of the rank of bhaṭṭāraka out to be seated.
[Section A.3: recitation of Bhaktis]
atha bhaṭṭārakapadapratiṣṭhāpanakriyāmityādimuccārya siddhaśrutācāryabhakti paṭhet|
Having pronounced “Now the ritual for the establishment of the bhaṭṭāraka rank”, etc., he ought to recite the Siddha-, Śruta-, and Ācārya-bhakti.
[Section A.4: ablution of the initiand’s feet, bhaṭṭāraka-stavana, and guṇāropaṇa]
tataḥ paṇḍitācārya siddhaśrutācaryaḥ62||auṃ hrūṃ63 paramasurabhi64dravyasaṃdarbha parimalagarbhatīrthāṃbupūrṇasuvarṇakalaśāṣṭauttaraśata tathā toyena pādau pariṣecayāmīti svāhā||65 tata idaṃ yogī nṛtyādi66|bhaṭṭārakastavanaṃ|paṭhan pādau samaṃtāt parāmṛśya guṇāropaṇaṃ kuryāt|
Then the paṇḍitācārya [utters]: “Auṃ hrūṃ, I make an ablution of both feet with the water [from] 108 golden pitchers filled with water from a sacred place suffused with the fragrance of the most pure substances, svāhā!” Then, after touching both feet from all sides reciting the praise of the bhaṭṭāraka (bhaṭṭāraka-stavana) “idaṃ yoginṛtya67 etc., the attribution of the virtues (guṇāropaṇa) ought to be performed.
[Section A.5: transmission of the Sūrimantra]
tataḥ śrīgurustasmai tatpadayogyaṃ paraṃparāgataṃ sūrimantraṃ dadyāt athavā tatpadayogyamunerabhāvācchrī bhaṭṭārakeṇāyuḥ|praṃte tatpadayogyasūrimantraṃ patre 268 likhitvā tatpatraṃ madanādidravyairveṣṭayitvā muktaṃ bhavati69|tadā tatpatrasthāpanākīvidhikṛtaḥ pumān tatpatraṃ tasmai dadyāt|
Then the honorable guru ought to give him the traditional Sūrimantra fit for that rank, or, in the absence of a muni worthy of that rank, the Sūrimantra suitable for that rank having been written on a piece of paper by the honorable bhaṭṭāraka at the end of his life, that paper is deposited enveloped with bees’ wax and such substances. Then the man performing the procedure of the establishing of that paper ought to give him that paper.
[Section A.6: āvāhana]
athavāhanādividhi70||auṃ hṛūṃ ṇamo āyarīyāṇaṃ||dharmmācāryādhipataye71 paramabhaṭṭārakaparameṣṭhinnatre hi 272 saṃvauṣaṭ āhvānanaṃ||1||auṃ hrūṃ ṇamo āyariyāṇaṃ|dharmācāryādhipataye paramabhaṭṭārakaparameṣṭinna73 tiṣṭha 2 ṭhaḥ ṭhaḥ sthāpanaṃ||2||auṃ hrūṃ ṇamo āyarīyāṇaṃ|dharmācāryādhipate paramabhaṭṭārakaparameṣṭinatra mama sannihit[o]74 bhava 2 vaṣaṭ sannidhīkaraṇaṃ||3||ityāhvānādikaṃ kṛtvā||tataśca auṃ hrūṃ ṇamo āyarīyāṇaṃ||dharmāca75ryādhipateye76 sakala|śrutāṃbudhipāraprāptāya|paramabhaṭṭārakāya namaḥ||auṃ ā anena karpūracaṃdanena pādayostilakaṃ dadyāt||
Now the method of invocation (āvāhana): “Auṃ hrūṃ, namo āyarīyānaṃ (salutations to the ācāryas)!77 O, leader, ācārya of dharma! O, most excellent bhaṭṭāraka-supreme lord (parameṣṭhin), here here, saṃvauṣaṭ,78 āhvānana! Auṃ hrūṃ, salutations to the ācāryas! O, leader, ācārya of dharma! O, most excellent bhaṭṭāraka-supreme lord, be established, established (tiṣṭha tiṣṭha), ṭhaḥ ṭhaḥ, sthāpana! Auṃ hrūṃ, namo āyarīyānaṃ! O, leader, ācārya of dharma! O, most excellent bhaṭṭāraka-supreme lord, be near me, near me, vaṣaṭ, sānnidhī-karaṇa! And then, having performed the āvāhana etc. as such, with camphor and sandal a tilaka ought to be applied to both feet with [the recitation of] this [mantra] (anena)79: “Auṃ hrūṃ, namo āyarīyānaṃ! Salutations to the Dharmācāryādhipati, the highest bhaṭṭāraka, who has reached the other bank of (=mastered) the whole ocean of śruta knowledge, auṃ ā!”
[Section A.7: recitation of Gurvāvalī and Bhaktis]
tataḥ ṣāntibhaktiṃ kṛtvā||gurvāvalī paṭhitvā||śrī mūlasaṃghe naṃdisaṃghe ta80 sarasvatīgacche balātkāragaṇa81 śrī kuṃdakuṃdācāryānvaye amukasya paṭṭe amukanāmavān||bhaṭṭārakaḥ iti kathayitvā||samādhibhaktiṃ paṭhet||
Then after performing the Śānti-bhakti [and] reciting the gurvāvalī (succession list of the bhaṭṭāraka lineage) [as follows:] “In the revered Mūlasaṅgha Nandisaṅgha Sarasvatīgaccha Balātkāragaṇa Kundakundācāryānvaya, on the seat of so and so, a bhaṭṭāraka with such and such a name.” Having declared thus, he ought to recite the Samādhi-bhakti.
[Section A.8: bhaṭṭāraka pūjā, concluding festivities]
tataśca gurubhaktiṃ datvā|sarve yatinaḥ praṇāmaṃ kuryuḥ||tataśca sarve upāsakāḥ aṣṭayīm82iṣṭhiṃ kṛtvā gurubhaktiṃ datvā praṇamaṃti|tataḥ sopi bhaṭṭārako dātre sarvebhyaścāśiṣaṃ datvā|tataḥ sarvā upāsikāḥ83 nijanijagṛhān|mahāmahotsavena vārddhāpanamānīya84||taṃ varddhāpayaṃti dātā sarve|saṃgha bhojayitvā||vastrādinā saṃghārcanaṃ kuryāt|yācakān|dīnānāthāśca tarppayet85||iti bhaṭṭārakapadavidhiḥ||||
And then, after having performed devotion to the teacher (guru-bhakti), all the renouncers (yati) ought to bow. And then all the laypeople bow after making eightfold offerings (‘aṣṭa[ta]yīmiṣṭhiṃ’) and giving guru-bhakti. Then, after he, the bhaṭṭāraka, has given blessings to the [consecration’s] patron and to all, then with great festivities all the lay women present congratulatory gifts to him, having each brought [these] from their own houses. After feeding the whole saṅgha, the patron ought to make an offer of cloth etc. to the saṅgha (saṅghārcana). Beggars, the afflicted ones, and orphans ought to be satisfied. Thus, the method for the bhaṭṭāraka rank.

Appendix B. Bhaṭṭāraka-Pada-Sthāpanā-Vidhi, Kārañjā Manuscript, Text, and Translation of Selected Sections

[Section B.1: description and selection of a worthy candidate]
atha bhaṭṭārakapadasthāpanāvidhiḥ|evaṃ vidh[i] muniṃ laghvācāryapadaṃ sakalasaṃghābhyucitaṃ86|aidaṃ yugīna śrutajñaṃ jinadharmmodharaṇadhīraṃ|ratnatrayabhūṣitaṃ vratasamitigupti|yamaniyamasaṃyamaśīlanidhānaṃ| bhaṭṭārakapadayogyaṃ muniṃ dṛṣṭvā|caturvidhasaṃghaiḥ saha|ālocya saṃgṛhitvā|sakalopāsakamukhyaḥ saṃghādhipatiḥ sarvatrā mantraṇapatrikāṃ kuṃkumāṃkitāṃ preṣayet|
Now the rite for establishing the bhaṭṭāraka rank. The procedure is such: Upon finding (seeing) a muni, with the rank of junior ācārya, beloved by the whole saṅgha, versed in the śruta knowledge of [available in] this age, skilled in uplifting the jina dharma, endowed with the three jewels, a storehouse of vows (vrata), the samiti vows, gupti vows, forbearance (yama), self-control (niyama), mental restraint (saṃyama), and morality, a muni worthy of the rank of bhaṭṭāraka, [and] after deliberating with the fourfold saṅgha [and] having determined [an auspicious date],87 the saṅghādhipati, chief of all the laypeople (upāsaka), should send around an invitation letter marked with kumkuma.
[Section B.3: recitation of Bhaktis]
atha bhaṭṭārakapadapratiṣṭhāpanakriyāyāṃ pū. siddhabhaktiṃ śrutabhakti ācāryabhaktiṃ ca paṭheyuḥ|
Now in the ritual of the establishment of the bhaṭṭāraka rank, pū [=?].88 They ought to recite the Siddha-bhakti, Śruta-bhakti, and Ācārya-bhakti.
[Section B.5: transmission of the Sūrimantra]
tataḥ śrīguruḥ tasmai padayogyāya|paraṃparāgataṃ sūrimantraṃ dadyāt||tadyathā||auṃ ṇamo arahaṃtāṇaṃ ṇamo siddhāṇaṃ|ṇamo āïriyāṇaṃ ṇamo uvajjhāyāṇaṃ ṇamo loë savva sāhūṇaṃ|auṃ paramahaṃsāya parameṣṭine|haṃsaḥ haṃsaḥ haṃ haṃ hāṃ huṃ hūṃ hoṃ hauṃ jināya namaḥ jinaṃ saṃsthāpayāmi saṃvauṣaṭ a 38 dīkṣāvelāyāṃ|tathā [śira?]ṣimastake|etanmaṃtreṇopacaraṇīyaṃ|tathā auṃ paramahaṃsāya parameṣṭine|haṃsaḥ haṃsaḥ haṃ hāṃ hraṃ hrauṃ hrīṃ hreṃ hraḥ jināya namaḥ jinaṃ sthāpayāmi saṃvauṣaṭ|a 37|auṃ hrīṃ arhaṃ śrī namo haṃsaḥ namo haṃsaḥ||a 17|eteṣāṃ trayāṇāṃ madhye ekaṃ maṃtraṃ dātavyaṃ|Athavā tatpadayogyamunerabhāvāt|śrī guruṇā bhaṭṭārakeṇa|āyuḥ prāṃte|tatpadayogyaṃ sūrimantraṃ patre likhitvā tatpatraṃ madanādidravyai veṣṭayitvā rūpyapatrāchādita saṃpuṭikāyāṃ muktaṃ bhavati|tadā tatpadasthāpanavidhiḥ kṛtaḥ||
Then the honorable guru ought to give that one who is fit for the rank the traditional Sūrimantra. As follows: “Auṃ, ṇamo arahaṃtāṇaṃ, ṇamo siddhāṇaṃ, ṇamo āïriyāṇaṃ, ṇamo uvajjhāyāṇaṃ, ṇamo loë savva sāhūṇaṃ. Auṃ. [Salutations] to the supreme renouncer (parama-haṃsa), to the supreme lord (parameṣṭhin)! Haṃsaḥ haṃsaḥ haṃ haṃ hāṃ huṃ hūṃ hoṃ hauṃ. Salutations to the jina! I make the jina abide nearby, saṃvauṣaṭ!” And at the right moment (velāyām) for the dīkṣā, on top of the head, that mantra is to be imparted 38 times. As well as, 37 times: “[Salutations] to the supreme renouncer (parama-haṃsa), to the supreme lord (parameṣṭhin)! Haṃsaḥ haṃsaḥ haṃ hāṃ hraṃ hrauṃ hrīṃ hreṃ hraḥ. Salutations to the jina! I make the jina abide nearby, saṃvauṣaṭ!” [And,] 17 times: “Auṃ hrīṃ arhaṃ śrī namo haṃsaḥ namo haṃsaḥ.” In between these three [mantras] one mantra ought to be given. Or, in the absence of a muni worthy of that rank, the Sūrimantra suitable for that rank having been written by the honorable bhaṭṭāraka guru on a piece of paper at the end of his life, that paper having been enveloped with beeswax and such substances, [and] covered (chādita) with a stamped (rūpya) leaf of paper, that manuscript is deposited (‘muktaṃ bhavati’) in a treasure box (‘saṃpuṭikāyāṃ’). Then, the rite of the establishment (sthāpana) of that rank89 is done.

Appendix C. Bhaṭṭāraka-Dīkṣā-Vidhi, Sonagiri Manuscript, Text, and Translation

[Section C.4: ablution of the initiand’s feet, bhaṭṭāraka-stavana, and guṇāropaṇa]
bhaṭṭārakadīkṣāvidhiḥ||gurubhaktiṃ dattvā paścādgurostilakadānaṃ tato nirvedasauṣṭavetistavanaṃ śāntijinamityuccāryya guroḥ satpādau parāmṛśya gururguṇāropaṇaṃ kuryāt
The method for the consecration of a bhaṭṭāraka: After having performed guru-bhakti, the application of a tilaka from the guru, then a hymn [on?] ‘otherworldliness and skillfulness’. After pronouncing thus: “Śānti jinaṃ”, after rubbing both venerable feet of the guru, the guru ought to perform guṇāropaṇa.
[Section C.5: transmission of the Sūrimantra]
śrī gurustasmai tatpadayogyaṃ paraṃparāgataṃ sūrimantraṃ dadyāt athavā tatpadayogyasādhorabhāvādguruḥ svāyuḥ prāṃte tatpadocitaṃ sūrimantraṃ patre likhitvā tatpatraṃ madanādidravyairvaṣṭayitvā muktaḥ syāttadā tatpatraṃ mukhyaśrāddhebhyastathā suśiṣyāya samarppayet tatpatrasthāpanikāvidhi kṛbharastatpatraṃ bhaṭṭārakapadasthāya dadyāt
The honorable guru ought to impart the traditional Sūrimantra proper for the post to him. Or, in the absence of a sādhu worthy of that [bhaṭṭāraka] rank, at the end of his life, the guru may die after having the Sūrimantra appropriate for that post written down on a piece of paper [and] having enveloped that leaf with beeswax and other substances. In that case, it may be so that this leaf ought to be given to the principal, faithful people and to a good pupil. Performing the method (vidhi) of the sthāpana of that leaf, he ought to give that paper to the one engaged in [obtaining] the bhaṭṭāraka rank.
[Section C.6: āvāhana]
athāvāhanādividhiḥ auṃ hrīṃ arhaṃ ṇamo āïriyāṇaṃ dharmācāryādhipate paramasūre bhaṭṭārakaparameṣṭinnatra ehi 2 saṃvauṣaḍityā.90 auṃ ṇamo āïriyāṇaṃ dharmācāryādhipataye śrutābdhipāragāya namaḥ anena pādayostilakaṃ dadyāt
Now the procedure of the invocation etc. “Auṃ hrīṃ arhaṃ ṇamo āïriyāṇaṃ. O, Dharmācāryādhipati! O, parama-sūri! O, bhaṭṭāraka-parameṣṭhin, here here, saṃvauṣaṭ! Thus, the ā[hvānana]. Auṃ ṇamo āiriyāṇaṃ. Salutations to the dharmācāryādhipati, who has crossed (=mastered) the ocean of śruta knowledge!” With this, a tilaka ought to be given on both feet.
[Section C.7: recitation of Gurvāvalī and Bhaktis]
tataḥ śāntibhaktiṃ kṛtvā gurvvāvalīṃ paṭhitvā śrī mūlasaṃghe naṃdyāmnāye sa[ra]91svatīgacche balātkāragaṇe śrī kuṃdākuṃdācāryānvaye ‘mukapaṭṭe’ mukanāmavān bhaṭṭāraka iti samudīryya
Then after performing the Śānti-bhakti, after reciting the Gurvāvalī as such: “In the venerable Mūlasaṃgha Nandyāmnāya Sarasvatīgacha Balātkāragaṇa Kundākundācāryānvaya, on a given seat, a bhaṭṭāraka with such and such a name,” having recited this, [continued in next section]
[Section C.8: bhaṭṭāraka pūjā, concluding festivities]
samādhibhaktiṃ paṭhet tataśca gurubhaktiṃ datvā sarve yatayaḥ praṇāmaṃ kuryyuḥ tataḥ sarve upāsakā aṣṭatayīmiṣṭiṃ vidhāya praṇameyuḥ bhaṭṭārakaḥ saṃghanāyakāyāśiṣaṃ dadyāt śrāvakā nijanijagehādvarddhāpanamānīya bhaṭṭārakaṃ vaddhapiyeyuḥ sarvasaṃghabhojanaṃ visarj[j?]anamiti||
he should recite the samādhi-bhakti. And then, having performed guru-bhakti, all the renouncers (yati) ought to bow, and all the laypeople ought to bow after making eightfold offerings. The bhaṭṭāraka ought to bless the leader of the lay congregation (saṅghanāyaka). The laypeople ought to present festive gifts to the bhaṭṭāraka, having brought [these] each from their own house. [Then there is] an offering of a meal to the whole saṅgha. Thus [the vidhi].


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This section draws from (Detige, forthcoming).
Technically, dīkṣā refers to renunciant initiation, paṭṭābhiṣeka means the consecration or anointment to a seat (paṭṭa), and pada-sthāpanā means the ‘establishment’ or conferment of a rank. As is the case more often, the sources employed for the present article use these terms more freely and interchangeably, and I follow them in this.
On these and other bhaṭṭāraka manuscript collections from Western and Central India, see (Detige 2017).
Although nowadays commonly used in scholarship, the sākhā (branch) denominations of the various Mūlasaṅgha Balātkāragaṇa lineages (Sonagiriśākhā, Kārañjāśākhā, Īḍarasākhā, etc.) derive from Joharāpurakara’s (1958) seminal Bhaṭṭāraka Sampradāya. They were however not used by the lineages themselves (see Detige forthcoming).
Jaina discusses and refutes the canonical authenticity (‘āgamokta’) of the bhaṭṭāraka consecration manual in a broader argument against the legitimacy of the rank of the clothed bhaṭṭāraka in general (see again Section 3.8). Questions about the legitimacy of bhaṭṭārakas are irrelevant to my concerns: the early modern bhaṭṭārakas’ venerability from the perspective of Digambara Jains contemporary to them.
I have not been able to consult the Āryikā Śītalamati book. Jaina (2009, pp. 115–16) gives only the following, further bibliographical information for the source of his Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā text: Vividha Dīkṣā-saṃskāra Vidhi, 2002, pp. 69–77.
See footnotes 41, 45. See also footnotes 35, 36, and footnotes in the text editions for other differences between the different versions of the longer manual.
The most important addition consists of the mantras spelled out in the section of the Sūrimantra, not given in the other versions (Section 3.5). Also of interest is an additional specification of a worthy candidate-initiand (Section 3.1). And, of less consequence, there is a reference to the storage of the Sūrimantra manuscript in a treasure box (Section 3.5). See discussions below (Section 3), and footnotes to the text editions and translations in the appendices for other, minor additions and differences.
In the composition on Bhaṭṭāraka Śubhacandra’s consecration in s. 1721 (1663 CE), however, his earlier ‘laghu dīkṣā’ made him a brahmacārī, not a kṣullaka (Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 227).
The manuscripts refer to the text variously as Bṛhad-dīkṣā-vidhi and Mahāvrata-dīkṣā-vidhi, but towards the end the text refers to the newly initiated renouncer as a muni. The Kārañjā version also explicitly refers to the administration to the initiand of the Digambara muni’s five mahāvratas (see below, Section 3.1 and Section 4.3), samitis, and 28 mūlaguṇas, the Sonagiri text referring only to unspecified vows (vrata).
The manuals for the initiations into these other ranks found preceding the Bhaṭṭāraka-pada-sthāpanā-vidhi in the manuscripts are still reproduced (e.g., Padmanandi et al. 1982, pp. 231–41), and are still used during dīkṣās (Gough forthcoming).
Wherever encountered, I do reverse the idiosyncratic, early modern manuscripts’ swapping of ‘va’ and ‘ba’.
In introducing the bhaṭṭāraka gītas here, I draw from an earlier discussion in (Detige 2019, esp. pp. 274–79).
To the fourteen attested compositions already listed in (Detige 2019, pp. 279–80), one can be added referring to the consecration of the Jerahaṭaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Narendrakīrti in Siroñja in s. 1740 (1682–1683 CE), retrieved by Śāstrī (1992, pp. 88–89) from a guṭaka found in Siroñja (no further specifications). Śāstrī (1992, pp. 88–89) edits parts of the text and discusses others. As found in other gītas (Detige 2019, pp. 280–82), a series of paṇḍitas and renouncers listed in the composition probably refers to attendees at the consecration: Muni Udayasāgara and two unranked male renouncers, Śubhakīrti and Jayakīrti, judging from their names and the fact that they are mentioned before Udayasāgara probably at least munis; three female renouncers, among which one āryikā and one bāī (probably brahmacāriṇī), a third one remaining unranked in at least Śāstrī’s account; and one brahmacārī (Śāstrī 1992, p. 89).
A single dated attestation of this bhaṭṭāraka stems from s. 1596 (Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 294).
Bhaṭṭāraka died s. 1850, other attestation s. 1840 (Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 76).
I thank John Cort for bringing my attention to and sharing both articles by Nyāyatīrtha.
As noted (footnote 11), the Sonagiri Mahāvrata-dīkṣā-vidhi’s brief reference to the administration of ‘vratas’ to the muni-initiand is expanded in the Kārañjā manuscript’s listing of mahāvratas and other vows.
e.g., ‘samiti gupati ādi e pāle cāritra tera prakāra’ (Kāsalīvāla 1981, pp. 56, 204); ‘paṃca mahāvrata sudha lā dhārī|paṃca samiti dhare aṃga udārī||traṇya gupati guru cāritra pāle|’ (ibid., pp. 228–29).
While sufficient sources attest early modern munis and ācāryas up to respectively the early 17th century CE and the late 18th century CE, references to early modern upādhyāyas are found far more rarely (Detige 2018, p. 279; forthcoming), and early modern kṣullakas are practically unattested (see Detige 2015, pp. 146–47 on a 19th century CE kṣullaka). One hypothesis, still to be verified through further research, is an early modern conflation of the kṣullaka and brahmacārī ranks, or perhaps rather the suppression or substitution of the former by the latter. This much would certainly seem plausible if we conceive of early modern, fully-initiated renouncers (munis, and beyond) as generally clothed, in which case one of these lower steps of renunciation might have seemed redundant.
As a later example, one Paṇḍita Maṅgalacanda was consecrated on the Kārañjā Balātkāragaṇa seat at the turn of the 20th century CE (Detige 2015, p. 152).
See Premī (n.d.) [reprint without bibliographic information], who reports, and deplores, the preparations for the consecration of a brahmacārī to the empty Īḍara seat after it had been empty for fifteen years since the death of Bhaṭṭāraka Kanakakīrti.
Again standing as a later example of this (cf. footnote 23), Paṇḍita Maṅgalacanda who was consecrated on the Kārañjā Balātkāragaṇa seat was a native of Nainavāṃ, Rajasthan (Detige 2015, p. 152).
I here draw from the discussion on maṇḍalācaryas in (Detige 2018, pp. 311–20).
-āmaṃtraṇapatraṃ’, v. S; ‘-āmantraṇapatrīṃ’, v. B; ‘-amantraṇa-patrikāṃ’, v. K. Version K adds that the invitation letter ought to be colored with kumkuma (‘kuṃkumāṃkitāṃ’).
Compositions on the Bāraḍolīśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Śubhacandra, Poravandara, s. 1721 (1663 CE, ‘caturvidha saṅgha’, (Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 80, n. 1); ‘saṅgha caturvidha’, (Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 227)); Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Mahendrakīrti, Delhi, s. 1792 (1734–1735 CE, ‘dūri desa syauṃ ābīyā jī saṅgha caturavidhi sāra’, (Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, p. 423)); Kārañjāśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti, second half of the 18th century CE (‘caturvidha śrīsaṅgha miḷavūna’, (Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 69, lekha 190)). Other compositions’ listings of attending renouncers can also be taken as confirmations of the gathering of the fourfold saṅgha, even when they don’t explicitly use the term caturvidha saṅgha, e.g., the composition on the consecration of the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti in Āmera in s. 1770 (1712–1713 CE, (Nyāyatīrtha 1985b, p. 36); (see also Detige 2019, pp. 279–82)).
lagnaṃ gṛhītrvā’, V. B. V. S has ‘lagniṃ’, and V. K omits, probably both due to scribal error.
See (Gough 2015) and (Gough, forthcoming) on the usage of the Gaṇadharavalaya-maṇḍala during Digambara dīkṣās.
Version K drops the term ‘mahotsva’, festival, speaking directly of the pūjās being held.
Elsewhere, Kāsalīvāla (1981, p. 235) speaks of a jalayātra and jalūsa (also?) mentioned in the composition as going out in celebration of the establishment of a stepwell.
‘atha bhaṭṭārakapadapratiṣṭhāpanakriyāmityādi uccārya’, v. S. ‘atha ‘bhaṭṭārakapadapratiṣṭhāpanakriyāyām’ ityādi uccārya’, v. B. ‘atha bhaṭṭārakapadapratiṣṭhāpanakriyāyāṃ pū.’, v. K.
On the bhaktis, (see Cort 2002a, p. 733; Cort 2002b, pp. 79–80). On their usage during Digambara initiations, (see Gough forthcoming).
While versions S & B only give the mantra, which itself sufficiently clearly indicates what is to be done, Jaina’s (2009, p. 116) version somewhat superfluously adds that ‘he’ ought to do precisely what is described in the mantra, making an ablution of both the initiand’s feet with water from the 108 pitchers (‘iti paṭhitvā kalaśāṣṭottaraśata-toyena pādau pariṣecayet|’).]
Jaina (2009, p. 118) translates as ‘Of this era’ (‘isa yuga ke’). Version S seems to read ‘tata idaṃ yogī nṛtyādi’, which seems to demand some dance of the yogi, the initiand. While it is not unusual for attending laypeople to dance during contemporary Digambara initiations (see Detige, in preparation b), it seems too late at this point for the initiand to engage in dance. The disagreement between the otherwise closely related versions S and B indicates this is probably an error of the Sonagiri manuscript’s scribe.
On the Sūrimantra in Śvetāmbara Jainism, (see also Dundas 1998).
The Sūrimantra is mentioned in compositions on the consecration of the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Mahendrakīrti, Delhi, s. 1792 (1734–1735 CE, (Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, p. 423), see below) and several Bāraḍolīśākhā bhaṭṭārakas: Kumudacandra, Bāraḍolī, s. 1656 (Kāsalīvāla 1981, pp. 101–102, 233–34, 205); Abhayacandra, Bāraḍolī, s. 1685 (ibid., p. 105); Śubhacandra, Poravandara, s. 1721 (ibid., p. 228).
In manuscript colophons and funerary monuments’ inscriptions, we find attestations of a title ‘sthavīrācārya’ which seems to have been used precisely for retired bhaṭṭārakas (Detige 2018, p. 329).
BPSV Versions S & B, as well as the BDV, also speak of ‘the Sūrimantra suitable for the post’, which the guru ought to give to the initiand (‘śrīgurustasmai tatpadayogyaṃ paraṃparāgataṃ sūrimantraṃ dadyāt’). Version K, however, changes this form into a dative (‘śrīguruḥ tasmai padayogyāya|paraṃparāgataṃ sūrimantraṃ dadyāt’), thus applying the term ‘suitable for the rank’ to the initiand instead of to the Sūrimantra. Although the term was indeed used in this context earlier on in all BPSV versions, in the description of a suitable candidate-muni, it can probably be taken as a confusion in the Kārañjā manuscript at this point, confirming it is a copy, here defective, of a text closer to the other versions.
As noted, Dundas (1998, pp. 45–46) notices, vice-versa, the relation between speculations about the power of the Sūrimantra and Śvetāmbara sectarian strife.
‘-āyuḥ prante’, v. S; ‘āyuḥ prānte’, v. B; ‘āyuḥ prāṃte’, v. K; ‘svāyuḥ prāṃte’, BDV.
Jaina (2009, p. 118) interprets the Pada-sthāpanā-vidhi’s ‘muktaṃ bhavati’ as ‘he (the bhaṭṭāraka) dies’, after having written down the Sūrimantra. The Kārañjā version’s added locative ‘in a treasure box’ seems to confirm the interpretation that it is rather the manuscript being deposited (‘muktaṃ’). I do give Jaina’s reading a chance in my translation of the Dīkṣā-vidhi, which has ‘muktaḥ syāt-’.
‘tatpatrasthāpanikāvidhi’, BDV; ‘tatpatrasthāpanākīvidhi’, v. S (a scribal error or a vernacular phrasing entering the manuscript?). The Beḍiyā version refers only to an unspecified establishing (‘sthāpanikādhi’, probably a syllable ‘vi’ missing due to a scribal or editorial error). The Kārañjā version refers to the rite of the establishment of the rank (pada) (‘tatpadasthāpanavidhiḥ’) rather than of the manuscript (patra). Although reference to the bhaṭṭāraka consecration rite in general is not unfitting at this point, this is probably another point where the Kārañjā manuscript is flawed.
In the composition on the sixteenth century CE Guṇakīrti, we read that his bhaṭṭāraka dīkṣā was carefully planned by his guru Sumatikīrti, but Kāsalīvāla’s (1969; 1981, pp. 234–35) account of the composition does not make it clear whether Guṇakīrti was ultimately consecrated at the hands of Sumatikīrti as well.
The five obeisances of the Namokāramantra are similarly featured as part of many longer Jain mantras (Dundas 1998, p. 35).
The same mantra is still used in contemporary muni dīkṣās (Gough forthcoming), which needs not by itself surprise us, given that these use editions of texts similar to those of our manuscripts (see footnote 12).
Technically a Gurvāvalī or lineage of teachers (guru-śiṣya lineage) differs from a Paṭṭāvalī or list of incumbents. In early modern Digambara tradition however this distinction is not made, different manuscripts regularly identifying one and the same text through either of both titles.
The Kārañjā version of the BPSV drops the epithet Nandyāmnāya, like other textual as well as epigraphic sources also regularly do.
Compositions referring to the consecrations of Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha Bhaṭṭāraka Viśvasena, Ḍūṅgarapura, 16th century CE (‘utsava’, Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 270, lekha 672); Bāraḍolīśākhā bhaṭṭārakas Kumudacandra, Bāraḍolī, s. 1656, (‘pratiṣṭhā pāṭa mahotsava’, ibid., p. 101); Abhayacandra, Bāraḍolī, s. 1685 (‘uchava’, ‘mahochava’, ibid., p. 105); Śubhacandra, Poravandara, s. 1721 (‘mahochava’, ibid., p. 80, n. 1); and Kārañjāśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Devendrakīrti, second half of the 18th century CE (utsava, Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 69, lekha 190).
I follow Nyāyatīrtha (1985b, p. 36) in his reading of ‘one yati and five paṇḍitas’ rather than, another possibility, ‘one yati, a paṇḍita, and the pañca’; compare next composition.
Compositions on the Bāraḍolīśākhā bhaṭṭārakas Kumudacandra (Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 204), Ratnakīrti (ibid., p. 104), and Abhayacandra (ibid., p. 116), the Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha Bhaṭṭāraka Vijayakīrti (Kāsalīvāla 1982, pp. 194–95), and the Ḍhūṇḍhāḍaśākhā Bhaṭṭāraka Mahendrakīrti, the latter also referring to the twelve recollections (‘dvādaśa bhāvanā’, Nyāyatīrtha 1985a, p. 423).
As I observed it at a kṣullaka-dīkṣā in Jaipur on 7 December 2014 (see also Detige, in preparation b).
In the words of Śāstrī (ibid., p. 89, or of the composition itself?) Narendrakīrti thus took ‘muni dīkṣā’. As noted, the composition on the consecration of the Kāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha Bhaṭṭāraka Viśvasena in 16th century CE Ḍūṅgarapura also states that the initiand ‘took Digambara initiation (‘grahī dīkṣā digaṃbara’, Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 270, lekha 672).
Compare v. K (Appendix B).
Probably scribal error for ‘lagnaṃ’, as in version B.
This repetition, not present in the Kārañjā and B. versions, probably a scribal error.
caityālaye’ in versions B & K.
The manuscript here has a crossed out ‘yaratnatrayādi|pūjāmahotsavaṃ’, a corrected scribal error.
This repetition probably a scribal error, only ‘atha’ belonging to the next line already. See also next footnote.
Again, the repetition of ‘siddhaśrutācarya’ from the previous phrase, missing from versions B and K, is probably a scribal error. We get a feeling the scribe was copying from another manuscript (rather than being dictated the text), his eye here having caught onto the ‘…uccārya’ of the preceding phrase, resembling the ‘paṇḍitācārya’ after which he goes at fault.
Version K omits this seed syllable hṛūṃ.
Correcting a scribal error ‘subhabhi’.
Jaina’s (2009, p. 116) version adds “iti paṭhitvā kalaśāṣṭottaraśata-toyena pādau pariṣecayet|’, “having recited thus [the aforementioned mantra], he ought to anoint both feet with water from 108 pitchers.”
Versions B and K have ‘tataḥ aidaṃ yugīnetyādi’. Given that it is typically version K which offers forms differing from versions B and S, its agreement with version B here probably means ‘idaṃ yogī nṛtyādi’ is an error of version S; see discussion in Section 3.4.
See previous footnote.
2’ indicates a repetition of the preceding word, thus ‘patre patre’. Similar in further cases.
Jaina (2009, p. 118) interprets ‘muktaṃ bhavati’ as ‘he (the bhaṭṭāraka) dies’; see discussion in Section 3.5.
To be corrected to ‘athāvāhanādividhi’. Jaina (2009, p. 117) reads ‘atha āvāhanādividhiḥ’, version K has ‘athāvāhanādividhiḥ’.
Here and in the next case, version B has three times the vocative ‘dharmācāryādhipate’, as in the third repetition in this section, which seems to fit better here, next to the vocatice ‘paramabhaṭṭārakaparameṣṭhinn-’, than the dative ‘dharmācāryādhipataye’, so I translate all as vocative ‘O, Dharmācāryādhipati!’.
Jaina’s (2009, p. 117) version as well as the Kārañjā manuscript have ‘(…) atra ehi ehi’.
Version B and K here add ‘atra’, typically included in this standardized ritual phrase, probably omitted here by scribal oversight.
Illegible on my documentation of the manuscript.
Scribal error.
Probably scribal error, doubting between both forms used before, dative ‘dharmācāryādhipataye’ and vocative ‘dharmācāryādhipate’. Versions B and K have the dative, which seems the best fit here.
From here on, I leave Prakrit passages in the mantras untranslated, because of, arguably, their more formulaic nature.
Bīja-akṣaras (seed syllables) like ‘saṃvauṣaṭ’ are untranslatable.
V. K reads ‘auṃ āṃ|anena maṃtreṇa saheṃdunā caṃdanena’.
Superfluous akṣara.
Scribal error, should be vocative ‘balātkāragaṇe’.
Scribal error, ‘aṣṭatayīm’.
V. B places this responsibility with all the laypeople, not only the women, ‘upāsakā’ (Jaina 2009, p. 117).
V. K & B have ‘varddhāpanamānīya’. I follow Jaina’s (2009, p. 120, n. 117) interpretation of varddhāpana as ‘congratulatory gift’ (actually vardhāpanaka).
Jaina (2009, p. 117) has ‘santarpayecca’.
Probably scribal mistake for ‘sakalasaṃghābhirucitaṃ’ of version K & B.
lagnaṃ’ as in v. B missing, scribal error.
Compare versions S & B, which indicate this much ought to be recited as an announcement (‘ityādi uccārya’, v. B; ‘ityādimuccārya’, v. S). Perhaps the manuscript’s abbreviation ‘’, of which signification I am unclear, is an indication of the latter.
Probably scribal error for ‘patra’ of other versions, see discussion in Section 3.5, footnote 45.
Scribal error, missing syllable.
Table 1. Chronological list of bhaṭṭāraka consecrations attested in song compositions.
Table 1. Chronological list of bhaṭṭāraka consecrations attested in song compositions.
Bhaṭṭāraka NameLineageDate of ConsecrationPlace of ConsecrationSource
PrabhācandraḌhūṇḍhāḍaśākhās. 1572 (1514–1515 CE)Campāvatī (=Chaksu)manuscript, Āmera śāstrabhaṇḍāra, Jaipur, guṭakā no. 5, cloth no. 203, pp. 230B–31B
ViśvasenaKāṣṭhāsaṅgha Nandītaṭagaccha16th Century CE16Ḍūṅgarapura(Joharāpurakara 1958, p. 270, lekha 672)
RatnakīrtiBāraḍolīśākhās. 1630 (1572–1573 CE)Jālaṇapura (probably Jālanā, Maharashtra)(Kāsalīvāla 1981, p. 104)
GuṇakīrtiĪḍarasākhās. 1632 (1574–1575 CE)Ḍūṅgarapura(Kāsalīvāla 1969; 1981, pp. 234–35)
SahasrakīrtiNāgauraśākhās. 1634 (1576–1577 CE)?manuscript, Baṛā Ḍaṛāji Mandira, guṭakā, cat. no. 148, pp. 52B–55B)
KumudacandraBāraḍolīśākhās. 1656 (1598–1599 CE)Bāraḍolīthree compositions: (Kāsalīvāla 1981, pp. 101–2, 233–34, 204–5)
AbhayacandraBāraḍolīśākhās. 1685 (1627–1628 CE)Bāraḍolītwo compositions: (Kāsalīvāla 1981, pp. 105–6, 116–17)
ŚubhacandraBāraḍolīśākhās. 1721 (1663–1664 CE)Poravandara (Porbandar)17(Kāsalīvāla 1981, pp. 226–28)
NarendrakīrtiJerahaṭaśākhās. 1740 (1682–1683 CE)Siroñja(Śāstrī 1992, pp. 88–89)
DevendrakīrtiḌhūṇḍhāḍaśākhās. 1770 (1712–1713 CE)Āmera(Nyāyatīrtha 1985b)
MahendrakīrtiḌhūṇḍhāḍaśākhās. 1792 (1734–1735 CE)Delhi(Nyāyatīrtha 1985a)
DevendrakīrtiKārañjāśākhāsecond half of the 18th Century CE18?(Joharāpurakara 1958, pp. 69–70, lekha 190)

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Detige, T. ‘Tataḥ Śrī-Gurus-Tasmai Sūrimantraṃ Dadyāt’, ‘Then the Venerable Guru Ought to Give Him the Sūrimantra’: Early Modern Digambara Jaina Bhaṭṭāraka Consecrations. Religions 2019, 10, 369.

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Detige T. ‘Tataḥ Śrī-Gurus-Tasmai Sūrimantraṃ Dadyāt’, ‘Then the Venerable Guru Ought to Give Him the Sūrimantra’: Early Modern Digambara Jaina Bhaṭṭāraka Consecrations. Religions. 2019; 10(6):369.

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Detige, Tillo. 2019. "‘Tataḥ Śrī-Gurus-Tasmai Sūrimantraṃ Dadyāt’, ‘Then the Venerable Guru Ought to Give Him the Sūrimantra’: Early Modern Digambara Jaina Bhaṭṭāraka Consecrations" Religions 10, no. 6: 369.

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