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Janna – Kannada Jaina Poet of 12th Century AD

Janna was a famous Jaina Kannada poet of the 12th Century AD. He was patronized by King Ballala II and Narasimha II of the Hoyasala dynasty. He was give the title Kavichakravarti. His great skill in composition of inscriptional literature can be found in the inscription at Channarayapatna (179) and Tarikere (45).

Literary Works of Janna

  • Yasodharacharite (epic poem – deals with Jaina tenets) – Though a translation of the original Sanskrit, it depicts the greatness of non-violence in simple and lucid style. Kannada nativity is introduced to get the teaching across the masses.
  • Anantanatha Purana (epic poem – sketches the life of fourteenth Tirthankara)
  • Anubhavamukura (treatise on erotica)
His contribution to Kannada epigraphy is phenomenal.

Janna was also a warrior and administrator. He was a judge and minister during the reign of Narasimha II of the Hoyasala dynasty.

He is believed to have constructed numerous basadis (Jaina temples).