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Sri Rama in Jainism – Lord Ram in Jaina Texts

Sri Rama is one of the 63 salakapurushas (great personalities) in Jainism. The various Jaina Ramayanas or other works about the life story and deeds of Lord Ram are interesting and differ here and there only in minor details from Valmiki Ramayana.
Rama is called Padma (lotus flower) in Jaina Texts.

The various Jaina Puranas and poetic works deal with Rama’s story or make references to it.

Among the famous Jaina works about Rama are the Padma Purana in Sanskrit by Ravisena (677 AD), Paum Cariyu by Vimal Suri in Prakrit (1st century AD), Paum Cariyu in Apabhramsa by Swayambhu, Rama Purana in Sanskrit (16th century AD), Rama Charitra in Sanskrit (14th century AD), Rama Purana in Kannada by Padmanabha (1580 AD), the Ramayana in Kannada by Kumudendu (1257 AD).

Jainism depicts Dharma of Lord Rama as dharma in Jaina Dharma. King Dasharatha and King Rama are at various place shown as being initiated or are willing to be initiated as Jaina ascetics.

Though Ravana is also depicted as a peculiar character, tradition upholds him as prati-Narayana (against Rama, who is Narayana).

After ruling over Ayodhya for a long time, Rama accepted the muni vrata of Jainism.

Bibliography
The Story of Rama in Jain Literature: As presented by the Svetambara and Digambara Poets in the Prakrit, Sanskrit and Apabhramasha languages (1990) – written by Vaman Mahadeo Kulkarni – Saraswati Pustak Bhandar (Kalupur)




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