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Mallisena – A Svetambara Jain Monk

 Mallisena, a Svetambara Jain Monk, was a master of logic, grammar, literature, and philosophy. He wrote Syadvada Manjari, which reflects his thorough study of various philosophical traditions and literatures. He belonged to the Nagendra Gaccha. His Guru was Udayaprabhusana, whom he has lauded in his work, and he has not mentioned any other masters. Details of his family lineage, parentage and worldly life are not available, and it is only assumed that Udayaprabhushana was his initiator.

The only work of Mallisena is Syadvada Manjari and it is a commentary on Anyayogavyacheda of Acharya Hemachandra. The language of Syadvada Manjari is lucid and the style is impressive. His unbiased interpretation of Jaina texts is in conformity with the Jain anekantic tradition. The author has expressed his appreciation of both Jain and non-Jain scholars who have propounded the principles of Hindu philosophy.

Although Mallisena has not written any book other than Syadvada Manjari, he has become immortal through this single work. This work has influenced many non-Jaina schools and philosophers.

Madhvacharya in his Sarva Darshana Sangraha has mentioned this work. Yaso Vijaya Upadhyaya’s Syadvada Manjusha is based on this. Jainism holds that all knowledge is only probable or partial. It gives us a ‘somehow’, a ‘perhaps’, or a ‘may be’ (shayad). This is the doctrine of Syadvada.