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Manuscripts and Manuscript Libraries
(5,026 words)

Manuscripts were not a medium used by the Jain tradition in its early history, as the doctrine was transmitted orally from teacher to disciple for several centuries. If we consider Mahāvīra to be the source of this teaching, and if we accept that he lived in the 6th to 5th centuries BCE (he died in 527 BCE according to the traditional Jain dating), then the oral transmission seems to have lasted for no less than a millennium. All accounts narrating the story of the transmission are much later th…

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Balbir, Nalini, “Manuscripts and Manuscript Libraries”, in: Brill's Encyclopedia of Jainism Online, Denison University University of Edinburgh University of Bergen University of California, Berkeley John E. Cort, Paul Dundas, Knut A. Jacobsen, Kristi L. Wiley. Consulted online on 29 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2020

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