I acknowledge my gratitude to all those who have directly or indirectly blessed, inspired and helped me in completing this work. My sincere gratitude to Ajay Sagarji Maharaj who suggested the title of this thesis way back in 1990. I shall forever be grateful to Dr. Changalalji Shastri who was a great service of inspiration and guided me at every step. I am sincerely grateful to Late Dr. N. Vasupal who was my guide and tutor in the Department of Jainology.

My special thanks are to the members of Research Foundation for Jainology, Chennai and Samyakjñāna Pracāra Madala, Jaipur for having come forward to jointly publish this book along with Prakrit Bharati Academy. I am thankful to all the above three institutions who have taken interest in this work. I owe my sincere thanks to Dr. Kamal Chand Sogani who supported me in all possible ways during the publication of the book. My sincere gratitude of Dr. Sushma Singhvi for writing a thought provoking forward.

I shall forever be indebted to my parents, my husband, in-laws and my daughter for supporting me in all my academic and spiritual pursuits. I sincerely hope this work will enable the readers to understand the spirit behind the beliefs and practices of the great tradition of the Jinas and give them an opportunity to imbibe and experience the same.

Dr. Priyadarshana Jain
March, 2007

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