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Parwar, also spelt as Paravāra (परवार in Hindi, पौरपट्ट in Sanskrit inscriptions), is a major Jain community from the Bundelkhand region, which is largely in Madhya Pradeshmarker, but also includes Lalitpur region of Uttar Pradesh. They exclusively follow the Digambar Jain tradition.

A number of Jain scholars have belonged to this community, including Tarana Swami, the founder of Taran Panth and the Bhattarakas of Chanderimarker. Osho was born in the Samaiya section of this community. Also, Pandit Nathuram Premi, Dr Hiralal Jain, Dr Mahendrakumar Nyayacarya, Pandit Phulacandra Shastri, Pandit Hiralal Jain, Pandit Balacandra Shastri, Pandit Jaganmohanlal Shastri, Pandit Devakinandan Nayak and many other illustrious scholars of Jainism were born in the Parwar [also spelt as Paravara] community.


A number of inscriptions mentiong the community have been found in the region adjacent to the Betwamarker river , which flows on the border of MP and UP. In the older inscriptions they are called Paurapatta or Puravada. The oldest inscriptions include those found at Pachrai (1065 CE), Aharmarker (1152, 1153), Chanderimarker (VS 1252,13450), Sironj (VS 1299, 1316), Narwar (VS 1319). A long inscription at Deogarh of VS 1493 mentions Lakshaman Singhai and his large family, who installed an idol of Lord Shantinath under the supervision of Bhattaraka Devendrakirti of Balatkara Gana. It is probably the first mention of the Singhai (or Sanghapati) title in the region.

Some authors have proposed a historic connection between the Parwar and the Porwad communities.

Jainism had a continuous presence in this region since antiquity. Jainism was flourishing during the Gupta period at Vidishamarker region. The Durjanpur idols installed during the rule of Ramagupta date to about 365 AD. The Udaigiri cave Parshvanath inscription mentioning the lineage of Bhadranvaya is dated to 425 AD. The great Shantinath temple at Deogarh was built before 862 CE, suggesting a prosperous Jain community in this region.

According to Mahavamsa, Devi, the wife of Maurya Ashoka was a daughter of a merchant of Vidishamarker, whose son Mahinda took Buddhism to Srilanka. It is likely that the Parwar community is a continuation of the ancient merchant community of the region.


The Parwars are divided into 12 gotras, each gotra is further divided into 12 shakhas (mura)s. Traditionally 4 of the shakas of the grandparents of the boy, and four of the shakhas of the grandparents of the girl were required to be distinct for a marriage to take place. Thus the Parwars were sometimes termed ashta-shaha.

There were once several social divisions among the Parwars, which are no longer significant.

Some Parwars follow Taran Panth and are called Samaiya, because Taran Swami based his teachings on Samayasara of Acharya Kundakunda.

Parwar Sabha was founded in 1917 at Ramtek, after the Bundelkhandiya Jain Sabha broke into community groups. In the 1924 convention, it was proposed that only four shakahs be considered for marriage, but the proposal was defeated. A newsletter Parwar Bandhu was published during 1929-1944.

A "Parwar Directory" was published in 1924 which included population data, according to which the Parwar population then was 48,074. The community resided in 1438 towns and villages with largest population in Sagar, Jhansimarker, Jabalpurmarker and Damohmarker districts. The largest number are in Lalitpurmarker (1122 in 1924), Mungawali (481), Khaniadhana (320), Pachhar (Ashoknagar Isagarh), Mandawara (304), Sivni (358), Sagar (595), Bamora (374), Khuraimarker (503), Bina-Itawa (358), Pindarai (Mandla 314) and Jabalpur (1058). This puts the majority of the major centers within a 50 mile radius from Deogarh (see[459234], Map) along the Betwa river in early 20th century.

The main concentration of the Parwars is still in these towns, however many of them have moved to major industrial cities further away such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. A few Parwar families now migrated to Americas.

Distinguished Paravāra Jains

  • Bhattaraka Devendrakirti, founder of Chanderimarker and Gandhar/Rander seat.
  • Singhai Lakshmana, who installed Lord Shantinatha at Devgarh in 1436.
  • Tarana Swami (1448-) (founder of Taran Panth
  • Manju Chaudhary Maratha Empire administrator of Cuttackmarker, Orissamarker, 1720-1785.
  • Seth Mathuradas Taraiya of Lalitpurmarker 1872-1918
  • Pandit Nathuram Premi, Historian, publisher and editor (26 November, 1881 - 30 January, 1960)
  • Dr Hiralal Jain, Sanskritist and Jain Scholar best remembered for his work on the Satkhandāgama
  • Dr Mahendrakumar Nyayacarya, Jain Scholar and Nyaya specialist, best remembered for his editing of the Nyayakumudacandra, Akalankagranthatraya, Prameyakamalamartanda and his original work, Jaina Darsana.
  • Pandit Phulacandra Shastri, Traditional Jain Scholar, best remembered for his work on the Satkhandāgama and the Kasāyapāhuda
  • Pandit Hiralal Shastri (Sadumal), Traditional Jain Scholar, Prakritist and Nyaya specialist, remembered for his Hindi tr. of the Kasāyapāhuda mula patha along with the Curni by Yativrsabha.
  • Pandit Balachandra Shastri, Traditional Jain Scholar, best remembered for his work on the Satkhandāgama and the Kasāyapāhuda
  • Osho Rajneesh (1931-1990)
  • Swami Satyabhakta, Nagpur, philosopher, founder of Satya Samaj (1899-1998)
  • Pandit Jaganmohanlal Shastri, Traditional Jain Scholar
  • Seth Jineshvaradas Taraiya (1918-1998) of Lalitpurmarker, philanthropist; Hon. Magistrate of Lalitpurmarker; best remembered for his renovation of the Deogarh Tirthakshetra
  • Dr Duli Chandra Jain, Prof of Physics at CUNY, New York; founder of the Jain Study Circle and Publisher and Editor of the Jain Study Circular.

See also


  1. Siddhantacharya Phulachandra Shastri, Parwar Jain Samaj ka Itihas, 1990, Jabalpur
  2. Kasturchand Jain Suman, Bharatiya Digambar Jain Abhilekh aur Tirth Parichay, Madhya-Pradesh: 13 vi shati tak, Delhi, 2001
  3. Parwar Directory, Pannalal Jain Sivni, 1924
  4. Sarvdesic Satyasamaj Uk: Humanity, Equality, Dignity

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