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The Lokavibhaga is a Jain cosmological text originally composed in Prakrit by a Digambara monk, Sarvanandi, surviving in a Sanskrit version compiled by one Simhasuri. It contains the oldest known mention of numeral zero ("0") and the decimal positional system The discovery of the manuscript preserving the text was mentioned by the Archaeological Department of Mysore in their report for 1909-10.
The work was supposed to have been first given by word of mouth by Vardhamana, and is said to have been handed down through Sudharma and a succession of other teachers. Rishi Simhasuri or Simhasura made a translation of it, apparently from the Prakrit into Sanskrit.
The surviving manuscripts state that the original Prakrit work was written down by Sarvanandi at Patalika in the Banarastra on a certain day the astronomical details of which are given. It is further stated therein it was in Saka 380, corresponding to CE 458. The surviving text is a Sanskrit translation by one Simhasuri, copied "some considerable time" after that date by one Simhasuri. A translation was published by Balachandra Shastri.
It mentions the reign of king Simhavarman of the Pallava dynasty in 435.
- Encyclopaedia of Jainism By Nagendra Kr Singh, Indo-European Jain Research Foundation, Published by Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2001
- Thomas Crump, The Anthropology of Numbers, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 42
- The Chronological Datum of the Lokavibhaga, in "Some Contributions Of South India To Indian Culture", by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar (1923)