The Moortidevi Granthamala is the Oriental series of Bharatiya Jnanpith publications. Named after the Founder's mother, the series is, a synonym of Bharatiya Jnanpith, which, as translated, is the Indian pivot of knowledge. It was established on 18-2-1944 'to conduct researches so as to bring out the extinct and rare unpublished works of knowledge and to give impetus to the creation of original contemporary literature for the benefit of the people'. Mostly proving true to its objectives, it was founded by Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain with his wife Smt. Rama Jain, a philanthropist couple whose interest in promoting art, culture, literature and sports has left a legacy of inspiring public welfare.
Immediately followed by the Lokodaya and Rashtra Bharati Granthamalas, the Moortidevi Granthamala publishes scientifically edited canonical and classic texts of philosophy, literature and other disciplines of Indology in general and Jainology in particular, in Prakrit, Sanskrit, Apabhramsa, Kannada, Hindi and English, with analytic introductions, useful appendices and exact translation. These publications have, thus, promoted national unity and bridged the gap between different languages. These trends have been set by Dr. Hiralal Jain and Dr. A.N. Upadhye who stand in the brilliant line of the illustrious Indologists of the West.
The Moortidevi Granthamala has a sister series, originally founded by late Pt. Nathuram Premi in 1914 in the memory of Seth Manikchand Hirachand of Mumbai. Having published 55 works in Prakrit, Sanskrit and Apabhramsa, Bharatiya Jnanpith took over that series and saved it from extinction.
In this series an outstanding work in the tradition of land mark dictionary compilation is `Jainendra Sidhant Kosh' (five vols). It contains references and critical analysis of above six thousand words relating to Jaina philosophical doctrine, value system, norms for conduct in daily life and references to historical personalities, Aagam-shastra and shastrakars, religious and philosophical sects.
Displayed in most of the commercial showcases and adorning the shelves of Oriental libraries all over the country and abroad these titles are made available to the customers at no-loss-no-profit basis, to flash our thought and culture up to all the time and clime. First editions of this type of technical texts takes nearly a decade to sell; the commercial publishers would, therefore, have hardly invested a huge amount which the Jnanpith has been doing, that also without any aid or grant from any agency or the Government.
155 titles which have been brought out so far include: 23 in Prakrit, 48 in Sanskrit, 22 in Apabhramsa, 37 in Hindi, 18 in English, and 6 in Pali, Tamil, Kannada etc. These include : the seven volumes of Mahabandha, which is the seventh and last part of the colossal text of the second century, Sat-khand-agama with its ninth century commentar
Bharatiya Jnanpith, devoted to publications, has a leaning for modernity on one hand and convention on the other. The Lokodaya Granthamala is meant for the publication of high class creative literary works in Hindi.. The Moortidevi Granthamala is devoted to the works based on philosophy contemplation and knowledge.
The publication of contemporary literature is not confined to Hindi alone. Jnanpith has always felt that our people should have access to the literature of other languages, too. It is with this idea that Jnanpith started Rashtrabharati Granthamala, which publishes Hindi translations of works of Jnanpith Laureates and other eminent writers of various Indian languages. The Granthamala is thus not only making works of the best contemporary Indian literature accessible to the Hindi readers but is also making its translation into other Indian languages easier.
The Lokodaya Granthamala has brought out so far 769 titles including 513 of creative literary nature and 256 of the ones translated into Hindi from different languages. The first publication under the Lokodaya Granthamala was ‘Muktidut' (1947).