This section is from the book "Some Contributions Of South India To Indian Culture", by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar. Also available from Amazon: Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture.
According to Jain tradition as preserved in the various Pattavalies there was a schism and the Jains divided into two sections. This split is said to have taken place in the reign of the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta. The leader of one of the sections is known by the name Badhrabahu, and he was the recognised head of the section known as Digambara (that made the directions for their clothing, i.e., unclad). He is supposed to have lived in Magadha. A twelve years' famine supervening, he had to leave the country and move across till he finally settled in Sravana Belgola in Mysore. According to this story, Chandragupta is said to have abdicated in favour of his son, and, adopting the vow of a Jain mendicant, followed his master Badhrabahu and lived and died in the region of Mysore. There are certain place-names and other circumstances which seem to lend support to this tradition. Whether Jainism came into the South along withBhadrabahu, and in this manner or not, we have evidence, in the Sangam literature, of considerable value for the existence of the Jains in the South. Among the systems controverted in the Manimekhalai the Jain system also figures as one, and the words Saman. and Aman are of frequent occurrence as also references to their viharas so that from the earliest times reachable with our present means, Jainism apparently flourished in the Tamil country. Buddhism seems to have had a clientele of its own also, and it is these systems that the poem 116 of the Purananuru already quoted refers to as religions though seeming true still undermined the authority of the Vedas. These flourished side by side and enjoyed a certain degree of patronage from the rulers generally, while it seems likely that at one time one sect and at another time another had the more influential lead, and was capable of throwing the others into the shade by its influence. It has however been pointed out that there is nothing whatsoever to justify the old classification that there was an age of the Jainas which preceded all others, followed by an age of the Buddhists, and that again by the Brahmanical or the Puranic age. No such clearly marked chronological division is discernible in the evidence at our disposal. These lived side by side, and the most that we are warranted in stating from the evidence at our disposal is, these waxed and waned in influence at different periods of their history, and this variation of influence was in many cases due to the acquisition of influence over the monarchs for the time being.