Shourseni is an ancient language, believed to have been in use around 100 BC and the year 500. It derives its name from Shoorsen, the ancient name for the modern Mathura
, where it was spoken.
While Sanskrit was the language of the elite religious class, Shourseni was popular with the common people. This is evident from the Sanskrit dramas, in which the dialogues between characters from lower class people like the servants, jesters and laborers are rendered in Shourseni. This was also the language of choice for the writers of Jain scriptures.