Volume 33 Number 3, March 1981
Homage to Shravana Belgola
|Specifications:||176 pages, 181 illustrations|
|Dimensions:||324 x 241 mm|
Atop a boulder-strewn hill in Karnataka is the world’s highest free-standing statue – the colossus of Lord Gommateshvara. Completed in 981 CE, this monolithic figure celebrated its 1000th anniversary in 1981. To commemorate the event Marg published this volume which focuses on the story of Bahubali and the creation of the colossus at this ancient Jain pilgrimage site. Other articles narrate the sculptural, architectural, and artistic treasures at Shravana Belgola, the great centre of Jain culture in the Deccan.
Saryu Doshi is a leading scholar on Jain art.
The Lapsing of the Jina as the Source of the Living Force of the Images in Jain Art
Mulk Raj Anand
The Pilgrim’s Path at Shravana Belgola
The Three Jewels of Jain Philosophy
The Legend of Bahubali: Quintessence of Quest and Conquest
Shravana Belgola in Legend and History
The Ritual of the Bath in Jainism
The Temples and Monuments of Shravana Belgola
Robert J. Del Bonta
The Art Treasures of Shravana Belgola
Nishidhi Stones and the Ritual of Sallekhana
Jain Metal Images from the Deccan - Karnataka
Yakshagana and its Relevance to Jainism
D. Veerendra Heggade
The protest of Mahavira, the Jina or Knower, against the vedic Dharma, his restraints on worldly life, and the perfection attained by him became an ideal for the followers of Jainism. For a long time after the Jina lapsed, the strict teachings probably did not allow deification. When, after many generations, his words had become myths and legends, efforts were made to translate the faith into images.
The article describes the Jaina pilgrimage to the Indragiri Hill, Shravana Belgola, and the hill of Chandragiri (associated with Bhadrabahu, the last pontif in the line started by Mahavira).
The Jainas believe that liberation can be obtained by following the path of the three jewels: Right Faith, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct. However, it is essential to first understand the fundamental aspects of Jaina philosophy -- the Anekanta attitude, Jaina metaphysics, and Jaina ethics. The article discusses these aspects.
Recounts the legendary feud between Bahubali and Bharata, the sons of the Ayodhya king Rishabha. This conflict ended with the renunciation of the world by Bahubali, and his ultimate attainment of Kevalajñana and moksha.
Inscriptions and legends clearly indicate that Shravana Belgola was an important Jaina pilgrimage centre from the third century BCE. The migration of the teacher Bhadrabahu and his disciple king Chandragupta Maurya to Shravana Belgola is mentioned in a 6th-7th century inscription on Chandragiri Hill, and in later Digambara Jaina literature. Inscriptions and literary accounts also speak of later migrations by Jaina ascetics to Shravana Belgola, the conception and execution of the colossal Gommata (Bahubali) sculpture by the Ganga minister Chamundaraya, the mahamastakabhisheka (head-anointing ceremony) of Gommata, and the patronage of the Hoysalas, Vijayanagara kings, Chalukyas of Kalyani, Gangas, and Wodeyars of Mysore.
The sacred bath is an essential feature in the consecration ceremonies of a divine image, and holds an important place in Jaina ritualism. The article highlights the significance and elaborates on the rituals of the bath and idol installation. The mahamastakabhisheka (head anointing ceremony) of the Gommateshvara image at Shravana Belgola commemorates the first consecratory bath given to the image in 981 during Ganga rule.
Described is the head anointing ceremony (mahamastakabhisheka) of the Gommateshvara image, usually performed every 10-15 years. A few of the past mahamastakabhisheka events are recorded, the earliest being in 1398.
Discussed are the architecture and sculptures of Jina images and yakshas and yakshis of the temples and other monuments at Shravana Belgola, including the shrines on the Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri hills, Shravana Belgola town, and its suburbs Jinanattapura and Kambadahalli.
Apart from the objects produced by artists at Shravana Belgola, the temples and mathas contain many images and manuscripts that have been received as offerings. They include miniature paintings in the palm-leaf manuscripts of Shatakhandagama, Mahabandha, and Kashayapahuda (c. 1113-25); the Mysore School paintings of Samavasarana, Neminatha Tirthankara, and portraits of the 24 tirthankaras (late 19th century); wall paintings of the Mysore School in the Jaina Matha (c. 1750-75 or 1825-50); and metal images of the Jina belonging to the 10th-11th and 18th-19th century.
The art and architecture, literature, and inscriptional records of Karnataka bear testimony to the prevalence and popularity of Jainism in the area upto the 16th century. The article examines the Jaina inscriptions of the 5th to 14th centuries.
The rituals and practices of the Jainas are directed towards the attainment of salvation. The sallekhana vow, described in various Jaina texts, is the absolute subjugation of human passions, and the gradual abstention from food and drink. In Karnataka, many of those who practised sallekhana were commemorated in nishidhi memorials. The nishidhis at Shravana Belgola date between c. 6th and 19th centuries. The early memorials (6th-10th century) are in the form of inscriptions on rock surfaces. The footprint motif was introduced in the 10th century, and from the 11th century the nishidhis assumed the form of an inscribed pillar with sculptured panels.
The article describes and classifies the Jaina metal images from Karnataka, belonging to the 8th-13th centuries. The images are mainly affiliated to the Digambara ideology.
The Yakshagana dance-drama evolved in rural south Kanara during the last four centuries. The article discusses the various manifestations of this performing art, and its enactment and costumes. In recent years, the themes have centred around social, historical, and mythological subjects. Another notable development is the introduction of Jaina subjects, such as the story of Bahubali or Gommateshvara.
A glossary relating to Shravana Belgola.