Jaina-Rupa-Mandana (Jaina Iconography)

Item Code: NAG947
Author: Umakant P. Shah
Publisher: Abhinav Publication
Language: English
Edition: 1987
ISBN: 8170172187
Pages: 352 (Through out 215 B/W Illus, 3 Colour Illus)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 11.0 inch X 8.5 inch
Weight 1.50 kg
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Book Description
About The Book

The JAINA-RUPA-MANDANA Volume I is an authentic work on Jaina iconography from the pen of a well-known authority on the subject, Dr. Umakant P. Shah, an eminent Indologist and art-historian with specialization in Jaina art and literature. Illustrated profusely with over two hundred monochrome plates, the work is a standard text- book and a very useful guide to all students of Indian art and archaeology and to Museum Curators. The work is supplemented with a large number of iconographic tables for images of all important Jaina gods and goddesses.

Dr. Shah, the author, has for the first time given solutions to various basic problems of Jaina iconography supported with ample evidence from both archaeology and literature including unpublished original texts still in manuscripts.


About The Author

Dr. Umakant P. Shah, the author, is an eminent Indologist who has spent a life-time in researches in Jaina art and literature. Author of over two hundred research papers including those on Iconography of the Jaina Ambika, Sarasvati, Sixteen Vidyadevis, Cakresvari, Siddhayika, Harinegarnesin etc., and of works like Studies in Jaina Art, The Art of the Akota Bronzes, Treasures of Jaina Bhandaras, New Documents of Jaina Painting (jointly with Dr. Moti Chandra), Minor Jaina Deities etc., he has been for about two decades Deputy Director, Oriental Institute, Baroda, Editor, Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art (New Series, Calcutta), General Editor of the Critical Edition of Valmiki's Ramayana and edited, in the Gaekwad's Oriental Series, Sanskrit texts including a rare old text on Music and Dancing, entitled Sangitopanisad-saroddhara composed by a Jaina monk. He is at present President of the Indian Association of Art Historians.



Before 1953 when I was awarded Ph.D. degree on my thesis on Elements of Jaina Iconography (North India), I had published, from 1940 onwards, some important chapters on Iconography of the Jaina Goddess Ambika, on the Jaina Goddess Sarasvatt, on the Sixteen Jaina Mahavidyas, on Jivantasvami, on Kaparddi and Brahmasanti Yaksas, Ksetrapala, on Supernatural Beings in the Jaina Tantras, on the History of Tantra in Early Jaina Literature, on the Age of Differentiation of Digambara and Svetambara images and the earliest known Svetambara bronzes, Vardhamana- Vidya-Pata, etc. In 1954 I gave lectures on Jaina Art in the Banaras Hindu University under the auspices of the Jaina Cultural Research Society when the late Dr. V.S. Agrawala presided. The lectures, published as Studies in Jaina Art, mainly dealt with Symbol Worship in Jainism. Since then several articles, on Jaina iconography, art, and culture have been published by me, besides three books on Jaina paintings New Documents of Jaina Paintings (jointly with Dr. Moti Chandra), More Documents of Jaina Paintings and Gujarati Paintings of the sixteenth and later centuries, and Treasures of Jaina Bhandaras. A Brief Survey of Jaina Bronzes with many illustrations was published in Aspects of Jaina Art and Architecture.

Every time I tried to revise my thesis for publication I was required to postpone it and undertake works on Jaina paintings mentioned above, as well as the book on Art of the Akota Bronzes or the editing of the rare Jaina work on music entitled Sangitopanisad-Saroddhara and the work of Critical Edition of the Ramayana of Valmiki and so on.

The accidental discovery of the Akota Hoard of Jaina Bronzes was a landmark in the study of Jaina Iconography and Western Indian Sculpture. I was fortunate in retrieving the hoard dispersed amongst people in Baroda. The Akota Bronzes, discovered in 1951-52, helped me in getting solutions of problems like the Introduction of Sasanadevatas in Jainism, Age of Differentiation of Svetambara and Digambara Tirthankara-images, Introduction of cognizances on Tirthankara images, identification of Jivantasvami images etc., and finalising the thesis with some satisfaction.

My work does not aim at exhausting everything in Jaina iconography. The thesis was more or less a first systematic attempt at putting the study of Jaina iconography on scientific basis. In the thesis, I had concentrated only on North Indian Jaina images, though I tried to study most of the Svetambara and Digambara literary sources in Prakrt, Sanskrt, Apabhramsa and Gujarati. For the first time I could bring to light and refer to tantric Jaina texts (published as well as a majority in manuscript form). For this study good deal of material also exists in Kannada and Tamil literatures. Prof. S. Settar of Dharwar is doing good work in Karnataka, has brought to light several sources, especially of Kannada Puranas, and has published a valuable work on Sravana Belagola. Dr. Sarayu Doshi brought to light several rare Digambara Jaina paintings and, in Marg, a special issue on Gommatesvara.

Before I started my studies around 1938, some important works and articles on Jaina art and iconography were published:

A. Cunningham in his Archaeological Survey Reports published valuable information about Jaina sites and noticed sculptures, inscriptions etc. from several sites like Mathura, Khajuraho, Gwalior, etc. G. Buhler published two articles on Jaina inscriptions from Mathura and a paper on Jaina sculptures from Mathura, in Ep. Indica, between 1892-94 A.D. His discussion on Naigamesin from Jaina and Medical sources was remarkable. In 1887 he wrote 'On the Authenticity of Jaina traditions', in W.Z.K.M., and in 1896, a paper on 'Epigraphic Discoveries at Mathura'. His' Legend of the Jaina Stupa at Mathura was published in German in S.K.A.W., Wien, 1897. In 1903, Burgess translated in English Buhler's paper 'On the Indian Sect of the Jainas', appending himself an 'Outline of Jaina Mythology'. J. Anderson in his Catalogue of Archaeological collections in the Indian Museum (c. 1883) noticed a few Jaina sculptures in the Museum. He had also mentioned some Jaina bronzes, of which the bronzes from Gwalior were neglected hitherto. I have recently published these Gwalior bronzes along with other Jaina bronzes from Prof. Eilenberg's collections.

V.A. Smith (1901) published his 'The Jaina Stupa and other Antiquities of Mathura', a work of out- standing value for all later studies of Jaina antiquities from Kankali Tila, Mathura.

On the basis of some Canarese Dhyana-slokas obtained from South India, J. Burgess discussed 'Digambara Jaina Iconography' in Indian Antiquary, vol. 32 (1903-4), and illustrated various yaksas and Yaksinis with modern line-drawings. His Archaeological Survey Reports entitled 'Antiquities of Kathiawad and Kachchha' (1876), 'Report on the Belgaum and Kaladgi Districts' (1874) and 'A Revised List of Antiquarian Remains in the Bombay Presidency (jointly with H. Cousens)' noticed Jaina sites and images, and shrines. Also noteworthy is his Report on the Elura Cave Temples and the Brahmanical and Jaina Caves in Western India, Archaeological Survey of Western India, vol. V (1883), as also Cave Temples of India (jointly with J. Fergusson) and Inscriptions from Cave Temples of India (with Bhagwanlal Indraji, 1881).

Growse, F.S., wrote on Mathura and also discussed some Mathura Inscriptions in Indian Antiquary, vol. 6. Later. J.Ph. Vogel published his famous Catalogue of the Curzon Museum of Archaeology at Mathura (1910), La Sculpture de Mathura, Art Asiatica, Paris, 1930, and wrote on the Mathura School of Sculpture in ASI, A.R, 1906-07 and 1909-10.

Bhandarkar, D.R., wrote on the now famous Jaina Caumukha Temple at Ranakpur (ASI, A.R, 1907-08). In an article on Jaina Iconography (ASI, A.R., 1905-06) he identified and described a sculpture depicting the Asvavabodha-trrtha and Sakunika-vihara story associated with the life of Tirthankara Munisuvrata, and discussed the Jaina Samavasarana in another article on Jaina Iconography in Indian Antiquary (1910. In 1915, he discovered from excavations at Vala (ancient Valabhi) five unique Jaina bronzes assigned to c. fifth and sixth centuries A.D., .now preserved in the Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay. As Superintendent, Western Circle, he surveyed a number of sites (Jaina as well as Hindu) in Western India.

Banerji, RD., discussed 'New Brahmi Inscriptions of the Scythian Period' in Epigraphia Indica, X (1909-10) and described some Jaina images and pedestals. In his notes on Mangya Tungya Caves (ASI, A.R., 1921) he described some early mediaeval Jaina carvings in Maharashtra. In his Eastern School of Mediaeval Indian Sculpture he discussed Jaina images discovered from Bengal; in his Age of the Imperial Guptas he discussed some known Jaina sculptures of the Gupta Age.

In 1914, Dr. A.K. Coomaraswamy opened a new line of studies in his 'Notes on Jaina Art' wherein he discussed miniature paintings of the Kalpa-sutra, a cosmographical chart and a canvass pat a of Parsvanatha, In his Catalogue of Indian Collections in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, vol. IV, Jaina Paintings, 1924, he described Jaina miniature paintings, Jaina Jataka-scenes, He also discussed iconography of Tirthankaras, deities like Indra, Naigamesa and others and described the five kalyanakas in the life of each Trrthankara. In his Boston Catalogue, vol. IV, in the Portfolio of Indian Art and in his History of Indian and Indonesian Art he published some Jaina sculptures and temples. In 1935 was published his beautiful paper on "The Conqueror's Life in Jaina Painting" (JISOA, vol. Ill) wherein he tried to interpret the fourteen prognostic dreams of a Jina's mother. His remarkable pioneer study of Yaksas (parts I and II) (1928-31) has been largely helpful in our study of Yaksas and Yaksinis in Jaina art and literature.

Two monumental studies by H. Cousens, entitled 'Chalukyan Architecture' and 'Antiquities of Somnath and Kathiawad', were very useful in our study of Jaina antiquities in Karnataka and Kathiawad. His studies of shrines at Aihole, published in ASI, A.R, 1907-08, were equally illuminating.

Rama Prasad Chanda made valuable advancement in the study of Jaina art and iconography by publishing 'Notes on Jaina Remains at Rajgir, ASI. A.R., 1925-26, describing and illustrating almost all important Jaina sculptures from this ancient site. He supplemented these notes in the same report with another long article on 'Svetambara and Digambara images of the Jainas' wherein he discussed the age of differentiation of Svetambara and Digambara Jaina images and placed it roughly in the age of king Ama (Nagavaloka) and Bappabhatti suri, in c. 750-840 A.D. In his Mediaeval Indian Sculptures in the British Museum (1936), he brought to light some beautiful Jaina sculptures.

T.N. Ramachandran was the first scholar to give a systematic account of Jaina iconography in his 'Tiruparuttikunram and its Temples' (1934). The book included study of wall-paintings in Jaina temples at Jina-Kanchi, supplemented by illustrations of Jaina bronzes and sculptures in these temples, an account of Jaina Cosmography and Iconography of yaksas and yaksinis from Hemacandra's work and three late Kannada sources.

Publications on Jaina miniature paintings by W. Norman Brown, Coomaraswamy, Sarabhai Nawab, Moti Chandra and others were also helpful.

Dr. Benoytosh Bhattacharya gave, for the first time, an outline of the scope of a work on Jaina Iconography by giving lists of different types of Jaina deities for whom sadhanas were traced by him in Jaina texts. The paper on Jaina Iconography was published in Sri Atmananda Satabdi Smaraka Grantha (1935).

Brindavan C. Bhattacharya had published a study of the 'Goddess of Learning in Jainism' in Malaviya Commemoration Volume (1932) with the help of sources like Nirvanakalika and Acara- Dinakara. In 1939, he published a work on Jaina Iconography, which was the first work of its kind aiming at presenting iconography of various Jaina deities with the help of literary as well as archaeological sources. Unfortunately it is marred by some cases of incorrect interpretations of the text, incomplete references, vague statements and in a few cases wrong identifications. However he deserves all the credit for publishing a pioneer work on Jaina iconography.

Sankalia, H.D., in 1938, identified some Dhank sculptures as Jaina which were formerly supposed to have been Buddhist. In 1940, he published a paper on Jaina Yaksas and Yaksinis and published two sculptures of Dharanendra and Padmavti from the Prince of Wales Museum, along with a few reliefs from the Jaina cave at Badami. His paper on Temples at Deogarh hardly added anything new to what was published in the Archaeological Reports and what was already mentioned by B.C. Bhattacharya.

Vasudev Saran Agrawala's Catalogue of Mathura Museum (volume on Jaina sculptures) has been very useful to all students of Jaina art and culture. He wrote several articles on Jaina sculptures, for example, an article on Presiding Deity of Child Birth in Mathura art, and Brahmanical Deities in the Jaina Art at Mathura, etc.

K.P. Jayaswal's discovery of 'Torso of a Jaina Image of Mauryan Period' from Lohanipur near Patna, published in JBBORS, vol. XXIII, was an epoch-making discovery in the study of Indian iconography of historical period.

J.E. Van Lohuizen-De Leeuw published her famous work on the Scythian Period (1949) in which she discussed several Jaina images of the Kusana period from Mathura and focused our attention on the importance of dating Mathura sculptures of c. 1st cent. B.C. to c. 4th cent. A.D. It may be pointed out here that all Mathura inscriptions – Jaina, Hindu and Buddhist – deserve to be read again.

This is not an exhaustive list of all work done before I wrote my thesis and published articles on Ambika, Sarasvati etc.; this is but a brief survey of the work done. Since 1949 till today many authors have made substantial contributions in the field of Jaina art and culture. In this new revised edition of my thesis I have tried to incorporate results of all such researches by various scholars. However here too I crave indulgence of scholars for all acts of omissions.

In my researches for many years I had concentrated only on North Indian Jaina images and my thesis was entitled 'Elements of Jaina Iconography (North India)'. I am glad to note here that my friend Prof. Klaus Bruhn (now in Berlin) carried out the study of Jaina Art and Iconography further by doing exhaustive studies of the Jaina shrines at Devgadh. Only the first volume entitled the Jaina.

Images of Deogarh is yet published. Prof. S. Settar of Dharwar is doing good work in the South. He has brought to light important references from Kannada literature and has published a beautiful monograph on Sravana Belagola besides some important contributions on 'Brahmadeva Pillars, Jvalamalini, Jaina yaksas and yaksinis mainly from Karnataka. M.N.P. Tiwari is doing good work in North India, especially on sites like Khajuraho and has written in Hindi a book on Jaina Pratima-Vijnana besides several articles. Some of his articles are collected in his book entitled 'Elements of Jaina Iconography'. Since he had read my thesis (from Prof. Dalsukh Malavania) and used its title for his book noted above, I have changed the title of my book now and called it 'Jaina Rupa-Mandana (Jaina Iconography)'. I have also tried to include study of several Jaina sculptures from South India though this study is not exhaustive. Two or three more volumes of this work will be published as early as possible.

For my studies I am very much indebted to my guide and teacher the late Dr. Benoytosh Bhattacharya, Ex-Director of Oriental Institute, Baroda and author of the standard text on Buddhist Iconography and editor of several original ancient works. I am also indebted to late Prof. A.N. Upadhye for his guidance in Digambara traditions and to late Muni Sri Punyavijayaji for all his help regarding Svetambara traditions. Through him' I had easy access to Sve. Jaina temples as well as Bhandaras. In various ways I am indebted to several scholars like the late Dr. V.S. Agrawala, Dr. Moti Chandra, Rai Bahadur K.N. Dikshit, Dr. Amalananda Ghosh, and almost all the officers of the Archaeological Survey of India, Curators of all museums in India and abroad and many Jaina friends.

Most valuable are the blessings of my parents, the help and cooperation of my wife, brother and son, all of whom have suffered in various ways for me.

But for the great patience and sincerity of Shri Shakti Malik of Abhinav Publications this work would not have been published. I am also thankful to his proof reader.



Svetambaras and Digambaras Jainism, primarily an Indian .religion, hardly spread outside the borders of ancient India, unlike Buddhism which spread in almost all the countries of South and South-East Asia, and as far as Central Asia, Korea, China and Japan. However, Buddhism almost disappeared in India during the late mediaeval period, revived only in the twentieth century, but Jainism has been a living religion throughout the course of history from the time of Parsva, the twenty-third Tirthankara (8th century B.C.) and the last (twenty- fourth) Tirthankara Vardhamana Mahavira (6th century D.C.) till today.

Buddhism and Jainism are the two ancient principal heretical sects which revolted against Vedic priestly domination and ritualism involving animal sacrifice on a large scale. Out of many other such revolting sects and beliefs only Buddhism and Jainism have survived. Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and Vardhamana Mahavira, the last Tirthankara of Jaina belief, were contemporaries.

The followers of Mahavira were called Nirgranthas and Mahavira is referred to as Nigantha Nataputta (naked scion or son of the Jnatr-clan) in Buddhist texts. They are later more commonly known as Jainas, followers of the Jina or the Conqueror. One who conquers the enemies in the form of passion, attachment, jealousy, etc. resulting in karma-bondage, is a Victor-a Jina. Buddha was also called a Jina in ancient Buddhist works, and an emancipated soul was also called a Buddha in early Jaina texts. Similarly the epithet Arhat (i.e. deserving respect and veneration) was used by both the Buddhist and the Jaina sects in ancient India, but later it came to denote a Jina or a Tirthankara. Later on, the terms Buddha and Jina4 came to be specially used for the founders of Buddhism and Jainism respectively.

Jainism is a living faith in India and as such there are a large number of Jaina shrines still in worship in almost all the States of India. It is therefore very difficult to explore and study exhaustively all available Jaina images from all Jaina shrines and sites in India. But after a preliminary outline study of Jaina iconography and art, special studies of selected sites or regions can be undertaken by future workers.

The Jainas claim very great antiquity for their religion. According to the Jaina Conception of Time, there is an ever-revolving Wheel of Time, with twelve spokes (aras, representing different periods or ages, aeons, of mixed and unmixed happiness and misery); six of them, when coming up, constitute the utsarpini or evolutionary cycle, followed by a downward process of the spokes representing the avasarpini or involutionary and degenerative process. In each of these two main cycles are born, in this Bharata- Ksetra (sub-continent), twenty-four Tirthankaras, at different intervals. In the present avasarpini cycle twenty-four Tirthankaras have already lived. The first of them was Rsabhanatha or Adinatha (the first Lord) who is said to have flourished some millions of years ago. He was born in Vinita (Ayodhya) and obtained Nirvana on mount Astapada (supposed to be Mt. Kailasa), where a temple and a stupa were built in his honour by his son Bharata, the first Cakravartin. The twenty-second Jina Nemi or Aristanemi is regarded in Jaina traditions as a cousin brother of the Hindu Lord Krishna. The twenty-third Jina Parsvanatha, son of king Asvasena and queen Vama of Varanasi, lived in about the eighth century D.C., i.e., about 250 years before Mahavira whose Nirvana took place in 527 B.C.

J.C. Jaina writes: "It is curious to note, however, that most of the Tirthankaras have been assigned to the Iksvaku family and are said to have attained salvation at the mount Sammeta (modern Parasanatha hill in the Hazaribag district, Bihar). So far no historical or archaeological evidence has come forth to warrant the historicity of the first twenty-two Tirthankaras: on the other hand, taking into consideration the long duration of their careers and the intermediate periods between each Tirthankara, they appear to be legendary figures introduced perhaps to balance the number of Jinas with the number of Buddhas.

Parsvanatha and his disciples are referred to in various Jaina Canons. We learn from the Acaranga Sutra? that the parents of Mahavira followed the faith of Parsva and were adherents of the Samanas. Mahavira himself seems to have first followed the order of Parsva. The Bhagavati Sutra records a discussion between Mahavira and Samana (Sramana) Gangeya, a follower of Parsva. Samana Gangeya gave up the Caujjama Dhamma (Cituryama Dharma – the Doctrine of Four-fold Restraint) and embraced the Panca-Mahavrata (Five Great Vows) of Mahavira. It is stated in the Samannaphala-sutta of the Buddhist Dtgha-Nikaya that a Nigantha is restrained with four-fold restraint (Caturyama-Samvara). Jacobi has shown the existence of the Niganthas before Nttaputta (Jnatr-putra) Mahavira, on the strength of references in the Pali Literature. These Nirgranthas (knotless, i.e., free from bondage, attachment, etc.) were obviously followers of Parsva. The followers of Mahavira also were originally known as Nirgranthas.

Parsva emphasised the Doctrine of Ahimsa (non-injury) as a protest against Brahmanical sacrificial animal-slaughter, and added three more precepts, namely, abstinence from telling lies, from stealing, and from external possessions Mahavira added the fifth vow of brahmacarya (celebacy) to the above four preached by Parsva. Another important difference between the Doctrine of Parsva and Mahavira was that the former allowed an under and an upper garment (santaruttaro whereas the latter forbade clothing altogether (for Jaina recluses).

Mahavira was born in Ksatriyakundagrama, a suburb of Vaisali (modern Basarh in Bihar) in the house of King Siddhartha by his queen Trisala (acc. to Svetambara Jaina tradition) or Priyakarini (ace. to Digambara Jaina tradition). According to the Svetambara tradition as recorded in the Kalpa-sutra, Mahavira was first conceived in the womb of a Brahmana lady Devananda residing in another part of Vaisali but his embryo was transferred to the womb of the Ksatriya lady Trisala by (the goat-faced) Harinegamesin, the commander of infantry of Sakra, since the Indra thought that Tirthankaras were never born of Brahmana ladies. The supernatural element in the account obviously lends doubt to the historicity of the incident, which, it is interesting to note, is not reported in the Digambara tradition. In the Bhagavatt-sutra, a canonical text acknowledged by the Svetambara Jaina sect, is described the meeting of the Brahmana lady Devananda and the Tirthankara Mahavira. After the departure of the lady, Mahavira, when questioned, explains to his chief disciple Indrabhuti (Gautama), that the lady was his (Mahavira's) mother. This further lends doubt to the historicity of this incident. A stone panel depicting Harinegamesin seated on a throne and with some attendant ladies on one side, with one lady at the far end carrying a small baby in her hands, is obtained from the Kankali Tila, Mathura (Fig. 19). The stone panel is broken at one end and we do not know what figured beyond the representation of Harinegamesin seated on the throne. Below we find inscribed Bhagava Nemeso. Surely, this cannot be taken as the scene of transfer of Mahavira's embryo. As we have shown elsewhere. Harinegamesin, as Nejamesa or Naigamesa is known to Vedic ceremony of Simantonnayana where three mantras addressed to Nejamesa are recited and in Brahmanical and ancient Indian traditions, Naigamesa is known as one of the attendants of Skanda, the Commander of God's army. Naigamesa was propitiated by Krishna for obtaining a beautiful son, according to the Jaina text Vasudevahindi. So this panel may simply represent Harinegamesin as a god connected with protection of children, etc. Goat-faced terracotta figurines are obtained from many other north Indian sites, not necessarily showing Jaina association. During the early centuries of the Christian era, and perhaps a few centuries before, belief in malefic and benefic deities connected with child-birth, rearing of children, diseases of children etc., was very popular as can be seen from the Buddhist account of Hariti and the references to Putanas, Sasthi, Revati, Bahuputrika yaksi, and the Bala-grahas obtained in ancient literature.

Mahavira renounced worldly life at the age of thirty, after practising meditation and penance at home for about a year or more prior to retirement. After renunciation, he wandered from place to place suffering great hardships and molestations from people of Radha, etc., and practised severe penance, finally attaining Kevalajnana on the bank of the river Ujjuvaliya near Jambhiyagama. He was at that time sitting with upright knees like a milkman sitting while milking the cow (godohikasana).

For thirty years Mahavira wandered as a preacher from place to place, and at the age of seventy-two, two hundred and fifty years after Parsva's death, died in Pava in 527 B.c.

Like Parsva, Mahavira organised his community (Samgha) into four orders, namely, monks (sadhu), nuns (sadhvi), laymen (Sravaka) and laywomen (Sravika). Gautama Indrabhuti and Candana were Mahavira's first male and female disciples, leaders of his orders of monks and nuns respectively. Mahavira had, amongst his monk disciples, eleven Ganadharas (Fig. 167), i.e., heads of schools or groups of monks of whom Gautama Indrabhuti was the oldest Ganadhara.

The obstacles (upasargas) suffered by Mahavira before Kevalajnana have been a popular theme of the miniature paintings of the Kalpa-sutra; see, for example, Moti Chandra, Jain Miniature Paintings from Western India, Figures 159 and 160 illustrating pages from a Kalpa-sutra from the Sri Atmarama Jaina Jnanamandira, Baroda. For more illustrations, see W. Norman Brown, Miniature Paintings of the Kalpa- Sutra, pp. 35-38, Figs. 75, 76, 77 and 78. Another upasarga, narrated in later texts, is that from the Sulapani Yaksa (the trident-bearer yaksa) (Fig. 171) who seems to be no other than Siva, the Brahmanical God, and the story echoes some strong opposition, faced by Mahavira, from the Saivites.

The life of Parsva is also noteworthy for what is known as Kamathopasarga, the attack by Kamatha, again a Brahmana ascetic (tapasa) practising penance with fires kindled around him. Once while wandering, Prince Parsva saw a cobra burning in the logs of wood in the fires kindled by Kamatha and as Parsva removed the logs, the snake came out half-burnt and died but was born as Dharanendra, the Lord of the Naga-kumara class of semi-divine beings. Kamatha, after death, was also born as a god, Meghamalin. When after renunciation, Parsva was standing in deep meditation, Kamatha, reborn as god, saw him and taking revenge, poured torrential rains, flooded the area, and sent his host of terrific beings to hurl rocks, etc., to disturb Parsva's meditation. Dharanendra, remembering the obligation, rushed to the scene with his chief queens and protected Parsva by spreading his cobra-hoods over the head of the saint, while Dharanendra's queens played music and danced in order to lessen the miseries inflicted on the saint. Unmoved by the obstacles of Kamatha or the sweet music and dance of the Naga queens, Parsva continued his meditation.




Preface v
Introduction 1
Origin of the Jina-Image and the Jivantasvami Pratima 33
Panca-Paramesthis 41
Parents of the Tirthankaras 47
Notes on the Jaina Pantheon 53
Kulakaras and Salakapurusas 69
Devadhideva-Tirthankara 79
Iconography of 24 Tirthankaras 112
Sasana-Devatas 205
Four More Popular Yaksinis 224
Index 301
List of Plates with Acknowledgements 321
Plates I-CIX (Figs. 1-215)  
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