Influence of Jain Iconography on Hindu Deities in the Prachi Culture Area

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Influence of Jain Iconography on Hindu Deities in the Prachi Culture Area

The pre-Vedic Indian Culture reflects its glimpses not only in the well known Indus culture but also in the recently known Prachi culture found in and around Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar. A survey made in the interior parts around Adaspur, Bhubaneshwar revealed influence of Jina icons on the Hindu Deities and remains of Prachi Culture resembling the Indus civilization.

( Dr. Sneh Rani Jain, Vishram, behind Patel Market, Arihant Link Road, Sagar, M. P.)

Icons were made even earlier to Varahmihir with freedom of dimensions at the wish of the workmanship of the Sculptures. No exact date is known in records as to when did the Icon art started. The Jain Literature reveals that images of Adinath, the first Tirthankara were got made by his son Bharat for worship on Kailash. Those days the climate was perhaps not that hard there as now. Rama during the period of the 20th Tirthankara; Munisuvratnath got a golden icon made of his queen Sita for his Ashwamegha Yangna as described in Ramayan. In Mahabharat also an image of Bhim was built for embracing by Dhratashtra after that great war during the period of the 22nd Tirthankara; Neminath, a cousin brother of Krishna.

A survey made in the interior parts around Adaspur, Bhubaneshwar, brought to light an interesting seated image of a yogi that gives looks of a Jina at first instance though it is not of a Jina but of a shiva made in Jain style to influence the worshippers. The image is of a Padmasit yogi in seated Kayotsarga having a tri-umbrella on head, one of the eight Pratiharya symbols of Jina having both sides chanwar dharis standing with chanwar in hands, also another Pratiharya symbol of Jina giving a first impression as if the image is of a Jina being sky clad. It has three girdles at the neck also like those of Jina images. This image though reflects two of the Pratiharyas of Jina, suggests the importance of Jina’s eight Pratiharyas through which a Jina image holds its identity.

The opened eyes staring in front are not peaceful as those of any Jina in Dhyan and are the first feature of warning for the Jina worshipers. Below the seated yogi are figures not concerned to the Jina image. Instead of Malyadhars are two twigs hanging behind the head of the icon, having no hallow. Also the image is ornamented, having rings in ears and perhaps bangles in the wrists against the renunciating figure of a Jina. There is no snake, no moon arc and no trident symbols of Shiva to confirm it as the image of shiva. The seat stone has some visible tail parts of a fish but no Srivats is notable on the icon. These features can be noticed by any of the Jina worshippers though, but being dark inside one grossly notices the skyclad Padmasit kayotsargi image not noticing the fine details of the image. This misconcept has tempted many shiva worshippers to encroach Jina images and Jain caves in the kumari Hill ancient cave temples tempering them and damaging the ancient Jain heritage violently even under the control of ASI.


Another image is seen in township of Naalanda very much under the influence of Jain icon art. This one is also an image of a sky-clad seated padmasit yogi in seated Kayotsarga, heavily loaded with red paint on forehead, giving the reflection of Adi Jina. The icon is seated on a throne of Sharduls confusing the Jina worshippers. Hairs are open and falling on the shoulders giving a reflection of the Rishabh Jina. The two Malyadhars and the two Pratiharyas if vaguely seen go unnoticed for their details as one of each of them is a woman; never seen or allowed around Jina.


Photo-2 Naalanda Shiva : Adinath Jina with Shardul is converted as Shiv. A trident srivats is noticeable in Indus art on the left shoulder of the icon which signifies that this was a Jina image originally that has been converted into a shiva image through tempering as is done in being done in the kumari hills Jain caves of Bhubaneshwar and the Anjaneri Jain caves in Maharashtra by some Mahantas. Some Photos of caves 3-4 are shown here. Standing kayotsargi Parshwanath is been covered with clothes as shown here and a trespasser Mahanta is sleeping in the cave resting his leg on the Jina image. This shows not only trespassing but also disrespecting the Jina and the sentiments of Jains.

Photo-3,4 trespassed Jain cave 3 and 4 of Bhubaneshwar In the other photograph the kitchen of Mahantas is seen in the ancient Jain temple caves. These caves are alleged to be protected by the ASI.


Photo -5 of Bhubaneshwar Photo-6 Chakreshwari of Nalanda Two standing kayotsargi icons are also seen in the near by areas having been converted to give looks as if of Shiva in style of the Chaubisi of Jinas. However on minute observation one observes great influence of Jain icon Art on them. Nalanda Chakreshwari, the shasan goddess of Adinath has been converted as a Hindu goddess and taken over by Hindus for worshipping in their way. Photo-6.


Photo-7 Kayotsargi chaubisi but not of Jinas Photo-8 Damaged Kayotsargi but no Jina Photo-7 is of a deceptive Panel of Adideo with 24 other surrounding Digamber kayotsargis being worshipped in a Hindu temple near Bhubaneshwar, Orissa as Adi-Shiva Image. The Main Kayotsargi stands on a Lotus placed on the back of a standing Shardul facing East. In place of the second Shardul appears some modification as of a lying human face with his side so that a double water container is laid upon him. The usual vertical Chakra between the two Sharduls is missing instead there is some other design made in a chain. The main Kayotsargi is skyclad with gender partly damaged indicating some tempering with the original Image. The main Image has a Solar hallo, a Tri-umbrella in shape of a Divya tree, a very typical Srivatsa on chest, not of a Jina and a Pichchi held in his right hand, suggesting the icon to be of a Jina basically; but tempered with, to convert that in to that of Shiva! Jina images are converted in to other worshipped images also some times mistaken as that of Buddha too. Often Parshwanath is mistaken as Nagbuddha and skyclad Jina as of meditating Buddha. Dongargarh images have such fate.

Photo-9 Dongargarh Jina Photo- 10 Dongargarh Jina Kayotsargis alike cluster Jina images, are carved out on the same stone panel on which the main Kayotsargi is carved out. Flanking on the two sides in rows of two; the 20 Kayotsagi are shown above the heads of the two side attendants, while one pair each side is shown near the attendants below the hands of the main Image making them in all 25 in Photo-7, unacceptable for worshippers. All the Kayotsargis are skyclad. It is a rare piece of its type so far as the Parikar and the number of kayotsargi skyclad images resembling Jinas are concerned. One of its two attendants hold in his hands some thing like Shivapindi on Yoni. Hence, this can be called a deceptive Jina Image Panel to lure the ignorant Jina worshippers and to join worshipping this Image mistaking all of them as Kayotsargi, meditating Jinas so also the Shiva in the background. The whole Panel at its rim is lime covered partly hence does not give a very good view to mark out the details misleading people to take this as Jina.


Photo-8 shows a part image of a standing Kayotsargi carrying faintly visible cover on his Bust like Shiva. This Kayotsargi Image is also deceptive in its looks bearing a Panel piece but having seated images around the main image. The Hallow and the Parikar are different from any Jina Image. Two such Shiva Images are seen in Bhubaneshwar one in Bandakpur and another on road side Hindu worshipping site. If one makes a vast survey several such can be found out. Some Jina Images are displayed by the ASI also as of Buddha wrongly.


Photo -11 and 12 Images of Jina It is also possible that newly evolved shavite culture made this attempt of making Shiva images acceptable to majority lead Jina devotees in that Indus culture/ Prachi culture influenced part of the then India. The Prachi culture area resembles very much the Indus valley culture in construction of houses with baked bricks of different shapes and sizes as used in the Indus houses with similar lay outs which originally represents the ancient Jain culture. Some Photographs taken at those ancient ruin sites are presented here where nearby to them some recent archaeological excavation have been conducted. The ruins are standing in a marshy land near the river banks close to Bhubaneshwar with the same three level settlements. A little distant to those residential remains some pillar ruins were also seen which with their pillar remains suggest some temple sites again found in three levels. The roof as Mandap must have been of stone slabs which collapsed falling down perhaps under some severe earth quake tremors. The central pillar shown by me has marking of chained bells indicative of some huge Jain temple remains. At the corners were small mandapas resting on four pillars, seen standing close at the two corners.


Photos 13, 14 and 15 Prachi culture’s temple remains In fact, the difference in Jain and Hindu images has great importance; as the images of Jina are of renunciate celebates and are to be maintained so; with no paint, decoration, flowers on them or woman around them. Their worship is also different with no live offer on or to them. Jainism believes in eternal existence of Nature and Universe with no creator God undergoing incarnations. The way of worship and the belief and concept of Jains is for no worldly gains but for salvation. Shiva has totally a different identity,.not worshipped by Jains. Hindu deities with Jain influence reflect that in those days Jainism was vastly spread.

The corporation should be thanked for stopping the expansion of town to damage these heritage ruins any further that has come blindly very close to these Prachi culture remains swallowing them, as can be seen from the new constructions seen behind in these photos which evidence the influence of Jain heritage here in the ancient past to study their time period exactly.