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    Naturevolume 120pages6162 (1927) | Download Citation



    A JAINA IMAGE or AJITANÂTHA.—In the Indian Antiquary for April, N. C. Mehta figures and describes a beautiful imgae of Ajitanâtha, according to tradition, a contemporary and cousin of the mythical prince Sagaral. It was executed in A.D. 1053, when Jainism, having suffered an eclipse in the south after the sixth century A.D., was approaching its climax in western India under the Solanki rulers of Gujarat. The image is 51 inches, or, with the pedestal, 63 inches in height. Judging from the exceptionally bright and yellow lustre of the body, the metal must contain a large amount of gold. It stands in the characteristic pose of a Jaina kevali, i.e. “one who has attained the Peace bom of perfect knowledge and of absence of attachment to things mundane.” The face is that of a young man, strikingly handsome, and the limbs are beautifully modelled and of pleasing proportions. The loin cloth is attached to an elaborately carved girdle of fine design. The ushnîsha, the symbol of enlightenment, is just indicated, while the Jewel of Illumination is prominently shown on the forehead. An inscription states that this statue was set up in memory of the saint Shâlibhadra by his pupil Pûrnabhadra. The statue is still worshipped in the Ajitanâtha Temple in Zaverivâdâ at Ahmadâbâd. It is a very favourable example of the art of casting metallic images which reached a high standard in medieval Gujarat, and of which a large number of good specimens are still to be found in the Jaina temples scattered throughout Gujarat and Rajputana.

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