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Naminatha's Sculpture from Bhatinda

The sculpture shown in the picture was excavated from a ploughed field in vicinity of Bathinda town of Punjab state. The sculpture is carved out of white marble which is readily available in neighboring province Rajasthan. The sculpture is hailed from later medieval period and the fact is corroborated by its artistic style. After careful examination of this image Scholar R.D. Gehlot deduced that the sculpture is of 21st Jina savior Naminatha. He identified this image on the basis of Lanchana engraved on pedestal as Lotus bud.

The sculpture is excavated along with an image of Lord Neminatha the 22nd Jina savior. Both sculptures are good specimen of later medieval Jina sculpture and represents good workmanship of that period. He speculated that these sculptures were imported to present place from neighboring province Rajasthan to install in a temple. Perhaps due to fear of iconoclasm by Muslim invaders, these sculptures were buried by Jain laymen in 13-14th century.

The image of Naminatha is in padmasana posture with serenity and tranquility on face as obvious in meditation posture. He is seated on a legged pedestal above a Lion throne along with a minutely carved parikara. Lanchana Lotus bud is depicted horizontally on legged pedestal in central position. He has shrivatsa chinha on proportionate chest. Naminatha has long ear lobes which are long enough to touch shoulders and ushnisha on his head.

Two beautifully carved whisk bearers are flanked on both side of Jina savior in his service and triple umbrellas are canopied over the head of Jina. Bhamandal or Halo is flanked on both sides of his head. Two pair of musicians on either side of Jina is depicted with different musical instruments. Above the pair of Musicians two celestial musicians with “dundubhi” in hands were depicted on both sides of Jina. Two elephants carrying water pots anointing the Jina “Naminatha”. Complete parikara is minutely carved with row of flying vidhyadhars.

The lion throne is richly carved with figures of subordinate god- goddess deities. Sruta devi or Saraswati is depicted under Lion throne in central position. She is depicted with four arms containing pustaka, veena, Lotus with stalk and varad mudra. She is flanked by Lions and Yaksh-yakshini. Underneath the carving of Saraswati the wheel of Law “Dharma Chakra” is depicted flanked by two deers on both sides. Yakshi Dahrma devi or Ambika is depicted on left side of simhasana where she has one infant in her lap. Yaksh sarvanubhuti or kubera is depicted with four arms in right side of Simahasana. Sculptural depiction of Savior Naminatha is very rare. Some sculptures from Loon vasahi (1233 AD), Kumbharia (1179 AD), Khandgiri (2-13 century) and Nidhi konda ,warangal Andhrapradesh are worth mention here.

The Bhatinda’s Naminatha sculpture is from Swetambara Sect of Jains as he carries a piece of clothe on his right shoulder which is prohibited in skyclad (Digambara) sect. The Naminatha’s Image was carved in 1180 AD which corroborated from an incised samvat of 1236 on back side of Jina sculpture. The sculpture is hailed from Chahaman’s (chauhan) period arounf 12th century AD. Chahamans were feudatories of Chalukya solankis of Gujarat. Asvaraja of Chahman dynasty was adherent follower of Jainism from Nadol.

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