Jain Remains of Ancient Bengal

by Shubha Majumder | 2017 | 147,217 words

This page relates ‘Images of Tirthankara Shantinatha (Introduction)’ of the study on the Jain Remains of Ancient Bengal based on the fields of Geography, Archaeology, Art and Iconography. Jainism represents a way of life incorporating non-violence and approaches religion from humanitarian viewpoint. Ancient Bengal comprises modern West Bengal and the Republic of Bangladesh, Eastern India. Here, Jainism was allowed to flourish from the pre-Christian times up until the 10th century CE, along with Buddhism.

Images of Tīrthaṅkara Śāntinātha (Introduction)

The sixteenth Jain Tīrthaṅkara Śāntinātha is one of the most popular Tīrthaṅkaras in Jainism[1]. He was born as the prince of king Viśvasena and queen Acirā of Hastināpura (Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita, vol. V: 1; Uttarapurāṇa Parva 63). The symbol or lāñchana of Śāntinātha is the deer. The Yakṣa and Yakṣiṇī attendants of Śāntinātha are Kiṃpuruṣa and Mahāmānasī (Śvetām-G aruḍa and Nirvāṇī). He obtained kevalajñāna while meditating under a Nandi tree and nirvāṇa on Mt. Sammeta (Bhattacharya 1974: 51; Shah 1987: 152-3; Nagar 1999: 114). Few numbers of sculptural representations of the Jina have so far been discovered from ancient Bengal. Howevre, during the recent survey we have able to document some new images of this Tīrthaṅkara.

Footnotes and references:


“According to the Jain traditions he not only revived Jainism, which was in danger of falling into oblivion, but he consolidated the faith to such extent, that it never disappeared again. Another extraordinary aspect about him, has been that he was the first Tīrthaṅkara to become a Cakravartī or the emperor of the hole of India” (Nagar 1999: 114).

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