The Analysis of Jina Images [Part 9]

Published: 14.02.2012

The essay was published in Berliner Indologische Studien No. 2. 1986, pp. 133-174.


§ 17. The garland-bearers (sixteen remaining squares)

The “remaining squares“ (1-4, 7-10, 13-20) accommodate the garland-bearers and the abhiṣeka-elephants, as far as they are present. Single garland-bearers and garland-bearing couples appear within the corpus side by side (e.g. compare JID 113, JID 114). The various fanciful postures of the single garland-bearer can probably be reduced to two basic formulas (JID 97, JID 127). In the case of the couple it is normally (in the case of the standing Jina images: always) the male figure only who carries the garland. The female partner is in various postures but these are best studied in connected with the seated images. The garland-bearers appear on special back-plates with scalloped border (JID 114) or directly on the surface of the slab (JID 127).

From the point of view of style, the couple appears to be a more elaborate variant of the motif of the single garland-bearer. But if we feel that this is a true change of the motif we can also speak of “substitution“ (§ 5) - although the only clear case of substitution within our corpus is connected with the Attendant figure slot (§ 13).

The couple and the single garland-bearer may occur side by side. This can be observed on three images which also show the comparatively rare motif of the abhiṣeka-elephants: JID 8, JID 44, and JID 147A. It may be added that in addition all the three images show miniature figures (miniature Jinas or Navagrahas).


§ 18. The abhiṣeka-elephants (sixteen remaining squares)

The above motif occurs in two different forms. Sometimes the abhiṣeka-elephants form an additional and not very conspicuous motif appearing above the garland-bearers (A). In other cases, the elephants appear precisely where we would expect the garland-“bearers (B). However, the garland-bearers have not been omitted in B, they are merely less prominent than usual and appear above the elephants.

Formula A of the abhiṣeka-elephants is connected with formula A of the parasol-unit, but there are only three examples in our sub-corpus (mentioned already in § 17). In the case of JID 8A, the elephants are accompanied by small figures (JID p.76, Panel 19).

The images with formula B have already been discussed in §§ 13 (Nos.133-37) and 14 (No.46, perhaps all three images Nos.46-48). Without going into details we can say that formula A belongs to the Drum-Leaf Style and formula B to the Drum Style, if we consider the classification in JID.



Berliner Indologische Studien

Compiled by PK


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