The Analysis of Jina Images [Part 10]

Published: 15.02.2012

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


§ 19. Further observations on the parikara-top (squares 1-20)

Scope for variation and innovation is mainly provided by the pedestal and by the parikara-top. However, in the case of our sub-corpus, pedestal variation is very rare (see AJI 7 and similar cases), and the only image to have an innovative and elaborate parikara-top is No. 1 (JID 8). But, for the sake of completeness, we have to mention in this section developments which mark a deviation from the standard form of the upper zone of the composition. Ignoring on the whole the special situation of No. 1, we have to repeat three observations:

  1. intrusion of miniature Jinas (§ 14),
  2. duplication of the garland-bearer motif (§ 17), and
  3. presence of abhiṣeka-elephants (§ 18).

Further uncommon features are insignificant, rare, and restricted to single images. The only notable observation which can be made in the present section concerns the double-lotus which is quite common in other parts of Northern India (Shah, Ak. 60; Mohapatra, Or. 104 = Ghosh, JAA 88) but rare in Madhya Desha.

At Deogarh, the double-lotus is only found on Image No. 1 (JID 8 and 8A). There are, however, a few occurrences outside Deogarh. Both in the case of a seated Jina image from Jalaon District (Tiwari, El. 3) and in the case of a pillar fragment in the Gwalior Museum (probably upper part of a mānastambha: Neg. Gwalior 2384) we notice a motif consisting of two miniature Jinas with a single lotus in the middle. This is obviously a regional variant of the double-lotus. It may be added that the double-lotus reappeared, obviously in connection with a similar decorative form in Islamic architecture, on some Jina images of the rock-cut Urwahi group, Gwalior Fort. [1]

In the case of the parikara-top of the Uncouth Class (§ 15 supra), we can choose between two interpretations: either the parikara-top was not very elaborate (JID 81), or there was a trend to emphasize the bhāmaṇḍala as the uppermost element of the composition (JID 79).


§ 20. Multiple murtis

Apart from the dichotomy between main figure and miniature figures (1+23, 1+24 etc.) we observe in Jaina art a fairly strong tendency to represent several Jinas in a close connection. Although the number of Jinas thus presented may vary and although the character of the connection is not uniform, we think it advisable to use a general term for all these developments. We refer the reader to the often used terms caumukha, dvitīrthika, tritīrthika, and pañcatīrthika. In our context it seems sufficient to speak of double-images, tritīrthikas, and caumukhas. Related but not identical development must be named from case to case.

Double-images of good quality are rare at Deogarh. Such images frequently share their inner zones (squares 1-38) but sometimes their inner zones are separate or almost separate: see JID 125, 126 (two Pārśvas), 133 (also two Pārśvas), and 185 (No. 213). The double-image No. 70 (AJI 13) is a fine specimen of the Slender Class. See also JID § 330 for a complete statistical survey (“stst“ = double-image). There is a fairly close connection between true double-images (one slab) and cases where two images are identical or very similar: JID 102/103, 134a/134b, 153/154, and 164/166.

There are no true tritīrthikas at Deogarh but the three-Jina compositions in the three niches on the outer walls of Temple No.15 (JID 156-58) can almost be called tritīrthikas. Besides, we have triads of closely related but separate images in Temples Nos.16 (JID 97-98) and 24A (JID 167-68).

In almost all the cases mentioned we notice minor forms of variation (e.g. one image with and one without bhāmaṇḍala). Besides we get what may be called “triadic“ oppositions: oppositions derived from the three basic forms of the Jina: Ṛṣabha-Pārśva-Other (see IJI § 3). The character of the derivations will become clear from some of the double-images and tritīrthikas just quoted. It may be added that a representation of the full triad as found in Temple No. 16 is rare. A full triad is in conflict with the concept of the 24 Jinas (a Hindu may think that the Jainas worship three saviours). Misunderstandings of this type are, however, unlikely in the case of the other possible combinations, e.g. those of the Akota tritīrthikas with Pārśva in the centre and a non-Pārśva to his left and to his right.

Caumukhas are not contained in our corpus. For an exhaustive survey of such material it would be necessary to have at least two photos of each specimen.



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Berliner Indologische Studien

Compiled by PK

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