Friday, 10 November 2017

Manastambha (column of honor), a mjor feature of Jain temples

India is a land of many religions and Jainsism or Jain Dharma, an off-shoot of Hinduism, is being followed by a small percentage of people who are mostly well-versed in business.  it is also one of the most ancient religions in the world. 

Based on the foundation of three main principles  ahimsa ('non-violence'), anekantavada ('non-absolutism'), and aparigraha ('non-attachment') Jainism gives due importance to  asceticism. It is essential that the followers of  Jainism must take five main vows: ahimsa ('non-violence'), satya ('truth'), asteya ('not stealing'), brahmacharya ('celibacy', 'chastity'), and aparigraha ('non-attachment'). They are invariably vegetarians and avoid harm to animals.  Parasparopagraho Jivanam ('the function of souls is to help one another') is the cardinal motto of Jainis and  Namokar Mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism.


A Jain temple is the place of worship for  Jains, the followers of Jainism, and it is referred to as Derasar  (used for a Jain temple) in Gujarat and southrn Rajasthan. Basadi is a Jain shrine or temple in Karnataka.  In South India, as well as in Maharashtra, this word is common. There are two types of Jain temples: Shikar-bandhi Jain temple (one with the dome) and Ghar Jain temple (Jain house / temple without dome). The main deity is called Mula Nayak. Many jain temples are richly decorated, artistically well embellished and have shikara (tower), Garbagraha / sanctum (ghambara), etc


A Manastambha (column of honor) is an integral part of Jain temples. It is a  pillar that is often  built  in front of large statues or Jain temples - something like flag-staff (Dwajasthambam) in Hindu temples. The top of  Mahastamba  has four 'Moortis' (especially in north India) i.e.
tirthankara stone figures of the main god of that temple. One facing each direction: North, East, South and West.

In accordance with  the Digambara Jain texts like Adi Purana and Tiloyapannati, the significance of a huge manastambha standng  in front of the samavasarana (divine preaching hall) of the tirthankaras, is that it  causes someone entering a samavasarana to shed his 

pride and presumption before stepping into the sanctified place  and submit himself to His divine blessings. At many Jain temples, such monolithic Mahastambha is beautifully engraved and the standard feature is  of Moodabidri. They include a statue of Brahmadeva on the top as a guardian yaksha.

Mahastambha at a some jain temples:

Jain temple at Moodabidri:


Saavira Kambada Basadi Jain temple at Moodabidri/en.wikipedia.org/
  
Above image: The left side view of 1000 Pillar Temple Moodbidri, Karnataka. Here,you can view the Mahastamba in front of the shrine. It is 34 km from Mangalore city. 

Saavira Kambada Temple (Sāvira Kambada Basadi) or Tribhuvana Tilaka Cūḍāmaṇi  is a basadi  or Jain temple famous for its 1000 pillars in the temple known as "Chandranatha Temple" in Moodbidrii (Mangalore taluk). Here, the tirthankara Chandraprabha is honored and his  eight-foot idol is worshipped in the shrine. Though the town of Moodabidri has a large  number of Jain temples -as many as eighteen, Saavira Kambada Temple is believed to be  the finest among them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saavira_Kambada_Basad



Kirti Stambha:

Kirti Stambha at Chittor /en.wikipedia.org/

Above image: This is the image of  Kirti Stambha, a 12th-century tower  at Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan,  Built by a Jain merchant Jeeja Bhagerwala during the reign of Rawal Kumar Singh (c. 1179-1191), the 22 metre high tower is symbolic of the glory of Jainism. It is located in the famous Chittor fort in Rajasthan, well-known for  the story of queen Padmini taking part in jauhar ( sati- jumping into the funeral pyre) when Alauddin Khalji of Delhi Sultanate had besieged the fort. Chittor was an ancient centre of Jain tradition and is adjacent to the ancient city of Madhyamika. The history goes back to first and 3rd centuries. The famous Acharya Haribhadra Suri (6th century) was born in Chittor and wrote "Dhurtopakhyana" there. 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirti_Stambha

Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra Shri Mahaveerji, Hindaun:

Manastambha, Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra Shri Mahaveerji
Manastambha, Column of pride  Shri Mahaveerji temple
Above image: Note the mahastambha in front of Shri Mahavir Ji  jain temple. It is a famous and miraculous Jain pilgrimage site situated in Hindaun Block in Karauli district in Rajasthan. Here,  Digambar tradition of Jainism is being followed. The main deity of the temple was found during an excavation. Legend has it way back,
Some 'Kaamadhenu' (self milking cow) used to pour out its milk everyday upon a mound near Chandanpur village. Upon the excavation of the mound by the bewildered villagers,  the icon of  Lord Mahaveer emerged. Upon this spot, a beautiful Jain temple was built later by Sri Amar Chand Bilala of Baswa (Jaipur). It is more than 200 years old.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shri_Mahaveer_Ji_temple