Overview for Iconography of Jaina Deities (In 2 Volumes)
Jainism has to its credit a large number of religious treatises enshrining besides the other religious practices, the lives and teachings of the Tirthankaras, twenty-four in number, besides other minor deities. The iconography of these Jaina deities, some of which owe their origin to the Brahmanical faith is quite complex in nature. The iconography of these deities has been discussed at length, correlating it with the development of Jaina sculptural art from the earliest times to the medieval period. While doing so, the sculptural art as preserved in the Jaina temples at Deogarh, Khajuraho, Kumbharia, Osian, Abu, Taranga, Gyaraspur, Jalor, Ghanerao and many other Jaina shrines and the vestiges of the past have been discussed in considerable details. Stress has also been laid in the description of the Sasanadevatas of the Tirthankaras viz., the Yaksas and Yaksis, in addition to the Mahavidyas, and other Tantric deities. The composite forms of the Jaina deities available in the Jaina shrines and other antiquarian remains have also received due attention. The prominent Jaina personalities of divine nature like Bahubali, Bharata, Cakravarti, the parents of the Jinas and other issues connected with them have also been suitably brought out. The life scenes of the Jinas have been projected mostly in the Svetambara Jaina temples, besides in the form of miniatures in the Kalpasutra manuscripts. These have been highlighted in this work in a befitting manner in addition to the hitherto lesser known deities of the Jaina pantheon. The entire study has been authenticated by the numerous Jaina texts, the evidence of the sculptural art in the country, besides the historical and other archaeological evidence which would interest the students and scholars besides the common people as well.
Shanti Lal Nagar (Author)
Shantilal Nagar, a graduate of the Punjab University, served in the curatorial capacity in the Central Asian Antiquities Museum, New Delhi, the Archaeological Museum Nalanda, and Archaeological Section of the Indian Museum, Calcutta for a number of years. He has to his credit the scientific documentation of over fifty thousand antiquities, in these museums, representing the rich cultural heritage of the country and comprising of sculptures, bronzes, terracottas, beads, seals and sealing, ancient Indian numismatics, wood work, miniatures and paintings, textiles and Pearce collection of gems, ranging from the earliest times to the late medieval period. He was awarded, in 1987, a fellowship, for his monograph on the Temples of Himachal Pradesh, by the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. He has authored more than 38 books.