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Sub-Categories of Passions - The Sacred Sravana - Belagola

FOREWORD
 
PREFACE
 

SIGNIFICANCE OF SRAVANA BELAGOLA

 
SHRINES OF SRAVANA BELAGOLA
 
EARLY HISTORY OF SRAVANA – BELAGOLA
 
  ROYAL PATRONAGE OF SRAVANA-BELAGOLA
 
  CHAMUNDA-RAYA AND SRAVANA-BELAGOLA
 
  BAHUBALI COLOSSUS OF SRAVANA-BELAGOLA
 
  GOMMATESVARA IMAGE OF SRAVANA-BELAGLA
 
  GRAND FESTIVAL OF SRAVANA-BELAGOLA
 
  GLORY OF SRAVANA-BELAGOLA
 
  CONTRIBUTIONS OF SRAVANA-BELAGOLA

BAHUBALI COLOSSUS OF SRAVANA-BELAGOLA


2. Inscription No.254 : This lengthy incription , dated 1398 A.D ., has been carved on the right pillar in Siddhara �Bastisituated outside the enclosure on the Vindhyagiri hill and clearly states that '' In that city ( i.e.Sravana �Belagola),excelling the city of Gods, had Chamunda �Raya , with devotion and effort, auspiciouly set up on the mountation , for emancipation , the lord Bhujabali �Gummata, incomprehensible to performers of sacrifices.��

3. Inscription No. 175 : This inscription is dated about 983 A.D .,and has been carved on the right side and near the feet of Gommatesvara. This inscription in the kannada language states that :-
'marthi

e:., Chamunda �Raya caused (this image ) to be made.

4.Inscription No. 176: This inscription , dated about 983 A.D., has been carved below inscription No.175, is in Tamil language ,is the translation of inscription No, 175 and is written in Grantha and vattelutu scripts, It states;- marthi

i.,e., Chamunda �Rajan caused (this image ) to be made.

5. Inscription No. 177 : This inscription, dated about 1117 A.D., has been carved below inscriptinn No. 176 and is written in kannada language. It states:-

marthi

i.,e., Ganga-Raja caused the enclosure to be made .

6. Inscription No. 179: This inscription is dated about 983 A.D., and has been carved on the left and near the near the feet of Gommatesvara. This inscription is in Marathi language, is written in the Deva �Nagari script and states that :-

marthi

7. Inscription No. 180: This inscription , dated about 1117 A.D. has been carved below the inscription No, 179 , is in Marathi language and is written in the Deva-Nagari script. It states that :-

mathi

i., e., Ganga-Raja caused the enclosure to be made .

The inscriptions Nos. 179 and 180 have got great historical and cultural importance since they contain complete sentences- in Marathi laguage and since they are considered as the oldest inscriptions in Marathi language.

Further, the inscriptions Nos. 179 and 180 written in Marathi language are nothing but the translations of inscriptions. Nos 175 and 177 respectivly written in the Kannada script.

8. work entitled �Gommata-sara� : The fact Chamunda Raya made the image of Bahubali by his own efforts has been supported by the well-known work named '' Gommata �saraKarma-Kanda�,composed by Acharya Nemichandr ,the preceptor and therefore the contemporay of chamundra-Raya, wherein the verses 968 and 969 state that ''Let the aphorisms consisting of the Gommata compendium , the Gommata Jina ,on the summit of Gommata Hill and the Dakshina (southern) Kukkuta Jina constructed by Gommata �Raya, be victorious.'' Let is clear from these verses that the image of Gommatesvara caused the hill on which it was situated to be callled Gommata Hill, and that Acharya Nemichandra uses the word '' vinimmiya'', i., e., ''constructed by Chamunda �Raya��, Further, it is evident that image established by Chamunda �Raya came to be called the �Dakshina ,i.,e., Southern Kukkuta Jina� so as to disitinguish it from the image of Bahubali which was established by Emperor Bharat in podanapura and which came to be known as �Kukkutesvara�, when dregons sprung around it.Moreover, Chamunda �Raya ,by having this image constructed, came to be called as Gommata-Raya.

9. Story of humbling the pride of Chamunda �Raya: There is one story connected with the image of Gommatesvara which describes how the pride of Chamunda �Raya for establishing such a huge colossus and for arranging its first annointing ceremony at so vast an expeense of money and labour was completely humbled by goddess Padmavati in the form of an old women named Gullakayaji.

Form these evidences it can be categorically maintained that it was Chamunda �Raya who had the image of Bahubali or Gommata constructed . for such a great act he himself came to be known as Gommta �Raya, which would have been hardly possible, had it been the fact that he merely discovered the image .Acharya Nemichandra, the preceptor of Chamunda Raya, must have been present at the time of the establishment of this image (for even in � Bhujabali charite� it is mentioned that Acharya Nemichandra was present on this occasion), and consequently the words of Nemichandra, supported as they are by various inscription , must be accepted to be conclusive on this point.

Thus it quite evident that this colossal image of Bahubali was carved out of a great rock which stood on the top of the vindhyagiri hill at Sravana-Belagola as otherwise it would have been impossible to transport a granite mass of such huge size up the hill side to the height of 470 feet from the level of the ground below .The Sthalapurana�, mentions a local lagend that Maya, the carpenter of the giants, at Ravana�s request , was the sculptors of this imaga . (vide 'Indian Antiquary�, vol, II May 1873 , pp 129-130). Of course this legned cannot be relied on. But it is stated in the �Mysore Gazetteer� that among the famous sculptors of South India at that time , viz., Baligrama, Charana Hampa, Maliyanna, Nagoja and Arishta Nemi, the image of Bahubali was sculptured by Arishta Nemi alias Arrito Nemi people also believe that Arishat �Nemi was the sculptor of this image .There is also a popular belief that Arishta �Nemi ,the sculptor, was a Jaina monk . Any way it appears that one work and completed it by 980 A.D Even though Arishta �Nemi actually executed the work of sculpture it may be specifiically noted that it was Chamunda �Raya who not only first conceived the idea of having a colossal image of Bahubali out of the standing rock on the top of the vidhyagiri hill at Sravana �Belagola but also supplied the details to be shown on and near the image.obviously in this conception about Bahubali�s imaga Chamunda Raya was greatly influenced by the most vivd and memorable description of Bahuabali givan by the great Kannada poet Pampa in his master �piece �Adi �purana �, composed in 941 A.D In this popular work the poet Pampa had painted in words a truely magnificent picture of Bahubali . And it was Chamunda �Raya who gave a tangible shape to this word �picture of Bahubali and thus made a permanent contribution to world civilization.

2. He caused to be built as kailasa the completely ruined Jina temple of Kalavita at Bankapure.

3. He granted lands, purchased after payment of much gold ,to provide for gifts, to Jaina sages at holy place Kapana or Koppal, near Hampi, the capital of vijayanagar Empire .

4. He caused to be erected a splendid Jina temple, from the base to the pinnacle, the original holy place of Kellanagere, formerly founded by the Gangas, of which by lapse of time only the name remained.

5. He caused to be built five more Jina temples at the same place, viz. Kellangere.

6. He constructed the famous temple of Chaturvimsati �Tirthankaras at Sravana �Belagola in the year 1159 A.D King Narasimha I gave the name of '' Bhavya �Chudamani �Basti'' to this temple as he was very much impressed by seeing this temple and the King also granted for its upkeep the village Savaneru. The temple is popularly known as ''Bhandari-Basti'' since Hulla �Raja was also �Bhandari� or treasurer of King Narasimha I.

Thus this trinity of ministers, Chamunda-Raya, Ganga-Raja, and Hulla-Raja, enriched the old traditions of Sravana-Belagola by their valuable and lasting contributions.