Navaratri Day 3: A Jain Goddess in Ellora

We tend to associate female deities with Hinduism. It was therefore, interesting to see different representations of female goddesses in the Jain caves of Ellora. Ambika is the Goddess of Prosperity. She is the Yakshi or the protector - goddess of the 22nd Teerthankara, Neminath. Here are two of her figures, seen in the caves of Ellora...



Here she is, in Cave 32, represented as mounted on her lion, under a mango tree. She holds a mango and noose in her hand, though neither are clearly visible because of the condition of the figure. Behind her are her two sons -Priyankara and Shubankara. There are two other people by her side, either attendants or those asking for boons... 

We see her again in Cave 33, with almost the same representation, albeit with slight differences... different artist, can we say? 



Isn't it interesting to see how some concepts recur across religions, in spite of apparent differences? 

P.S. She appears in a lot more forms across the caves, but these are the only images I captured which are worth sharing. Looks like another trip to Ellora is called for, with a better camera this time! 

Comments

  1. Interesting, I always thought Goddesses appeared pretty late in Jain Iconography...

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    1. I would have thought so too, Anuradha. But, to be honest, at the time I visited Ellora, I had no clue Jainism had goddesses at all! This came as a big surprise.

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  2. I thought the first one is Indrani w/o Indra. Seems my understanding is incorrect.

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  3. Though not as important as God, in jainism we do worship goddess. During navratri we have kumkumaarchan and aarthi on all nine days to goddess..
    Goddess Ambika, yakshi of Neminath bhagwan is well known as Kushmaandini devi..

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