Gulbarga (Karnataka), 31 January 2010: Was Attimabbe a Jain? This argument about the origin of Attimabbe populary called as 'Dana Chintamani Attimabbe' has led to a series of arguments amongst the Jain and Kannada scholars is Karnataka. Attimabbe was a philanthropist who stayed at Lakkundi (currently in Gadag district of Karnataka) around 10th century A.D. and the wife of Nagamayya the warrior. She was known for her philanthropic personality and he patronage for Jainism. She is known as the first publisher of Jain & Kannada works in Karnataka and had also patronised Ponna and Ranna regarded as the doyens of Kannada literature.
Renowned researcher and former Vice Chancellor of the Hampi Kannada University Prof. M.M.Kalaburgi opines that, 'When we look back to the names of her family members we find names such as Mallappiah, Yalavaiah, Dallappaiah and Nagamaiah, none of these names are Jain names. On the death of Attimabbe's husband, Gundamabbe the second wife to her husband entered fire along with him but however this kind of self immolation is non existant in Jainism. Instead sallekhana is permited in Jainism. Furher more Attimabbe built the Nageshwara temple on the demise of her husband and not a Jain temple. Had she been a Jain she would have constructed a Jain temple. Having considered the above points he opines that we can conclude that she was not a Jain by birth and instead was a ardent follower of Jainism."
On the contrary noted Kannada scholar Sri M.Chidanandamurthy and others have contradicted the statement of Dr. Karburgi and has termed it as totally baseless. He quotes the lines in 'Ajitha Purana' a literary work by Ranna published during the 10th century which quotes the following words as spoken by Atimabbe - 'that there exists only two options to a Jain lady while she becomes a widow - either should enter into fire along with her husband or will have to take Jina diksha'. Ranna has glorified the lifetime achievements of Attimabbe in 'Ajithanatha Purana'. Sri Murthy opines that these lines help us to term Sri Kalburgi's statement as baseless. Speaking further he says that Attimabbe had published 1000 copies of 'Ajitha Purana' by Ranna and equal no. of copies of 'Shanthi Purana' written by Ponna around the same time. Apart form this she had also distributed around 1500 Jain idols among the masses. He also opines that the Brahma Jinalaya built in Lakkundi by Attimabbe was place for practicing Jaina vratas and we can find a couple of inscriptions in this connection. Further Mr. Murthy quotes the words of another Jaina poet Brahmashiva, where in he has called Attimabbe as 'Jaina Shasana Rakshamani'. He also quotes some of the inscriptions at Shravanabelagola to support his stand and in particular refers to one such inscriptions which records Attimabbe's visit to Shravanabelagola. He feels that this reference has further helped us conclude that Attimabbe was a Jain.
Further research material available with WWW.JAINHERITAGECENTRES.COM have made it clearly evident that she has dedicated one Jain temple to Arhanandi Panditacharya and also donated a village called Suruki for the maintenance of LAkkundi's Brahma Jinalaya. This further helps us to conclude that Attimabbe was a born Jain and leaves no abmigulity regarding her Jain origin. - Jain Heritage Centres News Service