12th Century’s Sallekhana Memorial Discovered in Shivamogga District

12th Century's Sallekhana Jain Inscription found at Harakere Village, Shivamogga District, Karnataka.

– Nitin H P

Shivamogga/Shimoga, 2nd December 2018: A 12th century’s sallekhana memorial has been discovered by R Shejeshwar, Asst. Director of Shivappa Nayaka’s fort, Shivamogga and research scholar Dr Jagadesh. The inscription has been discovered at Harakere village in front of the Nandi Basaweshwara Temple, Shivamogga taluk, Shivamogga district during a recent field. The inscription measures about 60×15 Cms and is made of cyst stone and has 8 lines.

Details of the Sculpture – The inscription is related to a person undertaking the Jain ritual of Sallekhana. In its centre, is found a Jain Tirthankara idol and above its head can be found a Mukkode (3 umbrellas carved one below the other), Chamaras on either sides and carvings of sun and moon. To the Tirthanakar idol’s right is found the carving of Niryapakacharya (a Jain monk who preaches the Salelkhana vow) Nemideva Muni. The Muni is holding the religious book in one hand and is preaching the Sallekhana vow by raising his other hand. The Pinchi (tuft of peacock feathers), Kamandala (pot used for storing water) and Shrutapeeta (stand for keeping religious books) have been carved beside the monk’s image. To the left of the Tirthankar idol are found a couple sitting in folded hands, this indicates that they are undertaking the Sallekhana vow.

Details of the Inscription – Based on the inscription’s text it could be concluded that this inscription belonged to the Hoysala period i.e. 12th Century. It comprises 8 lines of text and the text has been damaged intermittently. Hence not many details can be deciphered. However, based on the readable legible text it can be interpreted as follows – A disciple of a Jain Muni called Nemideva belonging to Sri Mulasangha has undertaken the Sallekhana ritual and has attained Samadhi.

Mr. Shejeshwar has thanked Dr. Jagadish for helping him with this research.

Post Author: JHC