– Article & Photos by Nitin H P
Here is a live example of how Jainism can be taken to the common man and propagated effectively.
Idol of Lord Chandraprabha installed in the premises of taluk office at H.D.Kote, Mysore District, Karnataka, India.
When Jain idols are found during the digging of some foundation or some excavation the people react to it in two ways. If the explored idol is not ruined and is intact with out any scratches or ruins then usually members of Jain community speaks to the Government authorities to hand it over to them so that they can perform daily worship in terms of poojas and other rituals. Just in case if the idols are ruined even by a whisker and discover that the idol is unfit for any worship then many a times the community does not show any interest towards the idols. On many instances the community members will not be bothered to go and have a look at it and check as to what the idol is all about. But, here lies an example to be followed by members of the community.
Idol’s Discovery – A few years back somewhere during the mid 1960s an ancient slightly ruined idol of Lord Chandraprabha the 8th Tirthankar in sukhasana was discovered in the midst of the forests by K.B.Padmarajaiah a Digambar Jain shravaka, who was an Amaladhar – Revenue inspector at Heggadadevanakote (H.D.Kote in Mysore district of Karnataka) while on his field work in the midst of forest. He realised that the idol was uncared and lying orphan in the midst of the forst. He with an intention of protecting this idol got it shifted on a bullock cart to the premises of the taluk office (Tashildar office).
Construction of the Mantapa – The members of the Jain samaj at Sargur used this as an opportunity and approached the adminsitrative head of the taluk i.e. Tashildar and persued him to install the idol with in a small mantapa in the premises of the taluk office. The 3 feet 3 inches high idol which otherwise would have been installed in the corner of a Jain temple or in a museum with limited visitors was consecrated at a central location in the taluk office at H.D.Kote. A shravaka Sri Chandrappa from Mulluru/Chamapalura agreed to donate the amount required for constructing the mantapa. Sri N Anantharaj who was the executive engineer here and his brother N Prasanna Kumar took the lead towards constructing this mantapa.
Recently post 2010 Sri Motiram Jain of Vikas Bankers a local jewller has donated money towards putting up grills for the mantapa.
The idol is attracting the attention of thousands of people both Jains and non-Jains every day who visit this office for their work with the Goverment and propagating the message of Jainism. This is a clear example as to how Jainism can be taken to the common man and propagated effectively. Kudos to the vision of the members of Sargur Jain samaj. – Article by Nitin H.P.