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Four Jain Inscriptions of 12th to 15th Century found at Hassan’s Dodda Basadi

Hassan, 20th January 2020: Four Jain inscriptions belonging to 12th to 15th century have been found at Hassan’s Dodda Basadi located near Devigere. These has been discovered by Mr. Nitin H P an IT professional who works as Manager – Marketing Technology at Wipro Limited, Bengaluru.
The inscriptions have been found in the pedestals of Tirthanakara Parshwanath (the 23rd Jain Tirthankara) the main deity of Dodda Basadi and Tirthankara Neminath (the 22nd Jain tirthankara) that was installed in the 1st floor of the temple, on the pillar of the Navaranga (wide hall) of the temple and in the pedestal of the Jettigaraya Mantapa’s outer wall.

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Four Jain Inscriptions of 12th to 15th Century found at Hassan’s Dodda Basadi
Four Jain Inscriptions of 12th to 15th Century found at Hassan’s Dodda Basadi

“Hassan district is a treasure trove of inscriptions with over 600 plus Jain inscriptions at Shravanabelagola alone and many more found in the district. However, there weren’t any Jain inscriptions found at Hassan city, the district centre. The discovery of these inscriptions informs us about the antiquity of Jainism and its rich Jain tradition that prevailed in Hassan city”, says Mr. Nitin.

1st Inscription – Pedestal Inscription of Neminath Tirthankara
The Neminath Tirthankara idol was installed on the 1st floor of the temple and the room in which it was installed had to be dismantled. Hence the idol had to be shifted and has been placed at a different place. The inscription has been found in its pedestal that was covered by concrete earlier.

  1. Inscription’s Text
    1 Shri Mula Sangha Desiyagana Postaka Gachha
    2 Konda Kundanvaya Ingaleshwarada Ba
    3 Liya Sri Shruthakirtti Devara Guddagalu
    4 Konganada SriKaranada Kavannangala Makka
    5 Lu Nakanna HonnaNnaomgalu maadisida Shri
    6 Neminatha Swamigala Pratime Manga
    7 La Maha Shri Shri Shri @@@ ||
  2. Inscription’s Summary: It informs that Muni Shruthakeerthi Deva belonged to Mula Sangha Desiyagana Pustaka Gachha Kundakundanvaya Ingaleshwara Bali. Shruthakeerthi Muni’s disciples Nakanna and Honnanna sons of Kavanna got the idol of Sri Neminath Swamy made.
  3. Specialty of the Inscription: The inscription is special due to the below reasons:
    • Complete details of the Monk’s Lineage – It is rear to find the complete lineage of a monk, i.e. Sangha, Gana, Gachha, Anvaya & Bali. These kinds of details are found in a couple of inscriptions in Shravanabelagola and a very few across Karnataka. This inscription informs about the complete lineage of Shruthakeerthi Muni who is mentioned in the inscription.
    • Mula Sangha: Mula Sangha means the name of the lineage of a group of monks. Mula Sangha has a very prominent position in the Jain monkhood.
    • Inguleshwara Bali: Inguleshwara is the name of a place. Inguleshwara Bali means a categorization of the lineage of monks that originated from Inguleshwara.
    • Konganadu: The word Konganada has be used in the inscription. Konganadu is the region of Arakalagudu taluk (in Hassan district) to Elu Savira country in North Coorg region i.e. the region between Kaveri and Hemavati rivers. The people who ruled over Kongunadu were Kongalvas and they were Jain kings.
    • Srikarana: The word Srikarana mentioned in the inscription means the people who maintain accounts.
  4. Inscription’s Period: The word Konganadu has been found in the inscription i.e. the region ruled by Kongalvas. The period of Kongalva’s rule is 11th-12th century and based on the inscriptional text it can be concluded that this inscription belongs to 12th century.

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2nd inscription – Pedestal Inscription of Parshwanath Tirthankara
Parshwanath Tirthankara, the main deity was installed on a platform and the idol’s pedestal was covered by concrete. Since the idol was removed for the temple’s renovation the inscription has been found in the area that was covered by concrete earlier.

  1. Inscription’s Text:
    1 Shri Mula Sangha Desiyagana Pustakagachha Konda Kun
    2 Daanvaya @@@
  2. Inscription’s Summary – We can find the text Mula Sangha Desiya Gana Pustaka Gachha Kunda Kundanvaya. It means that the people who were the disciples of monks belonging to this lineage might have got this idol made.
  3. Inscription’s Period – Based on the inscriptional text it can be concluded that this inscription belongs to 12th century.

3rd Inscription – Inscription on Navaranga’s Pillar
In the upper portion of one of the pillars in the temple’s Navaraga is found a two lines inscription and in the lower portion is found the carving of a Jain Muni in Kayotsarga (standing posture) posture. The area below the monk’s carving has been covered with marble and fixed with concrete. There might be some inscriptions in this area.

  1. Inscription’s Text:
    1 Shri Santhana Ha
    2 lliya @@@
  2. Inscription’s Summary – The text Santhana Halliya indicates that probably a Shravaka (Jain house holder) belonging to a village Sathanahalli would have performed his services to a Jain monk, would have tried documenting his service and this inscription is probably its incomplete form.
  3. Inscription’s Period – Based on the inscriptional text it can be concluded that this inscription belongs to 14-15th century.

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4th Inscription – Inscription on Jettigaraya Mantapa
The Kshetrapala idol otherwise called as Jettigaraya is installed in a small stone Mantapa on a pedestal in the temple’s premises. On the pedestal of the Jettigaraya Mantapa’s outer walls is found a 2 lines inscription.

  1. Inscription’s Text:
    1 Shri Dodahaliya Padumapa Setiyara Makalu Bom
    2 mana Setiyaru Maadida Dharma Mangala Maha Shri
  2. Inscription’s Summary – It informs that Sri Doddahalli’s Padmappa Shetty’s son Bommanna Shetty got the Dharma Mangala i.e. religious auspicious work. This implies that Bommanna Shetty got the Jettigaraya temple made.
  3. Inscription’s Period – Based on the inscription’s text it can be concluded that it belonged to 14th-15th century.

Acknowledgment: Nitin has thanked Dr. RaviKumar K Navalagunda (Harihara) for his help in deciphering the inscriptional text and guiding him in the research. He has also thanked Hassan Jain Sangh’s Sri Ravindra Kumar & Sri Kantharaj; Sri Anantharajaiah the priest of Dodda Basadi; Mr. Praveen Jain of Hassan Jain Samaj. his father Dr. H.A.Parshwanath and his wife Mrs. Ashwini B. for helping him in the research.
About Nitin H P – Nitin H.P. holds a bachelor of engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mysore. He is an IT professional with over 13 years of experience and is currently working as Manager-Marketing Technology, Wipro Limited, Bengaluru. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the popular Jain website WWW.JAINHERITAGECENTRES.COM. He has been managing it since May 2002. His 1st book ‘Jinayatra’, a collection of research articles on Karnataka’s Jain Heritage was published in Feb 2018.
– Jain Heritage Centres News Service

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