|Budget Amount *help
¥1,700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,700,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,000,000)
The form of a samavasarana is either square or circular. It usually consists of three successive and concentric squares or circles, each with its own rampart and each pierced by four gateways in the cardinal directions. Thus, as P.Pal bas pointed out, in essence it is no different from the elementary design of a Buddhist mandala or a Hindu yantra. But, it seems the diagram of samavasarana whether it is square or circular, has developed gradually in the history of Jaina iconagraphy. Its structural coincidence with the old ayagapata from Mathura shows the former is a continuation of the latter as far as the circular type is concerned.
Restricted representation of the human form is characteristic of Jainism. Though a tiny and trifling variation can be recognized in his sitting posture (pedmasana in the north, ardhapadmasana in the south), the Jina is always represented in meditative form(dhyana-mudra). It is interesting, or rather surprising, however, the Jina in meditation can also delive
r sermon at the same time. It actually occurs, for example, when a dharmacakra is appended to the image, and also when such rituals like the installation of the Jina image are performed. In the latter, panca mahakalyanaka-s with which the Jina's life is decorated (i.e.conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience and death) are traced in order and presented dramatically by using his small replica. Instead of their restricted bodily representation of the Jina, Jaina has in contrast depicted his life story fully and elaborately both in texts and in rituals. I can agree with M.J.Banks's opinion about Jaina iconography of the body who considers it as "a spectrum of forms, ranging from the absent or effaced body, to the all too fleshly present body. " The steady and unvaring image of the Jina denotes nothing but the ideal state to be finally attained by all Jiva-s, or the symbol of the religous goal or destination toward which all the Jainas should go.
It is noteworthy the concept of the ancient muni, being protected by invisible yaksa-s, has been well preserved even in the most developed form of samavasarana, where the ideal muni, i.e. the Jina, occupies the highest status in the, Jaina hierarchy, yet he clear]y refuses to be a savior and shows the devotee only a one way relation, by keeping the same and unvaring meditative posture as it was. Unless he is questioned(prstah) by someone he never speaks by himself. There has never been anything resembling a 'great vihicle(mahayana) tradition in Jainism. Less