Religious Sites in Maharashtra


Religious Sites in Maharashtra


The Lake Forest College Collection “Religious Sites in Maharashtra” contains images of three sites in the west Indian state of Maharashtra: Ellora, Khuldabad, and Ajanta, pilgrimage sites for Hindus, Jains, Muslims, and Buddhists. The photos in this collection were taken in January 2003 by Cathy Benton and the audio files were recorded by Mark Nelson.

Items in the Religious Sites in Maharashtra Collection

Ellora, Jain Temple, guru poster photo
The guru of this temple, a digambara monk, is shown on this poster with the broom he uses to brush small animals and insects from his path in order not to harm any living being.

Ellora, Jain Temple, Parshvanatha detail, close-up
Underneath the tirthankara, Parshvanatha, is another image of himself over a chakra. At the foot of the image are lions, elephants, and his protective yaksha and yakshini, all positioned in perfect symmetry.

Ellora, Jain Temple, Parshvanatha tirthankara close-up
The serenity of this tirthankara, Parshvanatha, is depicted here in the symmetrical smooth lines of the image and in his absolute quiet in the protection of the deadly cobra. Parshvanatha exemplifies the Jain practice of non-violence as a digambara…

Ellora, Jain Temple, Parshvanatha tirthankara
Parshvanatha, a digambara monk, is always depicted resting against the coils of a snake and protected under the hoods of snakes. He is also shown over the wheel of a chariot, with elephants, lions, and devotees at his feet.

Ellora, Jain Temple, entrance sign
This sign says that this is a Shri Parshvanath Digambara Jain Temple. Digambara Jain monks take a solemn vow of non-violence. In order not to take any life, they wear no clothes but instead are sky-clad, or digambara. The sign also includes two…

Ellora, Jain Caves, Mahavira
Mahavira, the 24th Jain tirthankara, is depicted in a seated position with back straight and eyes lowered under a double canopy. Stylized lions are at his feet.

Ellora, Jain Caves, Mahavira shrine entrance
This shrine is dedicated to the 24th tirthankara, Mahavira, who is understood to have lived in the 6th or 5th century B.C.E. Mahavira is depicted seated in the lotus position having achieved a state of pure liberation. Other tirthankaras are…

Ellora, Jain Caves, tirthankara with animals
Demonstrating the Jain practice of non-violence, this tirthankara is depicted with animals and insects at his feet. Near his right leg is a scorpion. Refusing to take life, even in microscopic forms, to make cloth, he lives throughout the year as a…

Ellora, Jain Caves, yakshini guardian
Seated opposite her male counterpart, this protective yakshini, Siddhayika, acts as an entrance protector to the second floor shrine to Mahavira. She sits on a lion under the canopy of a mango tree heavy with fruit. Identified with the fertility of…

Ellora, Jain Caves, Yaksha Elephant detail
Held in the trunk of the elephant is a lotus symboliizing spiritual pursuits and a gentle nature. Placing this lotus in the trunk of this wild and powerful beast, the sculptor may be commenting on the greater power of the Jain practice of…