Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yaksha Matanga, Ellora Caves, Aurangabad

In Jainism, yakshas (male) and yakshinis (female) are guardian deities to protect the well-being of the tirthankaras, and to be their devotee. Usually, they are found in a pair around the idols of Jinas.
Yaksha Matanga, Jain Caves, Ellora
The Yaksha Matanga (pictured here) is associated with the Jina Parshvanatha. Matanga represents prosperity. Matanga is characterised by the following:
- His colour is blue
- He is seated on an elephant
- He is sometimes represented with 4 hands
- He holds the nakula (a stringed instrument, a simple zither)
- He holds an ankush (elephant goad) and pasha (noose)

While yakshas are mainly guardians and devotees of the Jina, people worshipped them because they were credited with supernatural powers and the ability to fulfil wishes. 

This cave at Ellora is called the Indra Sabha, because early visitors assumed this was Indra from the Brahmanical pantheon of gods.

No comments:

Post a Comment