A family on the road to self discovery
 

Thousand Petaled Lotus in Ranakpur Temple

“Come said the muse,
sing me a song no poet has yet chanted,
Sing me the universal.

In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed of perfection.

By every life a share or more or less,
None born but it is born, conceal’d or unconcealed the seed is.”

Walt Whitman

Lotus – the principal seat of many Jain, Hindu and Buddhist deities.

Lotus in Varkala, Kerala

Lotus in Varkala, Kerala


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The story of Lord Parshvanatha

In the previous article, I have not talked about the fourth plaque in the temple of Ranakpur as I wanted to share the story of Lord Parshvanath with a discussion on the plaque. Among the twenty-four Jain Tirthankaras, the historians agree that the Lord Parshvanath and the Lord Mahaveer are the two with real historical evidences. Lord Parshvanath is believed to have preceded Mahaveer by about two-hundred and fifty years. At the time of Lord Mahaveer there was a line of Lord Parshvanth’s spiritual followers led by Muni Keshi Kumar. It is documented in Jain books that Muni Keshi Kumar met Gandhar Gautam, the chief disciple of Lord Mahaveer and they had discussions on the spiritual quest and differences between the two set of followers. The answers of Muni Gandhar Gautam convinced Muni Keshi Kumar and he accepted Lord Mahaveer as twenty-fourth Tirthankara and the two groups merged.

A window in Ranakpur Temple

A window in Ranakpur Temple


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Radiant Ranakpur

Pagliaji of Lord Adinath

Pagliaji of Lord Adinath

After entering inside the temple we start moving towards the north. There is a four hundred year old Rayan tree(Manilkara hexandra), under which are the pagalia(idol of Bhagwan’s footprint) of Lord Adinath. Rayan is an evergreen tree native to India, which is used for many medicinal purposes in Ayurveda. It is believed that Bhagwan Adinath gave his first sermon under a Rayan tree.
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Ranakpur Jain Temple – A Hidden Gem of Rajasthan

“I know of no other building in India, of the same class, that leaves so pleasing an impression or affords so many hints for the graceful arrangement of columns in an interior. The torans, ornate multi-foliated arches joining these pillars are carved with most exquisite details and have been indulgently chiseled in marvelous perfection.” – James Fergusson, a Sottish architectural historian famous for his interest in Indian historical architectures, wrote about Rankapur in his book “History of Indian art and Indian Architecture”.

Ranakpur Temple

Ranakpur Temple


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Ranakpur Jain Temple – The Dream Temple of Dharna Shah –

“भाई क़ुतुब मीनार खड़ी कर देते, बस इतने पर ही क्यों रुक गये|”
When the bumper of our car touched an irregular and unusually high, privately constructed speed-breaker, the driver starts venting his irritation on a person who is sitting in the verandah of his house holding his small daughter in his lap. The person gives no response. He is unconcern; However, we are smiling with admiration on the driver’s witty outburst.

As I wrote in the previous article, this is the beginning of September, a season of Jaatrus in Mewar and Marwar regions. We have hired a taxi and are driving towards Ranakpur. In and around Rajasamand we cross truck-loads of big marble stones. On roadside there are open showrooms/godowns of marble dealers, displaying varieties of marble. This is the most uninteresting part of the journey and soon we leave it behind. Our vehicle is now passing through scenic rural Rajasthan.

Marble slabs

Marble slabs


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The Burning Binsar

I first heard about Binsar, after my terrible grilling by Club Mahindra marketing team when I went to their sales office to collect a free voucher that seemingly I had won in a lottery. It required all my Taurean stubbornness to subvert their intentions of selling Club Mahindra membership to me. Even today, many years after the incident, it is hard to forget those resigned but annoyed faces who handed us the voucher. It made me resolute to use those vouchers that we had earned after spoiling the whole evening. We planned to use them for a trip to Binsar. But even, when I was hell-bent on using them, I could not and they lapsed.

The Jungle of Binsar

The Jungle of Binsar

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