Saturday, February 16, 2013

See My Friends -- Sravana Belagola

“Sravana Belagola has remained for more than a thousand years a great Jain pilgrimage place.   

Sravana Balagola is also known as Jain Badri. 

Jain Badri is a true representative of all that is designated by the phrase Jain Religious Culture and embodies the finest and most gracious Jain moral precepts.   

It is significant to Jains as Bodh Gaya to the Buddhists, Kashi to the Hindus, Mecca to the Muslims and Jerusalem to the Jews and Christians.   

The magnificent monolith of Lord Gommateshvara (ಗೊಮ್ಮಟೇಶ್ವರ) is representative of the finest elements of Indian iconography and is a world heritage.”

NOTE:  The above passage, taken from Bal Patil’s Jainism -- An Eternal Pilgrimage (Mumbai, Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2008) makes me think about my friend Elizabeth Jeffords, resident in Bangalore, India these Past few years.  Bangalore is quite close to Sravana Balagola in Karnataka state, and I’m fairly sure Elizabeth has visited this holy site and seen the statue of Lord Gommateshvara.  Elizabeth’s passage to India and her work among the HJIRA is extraordinary and loving and I’m full of admiration for her accomplishments.  So many of us just became lawyers, you know?  In full view of these ancients, I’d just like to say that I hope our friendship lasts as long as this monolith.  I’m into making long-term plans at the moment.  The photo immediately above shows Sravana Balagola as it was in the 1890s and is from the Curzon collection’s souvenir of mysore volume.  The below photo shows Sravana balagola today.

The Kinks: See My Friends (Link)


  1. "So many of us just become lawyers, you know?"

    Oh dear.

    Gomateshvara (Bahubali) is a very interesting figure.

    "Bahubali ... continued his practice unmindful of the vines, ants, and dust which enveloped his body. Concerned, his sisters Brhami and Sundari asked Tirthankar Adinath about their worldly brother Bahubali. Tirthankar Adinath said that, although just moments away from enlightenment, Bahubali could not achieve it because he didn't realise that he was standing on 'the elephant'. Now understanding his folly, the sisters approached him and said 'O more bhai, ave to gaj ti utro' (O my dear brother, at least now get down from the elephant). This saying from the sisters led Bahubali to question "Am I really standing on any kind of elephant?". From this question he soon realised that the elephant he was standing upon was his pride and ego. As Bahubali realised his mistake, shedding his pride and ego, truth and enlightenment dawned upon him. Blessed with the knowledge of Truth, Bahubali went to see his father who welcomed him. Bahubali began teaching and showing people the right path."

    Have to remember that elephant.

    1. Just lawyerly modesty, you know? I'm happy to have become a lawyer, although things have been trying lately. Wonderful story you've shared. In Tuxedo for various things. Cold. Dog recovery proceeding slowly but proceeding. Thank heaven. Curtis