Article: Bhaktāmara-stotra

Contributed by Nalini Balbir

Temples

This detail from a manuscript depicts the auspicious symbol of the full jar – mangala-kalaśa – which means prosperity. This vignette from a manuscript of the Bhaktāmara-stotra underlines the magical powers of the hymn.

Symbol of the full jar
Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

Given the value attached to this hymn, its popularity and pre-eminence in ritual and worship, it is not surprising that there are a few temples where the Bhaktāmara-stotra is given prominence. The text is usually inscribed either in full or in part on temple walls.

These are relatively modern developments, parallel to the ever-increasing devotion to this hymn. The hymn has become the centre of religious culture because of the way it describes the Jina and the power ascribed to its verses.

Although he does not go into detail, Kapashi (2007: 76) states that:

there are at least three beautiful temples in India totally devoted to this stotra. In each temple all the verses of this stotra with their yantras have been carved in marble, and the statues of the first Tīrthaṅkara R̥ṣabhadeva, as well as the poet of this stotra have been erected in these temples[.]

Instances of temples that feature the Bhaktāmara-stotra are given in the table.

Indian temples that present the Bhaktāmara-stotra

Name

Location

Information

Shri Bhaktamar Bhavya Mandir

Bharuch in Gujarat

A Śvetāmbara temple dedicated to the hymn and the first Jina. It features:

  • an image of Mānatuṅga-sūri held in chains
  • a 51-feet-high (15.5 metres) image of Ādinātha
  • 22 images of the first Jina in individual shrines
  • depiction of the 44 stanzas of the hymn, with yantras and paintings.

 

Santhu, Jalore district of Marwar, in Rajasthan

The Bhaktāmara-stotra is inscribed in golden letters on the walls of the temple

Naya Mandir

Dharampura area of Delhi

A Digambara temple housing an image of the first Jina with nine stanzas inscribed above.

Sanghiji temple

Sanganer, near Jaipur in Rajasthan

An elaborately carved Digambara temple dedicated to the first Jina, which has a panel illustrating each verse of the Bhaktāmara-stotra.

Other such temples are in:

See page 110 of Cort 2006 for more information.

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