Jajpur, October 23 (odisha.in) Two ancient Buddhist stone images of Bodhisattva figures were discovered in Uttarpratap village under Dharmasala police station limits in Jajpur district, about 45 km from here, the researcher who discovered it said Tuesday.
Earlier, one such stone image of elephant was discovered in Gugala hillock near Kaima village in the Jajpur district.
Renowned Buddhist researcher Nrusingha Charan Sahoo who discovered the duo archaeological treasures says, “The rare stone images which are discovered on Sunday in Uttarpratap village have similarity with the image of Gajaraj incarnation, discovered by me about 28 years back in the hillocks at Gugala”.
According to Sahoo, prior to attainment of Enlightment, Gautama Budhha, the only man in the history regarded as God by a larger part of mankind had 550 avatars.
Out of the avataras, Gajaraj and Mrugaraj were the first and second avataras respectively. Those avataras were regarded as Bodhisatwa in Budhism.
All the avataras and its related happening were written in the ‘Budhajatak’ and the Mrugaraj avatar was described in the Nyagrodhajatak. The noted writer Manoj Das also reflected the Mrugaraj story in his popular book of ‘Antaranga Bharat’, Mr. Sahoo claimed.
The Uttarpratap villagers were worshipping the stone image of Mrugaraja, the second avatara of Budhha, as their village presiding deity, named by ‘Khetrapal Gramadevati’ prior to discovery. The three-foot-long stone image of Mrugaraja is also a rare discovery in the State.
This Mrugaraja image has similarity with the postal stamp of Gajaraj images released by the Indian Postal Department in 1949. The image of the Mrugaraj to Murya Sunga era about 1,400 years back, Sahoo adds.
This apart, Sahoo also discovered another stone idol of Goutam Budha from the same village.
The gigantic sculpture of Buddha on mediating posture and he described the posture as ‘Bajrasana’. Budhha generally used the Bajrasana posture after taking the launch. He used to take Bajrasana mudra to digest the foods, Mr. Sahoo added.
Sahoo further states that Uttarpratap villagers had recovered the Bajrasana posture Buddha idol during renovation of the village pond in 1983. Since then they have been worshipping the idol as Budhadev at their village. Many Buddha images of Bodhisotya, Tara, Abolakar are being worshipped in many village temples in the Dharmasala areas, he further added.
Buddhism had flourished under the erstwhile Bhaumakara dynasty after decline of Brahmanical cult. A number of excavations have been carried out at Udaygiri, Kaima, Deuli, Nangudi, Bajragiri and Neulpur hills leading to unearthing of several archeological findings.
These hills were found to contain some of the most antique and architecturally significant Buddhist sculptures. Ancient Buddhist monasteries, stupas, idol of Budhha in different mudras and other items found here symbolise the rich history of the place. Even the hills forming the backdrop of the excavations are adorned with in scri ptions and rock cut sculptures.