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 OLDEST BAHUBALI STATUE IN USA
   1600-year-old Bahubali's bronze statue at Metropolitan Museum  in New York

 There are thousands of statues of Bhagavan Bahubali across the world. However, an interesting fact is that the oldest Bahubali statue is in USA, informed littérateur Nadoja Dr. Hampa Nagarajaiah. He was speaking at Bhavaikya Sammelana organised on account of Mahamasthkabhisheka in Venoor. Revealing the fascinating fact, he said that 1600-year-old Bahubali's bronze statue which is 3.5 ft tall is at Metropolitan Museum in New York city.
  "There is close relation between Bahubali and Karnataka. Karnataka is just like maternal home to Bahubali. The oldest Bahubali statue of India is at Aihole which is eight ft tall. The Parshwanath statue which is located in front of Bahubali's statue in Aihole belongs to 8th century," informed Hampa Nagarajaiah.
  The oldest Jain image in the Metropolitan Museum's collection also happens to be the earliest known representation of the subject in Jain art, that of Bahubali, a prince who attained the stature of a perfected being (siddha). Although never admitted to the pantheon of twenty-four tirthankaras, he nonetheless attained jina-like status. The legend of Bahubali tells of a prince who renounces violence after coming close to slaying his brother Bharata in a battle of succession and then renounces pride and its expression, violence to other living creatures. Embracing ahimsa (nonviolence), he meditates in the "body-abandonment" posture in a forest, where he is entwined by vines and hosts birds that nest in his hair until he attains moksha.
    This diminutive icon is part of a tradition that inspired the largest rock-cut icon in the Indian subcontinent, the Bahubali at Shravana Belgola (Gomateswara), in Karnataka, a sixty-foot-high image sculpted from living rock in the tenth century. This icon has been ritually lustrated in the Mahamastakabisheka of Bhagwan Bahubali  festival since that date on a twelve-year cycle, most recently celebrated in 2006.
  Source: Mr. Yashwant Malaiya, E-Mail :
ymalaiya@yahoo.com <mailto:ymalaiya@yahoo.com>

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