Ambika (Jain)


This is Ambika,  Yakshi of the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Neminath.

The four-armed Ambika is identified by the child on her left lap, her sitting under a tree (mango tree), her holding a bunch of mangoes or a branch of a mango tree and her vahana lion. This figure is worn and clear identification of some of the attributes can only be done by context. Her rear hands appear to be holding a lotus.Ambika (Back)

Her second son is on her right and there is an attendant figure on her left.

As per the Jain iconography, there should be an image of Neminath at the top of the Prabhavali. If there was one, it has worn out beyond clear recognition.

Ambika is revered by both the sects of Jainism, Digambara and Svetambara. Different legendary accounts by the sect are associated with Ambika. Going by the book Jaina – Rupa-Mandana by Umakant Shah, this bronze may be associated with the Svetembara sect.

The crude attempt to recut the figure is evident. There are some inscriptions on the back and it is badly worn.

This bronze is probably from Western India and more specifically from Gujarat, going by the studs that connect the deity to the Prabhavali. It is about 13 cm in height.  I do not have any estimate of the age, but this is probably old enough (as in older than 150 years)  for it to be considered an antique.


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