Vajratara idol from Bihar

Sheikhpura district of Bihar
Identified as Buddhist deity Vajratara

The statue of a Buddhist Goddess Vajratara was found in order to do the cleaning on the hill in Pachana village located in Sheikhpura district of Bihar. This statue was identified by Dr. Anantashutosh Dwivedi, the Archaeological Investigator and Director of Excavation Department of Heritage Society. He told that this statue is of Goddess Tara of Buddhism and he said that its chronology is the twelfth century and it needs further investigations.

This black stone statue has an inscription on the pedestal. Pandit Bhavnath Jha, the editor of the magazine “Dharmayan” published by Mahavir Mandir, Patna and decipherment expert of script and manuscript, read this inscription. According to him, it is written as:

The inscription on pedestal of the idol

 Dēvadharm’mōyaṁ dānaya(pa)ti kāyasthinī jalapākāyāḥ.

It means that it is offered to Goddess and it is given by a woman of the Kayastha caste named Jalapaka. Thus the name of the woman who installed this idol is Jalapaka, the wife of an account officer or document officer.

The script of this inscription has the characteristic that the symbol used for ekara, ta, sa letters are similar to that of Bengali and Maithili script. But according to Pt. Jha, since this script is circular in shape, it does not have any acute angular shape anywhere, so it would not be appropriate to consider it a Bengali or a Maithili family. We find this tendency in the inscriptions of the Gahadawal kings in 12th century. Hence, it would be more appropriate to consider the Nagari script of 12th century.

The language of the inscription is Sanskrit. In this, the name of Yajaman is Jalpaka, and the word  Jalpakayah is the possessive form. She is a Kayasthini, i.e. the wife of a officer in account section or document section.

Again, the word Danayati has also been treated, which is important from the point of view of deliberation. Here the word Danayati would have been attained in the usage of Sannanta in the sense of liquefaction from Dan Dhatu. It means the liquidation of her solemn vow. Thus, the word means that Kayasthaini Jalapaka is breaking her earlier solemn vow that she took. The term “breaking the solemn vow” is very prevalent, for which the word “Danayati” has been used here. The sense of the line is to offer to the deity in the form of inconsumable property. In this inscription the letter Pa is different in the word Jalapakayah, so I have preferably read the word Danayati.

But If we go through another pedestal inscriptions this word may be read as “Danapati” means the “great donor”. In Giriyak inscription and Parvati idol inscription preserve at Patna Museum we find this word “Danapati.”

The above mentioned inscription reads as follows:

  1. om deva(ya)-dha[r]moyam(m) / Danapati-mathura (thura).
  2. Vanik sadhu(dhu) Srikara sadhu(dhu) Da-
  3. gonmatasya7 sam 42[//]

This inscripton reads as follows

  1.   … kta-di-=raja-mati8     purvvavat   srimato(n)-Madanapa [la-deva-pravardhamana-]
  2. … [vi]jaya-raj[y]e sam(m) [va]t 3 Vais(s)akha-dine 24.
  3. … datri (tta ?) // Deva(ya)-dharmoyam danapati-na(na)u-
  4. … sama-ratha-sa(sa)kti-Mamayikasyah // 1

In ancient times, when the vows of the people were fulfilled, they would make a stone idol and carved their name on it and worshiped it in the temple and kept it in that temple itself. At this time an inconsumable property had been donated in the form of gold or land

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