Updated on: 04.09.2010


Harinaigameshin, Hariṇaigameṣin, Hariṇegamesī


   ► Individuals ► < BCE


Divine commander of the infantry





When god Śakra was aware of Mahāvīra's descent from heaven and to be born to the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā, he instructed Hariṇaigameṣin, the divine commander of the infantry, to remove the embryo from Devānandā's womb and transfer to queen Triśalā, since a future Jina has to be descended from a Kṣatriya family.

The legend of the transfer of Mahāvīra's foetus is found in the Kalpasūtra and in the second skandha of the Ācārāṅgasūtra. This motif is a common subject of miniature paintings.

The mythological derivation of Hariṇaigameṣin is remained still unanswered. He is usually depicted with a goat's or a horses face, wears a crown, a necklace, earrings and a scarf. In painting he is golden in complexion and has a peacock as his vimāna.


At the left is Śakra, enthroned under an adorned canopy and instructing Hariṇaigameṣin to remove Mahāvīra's embryo. Above Hariṇaigameṣin is carrying the foetus from the home of Devānandā to the palace of queen Triśalā. He is depicted with the head of a horse and horns of an antelope.

Miniature painting from a Kalpasūtra manuscript (paper, c. 1425-1450 CE, Western Indian Style, Gujarat or Rajasthan).

Reference: Umakant P. Shah: Harinegameṣin. Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art. Vol. XIX (1952-53).



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