The Grammar of Jina Iconography II [Part 14]

Published: 22.03.2012

The essay was published in Berliner Indologische Studien No. 13/14. 2000, pp. 273-337.


§ 11. Abbreviations and Terminology



The position of Ambikā follows from the context. Apart from “K-and-A“ we have not used special terms. Common denominator: mango bunch and child(ren). See §§ 3-6.


Identical with Cakreśvarī.

Attendant deity

Any deity, identified or not, in a yakṣa slot.

Basic variable

See § 6 (and 7).


The Jaina Vaiṣṇavī (Cakreśvarī or Apraticakrā): yakṣī of Jina no. 1 and mahāvidyā no. 5. See §§ 4-6.


Mostly the Jaina couple: See § 2.


See § 4.


Italics: reference to the illustrations in the present article.


Our designation for the “snake canopy“.

Jaina …

The parallelism of Jaina and Hindu concepts (e.g. in the case of Kubera) makes it sometimes necessary to add “Jaina“ or “Hindu“.

Jaina art

Refer for “Jaina art“, “Śvetāmbara art“, and “Digambara art“ to § 1.


Kubera and Ambikā. See § 3.


The Jaina Kubera is characterized by citron (fruit) and money-bag, see § 3.


Short form for Neminātha and Ariṣṭanemi (Jina no. 22).

Prakrit equivalents

In some cases, the Prakrit equivalents differ considerably from the Sanskrit terms as used by us. For example, compare: Cakreśvarī (Cakkesarī), Kūṇḍinī (Kumbhaṇḍī), Pārśvanātha (Pāsanāha), prātihārya (pāihera), Ṛṣabha (Usabha), samavasaraṇa (samosaraṇa), Śvetāmbara (Seyambara), Trilokaprajñapti (Tiloyapannattī), yakṣa/yakṣī (jakkha/jakkhī), Yativṛṣabha (Jadivasaha).


Gorgeous amphitheatre in which the Jina delivers his sermon. See Balbir Sa.


A collective name for the 24 yakṣas and the 24 yakṣīs. The word is not used by us.

Slot-filler analysis

Method of iconographic analysis based on the similar or identical slot pattern (“grid“) of different images (same type or different types). See especially Bruhn An: § 6 and Bruhn Gr I: 236-238. See also yakṣa slots.


If printed in italics, the system of the 24 yakṣas and 24 yakṣīs.

System A and System B

See Bruhn Gr I: §§ 8-9.


The term seems to be modem. In inscriptions we find jina-traya(Shah Ak: 57) and jinānā trayī (Mankodi Am: 100).


See § 7.


See Basic variable.


A collective name for the sixteen mahāvidyās. The word vidyādevī is not used by us.

Yakṣa slots

The places reserved for the two attendant deities of an image (mostly on Jina images). The slots appear in the lower part of the image (to the left and right, below the Jina or at a higher level and flanking the Jina). The slots are not defined by the occupants, but by the place in the composition. For example, compare JID: fig. 242. The slot need not, however, have the form of a panel (Shah Ak: fig. 7). Occasionally, yakṣa slots with attendant deities are found on Jaina images showing non-Jinas (JID: fig. 208; Shah Pa: fig. 13b).


The 24 yakṣas and 24 yakṣīs who form the system (the word yakiī is not used by us). Gomukha (no. 1), Cakreśvarī (no. 1), Ambikā (no. 22), less clear Padmāvatī (no. 23) are almost the only YY represented in art.



Berliner Indologische Studien

Compiled by PK


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