A Broken Padmasana: The Fissured Buddha of Pattanam

// November 2nd, 2012 // Cultural Politics

Whatever is the essence of the Tathagata,
That is the essence of the world.

The Tathagata has no essence.

The world is without essence.

                        Nagarjuna, Mulamadhyamakakarika, XXII:16

Crossed legs and part of the left hand completing a solemn Padmasana. Demolished above the waist in the violent conquest in the middle ages. Now worshiped as Yakshi at Nileeswaram Siva temple, Pattanam. Ernakulam dist, Kerala.

It was Prof P J Cherian the director of KCHR and the Pattanam/Muziris  excavation project who drew my attention to certain broken granite sculptures kept in Pattanam Nileeswaram Siva temple a couple of months ago.  A retired school master told him about the fragments, says Prof Cherian.  These fragments were recovered some 70 to 80 years ago from the temple pond and placed on the raised platform of the Yakshi outside the Nalambalam structure beneath a Pipal by the pond.

The pedestal and half-undone Padmasana idol from the back. It was recovered from the temple pond almost a century ago and placed on the Yakshi platform by the pond under a Pipal tree. Mavelikara, Kayamkulam and Kattanam Buddhas were also recovered by the people from current Savarna temples at the same time.

People still worship these broken idols as Naga Yakshi and Naga Raja.  But in close examination they were found to be of different statues.  A seated figure in Padmasana is the vital fragment.  Yesterday, 26 Oct 2012 I got time to visit Pattanam and had a close and enlightening view of the fragments.  It is placed on a pedestal with a water chute.  The iconographic style, color of the stone, chiseling style and texture of the stone closely resemble the Buddha idols recovered from Mavelikara, Karumady, Bharanikavu and Kayamkulam in the south.

Four fragments are placed together and that is why it was difficult for the people to decipher the mystery of Pattanam Buddha. It again is a hegemonic act of obscurantism and erasure of vital past by the obliterating Savarna Brahmanical forces who still specialize in burying their own past in a repressive and fascist way.

This idol in Padmasana seems to be demolished above the waist and is the only one resembling a Buddha idol reported to be recovered so far from Ernakulam district.  The regions between Edapally and Vadanapally thrive in place names with the common affix Pally, a Pali word signifying a Chamana sacred place.  All other Buddha idols recovered so far are from Alapuzha and Kollam districts.  Plenty of similar Buddha sculptures are also reported from Tyaganur, Ariyalur, Nagapatinam and other parts of Tamil Nadu, especially in Madurai and Tirunelveli districts.

Tyaganur Buddha in the open field for the last one thousand years or more, from Tamil Nadu.
Photo: The Hindu

Any way it is very important to note that the idol fragments were recovered from the temple pond.  It was the same in Mavelikara, Kayamkulam, Pallykal and Karumady.  All the Buddha idols in Kerala were recovered from current Savarna temple ponds or paddy fields in their vicinity.  They were violently attacked uprooted and thrown or buried in ponds and marshes.  The Buddha at Tyaganur is still sitting pretty in the open field exposed to the elements almost a millennium after its creation by skilled sculptors or Chamana sages themselves.

Perfect disguise of the past:  the fragmets placed together in an ambiguous way.  Nileeswaram temple at Pattanam is so close to Cherai the birth place of Sahodaran Ayyappan who initiated the neo buddhist movement in Kerala during the renaissance cultural revolutions in early 20th century. Sahodaran has written extensively on the destruction of buddhist shrines in Kerala by Brahmanic Hindutva forces like Kodungallur and Srimulavasam in particular. Remember his song “O don’t go to the Bharani O brothers…”  Because of his scathing critique of Brahmanism and Savarna elitism,  Sahodaran the greatest organic intellectual that Kerala has ever produced was systematically excluded from the high canon and  textbooks by the Savarna literati, who instead celebrated Asan for his mild Hinduized worldview.

It is not likely to be a Jain Thirthankara image because there is no Mudra or symbols of animals or Chaitya trees associated with each Thirthankara on the base or pedestal.  Moreover the stylization of the figure and its seated posture and orientation of the limbs closely echo the Buddhas at Mavelikara, Karumady and Bharanikavu.  P C Alexander and S N Sadasivan who wrote the history of Buddhism in Kerala  have argued that these south Kerala Buddhas resonate the Anuradhapura style of stone sculpting and chiseling.  The blackness and density of the granite and the exquisite oily suppleness of appearance closely link the Pattanam fragment to its counter parts in Alapuzha and Kollam and in the far south in Srilanka.

Mavelikara Buddha, recovered from the paddy field adjacent to Kandiyur temple and placed at the Buddha Junction, Mavelikara. Note the lotus posture/Padmasana with crossed legs and connected hands. See the tone and texture of the stone and its colour that is recurring in all the Buddha idols including the Pattanam Buddha recovered from Kerala.

It is a mockery of history that these invaluable  fragments of Pattanam went unnoticed and unidentified for the last one century.  It shows the repressive power of the mainstream Savarna Hindu ideology and common sense that becomes hegemonic and annihilating.  Crucial suppression and erasure of collective consciousness, memory, past and integrity under cultural hegemony is a key aspect of Kerala’s elite culture called Savarna supremacism.  Genocidal and symbolic violence and perpetual erasures and mutilations are its chief tenets.  These historic and epistemic violences are legitimized in the name of an omnipotent god and timeless religion.  The pivotal significance of the archetypal phallus or the Linga in the Saivite Hindutva appraisal gains meaning in these contexts.

Pattanam Buddha idol (half demolished, above waist): An early photo by KCHR photographer. Iconography, Chiseling style, Stone type, texture and color closely resembling Buddha idols recovered at Mavelikara, Karumady, Kattanam and Kayamkulam. By courtesy of Prof P J Cherian and KCHR

The broken figure in Padmasana at Pattanam is yet another key-marker of the cultural reality and history of Kerala.  It proves once again that grave and material violence was used to convert and modify the ethical and egalitarian spiritual practices and instructive places in Kerala during the early middle ages by Brahmanic Hinduism and its strategic appropriating tropes like Saivism and Vaishnavism.  The Brahmanic henchmen belonging mostly to the Maravar and Kallar clans, literally demolished and buried all the traces of Buddhism and its non violent culture in Kerala with true Sudra allegiance and slave like fidelity to their caste- sovereigns, the earthly gods or Bhudeva.

Buddha at Bharanikavu Pallykal, Katanam near Kayamkulam. It was also recovered from a pond behind the current Hindu temple in early 20th century. Till then it was used as a washing stone and foot cleaning stone in the temple pond. See the close similarity in chiseling style and lotus posture; with Mavelikara, Karumady and Pattanam idols. Pallykal Buddha is dated to 7th century by experts.  Now protected by Archeological department of Kerala.

Suppression of reality, resistance and speech are still widely practiced by the Savarna power elites who monopolize every public institutions in the country, especially the higher academia and media.  The ideology and praxis of erasure and sanctioned ignorance or silence on the key aspects of collective past are still dominant practices in higher academia and media in Kerala and India at large.  Even the victims conform to this dominant practice out of compulsion from conventions and supervision from the orthodoxy.  Through such hegemonic measures of suppression and silencing the ethical and democratic Chamana culture of Kerala is pushed under the carpet even today in mainstream academic and media discourses.  Mainstream academic historians from the former Savarna social background argue that the idols are some exceptions brought here by some merchants and traders and not part of a people’s culture and tradition!  They are still keeping mum over the extensive presence of Pali words in Malayalam and the cultural symbols and images in the daily life practices of people related to Jain and Buddhist traditions.  Archaeological, cultural and linguistic evidences explode the silence of the self-fashioned academic scholars who make a monopoly of the “academic methodology and practice.”

The pedestal with lying human figures piled on one another on which the Padmasana figure is placed at Pattanam Nileeswaram Siva temple. Ernakulam dist of Kerala.  Note the easy chiseling possibility of modifying such  idols and seats into a Siva Linga.  It was practiced through out south India by Brahmanism and its assimilatory tropes like Saivism and Vaishnavism to convert Chamana Pallys.

The broken granite Buddha sculpture at Pattanam testifies this fascist violence that is still brewing in the present against minor sects, others and out castes in India by the Hindutva and Savarna henchmen.  Pattanam Buddha is a vital fragment of history that teaches us to be vigilant against cultural,  iconographic, architectural and epistemic violence and alterations by the power elite done with coercion and appropriating strategies.  It is striking that Pattanam is so close to Cherai where Sahodaran Ayyappan initiated the most dynamic neo buddhist discourse in Kerala along with C V Kunhiraman and Mitavadi C Krishnan in the early 20th century as part of the  cultural struggles now termed as Kerala renaissance under the visionary leadership of Narayana Guru who symbolically and radically subverted the Brahmanical hegemony through his Aruvipuram installation in 1888.

Sahodaran Ayyappan (1889-1968) wrote extensively on Buddhism in Kerala at the wake of the 20th century. His verses contain a special section “Baudha Kandam.” Instrumental in initiating neo buddhism in Kerala. Also initiated live dialogues with Ambedkarism and Periyor movement in early 20th century Kerala.

In his verse and prose he reintroduced the ethical message of the enlightened one to the people in their mother tongue Malayalam as against the Pali of the Amana monks.  Sahodaran  journal was dedicated to the teaching of ethics to the dalitbahujan people in Kerala.  He used the Pipal leaf as its logo and compared the modern boddhisatva of Kerala, Narayana Guru to the Buddha himself.  The coinage “Sri Narayana-buddha”  is an insightful and futuristic semantic construction by Sahodaran.  He also inaugurated the rationalist and civil/human rights movement in Kerala in early 20th century that culminated in the Kerala model and modernity in a few decades.

Nileeswaram Siva temple at Pattanam. Towards the right background the big Pipal stands and beneath it the Buddha fragment is placed now and worshiped as Yakshi.  Pattanam excavation site is to the left background of this temple.

The shattered buddha of Pattanam is an immortal piece of art as well.  It tells us a lot about South Indian cultural history, iconography,  society and polity during the last few thousand years.  It is an icon of survival, resistance and articulation against invasions and imperialisms, both internal and external.  It is an ethical and spiritual work of art that is political and social as well, with its polyphonic significations and liberating visual cultural possibilities.  This invaluable treasure and heritage of the whole humanity and Kerala in particular must be preserved and protected by the people and their elected governments for future.  As the neo buddha of India has reminded us the people who do not know history, can not make history.

neo buddha of India: Ambedkar merged into the Buddha in the imagination of a dalit artist. Image from the internet.

It is vital to remember that the Padmasana a basic posture  in Indian Yoga traditions has its origin in the Indus valley Dravidian civilization that dates back to BC 3000.  The meditating Yogi in Padmasana amidst wild animals including the tiger and the elephant, recovered from terracotta seals in the Harrappan sites  is identified as one of the earliest artistic expressions of this unique nonviolent culture, ethical aesthetics and cosmological vision.

Indus valley seal of a Yogi in Padmasana: An earliest artistic expression of ascetic and ethical practice in India. Orientalists termed it as Siva as Pasupati. Now linked to the Sramana Yogic tradition of early Dravidian and pre-Jain/buddhist traditions. Image from internet

The orientalist scholars and early Hindutva ideologues instantly  declared it Siva as Pasupati or lord of the beasts.  But radical organic intellectuals from the people recovered this iconic image as the early manifestation of Indus valley Dravidian culture and ethics.  The rudimentary forms of Sramana/Amana/Chamana ascetic-ethical  tradition could be aptly traced back to this Yogi in Padmasana.  The Jain and Buddhist wisdom and philosophy of nonviolence, renunciation and being one with nature could be appropriately  identified with the spiritual tranquility and ethical stability of this human figure amidst animals and the wild forces of nature.

A Boddhisatva from contemporary Kerala who wanted to write on the Padmasana in Indian cultures from the Indus onwards, but could not : O V Vijayan with his life-partner Dr Theresa. Padmasanam was his last projected novel. Photo: thehindu.com

It is again vitally important to remember that O V Vijayan the legend of Malayalam letters was struggling to write his last novel titled Padmasanam as death separated him from us.  He was trying to connect the Indus valley Yogi in Padmasana with the numerous Sramana idols in south India in the same lotus posture, while negotiating with the Parkinson’s disease.  The Pattanam Buddha fragment is there fore the latest addition to this ethical and egalitarian cultural legacy of India that is ever growing and being rediscovered everyday by the people in their various walks of life, struggle and survival.  Preserving it for the world and for the posterity with correct details is going to be a task ahead for the people.

ajay sekher  2 Nov 2012

18 Responses to “A Broken Padmasana: The Fissured Buddha of Pattanam”

  1. Rahul says:

    Nice article…..

  2. Karuna tachapully says:

    Very interesting articles about Sree Buddha.wish to visit the places and statues of Lord Buddha on my next visit to kerala .Thanks Ajay for the initiative you are taking for , and for the illustrations. Great job.

  3. nanda says:

    opening of a new world of BUDDHISM IN KERALA……hats off to all those who laid their sincere efforts to explore & to have planted new light to revive the spectrum of Buddhism ..

  4. Nice article; this aptly focuses on one of the chronic illnesses of Brahmanic Hinduism , which thrives on brazenly distortions, manipulations ( even selective appropriation by mutilation )of original ideas,icons or whatever it perceives as hostile.to itself.

  5. Namo Buddhay!

    Great insightful information about Buddhism in Kerala ………….. Brother we wish to join you……. Saving ancient Buddhist sites is our motto ………… Please call me 8805460999

  6. K M Sherrif says:

    നന്നായി. ഇത് പോലെ ബുദ്ധമതത്തിന്റെ ശേഷിപ്പുകള്‍ ഇനിയും എത്രയോ ഉണ്ടാകും കേരളത്തില്‍

  7. Sujit says:

    This statement above is incorrect —– “Mavelikara Buddha, recovered from the present Krishna temple pond and placed at the Buddha Junction, Mavelikara”. —- True the statue is now placed at the Buddha Junction in Mavelikara, which is east entrance of the Krishna temple. The statue however was not recovered from the pond of the Krishna temple. The statue was recovered from the a paddy field near the much larger Kandiyoor temple (now a Siva temple) and near the travellers bungalow. The statue was evidently the presiding deity at the Kandiyoor temple, which was most likely a Buddhist Vihara about 450 years ago. The architecture of the Kandiyoor temple also conforms to Buddhist building styles.

  8. dasan says:

    despite repeated requetSs form the Buddhist friends form KERALA THE ARCHEOLOGY DEPT REFUSED TO CONDUCT UNDERWATER EXPLORATIONS IN SOUTH INDIA FOR THE REMNANTS OF BUDDHIST STATUES AND TEMPLES.
    ANY AVERAGE READER OF KERALA AND SOUTH INDIAN HISTORY WOULD UNDERSTAND THE VIOLENT DESTRUCTIONS OF NON HINDU/BRAHMINIC PLACE OF WORSHIP.
    WE CAN WAKE UP THOSE WHO ARE SLEEPING BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO PRETEND TO SLEEP.

    I WISH OUR HISTORY PANDITS AND DOMINANT CULTURAL HISTORIANS WOULD READ THIS.

    • Meena says:

      Religion, more than anything else, is a powerful tool in the hands of rulers, which will help them to rule their country, more easily. Religion influences individuals. So an intelligent ruler must use this capability of religion in administration. The Government & religion are the two sides of the same coin, known as “bharanam”!

  9. Aju K.Narayanan says:

    ബുദ്ധമതത്തോടുള്ള സാംസ്കാരികമായ എതിര്‍പ്പുകള്‍ വര്‍ത്ത‍മാനകാലത്തും തുടരുന്നു എന്നതിന്റെ സൂചനയാണ് പട്ടണം ബുദ്ധന്റെ അപ്രശസ്തിയും പ്രച്ഛന്നതയും. പട്ടണം ഖനനത്തിന്റെയും പട്ടണം പ്രദേശനിരീക്ഷണത്തിന്റെയും ഭാഗമായി ഇങ്ങനെയൊരു ബുദ്ധപ്രതിമയുടെ അവശിഷ്ടം പണ്ഡിതരുടെ ശ്രദ്ധയില്പ്പെട്ടിട്ടും അതിനെ ഒരു അക്കാദമിക് ചര്‍ച്ചയിലേക്കോ പൊതുമണ്ഡല ചര്‍ച്ചയിലേക്കോ നയിക്കാതിരുന്നത് വളരെ കൌതുകകരമായി തോന്നുന്നു.
    കേരളത്തിലെ മറ്റിടങ്ങളില് എന്ന പോലെ ഇവിടെയും ബുദ്ധനെ ഹൈന്ദവീകരിച്ച് ആരാധിക്കുകയാണ്. പള്ളിക്കല് പുത്രച്ചനും കരുമാടിക്കുട്ടനും മറ്റും നാട്ടുകാര് പുതിയ പൊരുളുകള്‍ സമ്മാനിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ടെന്നത് ഇവിടെ ഓര്മ്മിക്കാം. ഇതിനു സമാനമായ ചില വിവരങ്ങളുമായി മൂന്നു മാസങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് മുന്‍പ് ഹിന്ദു പത്രത്തില്‍ ഒരു ഫീച്ചര്‍ വന്നിരുന്നു. തമിഴ് നാട്ടിലെ തിയഗനൂര്‍ ഗ്രാമത്തിലെ അനവധിയായ ബുദ്ധ പ്രതിമകളെ നാട്ടുകാര്‍ അവരുടെതായ ഭാഷ്യം നല്‍കി പൂജിച്ചു വരുന്നത്രേ. എന്നാല് ഈ പ്രതിമകളെല്ലാം ബുദ്ധ പ്രതിമകള്‍ ആണെന്ന് സ്ഥിരീകരിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. പത്മാസനം, ധ്യാനഭാവം, ഉഷ്ണീഷം, ഉത്തരീയം, മടിയില് ഒന്നിന്മേല് ഒന്നായി നിവര്ത്തിവെച്ച ഹസ്തതലം, ജ്ഞാനമുദ്ര എന്നീ ലക്ഷണങ്ങള് കാണുന്ന വിഗ്രഹങ്ങള് ബൌദ്ധവിഗ്രഹങ്ങളാണെന്ന് പ്രതിമാപഠനങ്ങള് സാക്ഷ്യപ്പെടുത്തുന്നു.
    ഇവിടെ അജയ് ശേഖറും കെ.സി.എച്ച്.ആര്. ഫോട്ടോഗ്രാഫറും പകര്ത്തിയ പട്ടണം നീലിശ്വരം ക്ഷേത്രത്തില്‍ നിലകൊള്ളുന്ന വിഗ്രഹാവശിഷ്ടം ബൌദ്ധവിഗ്രഹമാണെന്നതില് തര്ക്കമില്ല. കരുമാടി, മാവേലിക്കര,പള്ളിക്കല്‍, കൃഷ്ണപുരം (മരുതൂര്‍ കുളങ്ങരയില്‍ നിന്നും കണ്ടു കിട്ടിയത്) എന്നിവിടങ്ങളിലുള്ള ബുദ്ധ പ്രതിമകളുടെ പാദഭാഗത്തിന്റെ അതേ രൂപാകാരങ്ങളാണ് ഇതിനുമുള്ളത്. ഏ.ഡി. ഏഴാം നൂറ്റാണ്ടിലെയോ എട്ടാം നൂറ്റാണ്ടിലെയോ പ്രതിമകള് ആണവ. ഒരു പക്ഷേ പട്ടണം ബുദ്ധനും ഇക്കാലത്തേതാവാം. കൂടുതല് നിരീക്ഷണങ്ങളും പഠനങ്ങളും വേണ്ടിയിരിക്കുന്നു.

  10. sudhakaran says:

    Black September

    Recent incidents in Bangladesh, which targeted the minorities and their religious sites, have dented its tradition of communal harmony

    Though Bangladesh has a reputation of being a country of harmony, it witnessed a bout of communal violence recently, in which the minority Buddhist community was the worst affected. The incidents, in which fanatics launched a premeditated attack in Ramu, Ukhia, Teknaf and Patiya on September 29 and 30, have no parallel in the country’s history.

    Ramu, a Buddhist dominant area was the worst affected, with the attack being well-orchestrated. Seven Buddhist monasteries, some of them over a century old, and three Sima Biharas were burnt and around 200 houses belonging to the minority community, ransacked and looted. A Buddhist temple and two Hindu temples were vandalised in Patiya.

    Not only had the attackers mobilised support holding rallies and processions, but also used gunpowder and petrol in the attack, which has displaced hundreds of people.

    The Buddhist religious sites, some of them over a hundred years old, are repositories of an invaluable cultural heritage. As news spread, condemnation, poured in from across the country, with government officials and media personnel rushing to the spots.

    Independent reports have suggested unprecedented acts of subversion in minority populated villages, revealing an unprovoked, premeditated and well-orchestrated operation.

    What is however left to be unravelled is the identity of those who masterminded the unprecedented acts of desecration since Bangladesh’s independence.

    The attack was reportedly sparked off by an offensive Facebook post, allegedly by a young Buddhist man of the locality, although nothing concrete was known about the origin and authorship of the post. Locals have said that the followers of a fundamentalist party, led by several leaders, took out a procession alleging that a photo was uploaded on Facebook to defame the Quran. However, many Facebook users said the man did not post the photo but had linked it from another Facebook ID, and was in no way responsible. There is a strong feeling that the agent provocateurs may have then jumped in to exploit unfolding events.

    Bangladesh’s long tradition of harmonious coexistence between people of various creeds, especially in the Cox’s Bazar area has been dented by this. Questions are being asked about the failure of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to protect places of worship for minorities and their property despite advance intelligence. Perhaps the unfolding disaster could have been averted had pre-emptive measures been taken.

    A couple of days before the incidents, it was reported that a militant Bangladesh outfit was trying to establish its base in the inaccessible hilly area of the Chittagong Hill tracts. Locals say that a section of the Rohingya refugees, who were persecuted in Myanmar, had played a crucial role. Many are also of the opinion that the motive was to foil the ongoing trial of war criminals of the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

    There is growing demand for an impartial enquiry, identifying the instigators and awarding exemplary punishment.

    After visiting the affected areas, Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir said the government would take action through the Speedy Trial Tribunal (STT). A few hundred suspects are in custody.

    For the Hasina government, the incidents in Ramu, Ukhia, Teknaf and Patiya are a wake-up call.

    The mood in the country is clear: the perpetrators must be punished, victims amply compensated and the monasteries and temples rebuilt. The government has promised to rebuild the structures and ensure the security and rehabilitation of the victims.

    (The writer is a Bangladesh journalist and writer. Email: hh1971@gmail.com)

  11. ആദര്‍ശ് says:

    കൊടുങ്ങല്ലൂരിലെ കോട്ടപ്പുറത്തുനിന്നും ഒരു തല പോയ ബുദ്ധ പ്രതിമ കിട്ടിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. കേരളത്തില്‍ നിന്ന് ആകെ 8 – 9 ബുദ്ധ പ്രതിമകളെ കിട്ടിയിട്ടുള്ളു. കൊടുങ്ങല്ലൂരിലെ ബുദ്ധ പ്രതിമ 2008 -ലാണ് കണ്ടെത്തിയത്. അത് തിരുവനന്തപുരം പുരാവസ്തു ഡയറക്ടറുടെ കാര്യാലയത്തില്‍ ഉണ്ട്.
    സഹോദരനയ്യപ്പന്‍ ഭരണിക്കു പോണ്ട എന്നു പറയുന്നത് തെറിപ്പാട്ടിന് ആധുനികയുക്തിയാല്‍ അശ്ലീലം എന്നര്‍ത്ഥം വന്നു ചേരുന്നതുകൊണ്ടാണ്. രതിയുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെടുന്ന പാട്ടുകളും മറ്റും എത്രയോ സംസ്കാരത്തില്‍ ഉണ്ടായിട്ടുള്ളതായി തെളിവുകളുണ്ട്. ഇനിയും അതിനെ ബ്രാഹ്മണിക് വിദ്യ എന്നൊക്കെ പറയാതെ…

  12. bhimadasan chovan says:

    Dear comrade,, nice to see your patanam Buddha,,, also please look into the shastha idols…they vary from place to place in shape and size,,bus some i found resembles Buddha,,,the one which is kept in Gurukulam Chempazhanthy and another one near Vithura in Nedumangadu Taluk ….. It is there in my profile albums

  13. DR K C MURALEEDHARAN says:

    Who is afraid of (Papilio) Buddha?
    Indeed a political gesture towards inventing the alternative traditions of Kerala and Indian mainlands, Mr Ajay Sekhar. North Malabar, especially Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad and parts of Kozhikode included, has such sites of Buddhist persuasion hitherto neglected or sometimes intentionally bypassed, let alone exploring it.

  14. mahesh says:

    Dear Ajay,

    thank you for this really interersting post. Just one doubt – your asserssion regarding the connection between the indus valey seal and sramana yogic tradition – is it based on some published works?

    • Ajay says:

      Jains believe that the Indus yogi is Adinatha or Rishabha. Dalitbahujan scholars and subaltern writers are also claiming with the buddhists that it is a Purva Buddha. One thing is certain that it is not a violent cult like Pasupati Siva. Such a reading is only a later Hindu Brahmanical hermeneutics that was established in the middle ages after the erasure of Buddhism.

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