Bhaktamara Stotra

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Bhaktamara Stotra is one of the famous Jain sanskrit prayers. It is said to be composed by Manatunga. The name Bhaktamara comes from a combination of two sanskrit names, "Bhakta" (Devotee) and "Amar" (Immortal).

The prayer praises Rishabha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism. There is some variation in the number of verses of the available manuscripts; some have 48 verses, while others have 44 verses. A few have 52 verses. The last verse gives the name of the author Manatunga.

The Bhaktamar Legend[edit]

According to legends, the Jain monk Manatunga was chained and imprisoned by the local King Bhoja. Manatunga composed his stotra (hymn) in the prison. With the completion of each verse, a chain broke, or a door opened. Manatunga was free when all the verses were finished.

History[edit]

Mantunga Acharya Shrine, at Bhojpur, Madhya Pradesh

Legends associate Manatunga with a ruler named Bhoja. However Manatunga probably lived a few centuries before Raja Bhoja of Dhara (Dhar, MP). He is identified by some scholars as Kshapanaka, one of the Navaratnas in the court of legendary Vikramaditya. An unidentified Sanskrit poet Matanga, composer of "Brahaddeshi" on music theory, may also have been the same person. Bhaktamara stotra was composed sometime in the Gupta or the post-Gupta period, making Manatunga approximately contemporary with other navaratnas like Kalidasa and Varahamihira. Several spots near Bhopal and Dhar are traditionally associated with Manatunga.[1]

Art[edit]

Bhaktamara stotra is widely illustrated in paintings.[2][3] At the Sanghiji temple at Sanganer, there is a panel illustrating each verse.

The verses of Bhaktamar are thought to possess magical properties. A mystical diagram, yantra, is associated with each verse. "Sadhak Shivaanand Saraswati" (Udayraj Gadnis) has painted a number of yantras associated with Bhaktamar stotra.

There is a temple at Bharuch with a section dedicated to the Bhatamar and its author Manatunga.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Team, jainasoft.com: hostmaster@jainasoft.com. "Shri Shantinath Atishaya Kshetra Bhojpur". Jainteerth.com. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  2. ^ Bhaktamar Mantras
  3. ^ "Sumant Shah series of paintings". Greatindianarts.com. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  4. ^ Shri Bharuch Teerth[dead link]