Oldest Bahubali Statue in USA
There are thousands of statues of Bhagavan Bahubali across the world.
However, an interesting fact is that the oldest Bahubali statue is in USA, informed littérateur Nadoja Dr. Hampa
Nagarajaiah. He was speaking at Bhavaikya Sammelana organised on account of Mahamasthkabhisheka in Venoor.
Revealing the fascinating fact, he said that 1600-year-old Bahubali's bronze statue which is 3.5 ft tall is at Metropolitan Museum in New York city.
"There is close relation between Bahubali and Karnataka. Karnataka is
just like maternal home to Bahubali. The oldest Bahubali statue of India is at Aihole which is eight ft tall. The Parshwanath statue which is
located in front of Bahubali's statue in Aihole belongs to 8th century," informed Hampa Nagarajaiah.
The oldest Jain image in the Metropolitan Museum's collection also happens to be the earliest known representation of the subject in Jain
art, that of Bahubali, a prince who attained the stature of a perfected being (siddha). Although never admitted to the pantheon of twenty-four
tirthankaras, he nonetheless attained jina-like status. The legend of Bahubali tells of a prince who renounces violence after coming close to
slaying his brother Bharata in a battle of succession and then renounces pride and its expression, violence to other living creatures. Embracing
ahimsa (nonviolence), he meditates in the "body-abandonment" posture in a forest, where he is entwined by vines and hosts birds that nest in his
hair until he attains moksha. This diminutive icon is part of a tradition that inspired the largest rock-cut icon in the Indian subcontinent, the Bahubali at Sravana
Belgola (Gomateswara) , in Karnataka, a sixty-foot-high image sculpted from living rock in the tenth century.
1600-year-old Bahubali's bronze statue
at Metropolitan Museum in New York city