Ayodhya

Mardushri at Ajodhya — India

The image of Manjusri, which has been obtained from the ruins of the Marici temple, is remarkable both by its execution and artistic decoration. The worship of Manjusri and Maitreya Boddhistava like that of Avalokiteswara and Tara was prevalent among the Buddhists of Mahayana School. The image of Manjusri is 3'2" x 2'3". The figure is two armed and decked with princely ornaments and stands on lotus throne in graceful tree-bhanga pose. It carries in the left hand the stalk of a lotus, on which is found the image of Sadhana Kumar run across by a long lotus stalk rising up from the lotus throne in one side. Sadhana Kumara holds a book under his left arm, which is placed over his right thigh, while displaying the Vitraka with his right hand. On the left side of the main figure of Manjusri is found the image of two- armed Yamini standing on a Crouching buffalo. At the background of these images may be observed a beautiful "torana", the pillars of which are decorated with Gaja Sinha figure and on both ends are seen the figures of Vimmaris, Vidyadhara playing with the musical instruments hovering in the sky, while several devotees with folded hands watch them below the lotus throne of God.

Avaiokiteswar at Ayodhya India

The image of Lokesvara has been unearthed at Ayodhya and is brilliantly carved out. It stands on the lotus throne in tribhanga pose and is heavily decked with necklace and jewelry "tirna", on which a small figure of Amitava is inscribed (Three of its hands are unfortunately broken). The lower right hand, which is only intact, displays the varada attitude. On the right of the image, Tara is standing in a tribhanga style whereas the left side is occupied by goddess Ekajatara. A "torana" which looks like the representation of a wooden structure, forms the background, and two votive Chaityas are placed over it at both ends. Vidyadharis are floating on clouds, with wreath of flowers, while below the lotus throne female devotees are found worshipping the deity.

Other Deities

The four armed Varahamukhi, worshipped as Varahi, stands in pratyalidha on a visvapadma. Her principal right hand wields a vajra while her left hand is in tarjani-pasa. Her back hands hold arrows and a bow. Other images scattered throughout the village include a beautiful, seated Tara, the Prajna of Tathagata Ratnasambhava, several small Buddhas, and a four-armed Jata—mukuta Lokesvara / Mahakaruna. The larger image of Tara depicts her seated in lalitasana on a visvapadma. Her right hand is in varada while her left handholds the stalk of an utpala. She is richly adorned and a second utpala on her ,right supports a votive stupa. The Prajna of Ratnasambhava is seated in lalitasana with her right hand in varada while the left hand holds the stalk of a lotus supporting a jewel. In the first of the small Buddha images, now headless, Buddha is seated in vajraparyanka on a visvapadma with his right hand in abhaya.

Conclusion

In the conclusion it may be stated that the treasure we have in our possession has not been marketed properly The Buddhist shrines, the monastery and the temples buried underground by the people of that time for the Progeny remains in the dark even today. If and when these will be excavated and proper valuation of the then culture will be made, it may so happen that this place along with the other Buddhist site of Balasore district like Avana, Kasaba, Kaupur, Khadipada, Solampur and Jayrampur may become the centre of attraction for both international and domestic tourists. An attempt has been made in this presentation to highlight the importance and the international link of the Buddhist deities unearthed at village Ajodhya and worshipped in the modern Marici temple and elsewhere for furtherance of the mission "Buddhist Heritage of Balasore and to link it with the recent Buddhist circuit project of Government of India".