Ambika (Jainism)

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An image of Ambika in Cave 34 of the Ellora Caves

In Jainism, Ambika (Sanskrit: अम्बिका, Odia: ଅମ୍ବିକା Ambikā "Mother") or Ambika Devi (अम्बिका देवी Ambikā Devī "the Goddess-Mother") is the Yakṣi "dedicated attendant deity" or Śāsana Devī "protector goddess" of the 22nd Tirthankara, Neminatha. She is also known as Ambai, Amba, Kushmandini and Amra Kushmandini. She is often shown with one or more children and often under a tree. She is frequently represented as a pair (Yaksha Sarvanubhuti on the right and Kushmandini on the left) with a small Tirthankar image on the top.[1]


A sculpture of Ambika was discovered at Karajagi village in Haveri taluk. The sculpture has a two-line Sanskrit inscription in Nagari script about the date of its installation - “Ambikadevi, Shaka 1173, Virodhikrit. Samvatsara, Vaishakha Shuddha 5, Guruvara.” This corresponds to Thursday, April 27, 1251 AD.[2]


Goddess Ambika - Medieval Period (Government Museum, Mathura)

According to the tradition, her colour is golden and her vehicle is lion. She has four arms. In her two right hands she carries a mango and in the other a branch of a mango tree. In one of her left hands, she carries a rein and in the other she has her two sons, Priyankara and Shubhankara.[citation needed]

Temples dedicated to Ambika

Ambika is the kula-devi of the Pragvat (Porvad) Jain community. While she is worshipped by all murtipujak Jains, she is specially revered by the Porvads.[3]

The major temples of Shri Ambika Devi include:

  • Temple of Amba Mata on Girnar Hill[4]
  • Shri Neminath Adhisthayaka Nagotra Solanki Gotria Kuladevi Shri Ambikadevi Jinalaya in Santhu near Bagra (Marwar)|Bagra, in Jalore district of Rajasthan state.
  • Shri Kuladevi Ambikadevi Jain Temple, Takhatgarh in Pali district of Rajasthan state.
  • Shri Kuladevi Ambikadevi Jain Temple, Padarli, Rajasthan.



  1. ^ Stele with 'yaksha-yakshini' couple and Jinas, Pratapaditya Pal, ‘Goddess: divine energy’, pg.30., Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006
  2. ^ Rare sculpture of Jain Yakshi found in Haveri Taluk, The New Indian Express, 18 October 2013
  3. ^ The Muslim Review - Volumes 1-2, p. 29
  4. ^ Temple of Amba Mata on Girnar Hill, near Junagadh, British Library


  • Tiwari, M.N.P. (1989). Ambika in Jaina arts and literature, New Delhi: Bharatiya Jnanpith.
  • Shah, Umakant P. (1987), Jaina-rūpa-maṇḍana: Jaina iconography, Abhinav Publications, ISBN 81-7017-208-X

External links

  • An image of Ambikā Devī in the British Museum, London
  • An Image of Yaksha & Yakshini of 22nd Trithankara Neminatha
  • Album of Photographs of Shri Ambika Devi
  • An Image of Shri Ambikadevi, Munigiri, Tamil Nadu
  • A Picture of Shri Ambikadevi, Jain Thirthankaras & Acharyas
  • An Image of Shri Ambikadevi in Chennai Museum
  • One of the images of Shri Ambikadevi carved in various forms at Jagat
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