In search of imprints of Buddhism: Jaipur

I get feedback from friends and well wishers about my research. Of them, the letters written by Prof. Mital of Jaipur (80) were touching. On seeing the quote about my research in "Bodhi's Tamil Afterglow" by S.Anand, Outlook, July 19, 2004,  he wrote his first letter on 31.7.2004 and subsequently he enquired much about Buddhism. In his first letter he said: "I had the privilege of living with the modern day Buddha - Mahatma Gandhi for four years 1944-48". In another letter he said: "...I am 80, if God gives me an opportunity to visit that side I shall make it a point to see you and that you in person....". I feel very happy to share with you the information contained in those letters. Now, over to Jaipur.    

Letter dated 31.7.2004
Hari Om
Dear Dr.Jambulingam, 
I have learnt that the subject of your doctoral thesis was 'Buddhism in the Chola country'. This has aroused my curiousity. I earnestly request you to kindly send me some of your observations, conclusions and facts and findings on the subject alongwith some colour (if possible) pictures of the Buddha idols and local beliefs and traditions associated with those.
I have read an article on the subject in Outlook, 19 July 2004 issue. I want something different and exclusive. I intend carry the material in some Hindi papers and journals of North India. I shall give you full credit for the matter, pictures and information used.
I also request you kindly to send me one of your photographs and your brief biodata which I may use.
This shall oblige me. I am an 80 year old freedom fighter and a spiritual seeker. I had the privilege of living with the modern day Buddha - Mahatma Gandhi for four years - 1944-48.
May it find you in best of health, cheer and peace.
With affectionate regards,
Yours truly,
Prof N.S.Mital, 4/190 SFS, Agrawal Farm,
Mansarovar, Jaipur 302 020,Tel.0141-2400233 
Dr. B. Jambulingam
C/o The Registrar
Tamil University
Thanjavur 613 001

I wrote him an interim reply on 6.8.2004 followed by a detailed one on 10.8.2004 for which he sent me a letter on 19.8.2004

Hari Om

My dear Jambulingamji, 
I am highly grateful to you for your p.c. dated 06.08. and detailed letter dt 10.08.2004. I am deeply impressed by your cooperative attitude, sincerity and humility.
I feel that you may send some material to me out of the English translation of your Ph.D. thesis throwing light upon the following, and out of your (Tamil) articles.
1. Evidence on Buddhism in Chola country including Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Kumbhakonam, banks of Cauveri etc.
2. Buddhist faith and worship and Buddha statues and Bronzes in the Chola country.
3. How the Buddha statues are treated by Non-Buddhists and their temples in that region?
4. Has Buddhism made an impact on particularly the Saiva people in that reason, and in what way?  
5. The material needs to be supported by illustrations, photographs and pictures of Buddha statues and Bronzes including those preserved in museums.
6. The extent of your contribution.
I want to present an illustrate picture of the saga. I am aware that this is a tall demand at your busy schedule, but I am encouraged by your kind letter. Kindly permit me to make a request: please mention the expenses you incur upon photographs, pictures and illustrations to enable me to reimburse the same to you.
I am thankful to you for your helpful attitude. I am 80, if God gives me an opportunity to visit that side I shall make it a point to see you and that you in person.
You will be glad to note a common interest between yourself and me - Maharishi Raman. Am I right? God bless you. You are a true scholar.
Please convey my best affection to your wife and kids.  
Hari Om,
Yours very sincerely,
Prof N.S.Mital, 4/190 SFS, Agrawal Farm,
Mansarovar, Jaipur 302 020, (Tel.R.0141-2400233)
Plot No.21, SNM Rahman Nagar Ext
Chinniah Pillai Street, East Gate
Thanjavur 613 001 (Tamil Nadu)

I sent to Prof.Mital the information required by him as per my letters dated 30.8.2004, 27.9.2004 and 30.10.2004 for which he responded as per his letter dated 5.11.2004 
Dt 05.xi.2004   

Dear Dr.Jambulingam,
I am grateful to you for your kind article Buddha statues in Non-Buddhist Temples. It gives me great pleasure to note that even in this age of Kali there are men like you who undertake labour of love for an old man like me who can only bless you. I shall prepare an Hindi adaptation of the article and send you a copy of the magazine bearing it. I am eagerly awaiting for attractive pictures which may be reproduced on art paper to add lusture and grace to the article. Ihope you will be able to procure pictures of the statues (about half a dozen atleast) and send the same to me. I shall be glad to reimburse the cost.
I hope this finds you and the family in cheer and best of health. My best wishes and blessings for all of you.
With best compliments,
Yours sincerely,
Prof N.S.Mital,Jaipur 302 020 
Deemed Superintendent
Tamil University
Thanjavur 613 005

As per his wish I sent him photographs of Buddha under the cover of my letter of 19.11.2004. I did not receive any reply and so I once again wrote to him on 16.12.2004 to confirm having received the photographs. Since there was  no reponse from I sent a reminder on 11.2.2005. I tried to contact him over phone but in vain. Whenever I used to go through the files, I read and re-read his letters. I will not forget the interest shown by him (he would have been 88 now) on my writings and research. With the blessings of such people my journey continues.    

The quote from the article in Outlook: "In 2000, B. Jambulingam, in his doctoral thesis Buddhism in the Chola Country, Tamil University, Thanjavur, listed 60 granite images of the Buddha in Perambalur, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur and Pudukkottai districts, adding at least 16 to the earlier recorded Buddhas. The survey covered only five of the state's 30 districts"                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


  1. Even though we are in Tamil Nadu. we have to hold our hands with English, in order to spread our esteemed Religious Heritage and culture. to non-Tamils around the world.

    By making your Blog, bilingual. I think, you have successfully placed your first step, for a long pilgrimage towards Globalization of your Blog and your Research.

    let the world be proud of you.


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