The valley between the two hills around the pond was named Shravanabelgola (‘Shravana’ meaning saint; ‘Bel Gola’ meaning white pond).
Image Credit: The Monolithic Statue The north facing stone sculpture of Lord Gommateshwara is depicted in the upright posture of meditation known as Kayotsarga that is practiced to attain salvation by practicing renunciation, self-restraint and complete dominance of ego.
The statue stands on a carved lotus flower, a symbol of his sainthood and divinity and is devoid of support from the waist up.
The statue has linguistic significance with carved inscriptions in Kannada and Tamil, as well as the oldest evidence of written Marathi, dating back to 981 AD.
He challenged the ‘chakravartin’ supremacy of his elder brother Bharat who had won over submission of rulers from the six divisions of the earth as well as 98 of his brothers.He meditated for one year in the kayotsarga posture to attain omniscience or ‘Gyana’ and became the first human of this kalpa (world age) to gain liberation (siddha).