Jina venerated by a monk and a lay devotee from Digambara Jain Manuscript

Accession Number

Jina venerated by a monk and a lay devotee from Digambara Jain Manuscript

Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Sirohi School

Object Creation Date
18th century

Medium & Support
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

11 5/16 in x 6 15/16 in (28.7 cm x 17.6 cm);11 5/16 in x 6 15/16 in (28.7 cm x 17.6 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel.

Label copy
March 28, 2009
This folio’s upper register shows a naked monk (on the left) seated before the Jina (on the right), with a manuscript on a stand and an ewer placed below him. The stark picture reflects essential features of the Jain faith: the ideal of renunciation, meditation on the Jina, and reliance on canonical texts. Dedication to sacred books is required of Jain devotees, and book production reflects the integral relationship among the laity, monastic community, and the Jina.
Commissioning a book fulfills the lay obligation of charity, while beholding a book helps the individual achieve the proper mental state for spiritual guidance. It was customary for a lay donor to commission a copy of a text for presentation to his spiritual teacher and ultimately to the monk’s temple library. Over the centuries, libraries received great quantities of texts, which were employed in the instruction of monks and nuns. Monks and nuns were discouraged, however, from practicing the art of painting: one text expressly warns them of the power of painting to arouse sensual feelings.
(South and Southeast Asia Gallery Rotation, Spring 2009)

Subject matter
A lay devotee reclines on a carpet or cloth, and looks up at a Jina and a monk. They appear to be venerating the Jina.

Physical Description
A man reclines on a carpet or cloth, and looks up at two figures above him. On the right, a deity sits cross-legged on a pedestal with a canopy over its head. To the left, another figure faces the deity, also on a pedestal carpet. He appears to be naked, and raises his in gesture towards the deity. A metal lamp or ewer rests below him, on what appears to be an abstract mountain, on which the reclining man also lies. He holds what may be prayer beads, and wears robes with stripes and his covered head rests on a pillow.

Primary Object Classification
Unbound Work

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.


3 Related Resources

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Introduction to Manuscripts and Early Print
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted