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Digambara Jain manuscript page: Jina venerated by a monk, layman, and cobras

Accession Number
1975/2.171

Title
Digambara Jain manuscript page: Jina venerated by a monk, layman, and cobras

Artist(s)
Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Sirohi School

Object Creation Date
18th century

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

Dimensions
11 3/8 in x 7 1/16 in (28.9 cm x 18 cm);11 3/8 in x 7 1/16 in (28.9 cm x 18 cm)

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

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Spring/Summer 2011
Jina venerated by a monk, layman, and
cobras from a Digambara Jain manuscript
India, Rajasthan, Sirohi School
18th century
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel, 1975/2.171
Jina venerated by a monk, men and women, a naga, and animals from a Digambara Jain manuscript
India, Rajasthan, Sirohi School
18th century
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel, 1975/2.170
In the Jain religion, book production reflects the integral relationship among the laity, monastic community, and the Jina, or enlightened Jain teacher. The dedication of sacred books for shrines is required of devotees, and while commissioning a book fulfills the lay obligation of charity, 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 temple library.
In these colorful pages, both the golden-hued Jina seated on a simple throne and the monk who venerates him are naked, identifying them as Digambara (sky-clad) Jina. On one page, the Jina is surrounded by Jain devotees: a naga (half human, half serpent), animals, royalty, and lay people. In the lower register the monk leads two men in prayer. On another page, another sky-clad (nude) monk prays to a Jina elevated slightly above him. Below them a lay person in a lotus pond holds prayer beads and looks toward the monk as if for guidance. Cobras often appear in Jain texts and imagery as an obstacle to overcome, and in this image two cobras rise ferociously before the devotee.

Subject matter
This is an illustration in a Digambara Jain manuscript of verse 40-41 of the hymn Bhaktamara Stotra.
This illustration seems to combine ideas in verses 40 and 41, which describe the miraculous benefits of the hymn, although it corresponds very closely to the illustration for verse 40 in the manuscript with text. Verse 40 tells us that a violently raging fire is turned into a cool lotus pond by the power of the hymn, while verse 41 says that the name of the Jina is like a magic herb that quiets the most violent cobra when it is poised to attack. The illustration shows the Jina and M?natu?ga in the upper register. Below we see the worshipper holding a rosary, engulfed in flames but seated calmly in a lotus pond. The snake is shown twice, first as it attacks and then as it is turning back.

Physical Description
A naked Jina sits on a throne with a naked monk to his left offering praise. A devotee sits in a lotus pond that is surrounded by flames, yet his face appears serene ans he holds his rosary. Two cobras appear next to the flames, with a three in the background.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Additional Object Classification(s)
Unbound Work

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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.

Keywords
cobras (serpents)
fires (events)
flames
folios (leaves)
manuscripts (document genre)
nudes (representations)
trees

2 Related Resources

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

& Author Notes

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