Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide to the Understanding South Asian Art
Introductionpage 1page 2page 3page 4 page 5 page 6 Sculpturepage 1page 2Paintingpage 1page 2page 3page 4
Mahavira, the historical founder of Jainism, was an elder contemporary of the Buddha. He became known as Jina (literally, conquerer) after he overcame the wretched cycle of rebirth by achieving enlightenment. Jain devotees often commissioned manuscripts of sacred literature for temple libraries in order to gain spiritual merit. Many of these manuscripts contain vibrant illustrations that depict Mahavira meditating or teaching.
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The Jina, or Mahavira, as Guru
folio from a manuscript
India, Gujarat, ca. 1411
Opaque watercolor on paper
overall: 9.3 x 28.7 cm (3 5/8 x 11 5/16 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Page   S1985.2.2a

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