24 Jain Tirthankaras

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Size: 11 x 7.25 inches each
Medium: Vegetable Colours on Paper
Origin: Gujarat / Rajasthan


This is a stunning set of 24 miniature Jain Tirthankara pichwai style paintings from Gujarat or Rajasthan, that have been finely hand painted on paper with vegetable colours. Jainism has contributed significantly to Indian art and architecture. A Tirthankara is a saviour and spiritual teacher of the dharma (righteous path). Jain dharma traces its spiritual ideas and history through a succession of twenty-four leaders or Tirthankaras. The word tirthankara signifies the founder of a tirtha, which is a fordable passage across the sea of interminable births and deaths, the saṃsara. According to Jains, a Tirthankara is an individual who has conquered the saṃsara, the cycle of death and rebirth, on their own, and made a path for others to follow. After understanding the true nature of the self or soul, the Tirthankara attains Kevala Jnana (omniscience).
Yakshas and yakshinis, attendant spirits who guard the tirthankara, are usually shown with them and can be seen on either side in these beautiful paintings. Each Tirthankara has an emblem associated with them such as a horse, elephant, crocodile etc, which are also in these paintings. The names of the different Tirthankaras are written at the top of each painting, along with their number in the order of the 24 Tirthankaras. Jain monasticism can be divided into two major denominations: Digambara and Svetambara. These images are from the Svetambara sect.