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Trishala’s Grief, from a Kalpa-sutra

Trishala’s Grief, from a Kalpa-sutra

c. 1475-1500

Part of a set. See all set records

Gum tempera and gold on paper

Overall: 12.5 x 25.7 cm (4 15/16 x 10 1/8 in.)

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1932.119.10

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Description

This page discusses the pregnancy of Queen Trishala when she was anxious about why she could not feel the baby move. In the painting she addresses her handmaids: “Has the child in my womb been destroyed? Has he been killed? Have I suffered a miscarriage? The child used to move, but now he does not move.” The baby is Mahavira, who will grow to be the historical founder of the Jain religion. According to the text, he remained motionless out of compassion for his mother, not wishing to disturb her. Once he realized how worried she was, he made a little movement, and this filled her with joy.

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