Oct 18, 2021

Text, Folio 57 (recto), from a Kalpa-sutra

Text, Folio 57 (recto), from a Kalpa-sutra

c. 1475–1500

Part of a set. See all set records

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

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

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1932.119.57.a



The founder of Jainism, Mahavira, had 11 main disciples, all depicted as identical to one another. They all sit in a meditative posture, with the left hand in the lap, while the right hand is in the gesture of teaching. They each have shaven heads, elongated earlobes, and white robes, indicating that this manuscript was used by the Shvetambara (White Clad) sect.

In the upper central grid, decorated with flowers, is a stylized om-hrim, mystic syllables visually combined to invoke the essence of all Jain teaching.

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