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Gum tempera and ink on palm leaf
Overall: 6.7 x 32.4 cm (2 5/8 x 12 3/4 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1971.125.a
Text and Image in Southern Asia (Indian Painting and Himalayan rotation)
This page is from a story about conversion to monkhood and the virtues of giving alms, or pious offerings, written in verse in a regional vernacular. The painting, however, shows a senior monk teaching his disciple, emphasizing the importance of oral transmission of stories and knowledge. Both hold a shield in front of their mouths to prevent harm to insects that might fly in while they speak; nonviolence is a fundamental tenet of Jainism. A sacred manuscript stands on a tripod between them.
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