Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper
Overall: 12.3 x 30.6 cm (4 13/16 x 12 1/16 in.)
On Loan from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 26.2014
Two paintings, one on the back side of the first folio, and one on the front side of the second, form a glorious opening to this text on the basic ethics of Jainism, beginning with nonviolence. The first image depicts the 24th Jina Mahavira giving his first teaching at the moment of his enlightenment when he miraculously appeared to the assembly of gods and animals in all four directions. The second painting features a white-clad monk, probably Mahavira’s head disciple, Indrabhuti Gautama, teaching, flanked by two monastic disciples, surrounded by auspicious imagery. There are no other paintings in the remainder of the manuscript.
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