Introduction

Posted: 10.06.2010
Updated on: 23.06.2010

Exhibition of Jain Miniature Paintings

Art Of Enlightenment

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5th
Parliament Of The World's Religions
Melbourne
Australia
2009

 

The exhibition was presented by numbered tables (##)

 

01

 

Replicas from the original miniature paintings in museums and other collections and specially commissioned to tradition of miniature paintings

Organized by:

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Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust
Mumbai
India

 

  

02

 

Art Of Enlightenment

Jainism has a legacy of 24 Tirthankaras. At present day Jainism owes much to the preachings of the 24th Tirthankara Mahavira, which were compiled by his ganadharas (chief disciples).

Jainism mainly helps human beings to purify their souls and make it free from the defects of karma. That helps open up pure soul, which is an embodiment of knowledge, bliss, pure love and energy. Only human beings can attain this stage. It is called emancipation, a state of eternal bliss and limitless knowledge.

Jainism is a way towards this attainment of liberation. Two important features of Jainism are: first, non-violence in day-to-day life of every human being and second, acceptance that every viewpoint has some truth in it.

Artistic imagery and religious inspiration: Like other religions, Jainism has used art to help devotees to understand its teachings and to provide them with the objects for worshiping to discipline their minds. Jain art, with its intricately carved sculptures in marble temples and varied types of paintings, occupies a special place in the history of Indian art. The antiquity of Jain images is traced back to the 2nd B.C. whereas miniature paintings are from the 12th century A.D.

These paintings are replicas of the original miniatures as well as manuscript illustrations and large paintings preserved in the collection of museums and temples.

We hope this exhibition will be an aesthetic and intellectual delight for you.

 

  

03

 

Founders Of Jainism

Jainism owes its existence to 24 Tirthankaras whose preachings form the basis of this religion. They have re-established religion and presented it in the contemporary context for the benefit of devotees and people. Literal meaning of Tirthankara is one who makes a passage through the ocean of life and death and helps people to swim across it. Tirthankaras are also known as Jinas - those, who have conquered their passions.

Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara of the present era, introduced civilisation in the society. Vardhamana Mahavira, (599-527 B.C.) the 24th Tirthankara was a contemporary of the Buddha. The preachings of Mahavira are compiled in the Acharanga Sutra, Uttaradhyayana Sutra and other texts.

Idols or images of the Tirthankaras are not worshipped as Gods but as great liberated souls who lead on the path to liberation and whose qualities emulate.

Innumerable sculptures and paintings of 24 Tirthankaras have survived from the 2nd century B.C. to the modern times. The Tirthankaras are generally represented either standing or sitting in meditative position.

  

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