Cosmic Man

Posted: 18.04.2013


Cosmic Being
The Cosmic Man
Gouache on paper. 16th century. Gujarat.

The Cosmic Man (lokapurusha) represents the three worlds and is the most common type of diagram of the Jain universe. The lower pyramid of the Cosmic Man shows the lower world (adho-loka), which has seven levels of hell. The narrow waist of the Cosmic Man represents the middle world (madhya-loka), which is where human beings live. The torso of the Cosmic Man is the upper world (urdhva-loka), which is where the heavens are. The crescent moon that is depicted on the Cosmic Man's forehead is the top of all the worlds (siddha-sila) and is where the perfected, liberated souls (siddhas) are.

This particular depiction of the Cosmic Man only has six levels of hell instead of the usual seven. These levels, from bottom to top, are: 'Thick Darkness', 'Smoke', 'Mud', 'Gravel', and 'Jewels'.


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