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Veneration of Human Spirit – Jain Painting

Heroic act spellbind us.

And spur us on to do more, to push ourselves a little bit more and to give life the very best of ourselves.

In Bombay, there are many many such examples – but one that comes to mind today is that of Jain monks.

Jain monks – are ordinary people who have lived normal ‘householder’ lives – engaged in family life, contributing to society like all other ordinary people – until the moment they decide to give up everything. THAT is the moment their life becomes extraordinary.

The lifestyle that they give up and the one that they embrace calls for nothing less than an extreme determination and a superhuman heroic effort – one that must fuel their spirit day after day after day forever.  FOREVER. Which is a very long time.

I might find it in me to give up this or that for a day or a month. But to do give up this AND THAT and everything else besides, forEVER is not something I can imagine for myself.

Yet every year many Jains turn to monkshood as a way to pass the rest of their lives.

Why? I do not know. Maybe there is a moment of reckoning that lights within them a fire. Maybe.

But as a result of this awe-inspiring switch, their stance is lauded and venerated by the rest of the community.

And to be in the service of a monk and receive his is coveted. Receiving a monk at home for a simple meal or housing one for a night is an honour that families vie for.

Here in this painting, we see the respects being paid to such a monk.

Antique Indian Miniature Painting Rare Digamber Jain Subject

Several people including ladies dressed in fine clothes have queued up to receive the blessings of  a Jain Monk of the Digamber sect.

More research is needed to understand the subject better – will post when I get more information.

See more details of this fantastic artwork containing an even more fabulous story within here.

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November 2018

jaina@wovensouls.com

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