Parasvanath, from 'Tales of the Parrot', 18th century
Medium: Ink and colours on paper
This image comes from a hymn to the Jinas bound together in an 18th-century manuscript, in old Gujarati, of the 'Sukasattari', in Sanskrit, the 'Suka-saptati', meaning the 'Seventy Tales of the Parrot'. Parrots have a special place in the folklore of India. From early times, the parrot symbolised the son of the sage, Vyasa, whence the name 'Suka'. Parrots were believed to have knowledge of the Four Vedas and were regarded as love messengers, guardians of chastity, and teachers of dancing and archery.
Find out more about this manuscript and other sacred texts in Expressions of Faith.