Jain Mandala


A mandala is a sacred religious image, usually in the form of complex concentric circles.

This mandala is from the Jain faith. Jains believe that every soul is potentially divine and refer to beings that have achieved this, and who founded the Jain faith, as jinas.

The first Jina was called Adinath. He was followed by a further 23 Jinas, the most recent of which was Madavira. Madavira is thought to have lived in the sixth century. Like the other Jinas he was an advocate of non-violence and vegetarianism - two precepts of the faith.

All 24 Jinas are depicted on this mandala. The mandala is drawn onto paper and is protected by glass and mounted in a circular metal box with lid. The image is divided into three concentric circles, with Mahāvīra in the centre, seated in meditation. Jinas number 13 to 23 are in the next circle and numbers one to 12, including Adinath, in the outer circle.

Full title:
Jain Mandala
perhaps 19th century
© British Library
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British Library
1194 Or. 13472

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