Sep 7, 2021

Text, Folio 31 (verso), from a Kalpa-sutra

Text, Folio 31 (verso), from a Kalpa-sutra

c. 1475–1500

Part of a set. See all set records

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Overall: 12.5 x 25.7 cm (4 15/16 x 10 1/8 in.)

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1932.119.31.b



The large, seated figure in the center of the composition is Indra, king of the gods, who holds in his lap the infant Mahavira, founder of the Jain religion. Indra had taken him to Mount Meru, indicated by the jagged peaks at the bottom of the painting, for his first bath. Two priests flanking them hold vessels for the bath, and the two cows above indicate that the vessels are full of milk. The milk bath washed away all the impurities of the birth.

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