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Gum tempera and ink on palm leaf
Overall: 7.5 x 31.1 cm (2 15/16 x 12 1/4 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1971.128.2.a
According to the Jains, a king named Rishabha was the first to reach liberation from the cycles of birth and death. When he renounced his royal life to seek the path to liberation, he gave himself the monastic tonsure by pulling out his hair in five fistfuls. Indra, king of the gods, pled with him to stop, so Rishabha is the only Jina (liberated being) shown with locks of long hair, here barely visible over his large earrings. Each Jina has an animal emblem; Rishabha’s is the bull, which is depicted on the front of his throne cushion.
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