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Victorious Ones: Jain Images of Perfection

Rubin Museum of Art

Jainism is one of India's three classical religions, along with Buddhism and Hinduism. Though older than Buddhism by a generation, the two religions arose and first spread in northeastern India and have much in common. Both Buddhism and Jainism aim to offer practitioners a path to follow that leads from the painful cycle of endless rebirths to liberation from all suffering. Both religions also rejected many of the practices and ideas of early Hinduism, particularly its core ritual of a sacrifice that involved the killing of animals, preaching instead a doctrine of nonviolence. Today, nonviolence, the commitment to an ethic that regards all life, animal and human, as inviolate, continues to be the heart of Jain practice and belief.

With essays by leading scholars of Asian religions and art, this catalog illuminates the core ideas of Jainism and the founding figures of Jainism, the Jinas, "Conquerors" or Tirthankaras, and the various spaces they sanctify.  The Jinas, having achieved liberation and escaped from the world in which we live, are nonetheless considered to remain accessible to us as objects of our devotion.  For the majority of Jains, the Jinas are present to us in many different kinds of sacred spaces across the universe.  Their images and temples exist throughout the vast reaches of the cosmos. We see them carefully depicted on painted maps of the Jain universe. Closer to home some Jains worship them at famous pilgrimage sites and in private domestic shrines. This publication brings together sculptures and paintings of the Jinas, depictions of many kinds of Jain sacred spaces, as well as illustrated manuscripts of Jain sacred texts. Many of the objects discussed and illustrated here have never before been published.

Edited by Phyllis Granoff 

Authors: John E. Cort, Robert J. Del Bontà, Paul Dundas, Phyllis Granoff, Julia A. B. Hegewald, Padmanabh S. Jaini, Kim Plofker, and Sonya Rhie Quintanilla

Published: Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd, Ahmedabad, India, and Rubin Museum of Art, New York (September 2009)

Format: SC (Soft Cover), 308 pages

Product Dimensions: 9.75 x 11.75 x 1 inches

ISBN:  978-0-944142-83-7 



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