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The Jain teacher Parshvanatha
Place of Origin: Bangladesh, perhaps Dhaka District
Date: 1000-1100
Materials: Stone
Dimensions: H. 24 in x W. 11 in x D. 3 in, H. 61.0 cm x W. 27.9 cm x D. 7.6 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: B63S21+
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 3
Culture: Jain

Description

Label:

Parshvanatha is the twenty-third of Jainism's revered teachers, and is depicted here standing in meditation. His "body-abandonment posture" is associated only with Jain images and recalls the ascetic goals of the faith. Parshvanatha may have lived some time in the eighth century bce and is credited with founding the Jain monastic community. His image appears in almost all Jain temples and can be identified by the snake hoods above his head. Several Jain texts relate the circumstances under which he found himself protected by a serpent king. While meditating beneath a tree, Parshavanatha was attacked by a demon who, nonetheless, failed to disturb him.

"Then exceedingly angered, the demon himself created clouds in the sky like the night at the end of the world. Lightning flashed in the sky, terrifying as a tongue of death. . . . He beat the earth with streams of water. . . . When the water reached the tip of Parshvanatha's nose, the throne of Dharana, the king of serpents, shook. . . . Then the serpent king went with his wives to this teacher of the world. . . . Dharana bowed to him and placed beneath his feet a tall lotus. . . . The serpent king then covered Parshvanatha's back, sides, and breast with his own coils and made an umbrella with seven hoods over his head." (Adapted from H. Johnson's 1931-1964 translation of a twelfth-century Jain text by Hemachandra)


More Information

Inscriptions: "Let Upatala speak in heaven"
Exhibition History: "Indian and South-East Asian Stone Sculptures from the Avery Brundage Collection", Pasadena Art Museum 11/22/1969-2/1/1970, The Miami Art Center 2/26/1970-4/15/1970, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts 5/6/1970-6/21/1970, Joslyn Art Museum 7/7/1970-10/15/1970, Lakeview Center for the Arts and Sciences 11/1/1970-12/31/1970.

"The Indian Pantheon: Sculpture of India and Southeast Asia", University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1/27/1979 - 4/1/1979

"Indian Stone Sculpture ", SFO Airport, 11/15/1985 - 3/1986

"The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India", LACMA (11/3/1994-1/22/1995), Kimbell Art Museum (3/4/1995-5/28/1995), New Orleans Museum of Art (7/15/1995-9/17/1995), Victoria and Albert Museum (11/22/1995-2/18/1996)
Label:

Parshvanatha is the twenty-third of Jainism's revered teachers, and is depicted here standing in meditation. His "body-abandonment posture" is associated only with Jain images and recalls the ascetic goals of the faith. Parshvanatha may have lived some time in the eighth century bce and is credited with founding the Jain monastic community. His image appears in almost all Jain temples and can be identified by the snake hoods above his head. Several Jain texts relate the circumstances under which he found himself protected by a serpent king. While meditating beneath a tree, Parshavanatha was attacked by a demon who, nonetheless, failed to disturb him.

"Then exceedingly angered, the demon himself created clouds in the sky like the night at the end of the world. Lightning flashed in the sky, terrifying as a tongue of death. . . . He beat the earth with streams of water. . . . When the water reached the tip of Parshvanatha's nose, the throne of Dharana, the king of serpents, shook. . . . Then the serpent king went with his wives to this teacher of the world. . . . Dharana bowed to him and placed beneath his feet a tall lotus. . . . The serpent king then covered Parshvanatha's back, sides, and breast with his own coils and made an umbrella with seven hoods over his head." (Adapted from H. Johnson's 1931-1964 translation of a twelfth-century Jain text by Hemachandra)


Inscriptions: "Let Upatala speak in heaven"
Exhibition History: "Indian and South-East Asian Stone Sculptures from the Avery Brundage Collection", Pasadena Art Museum 11/22/1969-2/1/1970, The Miami Art Center 2/26/1970-4/15/1970, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts 5/6/1970-6/21/1970, Joslyn Art Museum 7/7/1970-10/15/1970, Lakeview Center for the Arts and Sciences 11/1/1970-12/31/1970.

"The Indian Pantheon: Sculpture of India and Southeast Asia", University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1/27/1979 - 4/1/1979

"Indian Stone Sculpture ", SFO Airport, 11/15/1985 - 3/1986

"The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India", LACMA (11/3/1994-1/22/1995), Kimbell Art Museum (3/4/1995-5/28/1995), New Orleans Museum of Art (7/15/1995-9/17/1995), Victoria and Albert Museum (11/22/1995-2/18/1996)