Jain cosmological map of adhaidvipa


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Adhaidvipa is the cosmological map of the universe according to the Jain religion. At its center lies the continent of Jambudvipa, with Mount Meru at its axis. This is the middle world (madhyaloka), the only realm in the Jain cosmology where men can be born, and consequently where Jain devotees can attain enlightenment, following the path of the historical saviors, the jinas (awakened ones) or tirtankaras (ford crossers). Surrounding Jambudvipa is first the Salt Ocean (Lavanasamudra), followed by the ring-shaped continent Dhatakikhandadvipa. Surrounding this is a second water body, the Black Water Ocean (Kalodadhi), populated here with fish. Finally, there is the inner half of the third continent of Puskaradvipa, which is bordered on its outer edge with a serrated ring marking the mountain range beyond which men cannot go. Outside this middle world, in the four corners, are temples enshrining Jinas, flanked by celebrants holding flywhisks and celestial attendants offering garlands. According to Dr. Phyllis Granoff (Yale University), the upper cartouche simply identifies the subject as Adhaidvipa, and the numerous written passages serve to describe the various landmasses and mountain ranges. This printed depiction of Adhaidvipa is based on earlier cloth paintings (patas).

Jain cosmological map of adhaidvipa, Lithograph, India

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