Mahavira Rides in His Initiation Palanquin: Folio from a Kalpasutra Manuscript
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Overall: 4 3/8 x 10 5/8 in. (11.1 x 27 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955
Not on view
Mahavira rides through the streets in a palanquin resembling a portable celestial palace (vimana) prepared for him by Shakra and carried by four celebrants. Two female attendants cool him with fly-whisk fans (chauri), and poised on the pavilion roof are two celestial musicians (gandharvas) blowing conch-shell trumpets in celebration. The depiction fits well with descriptions of festival processions provided in the Kalpasutra. This event marks Mahavira's final journey to the neighboring forest, where he renounces all worldly attachments.
[The Kevorkian Foundation , New York, by 1955; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Peaceful Conquerors: Jain Manuscript Painting," September 10, 2009–March 28, 2010.