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Flared Shift Dress

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Lokapurusa

DESCRIPTION

The cosmic man is a popular theme in late Jain painting although its origins are evident from the fourteenth century. This example is a striking and beautiful painting, characteristic of the north Rajasthan region centred around Bikaner state, and is possibly a late 19th century rendition.

The cosmological scheme of the Adhaidvipa - world of the mortals - is 'superimposed on the human body in an attempt to homologize the microcosm with the microcosm (Pal, 1994, pp 231). The human body symbolism is sub- divided into the adhaloka (lower world), madhyaloka (middle world), and, urdhvaloka (upper world) each of which is represented differently.

The depiction overall is thus acts as cosmic representation - both a picture for the worship of the mandala of the world of the mortals and the enormous body form of Lord Mahavira ? the twenty forth Jina, which also embodies the three worlds.

Reference: Nanda, Vivek, and Alexander Johnson. Cosmology to Cartography a Cultural Journey of Indian Maps from the Collections of Kalakriti Archives, Hyderabad and National Museum. New Delhi: National Museum, 2015.
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