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Jain Shvetembara monk on a palace terrace, a manuscript in one hand, ogha beside him. Bikaner, early 19th century. Gouache and silver on wasli. 15.4cm x 11.9cm
Lying beside him is the ogha (broom) used by Jain monks to gently sweep away insects or other very small creatures which might otherwise be harmed when a monk moves about or lies down.
Shvetambara Jains are "white clad" as opposed to Digabaras who are "sky clad" i.e. naked. Their ogha is traditionally made of soft white strands of wool attached to a wooden handle
The inscription on the reverse includes:
Went on a search...
...'I am clueless!'...
Writhes like a fish out of water...
With thanks to the kindness of Tarun Pant for his translation of readable parts of the text
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All images and text © Peter Blohm