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Folio from a Jain manuscript: Nemi's renunciation. Mewar, circa 1780. Opaque watercolour on wasli. 11.1 x 25.4cm
Illustrating the moment of blue-skinned 23rd Jina Nemi's renunciation. This happened when Nemi was about to be married, being taken by carriage, here pulled by Indra on his vahana (vehicle) Airavata the seven-trunked white elephant, to his intended bride Rajmati's home. As they draw near Nemi is told of the wedding feast to come, with the cows we see penned in to be slaughtered for it. This prospect is such a violation of the Jain principal of ahimsa (non-violence towards all living things) that immediately Nemi renunciates not only his iminent marriage but also the material world. In a chamber, being left behind, Rajmati has collapsed in distress.
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Images and text © Peter Blohm