Jain Digambara Tirthanhara Standing in Kayotsarga Meditation Posture

Period: Chalukyan period

Date: 9th century

Culture: India (Karnataka)

Medium: Copper alloy

Dimensions: H. 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm); W. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm); D. 2 in. (5.1 cm)

Classification: Metalwork

Credit Line: Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1995

Accession Number: 1995.423


The Deccan and Tamil Nadu were strongholds of the Digmabara sect—the "sky clad," or those who go naked. Jainism prospered in the south, attracting patronage from Pandyan and other rulers throughout the first millennium. Most images from that region depict jinas as committed renunciants, unencumbered by material possessions. Images of a tirthankara in the austerity meditation "body-abandonment" posture are among the most understated and beautiful of the period, and thus successfully embody the essence of the doctrine of renunciation of the material world.