Compare And Contrast Buddhism And Jainism

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Buddhism and Jainism stem from the shramana movement and share philosophies such as karma, reincarnation, nonviolence, meditation, and that humans can achieve the highest spiritual state. One of their greater differences is their views on karma; where Buddhists believe they can break free from karma to enter Nirvana through practices of asceticism and meditation, and Jains believe that karma adheres to the soul and must be purified while leading an ascetic non-violent life in order to achieve a perfect soul free from all attachments. On display at The Norton Simon Museum were Eight Miraculous Events of the Buddha’s Life dated to the 13th century from Burma, and neighboring this wall-hung sculpture was Altarpiece with Multiple Jinas dated to…show more content…
This artwork features an abundant background wall of jinas, or victors, with Parsvanatha Jina (the twenty-third great jina of the Jain faith) highlighted in a greater hierarchical scale—including his known attributes of the seven-hooded cobra canopy that shelters him and, like Siddhartha Gautama, elongated earlobes that denote his previous wealthy life that he renounced in order to seek enlightenment through austerity. Parsvanatha, and the majority of the other jinas, sit in the dhyana posture of meditation where they are seated with crossed legs and their hands are resting in their lap, with the tight hand over the left; while the two jinas that flank Parsvanatha stand in the kayotsarga posture, also known as the “body abandonment posture,” which is a meditation pose that emphasizes the Jain doctrine of renunciation of the material world. The portrayal of jinas are commonly depicted with broad shoulders, oversized hands and feet, short hair, lengthy arms and legs, and possess and exhibit the srivatsa—which is the diamond symbol on their chests that signify their enlightenment and the purity of their souls. The jinas featured in this specific sculpture are also portrayed without clothes (due to the emphasis on austerity) and signify that it is specific to the Digambara sect of Jainism. Altarpiece with Multiple Jinas was probably made using the…show more content…
Jains affirm that an immortal and indestructible soul resides within each living being and the ultimate goal is to get rid of one’s karma in order to be released from the cycle of rebirth and death. So in practice, Jainism advocates nonviolence, respect for all living creatures, and vegetarianism; however, there is also a great focus on self-discipline and asceticism. Especially in the Digambara sect of Jainism, the practice of asceticism includes the rejection of clothes—which could ultimately lead to attachment. Unlike Buddhism, Jainism did not expand outside of India; so the depiction of jinas are commonly depicted with broad shoulders, oversized hands and feet, short hair, and lengthy arms and legs. Like that of the Altarpiece with Multiple Jinas which emphasizes Parsvanatha Jina, the most prominent jina and predecessor of Mahavira, who renounced his material life in order to be liberated from the cycle of rebirth—he is featured with the . As in Jain culture, sculptures were not created to be worshipped or idolized, but rather to motivate its followers to achieve spiritual liberation/enlightenment just as their twenty-four great liberated teachers. The overall size of this sculpture suggests

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