In the Self
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“He who looks inwardly at the self revels in the self;
He who revels in the self looks inwardly at the self”
(Acaranga Sutra, Jainism – Prayer n° 4088 )
I took this picture of Jain thirthankaras (saints) rockcut statues a few hours ago, before sunset, as I was leaving Gwalior Fort from the Urwahi Gate.
This fort is in Gwalior, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and stands on an isolated rock, overlooking the city where 24 Jain sculptures can be traced back to the seventh centurya.d..
The tallest of the lot is nearly 20 metres, and is characterised by its rigid posture and rounded modelling.
In Jainism, a Tirthankar is a human being who achieves enlightenment (perfect knowledge) through asceticism and who then becomes a role-model teacher for those seeking spiritual guidance.
A Tirthankar is a special sort of arihant, who establishes the four fold religious order consisting of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen after achieving omniscience.
Every thirthankar revitalise the Jain order.
A Tirthankar is so called because he is the founder of a “Tirth” (literally, ‘ford’), a Jain community which acts as a “ford” across the “river of human misery”.