This entry was posted on 2/25/2008 2:30 AM and is filed under India.
And here are the Jain caves #30-34 at the northernmost end. Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world and is an offshoot of Buddhism. These caves reflect a strict sense of asceticism and were smaller than the two others.
The Jain community is the most literate religious community in India and is known for having the oldest libraries.
They also had larger than life elephants in the main courtyard...
The Jains place a lot of emphasis on non-violence and spiritual independence.
Many of the caves were decorated with sculptures of Mahavira, the founder of
Jainism and Tirthankaras (the saints worshipped by the Jains). We noticed that above many of the Jain statues were 3 umbrellas one layered above the other. We took this to mean the three worlds or the 3 planes of the seats of the higher Samadhis. (Savikalpa, Nirvikalpa, Sahaj)
There were still fragments of colored paintings which depicted celestial beings and couples flying through the clouds. These exceptionally detailed art works are the highlight of these caves. The wealth of imagery was astounding and fantastic and was even visible on the intricate ceilings.