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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
Jain sculpture

Jainism is a religious faith that stresses nonviolence toward all living things and the practice of austerities. It has been practiced in India since at least the 6th century B.C.E., if not earlier, and currently has a following of about six million people. The term Jainism is derived from jina ("conqueror" or "liberator"), the name given to the twenty-four principal adepts and teachers of this religion. These figures, also known as tirthankaras or "river-forders," are the principal focus of Jain art. The highest ideal in Jainism is the wandering, possessionless, and passionless ascetic, which is why jinas are always depicted as mendicants or yogis. They are portrayed in only two positions: either seated in the lotus posture (padmasana) or standing in the exclusively Jain body-abandonment posture (kayotsarga). The nakedness of the two jina images in the Asia Society's collection indicates that they belong to the Digambara or "sky-clad" sect of Jainism, which is the more austere of the two primary branches of this religion.
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