New Perspectives of the Origin and the Meaning of the Jina Image and the Beginning of Jain Image Worshipping
It is remarkable, that especially from Jainism an image tradition originated, since it was said to be an ascetic order, whose members refused any possession. The creation of the Jina image and of Jain art as well transformed the Jainism and made the orally transmitted doctrine of the ascetics visible to the lay devotees. Thus, the Jain religion was enlarged from a pure audible doctrine also to a visible cult and the meaning of the earliest Jina images cannot be understood through the textual tradition, since these sources deal only with the monastic life of the ascetics, where objects of worshipping and even rituals were not assured. The project intends to find new perspectives and a better understanding of the origin of the Jina image and the early Jain culture of Mathura.