Domestic shrine of the Jain sect. Painted wood carving; 145 cm. x 141 cm. Gujarat. c. early 18th century. 5/270.
This beautiful shrine comes from an aristocratic Shvetambara Jain family and can be ranked among the finest pieces of wood carving in the region. Though Jains are an atheistic sect, they worship their “Enlightened Teachers” known as tirthankaras. In the uppermost horizontal panel are depicted the fourteen auspicious dreams seen by the mother of a tirthankara: an elephant, a bull, a lion, goddess Lakshmi, a garland, the moon, the sun, a banner, a vase, a lotus pond, an ocean of milk, a celestial palace, a heap of jewels and a smokeless fire. The panel below shows goddess Lakshmi being lustrated by elephants.