The Headless Tirthankara... for Steven Schutz

Uploaded 27 Aug 2011 — 14 favorites
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© Niharika Sanyal
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Photo Info
UploadedAugust 27, 2011
TakenAugust 20, 2011
MakeNikon Corporation
ModelNIKON D90
Exposure1/200 sec at f/6.3
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length22 mm
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Q: Good tripods??

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Photo license: © All rights reserved

I initially titled this 'The Headless God' but upon correspondence with Steven Schutz, I realised this was a wrong title to give as the statue is that of a 'tirthankara', who is not a God.

In the Indian religion of Jainism, a tirthankara is a human being who achieves moksha ("liberation, enlightenment") through asceticism and who then becomes a role-model and teacher for those seeking spiritual guidance.

TÄ«rthaá¹…karas are not God or gods. Jainism does not believe in the existence of God in the sense of a creator; they are considered super-human beings but also lack full enlightenment.

The seated posture is similar to that of Buddha and in fact, the 24th and last tirthankara Mahavira was a contemporary of Buddha. There was certainly an exchange of ideas between the two philosophies that led to the foundation of Buddhism.

This photo was taken at an ancient Jain temple in Polo, Gujarat, that was moss-covered and in runes. The head probably broke off over the course of time.

9 responses

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (28 Aug 2011):

    Nice shot!!! Buddhist monuments placed in such a place!!!

  • tania medina

    tania medina gave props (28 Aug 2011):

    Good photo and interesting statue...

  • Paperini Renato

    Paperini Renato gave props (28 Aug 2011):

    Very beautiful and fascinating, it seems very old and in yoga position.magnificent photos

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (26 Sep 2011):

    What an interesting photo...I imagine the head broke off with the passage of time...

  • Wellbeyond

    Wellbeyond said (11 Oct 2011):

    The tones and colors are exquisite, and the composition is near perfect. Beautiful!

  • Shirley Valencia

    Shirley Valencia   said (11 Oct 2011):

    like the shot.. hate that such a great piece of sculpture is marred................

  • Nikola Matovina

    Nikola Matovina (Deleted) gave props (24 Oct 2011):

    very good...

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (28 Oct 2011):

    Where has Siddhartha's head gone?...LOVE this image, it is saddening to see his head missing...

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (30 Oct 2011):

    wonderful and insightful narrative...I learned alot...Thank You..and Thank you for the dedication...

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