Parswanath, the 23rd Tirthankara, was a teacher who led the way to salvation by example. This sculpture represents him standing naked in meditation. A coiled seven-headed cobra forms a canopy over his head to protect him from the natural elements and to crown his spiritual achievement. The symbolism of the snake protecting humans is prevalent in all Indian traditions, expressing the idea of man in harmony with nature. This sculpture is framed with a border showing the other 23 Tirthankaras of which Mahaveera was the last, and is therefore placed in the top centre. An inscription in Kannada language is engraved on the pedestal.


  • Title: Paraswanatha
  • Date: 1101/1199
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: Stone, 25.2 H X 52.5 W (BASE), 88.0 H X 43.9 W (FIGURE)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Accession Number: XLII-72

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