Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A Jain Diagram of Gyanbazi, "Snakes and Ladders"
A Jain Diagram of Gyanbazi, "Snakes and Ladders"

INDIA, 16TH CENTURY

Details
A Jain Diagram of Gyanbazi, "Snakes and Ladders"
India, 16th Century
The upper portion depicting auspicious emblems and a pavillion with richly clad figures representing the heavens, the central square section further divided into smaller squares with text and numbers decsribing deeds inscribed in devanagari, and several blue snakes and ladders painted over the squares, with further stories at sides and depictions of auspicious symbols and versions of hell at the bottom register
37 x 28¼ in. (94 x 71.8 xm.)

Lot Essay

According to S. Andhare in The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India, 1994, the game, often played during the Paryusana festival, was popular amongst Jain nuns who used it as a didactic pastime to impart the notion of karma. Women of the Rajasthani courts also played the game for recreation and versions were adapted for Hindus and Muslims. Played with dice, the board represents the progress of life with certain squares denoting good deeds, and others bad deeds, along with the consequences of both actions; the squares at the lower rungs represent states of hell ultimately leading towards the heavens.
;

More from Indian and Southeast Asian including 20th Century

View All
View All