Aspects of Violence (Himsa)
Page from a manuscript of the Sangrahanisutra
Artist/maker unknown, India
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According to the philosophy of the Jain religion, animals that are violent to one another are reborn in hell as surely as men who practice cruelty. Each hell has a matching image. The upper left is the first hell for "unreasoning tigers," and the illustration shows a tiger attacking a black buck antelope. The adjacent scenes show a domesticated cheetah carrying a rodent, a bird of prey (perhaps a Eurasian sparrow hawk) with a smaller bird in its beak, and a Gaja-Simha (mythical elephant-lion) with its elephant prey. On the far left of the lower row, a mongoose kills a snake. At the far right, a big fish eats a little one, a scene described as "fish doing bloody deeds." Just to its left, a man shoots rabbits, a scene described as "human beings doing bloody deeds." The sixth hell (second from the left) shows a seated couple and implies the violence of lovemaking.