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Browsing: Ḍholā-Marū and Madhavanala kī copaī (Or. 14687)

Image: Blank first page of Ḍhola-Māru

Title: Blank first page of Ḍhola-Māru

Source:
The British Library Board
Shelfmark:
Or. 14687
Author:
Kuśalalābha Upādhyāya
Date of creation:
composed in 1560, this copy created in perhaps 18th to 19th centuries
Folio number:
1 recto
Total number of folios:
117
Place of creation:
western India
Language:
Rajasthani / Gujarati in Devanāgarī script
Medium:
opaque watercolour on paper
Size:
20 x 14.5 cms
Copyright:
CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)
Image copyright: Creative Commons Public Domain

Background

The moving love story of Prince Ḍhola and the young girl Māru is a folk ballad from western India known in many oral and written versions. The lovers are separated and finally reunited after many adventures. 

Jain monks, who are fond of all types of stories, have copied it many times and are therefore partly responsible for spreading it around India. It is a story with a rich pictorial tradition. 

The author of this version is the Śvetāmbara Mūrtipujak monk Kuśalalābha Upādhyāya, who wrote it in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, in 1560 CE (1617 VS). He was affiliated to the Kharatara-gaccha, one of the most numerous monastic orders in Rajasthan.

Glossary

Common Era
The period of time starting with the year when Jesus Christ was traditionally believed to have been born. Using CE is a more secular way of dating events in a multinational, multi-religious world.
Kharatara-gaccha
Subsect of the Śvetāmbaras, chiefly found in Rajasthan and Mumbai and established in the 11th century. 
Upādhyāya
Preceptor or tutor. One of the Five Supreme Beings, who is worthy of being worshipped by ordinary Jains.
Vikrama-saṃvat
Often abbreviated, Vikrama-saṃvat is the calendar associated with Emperor Vikramāditya. It begins in about 56 BCE so the equivalent date in the Common Era can be calculated by subtracting 57 or 56. Based on Hindu traditions, it is a lunar calendar often used in contemporary India.
Monk
A man who has taken a public vow to withdraw from ordinary life to formally enter religious life and advance spiritually. Frequently, monks perform physical austerities or undergo physical hardships in order to progress spiritually.
Jaisalmer
A city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan in India.
Rajasthan
The largest state in India, in the north-western part of the country.
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