Over the years I have done several paintings portraying Jain Religion (mainly practised in India) Philosophies such as Ahinsa, Aparigrah, Parigrah, Anekantwaad, and Shatt Leshya. These Jain paintings have been done in modern contemporary style, different from the traditional that one sees often in Jain temples. In a set of 6 small paintings I have portrayed the concept of Shatt Leshya (?????????). Shatt means six. Leshya means a mental propensity, the inclination or natural tendency to behave in a certain way. The concept of Shatt Leshya classifies living beings (humans as well as non humans) in 6 types and assigns 6 colors (of souls) to them. The lowliest grade (Krishn or Black) is most cruel, most deceitful, most envious. The noblest (Shukl or White) is most humble, most pious, most detached. A very common example is used to explain the concept. For eating fruits, a person of Krishn Leshya cuts off the entire tree, person of Neel (Blue) Leshya cuts off the tree boughs, person of Kapot (Grey) Leshya cuts off branches, person of Peet (Yellow) Leshya breaks off twigs to get clusters of fruits, person of Padm (Pink) Leshya plucks only the fruits that are required for eating, and person of Shukl (White) Leshya picks only the fallen fruits for eating, causing no harm to the tree. This particular medium size painting portrays all the six Leshya?s by way of a human face that has thorns in the case of 3 negative Leshya?s and flowers in the case of positive Leshya?s. The number of thorns reduces as cruelty decreases and the number of flowers increase as the compassion increases.
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