The Map: Madhyaloka, 1850

A map of the Jain universe.

Jainism is an indigenous religion of India founded on the principles of non-violence, non-absolutism and non-attachment. It is the sixth largest religion in modern India and has its roots in the Indus Valley Civilisation – archaeological and inscriptional evidence can place Jain monks in south India in the first or second centuries bc.

The Jain universe consists of three worlds: a world of the damned, a celestial world and Madhyaloka, the middle world, where mortals live and from which they can become liberated. Madhyaloka is shown here with many continent-islands and, at the centre, on the continent called Jambudvipa, is Mount Meru.

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