Pure Soul: The Jaina Spiritual Traditions

Key information

10:30 am to 5:00 pm
Brunei Gallery, SOAS
Brunei Gallery exhibition space
Event type

About this event

The Brunei Gallery, SOAS is pleased to present a major new exhibition, Pure Soul: The Jaina Spiritual Traditions, 14 April to 25 June 2023.

Pure Soul: The Jaina Spiritual Traditions aims to acquaint a wider public with some unique aspects of Jaina traditions.

Jainism is an ancient religion of great cultural significance in India and increasingly worldwide.  Over the last two millennia it developed different pathways to the goal of self-realisation. Liberation of the soul from entanglement in the chain of karma is the principal aim of the Jaina tradition. How can the soul be represented in a visual way? What methods of salvation are taught? These questions are answered by Jaina saints, including Taraṇ Tāran Svāmī, Śrīmad Rājacandra and Kānjī Svāmī. Their life sketch and messages will be displayed in the exhibition.

The exhibition, rooted in ongoing research at SOAS, reflects the pluralism of Jaina thought and practice with focus on previously underrepresented facets of the Jaina way of life:

  • Non-image venerating Śvetāmbara mendicant traditions and their lay supporters
  • Lay traditions rooted in the spiritual teachings of the Digambara monk Ācārya Kundakunda  

Pure Soul: The Jaina Spiritual Traditions is supplemented by a conference including film screening on Kānjī Svāmī with Q&A panel discussion, lectures, and a cultural programme co-organised by the Centre of Jaina Studies SOAS and Jaina communities in London within a Knowledge Exchange framework. Supported by SOAS and the global Kanji Swami Society, the exhibition is timed to celebrate the 20 years of the Centre of Jaina Studies at SOAS.

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