According to Jain cosmology, the universe is envisioned in the shape of a man. Above the waist are seven levels of heavens; below the waist are seven levels of hell. His midsection is the earthly realm, here shown as a round diagram with mountains and rivers, expanded at the left. The hell scenes are elaborated at the right.
The artist has incorporated a number of motifs, such as floral arabesques above the cosmic man and winged fairies surrounding the earth disk, derived from art of the imperial Mughals — the overlords of western India.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art.