Two white-clad figures walk between two men wearing small caps and bearing long swords. The dark complexions of the latter indicate they are low-caste people. They each hold the wrist of one of the figures in white, who both carry a white pot. The curving white and blue bands, and flowers of the background signal that the scene is set outside.

Obeying King Māridatta’s command, his men have been searching for a pair of human beings to sacrifice to the goddess Caṇḍamārī. Two of the king’s armed men are seen here, their low social status shown by their dark complexion. They are ‘outcastes’.

They have captured two young Jain mendicants – a boy, Abhayaruci, and a girl, Abhayamati. The Digambara novices – kṣullakas – wear white robes and have their heads covered. Advanced monks are naked. The novices carry their water pots, which are the main equipment of Digambara mendicants. While seeking alms they have become separated from the group of Jain monks to which they belong. They look almost identical, which is deliberate because they are twins. Because of their tenderness and youth, they are perfect sacrificial offerings for the goddess

The long protruding eye is a typical feature of western Indian painting. Its origin is unclear.

Other visual elements

This is a good example of an average manuscript. A red background is used for the painting but there is no use of gold, intricate design elements or elaborate script.

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 4, which is the folio number.

In the upper and lower margins there are syllables missing from the main text, or corrections. The number before them is the line number where they should be inserted.


The script used for the main text is the Jaina Devanāgarī script. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here Apabhraṃśa Prakrit.