There is a caption in red in the right-hand margin: māhīyārī gorasa vahiravai 44 – ‘A milk-woman offers curdled milk 44’.

Each illustration in this manuscript is numbered in sequence so ’44’ means this is the 44th painting in this manuscript.

On the right are Dhanya and Śālibhadra as Śvetāmbara Jain monks. They are identified as monks from their robes and the staffdaṇḍa – they each carry.

A woman stands under a tree. A pot is cooking on the fire in front of her. One of the two monks hands her his bowl, into which she pours the food.

The woman is selling milk and was Śālibhadra’s mother in his previous birth as Sangama.

Other visual elements

There are a few items to be noted about this page, namely that:

  • in the text, red is used for verse numbers and for punctuation marks
  • in the first line red is used also for the syllables be be, which are the first words of the refrain verse in this section of the text
  • verse numbers are at the end of each stanza, a reversal of the Western practice
  • the Arabic numbers written in pencil are not original, having been added by the British Library staff for convenience.

The diamond-shaped blank space in the centre is for decoration. It is also a symbolic reminder of the way in which manuscripts were bound when made of palm leaf. Strings through one or three holes in the paper were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The blank space is in the place where the hole would once have been.


The elaborate script used is the Jaina Devanāgarī script.