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The caption on the top left says: Śrīpālarāsa-patra 1 – ‘The poetic composition on Śrīpāla, folio 1’.

There are two illustrated panels on the page, both underlining the religious and artistic importance of this text.

Left-hand panel

The left-hand image is a visualisation of the double homage paid by the author at the opening of his work to the Jina Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva and to Sarasvatī, the goddess of letters, poetic creation and, more generally, the arts.

A temple enshrines an image of a Jina. The temple evokes the style of the Western Indian temples in its structure and the banner. The idol is fanned by two worshippers who hold cāmaras in their hands. The Jina is seated in the traditional lotus posture of meditation. The snake-hoods that are commonly seen in images of Pārśva are not very clear here so the Jina image appears rather uncharacterised.

At the bottom Sarasvatī is shown holding the vīṇā in her hand and mounted on her vehicle, the white swan. Folding hands in front of her is a Śvetāmbara Jain monk, identified by his white robe and the staff. He is Vinayavijaya, the author of the work.

Right-hand panel

The right-hand image is a teaching scene. Seated under the shade of a tree is Indrabhūti Gautama, the leading disciple of Mahāvīra, the 24th Jina. He is a Jain monk, identified by his white robe and the broom under one of his arms. In one of his hands he holds what could be a scroll or book. His second hand demonstrates the typical teaching gesture.

Sitting in front of him are the larger figure of King Śreṇika with his retinue of men, one of them holding a fly-whisk. The women are respectfully seated at the side of the monk, not in front of him.

Where the teacher is becomes a sacred place, similar to an ashram, where vehicles and forms of transport are out of place. This is why they are at the border of the picture.

Other visual elements

There are several notable things about this page, namely:

  • the red sign inside red vertical lines at the beginning is an auspicious symbol known as bhale, often used at the start of a manuscript
  • it is common to emphasise the beginning of a text by writing in red ink instead of the usual black, like here
  • at the bottom right is the number 1, which is the folio number.

At the bottom of the left-hand margin is the phrase potā nai mukhai śrīmukha – ‘from his own mouth, from his glorious mouth’. This is an expansion of the words svayaṃ mukha – ‘from his own mouth’ – on line 10. The sign resembling = above the word svayaṃ draws attention to the gloss in the margin.

At the top of the right-hand margin is the phrase vidyārupa veli kavi svara nī – ‘the creeper in the form of knowledge for the voice of poets’. This is an explanation of the words kalapaveli kaviyaṇa taṇī found on lines 3 to 4. At the end of line 3 the sign resembling = above the word yadraws attention to the gloss in the margin.

Note that verse numbers are at the end of each stanza and are often written between two vertical lines, like here. On this page are the following numbers:

  • 1 at the beginning of line 6
  • 2 at the beginning of line 9
  • 3 at the end of line 11.


The script is the Jaina Devanāgarī script. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here for Gujarati.

Note the red vertical lines within the text. Though they are used to divide the long sentences into smaller parts, they are not necessarily punctuation marks.