The final page of the manuscript features the last verse of the work and a colophon in red ink.

The verse is a formula in praise of the teacher Kālaka. It describes how Kālaka ended his adventures by reaching enlightenment and becoming liberated.

This verse also reveals that, as a perfect ascetic, Kālaka ended his life by ‘giving up food’. This is a reference to the practice of fasting unto death. Jains consider the ritual of sallekhanā the most pious way to end one’s life, as it is a sign that all attachments to things of this world have been given up. It is still practised by some Jain ascetics today.

The stanza also states that Kālaka achieved a state of ‘pure meditation‘ before reaching the heaven of the siddha-śilā. This is the highest among the four types of meditation distinguished by the Jains. It can be accomplished only when one has given up all attachments and passions and has a pure soul.


In Jain manuscripts, as in other Indian manuscripts, the end is the place to look for information on the title of the work, the author, the date of composition and so on. However, in this example there is only the title of the work – Kālakācāryakathānaka – the story of the monk Kālaka. The tale is anonymous.

The colophon of the work is not necessarily the author’s creation. It is mostly written by the scribes who copy texts. Sanskrit is often the language of colophons, like here.

The colophon reads:

3. iti śrīKālikācārya-
4. kathā samāptā //  // cha //   / śrīḥ // // śubhaṃ bhavatu // // cha // // śrī.

This means:

Thus the story of Kālikācārya [variant spelling of Kālakācārya] is completed //     // cha // Prosperity //  May there be good! // cha // Prosperity.

This kind of wish for good fortune is extremely common. It is addressed to the reader or any person who will have the manuscript in his hands.

What is transcribed as cha is a letter symbol found at the end of chapters or at the end of works. It indicates that the chapter or the work is finished.

Other visual elements

The red circle in the middle is decorative. It is a symbolic reminder of the way in which manuscripts were bound when they were on palm leaf. Here the circle is in a square blank shape. Strings through one or more holes were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The circle is in one of the places where the holes would once have been.

This circle is ornamented with blue motifs and the margins are decorated with blue patterns. A recto, like this one, is less decorated than verso sides. This is common in manuscripts of the Kalpa-sūtra and the Kālaka story, which are objects used in ritual during the Paryuṣaṇ festival.


The elaborate script is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, in a form which recalls calligraphy. It is used for writing many Indian languages, here for Sanskrit.

There are a few notable features of this script, namely:

  • it is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant, known as pṛṣṭhamātrā script
  • the red vertical lines within the text, which, though they are used to divide the long sentences into smaller parts, are not necessarily punctuation marks.

Here, each pair of red lines surrounds the stanza number, which is at the end of each stanza. In red ink, the stanza numbers on this page is the number 64, found towards the end of line 3.