Śakra, lord of the gods, is shown with four arms. Three of his hands hold specific attributes of his position, namely:

  • a thunderbolt, which resembles a trident
  • an elephant goad
  • a lotus bud.

Śakra is seated on a throne under a canopy. To his right, three figures are shown above each other. They represent gods in his court.

Other visual elements

As with many Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts, there is a clear intention to make the manuscript a valuable and remarkable object in itself. This aim is signalled by:

  • the shape and style of the script, which is close to calligraphy
  • the red background of the text
  • the use of gold ink instead of the standard black ink for the text
  • the use of gold in the paintings themselves instead of ordinary colours
  • the decorated borders with floral arabesques in blue, black and red
  • the division of the text into two parts along the folio’s centre by a border decorated with beautiful blue arabesques

At the bottom the number 10 refers to the folio number.


The elaborate script used is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, which is here like calligraphy. This script is notable because it is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant. It is known as pṣṭhamātrā script.