No caption is visible because the edge is torn.

The large figure in the centre is a Śvetāmbara Jain monk easily recognisable from his characteristic monastic robe. He also holds the monastic broomrajoharaṇa – under his arm, and makes a gesture of teaching with his fingers. He is sitting on a raised seat. To each side of him is a monk in attendance while above and below him are eight objects.

The central figure is Indrabhūti Gautama, who is the first disciple of Mahāvīra, the 24th Jina. He is often depicted at the beginning of Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts.

The eight objects are not clearly visible because of the poor condition of this page. They are the eight auspicious symbolsaṣṭa-maṅgala:

  1. svastika
  2. śrīvatsa
  3. nandyāvarta
  4. powder box or flask – vardhamānaka
  5. throne – bhadrāsana
  6. full water-jug – kalaśa
  7. pair of fish – matsyayugma
  8. mirror – darpaṇa.

Other visual elements

The original paper has been pasted onto a new base. 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:

  • use of gold in the paintings, margins and ornamental motifs
  • decorated border with blue floral motifs
  • central square filled with gold ink and surrounded by blue ornamental motifs.

The square in the centre is a symbolic reminder of the way in which manuscripts were bound at one time. Strings through one or more holes in the paper were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The square is in the place where the central hole would once have been.

A single central shape means a recto side.


The elaborate script is Jaina Devanāgarī, which is here like calligraphy. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here Ardhamāgadhī Prakrit.

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

  • is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant, known as pṛṣṭhamātrā script
  • contains red vertical lines that mark out verse divisions, with a single line dividing a verse in two while double lines are found at the end of the verse
  • shows the number 6 in the middle of line 6, between two red lines, which is the paragraph number.

The lines in smaller script above and below the main text and in the margins are explanations in Sanskrit of phrases found in the central part. The two small parallel lines like slanted = after the words are meant to separate the explanations.