The partly damaged caption in the upper-left corner says: [Jambu]svāmi aṣṭakanyā – ‘Jambū-svāmin [and his eight wives]’.

Nine well-dressed people sit on rich chairs across three levels. The figure at the top left is a man while all the others are women. He holds up his left hand while the women all hold up a fruit.

This is a standard depiction of the life of the Elder Jambu. He is identified as a disciple of Sudharma-svāmin in line 6 of the text alongside the illustrated panel. The women are his eight wives.

As a newly married young man, Jambū decides to give up worldly life. He tells a story supporting his point of view. His first wife relates a tale to back her view that he should not do this. Jambū and each of his wives exchange stories to uphold their different viewpoints. The women finally recognise that he is not going to change his mind and that he is right. They then decide to become ascetics too.

Other visual elements

The original paper is slightly damaged but has been repaired down the right-hand side and at the top. 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:

  • coloured background for the text
  • gold ink instead of the standard black ink
  • decorated border with blue floral motifs
  • diamond filled with gold ink, with ornamental blue border.

The diamond in the centre is a symbolic reminder of the way in which manuscripts were bound when they were on palm leaf. Strings through holes in the paper were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The diamond is in one of the places where the holes would once have been.