The expected caption in the top-right corner is missing, where the edge of the folio has been torn. A repair covers all this part.

Nine kneeling figures are arranged over three levels, all facing the same direction. The top two levels show lay Jains while three ascetics are on the bottom level. They can be identified by their robes and monastic paraphernalia. All the figures are kneeling on pieces of cloth, their hands raised and folded. Most of the lay Jains, men and women, have a white cloth laid over their knees.

This is a standard image at the end of Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts. It shows members of Mahāvīra‘s fourfold community listening to his teaching with hands folded in respect. Here the monastic community is represented by a nun and two monks wearing characteristic Śvetāmbara robes and holding the mouth-cloth in front of them. The Jain lay community – śrāvakas and śrāvikās – is represented by various men and women. Note how the men have beards and long hair, in contrast to the monks. The white thing over the laity’s knees is probably the cotton broomrajoharaṇa. Although it is part of the ascetics’ equipment, lay people also carry it to perform religious rituals or when they sit at the temple.

Other visual elements

The original paper is slightly damaged but is repaired. 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.