The slightly damaged caption in the top-right corner says: garbhasaṃcaraṇa – ‘transferring the embryo’.

The lady on her couch is Queen Triśalā. She is looking with a smiling face at Hariṇaigameṣin. He is the commander-in-chief of Śakra, king of the gods, and is holding the embryo that will develop into Mahāvīra.

Hariṇaigameṣin is preparing to put the embryo in her womb, having taken it from Devānandā, the brahmin woman who first became pregnant with the future Jina. This is because Jinas cannot be born of a brahmin mother.

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 18. This is the folio number. It is in a square with two blue lines, as an ornamental motif.

The original paper is slightly damaged. But, 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
  • three diamonds filled with gold ink, with arrow-like blue lines and surrounding blue border as ornamental motifs.

The three diamonds along the central horizontal plane are symbolic reminders 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 diamonds are in the places where the holes would once have been.