The caption in the top- right corner says: Vīravimāna – ‘Mahāvīra’s palanquin’.

Prince Mahāvīra is seated on a palanquin carried by several people, who are lined up along the bottom. At the top of the illustration are two musicians and on either side of Mahāvīra is a female fly-whisk bearer.

The god Śakra has prepared the palanquin. Elaborate and resembling an architectural structure, it is meant to take Mahāvīra to the park outside the city of Kuṇḍapura, where he will renounce the worldly life.

The other figures represent the joyful yet respectful atmosphere and the enthusiastic participation of the people in this glorious event.

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 59. This is the folio number, 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.