The caption in the upper-right corner says: hari hīṃḍoliu – ‘Hari [= Kṛṣṇa] swung [Nemi’s arm]’.

The larger figure holds his right arm straight out while the smaller figure encircles the arm with two of his four hands. Both men wear rich clothing, signalling their high status.

Prince Nemi, who later becomes the 22nd Jina, has a cousin, Kṛṣṇa. Young Kṛṣṇa considers his cousin a potential rival and wants to test his strength. When Nemi extends his arm Kṛṣṇa tries hard to bend it, using both hands and all his strength, but in vain.

This episode and the one depicted in the previous picture are not found in the Kalpa-sūtra itself but in stories of Nemi’s life. They are meant to emphasise his power as a young prince.

Other visual elements

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
  • 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.