The partly damaged caption in the top-left corner says: Nemipratimā – ‘Image of Nemi’.

The central figure is a Jina on a throne, surrounded by attendants and worshippers.

The Jina is in the lotus position of meditation. The elephants and lions at the base of the throne are symbols of aristocratic status.

This is the standard representation of a Jina in the heaven where he is reborn before his last incarnation on earth. There is no visual clue to the identity of the 22nd Jina Neminātha or Lord Nemi, except for the caption and the place within the manuscript. Nemi’s symbol is the white conch, which might be represented on the throne, but can barely be seen.

The text alongside the picture is the end of the section on Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva, the 23rd Jina.

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 80. 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.