The partly damaged caption in the upper-left corner says: Pārśvajanma – ‘Pārśva’s birth’.

The newborn Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva is in his mother’s arms. The queen lies on her couch in her bedroom, fanned and waited on by a female servant.

This is the standard depiction of the birth of a child who will grow up to become a Jina.

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 74. 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.