The partly damaged caption in the top-right corner says: Pārśvanirvāṇa – ‘Pārśva’s emancipation’.

The figure of Pārśvanātha or Lord Pārśva is sitting on a throne, with a golden crescent below. The 23rd Jina is easily identified by his hood of snakes. Pārśva is shown meditating in the lotus posture in a natural landscape, suggested by trees and buds.

The golden crescent is the siddha-śilā, which represents the concept of emancipationsiddhi, mukti or nirvāṇa. The mountainlike shapes at the bottom emphasise that it is at the top of the universe. This indicates that the soul of Pārśva is being liberated from his physical body. When Pārśva died on Mount Sammeta at the age of 100 his soul was instantly emancipated.

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 79. 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.