Twelve kneeling figures are arranged over three levels, all facing the same direction. Ascetics occupy the second row and can be identified by their robes and monastic equipment. They include monks and nuns, although they are difficult to distinguish. The other people shown are lay Jains, with four men at the top and four women at the bottom. All of them have their hands folded in respect and face a person who is outside the picture.

This is a standard image at the end of Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts. It shows members of the fourfold communitycaturvidha-saṅgha – of Mahāvīra listening to his teaching with hands folded in respect. Here the monastic community is represented by a nun and two monks wearing characteristic Śvetāmbara robes and holding the mouth-cloth in front of them. The lay community – śrāvakas and śrāvikās – is represented by various men and women. Note how the men have beards and long hair, in contrast to the monks.

Other visual elements

In many Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts, there is a clear intention to make the manuscript a valuable and remarkable object in itself. Here this is achieved in a rather modest manner. This aim is signalled by the:

  • ornamental motif in the central margin
  • calligraphic script.

This manuscript belongs to a rather early phase of Kalpa-sūtra paper manuscripts, the beginning of the 15th century. This is evidenced by the:

  • format of the paper, which is rather narrow
  • old system of folio numbering, using ‘letter-numerals’, which is found in the left-hand margins of the verso sides.

The elaborate script is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, in a form which recalls calligraphy. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here for Ardhamāgadhī Prakrit and Sanskrit.

This manuscript was read after it was copied and this page shows additions in smaller script. They are Sanskrit equivalents of some Prakrit words in the original. Examples are:

  • at the beginning of line 4, where the Sanskrit word vigrahaḥ is above the Prakrit vuggaha – ‘dispute’
  • in the middle of line 5, where the Sanskrit word kṣamitavyaṃ is above the Prakrit khamiyavvaṃ – ‘should be forgiven’
  • in the first part of line 6, where the Sanskrit word upaśamayitavyaḥ is above the Prakrit uvasamiyavvaṃ – ‘should be appeased’.

The lines in smaller script above and below the main text and in the margins are explanations in Sanskrit of phrases found in the central part. The two small parallel lines like slanted = after the words are meant to separate the explanations in the margins. The parallel lines around words in the text indicate which words are glossed.