A large male figure stands in the ideal ascetic posture of kāyotsarga– ‘rejection of the body’. Dressed as a Śvetāmbara monk, he wears conspicuous earrings and a kind of tilaka on the forehead.

Above him in the centre is a Jina seated cross-legged inside a white crescent moon. On either side of the monk two figures stand with folded hands to express their respect to him while he practises asceticism. The figure on the left is four-armed and represents a god. The one on the bottom right is also a god with four arms.

There is an elephant close to the monk on the left, while on the bottom right a blue human figure has his head trapped in a pot.

The kāyotsarga pose of the central figure of the monk indicates that he is so deep in meditation he is indifferent to his surroundings. He wears a garment that represents the white of the Śvetāmbara monastic robe with dots. This convention is balanced by his jewellery and tilaka, which are slightly unusual. However, in the Śvetāmbara tradition Jina images are mostly ornamented.

The crescent moon in which the Jina sits is the standard representation of the siddha-śilā. This is where the liberated souls live, at the top of the Jain universe. This is the place a monk will go if he follows the rules of conduct in the text beside the illustration.

However, he will remain in the circle of rebirths or endure suffering in hells if he does not behave properly. The blue figure with his head in a pot may represent rebirth in hells. Such a depiction is often found in paintings showing the tortures of the seven hells.

The elephant may represent all potential attacks, tortures and trials through which the monk might be put. He would be able to withstand these and emerge spiritually stronger if he is a true ascetic.

Other visual elements

The number 31 in the top right-hand margin is the chapter number.

The left margin has the usual thick red line for a border.

The blank diamond shape in the centre of the text is a symbolic reminder of the way in which manuscripts were bound at one time. Strings through one or more holes in the paper were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The empty diamond space is in the places where the central hole would once have been.

Note the insect holes in the left-hand margin and the white paper used to repair part of the damaged margin.


The elaborate script used for the main text is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, which recalls calligraphy. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages. Here it is used for Prakrit.

There are a few notable features of this script:

  • the characters covered with orange pigment are the verse numbers, which are at the end of each stanza, a reversal of the Western practice. The numbers on this page go from 33 to 37.
  • double vertical lines are punctuation signs used before the stanza number
  • a simple vertical line separates the two halves of a stanza.

On this folio, lines 1 to 4 are the five last stanzas of chapter 30 of the Uttarādhyayana-sūtra.

Line 5 contains the final colophon of chapter 30, giving its title:

tavamaggaijjaṃ tīsai sammattaṃ/ cha/ 30

Road of penance, [chapter] 30 is finished / [sign marking the end] / 30

Lines 6 to 15 are the first 11 stanzas of chapter 31 of the work. The numbers 1 to 10 are emphasised by orange pigment.