To the right of the painting, in small script, the caption reads Hariṇegamesī ādeśa– ‘command to Hariṇaigameṣin‘.

The text and painting describe Śakra giving orders to his commander-in-chief Hariṇaigameṣin. He tells him to transfer Mahāvīra’s embryo from the womb of the brahmin Devānandā to the kṣatriya woman Triśalā, wife of King Siddhārtha.

Sitting on a throne under a royal canopy, Śakra, king of the gods, is shown with four arms. Three of his hands hold specific attributes of his position:

  • a thunderbolt, which resembles a trident
  • an elephant goad
  • a lotus bud.

Since his name means ‘antelope-headed’, Hariṇaigameṣin is usually represented as having a human body and the head of an antelope. He stands facing Śakra in a respectful and obedient attitude, signified by his joined palms.

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 15, which is the folio number.

The central diamond filled with golden ink is a decorative ornament. Jain manuscripts usually have three on verso sides, like here. The thick margins are also filled with golden ink.

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 86, which is the folio number.

The three golden diamonds along the central horizontal plane are symbolic reminders of the way in which manuscripts were bound at one time. Strings through three 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.


The elaborate script used is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, which is here like calligraphy. It is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant, and is known as pṣṭhamātrā script.

In this particular folio there are occasional rings above the main line of writing. These notate the nasalised vowels and are used instead of simple dots. There are examples above the first line.