The caption in the upper-right corner says: Indra gupta pragaṭa – ‘Indra disguised [then] revealed’.

The illustration contains two scenes at different levels.

At the left of the top level is a Jain monk wearing the typical Śvetāmbara monastic robe. He holds the cotton broom under one arm. He is on a slightly raised seat and in one of his hands he holds the mouth-cloth, which he has taken off to talk. Between him and the other man is the sthāpanācārya, a kind of tripod that symbolises the Jain teaching and is often used in pictures as a substitute for the teacher

The figure on the right has the appearance of an elderly man, with white hair and beard. He leans on a stick to walk. He gestures towards the tripod, showing that he is talking to the monk.

At the left of the bottom level is a Jain monk holding the cotton broom under one of his arms and wearing the typical Śvetāmbara monastic habit. Sitting on a low seat, he holds his mouth-cloth. Between him and the other figure is a sthāpanācārya. The man on the right has four arms, which indicates that he is not a human being but a god. Two of his hands are folded in a gesture of respect. His beautiful costume and the ornate circle around his head suggest that he is a king.

The monk in both scenes is Kālaka. The figure on the right is the god Śakra or Indra. In the upper scene he is shown disguised as an old man while in the lower one he has regained his true form. In this episode in the story of Kālaka Śakra disguises himself so he can test the knowledge and abilities of the respected teacher Kālaka. Once convinced of the monk’s learning and spiritual powers, Śakra casts off his disguise and willingly pays his respects to Kālaka.

The long protruding eye is a typical element of western Indian painting. Its origin is unclear.

Other visual elements

The number 120 at the bottom of the right-hand margin is the folio number. It is a high number because this manuscript is the continuation of the Kalpa-sūtra manuscript Or. 13959.

The three red circles along the central horizontal plane are symbolic reminders of the way in which manuscripts were bound when they were on palm leaf. Here the central one is in a square blank shape. Strings through one or more holes were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The circles are in the places where the holes would once have been.

These red circles are ornamented with diamonds and floral motifs. The margins are also decorated with blue patterns. This is common in manuscripts of the Kalpa-sūtra and the Kālaka story, which are objects used in ritual during the Paryuṣaṇ festival.


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

There are a few notable features of this script, namely:

  • it is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant, known as pṛṣṭhamātrā script
  • the red vertical lines within the text, which, though they are used to divide the long sentences into smaller parts, are not necessarily punctuation marks.

Here, each pair of red lines surrounds the stanza number, which is at the end of each stanza. In red ink, the stanza numbers on this page are:

  • 61 in the middle of line 2
  • 62 at the beginning of line 6
  • 63 at the end of line 8.