The text on this page is the monologue of Śakra, lord of the gods. He reflects that it has never happened, never happens and never will happen that the Jinas are born into brahmin families. They have to be born into the kṣatriyacaste. This is why Śakra decides to ensure that Mahāvīra’s embryo is transferred from the brahmin Devānandā’s womb to that of the kṣatriya Triśalā, wife of King Siddhārtha.

Other visual elements

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 shape and style of the script, which is close to calligraphy
  • the red background of the text
  • the use of gold ink instead of the standard black ink for the text
  • the use of gold in the paintings themselves instead of ordinary colours
  • the decorated borders with floral arabesques in blue, black and red
  • the division of the text into two parts along the folio’s centre by a border decorated with beautiful blue arabesques.


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