This is a painting of a siddhacakra, an auspicious diagram – maṇḍala – in the shape of an eight-petalled lotus. It is also known as navapada or ‘nine entities’ because it depicts the main figures and principles of Jain teaching.

The text on this page and the pages either side give instructions on creating and worshipping a siddhacakra. The shape and the colours in the picture match the directions in the text.

Parts of the siddhacakra















dark blue




Firstly, the five types of venerated figures are in the centre of the flower and on alternate petals. They are stylised and either in the lotus posture or in the seated position for teaching. In their hands they are probably holding their mouth-cloths.

Secondly, the ‘four fundamentals’ or ‘four gems’ are found on the intermediate petals of the flower. According to the text, the colour of these four entities should be ‘fire-bright’ so the painter has chosen orange. Here they are each represented by a formula – mantra – to be uttered by the devotee when making offerings to each of them in turn. Although the language of the story is Gujarati, the mantras of the four fundamentals are given in Sanskrit.

Clockwise from top left, the mantras are:

Mantras on the siddhacakra



oṃ hrīṃ samyagjñānāya namaḥ 5(1)

oṃ hrīṃhomage to right knowledge 5(1)!

oṃ hrīṃ samyagdarśanāyā svāhā 67

oṃ hrīṃ – offering to right faith 67!

oṃ hrīṃ, samyagcaritrāya svāhā 17”

oṃ hrīṃ – offering to right conduct 17!

oṃ hrīṃ samyagtapāya svāhā 50

oṃ hrīṃ – offering to right penance 50!

Mantras often have sacred syllables at the start. Here, oṃ hrīṃ is used, which is among the most common. The numbers found at the end of each formula are also mentioned in the main text. They refer to the number of possible subdivisions into which the main concept can be classified. These are not detailed in this particular text but can be found in technical works.

The colours and type of offering that should be made to the nine entities are set out, which include:

  • rice grains dyed different colours
  • pieces of coconut
  • pieces of ghee
  • sandalwood paste
  • sweets
  • various precious stones.

The number of offerings is symbolic and echoes traditional numbers of the qualities of the types of teachers. Such offerings form the material side of worship while the mental counterpart is quiet meditation.

Other visual elements

The heading at the top left says: Śrīpālarāsa 72. This is the title of the manuscript and the folio number.

There are several notable things about this page:

  • the larger script is the main text while the smaller writing is the explanatory or expanding commentary, also in Gujarati
  • the verse numbers of this poetic version of the story are written in red between two vertical lines at the end of each stanza, here numbers 3 and 4.

In Gujarati narrative poetry, the stanzas are arranged in groups. Each group has a refrain line at the end of each stanza. Generally, the refrain is written in full the first time and then in an abbreviated form. Here the refrain is signalled by the syllable ta in red.

At the foot of the right-hand margin is the number 72, which is the folio number.

The two ornate flowers in the margins are symbolic reminders of the way in which manuscripts were bound when they were on palm leaf. Strings through one or more holes were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The flowers are in the places where the holes would once have been. The dagger-like lines around them are purely decorative.