There are two captions on this page, one for each of the painted scenes.

Both scenes feature a bearded man wearing earrings. He is King Siddhārtha, father of the 24th Jina Mahāvīra, and the illustrations show two moments in his morning routine.

The caption in the top left corner is for the left-hand picture and says: malajuddha – ‘wrestlers’ fight’. It has been written twice. In this scene, all the men are shown wearing only minimal clothing. They are engaged in intense physical exercise, especially forms of wrestling and weight-lifting. Some of them are lifting heavy discs. King Siddhārtha is surrounded by his attendants and companions.

The painting on the right has a caption in the top-right corner, which says: mājaṇau – ‘toilet or shampooing’. King Siddhārtha is now sitting on an oiled animal skin, an attendant shampooing his hair. He holds the king’s hair in one hand, a comb in the other. A water bowl is between the men. They are in the bath-house, which has a highly decorated roof.

After hearing the dreams of his wife Triśalā, King Siddhārtha summons dream interpreters. Here he is shown going through his usual morning exercises and toilet before they arrive at the palace.

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

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 26. This is the folio number.

The original paper has been pasted onto a new base. 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:

  • use of gold in the paintings, margins and ornamental motifs
  • decorated border with blue floral motifs
  • three diamonds filled with gold ink and surrounded by blue ornamental motifs.

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 one or more holes in the paper were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The shapes are in the places where the holes would once have been.

Three diamonds mean a verso side.


The elaborate script used is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, which is here like calligraphy. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here for Ardhamāgadhī Prakrit.

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

  • is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant, known as pṛṣṭhamātrā script
  • contains red vertical lines that mark out verse divisions, with a single line dividing a verse in two while double lines are found at the end of the verse.

The lines in smaller script above and below the main text and in the margins are explanations in Sanskrit of phrases found in the central part. The two small parallel lines like slanted = after the words are meant to separate the explanations.