This page consists of stanzas 17 to 19 of this Sanskrit version of the popular story of Kālaka.

The text on this page relates Kālaka reporting the kidnapping of his sister Sarasvatī to the monastic community. He tells the other monks how his attempts to convince King Gardabhilla to free the nun have failed.

They all go to the king’s palace and plead that such a wrong action is not proper for a monarch, but with no effect. When Kālaka learns about this, he takes an oath.

Other visual elements

There are several notable things about this page, which is not in perfect condition as the edges are slightly torn.

The Kālaka story is often an appendix to Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts. In many Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts, there is a clear intention to make the manuscript a valuable and remarkable object in itself. This often holds true for the manuscripts of the Kālaka story as well. Here this aim is signalled by the:

  • shape and style of the script, which is close to calligraphy
  • use of gold ink for the red-edged border lines and ornamental diamond shapes
  • division of the text into two equally-sized panels, separated by a 2-centimetre margin containing a golden diamond
  • blue ornamental motifs around the golden diamond in the centre.

There is a single ornamental diamond because this is the recto side of a folio.

This version of the Kālaka story is told in poetry. Verse numbers are at the end of each stanza. They are often in red, like here. On this page are the following numbers:

  • 17 on line 1
  • 18 on line 3
  • 19 on lines 5 to 6.

This means that this page has the end of verse 17, all of verses 18 and 19, and part of verse 20.


The elaborate script used is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, which is here like calligraphy. There are a few notable features of this script.

Firstly, it is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant, known as pṛṣṭhamātrā script.

There are red vertical lines within the text marking out verse divisions. Single red vertical lines indicate where a verse is divided in two, while double red vertical lines are found at the end of the verse.