This page consists of stanzas 20 to 22 of this Sanskrit version of the popular story of Kālaka.

The text on this page recounts what happens after King Gardabhilla ignores the pleas of all the monks and nuns to free the nun Sarasvatī. He has kidnapped her and forced her into his harem.

The monk Kālaka is Sarasvatī’s brother and his earlier attempt to persuade the king to free her also failed. When Kālaka learns that Gardabhilla has taken no notice of the monastic community‘s efforts, he swears an oath that he will uproot the king from his kingdom. But he cannot use any violent means because one of the key Jain principles is non-violence.

So he deliberately wanders in the city like a madman, covered with mud, saying: ‘If Gardabhilla is king, then what next? If his harem is nice, then what next?’

Seeing Kālaka like this, and hearing his words, the population and the royal ministers understand that the king has not behaved properly. Then they try to persuade King Gardabhilla to release the kidnapped nun.

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 diamonds.

There are three ornamental diamonds because this is the verso 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:

  • 20 on line 2
  • 21 on line 4
  • 22 on line 6.

This means that this page contains the end part of verse 20, all of verses 21 and 22, and the beginning of verse 23.

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 189, which is the folio number. It is a high number because this manuscript is the continuation of a Kalpa-sūtra manuscript. However, the rest of the manuscript is not available.


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.