This page consists of stanzas 23 to 25 of this Sanskrit version of the popular story of Kālaka.

The text on this page relates what the monk Kālaka does when King Gardabhilla refuses to free his sister, the nun Sarasvatī.

Kālaka and the rest of the monastic community have failed to persuade the king to free the nun he has kidnapped. Kālaka deliberately behaves like a madman, talking incoherently. The king’s ministers again try to convince him to release Sarasvatī, but Gardabhilla rejects their advice.

Hearing that everything has failed, Kālaka decides to leave Ujjayinī and travel far away. He comes to the land of the Śakas. He stays with one of the sāhis or kings of the Śakas.

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
  • 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:

  • 23 on line 2
  • 24 on line 4.

This means that this page contains verse 23, all of verse 24 and nearly all of verse 25 .


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.