Ten identical figures are seated in three rows in temple structures, all in the posture of meditation. They are ten Jinas.

They cannot be identified individually. This kind of depiction is a way of dealing with the 20 intermediate Jinas whose lives are not told at length in the Kalpa-sūtra. The lives of the Jinas from number 21 to 2 are summarised with little difference in the stories. The usual way to show them is to represent them, like here, as identical figures. Here a selection of ten Jinas is shown, making a total of 20 when counted with the picture on the next folio. It is common in art to depict the Jinas in groups of ten.

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 63. 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 the main text are explanations in Sanskrit of phrases found in the central part.