The text describes how Hariṇaigameṣin, the commander-in-chief of Śakra, lord of the gods, modestly and politely accepts his master’s order. This is to transfer Mahāvīra’s embryo from the brahmin lady Devānandā to the kṣatriya Triśalā. The text describes how Hariṇaigameṣin magically transforms himself so he can enter the world of humans.

Other visual elements

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 shape and style of the script, which is close to calligraphy
  • the red background of the text
  • the use of gold ink instead of the standard black ink for the text
  • the use of gold in the paintings themselves instead of ordinary colours
  • the decorated borders with floral arabesques in blue, black and red
  • the division of the text into two parts along the folio’s centre by a border decorated with beautiful blue arabesques.

The elaborate script used is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, which is here like calligraphy. This script is notable because it is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant. It is known as pṣṭhamātrā script.