The text describes the atmosphere of joy and wealth when Mahāvīra was born.

Lines 1 to 2 describe showers of ornaments, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, garlands, perfumes, colours, powders and treasures from the sky.

Then, King Siddhārtha, Mahāvīra’s father, ordered the policemen and guards to free all prisoners, to sprinkle, clean and decorate the streets and all the places in the town with flags, banners and so on. He wanted to celebrate the birth of his son, for whom great things had been predicted.

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
  • blue background of the text
  • gold ink instead of the standard black ink for the text
  • gold in the paintings themselves instead of ordinary colours
  • decorated borders with floral arabesques in red
  • division of the text into two parts by a blank space with an ornamented red disk and arrows.

In this central part, below the red disk, 33 refers to the folio number.


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.