Manuscripts of the Bhaktāmara-stotra are often artefacts with noteworthy aesthetic features, which underline the particular value and presence of this hymn in the Jain tradition. The song has magic powers and is part of the Jain tantric tradition, associated with mantras and yantras.

Each recto and verso page of this manuscript has a central vignette. All different from each other, they depict auspicious symbols or figures.

Here the painting shows a Jina seated cross-legged, in padmāsana. This is one of the two meditation poses in which a Jina can be shown. The Jina is represented in the typical Śvetāmbara style, as he is depicted with a garland, a crown and an ornamental tilaka on the forehead. Here the crown has five spikes.

The Jina is seated on a raised throne with a back. This is a painting of a Jina image in the cella of a temple, as the background shows.

There is no identifying emblem as such, but this is most likely to be the first Jina, Ṛṣabhanātha or Lord Ṛṣabha also called Ādinātha as the Bhaktāmara-stotra is dedicated to him.

On the other hand, this hymn can be viewed as a praise for the nature and power of a Jina in general, since it does not include individual characteristics. So it is appropriate that the opening image does not focus on an individual Jina.

Selected pages of this manuscript are digitised on JAINpedia.

Other visual elements

There are several notable things about this page.

  • The bottom right-hand lower corner has ‘1’ between the ornamental motifs, which is the folio number.
  • Verse numbers are at the end of each stanza and are often written in red between two vertical lines, like here.
  • The margins are decorated with an ornamental motif of flowers and leaves.


The elaborate script is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, here written in a form which recalls calligraphy. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here for Sanskrit.

The red vertical lines – daṇḍas – within the text are used to divide the parts of a verse. Single ones mark the end of a pāda, a verse part. Double ones mark the end of the whole verse.

On this page red ink is also used for some words. Red is used to write:

  • the beginning of verse 2 and a large part of verse 4. These are haphazard choices from the scribe, without any apparent motivation.
  • the word yugmaṃ, towards the end of line 4, which means ‘pair’ and is used at the end of two verses that have to be read together to make sense.