On the left sits a man in a tent-like robe next to a richly clad man. In front of them stand two figures swathed in white robes. At the lower level stand two men wearing small caps and bearing long swords, their other hands upraised. Their dark complexions indicate they are low-caste people.

Inside the temple dedicated to the Goddess Caṇḍamārī sits her most fervent devotee, the ascetic, Bhairava. Next to him is King Māridatta, whom the Śaiva ascetic Bhairava has enthralled with promises of magical powers. Both of them are on a raised platform, as befits their high status.

Below are the two men sent by the king to bring a man and a woman to be sacrificed to Caṇḍamārī. They have performed their task, as their hand gestures show. As in other images in this manuscript, they are depicted with dark complexions, a sign of their low social status.

The figures in white are two Digambara Jain novices, twins Abhayaruci and Abhayamati. Seized in the forest, they now stand in front of King Māridatta.

The large sword intended to kill the young people is depicted separately. It has not yet been used, and never will be. Intrigued by their noble appearance and behaviour, the king first wants to listen to their story. When the long tale of their successive rebirths comes to an end, he is converted to non-violence and will thus never perform the sacrifice.

The long protruding eye is a typical feature of western Indian painting. Its origin is unclear.

Other visual elements

This is a good example of an average manuscript. A red background is used for the painting but there is no use of gold, intricate design elements or elaborate script.

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 4, which is the folio number.

In the upper and lower margins there are syllables missing from the main text, or corrections. The number before them is the line number where they should be inserted.


The script used for the main text is the Jaina Devanāgarī script. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here Apabhraṃśa Prakrit.