The caption in the top-right corner says: rāja rāṇī pare – ‘king and queen facing each other’. It has been written twice.

A bearded man sits on a throne under a highly decorated canopy opposite a seated lady. These two bejewelled and richly dressed figures are King Siddhārtha and Queen Triśalā in conversation.

Queen Triśalā consults her husband after she has had vivid dreams during the night Mahāvīra’s embryo is transferred to her womb. He decides to summon dream interpreters to confirm his idea that these dreams are highly auspicious.

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

Other visual elements

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
  • single diamond filled with gold ink and surrounded by blue ornamental motifs.

The single diamond in the centre is a symbolic reminder 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 shape is in one of the places where the holes would once have been.

A single diamond means a recto 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.

On this page are also some numerals, which are paragraph numbers, namely:

  • number 68 in the middle of line 3
  • number 69 at the end of line 6.

The lines in smaller script above and below the main text and in the margins are explanations in Sanskrit of phrases found in the central part. The two small parallel lines like slanted = after the words are meant to separate the explanations.