The caption in the top right corner says: Triśalā rāṇī – ‘Queen Triśalā’. It has been written twice.

A lady is lying on an elaborate couch, under a canopy. The sun and moon appear above the bed.

The figure is Queen Triśalā, waited on by a female servant. On the night when Mahāvīra’s embryo was transferred to her womb the queen was sleeping in her beautiful bedchamber. The sun and moon are two of the auspicious dreams, which are described in the nearby text and feature in the illustration found on the next folio.

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

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 16. This is the folio number.

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
  • three diamonds filled with gold ink and surrounded by blue ornamental motifs.

The three golden diamonds along the central horizontal plane are symbolic reminders 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 shapes are in the places where the holes would once have been.

Three diamonds mean a verso 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.

There are also numerals in the text, namely the:

  • number ‘1’ at the beginning of line 1, which indicates the end of a verse
  • number ‘1’ in the middle of line 8, which indicates the end of the description of the first dream
  • number ‘33’ in the middle of line 8, which is the paragraph number.

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.