The slightly damaged caption in the upper-left corner says: ṣaḍoṣalī jhīlaṇūṃ – ‘…brother’s wives’. The meaning of this is unclear.

The two central figures are richly clothed, indicating their high status. Having gone down the flights of steps shown from the side, they are bathing in a pool in a garden. They are flanked by women holding fly-whisks, probably representing Kṛṣṇa’s wives.

Prince Nemi, who later becomes the 22nd Jina, has a cousin, Kṛṣṇa, who considers his cousin a potential rival. On the left is Nemi, with Kṛṣṇa on the right.

Even as a youth, Nemi thinks only of emancipation from the cycle of rebirth but Kṛṣṇa tries various means to convince him to marry. He asks his wives to try and influence Nemi. In the end Nemi agrees not to become a monk, though unwillingly.

Water games are highly erotic in Indian culture. The picture shows how both Kṛṣṇa and his wives persuade Nemi to marry.

Other visual elements

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 82. This is the folio number, in a square with two blue lines as an ornamental motif.

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:

  • coloured background for the text
  • gold ink instead of the standard black ink
  • decorated border with blue floral motifs
  • three diamonds filled with gold ink, with arrow-like blue lines and surrounding blue border as ornamental motifs.

The three diamonds along the central horizontal plane are symbolic reminders of the way in which manuscripts were bound when they were on palm leaf. Strings through holes in the paper were used to thread together the loose folios so the reader could turn them over easily. The diamonds are in the places where the holes would once have been.