This very lively scene shows a man with sword held aloft on the left. He stands behind a richly dressed woman, who is rubbing the legs of an ugly blue-skinned figure lying on a couch. Behind the couch are two white elephants.

Queen Amṛtamati has sneaked out of the palace to visit her paramour’s house. He is a hunch-backed elephant-keeper, whose occupation is represented by the two elephants. His evil character and low social status are shown in his blue complexion and terrifying mouth with protruding teeth – he looks more like a demon than a human being. Despite all this, Amṛtamati is in love with him. She is rubbing his legs, which is a sign of her affectionate feelings towards him. Such a scene is meant to show that love makes one blind and removes all sense of judgement.

King Yaśodhara is the figure on the left. He has followed his wife and is horrified and angry at what he finds. Unseen by the pair, he is holding his sword up as if ready to kill, although he does not injure the lovers. Instead, he steals away unnoticed.

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.