- Place of origin:
Gujarat, India (made)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
The Kalpasutra (Book of Rituals) is the most important canonical text in Jain literature for the Svetambaras (white-clad), one of the two sects of Jainism. Jainism is one of the oldest religions to have survived until the present time and its basic teaching is one of non-violence. The Kalpasutra is divided into three sections. The first section deals with the lives of the twenty-four Jinas or Tirthankaras, who were the Jain spiritual teachers or 'ford-makers'. The second part deals with the life of Mahavira, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara. The third part deals with rules for the ascetics and laws during the four months (chaturmas) of the rainy season, when ascetics temporarily abandon their wandering life and settle down amidst the laity. This is the time when the festival of Paryushan is celebrated and the Kalpasutra is traditionally recited.
The subjects of the pictures deal mainly with the early life of Mahavira. Here the god Shakra (Indra) is conversing with three other gods (Devas) in the council-hall Sudharman in his heaven. They are discussing the transfer of Mahavira's embryo from the Brahmani Devananda's womb to that of Trishala, a Kshatriya woman who gave birth to him.
This page from Kalpasutra is hand written in gold in Nandinagari characters on a red ground with borders showing repeated hamsas (geese), horses and lions in blue and gold with red highlights on the illustrated side and flames within geometrical designs in red, blue and gold on the reverse. The illustration is painted in gold, blue and black. The page is written on both sides, the sides being divided into two square compartments of red each enclosing a block of text on the side with text only, and one compartment on the front side with a smaller one to accommodate the illustration.
The subject of the picture concerns the early life of the Jina Mahavira, last of the twenty-four Jain tirthankaras or great spiritual teachers (believed to have died in 528 BC). Here the god Shakra (Indra) is conversing with three Devas in the council-hall Sudharman in his heaven. They are discussing the transfer of Mahavira's embryo from the Brahmani Devananda's womb to that of Trishala.
Place of Origin
Gujarat, India (made)
Materials and Techniques
Length: 10.5 in, Height: 4.25 in
Kalpasutra manuscript showing God Shakra with Devas, paper, 1490, Gujarat, India
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Balbir, N. et al, 'Catalogue of the Jain Manuscripts of the British Library including the holdings of the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum'. London, British Library and Institute of Jainology, 2006. Vol 1, pp.38-39, Vol 2, pp.124.