- 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.
This page has a picture on each side. On one side, Mahavira plucks out his hair in the presence of the God Shakra, in part of his diksha or renunciation of the worldly life and embarkation on his spiritual search as a wandering ascetic. On the other side the illustration is more difficult to identify. It appears to show a Jina and his disciple in discussion with an old, bearded man, but may represent Mahavira giving away his possessions.
Double picture page from a Kalpasutra manuscript. (A) Text on the left, picture on the right. Mahavira tears out his hair in the presence of the God Shakra. They sit beneath two trees. (B) numbered IM.11A-1931 on the page. Text on the right, picture on the left. Unidentified. A Jina and his disciple discussing with an old, bearded man beneath a forking tree. This illustration has also been identified as Mahavira giving away his jewels (N. Balbir, see References). The illustrations are in gold, blue, green and black on a red background.The text is handwritten in gold in Nandinagari characters. It is on a red ground with blue edgings. There is a red medallion in a blue surround in the centre of side (A) and on the left and right and in the centre of side (B).
Place of Origin
Gujarat, India (made)
Materials and Techniques
Length: 10.5 in, Height: 4.25 in
Illustrated Kalpasutra, paper, c.1450, 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.124-125.