Not currently on display at the V&A

Kalpasutra

Manuscript Page
late 15th century to early 16th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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 folio is not illustrated but has text.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted and written in ink, paint and gold on paper
Brief Description
Jain manuscript page, Kalpasutra, ink, paint and gold on paper, Gujarat, late 15th and early 16th century
Physical Description
Page recto of a manuscript of the Kalpasutra, ink, paint and gold on paper, consisting of 91 folios, numbered 1-92, with folio 3 missing and containing 38 illustrations. The text is written in black ink in Prakrit, seven lines to the page between red and gold marginal rules and blue border decoration. The text of a Sanskrit commentary is inserted in small Nagari characters in the margins. Central and marginal string-holes are decorated but not pierced and on the obverse of each folio the central hole only is marked. Folio numbers are written in the lower right-hand corner of the reverse of each folio but are defective from folio 85 onwards due to insect damage. The colophon is written in red on f.92 verso (see Marks). This folio is not illustrated but has text.
Dimensions
  • Length: 10.25in
  • Height: 4.25in
Object history
Purchased in 1959 from Mr. A. Shah c/o. Mrs. G.Charlston, London S.W.16. for £48.
Production
Western India
Subject depicted
Summary
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 folio is not illustrated but has text.
Bibliographic References
  • Masterpieces of the Kalpasutra Paintings, Sarbhai M. Nawab. 1956.
  • Catalogue of the Jain Manuscripts of the British Library, Vol.2, page 87, Cat. no. 107.
Collection
Accession Number
IS.46:20-1959

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record createdDecember 20, 2007
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