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Browsing: Kalpa-sūtra and Kālakācārya-kathā (Tod MS 34)

Title: End of text and colophon

Royal Asiatic Society
Tod MS 34
unknown author / Bhavadeva-sūri
Date of creation:
Folio number:
112 recto
Total number of folios:
97 folios, numbered 16 to 112, with 1–15 missing
Place of creation:
western India
Prakrit and Sanskrit
ink and watercolour on paper
32.5 x 9.4 cm
Royal Asiatic Society Images/RAS, London
JAINpedia Copyright Information


There is no illustration on this page, which contains stanzas 97 to 101 of the Kālakācārya-kathāStory of the Monk Kalaka. These verses form the end of the manuscript text and are followed by the colophon.

Other visual elements

The Kālaka story is often an appendix to Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts. In many manuscripts of these two texts, there is a clear intention to make the manuscript a valuable and remarkable object in itself. Here this is achieved in a rather modest manner. This aim is signalled by the:

  • ornamental motif in the central margin
  • calligraphic script.

This manuscript belongs to a rather early phase of Kalpa-sūtra paper manuscripts, the beginning of the 15th century. This is evidenced by the:

  • format of the paper, which is rather narrow
  • old system of folio numbering, using 'letter-numerals', which is found in the left-hand margins of the verso sides.

This version of the Kālaka story is told in poetry. Verse numbers are at the end of each stanza. Here they are in black, like the rest of the text, and slightly emphasised with light red powder. On this page are the following numbers:

  • 97 in the first half of line 1
  • 98 in the middle of line 2
  • 99 in the second half of line 3
  • 100 in the second half of line 4
  • 101 in the second half of line 5.

This means that this page includes the second part of verse 97 up to the end of verse 101, which corresponds to the close of the text.
The line in cursive script below the main text repeats in Gujarati the formula giving the date of copying, which is written just above in Sanskrit. This translation was probably written by the person who sold or presented the manuscript.



The elaborate script is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, in a form which recalls calligraphy. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here for Ardhamāgadhī Prakrit and Sanskrit.


The Kālakācārya-kathāStory of the religious teacher Kālaka – emphasises the connection between religious practice and magical abilities. As an accomplished Jain teacher, Kālaka can master various magical sciences and transmute brick into gold. He uses his powers to help the Śakas, a foreign population. In exchange, the Śakas help him destroy the wicked king, Gardabhilla.

This eventful tale belongs to the Śvetāmbara Jain tradition. It is known in several versions in various languages and is often illustrated.

The Story of Kālaka is frequently found as an appendix to the Kalpa-sūtra because the last part of the story explains how Kālaka changed the date of Paryuṣaṇ. This annual festival was moved from the fifth day of the bright half of the month Bhādrapada – roughly equivalent to August to September – to the fourth. The Kalpa-sūtra has a central role in Paryuṣaṇ.

The version of the story here is that of Bhāvadeva-sūri, a Śvetāmbara author of the 13th century CE. It is written in Jaina Māhārāṣṭrī Prakrit and represents a short recension, where the story is told in simple language without poetical embellishments.

This manuscript, designated as ‘r’, is one of those used by W. Norman Brown for his 1933 critical edition of this version of the story (87–92).


End of text proper

'The Lord shines, standing the test of difficult times [literally ‘at the touchstone of the Kali era’]. Homage to you who have an incomparable lustre [procured by] merits’. Having praised [Kālakācārya] and paid homage to him in this way[, the god] Śakra went back to his place of residence. On the other hand, after having observed the vows with purity, the pontiff Kālaka, whose greatness was now known to all, practised fasting unto death and went to the world of gods. The total life-span of the pontiff Kālaka was 96: 20 as a householder, 35 in the vows, and 41 as a pontiff. This story has been concisely narrated by the pontiff Bhāvadeva born from the [monastic] lineage of this pontiff Kālaka.


Thus is the story of the teacher Kālaka composed by Bhāvadeva-sūri.


Copied on the 15th lunar day of the bright half of the month of Caitra [= April] in the year 1461 of the Vikrama era [= 1404 CE].


End of text proper

1. [phu]raī sāmi kali-kala-kas’ovale //97// a-tullā jassa kallāṇa-rehā tass’ atthu te namo / evaṃ thu-

2. ṇittu vaṃdittā Sakko ṭhāṇaṃ niyaṃ gao //98 iya vikkhāya-māhappo vayaṃ pālittu nimmalaṃ / pa-

3. tto Kālaga-sūrī vi vihiyāṇasaṇo divaṃ //99 vīsā hi gihi-vāse paṇatīsa vayaṃmi sūri i-

4. gayālā / channavaī savvāo siri-Kālaga-sūriṇo hoi //100 tāṇa Kālaga-sūrīṇa vaṃs’-uppanne-

5. ṇa nimmiyā / sūriṇā Bhāvadeveṇa esā saṃkhevao kahā // 101


iti śrī-Bhāvadeva-sūri-viracitaṃ

6. śrī-Kālikācārya-kathānakaṃ samāptaṃ // cha //


saṃvat 1461 varṣe Caitra-sudi 15 tithau likhitaṃ // cha //

7. saṃ° 1461 varṣe Caitra sudī 15 titho laṣo che.

The text of the story is in Jaina Māhārāṣṭrī Prakrit but the colophon, which contains the title of the work, the author’s name and the date, is in Sanskrit. Then the date is given again in a sentence written in Gujarati by a more modern hand.


Common Era
The period of time starting with the year when Jesus Christ was traditionally believed to have been born. Using CE is a more secular way of dating events in a multinational, multi-religious world.
Follower of the 24 Jinas or an adjective describing Jain teachings or practices. The term 'Jaina' is also used although 'Jain' is more common.
The Book of Ritual attributed to Bhadrabāhu. It has three sections:
  1. 'Jina-caritra' – 'Lives of the Jinas'
  2. 'Sthavirāvalī' – 'String of Elders'
  3. 'Sāmācārī' – 'Right Monastic Conduct'.
A significant sacred text for Śvetāmbara Jains, the Kalpa-sūtra has a central role in the annual Paryuṣaṇ festival.
An eight-day festival in August / September, which is the most important event of the religious calendar for Śvetāmbara lay Jains. They fast, read, spend time with monks and meditate. The last day is the occasion for public repentance. Reading the Kalpa-sūtra and sponsoring new manuscripts or editions of this canonical book are associated with this festival.
Sanskrit for 'worship' or 'homage'. All Jains perform rites of honour to the 24 Jinas. Rites of worship take place daily, with more elaborate ceremonies performed on holy days. Mendicant and lay Jains perform different rituals. Some sects worship images – mūrti-pūjaka – and others do not, and different sects have various practices. Focused on images or not, worship can be:
  • external or material – dravya-pūjā – involving offerings of food, drink and precious substances
  • internal or mental – bhava-pūjā – including singing hymns of praise, reciting mantras and meditating.
Sanskrit for a 'right or good action'. Similar to a merit in Buddhism, it helps to reduce karma.
Sanskrit term meaning 'with a home’ – that is, a ‘householder’ or lay Jain. A synonym for a lay person, emphasising that he or she is a member of a household, with responsibilities to the family, community and society that a Jain mendicant does not have.
The progressive eradication of passions and other negative features in order to reach total spiritual purity. In practice, it is the ritual of fasting unto death .
'White-clad’ in Sanskrit, the title of one of the two main divisions of Jainism, in which both male and female mendicants wear white robes. There are some differences of doctrine or belief between these two sects and to some extent their followers consider themselves as belonging to distinct branches. Divisions can be fierce in practical matters, for example, over the ownership of pilgrimage places, but all sects see themselves as Jains.
Often abbreviated, Vikrama-saṃvat is the calendar associated with Emperor Vikramāditya. It begins in about 56 BCE so the equivalent date in the Common Era can be calculated by subtracting 57 or 56. Based on Hindu traditions, it is a lunar calendar often used in contemporary India.
Vows are extremely important in Jain religious life. Mendicants take the compulsory Five Great Vows – mahā-vratas – as part of their initiation – dīkṣā. Lay people can choose to take 12 vows, which are divided into:
  • aṇu-vratas – 'Five Lesser Vows'
  • guṇa-vratas – three supplementary vows
  • śikṣā-vratas – four vows of spiritual discipline
All of these vows are lifelong and cannot be taken back. The sallekhana-vrata is a supplementary vow to fast to death, open to both ascetics and householders. 
Sanskrit word for 'king' and the name of the king of the gods in the Saudharma heaven. Called Śakra by Śvetāmbaras and known as Saudharma to Digambaras, this deity is involved in all five auspicious moments – kalyāṇakas – in a Jina's life.
A classical language of India, originally used by priests and nobility. Sanskrit has a rich literary and religious tradition. With only a few thousand native speakers nowadays, it is predominantly used in Hindu religious ceremonies and by scholars.
The language that developed in Gujarat, in western India. It is also spoken in neighbouring states. Also a term for someone or something associated with or coming from Gujarat.
Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit
A dialect of the Prākrit language used for many Śvetāmbara Jain scriptures.
Bright fortnight
The half of the lunar month in the traditional Indian calendar in which the moon is at its fullest.
Jaina Devanāgarī
The distinctive version of the Devanāgarī script found in Jain manuscripts.
Transcription of a letter symbol found at the end of chapters or at the end of works in Indian languages. It indicates that the chapter or the work is finished.
Māhārāṣṭrī Prākrit
A dialect of the Prākrit language used in some Jain writings.
Known as a folio, a single sheet of paper or other material has a front and a back side. The recto page is the top side of a sheet of paper and the verso is the underside.
Found at the end of a Jain manuscript, a colophon is similar to the publication information at the beginning of modern books. It usually contains the title and sometimes details of the author, scribe and sponsor. The colophons of Jain manuscripts may also include the names of owners, readers and libraries where they have been stored. They frequently have decorative elements and very commonly contain a wish for good fortune for any readers. Written mainly by the scribes who copy texts, Jain colophons are often written in Sanskrit.
The very popular Story of the Ācārya Kālakā recounts the adventures of the Śvetāmbara monk Kālakā. Emphasising the connection between religious practice and magical abilities, the story is frequently found as an appendix to the Kalpa-sūtra because it explains how Kālaka changed the date of Paryuṣaṇ . This annual festival gives a central role to the Kalpa-sūtra scripture.

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