The text describes how Hariṇaigameṣin, the commander-in-chief of Śakra, lord of the gods, modestly and politely accepts his master’s order. This is to transfer Mahāvīra’s embryo from the brahmin lady Devānandā to the kṣatriya Triśalā. The text describes how Hariṇaigameṣin magically transforms himself so he can enter the world of humans.
The elaborate script used is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, which is here like calligraphy. This script is notable because it is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant. It is known as pṣṭhamātrā script.
The Kalpa-sūtra is the most frequently illustrated Jain text of the Śvetāmbara sect. It is read and recited by monks in the Śvetāmbara festival of Paryuṣaṇ, which takes place in August to September each year.
The first part of the Kalpa-sūtra deals with the lives of the Jinas, especially Mahāvīra, Pārśva, Nemi and Ṛṣabha. It features almost identical stories of their births, lives as princes, renunciation, enlightenment and final emancipation.The second part – Sthavirāvali – is a praise of the early teachers of Jainism. The third part – Sāmācārī – deals with particular monastic rules to be followed during the rainy season.
Victoria and Albert Museum. IS. 83-1963. Unknown author. 15th century
Victoria and Albert Museum. IM 9-1931. Unknown author. Circa 1490
British Library. Or. 14262. Unknown author. Perhaps 15th century
British Library. Or. 5149. Unknown author. 1464