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The Historical and Cultural

of Jain Manuscripts Painting

The H istorical and Cultural D evelopm ent

o f Jain M anuscripts Painting

The tradition of Jain painting is as old as Buddhist painting, and

developed under similar conditions and partly in dependence on Buddhist
art.1 Remains of the pre-kushana Jaina Stupa have been excavated at
Mathura.2 There are very extensive rock-hewn caves with relief sculptures
not earlier than that the second century and mainly of thelst century B.C.
at Udayagiri and Khandagiri in Orissa.3 The only other evidence bearing
on the history of Jaina painting before the 13th century is a reference in
the Parsvacaritra to a picture of the jina nem i painted on a wall.4 The
paintings in the illustrated manuscripts have been invaluable in the
unraveling of historical developments in Gujarat but its ultimate
contribution has been towards the developments of Indian Miniature
Jainism is one of the oldest religions of India along with Hinduism
and Buddhism.5 Its founder was Mafia vira who is much revered by his
followers. The Jaina community have sponsored construction of vast
number of temples along with numerous idols in stone and marble,
especially in the regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan from around ninth
century onwards. Traditional sthapatis and stone carvers are even today
engaged for temple construction and idol-making. Jaina art constitutes an
integral part of the total history of Indian architecture, sculpture and
painting. Jainism originated in India around the same as Buddhism while
the later traveled worldwide and became established in far comers of
Asia, the Jain faith flourished on nature soil, keeping alive artistic
traditions and further integrating them into newer art forms Miniature
Jaina Paintings executed as illustrations belongs to this rich tradition.

1 A.K. Coomaraswamy, “Essays on Jain Art', etd. By Richard J. Cohen, published by

IGNCA, New Delhi 2003, p.29
2 Vincent Smith, “Jain Stupa and other Antiquities o f Mathura” Archaeological
Survey o f India, Allahabad, 1901, p.3-9
3 Edward James Rapson, “Cambridge History o f India”, Vol.I,Cambridge University
Press, London, 1922, p.639
4 M.Bloomfield, “The life and savior o f Jain Pats vanatha,”1919
5 A.K. Commaraswamy, “Catalogue o f the Indian Collections in the Museum o f Fine
Arts”, Boston”,Part IV, Jain Paintings and Manuscripts, Boston, 1924,p.29-35

( 1)
Between the 9th and 11th centuries Jainism flourished in India. This
was also the period when caves in Ajanta and Ellora were painted, making
a finale grand to the technique artistic brilliance developed in the 5th and
6th centuries under the school of ancient west. These and other paintings
executed to Jain shrines inspired the new school of “Western Indian
Miniature Paintings”.6
It was about the year 800 A.D., the momentum of Indian painting
was hold in Western India for nearly eight hundred years. This was the
world as painted on the walls of the Buddhist rock-cut sanctuaries at
Ajanta (from around the beginning of the Christian era to the sixth
century A.D.) and Bagh, or the Badami Caves. It was in this century the
classical Indian form the traditions of Indian painting were accepted in
Afghanistan, Central Asia and Western Tibet.

Patronage of Jain Art:

The patrons of the Jain art were rich merchants and bankers. They
had temples built and manuscripts illuminated for the sake of their
renown in the Jain community. They were lavish in the pursuit of this
kind of self-gratification by which they attained spiritual security. They
had to rely on the builders and painters for the knowledge of the Jain
monks and the preceptors that had laid down in sacerdotal-technical
treaties7. The art of the builders of temples and of the illuminator of
religious manuscripts is hieratic and lavish. The Jain art is one of the pure
draughtmanship implies an art of symbols and indifferent to presentation.
Many Jaina temple acharyas have established libraries called bhandaras
where this rich heritage was preserved for study and scholarly work by
Jaina munis, preachers and philosophers over the centuries.
Shri Hemchandracharya, the scholar par excellence is associated
with both the powerful rulers of Solanki dynasty, Siddharaj Jaisimha and
and his successor Kumarapala. He was the greatest scholar and devoted to
literary activities and Sanskrit learning along with his group of talented
disciples. Jaina chronicles have recorded the active role of several learned
acharyas especially from the 13th century onwards, who are given the
epithet of prabhavakas motivators to take up sacred acts for the Jain
community. The senior acharya or pontiff during the middle of the 13th
century was Devendra Suri of Tapagaccha and hailed from Khambhat.8
During 15th century Acharya Jinabhadra Suri of Kharataragaccha carried

6 A.K. Commaraswamy,“i&yajP5’ on Jain A rt”edited by Richard J. Cohen, published by

IGNCA, New Delhi,2003,p. 29-35
7 Stella Kramrisch, “The Jain Paintings o f Western India”,Ahmedabad, 1975, p.385
Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, “N ew Documents o f Indian Paintings-a
reappraisal” Bombay, 1969 p. 24
out the most significant work of getting up bhandaras of hand written,
manuscripts igranthas) at different places (Jaisalmer, Devagiri, Patan).9
The palm-leaf was primarily used for writing manuscripts till the time of
Jinabhadra Suri. A great change of adapting paper exclusively for coping
and illustrating manuscripts took place around this period. The palm-leaf
material was abandoned due to its pauscity and which was replaced due
to improvement in the technique of papermaking at the same time. All the
existing established canonical treatises and other texts, which were
written on palm-leaf, were now copied on paper. Thus massive renovation
of manuscripts was possible in Jaina bhandaras in Gujarat and Rajasthan
at the same time. The palm-leaf manuscripts in Patan and Khambhat were
copied in Gujarat under the initiatives of Tapagaccha, Acharya Shri
Devasundara Suri and Shri Somasundara Suri. At Jaisalmer the copying
projects were carried out under the leadership of Shri Jinabhadra Suri.
Thus during the 15th century, lakhs of manuscripts were copied and re-
edited guided by the acharyas.10 Jaisalmer bhandaras was considered to
be the safest place to deposit and protect from threat.
The Jaina painting was extensively prevalent in Gujarat and
Rajasthan, because of which it has been given the nomenclature of
“Western Indian Style”.n The majority of Western Indian Paintings are in
svetvdmbara Jaina manuscripts with relatively few examples from the
second or paper-period in secular and Hindu texts. The earliest known
specimens as well as the greatest number appear among the svetambara
jainas, and for this reason the style has been variously called ‘Jaina’or
‘'svetambara Jaina’ or ‘Gujarati’. The illustrated manuscripts that came
from various parts of Gujarat and Rajputana, principally from the
collections of Jain monastic libraries principally the kalpasutra, the
kalakhcharya kathd and the sangrahm sutra-were first designated as Jain
The illustrated manuscripts were termed as Jaina not because either
the author of the works copied or the scribed thereof along with the
illuminators, were Jainas, but because they were principally executed
under Jaina patronage or written for a Jaina clientele.12 Pious Jainas
delighted in having beautiful copies not only of their sacred books but
also of other works of merit prepared and distributed among the
recognized centres of Jaina learning. This was particularly so during the

9 Moti Chandra& U.P. Shah, “N ew Documents o f Jaina Paintings” Shri Mahavira Jaina
Vidyalaya Golden Jubilee, Vol. I, Bombay, 1968, p. 350
10 S.M. Nawab and R.S. Nawab, “Jain Paintings" VoLII, Ahmedabad, 1985, p. 30-35
11 Stella Kramrich, “Jain Paintings from Western India”, Jain Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the celebration o f 2500th Anniversary of Bhagavan
Mahavira Nirvana, 1975,p.386-387
Norman W. Brown, “Stylistic Varieties o f Early Western Indian Miniature painting
about 1400 A.D, "JISOA, Vol. V, Calcutta 1937,p.9-10

( 3)
time of Siddharaj Jaisimha (1094-1143 A.D.) and his successor
Kumarapala (1143-1173 A.D.) when the secular power of the Jaina reach
its zenith.13 Jaisimha (1094-1143 A.D.) and his successor Kumarapala
(1143-1173 A.D.) when the secular power of the Jaina reach its zenith.14

The illustrated manuscripts paintings both on palm -leaf and paper,
painting on cloth and pain ted book covers dating from the 12fh century
and onwards are found m ostly in Jain collections. The earliest known
specimens as w ell as the greatest num ber appear in the Svethmbara Jndna
Bhandaras in Gujarat, and for this reason their style has been variously
designated as Jain’or Svetnmbara Jain’and Gujarati sty le ’.
Coomaraswamy a t first gives the designation o f Jain painting to
these miniatures15 but later on ShriN. C. Mehta calls i t as Gujarati sch oo16
Norman Brown, objects to the nomenclature Jain’ as suggested b y
Coomaraswamy and gives a m ore specific title ‘S vetambara Jain School’,
in support o f his n e w nomenclature, he poin ts out a characteristic feature
o f these paintings in which the eye in a three-quarter view o f the face
protrudes beyond the facial line17. In his stu d y o f the Vasanta Vilasa, a
pain ted scroll, dated 1451 A.D., in which the miniatures are executed
after the so-called Jain style, Shri N.C. Mehta comes to the conclusion that
the title Jain for such a highly secular subject would be a misnomer and
the designation GujaratiB. Shri Sarabhai Nawab designates as Gujarati
Jainasrita Raid’ or Gujarat school o f painting under the Jain patronage’.
To support his views he advances the following reasons-(a) Gujarat was
responsible fo r the execution and preservation o f the illustrated
manuscripts, and the artists were native o f Gujarat, (b) The w ord Jain’ is
added sim ply to sh ow that the pictorial subject m atter o f this school is
Jain’ and that the patrons o f the artists were also Jains19. Rai
Krishnadasa, examines a fresh questions o f the desgination o f the so

13 Manjulal Majmudar, “ The Gujarati School o f Painting and some N ew ly Discovered

Vaisnava Miniature”s, Journal of The Indian Society of Oriental Art, Vol. X, Calcutta,
1942, p.6
14 Manjulal Majmudar, “The Gujarati School o f Painting and some N ew ly Discovered
Vaisnava Miniatures”, Journal of The Indian Society o f Oriental Art, Vol. X, Calcutta,
1942, p.6
A.K. Commaraswamy, “ Catalogue o f the Indian Collections in the Fine Arts, Boston”,
Jain paintings and Manuscripts Boston, Part IV, 1924, p.20
16 Moti Chandra, Vain Miniature Paintings from Western India”, Jain Art Publication,
No. I, Ahmedabad, 1949, p. 13
17Indian Arts and Literature Vol. I l l , 1929,p. 19
N.C. Mehta, “Studies in Indian Painting”, Bom bay1926, p.21
19Sarabhai M. Nawab, “Jaina Chitra Kalpadruma” Vol. I, Ahmedabad 1936,p.11-12

called Jain school20 He disagrees with the designation but the findings o f
the majority o f the documents o f medieval paintings from the Jain
Bhandaras, depicting jain religious subjects does not prove anything
except they were the rich communities and strong enough to spend
m oney in getting copies o f sacred books o f religious merits. But he
preferred the designation Western Indian School’.21
The School of Gujarati painting dates from c.1100 A.D. it is in the
form of illustrated manuscripts, religious and secular, first on palm-leaf
(1100-1400 A.D.) and then on paper (1400-1650 A.D). Among the
noteworthy illustrated palm-leaf manuscripts are the nmthachurni
manuscripts of V.S.1157 in sanghavi padano bhandara, Patan. The
jhdnasutra manuscripts of V.S. 1184 and the dasavaiknlika laghuvrtti of
V.S.1120 shdntimtha bhandara, Cambay.22 The palm-leaf period extends
upto 1400 A.D. after paper began to extend. The surface offered for
painting by the palm-leaf had ample length but very restricted width.
Hence in the palm-leaf paintings the greater dimension is the horizontal,
while in the paper paintings it is generally vertical. The palm-leaf
paintings are executed with wider stroke are less complicated in
composition and have fewer details than those of the paper period. In
paper period paintings can yield more delicate outlines and elaborate
composition with a multiplication of details. The paintings look more
elegant, more sophisticated and more decorative than the palm-leaf
- 99
The Jain style existed before the Mughal ruler, Akbar (1556-1605),
patronized the Mughal School of painting, Jaina style represents an
important feature of pre-Akbari status of Indian painting. Akbar had even
recruited some Jain style painters from Gujarat among his court artists,
the name of three are-Kesho GujaratiMadho Gujarati\ Bhima Gujarati
and Surji Gujarati which became very famous at the imperial atelier of
Akbar24. Jaina style painters preferred simplification of the forms as
observed in nature. They were assigned to depict the life of Grthankaras
(such as mahavira) as contained in the manuscripts of kalpasutra, selected
episodes of knlakachdrya katha and symbolic themes from the sangraham
sutra. The philosophical work of uttarddhyayana sutra was a challenging
theme for the purpose of illustration.

20Krishnadas Rai, “BhartatJa Chitrakala” Banaras 1939,p.69

21 ibid of Rai Krishnadas,p. 81-82
Prof. K.B. Vyas, “ Gujarati Painting in the Seventeenth century”, Journal of the
University of Bombay, VoLXVII, July 1948, p.19
23 ibid of Prof. K.B. Vyas, p. 19
24 Manjulal Majmudar,“Zfte Gujarati School o f Painting and some N ewly Discovered
Vaisnava Miniatures ”, Journal of The Indian Society of Oriental Art, Vol. X, Calcutta,

( 5)
Patan was the main centre of Jaina style painting in Gujarat and
dated manuscripts also flourished in Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh and Mandu
in Madhya Pradesh. The Jain paintings have specimens of a distinctive
Gujarati School. The nomenclature of Gujarati painting derives added
significance from the achievements of the Gujarati school of architecture
which flourished for about 250 years beginning from the early 15th
century. The Gujarati school has got certain characteristic features not
only as regards paintings but also architecture, sculpture and dance. The
Gujarati school of painting should therefore be understood as embracing
not only known as Gujarat at present but also the major portion of
Rajasthan, at any rate upto the end of the 17* century when the
provincial courts of Rajputana came to be greatly influenced by the
current idiom of the Mughal atelier.
The pictorial material representative of the Gujarati School painting
has been richly illuminated in illustrated kalpasutra and
kdlakhchdryakathd, uttarddhyayana sutra. Due to the momentum gained
in the 15* century painting it took further studies which resulted in the
advancement of painting in two directions; firstly, strenuous effort was
made by the Jain bankers to bring an hitherto undreamt of
sumptuousness into the Jain illustrated manuscripts.25 The vast majority
of the Gujarati School is svetambara Jaina20. But the “Gujarati School”at
its height in the 15*century parallels Byzantine painting in significance
and quality27. Divested of the illusion to which the classical style had
given pictorial reality it creates, in trenchant linear shorthand a new
world through single signs is of classical Indian extraction. But the result
of all these experiments in the field of manuscripts illustration apparently
created a favour which resulted in a great leap forward. In the second half
of the fifteenth century Vahnavas apparently adopted the Western Indian
techniques for illustrating some of their books such as Gitagovinda’s and
Balagopdla-stuti These manuscripts though they follow the Jaina
technique show liveliness, a sense of movement and an emotional
The vast majority of the work of the Jain Gujarati School is
svetamvara Jaina in subject. The discovery in 1924 of the Vasanta Vilasa’s
scroll with a secular subject called for a revised nomenclature that led to

25 U.P. Shah “N e w Docum ents o f Jain P a in tin g s Shri Mahavira Jaina Vidyalaya Golden
Jubilee, Vol. I, Bombay 1968 ,p.351
26 Norman Brown,“Miniature Paintings o f the Jain Kaplasutra ” Smithsonian Institute,
Freer Gallery of Art, Oriental Studies No.2 Washington 1934, p .l
27 Stella Kramrich, “Jain Paintings from Western India” Jain Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the celebration of 2500th Anniversary of Bhagavan
Mahavira Nirvana, 1975, p.390
Moti Chandra, “Jain Miniature Paintings from Western India”, Published by Sarabhai
Manila! Nawab, Ahmedabad, 1949, p.40-42

suggest the designation ‘Gujarati” because historically the geographical
limits of medieval Gujarat included southern Rajputana, Malwa within its
boundaries upto thel6th century. The svetnmbara Jain illumination of
their sacred books is the most highly specialized efflorescence of the
Gujarati school.29

SignM^ e ^ . Ja m M :
It is fascinating to observe the flow of line evolved by Jaina painters
and the fluent calligraphic quality achieved by them as they enclosed the
coloured shapes with outlines30. Perspective and three-dimensional
modeling have been avoided but substitute devices are conceived to
suggest space as well as volume.
The vocabulary of the pictorial language of the Jaina art and how it is
consistently adapted for the depiction of human figures, animals and
other elements of nature, reveals the genius of the Jain style painters.31
The physical peculiarity in the delineation of human forms particularly
the angularity of the features and the projection of the further eye are
incidents of local colour independent of the quality of the art, the
inevitable stigmata of time and place. The formula of Jain painting
naturally exhibit numerous resemblances and parallels to those of Rajput
and other Indian paintings.32 It was at first believed that Jain paintings
were stereotyped that the illustrators were unware of decoration and that
owing to the sacred nature of their art they hesitated to experiment and
change the composition.
The eye in the classical Indian painting and its contemporary theory
of painting arrests attention, even more than it does in nature. Indian eyes
are large, luminous and expressive.33 Their eyes are wide open and
unforeshortened in the broad oval of the face. Their glance is fixed and
penetrating. Taking up the bit motif of the further eye, it is extended
beyond the contour of the face in three-quarter profile. The further eye

29 Manjulal Majmudar,“72?e Gujarati School o f Painting and some N ew ly Discovered

Vaisnava Miniatures”, Journal of The Indian Society of Oriental Art, Vol. X 1942,p.
Stella Kramrich, “Jain Paintings from Western India” , Jain Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the celebration of 2500th Anniversary of Bhagavan
Mahavira Nirvana, 1975,p.389
Moti Chandra, “Jain Paintings from Western India” Sarabhai Nawab publication,
Ahmadabad, 1949, p. 132
A .K. Commaraswamy, “Essays on Jain A rt”, edited by Richard J. Cohen, published
by IGNCA, New Delhi, 2003,p.12-13
Stella Kramrich, “Jain Paintings from Western India” Jain Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the celebration of 2500th Anniversary of Bhagavan
Mahavira Nirvana,Ahmedabad, 1975,p.388

(7 )
appears as if floating away from the flesh-tinted face on the red ground.
From the eleventh century the figures which occupy the monochrome
ground are spaced out on it, and their wide flung limbs allow the ground
its own existence between the figures and their groups respectively. The
figures are top heavy according to a new scale of proportions. Comparison
to face the eyes is large and in relation to the body the head is large. The
thin limbs are flung wide in poses based on the classical tradition which
gave its shape in paintings and sculpture.
The opaque monochrome ground on which the figures are limed
implies a total rejection of the throbbing plentitude of shapess and images
which in the classical tradition, had surged on the painted field so densely
that the figures themselves formed their own ground and the illusion of
their almost tangible presence. Sharply pointed gestures, glances, noses,
all are turned towards one goal and singling out the spellbound
concentration which is the theme of the paintings of the Gujarati School.
The rapid movement, directional tensions that seems to motivate the
further eye popping out beyond the limit of the face, an eye magic
represented a total style.
The Jain or Gujarati School style has an extremely sophisticated
consistency.34 Paradoxical from the outset, it precedes by integrating
several sets of polarities. In its beginning its illusionist style commanding
every pictorial means of bodying forth its figured content on a two-
dimensional ground. While defecting the figures from their three
dimensional semblance into two dimensional flatness, their volumetric
quality is translated into linear form. The increase capaciousness of the
bulge of the body extends the field which they occupy. It is further
widened and diversified by a uniquely complex phantasmagoria of
patterned, transparent, semi-transparent and opaque area which shows
the garments clinging to the bodies of the figures and floating around
While it has lasted for half a millennium the Jain or Gujarati
School of svetambara Jaina Painting was the most acute creation of
pictorial form in India. The great tradition of temple architecture and
sculpture which culminated in the earlier part of this phase has its roots
and unfoldment in the centuries before. The rigor of the colour saturated
ground and its hieratic splendor with its web of figures are sealed by the
wide open glance less eyes established in a space less, timeless world of
pointed gestures speeding and brittle lines and flickering patterns. The
ground has altogether come to the surface on which the patterns are
imprinted and to which they are hinged by eyes wide open an unblinking.
The embodied form of the classical Indian painting as in Ajanta, holds up

34 ibid of Stella Kramrieh, p. 388

( 8)
its stark planar brilliance, motionless while shot across by frenzied
gestures whose agitation wants to be measured against the never closing
eyes on figures and the saturated ground of eternity35.

The Aesthetic Significance of the Costumes:

The early eleventh century is the vital phase of transformation36.
Residues of the classical tradition linger on in local practice or where
contacts with conservative and contemporary schools of Indian painting
are obvious. This refers to the rendering of the naked body or those parts
of the body which are not clothed. The body is either modeled in the
colour of the garment or its colour is laid on flat and opaque. If the
garment is patterned its stripes or geometric designs take over. They were
to become an integral part of the styles by the fourteenth century.
One part of the garment particularly is of leading importance, the
fluttering ends of ‘scarf’ and loincloth. The scarf is slung diagonally across
the body crossing over the left shoulder, its ends hanging down from the
shoulders, its long ends swinging loose laterally, often in opposite
directions away from the body. Their essential function in the paintings is
their pointed flutter away from the body, ending always in points,
triangular or fishtail-like, tossed and suspended by an invisible storm,
unpredictable in its directions except by compositional needs of
fragmenting the opaque ground. The loose end of the loincloth may be
used to the same extent. The scarf is thrown across the body, its patterned
broad band curves along with the contour of the body, further
augmenting sway and width of the latter.
The oscillating outlines of the drapery originally were meant to
convey movement in three-dimensional space, wreathed as the shawl is,
around the limbs of the body. Space having condensed and congealed as
opaque ground, is now traversed by the undulations of the garment. The
spread over the ground and break it up in manifold patterns. By the
fourteenth century the fragmentation of the ground presents itself in
monochrome and speckled areas. The latter may be contained in the
ample zones of patterned raiment or they are part of the ground itself
where figures of lesser importance and therefore small in scale are
scattered rather than grouped37.

Stella Kramrich, 11Jain Paintings from Western India” Jain Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the celebration of 2500th Anniversary of Bhagavan
Mahavira Nirvana, Ahmedabad, 1975, p.402
ibid of Stella Kramrich, p. 396
37 Stella Kramrich, “Jain Paintings from Western India” Jam Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the celebration of 2500th Anniversary of Bhagavan
Mahavira Nirvana,Ahmedabad, 1975, p.397

Gujarat was one of the most inventive centres of textile design and
techniques. The “hamsa” (the mythical bird, stylized gander) design of
ancient Indian origin may cover a painted field next to one throbbing with
scattered dots or reticulated in a woven geometry. Garments in Indian art,
ritual and daily life, like jewellery, adorned the bodies of gods and men
paying homage to the life which they protect and enrich in many ways.38

The Persian Art Influence :

The development of the Indo-Persian type in Indian painting during
the sultanate period of Gujarat raises the important question of Persian
influence on the western Indian or Gujarati school39. It can be argued that
the proved technique of draughtmanship and the use of the carmine
ultramine and gold are due to Persian influence40. It is evident from the
illustrated manuscripts themselves that the tradition of the redefined
Gujarati style of the late 14th century continued during the first half of the
fifteenth century.41
The Persian elements are conspicuous, and they are generally
considered to be limited to the depiction of the shdhis, their physiognomy
and costumes, and their arms rise out of their Persian garb42. The Persian
style shows a finess and sensibility which presupposes the long
development of the art in Iran43.The sumptuous patterns of their coats,
augment the repertory of the other garments, canopies and thrones. The
shdhi figures retain throughout the flat oval face of Timurid tradition.
Their eyes are contained within it, and the pupils are in the furthest
comer of the eyes in the direction towards which the faces turns. This
gives them a look of participation in the scene and their eyes function on
a different level of experience than does the farseeing steady gaze of the
disembodied eyes in full view which forms as it were a seal impressed on
the foreshortened visage and the monochrome ground alike.44


Moti Chandra, “Jain Miniature Paintings from Western India”, Sarabhai Nawab
Publication, Ahmedabad, 1949,p.8-12
39Moti Chandra and Karl Khandalavala, “New Documents of Indian Painting- a
reappraisal”, Prince of Wales Museum Bombay, 1969, p.14
40 ibid of Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, p. 14
41 Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, “N ew Documents o f Indian Painting-a
reappraisal”,Prince o f Wales Museum, Bombay, 1969 , p. 14
42 ibid of Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, p. 15
43 Basil Gray, “Paintings under the Timurids, Treasures o f Asia Persian Painting” Mac
Millan, London, 1961, p. 69
44 Stella Kramrich, “Jain Paintings from Western India ” Jain Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the celebration of 2500th Anniversary of Bhagavan
Mahavira Nirvana, 1975,p. 395

( 10)
The introduction of the foreign figures of the shahis brought with it
also formal changes. The monochrome opaque ground became
partitioned. The ambience of these foreigners was divided from that of
their Indian inter-locuters.45A separation of the painted field into
juxtaposed rectangular panels evolved. The pervasiveness of the
monochrome ground, its ubiquitous unimpeded intrusion into the field of
movement of the figures was halted. The vital dynamic relation between
figures and ground were separated. The painted field now is an addition
of rectangular unit’s separated explicitly by dividing lines or elements
merely by a deposition of each figure or group with its ambience within a
rectangular field. The partition of the painted field into more or less self-
sufficient though interrelated panels brings with it a steady of the
composition a calming down of the tenseness of direction.
The textiles augment and overlay the figures apart from them they
are vital shapes, charged with linear energy and rhythms tossed in various
directions neither by the movements of their wearer nor by any wind but
by the creative upsurge which made the painter put across their
lineaments.46 Textiles now furthermore cover not only seats and couches
and the most elaborate chairs and thrones on which kings and monks
were ever made to sit, their shapes as canopies and baldachins are wave-
edged horizontal zones. The elements become extensive and elaborate
with festoons and pendants attached to them, diminutive accents of
attention scattered over the monochrome ground. There is a scintillating
preciousness in these shapes for which one would look in vain before the
fourteenth century. The textiles patterns, jewellery, furniture, human
figures and animals, unforeshortened, wide-open eyes (as they never close
though the mothers of the saviors in the scene of the dream of conception
are meant to be shown sleeping) and the glowing aureoles (any figure
worthy to be painted may be painted with a halo whether she is the
mother of the Savior or her attendant) keep the entire painting astir with
restlessness with an excitement of the speckled colour field in which
figure and ground are one47.
The garments particularly the shawl augment the divagating S-
curve of the body, was swung over the further arm or shoulder which its
transparent fabric follows the bulges of the body as well as its own gravity
while passing with undulating hemlines from the shoulder to the opposite

45 ibid of Stella Kramrich, p. 396

46 Moti Chandra,“Jam Miniature Paintings from Western India”, Published by Sarabhai
Manilal Nawab, Ahmedabad, 1949, p. 122-124
47 Stella Kramrich, “Jain Paintings from Western India”, Jain Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the Celebration of Mahavira Nirvana, Ahmedabad,

( 11)
hip.48 They forcibly change the direction. The transparent fabric outlined
by them now stiffens in wind-tossed edges. The paintings of the fifteenth
century a motif is hardly employed before the late fourteenth century, a
ring is around the head opaquely coloured halo contrasting with the
colour of the ground. All the major figures have their faces outlined
against the colourful plaque of their halo with its beaded or ray-beset
edge. The paradoxical from the outset it precedes by integrating several
sets of polarities. A new pictorial ideal type is created, exaggeratedly
sinous and voluptuous with reference to the body, obsessionally
meticulous at the same time not only in circumscribing the amplitude of
the shapes but also in bringing them to a halt at their points of
intersection. The angles caliberated according to the degree of gestural
movement of the figures cut into their flowing curves or else insinuate
themselves into the expanded curves on the outline of the shoulders49.
While it had lasted for half a million the school of svetambara Jaina
painting was the most acute creation of pictorial form in India. The great
radiation of temple architecture and sculpture which culminated in the
earlier part of this phase has its roots and unfoldment in the centuries
before. It was moreover an all Indian contribution. Western Indian
painting from the 11 *-16* centuries on the other hand belongs to one
region, Gujarat and Rajasthan, whence, though it did send fourth and
differently oriented schools.50
The rigor of the colour saturated ground and its hieratic splendor,
with its wave off figures are seal by the wide open glanceless eyes
established in a spaceless, timeless world of pointed gestures speeding
and brittle lines and flickering patterns.51 The ground has altogether come
to the surface on which the patterns are imprinted and to which they are
hinged by eyes wide open and unblinking. To the surging plentitude and
embodied from of classical Indian painting, as in Ajanta, the Western
Indian School hold a pit stark planar brilliance, motionless, while short
across by frenzied gestures whose agitation wants to be measured against
the never closing eyes on figures and the saturated ground of eternity.
However, the Jain illustrated manuscripts have borrowed certain
Persian manuscripts to conceive the styles which were made easily
accessible to Jain illustrators through the good offices of their influential
patrons. The shdhi type has been formulated in the fourteenth century,

a q Stella Kramrich

49 op.cit of Stella Kramrich
50 Stella Kramrich, “Jain Paintings from Western India”, Jain Art and Architecture,
Gujarat State Committee for the Celebration of 2500th anniversary of Bhagvan
Mahavira Nirvana, 1975, Ahmedabad, p. 395 '
51 Moti Chandra,“Ja/h Miniature Pintings o f Western India”, Sarabhai Nawab
Publication, Ahmedabad, 1949,P. 100

( 12)
later than that the Indo-Persian type had already emerged. It is
characterized by a broad face, slanting eyes with curved eyebrows and the
pupils rolled in a corner, drooping or curled moustache, trimmed pointed
beard- sometimes thick and sometimes thin-tapering to the ears and
ruddy complexion52. These shahis wear a four pointed conical cap
trimmed with pearls, caftan made of rich thick flowered material
patterned in circles, square or arabesques and long boots eminently
suitable for hard riding so common to the Scythians. These long riding
boots were the characteristic costumes worn by the shahid3.
The Jain Painting of shahi figures of the Mlaknchaiya katha in
Muni Punyavijayaji collection, Ahmedabad, where the beard is narrow
and markedly pointed at the chin.54 The headgear also is rather different
somewhat flat dome crown the curves are trimmed with pearls, while a
prominent pigtail in the Mongol fashion falls along the shoulder. The
development of the Indo-Persian type in Indian painting during the
Sultanate period of Gujarat raises the importance of Persian influence on
the Gujarati School. It is evident that the tradition of the redefined
Gujarati style of the late fourteenth continued during the first half of the
fifteenth century even in Gujarat and Rajasthan.55
The kalpasutra of the devasano pddo bhandara was painted at
circa 1475 A.D., the costumes worn by the shahis in the Jain miniatures of
the kalaka story do not reflect the mode of dressing which prevailed
amongst the Muslims Sultans and the nobles, but are just borrowed from
the costumes seen in Arab and Persian Painting. 56
The Gujarati art tradition however took a more subtle turn at Mandu, the
ancient Mandapadurga, which was the former capital of Malwa, now
merged with Madhya Pradesh. The Sultans of Delhi extended their power
over Malwa in the second quarter of the thirteenth century. Mandu was a
stronghold of Jainism in the l l th~12rh century and it flourished during the
Muslim rule.57 Little objections was there in constructing the temple and
architecture and even in religious bools as the Jain community controlled
finance and trade whereas the Sultans felt it advisable to leave them alone
in the interests of the prosperity.

52 Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, “N ew Documents o f Indian Painting-a

reappraisal. Prince o f Wales Museum, Bombay, 1969, p.13
53 ibid of Khandalavala and Moti Chandra, p.13
53 ibid of Khandalavala and Moti Chandra, p, 13
54 ibid of Khandalavala and Moti Chandra, p. 13 to 14
55 ibid of Khandalavala and Moti Chandra, p. 17
56 ibid of Khandalavala and Moti Chandra, p. 32
57 Pramod Chandra, “A Unique Mlakncdtya Katha Manuscripts in the Style o f the
Mandu Kalpasutra o f 1 4 3 9 A D ”. Bulletin o f the American Academy o f Benaras. Vol,I,
Varanasi, 1967, p. 9

Fig: Kalakacharya Katha, Devasdno Pado Bhandara, Ahmedabad c. 1475A.D.
Arya Kdlaka is converting earth bricks to gold.
The Saka soldiers are seen carrying away the gold.
However, the kalakacharya katha belonging to Muni Punyavijayaji
by A.D. 1439, Mandu has an individual style. It followed the general
trends of or Gujarati School. The draughtm anship of kalaka is bolder. The
shdhi in the Mandu kdlakdchdrya is the usual Mongol types with their flat
domed crowns and pigtails.58

Fig: Meeting of the Shahi chief and Kalaka. Folio from the Kalakacharya katha.
Painted at Mandu, Western Indian or Gujarati School, c.1430-1440 A.D.
Muni Punyavijayaji Collection, Ahmedabad, L.D. Museum.

Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, “N ew Documents o f Indian Painting-a
reappraisal”. Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay, 1969, p. 20
( 14)
The miniatures of the Mandu kalpasutra reveals an evolved style
which follows the conventions of the Gujarati School, which is superior in
draughtmanship, colouring, representation of details. In Gujarati School
angularity is present and the delineation of the human face and farther
projecting eye is present.59
The Mandu kalpasutra of A.D. 1439 has an individual style
distinguished for its grace. It has no elegant border decoration such as
exists in the Jaunpur and devasano pado kalpasiitras but it employs an
advance technique both in draughtmanship and in the application of
colours.60 A detail study of the Mandu kalpasutra reveals an evolved style
which though following conventions of the Gujarati School is superior in
draughtsmanship, colouring representation of details and finish to the
general run of the kalpasutra illustrations.61 In keeping with the
convention of the Gujarati School, the angularity is present in the
delineation of the human face, but unlike the majority of the manuscript
from the Gujarati school the nose is not markedly beaky and the point of
the chin is not so sharp the farther projecting eye is however is present.
The Mandu kalpasutra the head is more flat at the top in comparison to
the usually rounded head seen in most of the illustrations from Gujarat.
Another difference is the noticeably narrow forehead, rising almost
vertically from its commencement with the bridge of the nose, and not
sloping backwards. The general effect of the faces of the ladies as well as
in the Jaunpur kalpasutra is without the farther projecting eye.62
Basically and substantially belong to the Gujarati tradition though it
appears to be a conscious effort to avoid the usual exaggerations of the
miniatures from Gujarat. The refined colours and draughtmanship give
the Mandu miniatures a quality which is not to be found in most of the
stereotyped illustrated kalpasutra manuscripts from Gujarat63.
In the Mandu manuscripts the hands and feet are fairly well drawn
and the nails are well indicated. The waist of the male tends to fullness

59 Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, "New Documents o f Indian Paintings-a

reappraisal” Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay, 1969, p. 20-23, plate p. 23
60 ibid of Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, p. 24
61 Pramod Chandra,“Notes on Mandu Kalpasutra o f 1439 A D .” Marg, Vol. XII, No. 3,
Bombay 1959
62 Pramod Chandra, “A Unique Kalakhmrya Katha Manuscripts in the Style o f the
Mandu Kalpasutra o f 1439 A D. ” Bulletin of the American Academy of Benaras.
VoLI, Varanasi, 1967, p.10-13
Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra “A consideration o f an illustrated manuscripts
from Mandapadurga (Mandu) Dated 1439A.D. ” a u d its bearing on certain problems
o f Indian Painting, Lalit Kala, No. 6 ,1 9 5 9 , New Delhi, p.24-25

while the female waist is narrow but not so narrow in the Gujarati style.
The colours employed are red, carmine, blue, green yellow, pink.64

Fig.: King Siddhartha conversing with Queen Trisala and Trisala reclining on her
KalpasQtra painted at Mandu, Gujarati School, V.S. 1496 = 1439A.D.

The chief characteristics of the Mandu kalpasutra of AD.1439 are as

In the figure drawing may be observed restrain lined
draughtsm anship which eliminates the exaggeration of the chest and
palsied contortions of the hands.
The angularity of the certain features continues and seems to strive
to achieve coherence of the body contours.
The projection of the farther eye also continues but its removal
would not disturb the face.

64 Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, “N ew Documents o f Indian Painting-a

reappraisal', Prince of Wales Musum, Bombay, 1969, p.19

( 16)
The Significance of Devasano Pado Bhandara Paintings
The feature of the devasano pado paintings is the richness of the
illustrations. The composition is no longer confined to a small square but
occupies the entire folio, a development which has been noticed. The
miniatures are further enriching by decorations. The monotony of the
background is relieved by simple architectural detail
The figures in the devasano pado kalpasutra are concerned, the
marked angularity of the body contour, exaggeration of the chest and
extension of the farther eye are continued and mostly influenced by the
Western Indian style, the figures of female dancers can be more studied in
details, the movements are more lyrical and the abandoned of the dance
is well rendered. There is another class of female dancers whose
representation seems to have based on an Indo-Persian type. This type has
a round somewhat Mongolian face in three quarter profile or full view,
eyes with recurved eyebrows and double chin. The farther eye of the
foreign Sahis is never seen protruding .65
The border decoration of the devasano pado paintings, the
illustrator found the full expression of his decorative genius. The
inspirations may have come from the indigenous or imported textile
patterns. The motif of the design, flowering plants, birds and animals
form another element of border decorations. The tree trunk, lively
monkeys climbing, the delicate branches carrying flower. The very
attractive type of cloud form seems to have facisnated in the fifteenth
century but also in the sixteenth century.
Gujarat has been famous for its maritime commerce66. The
illustrator of the devasano pado paintings simplifies by representation of
sailing vessels test the illustrator has tried for the first time in the Gujarati
Style attempted a landscape.67 The treatment of the birds and animals
shows a realisitic and stylized tendencies.Dancing is an important element
in the border decoration68. Single female dancers in various dancing
attitudes which are labeled, flank the folio borders. The smiling face of
the girls and their whirling aerobics movements make the panel unique in
the Gujarati painting. The postures of the dancers are more traditional
and based on the prototypes in the stone sculptures of Gujarat. The
winged dancing figure with round faces in the three quarter profile and
ruddy complexion is of clearly Persian influence.69

65 Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, N ew Documents o f Indian Painting-a

reappraisal. Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay, 1969 ,p.40
66 ibid.p.34
67 ibid.p.34
68 ibid.p.35
69 ibid.p.35

Thus in the devasano pado manuscripts paintings one may see a
broadening of the conventional style and an effort to assimilate new
motifs whenever permissible without disturbing the hieratic content of the
text illustrated. The principal innovation is the blending of Persian art
concepts into the hieratic art of the Jainas.70
Despite the undoubted influences of Timurind painting of the
devasano pado manuscripts painting, the usual Mongol types for the
shdhis depicted them somewhat in the manner of the Sultan of Gujarat
and his nobles and attendants. The scene represents the saka boys
playing a game of ball, and the ball falling in a well and kdlaka retrieving
it there from. In the upper panel the saka boys are shown engaged in a
vigorous game of ball played with sticks. The lower panel is still more
interesting as it shows a curious juxtaposition of Persian and Indian
elements. On the left is represented a court scene with the saka Kings and
his officers. In the foreground is depicted a saka prince with princess and
attendants. The princess sits on the extreme farther edge of a round
carpet, a convention continued in the 16th century chaurapanchasika
group. On the right appears kdlaka retrieving the ball from the well with
an arrow. One notable point in the illustration is the female type as seen
in the seated princess. She is basically Persian but Indianised in a certain
extent. The saka princess wears a flat turban more like a chaplet with
ends trailing down the shoulders like a scarf.
In the third scene depicting Gardabhilla releasing the “Ass Magic"
there is again a curious mixture of Persian and Indian types. The
composition is quite simple. The sakas appear in three registers fighting
the puny Indian soldiers. The soldiers appear in single file only but the
shooting of arrows and tilted lances indicate that the soldiers are not
marching in a procession but are in the battlefield. In most cases the floral
diagram and geometrical patterns of the borders are derived from Persian
architecture, carpets, textiles, pottery and paintings. In some of the
marginal scenes Persian influences predominate, though the angular
draughtsmanship and the projection of the farther eye shows the presence
of Gujarati elements. In a panel depicting a shdhi soldier carrying slabs of
gold the flat turban whose folds gives the appearance of a scaly pattern.
Such a flat turban shows that the atpad style pagfi.71
In another scene in which a horseman is shooting arrows the
Persian facial type is replaced by an angular Gujarati type with the
projection of the farther eye72. However, it may be pointed out that the

70 ibid.p.38
71 Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra," N ew Documents o f Indian Painting-a
reappraisal’, Prince o f Wales Museum, Bombay, 1969, p 40
72 Karl Khandalavala & M oti Chandra, “New Documents o f Indian Pamting-a
reappraisal.'’ Prince o f W ales M useum , B om bay, 1969, p. 40

( 18)
devasano pado kalpasutra and kalakdcharya kathd has a unique place
amongst the paintings of Gujarati School. Inspite of all the stylistic
limitations imposed by a hieratic art, the illustrator enhanced the scope of
the composition by introducing new episodes which required a certain
degree of skill and by adding delightful border decoration borrowed from
carpets, textiles and architectural designs as well as animals and birds by
drawing copiously on some illustrated manuscripts. The Gujarati School
was not so rich in landscape and animal drawing. Certain elements of
landscape such as tree, hills, clouds and water are treated conventionally.
The treatment of the naturalistic continued to be conventional though the
devasano pado painting has a tendency both realistically and
conventionally which indicates a new approach.73
It may be noted that the devasano pado kalpasutra and
kalakdcharya kathd has a unique place amongst the manuscripts of the
Gujarati School74. Inspite of all stylistic limitations impose by the hieratic
art, the illustrator enhanced the scope of the composition by introducing
new episodes which required a certain degree of skill and by adding
delightful border decoration borrowed from carpets, textiles, and
architectural designs, as well as animals and birds and by drawing
copiously on some illustrated manuscripts of the TTmurid period. 75
Another manuscript is from Jamnagar Ahchalagaccha collection
shows that there were others illustrators in Gujarat, who took their cuer
from the Gandhara port manuscript, were producing equally fine
decorative work. The Jamnagar manuscripts was painted at Patan in V.S.
1558=1501 A.D. The result of all these experiments in the field of
manuscript illustration apparently created a fervour which resulted a
great rapid progress as the subject matter is concerned.76 This momentum
discovery of richly illustrated copy of kalpasutra and kalakdcharya katha
shows that that the uses of the decorative motifs but also other patterns
which happened for the first time in the Gujarati art77.

73 ibid.p.42
74 Karl Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, “ New Documents o f Indian Painting - a reappraisal
Prince o f Wales Museum, Bombay, 1969, p 42
75 ibid o f Khandalavala & Moti Chandra, p.42
U.P. Shah & Moti Chandra,” New Documents o f Jaina Paintings" ,Shri Mahavira Jaina
Vidyalaya Golden Jubilee,Vol.I, Bombay 1968, p. 352-353
77 ibid o f U.P. Shah & Moti Chandra, p.353

( 19)
Fig (a): Abduction o f nun Sarasvati by Gardhabhilla, folio from
Kalpasutra and Kalakacharya katha, Gujarati School, Devasano Pado Bhandara,
Ahemdabad. c. 1475 A.D.

Fig (b): Trisala in her palace. From the folio same as fig (a)

Fig (c) : Kalaka and Shah Chief From the folio same as fig (a)

( 20)
Fig: (d): The She Ass-magic. From the folio same as fig (a)

Fig: (e): Kalaka retrieving the ball from the well. From the folio same as
Fig: (a)
The manuscripts have patterns drawn from textiles and calico
printing and geometrical figures and birds play an important part in the
decoration. The Patan artist have drawn the figures of dancers and
musicians in countless different poses, Kinnaras, Apsarasas, gods and
goddesses, processions, hunting scenes, birds and animals, rocks and
monkeys, and the landscapes form another important item in the
decoration. It also seems that in the decoration there appear scenes from
some Jainas stories that in the decoration there appear scenes from some
Jaina stories probably contained in some commentaries of the kalpasutra.
Another important inspiration in decoration is from Muslim sources. The
dancing figures not only as suggesting celebration but also as motif of
border decoration .
In keeping with the Devasano Pado manuscripts the Jamnagar
manuscripts originally painted at Patan has also taken recourse to

(21 )
elaborate compositions. However, it may be noted that the kalakacharya
kathd is concerned the themes treated are of much greater elaboration.

The Illustrated Manuscript Paintings on the life of Tirthankara

and its importance
Kalpasiitra: The Prototype of Mahavlra’s life and other
The Jain kalpasutra manuscripts transcribe the text ascribed to
Bhadrabahu who compiled his version during the 7th century.78 Many Jain
donors’ families commissioned illustrated manuscripts as part of their
sacred texts. The kalpasutra text is full of detailed descriptions which
enable us to identify the different components of the pictorial
compositions and episodes. The birth of Mahavira. is an epochal event
which is in the form of an embryo placed in the womb of brahmani
devdnanda who was the wife of the brahmin rsabhadutta and they resided
in Mahankundagram. The fourteen dreams which appeared to her before
this epochal event are described very elaborately in a well chosen
vocabulary. The lord of the swarga Indra had become aware of this great
event. He was very pleased but realized that Mahavira should have
decended the family of Ksatriya Siddhdrtha. His wife was KsatriyanI
Trisala and they resided in Ksatriya Kundagram. Indra ordered
harinaigamesin to replace the embryo in Trisaid's womb. Bhadrabahu
describes that the embryo was 83 days old and it was received by Trisala
without any pain. Mahavira are associated two mothers. The descriptions
from kalpasutra are being quoted here so that we have and idea of the
contents of the text which serves as guidelines or even as the kind of
overall pictorial atmosphere the painter has to delineate. The bedroom of
each of the mothers is describe with similar details elaborately decorated,
and filled with paintings, decorative motifs on the dresses, bed sheets and
curtains. The bright jewels dispelled the darkness. Before Harinaigamesin
appeared to Trisala, and even she too had seen the auspicious fourteen
dreams. It will be realized that the illustrated kalpasutra is a precursor of
numerous pictorial projects in the future history of Indian miniature
paintings, be it the epic stories of poetic expressions.

Mahavira Enthroned (mahavira murti)

An illustrated kalpasutra will open with the image of Mahavira
recognizable by his symbol of lion below his throne. Mahavira sits in
Norman Brown, “Miniature Paintings o f the Jain Kalpasutra ”, Smithsonian Institute,
Freer Gallery of Art, Oriental Studies, No. 2, Washington 1934,p.3

padmasana on a throne supported by lions and elephants facing each
other. It is a majestic meditating image resembling sculptural icons.
The second folios in kalpasutra manuscript woulds have the
pictorial respresentation of astamangala, the eight providential symbols/
the belief in these symbols began in ancient times and is carved in stone
slabs in first century Jaina monuments in Mathura. The Jaina families
offer carved or engraved panels of the astamangala symbols as part of
regular worship and rituals. These eight symbols are describe below:

1. Darpana (mirror) - One is able to see one’s pwn self in it. A human
being in order to be able to realize knowledge of oneself goes through
austerities of ascetic meditation, charitable acts and observance of
celibacy, which are a man’s embellishments.
2. Bhadmsana (throne) is offered for the worshipful feet of Jinesvara.
3. Samputaka (heap of jewels) are delineated because of the
awareness of the fact that it is due to the benevolence of Jinesvara that
the devotee has earned fame and power, intelligence and kind-
4. Kalasa (vessel) represents the three worlds and Jinesvara’s own
5. Siivatsa (jewel) represents the enlightened knowledge that resides
in Jinesvara’s heart.
6. Mina-yugala (fish couple) represents the flag of kamadeva who was
defeated by all the Jinesvara’s, now continues them to serve them
to nullify his sin.
7. Svastika at the brief but momentus occasion of Jinesvara’s birth an
absolute peace prevailed in the three worlds, martyaloka (terrestrial
world), the svargaloka (celestial world) and patalaloka (neither
world). Svastika is the symbol of that moment of tranquility.
8. Nandyavarta the nine ponted form, represents the fact that the
Jinesvara’s devotees obtain treasure in all directions.
The painter of instead creating a monotous arrangement has
exaggerated the importance of the kalasa which occupies two-thirds
the height of the painting the lower tier is filled with srivatsa,
svastika and nandyavarta.

14 Dreams of Devananda (devananda sayanagha, devananda suha)
According to the Jain belief devanada is the first mother of
Mahavira, she was the first to sight the fourteen dreams and bears the
embryo for 80 days. Thus some artists place immediately after the image
of Mahavira, the reclining female figures, sometime with her named
inscribed on the folio. In some manuscripts the panel of 14 dreams is
drawn as the backdrop of the reclining female, with the title 14 dreams of

Indra’s Court (indra sabha)

The episode of Indra engaged in his abode with certain activities is
a ‘must’ in an illustrated kalpasutra. His realization of the epochal
moment of Mahavira’s arrival on the jambiidVlpa, and his role in the
transference of the embryos. Certain ambitious Jaina painters have
depicted Indra in the activity of witnessing dance performance scene. The
large, seated figure of Indra is over-seeing the activity of entertainment.
The delineation of dancing figures is testimony to the Jaina painters
command on the movements of human body. This method of pictorial
representation has the same characteristics as that of Egyptian paintings
in the ancient pyramids. The dancers represent the group of 32 dancing
dikakumaris. The painter sets out to capture the joyous atmosphere of the
heavenly court filling the shimmering page not only with the looming
lustrous figure of Indra, the dancers and musicians establishes great
movement and variation and rhythms. The movement and gestures of the
dancers are most subtly varied delicacy in the figurative patterns of the
garments worn by everyone.
In one of the manuscripts the figure of Indra is of the same size as
other figures in the middle row. Prominence is given to the art of dance as
practiced Indra's swarga. The entire activity is spread in three tiers has
chosen to depict Indra in conversation with two personages in front of
him one above the other, without over-lapping. Indra himself is of large
size placed on a throne and a canopy (torana) is held above him. This
composition once again has typical quality of frontality of Egyptian
painting. The variety of sitting position is noteworthy.

Sakra’s reverences
Indra is depicted in ardhaparyahka asana, so also two of the upper
and middle figures. The lower figure is squatting with both legs bent at
the knees and held together on the floor, perhaps suggesting his minor
stature. Four armed Indra comes down from his lavishly decorated throne.
Parasol over his head he squats on his knees and folds his two hands

''b '2 - g S

while offering prayers to Mahavira. His dhoti has designs of swans printed
over it. The act of coming down from his throne and placed in kneeling
position next to the throne, gives a connotation.

Indra’s instruction to Harinaigamesin (sakra ajha)

The character of Haritiaigamesin is very special in the Jaina art as
the envoy of Indra entrusted with the midwifery job of transference of the
divine embryo. Inspite of his important role he is rarely depicted on his
own in a single frame. He is usually included in those frames in which are
illustrated the two mothers, Devananda and Trisala. It will be logical too
observe that if a kalpasutra is illustrated with minimum pictures,
Harinaigamesi's image is among those which are dropped, besides
Maha vira's renunciation from the family life, being carried in a palanquin
and so forth. The artist has depicted Harinaigamesi reporting to Indra,
standing face to face with the celestial god and receiving instructions.
Harinaigamesi is a composite figure with the head of a deer grafted on
human body. In some texts he is referred as Indra’s military commander.
The depiction of Harinaigamesi is noteworthy because in this full-
frame image the Jaina artist found opportunity to give a shape to the
divine embryo. This episode should fall in the sequence between when
Devananda conceived and when Harinaigamesi after extracting the
embryo from her then arrives in Trisala's bedroom carrying the holy
seedling. The artist imagines a superhuman character capable of floating
in space and delineates the looming human and animal composite form
traversing the universe in the manner he leaps over the mountains. It is
one more of the space compositions we shall observe quite often in
kalpasutra paintings by Jaina masters.

Harinaigamesi takes away the Embryo from Devananda

(devananda garbhapahara)
The transfer of the embryo into two separate frames which is
carried out by Harinaigamesi on the orders of Indra. It can be seen the
concept of brevity or conciseness of narrative adopted by the Jaina
painter, Harinaigamesi looks in the opposite direction of the reclining
Devananda. He holds carefully in both hands the divine embryo. His
raised left legs suggest his walking away swiftly, in happy contrast to how
he solemnly enters ksatriyanl Trisala's bed-room bringing the divine
embryo. The reclining figure of the mother in gorgeous costume remains
constant in both; however the portion of cloth covering Devananda is
designed with Hamsa motif; the other mother has full flower petals on her
costume. The bent left leg over the stretched right leg is considered as

svastika posture. The cot is depicted in profile view; a broad canopy is
delineated over the reclining mother.

Trisala Reclining (trisala sayanagrha)

Here the delineation of Trisala reclining expectantly attended by a
chaufi bearing maid. The interior of the bedroom as describe earlier. The
symbols of crescent moon and sun are drawn on the 'bed-room' wall.

Harinaigamesi brings the Embryo for placing in Trisala's womb

(trisala garbhasanchara)
Fourteen Dreams of Trisala (trisala svapna -14)
Trisala's fourteen dreams-an elephant, a bull, a lion, Lakshmi Devi,
the brilliant flower garlands, a full moon, the sun, a flag/ banner, a
kalasa, lotus pond, ocean of milk, celestial palanquin, heaps of jewels and
flames are arranged as part of her backdrop.

Fourteen Dreams of Trisala (trisala svapna-14)

Trisala's fourteen dreams - an elephant, a bull, a lion, Lakshmi
Devi, the brilliant flower garlands, a full moon, the sun, a flag/ banner, a
kalasa, lotus pond, ocean of milk, celestial palanquin, heaps of jewels and
flames are arranged as part of her backdrop. The three animals are on the
top-most row. Prominent in the second row are Lakshmi on one end and
puma kalasa on the other end. It is significant that the dreams were first
sighted by the Brahman! Devananda. Mother having the vision of the
fourteen dreams constitutes the first of the kalyanakas of a TIrthankara's
spiritual journey.

The Fourteen Auspicious Dreams:

In each of the vision of the dreams7 the following objects appeared to
both the mothers of Mahavlra:

1. Elephant (hast!)- stood dignified with four tusks, tall, white like douds,
gigantic like mountain, serene, fortunate, and assodated with good fortune.
2. Bull (rsabha) - manifested as benign, strong and well built, with fine
proportions. His calm attitude would not provoke fear or agitation.
He was adorned with symmetrically curved horns.

3. Lion (slha) - appeared like a heap of pearls, a river of milk, comparable
with moon beams, and fair complexioned. He had fine looking paws,
protruding moving tongue as hey He possessed benign countenance.
4. Lakshin! Devi - awned, broad symmetrical shoulders and beautiful
walking gait with raised curled tail manifested sitting on a lotus, whose
delicate hands and feet appeared like lotus petals. She had lotus like eyes,
long hair, well-filled body, water pot like pair of breasts and narrow waist,
very attractive. She was decked up with ornaments and her earrings
touched her cheeks. She held lotuses in both hands, while elephants were
lustrating her with water.
5. Flower Garland {mala) - The fragrant flower garland that fell from the
skies was predominantly white in color and had as many as twenty five
types of flowers tied in bunches
6. Full Moon (chandrama) - in the sixth dream, Trisala sees the full
moon, its white color resembling that of milk, or of silver or of the swan,
glittering like a clean mirror, enemy of darkness, creator of upheaval in
the sea water, the target the seawater the target of Mmadevak arrows, its
rays cause emaciation in the separated lovers, serenely poised in the
celestial sphere yet also appearing like a moving tilak.
7. Sun (siirya) subsequently trisala saw the dazzlingly red Sun, red like
kesuda and parrot beak, resembling a lamp in the sphere, the chief of
planets, one whom we can only see at the time of its rising and setting,
rotating around Meru mountain.
8. Flag (dhvaja) - the eighth dream manifested as the flag fluttering on
the top of a golden staff comprising of sober colors such as blue, red,
yellow and gold, it's hoisting caused sounds like the roar of a lion.
9. Full Pot (puma kalasa) pot filled with pure water and decorated with
lotus petals, bestowing benign effect, giving pleasure to the eyes by its
luster, without any impurities, home of Laksmi.
10. Lotus Pond (padmd mdsarovara) - in the tenth dream she sees the
lotus lake, the thousand petalled lotuses are opened up with the rising
sun. Due to the pollen falling from the petals, the color of water appears
yellow and red, full of water-borne creatures such as fish, the vast lake
fOled with wide varieties of lotuses and bees hovering on them, sounds of
swans, cranes, and other kinds of birds, looking at such a lake evokes
peace in the mind of the onlookers.
11. Milky Ocean {fair sagar) - milky ocean is described thus; filled with
deep water, rising waves, which become more energetic with the increase
in the speed of wind, crocodiles and other large fish, make their
appearance causing white foam.

12. Vehicle (deva vimdna) - palanquin of gods, bright and pleasing
looking, decorated with gold and gems, painted with figures of all kinds
of animals and creepers, offering comfort to the gods.
13. Heap of Jewels and Gems (ratna ram) heap of jewels and gems,
dazzling the entire space.
14. Flames (agni) - ghee and honey is poured continuously over the
flames but no smoke is formed. The burning flames are constantly moving
and appear beautiful. Alternative arrangements of the panel of 14 dreams
ascertain the decorational innovativeness of the Jaina painters. The
goddess Lakshmi has been given the central focus to create a strong
symmetrical arrangement. The three animals on top remain constant.

Siddhartha Wrestling a t the Gym (siddhartha sndna)

Siddhartha, after wrestling, is seated on a chauki. He is looking at
himself in the mirror and one attendant is applying oil and combing his
long hair. While Trisala is bearing the embryo and has sighted thel4
dreams, her husband, King Siddhartha spends his morning indulging in
activities associated with male asristocracy. He engages in wrestling
which is described in the text. Among the tactics are mentioned vigorous
movements and kicking. The Patan artist reveals himself a master of the
male body drawn in fine outline.
Along with two men kicking each other, the artist has depicted
figures fallen on the floor as if due to combat. When the artist had the full
space of the height of the folio at his disposal, he repeated the wrestling
pair in two tiers to suggest multiple figures and enhancement of
movement. The artist has created another two-tier composition. In the
lower section he depicts Siddhartha in the activity of being massaged and
bathed as he sits in cross-legged position. At the. same time another
attendant combs his hair.

Siddartha and Trisala’s Conversation (sidddrtha- tris aid’s svapnavdrta)

Trisala relates her dreams to Siddhartha; he sits on a throne with
royal parasol and Trisala on a couch facing him. This manuscript has been
illustrated by a different master who elongated the nose of the faces to
some extent. This feature makes it a little peculiar. He also prefers red
color for the background. The king and queen are sitting under a common
canopy and a curtain is hanging in between which divides the two figures.
Trisala narrates to Siddhartha the details of the dream indicated by her
gestures. Some painters depict the couple sitting very close together and
are titled as Mahavira's privileged parents -an iconographic type often
adapted in sculpture. Discussion about the dreams; four interpreters of
( 28)
Tinsala's dreams appear in the painting in two panels. The artist who
depicts Siddhartha face to face with interpreters of dreams (svapna
pathaka) enquiring about the significance of Trisala's vision. The bearded
character represents the king and the white haired personages the sooth

Trisala's - grief and joyful (trisala soka harsa)

It depicts dejected Trisala talking to her attendants about the
stagnant embryo.

Trisala - Joyful (trisala harsa)

It depicts cheerful trisala after she felt movement of the baby in her

Trisala's Grief and Joy

Trisala should feel the grief when she did not experience any
movement of the embryo growing inside her. Thus, the patan master quite
expressively depicts Trisala's grief as she turns towards her maid with her
glance downwards and right hand touching her mouth. In the lower tier is
depicted the joyful Trisala as she experienced the movement of the
embryo. The artist has imaginatively juxtaposed the two emotional
experiences. The maids are standing and depicted in small size in
comparison to the seated figure of Trisala. However, the Patan master has
introduced the red color in the background space along with the blue
color so that the colored shapes appear as a space structure. For depicting
the joyful atmosphere, the Jaina painter invented an arrangement when a
panel of dancers and musicians was introduced below the happy group of
Trisala and the maid.
To draw attention to the inherent innovativeness of Jaina painters, I am
including here variations on the depiction of Trisala £ Grief and Joy. Both
representations are painted by the Patan Master in his second version of

Trisala Grief (trisala soka)

Trisala is seated with both knees bent and turned to her right hand
side. She twists her waist to look towards her left as the two maids wait
upon her. The pair of eyes on their faces appears quite appropriately
placed as Trisala gazes at them and they in turn look towards her. The

twist of her face together with her posture and the gesture of raised right
hand express her sadness.
In the second painting the painter varies the posture of Trikala who
is well bedecked like a bride proudly looking into a mirror held in her left
hand. The maids are suitably articulated. Obviously the expectant mother
is joyful. The principal figure of the divine mother in both the paintings is
delineated in larger size than the female attendants as in ancient Egyptian

Birth of Mahavira (mahavira janmabhiseka)

Mahdvira’s birth-on the thirteenth day of the light forthnight while
the moon was in conjunction with the asterism uttaraphalgum, in the
month chakra, the first month of summer, in the middle of the night
Trisaid gave birth to Mahamra.
Trisald is represented lying in a golden eounch furnished with a
flower, bed sheet and a cushion. The tender Mahavira is supported on her
right arm. Her sdh is decorated with a geese pattern, a scarf covering her
coiffure is wrapped round her waist and she wears ornaments. Mahdvira’s
lustration and bath after birth. Mahavira sits on sakras lap. Besides him
are two Indras holding pitchers and above are two bulls showering water
from their horns. The ritual bath of the newly born MahdVira, who is
depicted as a boy in the lap of Indra, performed it sitting on mount Meru.
Two attendants holding water pots are standing on either side. The two
charging bulls on each side symbolize the clouds. Thus in the independent
depiction of the bath episode, we imagine it to be taking place in the vast
cosmic space, in which case Indra's parasol is also delineated.

Celebration of Sixth day (chhathijdgarana)

The completion of the Sixth day is celebrated by remaining awake
through the night. Seated Trisald, may be the figure with flower petals
motif her lower garment holding the baby Mahavira on her lap, is placed
along with three other ladies, each pair facing each other in a symmetrical

Mahavira going to school (nisala gananu)

Mahavira was slightly more than eight years old when his parents
decided to send him to the pathasbla (school). The painter depicts this
boy-hood event like a royal precession, thus an early example of such
acomposition of a procession. The elephant takes long strides, while two
boys leap forward hurriedly. The royal parasol-bearer behind them tries to

keep pace and be part of the dynamic group. Gifts are being carried for
the classmates. The episode in the lower tier may be read as class-room
scene. The class teacher {guru) acknowledges Mahavira’s extraordinary
intelligence after the young student gave informed answers to the
questions put to him. An interesting communicating situation is
delineated between the elderly teacher and youthful disciple.

Distribution of Ornaments (samvatsarika danam)

Mahavira k father, the bearded Siddhartha,, distributing ornaments
to the needy an annual ritual. It is believed that after Mahamra'sbirth the
family's wealth increased miraculously.
In another episode, the laukantika gods come to awake Mahavira for
fulfillment of his mission in upper panel Mahavira sits on throne in
princely adoration.

Renunciation on palanquin,
Mahavfra's monk hood (diksa sibika)
Mahavira is seated in a royal sibika carried by four male-bearers.
The sibika was prepared by sakra. Mahavira dressed in royal costume and
ornaments, is accompanied by dancers on both sides and conch players on
the top. This composition is virtually in three tiers, all such tiered
compositions are predecessors of Rajasthani (Mewar) painting. However
the dancing chaun-beaiex on the second tier and the conch player on the
top tier, are virtually resting on the structure of the palanquin. The whole
ensemble viz. palanquin with its princely occupant swiftly carried forward
by the bearers actually appears to exist in sprawling space. This
establishes that in pictorial arts, an object itself creates its own space on
two-dimensional surface.

Plucking off hair, (diksa, pahchamusthi lochkarma)

This is the third of the pahcha kalyan akas and often repeated
episode of each of the tlrthankaras, Mahavira, Parsvamth, Nem im th and
Adinath in a kalpasutra set. Under the as oka tree the tlrthankara is seated
with both knees bent towards his right and turns his body and head
towards his left facing Indra, who extends his hands to receive
tirthankara's hair, which he is just ready to pluck off with his raised right
hand. The tlrthankara has already given up his princely dress and
ornaments and the artist has invented a strikingly graceful posture. The
Jaina artist once again reveals his mastety of the naked male body.

The four such identical episodes with an inconspicuous suggestion
of a row of mountain peaks under the horizontal plane drawn below the
two seated actants of the episode, in which the mountain peak below is
drawn quite emphatically. At the same time artist prominently delineates
the elephant vehicle of Indra just below him as if it was his seat. Both the
forms of the mountain and the elephant, due to their very scale, add an
element of space in the composition. This episode represents prolonged
penance performed by each tlrthankara subsequent to the diksa. This
fourth kalyanaka is known as kayotsarga, upasarga and jndna (upasarga
implies hardship and undergoing torture during the period of asceticism).

Kayotsarga and Donation of d o th (ardhavastra vesti)

This episode represents prolonged penance performed by each
Tlrthankara subsequent to the diksa. This fourth kalyanaka is known as
kayotsarga, upasarga and jndna (upasarga implies hardship and
undergoing torture during the period of asceticism).
The artist is very innovative and its ingenuousness can be
understood. The penance in the standing position, samapada sthanaka,
transforms Mahavira (rather every tlrthankara) from an ordinary human
being to enlightened soul who is free from hate, desire, sorrow, joy,
attachment, that is, he has now realized the true knowledge. He is now
called the kevalin. The samapada sthanaka is a yogic posture which also
represents firmness, stead-fastness. There are also several episodes
associated with Mahavira achieving this elevated spiritual status. Initially
a monk asks Mahavira for a piece of his dhoti. He cuts half of it and hands
over to him.

Wrapping the tree with cloth ( vrukshe vastra chhoradi)

The piece of cloth is wrapped around a tree and in using the term
vesti, which is also the term for the traditional scarf that men wrap
around the shoulders. The significance of this event is not clear; however,
once again we note that the tree is associated with knowledge. When the
artist master juxtaposes the two events in the same space, he is able to
give prominence to the tree as well as monumentalize the Mahdvira's
kayotsarga steadfast posture. Although the painters do not delineate
Mahavira in nude, but texts describe how Mahavira tore off half of his
dhoti to give away to Soma during his stay at Gyatakandavana (forest).
Later the other half of the dhoti got stuck in a thorny tree. Soma, who was
eager to receive the remaining part of the dhoti, picked it up.

Meditation in standing (kayotsarga posture)
In this episode Mahavira stands in kayotsarga sthanaka in a forest
represented by two trees. The vaidya (physician) kharaka and the
cowherd stand on either side whereas snakes and tiger attack him.
Juxtaposing a monk in a position of some bodily action adds to the
stability of the tirthankara's posture. The adverse circumstances
(upasarga) faced by him during his penance are depicted in upper tier. It
includes such details which symbolize or personify the adversities. Men
tortured him by poking pointed iron rods into his ears. The presence of
animals like lion and cobra signifies here utmost torment. The
enlightened tlrthankara is represented by frontal face and the two eyes
are symmetrical.

Preaching to the Universe (samvasarana or samvasarana)

The enlightened kevalin now preaches and spreads his acquired
transcendental knowledge for which a special vast pavilion is constructed.
The imagery of samvasarana is associated with the fourth kalyanaka in the
life events of the tlrthankara. Perhaps it represents collectively the
sermons he preached (or their essence) from the time of his achieving the
kevala jrnna, in particular in the case of MahaviraA t times samvasarana
is combined in the same frame together with the imagery of nirvana,
which represents the fifth kalyanaka. The samvasarana imagery was
already formulated during the palm-leaf phase. On paper folios when it
was depicted as a full independent configuration, certain additional
details were included. The construction had two alternative formats, one
was circular and the other was square, i.e. with four comers which is
circular and in the middle is placed the yogasanamudra of Mahavira.
Behind his head are placed two lotus-shaped flowers. The circular form
comprises of ramparts of four walls in three concentric circles. Having
swept clean the earth surface, thedevas washed the earth with fragrant
water and sprinkled it with flowers. The vaimanika devas built the inner
wall and decorated them with jewels. The second circular wall was built
with gold by the jyotisakas, which reflected a brilliant luster. The outer
wall was covered with gold and silver appearing as a mountain of
befitting homage to the tlrthankara. Each of the three fort walls are
divided with four segments with the placement of entrance gates on the
four cardinal directions. In this illustration the artist has delineated a
number of animals on the top and the bottom, suggesting the living
beings of the planet, viz., lion, elephant, horse, cobra, peacock, crane and

Emancipation of Lord Mahavira (mahavira nirvana)
Nirvana, the conquering of birth and rebirth cycle is the fifth and
last of the pahcha kalyanakhs of a tlrthankara, the siddha, the perfect
being. A standard iconography is formulated viz. crowned tlrthankara
seated in yogasana posture. Under his seat is provided the crescent moon
shaped, siddhasila, which sheld on mountain peaks. Two trees (probably
as oka tree) are delineated on either side. This iconography is repeated in
the case of the other three tlrthankaras often without their identification
signs Uanchhana).
Illustrations in a kalpasutra, samvasarana (or jfiana) is combined with the
imagery of nirvana. This requires leaving out a number of details which
we have described above.

Gautama Ganadhara
Gautama ganadhara, the first and chief disciple of Mahavira, dressed in
monk's costume (golden ground with white dots) sits on a throne with
elaborate canopy. He has mala in his right hand and as is usual with male
monks, his right shoulder is bare. He almost resembles the icon of seated
Buddha in Ajanta Murals. It was Gautama Ganadhara who preached to
King Srenik, the first royal convert to Jainism. Among the immediate
followers of Mahavira, eleven persons became distinguished as
Ganadhara, guiding and instructing nine separate groups of nirgrantha
recluses placed under them. The eldest monk was Indrabhuti, the middle
aged one was Agnibhuti and the youngest monk was vayubhuti. Each of
them belonged to gautama gotra. A fourth monk Akampita also belonged
to the same gotra where as other seven belonged to different gotras.
Because the kalpasutra manuscripts delineate a pictorial folio of
Ganadharas and yet another single image of a monk, captioned Gautama
Ganadhara, it is to be presumed that 'gautama'is more a collective name
rather than the name of a specific disciple preacher of Mahavira. This
gautama has also a historical reality, as he is said to have preached to the
first royal convert, the King Srenik Bimbisara.

Elevan Ganadharas
Hemachandra has described that during the twelfth chaturamasa
the first samvasarana after achieving keval jhana, was organized by the
devas at Madhyama Pavapuri, when thousands came to listen to
Maha vira's preaching and accepted the Jaina faith. It is at his grand event
that 11 learned brahmins, led by indrabhuti, were ordained as
ganadharas. It is the congregation of sadhus and sravakas.

Parsvanath murti
The twenty-third Grthankara sits on a throne supported by lions
and elephants, with a duster of nine serpent hoods above his head. There
are two musicians on the upper portion playing on flute and attendants
on each side. We reproduce this image as a special feature in this
manuscript as if the Grthankara has already achieved the status of a
siddha. The birth and other episodes of Pdrsvandth's biography follow
after introducing this icon.

Birth of Parsvanath (parsvanathjanma)

Parsvanath was bom in Varanasi where his parents Ashvasen and
Vdmadevi were living. After perceiving the 14 dreams she received the
embryo in her womb. Parsvanath is described as very handsome who was
married with Prabhadevi and spent 30 years as a house holder. He had
the vision of a dream of Neminath and how he had renounced his
betrothed wife Rajimati. Parsvanath left Varanasi, accepted diksd (monk­
hood) and took up penances and meditation wandering from place to
place. Historians of religion consider Parsvanath as a historical person and
a generation older to Mahavira.

Story of Kamatha, Five Fire-penances of Kamatha and Parsvanath

rescuing the snake (kamatha panchagni tapa)
The Jaina dchdryas take the opportunity of narrating the biography
of Parsvanath to introduce several sermons preached by him. Two
personages play an important role who follow Paisvanath from their
previous births. One was wicked, another was a devotee. The name of the
wicked one was Kamatha, born in a poor family, who had been practicing
monk's penances surrounded by four fires. He would bravely face the
harsh sunshine which constitutes the fifth fire (panchagni tapa). Kamatha
is seated in a asana posture and the four fire pits are arranged in the four
comers. In the lower tier Pdrsva as prince arrives riding on the elephant to
proclaim that the fires destroy living beings. Therefore five-fire penance is
not the right approach to dharma. Thus, Pdrsva further elaborated this
concept of Jaina ethics. Parsva observed a snake lying inside a log of wood
which was burning in the fire pit, and which is depicted in the painting.
While Kamatha made counter arguments, Pdrsvandth’s attendant picked
up the log of wood through which was peeping out a half burnt snake. At
that moment Parsva recited the navakdra mantra to the dying snake. In
his next birth it was bom as the King of snakes Dharanendra, due to the
spiritual power of navakdra mantra.

Penance of Parsvanath and Dharanendra• •

(kamatha upasarga dharanendra gamanaccha)

Kalikunda Parsvanath
Parsvanath chose to perform penances in kdyotsarga, eyes gazing at
the nose tip, while wandering from place to place. In a pond, Parsvanath
appeared as a beautiful idol and people traveled there to worship him.
This is depicted in three tiers and Parsvanath is delineated in a seated
yogasana position: Parsvanath is exposed to the heat of the sun,
intertwines his long serpentine body around the Grthankara and placing
his nine hoods over his head as an umbrella. It is an imaginative and
monumental imagery laid out on a red background. The filling of blue
color around the head is very ingenious. According to the text, kamatha
was reborn as Meghamalina who sent a host of demons to attack him,
which reminds of Mara and Buddha episode. Next he causes heavy rains,
flood and storm, but Parsvanath remained firm like mount Meru. The
water dripping over Pdrsvanath's body is transformed into pure water of
Ganga. Dharanendra not only protected the Grthankara again but also
offers prayers to him seated next to his feet as is delineated by the artist.
The placement of the pond and the two trees on each side reminds of
similar representational devices in Egyptian painting. This episode also
reminds of Govardhana Hid and also the knliyadamana story.

Neminath birth and lustration (nemindth janma abhijeka)

Given the name Aristanemi, whose parents were Samudravijaya,
king of Sauryapur, and Sivadevi. He had traveled through dvarika city and
Raivataka forest (Gimar) where he sat under as oka tree for performing
the pahcha mushtilochana (plucking off hair) to begin the monk's life.

Blast of conch (sankha ndda)

According to the text, Nemindth as a boy grew along with Balardma
and Krsna in Mathura. The narrators have described how Nemindth had
superior powers in comparison with Krsna nemindth strayed into Krsna’s
weapon practicing hall and blew into his conch. The blast of the conch
reverberated through the sky and the earth, reminding people the sound
of huge waves in the sea. A surprised Krsna met with Nemindth, who
confessed having caused the turmoil, who has placed the divine weapon,
sankha, on a huge throne and in the manner of continuous narration,
depicts Nemindth blowing through it. In the lower tier is depicted the
wrestling bout between the two, Krsna is four armed but smaller in size
than the enlarged and energetic tlrthankara's figure.

Water sports of Neminath with Krsna and his wives (jala krida)
Krsna conspires to induce in young Neminath amorous thoughts
and the attraction towards beautiful girls so that he agrees to getting
married. Neminath was growing into a righteous and desire-less youth.
Krsna had instructed his wives to entertain the young Grthankara (as
brother-in-law) in the women's quarters (antahpura). A description in the
text follows, which reminds of the msalila that is how the gopis had
performed dance around Krsna assuming sensuous postures and so forth.
The next episode, which is depicted in the painting, refers to what is
known as jala krida (water sport). During their excursion on the
Raivataka hill, Krsna and his wives invite the young Grthankara to join
them in bathing and swimming in the lake. The text again reminds of the
water sport of Krsna and gopis so poetically described in the Bhagvata
Thus this painting has to be understood in terms of the Jaina
artist depicting a sringarika (or sensuous) theme. He schematizes the
units (or motifs) and actants of the episode in the typical manner of Jaina
painting, which again reminds of the language of Egyptian painting. The
lake is depicted in the cross-section view (or x-ray view), delineated by
the flight of steps on each side of the picture frame. Between them water
is suggested by the 'basket pattern', brush lines. This provides the 'space
container' within which are placed in symmetrical arrangement Neminath
and Krsna in the centre. Krsna on Grthankara fc left side has an extra hand,
in which he is carrying a flame or arati lamp, a symbol of worship. The
female figures on each side represent Krsna wives. The two trees along the
picture frame provide the element of uddipana vibhava to the sringarika

Neminath wrestling
The text actually mentions the competition of the strength of arms
{bhujabala) between the two. The artist creates a more accurate imagery
when Krsna’s arm could be bent effortlessly by the more powerful
Neminath. On his part Krsna kept dangling 'like a monkey' from his
extended arm, but Neminath did not budge. In the lower register, the
artist painted a small depiction of the very sringaric theme of jala krida
which is however, more elaborately delineated by the Patan painter.

Marriage procession of Neminath (neminath vivaha mahotsava)

The marriage episode of Neminath is quite unique among all the
biographic episodes of Grthankaras. The texts mention that Grthankara
has to marry and then enact the renunciation and therefore we have

( 37)
already come across the episode of inculcating in Neminath the interest in
worldly or grihastha life. The episode of neminath arriving for wedding
but staging a retreat, when he was informed that the crying animals were
to be slaughtered for cooking the feast for the guests. The theme was
already popular and depicted in the palm-leaf folios during the thirteenth
and fourteenth century. The succinct depiction comprises of two tiers, in
the upper tier are the two protagonists, the bride seated awaiting in the
compact ritual marriage pavilion gazing on her left toward the arriving
bridegroom astride on a trotting caparisoned horse. Neminath is
surrounded by a halo and his shoulder scarf is fluttering. It is interesting
to note that when the two faces are gazing towards each other, the
additional or second eye forming a pair of eyes on each face, clearly
function as expressive communicative link. In the lower tier the decision
to return on the part of Neminath is emphasized, whose horse-driven cart
faces in the reverse direction. The horse's movement is exaggerated to
galloping. Each of the three components, the horse, the cart, and the royal
occupant is drawn in profile view. A special place is given to the cause of
the momentous decision, that is, the enclosure containing animals drawn
by the artist in horizontal rows one above another to suggest their
number. One is again reminded of the Egyptian pictorial system.
Interestingly the legend (or title) given by the scribe is pauvada, that is
the cattle barn. Here the artist follows the summary depiction of the small
palm-leaf format, even when he is painting on paper.
The artist of invents a tour de force, a most remarkable composition
and interpretation during the early sixteenth century as creative as the
one that has been made known by Sarabhai Nawab in 1936 from the well-
known manuscript of Kantivijayaji collection, (Vadodara) painted during
the late fifteenth century. The artist takes maximum advantage of the
entire length and breadth of the paper sheet. The artist intends to portray
a great spectacle of the grand marriage procession. The emphasis is on the
horizontality which can be conveniently divided into two parts. The left
half includes the well-bedecked seated bride looking at the approaching
bridegroom. Below is a much reduced panel containing animals for
slaughter now made inconspicuous. The bridegroom in this version
arrives in royal pomp mounted on a huge richly caparisoned elephant. An
attendant (or mahaui) sits behind him. A woman from the bride's side
arrives and receives the bridegroom by pouring water from a container.
Above the bridegroom are a series of three parasols.
The right half of the folio is divided in three registers and on each
horizontal plane have been delineated two riders, on the top facing
inward as if arriving and moving towards the direction of the bride. This
is also happening in the second row in which is placed a horse-driven cart
with a coach man. The third and lowest row indicates the return of the
bride-groom's party with horse-driven cart and the equestrian rider
moving in the direction of the frame. The color scheme, which is another
superlative aspect of this masterpiece of Jaina painting. All the figures
including the imposing form of the elephant are in gold color. The
background is treated as a single plane comprising of ultramarine color, a
perfect contrasting color for golden shapes spread out all over
However, as we have observed this Jaina master intersperses red
color in such imaginative manner such as the circular halos around the
heads of human figures. In the case of the horses, three of them in the
top, middle and lower registers on the right hand side are in blue
requiring a different background color for which the artist selected red.
Thus we observe a play of red and blue which is further accentuated by
painting a red horse against a blue ground. Blue colored horses
juxtaposed against red ground tend to project out towards the onlooker.
Such color juxtaposition throughout the surface area of the composition
causes in our vision suggestions of space recession and volume projection.
Here the artist creates a pictorial configuration which goes beyond the
principal motifs of the narrative and is more of a celebration of the event
in the lives of two divine personages. Biographical texts say that Rajimati,
the bride to be also became a sadhavi when N em im th vowed not to get
married and himself took the diksa. It is interesting to note that the jilted
bride, Rajimati, was deeply hurt, whose separation pangs ( viraha varana)
were included in Vinayachandra SHri's nem im th chatusapadiM.

In keeping with the kalpasutra text the painter inserts here two
illustrations, each depicting 10 Grthankaras. There is a long time-gap
between N em im th (the 22nd) and Adinath (the 1st) Grthankara. The text
briefly lists the names and periods in infinite time of the Grthankaras. The
formal grouping of 10 Grthankaras in each of the two folios is the
painter's counterpart of the brevity of the text. The standard seated iconic
form is repeated in two rows of three each and one row of four. Top row
consists of sikhara forms suggesting the divinity of Grthankaras,

Tirthankaras, Birth of Adinath (adinath janma)

Adirnth is the first Grthankara who initiated Jainism but the last of
the four tirthankaras described and illustrated in a kalpasutra
manuscript. 19 Although for the second kalyanaka, that is the actual birth
of the Grthankara when the newly bom child is depicted with the mother,
the iconographic elements are standardized. It is significant that the Patan
master had combined Mahavira's birth and ritual bath in one frame
compressing details and leaving out some of them. In the depiction of
Mahavira’s birth, reclining TrisaJa looks up towards the baby held in her
( 39)
lap. In the full frame of Adinath's birth the artist makes the reclining
mother emotionally looking towards the newly born child, laid down on
her bent right arm. What is significant is that the naked child is clearly
drawn to reveal his male gender. The female attendant, the cot on
(adinath janma) which mother and child are reclining, the broad canopy
above, are other details. With reference to the fourteen dreams perceived
by adinath's mother, kalpasutra mentions the bull, first in the sequence.
Adinath was bom in Ayodhya in Koshala region therefore in kalpasutra he
is referred to as kausalik arhat rsabha. His parent's names are Nabhi
Kulkar and Mam devi. Inspite of iconographic restrictions which were
responsible for 'repetition', the Jaina artist looked for opportunity to
introduce some innovation adds a long curled paranda extending from the
hair of the TTrthankara's mother and sprawling over the bed, in the
version of Adinathb birth from this kalpasutra. At the end of it is attached
a conspicuously large pom pom. Its sinuous curves integrate with total
rhythmic pattern of the female contours and garments. The reclining
mother hugs the infant with her right arm as she lifts up her left arm
holding a flower. In the space where the attending maid is present in
other folios, here with, instead, two pots are delineated hanging from the
ceiling. The canopy over the mother and child duo is quite elaborately

Coronation of Adinath (adinath rajyabhiseka)

The episodes of Adinath on the painting depicts his coronation.
Under a canopy, Adinath in royal attire is seated on a throne assuming
ardhaparyahka asana, the standard imagery for royal personage including
Indra. Probably Indra is applying the tilaka on his forehead as symbol of
anointing him the world-emperor (chakravarti). To emphasize Adinath's
significance, Indra standing in full height covers the complete ensemble of
the seated tlrthankara and his throne.

Adinath Marriage (adinath virnha)

A tlrthankara is determined to give up the role of householder and
become a monk after marrying. According to the texts Adinath married
two queens. In the painting the artist has depicted Adinath with only one
bride in the auspicious moment of hasta milap (holding the bride's hand)
framed by the marriage mandapa (pavillion). In front of them is the
ceremonial fire (depicted as flames), on either side are plantain trees with
prominent leaves and on top is the much decorated canopy. All the forms
are composed in yellow color within an ultramarine background and
strategically interspersed with red-colored shapes.

Adinath demonstrating art of pottery (adinath hastimrtikakunja)
Adinath is not only the first tlrthankara born ions ago, but also the
personage who initiated the civilizational process among the humanity.
Kalpasutra text describes him as master of 72 arts and the 64 special skills
of women, which he preached and taught as the emperor. Having taught
people how to cook food instead of eating raw vegetables, he then
demonstrated making of clay pottery. In the painting Adinath is riding on
a majestic and massive elephant with two attendants. He shapes water pot
Cmatakh) placing clay on top of the elephant's fore-head bone. This is a
demonstration of 'beaten pottery'. Thus this painting becomes a symbol or
allegory of Adim th's mastery of the arts and imparting them to the
humanity. Adinath after his monk-hood and kevala jrnna is believed to
have passed into nirvana at astapada mountain located somewhere in the
vicinity of Kailash in Himalayas.

Adinath Teaching Arts to Women (adinath brahmi sundariyo kalasiksa)

We include here another painting in which is illustrated one of the
64 arts of women, viz. dancing. The painter depicts the first tlrthankara as
a royal personage riding on an elephant but, without the clay-pot. In a
narrow horizontal band a female figure in dance posture is delineated
accompanied by musicians. This is the synoptic manner of not only
representing the art of dance but collectively all the 64 arts that are
taught of Kailash in Himalayas.

Jambusvami and his Eight Wives (jambusvami astnkanya)

One of the last sections in kalpasutra text elaborately describes the
sthaviras, the teachers who had been ordained as monks and reached the
stage of the siddha, subsequent to Mahavira'snirvana.
In his trisathisalakapurus acharitra, Hemachandracharya expanded the
incidents listed by Bhdrabahu in niryuktis in a long chapter entitled
parisista parva. It describes the episodes related to sthaviras from
jambusvami, through sthulibhadra to vajrasvami. As a youth jambusvami
was averse to marriage. Each of the eight beautiful girls was eager to
marry him. In spite of his refusal, the marriage was performed. He once
again declared to his eight wives about his intention to renounce the
family life. His wives also were now willing to become sadhvis (nuns),
even when their husband continued to advise them that they need not
follow his footsteps. The artist portrays the dialogue between vajrasvami
and his wives by arranging the group of nine persons in three rows. Vajra
is on the top row and his face is in the direction of the wives. The other
two wives below him also face in the direction of the other six. The face to

face positions imply the mutual dialogue and articulate the entire
symmetrical composition.
The Jaina painter's capacity for compositional variation and also the
talents of the kalpasutra (Jambusvaim preaching to the eight wives. The
artist creates variety in the number of figures placed in each row, first
comprises of three, the middle consists of four, whereas in the third row
the artist adds one more personage so that with the three figures on this
register, the total number is ten. The additional personage in this row
represents a Grthankara in Myotsarga posture, perhaps to indicate how
after renouncing his immense wealth (much of it received as dowry),
jambusvami achieved the status of kevalin. The artist also introduces
variation in the seated positions of the wives and each of them holds
hands in namskara gesture. The red-colored halo around the head of each
of the wives adds to the structure of color planes, which are distinct from
the blue color of the background space.

Sthulabhadra and Kosa (sthulabhadra-kosa nritya)

Sthulabhadra belonged to the family whose members were selected
as ministers by the Kings of the ruling Nanda dynasty at Patliputra (circa
4th century B.C.). He was the eldest son of the minister Shaktala. He had
enjoyed every kind of pleasure of life with the most beautiful courtesan
and dancer of the town, kosa. Subsequently he was transformed and
became a monk. For the story of the Sthulabhadra and Kosa interaction I
have selected this folio which I think is a remarkable painting by the
Patan master. It is probably the most lyrical of the few known versions so
far. What is the significance of the painting which depicts a gracefully
dancing Kosa beautifully fitted in the space next to a warrior. The
youthful Kosa possessed a charming body, was attracted to the enjoyment
of pleasures and always behaved according to her will. She had been
listening to the preaching of sthulabhadra at samvasG.
An unnamed warrior displayed in her presence his skills in archery
by aiming at a blossom dropping from a mango tree. In order to counter
his pride she danced in a carefree manner on a heap of grains in which a
needle had been placed. She uttered: neither your archery skill nor my
dance steps on a needle, are difficult tasks but what is challenging is how
monks spend their lives in utmost disinterestedness. The warrior is in
alidha position. His shooting an arrow is a metaphor for kamadeva. He
may be sthulabhadra himself who had been in love with kosa before
becoming a monk or the charioteer who was alternatively proposed to be
her bride-groom. The tree placed on the right is a suitable prop for the
dancer, who is in uromandali position. A peacock is placed in the front to

suggest rainy season, the uddipana vibhava for sringara rasa, (amorous
On careful observation one can notice that pictorially the peacock
is placed in the middle space between the dancer and the warrior. The
warrior's raised foot overlaps the peacock, suggesting that he is in the
front plane. Another unique feature is how the painter has used red
colour on the body of the peacock, and the blue colour of the background.

Sthulabhadra transforms as lion (sthulabhadra simhagupha)

In the second episode concerning Sthulabhadra, the painter used
the two-tiered composition. Sthulabhadra's sisters, who were ordained as
nuns, came to see him. The monk transforms himself into a lion by his
spiritual powers. In the two sections, the lower section depicts seated
Sthulabhadra holding Muhapatti in his right hand, being greeted by his
sisters. It may be noted that the male monk leaves one shoulder bare,
whereas the nuns cover both the shoulders. In the upper tier, the lion is
delineated replacing the monk. The pictorial suggestion of the cave and
the mountain rocks are noteworthy.

Vajrasvami in the cradle (vajrasvami sis udana palanu)

Vajrasvami's father (dhanagiri) had taken to monkhood when his
wife (the future mother) was pregnant. After the child's birth his mother
decided to offer him to the Jaina monastery. In the upper tier the mother
is holding the baby, takes a step forward, and ritually offers him to a
seated monk. It is described in the text that the infant was aware that his
father had turned into a monk. Therefore, he contrived to keep crying
continuously so that mother is compelled to give him away. The artist has
devised a specific posture for the crying child. In the lower tier the baby is
placed in a cradle to suggest how the nuns are looking after him while a
seated nun is giving him instructions. The boy is delineated in an
energetic posture. The text describe that Vajrasvami, who was one of the
last acharyas, mastered the power of moving in air. When famine
occurred, when famine occurred, he carried a whole community to Puri.

Raja Megharatha Rescuing the Bird

The pigeon arrives seeking shelter in the lap of the Raja. A huge
falcon was pursuing the bird. The Raja rescues the bird by offering his
own flesh equal in weight to that of the bird, which is how the two pans
of the balance could be interpreted. The story reminds us of the Buddhist
jataka story of King Sibi offering his flesh to the hunter who claimed the

bird as food. This story, identical in details to the one described by
Asvaghosa and illustrated in the Amaravati stupa during the third century,
has been included in the previous lives of the sixteenth tlrthankara,
Santinath. The episode is the highlight of his immediate previous birth as
raja megharatha. The artist depicts in the lower register the Raja ready to
fight brandishing his sword with one hand holding the shield with the
other. The falcon with his mighty wings is depicted in an aggressive
thrust. However, Megharatha actually cuts his flesh with the weapon. It is
the pieces of flesh which are placed in one of the pans of the balance
while other pan holds the bird, which is illustrated in the upper tier. This
kind of two tier composition with imageries or characters of episodes are
the prototypes of subsequent developments of painting in Rajasthan.

Princess offering food to Monks (Dana dharma)

This folio is a worthy example of Jaina narrative art and
representational language; although in the absence of a caption it is
difficult to locate the text. A princess is offering food to monks amidst an
architectural structure with a pillar in the centre. This separates the space
through which the princess steps forward carrying a pot Another popular
story of a woman offering food as dana to a monk, separate space on the
other side. He and the monk behind him holding sticks in their left hand
stand on two small platforms. The limbs delineated by lines drawn over
the monks wrapping cloth is a noteworthy device continued in the
chaurapanchasika style paintings. This pictorial device suggests the
transparency of the garment. A similar episode is painted on one of the
folios in the set illustrating the contents of uttaradhyayana sutra of Patan
of V.S. 1549=1492 A.D. displayed in L.D. Museum. There are numerous
canonical dana stories in Jaina treatises which extol the benefits acquired
from almsgiving offered by a layman to a monk. One common dana story
is when a Grthankara after his kevala-jhdna breaks his fast and a house
holder offers him food. A significant story narrates how a special type of
food was offered to Mahavira's disciple Simha as a cure for a kind of
fever. There are three stages in the dana ritual or dharma. i) The
happiness felt by the donor, ii) The purity of the dana and hence accepted
by the monk, iii) Glory of the donor who is rewarded by heavenly beings.
Before she can herself partake of it, is the one attributed to Chandanabala.
When mahavira was spending his chaturamdsa at Kausambi, he had
vowed to break the period of fasting when udada is served by a young girl
fulfilling 13 conditions. Due to her fate, Chandana, who was bom as a
princess, but at that point of time, had to undergo hardships such as
suffering the shame of her hair being shaven off, denied food for several
days, her hands and feet tied in chains even when she was not guilty of
any crime and so forth. Chandanabala fulfilled all the 13 conditions

including the fact that she was a young princess, who was waiting to offer
grains of udada. This long-term fast was undertaken by Mahavira just
after achieving keval-jhdna. Thus this episode reminds us of the story
Sujata offering payasa (a milk product) to Buddha soon after his

Chaturvidha sahgha
A frequently illustrated folio among the last pages in kalpasutra
manuscript is the one which bears the legend chaturavidha sangha. The
usual composition comprises of many figures in three rows. The upper
row depicts monks in the teaching/ listening activity, i.e., a senior monk
gesticulating with his right hand holding muhapatti while the younger
novice responds. A symbolic tripod is between them. Persons on the
remaining two rows represent the listeners in the congregation whose
faces are in the direction of the preaching monk. In Jainism, apparently
the female devotees are given due importance. Therefore, the painter has
carefully delineated female figures in the bottom row. Two of them are
sadhavis (nuns) and two are women house-holders Csravikd). The middle
row depicts male house-holders (srdvaka). Thus, we have to assume that
chaturavidha sangha consists of sddhu (monk), sddhavi (nun), srdvaka
(lay male devotee) and sravikn (lay female devotee). Not only they all
listen to religious percepts but they also happily sing the hymns praising
lord mahdVira. It is an idealistic view of the loyal Jaina society which is
pictorially represented in the folio titled 'chaturvidha sanghd.

Corroborating with the text of kalpasutra, the Jaina painter also
winds up his illustration section with the concluding chapter which is
titled sdmdchari. The essence of this chapter is that the kind of discipline
that was adopted by Mahavira for himself, should be followed by (or is
required to be followed by) the Ganadharas, their disciples and the
sthaviras; present day followers of the faith including dcharyas and
upadhydyas. These percepts explain where they should stay during the
chaturamdsa and for how long and what kind of food they should take
and so forth. Preaching at rdjagdha, mahavira warned that all monks (the
term in ancient period was niragrantha) must develop a sharp sensitivity
towards minutest objects and those substances which are invisible to the
human eye so that they can be watchful either to protect themselves or to
handle the thing with diligence. As mahavira continued his discourse, he
advised the monks that they should go for collecting food after consulting
elder dcharyas and not take decisions unilaterally. For many other
matters, advice is to be sought from the senior monks. The author of the

kalpasutra concludes that one who listens carefully to these teachings and
is able to conscientiously adhere to them, is likely to obtain nirvana at the
end of this life, otherwise he should continue to abide by them for the
next six rebirths. The painter depicts a respected acharya, in this case
MlaMcharya, seated on a high seat and holding the muhaptti in one
hand, he preaches to a younger monk, who is represented in a smaller
size. Mlakncharya is an important preacher within the chain of generation
of preachers who continued Mahavlra's elucidation of the Monk's
discipline to Gautama Ganadhara onwards. I have selected a
representative preaching scene from this manuscripts because of its
beautiful over-all quality. Both the handsome looking acharya and his
disciple are drawn in delicate lines. The varada hasta, boon-giving gesture
of the monk, is significant. Besides, this painting is more colorful (as
many as five colors are used) than those which adapt golden color as
dominant hue. The human complexion is yellow ochre, the transparent
monk's robes are delineated with white dots. The inside color of the large
throne-seat (represented from the advice is to be sought from the senior
monks. The author of the kalpasutra concludes that one who listens
carefully to these teachings and is able to conscientiously adhere to them,
is likely to obtain nirvana at the end of this life, otherwise he should
continue to abide by them for the next six rebirths. The painter depicts a
respected acharya, in this case MlaMcharya, seated on a high seat and
holding the muhapatti in one hand, he preaches to a younger monk, who
is represented in a smaller size. MlaMcharya is a important preacher
within the chain of generation of preachers who continued Mahavlra's
elucidation of the monk's discipline to Gautama Ganadhara onwards.
Both the handsome looking acharya and his disciple are drawn in
delicate lines. The varada hasta, boon-giving gesture of the monk, is
significant. The varada hasta, boon-giving gesture of the monk, is
significant. Besides, this painting is more colorful (as many as five colors
are used) than those which adapt golden color as dominant hue. The
human complexion is yellow ochre, the transparent monk's robes are
delineated with white dots. The inside color of the large throne-seat
(represented from the profile view) is green, which is repeated on the
overhead canopy. The nimbus around the acharya's face is blue and the
basic background color is Vermillion red. Although the acharya is seated
cross-legged, the composition reminds that of Indra seated on his throne
in Indra sabha episode. My observation is that the painter has taken care
so that the venerable acharya appears quite distinct from the icons
delineated in conventional frontal posture of the monk as Gautama
Ganadhara. Both the body (the seated posture) and the face are in three-
quarter view. The so called protruding or extra eye (i.e. left eye in this
case) is fully integrated with three-quarter view of the forehead part of
the face. The nose and lips are in profile contour smoothly linking with

the delineation of the upper part. This painting is like a precursor of
portraits of Raja on throne in the Court' (including the nimbus around the
head) which became frequent themes in subsequent centuries in Mughal,
Rajasthani and Pahari schools.

The Miscellaneous collection Episode:

Rsabha receives the first alms:
After initiation, Rsabha fasted for years, not from intention, but
because people knew nothing about the correct way of giving alms. His
great grandson, King Sreyansa, recalled from a previous existence what
constituted proper alms and offered Rsabha some jars of sugarcane juice.
Rsabha held out his hands to serve as a receptacle and Sreyansa pours the
jars then the juice in the master’s hand solidified into a lofty pillar and on
this Rsabha broke his fast.
In the painting, under a canopy Rsabha is standing in monk’s dress
and facing him Sreyansa in royal raiment. He has his broom under his
right armpit. Sreyansa presents him with sugar-cane juice in a jar with a
narrow neck and a flaring mouth. Between the two another jar falling to
the ground, shaped like a monks begging bowl, even including the handle
and on the ground is another jar. Rsabha’s hand are hardly in a position
to take the juice.

The youthful MahaVira and the jealous god:

When Mahavira was not eight years old, he used to play games
becoming his age with other boys. Hari (sacra) in his court one day while
describing the hero (viraj said that all steadfast (dtura) beings were
inferior to Mahavira. One of the gods full of prideful envy determined to
shatter Mahavira’s courage and went where the lord was playing. At that
time Mahavira and his companions were engaged in the game amalaki.
The god assumed the form of a serpent and appeared at the foot of the
tree. All other boys fled in terror but Mahavira picked up the serpent and
appeared at the foot of the tree. All the other boys fled in terror but
Mahavira picked up the serpent as though as it were a rope and threw it
to the ground. The other boys were ashamed and resumed the play. The
god now took the form of a boy and came back. At this time the boys were
climbing a tree. Mahavira got to the top first and his companions were
hung below. Mahavira had won and the wager had been the winner
should mount the back of the vanquished and ride them about. He
therefore got on the backs of the other backs of the other boys as though
they were horses foremost among the strong he mounted the back of the
god. Then the god with wicked intent took the form of a terrifying demon

and began to increase the79 size until he was larger even than the
mountains. In hi s m outh that he was like hell, his tongue looked like the
serpent Taksaka, on his head that was like the top of a m ountain, his eyes
blazed furiously like braziers of coals. He had not stopped growing w hen
the lord struck him on the back w ith his fist w ith mighty strength and that
blow reduced him to a dwarf. The god who had thus brought to actual
dem onstration and manliness of the lord described by Indra now took his
true form did reverence to the lord.
The painting shows at the left Mahavira carring in his left hand a
staff by cowherds in the Vaishnava paintings in the early w estern Indian
style and in his right hand an object that looks like a short stick. In front
of him is a tree around which is coiled a snake. At the right is the god
with mahavira on his shoulders. At the top are three boys each holding a
stick like mahaviras; neither the boys has a halo. Over all are clouds.

a) Pavitra Kalpasutra (ed.) Shri Punyavijayaji Bhadrabahu

Virachit Kalpasutra, Description of Paintings translated in Gujarati by Bechardas
Doshi, Published by Sarabhai Nawab, Ahmedabad, 1952.
b) H. Jacobi (ed.) The Kalpasutra of Bhadrabahu, Leipzig, 1879.
i) Paryusana Kalpasutra of Bahadrabahu mentions, “The interior of the
house of the KsatriyanI Trisala was ornamented with
pictures (sachittakamma) H.”.Quote d by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, 100
References to Indian Paintings ATRIBUS ASIAE, Vol.IV, 1930-32.
i) See Vardhaman Suri Acharadinkara, translated in Gujarati by Sarabhai
Nawab, in Pavitra Kalpasutra, op.cit.
ii) Bhadrabahu (Gujarati Translation), op.cit.
i) A.K. Coomaraswamy, Catalogue of the Indian Collections in the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston, Part IV, Jaina Paintings and Manuscripts, 1974.
ii) W. Norman Brown, Miniature paintings of the Jaina Kalpasutra, Washington,
iii) Bhadrabhahu, op.cit. 8 Hemachandracharya, Triasas this alakapurusacharitra.
See Helen M. Johnson, (English translation), Vol. I Baroda, 1931.
A.K. Coomaraswamy, op. cit., has suggested the analogy with Indra-Vratra myth

Fig: The Youthful Mahavira and the jealous god

( 49 )
Fig: Marriage Scene of Neminatha

Fig: Rsabha receives the first alms

( 50 )