This complete manuscript of the Kalpasūtra was made in Patan, Gujarat in the 15th century. It is a wonderful example of Jain calligraphy and features golden, silver and red letters on paper leaves, themselves painted in red, black or light brown.
The manuscript has borders and middle margins decorated with floral motifs and is illustrated by thirty-four miniatures. The Kalpasūtra text is followed by an illustrated version of the Kālakācārya-kathā which Hermann Jacobi, a pioneer of Jain studies and formerly owner of the manuscript, used for his edition of the text in 1880. At that time this was the only known written version of the legend.
Kalpasūtra and Kālakācārya-kathā
The two texts are both from the Śvetāmbara tradition: the first part of the Kalpasūtra focusses on the life stories of the Jinas, the second part on the monastic rules for the rainy season. This text has an important role in the celebration of the Jain festival of Paryuṣaṇa in August-September.
The Kālakācārya-kathā is the story of Kālaka, a Jain teacher who uses his magical powers to help the Śaka people. In return they help him defeat the evil king of Ujjain Gardhabilla, who had kidnapped his sister.
This story is very often found as an appendix to the Kalpasūtra because in its last part tells of how Kālaka changed the date of the festival of Paryuṣaṇa.
View images of the entire manuscripts via our Digitised Manuscripts website.