Kalpa Sūtra

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Kalpa Sutra
Author Bhadrabahu

The Kalpa Sūtra (Sanskrit: कल्पसूत्र) is a Jain text containing the biographies of the Jain Tirthankaras, notably Parshvanath and Mahavira, including the latter's Nirvāṇa.[1] Bhadrabahu I is considered the author of the text and it is traditionally said to have been composed about one hundred and fifty years after Nirvāṇa of Mahavira (traditionally 599 – 527 BCE).[2]


Within the six sections of the Jain literary corpus belonging to the Svetambara school, it is classed as one of the Cheda Sūtras. This Sutra contains detailed life histories and, from the mid-15th century, was frequently illustrated with miniature painting. The oldest surviving copies are written on paper in western India in the 14th century.


The book is read and illustrated in an eight-day-long festival of Paryushan by Jain monks for general people. Only Monks can read this scriptures as in Jainism, this book has very high spiritual values.

Detail of a leaf with, The Birth of Mahavira (the 24th Jain Tirthankara), from the Kalpa Sutra, c.1375-1400.
Kalpasutra folio on Mahavira Nirvana. Note the crescent shaped Siddhashila, a place where all siddhas reside after Nirvana.

See also[edit]

  1. Mahavira
  2. Pārśva
  3. Neminath


  1. ^ Jacobi, Hermann; Ed. F. Max Müller (1884). Kalpa Sutra, Jain Sutras Part I, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 22. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. 
  2. ^ "Mahavira." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2006. Answers.com 28 Nov. 2009. http://www.answers.com/topic/mahavira

External links[edit]