The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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The Kalpa Sūtra (Sanskrit: कल्पसूत्र) is a Jain text containing the biographies of the Jain Tirthankaras, notably Parshvanath and Mahavira, including the latter's Nirvana. 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).
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 olden days ordinary people could not get their copy of kalpasutra as printing was not yet invented .