What is Kalpa Sutra and why do Jains read it?

It is considered the most sacred text. Devout Jains almost worship this book.

The reason is very simple, this book consists of a biography of Lord Mahavira in detail, and the  lives of the other prophets (Tirthankaras).

The book also contains a list of monks from 527 BCE to approximately 500 AD and the code of conduct for Jainmonks.

However, it is the life of Lord Mahavira, which is a favourite among all Jains. The original text was written by Bhadrabahu Swami, who died in the year 357 BCE (the list of monks is not his work).

Nowadays the Kalpa-Sootra is read by Jain monks during the holy festival of Paryushan.This tradition started in Gujarat after a son of the king of Vadanagar died at an early age. The then Acharya Dhaneshvar Soori read Kalpa Sootra to the king. This tradition has continued ever since.

We now celebrate Mahavir Janma Vanchan on the fifth day of the Paryushan festival. This is the day we display 14 dreams of mother Trishla.

The word “Kalpa” has got several meanings. One of the meanings is this: –

“An item which fulfils all wishes”.

Many people believe that a person’s wishes are fulfilled on reading this auspicious and holy book.

Kalpa Sutra

Mahavir Bhagwan

Mahavir Bhagwan

Mahavir Bhagwan

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Categories: Religion


Nestor · August 29, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Thank you for the great information!

Heena Modi · August 30, 2008 at 1:53 pm

No problem Nestor.

Have you had time to check out the posts so far about the bhavnas?

Anyway take care and bye for now


hemant · August 18, 2009 at 6:35 am

I would like to have a copy of Kalpasutra in english language. Is it available in print? Is it available online? How to procure it? Please guide. my address is drhemant 1969 at ya hoo dot co dot in.

    Heena Modi · August 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I’ll find out for you and get back to you as soon as poss 🙂

rahul · February 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm

hi….sister i am rahul from delhi. i need kalpa sootra in hindi & also other holy books plzz reply me as soon as possibel & plz know me that the price too…………plz reply me sooooooooooooooon…………..

    Heena Modi · March 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Sorry I have no idea
    I don’t sell them
    I’ve just written about why Jains read it….

    Sorry : (

priyanka · April 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

hiiiiiiiii dear all, im priyanka bafna, im jain…..
you all want kalp sutra text ? m i ri8?
you can go to jain temple n ask for it to get 4 u ………….

Atul Ranka · July 25, 2010 at 8:03 am

I just wanna know the meanings of KALPA SUTRA plz help me out

    Heena Modi · July 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I’m no expert but this is what it says on Wikipedia.

    The Kalpa SÅ«tra (Sanskrit: कल्पसूत्र) is a Jain text containing the biographies of the Jain Tirthankaras, most notably Parshvanath and Mahavira, including the latter’s Nirvana.

    Also I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum yesterday
    There’s an exhibition showing 9 pages of the Kalpa Sutra.
    They’re amazing!
    I really recommend for anyone who’s interested in Jainism, Jain art, Jain scriptures to go along. If there are 10 or more, you can request for a guide to talk you through the exhibition. That will be of no extra cost and it’s really worth it! It makes it a far richer experience : )

    If you go to the V and A website and search for under exhibitions, the 7th in the list is called Jain Manuscripts. That’s what I saw and explored with a tour guide yesterday.

    The description of the exhibition is: –

    14 May 2010 – 31 December 2012
    South Asia, room 41
    Free admission

    Created to accompany the launch of JAINpedia – an ambitious project digitising Jain manuscripts in the UK – this small display shows finely illustrated Jain manuscript pages from the 15th to 19th centuries. Manuscripts were preserved in temple libraries, however the V&A’s collection includes examples in a range of styles, some never displayed before.


Atul · January 31, 2011 at 9:16 am

Thank yu HEENA JI

    Heena Modi · February 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    No probs at all 🙂

Amarporwall · July 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Heena please pass the message that live and let live

shreya bothra · August 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm

It is also said that if we manage to read The “KALPASUTRA” atleast thrice in our life time we will definetly be able to attain moksha and liberate ourselves from this vicious circle of life and death.

    Heena Modi · August 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Hmm. I’m not sure if that would be enough. We’d need to understand it, apply it i.e. not just ‘talk the talk’ but ‘walk the talk’ & our thought, speech & conduct would need to improve so that we shed our karmic bondage and bind less.
    What do you think?

Sanket Shah · August 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Hi Heena,
Today i attended vyakhyan where maharaj saheb was reading kalpasutra. He told kalpasutra is to be read only by sadhu maharajsaheb and nobody else. He also added kalpasutra includes all principles of monk”s life which were made nearly after 100 yrs after nirvana of lord mahavir.

sachin sagarmal mutha · August 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Can i get whole contain of KALPSUTRA on net?

    Heena Modi · September 7, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I don’t know.
    I’ve not tried to find it or purchase it.

aashish kochar · August 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm

hi Heena,

First of all let me tell you that you are doing a very good job by posting about Kalpasutra.

I have been attending Marahsaab’s(saints) pravachans during these auspiscious days of Holy Paryushan. I am greatly moved by the contents in Kalpasutras. But the knowledge passed on is just a section of Kalpasutra. In today’s world we are not lucky enough to get the complete gist of Kalpasutra.

It has also been found that foreign authors have done translations of this pure sutras, which seem to be a little inappropriate. Because this holy sutra is to be read by qualified punyatmas only.

I leave this comment at this point for now.
There’s plenty to share.

vikram jain chennai · September 20, 2011 at 6:52 am

jai jinendra
pls tell me in which language kalpsutra was write

    Heena Modi · October 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Hi ya Vikram
    Sanskrit I think : )

Anonymous · January 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Greetings, sister. Thank you for your tutorial. For those who are in search of the Divine you can find the full text of Kalpasutra, as well as many others sacred texts, here http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6000521k/f1.image.r=sanscrit.langEN

kamal · February 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm

it was delightful that i got my answer that who wrote the kalapsutra and could know that Bhadarbhau was chandergupta’jain guru

Mitesh Vora · February 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Jai Jinendra,
Its great to hear that so many people are having curiosity about jain religion and its great to see this lovely site to discuss it,you can find lot of materials on net relating to jain religion on net ,check on jainworld.com to read further. Urge everyone to follow path of non violence ,sacrifice and for welfare of others,thanks.

prashant jain · June 3, 2012 at 8:12 am

Thank u all,for popularising jainsim ,i wanted u al to answer my question that,why we do paryusan,and is it right that jainism had turned into no. Of division,like, digamber,svetamber,and their sub division ,if u al can suggest that what are the way we can stop these division,and unite this religion once again,

Sheetal · June 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

The article of Kalpasutra and images is superb.

Foram · June 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Hi to one and all,

Kalpasutra although sacred can be read by one and all… You do get copies in Jain temples and people do have it at homes as well… It has details on each birth of various tirthankars… if I am not mistaken, Mahavir Bhagwan had 27 births which are all detailed here. I do know that it has been translated in Gujarati and sold. I know it coz I have read it.


    Nirav · September 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Hi all,

    Kalpasutra is supposed to be read by only Jain saints ( Marasaheb) and no one else..It is clearly mentioned in the Kalpasutra itself…We can only listen it through them…pls follow this strictly and pass it to many…you can check it with any Jain saints if you doubt me..

    Jai Mahavir
    Best regards

Mitesh Shah · July 6, 2012 at 6:06 am

You may refer this site for Kalpasutra::
It is given with Angarak Sutra
(I have not read it till now, but found it while surfing and posted here as many were demanding link, so you may try it.)

@Heenaji: Nice work, many people are interested in reading historical works of jainism and about that work, but desire is being killed due to extra technicality that has been introduced in lives of ours.. So such kind of article promotes desire to read and is really helpful. Thank you.

Babulalgolecha · September 13, 2012 at 11:19 am

Jaijindera thank you for information provided,but I want to know on
whichday the holy Granth which page is read & details of that page
Which day

    Heena Modi · September 25, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Sorry I can’t help you there 🙂

jay · September 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

thanx…..very useful one…..about knowledge……….

Paryushana – Jainism · May 31, 2010 at 9:54 pm

[…] Svwetambara Jains celebrate an 8-day festival which ends today. During this time the Kalpa Sutra is recited. The Kalpa Sutra recalls the birth, life, and journey toward Nirvana of […]

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