Bhagavati-sutra (Viyaha-pannatti)

by K. C. Lalwani | 1973 | 185,989 words

The English translation of the Bhagavati-sutra which is the fifth Jaina Agama (canonical literature). It is a large encyclopedic work in the form of a dialogue where Mahavira replies to various question. The present form of the Sutra dates to the fifth century A.D. Abhayadeva Suri wrote a vritti (commentary) on the Bhagavati in A.D. 1071. In his J...

Chapter 8: Camara-cañcā (capital city of Camarendra)

Q. 51. Bhante! Where is stated to be the location of Sudharmā-Hall, the court of king Camara, the Indra of the Asurakumāras?

A. 51. Gautama! In the southern direction of Mount Meru, which is located in the centre of Jambu-dvīpa, (as you go) obliquely, crossing an innumerable number of islands and seas, you reach an island called Aruṇavara. As you proceed beyond its extreme coast-line, there is a sea named Aruṇodaya. Now, in this Aruṇodaya sea, after you have gone 42,000 yojanas, you find an utpāta mountain called Tigicchakūṭa which belongs to king Camara, the Indra of the Asurakumāras. It is 1721 yojanas above the ground, and 430 yojanas one krośa inside. Its dimensions are to be noted to be similar to those of an ābāsa mountain named Gostuva. The difference is that the dimensions of the Gostuva mountain at its summit apply to its (Tigicchakūṭa’s) central part.

[In other words, its breadth at the base is 1022 yojanas, at the centre 424 yojanas, and at the summit 732 yojanas. Its circumference at the base is slightly more or less than 3232 yojanas, at the centre slightly more or less than 1341 yojanas and at the summit slightly more or less than 2286 yojanas. ]

It is extended at the base, contracted in the middle, and again extended at the summit. Its middle portion is shaped like an excellent thunder (yajra) or an enormous mukunda (musical drum), all bestrewn with gems, charming,...till picturesque34. It is surrounded all over by a Padmavara-vedikā and a forest strip.

[Description of the vedikā and the forest strip]35.

The top of the said mountain Tigicchakūṭa is free from unevenness, i.e., is perfectly flat, and is exceedingly charming.


At the centre of that flat, beautiful top, there is a big palace, the crown of palaces. Its height is 250 yojanas and its breadth is 125 yojanas.

[Description of the palace]37.

Its maṇipīṭhikā is eight yojanas.

[Description of Camara’s throne and family]38.

To the south of the Tigicchakūṭa mountain, as one goes obliquely 655,35,50,000 yojanas in the Aruṇodaya sea, and dives to the depth of 40,000 yojanas towards the Ratnaprabhā hell, there is Camara-cañcā, the metropolis of Camara, the Indra of the Asurakumāras.

The length and breadth of that capital city are 1,00,000 yojanas in each direction. It is as big as Jambu-dvīpa. Its fortress is 150 yojanas in height and its spread at the base is 50 yojanas and at the summit 13½ yojanas. The length of its kapi-śīrṣaka is ½ yojana, its breadth is one krośa and its height is slightly less than ½ yojana. Each wing in the kapi-śīrṣaka has 500 entrances, each entrance being 250 yojanas in height and half of that in breadth. The rear structure of the palace is 16,000 yojanas in both length and breadth and its circumference is more or less 50597 yojanas. All the measures stated here are half of those of (the capital city of) the Vaimānikas. The Sudharmā Hall, the Jina temple in the north-east, the Hall of Birth, lake, Hall of Coronation, Hall of Decorations—description of all these is similar to those of Vijayadeva.


Halls of birth, resolve, coronation, decoration,
Reading, prayer, worshipping the liberated souls,
Camara’s family, its fabulous fortune—
All these need be stated39.

Chapter eight ends.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

34. The words not repeated are;

saṇhe laṇhe ghaṭṭhe maṭṭhe ṇirae ṇimmale ṇippaṅke ṇikkaṅkaḍacchāe sappabhe samirīe saujjoe pāsāīe

Which mean:

greasy, brilliant, smooth, polished, well-wrought, spotless, clean, mudless, emitting pure glow, with good lustre, shining itself, shining the neighbouring objects, creating delight, picturesque.

35. Padmavara-vedikā has a height of 2 yojanas and breadth of 500 dhanuṣas. Its circumference is the same as that of the mountain at the base. It is made of gems.

The forest strip has a radius of about two yojanas and the same circumference as that of the vedikā. It is black with a dark tinge.

36. The flatness of the top is compared with the surface of the musical drum, the surface of a tank, the palm of the hand and the surface of the moon.

37. The palace is very beautiful, white, shining, bedecked with gold and gems. Its upper portion is very beautiful, with many beautiful paintings on it.

38. The throne is at the centre of the palace. To the north-west, north, and north-east of that throne, there are 64,000 seats for the Sāmānika gods. To the east are the five family apartments of five leading queens. To the south-east, there are 24,000 seats for the members of the inner council. To the south, there are 28,000 seats for the members of the central council. To the south-west, there are 32,000 seats for the members of the external council. To the west, there are seven apartments, and all around, there are 64,000 seats for the bodyguard gods.

39. Born in the Hall of Birth, Indra has at once a feeling—‘what is the mission of my life?’ Then he is duly enthroned by the Sāmānika gods. He is dressed in the Hall of Decoration, Texts are read in the Vyavasāya Hall. Prayers are offered and the Jina image is worshipped. Then Camarendra has a ceremonial entry into the Sudharma Hall.

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