Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This page describes Birth ceremonies of Rishabha which is the fourth part of chapter II of the English translation of the Adisvara-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Adisvara (or Rishabha) in jainism is the first Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 4: Birth ceremonies of Ṛṣabha

Then eight Dikkumārīs living in the lower world, their thrones being shaken at once, came to the birth-house. Bhogaṅkarā, Bhogavatī, Subhogā, Bhogamālinī, Toyadhārā, Vicitrā, Puṣpamālā, Abhinditā. After they had circumabulated three times the first Tīrthakara and his mother, and had paid homage to them, they said, “Reverence to yon, Mother of the World, Giver of the Light of the World. We eight Dikkumārīs, living in the lower world, have come here by his power to make a festival to him, knowing by clairvoyant knowledge the purifying birth of the Tīrthakṛt. Therefore, do not be afraid.” Saying this, standing in the northeast region, they made a lying-in house with one thousand pillars, facing east. They removed all the gravel, thorns, etc., around the birth-house to the extent of a yojana by, means of a whirlwind. Then, after checking the whirlwind and bowing to the Blessed One, they continued to sing to him, seated near him.

Likewise, having known by the shaking of their thrones, the eight Dikkumārīs living on Mt. Meru, inhabitants of the upper world, came. Meghaṅkarā, Meghavatī, Sumeghā, Meghamālinī, Toyadhārā, Vicitrā, Vāriṣenā, Balāhakā. After bowing to the Jina and the Jina’s mother and announcing themselves as before, they quickly made a mass of clouds in the sky, like the month Nabhasya. For a yojana around the house they laid the dust completely with perfumed water like darkness by moonlight. They made a shower of five-colored flowers knee-deep, making the earth made of variegated paintings as it were. Likewise singing the spotless virtues of the Tīrthanātha, filled with a high degree of joy, they stood—each in her proper place

Eight Dikkumārīs, living on the eastern Rucaka Mountains,[1] came in chariots rivaling the mind (in speed) as it were. Nandottarā, Nandā, Anandā, Nandivardhanā, Vijayā, Vaijayantī, Jayantī, Aparājitā. After bowing to the Master and to Marudevā and announcing themselves as before, singing auspicious songs, they stood in front, holding mirrors.

The same number of Dikkumārīs, living on the southern Rucaka Mountains, came there, impelled by joy like a whip. Samāhārā, Supradattā, Suprabuddhā, Yaśodharā, Lakṣmīvatī, Śeṣavatī, Citraguptā, Vasundharā. Having bowed to the Ford of Jinas and his mother and having introduced themselves as before, they stood on the right, singing, with pitchers in their hands.

Eight Dikkumārīs also, living on the west Rucaka Mountains, came in haste, as if outstripping each other from devotion. Ilādevī, Surādevī, Pṛthivī, Padmavatī, Ekanāsā, Navamikā, Bhadrā, Aśokā. Having bowed to the Jina and the Jina’s mother and having announced themselves as before, they stood behind, holding palm-leaf fans, singing.

Eight Dikkumārīs from the northern Rucaka Mountains came quickly by means of the Ābhiyogika-gods who had become chariots like the wind (in speed). Alambuśā, Miśrakeśī, Pundarīkā, Vāruṇī, Hāsā, Sarvaprabhā, Śrī, Hrī. After bowing to the Jina and to his mother and announcing their purpose as before, they stood on the left holding chauris, singing.

Four Dikkumārīs, named Citrā, Citrakanakā, Saterā, Sautrāmaṇī, came from the intermediate points of the compass of the Rucaka Mountains. When they had bowed to the Jina and the Jina’s mother and had introduced themselves in the same way, they stood in the northeast, etc., directions, holding lights, singing.

Four Dikkumārīs came from Rucakadvīpa, Rūpā, Rūpāṃśikā, Surūpā, and Rūpakāvatī. They cut the Lord’s navel-cord, leaving three inches, made a hole in the ground, and deposited it there. They filled the hole with diamonds and jewels quickly, and made a platform covered with durvā-grass[2] over it. To the east, south and north of the Lord’s birth-house, they created three houses of plantain[3] like houses of Śrī. In each one of them, they created an extensive four-room apartment adorned with a lion-throne, resembling their own palaces. Setting the Jina on their folded hands, and supporting his mother on their arms, like expert servants they led her to the southern four-room apartment. After seating them on the lion-throne, they anointed them both with fragrant oil composed of a thousand ingredients, like expert shampooers. Quickly they massaged them both with divine unguent, the heavens being delighted by a stream of great fragrance. After conducting them to the eastern four-room apartment and seating them on the lion-throne, they bathed them with water pure as their own minds. They rubbed their bodies with fragrant reddish cloths, and quickly anointed them with gośīrṣa-sandal paste. They put on them garments of devaduṣya-cloth, and various ornaments resembling a flash of lightning. Then, having led them to the northern four-room apartment, they seated the Blessed One and the Blessed One’s mother on the lion-throne. They had gośīrṣa-sandal-fuel collected quickly by the Ābhiyogika-gods from Mt. Kṣudrahimavat. Having speedily produced a fire by the two pieces of wood for kindling fire by attrition, they made a sacrifice with the gośīrṣa-sandal made into fuel. With the ashes of the fire they made an amulet. For that is the course of devotion to those two, even though they are very powerful. Saying aloud, “May your life be as long as that of a mountain,” they struck together stone-balls near the Lord’s ears.[4] Having placed Marudevī and the Lord on a couch in the lying-in house, they stood singing auspicious songs. Then simultaneously in the heavens, there was the loud sound of the eternal bells, like the sound of musical instruments at the time of a wedding.

At that time the thrones of the Indras, though immovable as mountain-peaks, trembled like hearts from confusion. Then the Lord of Saudharma, his eyes red from a burst of anger, his face knitted in a frown on the broad surface of his forehead, making his lower lip tremble like a flame from the fire of internal anger, taking a deep breath as if to make firm his throne with one foot, saying to himself, “Whose name-paper has been turned up now by Kṛtānta?” starts to take his thunderbolt, the wind to the fire of his own arrogance. When he saw Purandara thus like an angry lion, his general, like pride incarnate, bowed to him and asked: “O Master, with me present as a soldier, why this anger on your part? O Lord of the World, tell me what enemy of yours I am to destroy.” Then the Lord of the gods composed his mind, employed clairvoyant knowledge, and knew the birth of the first Jina. At once śakra, the violence of his anger oozing away from joy, became like a mountain with a forest-fire extinguished by rain. “Alas for what I thought. May my sin be without consequences.” Saying this, the chief of the gods left the lion-throne. He took seven or eight steps, put on his head his folded hands which bestowed the beauty of a second jeweled crown, bowed, touching the earth with the lotuses of his knee and head, and with his hair erect from joy began a hymn of praise to the Arhat as follows:


“Reverence to you, O Lord of the Congregation, Protector of the World, Ocean of Compassion, O Lord, son of Śrī Nābhi. O Lord, you are resplendent with the three knowledges, sense-knowledge,[5] etc., innate, like Mt. Meru with the parks, Nandana, etc. O God, this zone of Bharata today surpasses heaven, since it is adorned by you, the crest-jewel of the three worlds. Like you, this day is to be held in respect throughout saṃsāra, purified by the festival of your birth-kalyāṇa,[6] O Lord of the World. From the auspicious occasion of your birth, happiness arose even for the inhabitants of hell. For whom is the birth of the Arhats not a destroyer of pain? Henceforth, let dharma, lost like a (hidden) deposit in the country of Bharata in Jambūdvīpa, spring up from the seed of your power. Who that has attained to your feet will not cross saṃsāra? Even iron in a ship reaches the bank of the ocean. Like a wishing-tree in a treeless place, like a river-torrent in the desert, O Blessed One, you have descended into Bharata, because of the merit of the people.”

Having praised the Blessed One thus, the Lord of the first heaven instructed his general of infantry, Naigameṣin: “In the middle division of the southern half of Bharata in Jambūdvīpa, from the wife of the Patriarch Nābhi, Marudevā, a son, a depository of good fortune, is born. Summon all the gods for his birth-bath.” Then striking three times the bell Sughoṣā[7] which has a wonderful sound for a radius of a yojana, he made it ring. With Sughoṣā the bells of all the other palaces rang, like birds singing with the bird leading the singing. The sound of these bells increased from the echoes arising in the skies like a family of the noble from sons resembling themselves. Springing up in thirty-two lacs of palaces, the sound expanded in the form of echoes like a word in the palate. The gods sunk in negligence were dazed by that sound. Saying, “What is this?” confused, they paid attention. Vajrin’s general announced to them, attentive, in a voice deep as thunder: “Hear, all you gods. Pākaśāsana, whose command is not to be transgressed, instructs you with your retinues, goddesses, etc. ‘In the southern half of Bharata in Jambūdvipa the first Tīrthakṛt is born in the family of the Patriarch Nābhi. Hasten, like us, for the purpose of making the kalyāṇa-festival at his birth. Henceforth there is no other duty.’”

Some from devotion to the Arhat, like deer windwards; some drawn by Śakra’s command, like iron by a magnet; some made to move by their wives, like aquatic monsters by the river-floods; some carried along by friends, like perfumes by the winds—the gods came by means of shining cars and other conveyances to śakra’s presence as if making another heaven. Vāsava instructed an Ābhiyogika-god named Pālaka, “Make a car that can not be copied.” Then Pālaka, observing the Lord’s command, made a car that filled the sky with a flood of light from a thousand jeweled pillars; having eyes, as it were, in the form of windows; having teeth, as it were, in the form of balconies; having horripilation, as it were, in the form of finials; five hundred yojanas high and a hundred thousand square,[8] moving from the inference of a wish.

There were three flights of steps to the car that were like Mt. Himavat’s rivers with shining waves.[9] In front of them arches made of jewels of various colors had the beauty of a three-fold rainbow. Inside it, the floor, level and round, shone like the moon, like a mirror, like an āliṅgimṛdaṅga,[10] like an excellent light. It made curtains, as it were, over the pictures on the walls by the dense masses of light from inset jeweled slabs. In its center was a theater-pavilion made of jewels, adorned with puppets superior to Apsarases. Within the pavilion was a dais made of beautiful jewels, like the pericarp of a full-blown lotus. Eight yojanas in breadth and length and four yojanas in height, it shone like the couch of the Śrī of Indra. On it shone a great jeweled lion-throne, as if it had been made by collecting the essence of all the constellations. Above the throne shone a canopy of perfect beauty, studded with various jewels, filling the sky with rays of light. In its center shone a diamond-goad, as if in an elephant’s ear, and a kumbhika-string[11] of pearls resembling the pleasure-hammock of Lakṣmī. With adjacent half-kumbhika-strings of pearls, half so wide as it was, that string had the beautiful appearance of the Gaṅgā with other rivers. As if greedy for the pleasure of touching it, the east wind and other winds, with faltering course rocked them slowly, slowly. Blowing between them, the wind made a sound pleasant to hear, as if a flatterer were singing the spotless glory of Indra.

Near his lion-throne in the northwest and north directions and in the northeast, there were so many thrones in succession for the Sāmānika-gods as there were gods, eighty-four thousand, like crowns of heavenly Śrīs. In the east there were eight thrones of the eight chief-goddesses, having the same shape, as if produced at the same time. In the southeast direction there were twelve thousand thrones for the gods of the inner council; and in the south fourteen thousand seats in succession for the gods in the middle council; and in the southwest a row of seats of the sixteen thousand gods of the outer council. In the west the seven thrones of the seven generals shone as if fallen from one disc. Eighty-four thousand seats of the body-guards shone in every direction around Śakra, like the stars around Meru.

When the Ābhiyogika-gods had completed the aerial car, they reported to the Master of the gods. Then Purandara changed into his best form; for the assumption of any form at will is natural to the gods. Together with his eight chief-queens like heavenly Śrīs, Vāsava had interesting things shown by troops of actors and Gandharvas. Then, after circumambulating it, he ascended his aerial car, like his own lofty pride, by the east steps. Sahasrākṣa, his image reflected in the jeweled walls as if he had a thousand bodies, seated himself on his ‘own throne, facing the east. Then Śakra’s Śāmānikas, like other forms of Śakra, ascended by the north steps and took their proper seats. The other gods entered by the southern steps and sat down, each on his own seat, Before the Master there is no transgression in regard to the seat.

In front of the Lord of Paulomī (Śakra) seated on the lion-throne shone eight groups of the eight auspicious things, mirror, etc.[12] The lotus in the form of Bidaujas shone, fair as the moon, and chauris being waved (looked like) haṃsas approaching (it). In front of the aerial car an Indradhvaja,[13] one thousand yojanas high, shone like a mountain with cascades. Then surrounded by Sāmānikas and other gods, Śakra looked like the ocean with a crore of rivers. His aerial car, surrounded by the aerial cars of the other gods, looked just like the principal shrine with shrines in an outer circle. The aerial cars, reflected in each other’s beautiful jeweled walls, shone as if filled with (other) aerial cars. With cries of “Hail! Hail!” from the bards, with the noise of drums, and the sound of musical instruments of troops of Gandharvas and troops of actors reverberating against the quarters of the sky, at the wish of Hari the aerial car set out from Saudharma, just as if splitting the sky. Descending by an oblique path from the north of Saudharma, it appeared like a vessel for the covering of Jambūdvīpa.

“O elephant-rider, go from here; my lion will not endure (you).” “O horseman, go away; an angry buffalo is my animal.” “O you with a deer-vehicle, do not come near; for I am riding a tiger.” “O you with a serpent-banner, go away from here; look at the Garuḍa on my banner.” “Why do you fly near me? You are obstructing movement forward.” “Sir, why do you bump my car with your car?” “Why have you fallen behind? Come quickly. The Lord of the gods is going.” “Do not be angry at the bumping to-day. There is (always) crowding on an auspicious occasion.”

Thus great confusion arose mutually, produced by the eagerness of the gods of Saudharmakalpa following the Lord of the gods. The car with its great flag, descending from the surface of the sky, looked like a ship descending from the crest in the middle of the ocean. Inside the constellation-circle, like an elephant inside a group of trees, making the sky seem[14] to be covered with clouds, as it were, after crossing numberless continents and oceans, like the wind in speed, the car arrived at Nandīśvaradvīpa. Going to Mt. Ratikara in the southeast, Indra contracted the car, like a learned man abridging a book. Then, after crossing continents and oceans on this side, gradually contracting the car more and more, Vāsava arrived at the continent named Jambūdvīpa, at the southern half of Bharata, and at the birth-house of the first Tīrthakṛt. Then with the car he circumambulated the Master’s lying-in house, like the sun going around Meru. The Lord of the northeast quarter parked his car in the northeast, like a treasure in the corner of a house.

Then, descending from the car (vimāna) like a muni from conceit (māna), with a gracious mind Śakra went to the Master’s presence. At the mere sight of the Lord, the Lord of the gods bowed. For at the sight of the master, a bow is the first present. Then after circumambulating the Blessed One and his mother, Śakra bowed again. In devotion, there is no such thing as repetition. With folded hands on his head, the King of the gods addresses the Lady Marudevā with devotion:

“O Lady, carrying a jewel in the womb, producing light for the world, hail to you, Mother of the World. You are blessed; you possess merit. You have a fruitful birth; you have the best attributes. Among mothers you alone are purifying the three worlds. This first Tīrthanātha, the Blessed One, the shower of the hidden path to mokṣa, a draught-animal for raising up dharma, was borne by you. I, the Indra of Saudharma, O Lady, have come here to hold the birth-festival of the Arhat, your son. Your Ladyship must not be afraid.” Having spoken thus, Śakra made a sleeping-charm for Lady Marudevī. Then Maghavan made an image of the son of Nābhi, and put it down at the side of Lady Śrī Marudeva. He made himself fivefold; then there were five Śakras. Suitable devotion to the Master cannot be made by people with one body. Of these, one Saṅkrandana came forward, bowed, and said reverently, “O Blessed One, allow me,” and with auspicious devotion took the Lord of the World, as if he were good fortune incarnate, with hands covered with gośīrṣa-sandal. One Śakra, going behind, held an umbrella over the head of the Lord of the World, who was the sole umbrella for destroying the heat of the world. Two others, lords of chauris, stood like arms at the sides of the Master, bearing beautiful chauris. Carrying the thunderbolt as a staff, running like a chief doorkeeper, there was another Śunāsīra, preceding the Lord of the World. The Indras flew through the air, their minds spotless as white garments, surrounded by gods filling the sky with noise by cries of “Hail! Hail!” The glances of the eager gods fell on the Blessed One’s body, like those of thirsty travelers on a pool of nectar. The gods in front wished they had eyes in their backs to see the wonderful beauty of the Lord. The gods going at the side, not satisfied in looking at the Master, were not able to direct their eyes elsewhere, just as if transfixed by a charm. The gods following, wishing to go in front to see the Lord, did not consider their friends, masters, etc. Carrying the Arhat on the door of his heart, as if inside his heart, the Lord of the gods reached Mt. Meru. There the Lord of the east quarter, with the Lord on his lap, sat down joyfully on the lion-throne suitable for the Arhat’s bath on the rock Atipāṇḍukakambalā with a shining luster inside the grove Pāṇḍaka to the south of the crest.

In the meantime attended by the gods living in the twenty-eight lacs of palaces, aroused by the sound of the bell Mahāghoṣā, the Lord of the Aiśānakalpa, carrying a trident, having a bull as a vehicle, seated in a car Puṣpaka made by the Abhiyogya Puṣpaka, descended on the south of Aiśānakalpa by an oblique path to Mt. Ratikara in the northeast of Nandīśvara and, having contracted his car like the Indra of Saudharma, quickly went, before the Blessed One on Mt. Meru with devotion. Sanatkumāra, surrounded by gods living in the twelve lacs of palaces, came in the car Sumanas. Mahendra, accompanied by gods of eight lacs of palaces, came quick as thought in the car Śrīvatsa. Brahmā, attended by gods of four lacs of palaces came to the Master’s presence in the car Nandyāvarta. Lāntaka came to the Jina’s presence in the car Kāmagava with gods of fifty thousand palaces. Śukra came to the peak of Meru in the car Pritiṅgama, with the gods of forty thousand palaces. Sahasrāra with the gods of six thousand palaces came to the Lord of Jinas with the car Manorama. The Indra of Ānata and Prāṇata came in the car Vimala with gods of four hundred palaces. The Lord of Āraṇa and Acyuta with gods of three hundred palaces came in great haste in the car Sarvatobhadra.

Then the thrones of the Indras of the Bhavanavasins and Vyantaras living in Ratnaprabhā within the thickness of the earth shook. In the city Cāmaracañcā in the assembly-hall Sudharmā, the Asura Camara, seated on the lion throne Camara, knew the Jina’s birth by clairvoyant knowledge and had the bell Oghasvarā rung by Druma, the chief of his infantry, to inform the people. Attended by sixty-four thousand Sāmānikas, thirty-three Trāyastriṃśas, four Lokapālas, five chief-queens, three councils, seven great armies and their seven commanders, sixty-four thousand body-guards in each direction,[15] and by other powerful princes also, the Asura got into a car fifty thousand yojanas square, adorned with a great banner five hundred yojanas high, which had been made at once by an Abhiyogya-god, and set out with the desire to perform the birth-festival of the Master. Having contracted his car on the road like Śakra, the Asura Camara went to Meru’s peak purified by the Master’s arrival. Bali, the Asura-lord of Balicañcā, attended by sixty thousand Sāmānikas who had been summoned by the general Mahādruma, who first rang vigorously the bell Mahaughasvarā, and by the fourfold body-guard, the Trāyastriṃśas and the other gods, like Camara, went quickly to Mt. Mandara, the home of joy. The Indra of the Nāgas, Dharaṇa, accompanied by six thousand Sāmānikas, the fourfold body-guard and six chief queens, and by other Nāgas awakened by the general Bhadrasena by ringing the bell Maghasvarā, ascended the jeweled car twenty-five thousand yojanas square, adorned with an Indradhvaja two hundred fifty yojanas high, eager for a sight of the Blessed One, and in a moment stopped on the peak of Mt. Mandara. Bhutānanda, the Nāga-indra, attended by the Sāmānikas and others summoned by Dakṣa, the chief of the infantry, ringing the bell Meghasvarā, ascended the car made by an Ābhiyogika-god and went to Mt. Meru occupied by the Lord of the Three Worlds.

The Indras of the Vidyutkumāras, Hari and Harisaha; the Vāsavas of the Suparṇas, Veṇudeva and Veṇudārin; the Indras of the Agnikumāras, Agniśikha and Agnimāṇava; and of the Samīraṇakumāras, Velamba and Prabhañjana; the chiefs of the Stanitas, Sughoṣa and Mahāghoṣa; likewise of the Udadhikumāras, Jalakānta and Jalaprabha; Pūrṇa and Avaśiṣṭa, the Purandaras of the Dvīpakumāras; likewise Amita and Amitavāhana, Indras of the Dikkumāras, (came to the peak of Meru).

Among the Vyantaras—Kāla and Mahākāla, Piśāca-indras; Svarūpa and Pratirūpa, Bhūta-purandaras; the Yakṣa-kings, Pūrṇabhadra and Māṇibhadra by name; Bhīma and Mahābhīma, Indras of the Rakṣases; Kinnara and Kimpuruṣa, the chief lords of the Kinnaras; Satpuruṣa and Mahāpuruṣa, lords of Kimpuruṣas; Atikāya and Mahākāya, Mahoraga-purandaras; Gītarati and Gītayaśas, Vāsavas of the Gandharvas, and in the same way the sixteen Indras of the eight classes of Vyantaras—Aprajñapti, Pañcaprajñapti, etc., came together.

The Indras of the Aprajñaptis, Sannihita and Samānaka; Dhātṛ and Vidhātṛ, the Adhīśvaras of the Pañcaprajñaptis; Ṛṣi and Ṛṣipālaka of the Ṛṣivāditakas; likewise Īśvara and Maheśvara of the Bhūtavāditas; and the Indras, Suvatsaka and Viśālaka of the Kranditas; Hāsa and Hāsarati, Haris of the Mahākranditakas; Śveta and Mahāśveta, Purandaras of the Kuṣmāṇḍanas; Pavaka and Pavakapati, Indras of the Pāvakas; and innumerable suns and moons of the Jyotiṣkas came. Sixty-four Indras as named came to the peak of Meru.

The Indra of Acyuta instructed the Ābhiyogika-gods: “Bring the paraphernalia for the Jina’s birth-ablutions.” Then, after going a short distance to the northeast in a moment and attracting the best substances by means of a vaikriyasamudghāta, they created (vikṛ) water-pots a yojana high, gold, silver, made of jewels, gold and silver, gold and jewels, gold, silver and jewels, silver and jewels, and earthenware, beautiful, one thousand and eight of each. Then they offered vases, mirrors, jeweled boxes with bases, plates, cups, and flower-baskets, likewise made of gold, etc., of each one the same number as of the water-pots as if prepared beforehand. Having taken the water-pots, the Ābhiyogika-gods took water from the ocean of milk, like clouds. From it they took white lotuses, blue lotuses, and red lotuses, as if to show to Hari a token of (the taking of) the waters. They took lotuses also from the ocean Puṣkarārdha, like water-carriers with water-pots in their hands from a pool. At the tīrthas, Māgadha, etc., of Bharata, Airāvata,, etc., they took water and clay as if to make additional pitchers. They took with them water from the great rivers, the Gaṅgā, etc., freely, like customs officers samples.[16] Going to Kṣudrahimavat, they took the best perfumes of mustard flowers and also all the medicinal herbs, as if they were deposits. From the lake named Padmā on it, they took water and lotuses, white, fragrant, pure. likewise they took lotuses, etc., on the other mountain-ranges, eager in this one task, as if rivaling each other. In every zone and also in the Vaitāḍhya provinces, they took water, lotuses, etc., insatiable for them like the Master’s favor. They took various objects, purifying and fragrant, from the Vakṣāraka Mountains, as if they were their wealth piled up. Energetic, they filled the water-pots with water from the Devakurus and Uttarakurus as they filled themselves with joy. In Bhadraśāla, Nandana, Saumanasa, and Pāṇḍaka they took everything, the best gośīrṣa-sandal, etc. After mixing together the fragrant substances and water, they went quickly to Mt. Meru.

Surrounded on all sides by ten thousand Sāmānikas, by the fourfold body-guards, by the Trāyastriṃśas, the three assemblies, the four Lokapālas, the seven great armies and the seven generals, the Indra of Āraṇa and Acyuta, pure, began to bathe the Blessed One. After putting on his upper garment, possessing unselfish devotion, Acyuta took a double handful of flowers of the blooming coral-tree, etc. After perfuming it with fragrant dense smoke from incense, he threw the double handful of flowers before the Lord of the Three Worlds. The gods brought the pitchers of perfumed water adorned with wreaths as if smiling from joy produced by the Master’s nearness. With buzzing bees on the lotuses in their mouths they looked as if they were reciting the first prayer of the Master’s bath. The pitchers looked like Pātāla-water-pots that had come from Pātāla for the sake

of bathing the Master. With the Sāmānikas, etc., the Indra of Acyuta took up the one thousand and eight pitchers like the fruit of his own glory. Present in their raised hands they looked like lotus-buds with upraised stalks. The Indra of Acyuta began to bathe the Lord of the World, bending the pitcher a little, as if it were his own head.

Then some gods beat loudly drums that made the mountains of the gods reverberate with loud echoes from caves. Others, full of devotion, sounded heavenly-drums (dundubhi) whose sounds stole the beauty of the murmur of the great ocean stirred by the churning-stick. Some, impetuous, beat together cymbals, as winds beat waves of water with a confused noise. Others beat energetically kettle-drums whose faces were turned up as if extending the Jinendra’s command everywhere in the Upper World. Some gods, standing on the top of the rock, blew kāhalās[17] having a powerful sound like cowherds blowing cowhorns. Some gods repeatedly beat drums with their hands, as if they were bad pupils, for the sake of a proclamation. Other gods made sound cymbals of gold and silver, rivaling the beauty of the suns and moons that had come beyond number. Some gods blew conches loudly with cheeks puffed out as if they had a mouthful of nectar. Various musical instruments being played by the gods in this way, the sky was like a musical instrument without a musician from its echoes. “Hail! Rejoice! O Lord of the World, attaining emancipation, O Ocean of Compassion, Promoter of Dharma,” etc., the flying ascetics sang.

After reciting a hymn of praise delightful with various dhruvakas, ślokas, utsāhas and skandhakas also, with galitas, vastuvadanas, and prose,[18] the Indra of Acyuta with, his gods slowly emptied the pitchers over the Lord of the World. Being turned over the Master’s head, the water-pitchers shone like rain-clouds over the peak of Sumeru. Being made to bend by the gods on both sides of the, Lord’s head, they at once assumed the appearance of jeweled ear-rings. The streams of water falling from these pitchers with yojana-wide mouths looked like cascades from mouths of mountain-caves. The jets of water spurting up in all directions from the region of the head looked like shoots from the. bulb of dharma—the Master. Spread out on the head in a circle like a white umbrella; spreading out on the forehead like a forehead-ornament of sandal; on the ears like beauty gained by eyes extending to the ends of the ears; like a canopy of camphor-leaves and vines on the sides of the cheeks; like a cluster of bright smiles on his beautiful lips; like a string of large pearls on his neck; like a tilaka of sandal on the shoulder; like a broad jacket on the arm, chest and back; like an uttarīya (upper garment) on the space between hip and knee; falling on the Master, the water from the Ocean of Milk shone.

As soon as the Lord’s bath-water fell on the ground, with devotion it was seized by some, like rain by cātakas.[19] “Where, pray, will we obtain that again?” With this thought, some gods put the water on their heads like men in a desert. Some gods with eagerness sprinkled their bodies again and again, like elephants suffering from summer-heat. Advancing quickly on the plateaux of Mt. Meru, the water formed a thousand rivers on all sides. It (the water) assumed the appearance of a wide-spreading unequaled river in the gardens Pāṇḍaka, Saumanasa, Nandana, and Bhadraśālaka. As Hari gave the bath to the Blessed One, the pitchers with their mouths turned down looked as if they were ashamed, because their store of water was exhausted by the bath. The Ābhiyogika-gods filled those pitchers with the water of other pitchers at their Master’s order. Moving from hand to hand of the gods, the pitchers looked like small boys of the wealthy. The row of pitchers placed around the son of Nābhi had the appearance of a wreath of golden lotuses being put on. Again the gods turned the pitchers over the Master’s head, their mouths talking with the water, devoted to praise of the Arhat, as it were. The gods filled the pitchers emptied repeatedly in the Lord’s bath by Hari, like Yakṣas a Cakrin’s treasure-pitchers.[20] Emptied again and again, brought again and again, moving to and fro again and again, the pitchers looked like jars on a machine for drawing water. Thus the Master’s wonderful bath was made with crores of pitchers by the Indra of Acyuta, as desired. His (Acyuta’s) soul was purified.

The Lord of Āraṇa and Acyuta dried the Lord’s body with a divine fragrant reddish-brown cloth, considering himself purified, moreover. Touching the Master’s body, the fragrant reddish-brown cloth shone like a row of twilight clouds touching the disc of the sun at dawn. The Blessed One’s body dried in this way looked like the whole of the wealth of gold collected in one place from Mt. Suvarṇa. Then the Abhiyogyas brought moist paste of gośīrṣa-sandal in various dishes to Acyuta. With it Purandara began to anoint the Lord, like the moon the ridge of Mt. Meru with moonlight. Around the Master some gods stood, wearing upper-garments, in their hands large incense-burners. Other gods threw incense into them, making as it were another sapphire-peak on Meru by the unctuous line of smoke. Some carried large white umbrellas, as if making the sky a huge white-lotus pond. Some of the highest gods waved chauris, as if summoning their own people for the sight of the Master. Some gods, girded up, carrying each his own weapon, stood around the Master like bodyguards. Some gods waved fans of jewels and gold, as if showing in the sky the imitation of a rising flash of lightning. Other gods, exceedingly joyful, made a rain of variegated divine flowers, like stage-managers. Others rained on all sides a very fragrant powder resembling the uprooting of evils in the form of powder. Some gods made a rain of gold, as if wishing to add to the extreme wealth of Mt. Meru occupied by the Master. Some made a heavy shower of jewels that resembled stars descending to bow at the Master’s feet. Some sang to the Master, each with new grāmarāgas[21] with sweet notes, surpassing a troop of Gandharvas. Others made resound musical instruments—stringed, drums, solid instruments, and perforated ones. For devotion takes many forms.

Some gods danced, shaking the peaks of Meru with blows from their feet, as if wishing to make them dance. Other gods began a concert splendid with varied gestures, like dancers with their wives. Some gods flew up in the sky, as if thinking themselves like Garuḍa; some flew down to earth, for fun, like cocks. Some pranced gracefully, like champions chosen to decide a battle; some made a lion-roar, like lions, from joy. Some trumpeted aloud like elephants; some joyfully neighed like horses; some made a rattling noise like chariots; some, like buffoons, made the four noises of the others. Some, leaping, shook violently the peaks of Meru by stamping their feet, like monkeys shaking the branches of trees. Others hit the ground hard with open hands, like men eager to make promise of battle.[22] Some made an uproar, as if they had won wagers; some played on their puffed-out cheeks, as if they were musical instruments on their shoulders. Some like clowns changed their appearance and made the people laugh; others bounded in front, at the sides, and at the back like balls. Some made a circle and, singing in a rustic-dance-circle, gave a charming dance, like women giving the hallīsaka. Some burned like a flame; some shone like the sun; some thundered like a cloud; some flashed like lightning. Some were transformed like pupils filled with boiled rice (i.e., satisfied). Who can conceal such joy arising from the Master’s arrival? Even while the gods were giving manifestations of joy in many forms, the Indra of Acyuta anointed the Lord. With flowers of the coral tree, etc., blooming like his own devotion, then the Lord of Acyuta himself made a pūjā to the Lord of Jinas. Then having withdrawn a short distance, bent from devotion, Vāsava bowed and praised the Master, like a pupil. In the same way, the sixty-two other Indras, in order of seniority like brothers, made the bathing and anointing and pūjā to the Lord of the World.

The Indra of Aiśāna made himself five-fold, like the King of Saudharma, and took the Lord of the Three Worlds on his lap. Of these, one held over the Lord’s head a camphor-white umbrella, giving a lāsya of the quarters, as it were, with its swinging pearl-pendants. Two others fanned the Lord of the Jinas with chauris dancing from joy, as it were, from the various movements of the body. Another, twirling a trident in his hand, went in front as if thinking to purify himself by the Master’s glances. Then the Indra of Saudharmakalpa created four tall bulls from crystal in the four directions from the Lord of the World. The bulls, brilliant with lofty horns, looked like pleasure-mountains made of moonstone of the four quarters. Continuous streams of water shot up in the sky from the eight horns resembling veins of Pātāla burst open.[23] Separated at the source, the unbroken series of streams of water joined at the end gave the appearance of a confluence of rivers in the sky. Being seen with wonder by the goddesses and female Asuras, they fell on the Lord of the World like rivers into the Lord of Waters. The Blessed One, the first Tīrthakṛt, was bathed by Śakra with the streams of water flowing from the horns resembling waterworks. The clothes of the gods were wet from the Master’s bath-water going far, just as their minds were tender from devotion. Prācīnabārhis made the four bulls disappear suddenly, like a magician a magic display.

After bathing him thus with great pomp, the Lord of the gods rubbed the Lord’s body like a jeweled mirror with a divine cloth. Then the gods designed the eight auspicious things out of spotless silver whole-rice on a jeweled tablet in front of the Master. Vāsava anointed the Teacher of the World’s body with very precious ointment, as if with his own affection. The King of the gods made a pūjā with white divine garments, giving the appearance of moon-light to the moon of the Master’s smiling face. Vajrabhṛt placed a diamond and ruby diadem on the head of the Lord of the Three Worlds, a sign of being the head of all. Maghavan placed golden earrings in the Lord’s ears, like the sun and moon in the east and west quarters of the sky at evening. A long string of divine pearls, which had the appearance of a swing of Lakṣmī, was placed by Puruhūta on the Master’s neck. He put a pair of armlets on the arms of the Lord of the Three Worlds, like golden circles on the tusks of a bhadra-elephant. On the Lord’s wrists he put bracelets of round, large pearls, resembling clusters of flowers on the branches of trees. He put a golden girdle on the Lord’s hips, having the appearance of a golden bank on a zone-mountain slope. On the Lord’s feet he put ruby anklets clinging on all sides, like the brilliance of gods and demons. These ornaments which Indra put on him for adornment were, on the contrary, adorned by the body of the Teacher of the World. Vāsava, his mind perfumed with devotion, made a pūjā to the Supreme Lord with wreaths of blooming coral-tree flowers, etc. After withdrawing a little, like one who has accomplished his purpose, Purandara stood in front of the Lord of the World and took up the vessel for waving lights. Kauśika, because of the brilliance of the flaming lamps, looked like a great mountain with a peak which had a circle of shining herbs. The Chief of the gods caused the faithful chief-gods to rain down a heap of variegated flowers on the Lord three times. Then Śakra, after he had praised the Supreme Lord with a Śakra-stava, devoted, the hair on his body erect from joy, began a hymn of praise.


“Hail to you, Lord of the World, Sun to the lotus in the form of the three worlds, Wishing-tree in the desert of saṃsāra, Friend for the rescue of ah, this moment is to be praised in which took place the birth of you who have birth in dharma, not having rebirth, destroying pain of all creatures. Now Ratnaprabhā, O Lord, is inundated by the streams of water from your birth-ablutions, its stain washed away without effort, pure. Indeed, those mortals are blessed who will see you day and night. What are we, compared with them, since we see you only on special occasions? The whole path to salvation which has been blocked for the creatures of Bharatakṣetra will become manifest through you, a new traveler, O Lord. Even the sight of you gives bliss to creatures, to say nothing of your nectar-like preaching of dharma. No one is a suitable subject for comparison with you, O you who cause passage across existence. If we describe you only as you are, in that case, what praise is there of you? I am not able to enumerate your attributes that really exist, O Lord. Who can measure the depth of the ocean Svyambhūramaṇa?”

After this hymn of praise to the Lord of the World, his mind fragrant with joy, the Lord of the eastern quarter made himself five-fold as before.One of these Śakras very carefully took the Lord of the World from Īśāna’s lap, and held him close to his heart like a secret. Other Bidaujases, skilled in the Master’s service, performed their separate tasks as before, just as if they had been commanded. Surrounded by all his own gods, the Chief of gods went through the air to the house adorned by the Lady Marudevā. Vāsava took away the Tīrthakṛt’s image and placed the Master in the same way near his mother. The Lord-of-the-sky took away the sleeping-charm from the Lady Marudevā, as the sun takes away sleep from the lotus. He put on the Lord’s pillow a pair of garments of fine cloth resembling a circle of lovely haṃsas on a river-bank. Likewise he put a pair of jeweled ear-rings on the Lord which looked like a halo that had appeared even in childhood. So Purandara placed on the canopy above the Master to amuse his eyes a śrīdāmagaṇḍa, made of gold-leaf,[24] a golden sun rich with necklaces and half-necklaces of various jewels, like the sun in the sky.

Then he instructed Śrīda: “Now, just as a cloud deposits water, quickly deposit everywhere in the Master’s house thirty-two crores each of wrought and unwrought gold,[25] and jewels; thirty-two each of round iron seats, thrones and other charming things, clothes, ornaments, etc., precious objects giving pleasure to the creatures of saṃsāra.” Kubera at once had that done by Jṛmbhaka[26] gods. For the command of those having powerful commands is accomplished with the utterance. Then Vāsava instructed the Ābhiyogika-gods: “Proclaim aloud to the four classes of gods, ‘If any one thinks anythi n g unfavourable to the Arhat and the Arhat’s mother, his head will split into seven pieces like the clusters of blossoms of the arjaka.’”[27] They proclaimed that to the Bhavanapatis, the Vyantaras, Jyotiṣkas, and Vaimānikas, like pupils repeating the speech of a distinguished teacher. Then Śakra inserted nectar composed of the juice of various foods in the Master’s thumb, just as the sun puts a watery substance in the circle of rays named amṛta.[28] Moreover, when hunger arises, since the Arhats do not nurse, they suck their thumbs which pour out juice. The Lord of the gods appointed five Apsarases to perform all the nurses’ duties for the Lord.

Then many gods, immediately after the Jina’s bath, went to the continent Nandīśvara direct from the peak of Sumeru. The Indra of Saudharma also went from the house of the son of Śrī Nābhi to Nandīśvaradvīpa, the abode of the gods. Then Śakra descended to the Añjana mountain, named Devaramaṇa, situated in the eastern quarter, the size of a Kṣudrameru. There the Lord of the gods entered the temple with four doors, with a dais made of varied jewels, marked with a caitya-tree and an Indra-dhvaja. There he made a pūjā accompanied by an eight-day festival, suitable to the eternal images of the Arhats, Ṛṣabha, etc. On the four crystal Dadhimukha Mountains which are in the great lakes in the four directions from the (Añjana) mountain, Śakra’s four Dīkpālas made a fitting eight-day festival to the eternal images of the Arhats in the shrines. The Indra of Īśāna also descended to the Añjana mountain Ramaṇīya, always charming, situated in the north. In the same way in the shrine there he made an eight-day festival to an equal number of eternal images of the Arhats. In like manner his Lokapālas made a festival to the eternal Arhat-images on the Dadhimukha Mountains in the lakes. The Indra Camara descended to the Añjana mountain named Nityodyota, which had the continual splendor of jewels, in the southern quarter. With great devotion, he too in the shrine there made a fitting eight-day festival to the eternal images. His Dikpālas made a great festival to the Jinas’ images on the Dadhimukha Mountains in its lakes, their minds immovable. The Indra Bali also descended to the Añjana mountain, named Svayamprabha from its beautiful clouds, located in the west. He likewise made a festival purifying the eyes of the gods to the eternal images of Ṛṣabha, etc. His Dikpālas also made a festival to the eternal images on the lofty Dadhimukha Mountains in its lakes. After making in this way a festival on Nandīśvara, the gods went each to his own abode by the same path by which he had come.

Footnotes and references:


In the continent Rucakadvīpa is a circular mountain-ranges Rucaka. On this in the four directions are 4 temples, and on both sides of each temple are 4 mountain peaks, making 8 peaks in each direction. Each peak is inhabited by a Dikkumārī. K. pp. 257 f.


Cf. KSK I. 97, p. 81.....pīṭham ādadhuḥ, baddhvā tad dūrvayā......


Plantain is still used for temporary constructions in the temples and festivals.


I am told by Gujaratis that this custom still exists in some parts of Gujarat, and is supposed to give long life to the child.


The Tīrthaṅkaras possess at birth three of the 5 kinds of knowledge: i.e., mati, sense-knowledge, śruta, study-knowledge, and avadhi, clairvoyant knowledge.


Kalyāṇa is a technical word for 5 important occasions in the life of a Tīrthaṅkara: conception, birth, initiation, attainment of omniscience, and nīrvāṇa.


The bell in Śakra’s palace.


This is the usual description of Śakra’s car, and other cars are described in the same proportions; but in all representations of the cars they are invariably much higher than wide.


The Mountain-range Himavat is the southernmost of the seven ranges of Jambūdvīpa and the northern boundary of Bharata-varsa. Three rivers rise in it: Gaṅgā and Sindhu flowing to the south, and Rohitāṃśā flowing to the north. K., pp. 220 f.


The āliṅgimṛdaṅga is one of 3 kinds of mṛdaṅgasaṅki, āliṅgī, and ūrdhvakba. Abhi. 2. 207 and com. The name is not in use at the present time, and no present-day mṛdaṅga could be compared with the moon or a mirror. There are, however, flat, circular drums in use, one variety of which is held on the left arm, and beaten with a stick.


Kumbhika is not quite clear in this connection. It might refer to the origin of pearls from the elephant’s kumbha, or it might refer to the measure kumbha. Hem. evidently has the measure in mind, as he uses kumbhameya in 6. 590 and ardhakumbhaprama in Tri. 2. 2. 297. Kumbha is a bulk measure, but it apparently does not refer to the size of the pearls, as in 6. 590 it says they are the size of a myrobalan. Perhaps it refers to the quantity used in the necklace.


The 8 auspicious things are: svastika, śrīvatsa, nandyāvarta (three auspicious signs), vardhamāna (powder-flask), bhadrāsana (throne), kalaśa (pitcher), darpaṇa (mirror), matsyayugma (two fish). Aup. 31, p. 68.


An Indradhvaja is a flag-staff with a large banner on top, and many smaller pennants attached, all up and down the staff. There are 108, or 1008, of these pennants. See App. V.


Matīkurvad? All the MSS. have this reading.


I.e., the total was 256,000.


Apparently, a reference to the alleged practice of some octroi-officials of taking small quantities of grain, etc., from the farmers taking in produce.


Apparently a kind of flute. It is defined (Nāṭyadarpaṇa, p. a) as being made of pure copper, hollow in the middle.


Dhruvaka is an introductory verse; śloka is the epic meter; skandhaka is a kind of ārya-meter; galita is a kind of meter; utsāha and vastuvadana are Apabhraṃśa-meters. See Hem. Chandonuśāsana, Chap. 4, padas 6 and 7, pp. 30 f., for ārya and galita-meters; Chap. 5, padas 10 and 11, pp. 35 f., for utsāha and vastuvadana.


Cucculus melanoleucus. According to literary convention, it subsists on rain-drops.


As attendants of Kubera, the Yakṣas are the traditional suppliers of wealth.


Grāmarāgas. Clements, Introduction to Study of India Music, p. 3, says they ‘may be regarded as generic melody types,’ prototypes of the modern rāgas. Popley, p. 33, thinks grāmarāga is the same as jāti, which he takes to be the ancient name of rāga.


A form of challenge still in use among Indian athletes.


Ocean-water comes from Pātāla. See App. I.


Suvarṇaprākāranirmitam. Though all the manuscripts which I have seen have this prākāra, it is quite meaningless and certainly an error. The Prakrit in the descriptions of the object is suvaṇṇapayaragamaṇḍiyam. The payaraga might be prakaraka or prakāraka, but not prākāraka. ĀvaH interprets it as prataraka, which is evidently based on Āvacurṇi (p. 150b), pataraga. Payaraga and pataraga would both give Sk. patraka, i.e., the śrīdāmagaṇḍa was made of gold-leaf, was round, and adorned with jeweled festoons. I can not account for the prākāraka of the text. See Āva. p. 191a. ĀvaH p. 134b. Jamb. 123, p. 423b.


Hiraṇyasvarṇa. It is impossible to tell whether Hem. uses hiraṇya in the earlier sense of ‘unwrought’ gold or in the later of ‘wrought’ gold. The commentator to Ācār. II. 2. 1. 11 explains it as ‘unwrought.’ Hoernle also favors this for Uv. I. 17, n. 22, Malayagiri (Āva. p. 192) explains hiraṇya as ‘wrought’ and suvarṇa as ‘unwrought.’


These gods are servants of Kubera.


The Ocimum gratissimum, the rām-tulsi. Its blossoms grow in clusters, but the number is not always 7. It varies from 6-10.


For an explanation of this idea, see Raghuvaṃśa 10. 58, and Mallinātha’s commentary with a quotation from Yādava. The idea is that certain rays of the sun, 400 in number, named amṛta, carry a watery vapor and are responsible for rain. There is probably also an allusion to the fact that the vein leading to the thumb is called ‘amṛta,’ and the whorl on the end of the thumb is called ‘cakra.’

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