Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Conquest of Prabhasatirtha by Bharata which is the fourth part of chapter IV 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: Conquest of Prabhāsatīrtha by Bharata

Like another Prācīnabarhis in strength, the Cakrin went to the west toward Prabhāsa, following the cakra. Filling the space between heaven and earth with solid dust raised by the soldiers, in a few marches he arrived at the western ocean. Then he placed his camp on the western ocean’s bank covered with a forest of areca-nut trees, betel-vines, and cocoa-nut trees. Then the King made the four days’ fast with reference to the Lord of Prabhāsa, and observed pauṣadha in the pauṣadha-house as before. At the end of the pauṣadha, the King mounted the chariot and entered the ocean like another Varuṇa. After crossing the water up to the hub of the chariot, the King stopped the chariot and strung the bow. With his hand the King made the bow’s bowstring give a loud sound, as if it were a string of the pleasure-lute of the Śrī of victory. The King drew an arrow from the quiver like a stalk of reed from the ocean and set it on the bow like a guest on a seat. Then the King shot the arrow, like a ray taken from the sun’s disc, in the direction of Prabhāsa. Crossing twelve yojanas of the ocean as quickly as the wind, lighting up the sky with its light, it arrived at the house of the Lord of Prabhāsa. Angered when he saw the arrow, he became calm at once when he saw the words, like an actor who portrays different emotions.

Taking the arrow and also other gifts, the Lord of Prabhāsa went himself to the King, bowed, and announced, “Today, your Majesty, I am Prabhāsa (Splendor), made splendid by you as master. For lotuses are lotuses from the rays of the sun.[1] At the boundary of the west quarter like your vassal-king, O Lord, I shall always take on my head the command of the ruler of the earth.” With these words, the Lord of Prabhāsa, like a foot-soldier on the parade-ground, gave the Lord of Bharata first the arrow that had been discharged. He gave the King also bracelets, a girdle, a crest-jewel, a breast-jewel, neck-ornament, etc., like his own splendor personified. For the sake of reassuring him, the King accepted all that. For the first indication of a lord’s favor is the acceptance of gifts. Installing him in that same place like a tree in a basin of water, he, a restrainer of enemies, went again to his camp. At that time he broke his four days’ fast with divine food brought by the steward-jewel like a wishing-tree. The King made an eight-day festival to the god Prabhāsa. In the beginning honors are customary even to a mere vassal.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Kamala. I.e,, the day-blooming lotus.

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