Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Conquest of southern district of Sindhu by Bharata which is the eighth 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 8: Conquest of southern district of Sindhu by Bharata

The next day the King summoned the general named ‘Suṣeṇa and gave him instructions, like Hari to Naigameṣin. “Cross the river by the skin-jewel and conquer the southern district of the Sindhu, bounded by the Sindhu, the ocean, and Vaitāḍhya. Strike the Mlecchas there with clubs as weapons, like a forest of jujube trees, and bring the fruit of various jewels and wealth.” Then the general, like a lion in strength, like the sun in splendor, like Bṛhaspati in powers of intellect, knowing the paths of low places and high places,[1] and of other inaccessible places belonging to both water and dry land, as if born in them, having all the good marks, understanding the language of all the Mlecchas, took his lord’s command on his head like a favor.

After bowing to his master and going to his own abode, he gave instructions for the march to the vassal-kings, etc., like images of himself. Then after bathing and making the oblation, wearing a few ornaments of great value,[2] fully armed, the propitiatory rite of the tilaka[3] and auspicious marks being made, wearing a divine jeweled necklace that was like an arm thrown in an embrace about his neck by the Śrī of victory; re-splendent with a banner showing insignia just like a state-elephant, holding a sword, wearing on his hip a dagger like power embodied, carrying two large golden quivers of a straight shape like two arms made by magic for fighting even in the rear, surrounded by heads of organizations, generals, merchants, caravan-leaders, like an heir-apparent by treaty-agents, spies, etc., the general mounted the elephant-jewel tall as a mountain, keeping the seat of honor unshaken as if he had been born with the seat. Adorned, like a chief-god, with a white umbrella and chauris, he urged on the elephant by signals with his toes. After he had reached the bank of the Sindhu with half of the King’s army, he halted, making a dam, as it were, from the dust that had risen.

The general touched with his hand the skin-jewel which expands for twelve yojanas when it has been touched. Grain sowed on it at dawn ripens at the end of the day; and it is able to carry people across the waters of rivers, ponds, oceans. When the skin-jewel was thrown on the water, by its inherent power it spread from bank to bank like oil. The general and his army crossed to the far bank of the pathless river by the skin-jewel as if by a path. Wishing to conquer the whole southern district of the Sindhu the general advanced like the ocean at the end of the world. Eager for battle, cruel with a roar in the form of the twang of the bow, like a lion he conquered the Siṃhalas easily. He made the Barbaras subject to himself like bought slaves. He marked the Ṭaṅkanas with the royal mark like horses. The man-tiger conquered with ease Javanadvīpa, so full of jewels and gems that it resembled a waterless ocean. The Kālamukhas[4] were so defeated that they put their five fingers in their mouths (as a sign of submission), though not eating. The Mlecchas named Yonaka turned away their faces from him when he started out, like sprouts of trees from the wind. He subdued other Mleccha-tribes also inhabiting the country at the foot of Mt. Vaitāḍhya, like a snake-charmer subduing species of snakes.

Proceeding in a bold and splendid progress without hindrance, he crossed the whole Kaccha-country, like the sun the sky. After crossing the district, like a lion a forest, the general halted comfortably on the plain of the Kaccha-country. Then Mleccha-kings approached the general with various gifts as wives approach their husbands with devotion. Some gave heaps of jewels and gold resembling the slopes of Svarṇaśaila; some elephants like the Vindhya mountains moved (from their place). Some gave horses superior to the horses of the sun; some chariots made of antimony like the chariots of the gods. Whatever other wealth there was, they gave it all to him. A jewel borne by a river from the mountains will go to the ocean. “Henceforth we are like your agents, carrying out your commands. We shall remain in our respective territories,” they said to the general. He entertained the kings fittingly and dismissed them. As before he crossed the Sindhu river comfortably. The general gave the Cakrin all the tribute taken from the Mlecchas which resembled a pregnancy-whim of the creepers of fame. After being entertained graciously by the Cakrin who was satisfied, the delighted general went to his own abode. The Lord of Bharata remained there comfortably, just as in Ayodhyā. For wherever a lion goes that place is his home.

Footnotes and references:


The nikuṭānām of the ed. must be emended to niṣkuṭānām of the MSS. But still it is not clear. Niṣkuṭa, as used a few lines earlier and throughout to mean a district of the country, does not suit here. Neither do the interpretations of the lexicons. It is obviously contrasted with nimnānām.


The compound here is mahārghyasvalpabhuṣana, which favors Hoernle’s interpretation of the Pk. appamah’aggha. See Uv. 7. 208, n. 301, and B. p. 23, n. 1.


Prāyaścittakautukamaṅgala. Kautuka is defined as ‘tilakādi’; maṅgala as ‘dadhidūrvākṣatāni tāny eva prāyaścittāni duḥsvapṇādi vidhvaṃsakāni kṛtāni.’ KS. 1.67, Subodhikāvṛtti, p. 62b. KSK. adds mustard to the list of auspicious things. See also Uv, 7.208, n. 299, and B. p. 22, n. 4.


All these names occur in the lists of Mleccha tribes found in the āgamas (see K. p, 227), except the Kālamukhas. PE quotes Kālamukha from the Jamb. (no. ref.) as being a tribe of Uttarabharata. Here it belongs to the southern half.

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