Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Conquest of Kshudrahimavat by Bharata which is the eleventh 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 11: Conquest of Kṣudrahimavat by Bharata

One day, the King’s cakra-jewel, extremely brilliant, left the armory, a security for the conquest of the quarters. The King went by its path, like a river by a channel, as it went by a path in the east to Mt. Kṣudrahimavat. Going with ease like a noble-elephant, the King arrived after a few marches at the southern slope of Mt. Kṣudrahima, which was covered with birch, tagara, and deodar groves. The King established his camp there, like Indra in Pāṇḍaka. Concentrating on the deity of Kṣudrahimavat, Ārṣabhi made a four days’ fast, auspicious and of prime importance for the accomplishment of actions. Then at the end of four days’ fast, mounting his chariot, he left the ocean of the camp at dawn with great splendor like the sun. Quickly he went to Mt. Himavat, and the chief of kings struck it arrogantly three times with the front of his chariot. Then the King, standing in the vaiśākha position,[1] discharged an arrow marked with his name at the Prince of Mt. Hima. After the arrow had traveled like a bird for seventy-two yojanas in the sky, it fell in front of the Prince of Himavat. He looked at the arrow, like a vicious elephant at a goad, and became red-eyed from anger. After he had taken the arrow in his hand and had seen the letters of the name, he became quiet, like a light at the sight of a snake.[2]

Taking presents, he went with the King’s arrow like a distinguished person to the Lord of Bharata. Saying, “Hail! Hail!” in loud tones, standing in the air, he first delivered the arrow to the King, like an arrow-maker. He took the King a wreath of deodar-flowers, gośīrṣa-sandal, and all the herbs and water from his pool, for that was his wealth. He gave the King bracelets, armlets, and garments of devadūṣya-cloth as tribute in the guise of presents. He said, “O Master, as your agent I am here at the northern boundary,” and stopped speaking. The King entertained him and dismissed him. He turned his chariot, that was like the high plateau of the mountain setting out with him, like the wish of his enemies. Then the son of Ṛṣabha Svāmin went to Mt. Ṛṣabhakūṭa, and struck it three times with the front of his chariot, like an elephant-king with his tusk. Stopping the chariot there, the King took the cowrie-jewel in his hand, like the sun a store of rays. “I am Bharata, the Cakrin at the end of the third avasarpiṇī,” he wrote the words with the cowrie on its east side. Then, being of good conduct, he turned and went to his own camp, and broke his four days’ fast. Then the King made an eight-day festival for the Prince of Kṣudrahimavat, in accordance with the dignity of the Cakrin.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

In the vaiśākha-position one foot is advanced. It is the position of the ‘world-figure,’ which is erroneously represented in pictures as having both feet level with toes turned out. Yog. 4. 103, p. 320.

[2]:

There is a proverb: Kāle ke āge chirāg nahiṅ jaltā: No lamp will burn before a black snake. Because it is supposed to carry a bright jewel in its bead. H.P. p. 128. The ‘black snake’ is a black cobra, Coluber Nāga, the most deadly species.

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