Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Coronation (of Bharata) as Cakravartin which is the seventeenth 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 17: Coronation (of Bharata) as Cakravartin

Gods and men announced to him with devotion: “You have conquered the six-part country (Bharata) together with the King of the Vidyādharas. Therefore permit us, O you who have the strength of Indra, to make at will your coronation as over-lord.” Authorized by the King who said “Very well,” the gods built a pavilion that was like a piece of Sudharmā, outside the city in the northeast direction. From pools, rivers, oceans, and tīrthas, they brought water, herbs, and day. Going to the pauṣadha-house, the King undertook a four days’ fast. Sovereignty though attained by penance prospers only through penance. When the four days’ fast was completed, surrounded by his harem and attended by his retinue, the King went to the divine pavilion. With his harem nd thousands of actors, Bharata entered the lofty coronation-pavilion. The King ascended the high bath-dais with a lion-throne, like an elephant the summit of a mountain. The Lord of Bharata sat down on the jeweled lion-throne facing the east, aś if from friendship with the Lord of the East (Śakra). Kings to the number of thirty-two thousand ascended the dais by way of the north stairs as easily as if there had been only a few of them. In a place not too far away from the Cakrin, the kings sat on thrones, their hands folded, reverential as if to a god. The general, the steward, the carpenter, the priest, merchants, etc., ascended by the winding stairs on the south. Seated on appropriate seats according to rank, they remained with folded hands, as if intending to address a request to the Lord.

Then the Ābhiyogika-gods approached for the coronation of the king of men like the Vāsavas for that of the God of gods. They made the King’s consecration with jeweled pitchers, natural ones and ones made by vaikriya,[1] filled with water like clouds, like cakravākas[2] with lotuses placed in their months, imitating the sound of musical instruments by the noise of falling water. The thirty-two thousand kings sprinkled him at an auspicious moment with pitchers which had flowing water like their own eyes from joy. With folded hands resembling lotus-buds placed on their heads, they prospered the Cakrin, “Hail! Be victorious!” Others, the general, etc., the merchants, etc., sprinkled him with water and praised with splendid speeches as well. They rubbed his body, like a jewel, thoroughly with a clean, downy, soft, fragrant reddish cloth. They anointed the King’s body with a paste of gośīrṣa-sandal which increased its beauty, like gold with red ocher. Then the gods put Ṛṣabha Svāmin’s crown, which had been given by Śakra, on the head of the chief of kings. They put on ear-rings like Citrā and Svātī,[3] attendants to the moon of the face. On his neck they put a necklace strung with oyster-pearls with invisible threads, as if they had originated simultaneously in the form of a wreath. They put a half-necklace on the King’s breast, like a crown-prince to the necklace, the king of ornaments. They clothed the King in garments of devaduṣya-cloth whose color was as white as if they were from inside layers of mica. They threw around the King’s neck a large wreath of flowers, like a shadow-rampart to the breast-abode of Śrī. Adorned with priceless garments and jewels, the King, like a wishing-tree, adorned the pavilion which resembled a piece of heaven.

The chief of all men, having great intelligence, had his ministers summoned by door-keepers and instructed them as follows: “Sirs, go on elephants into every single street and make this city Vinītā free from customs duty, free from taxes, free from fines, free from unjust fines, free from the entry of soldiers, constantly rejoicing, for a period of twelve years.” The officials did so immediately. The Cakrin’s command is the fifteenth jewel for accomplishment of things to be done. Then the King arose from the jeweled lion-throne and the others rose also at the same time, like his reflections. The Lord of Bharata descended by the way he had come; in the same way the others descended the bath-dais like a mountain. Mounting the best of elephants, hard to restrain like his own splendor, the King, very energetic, went to his own palace. After going to its bath-house and bathing with dear water, the King took food at the end of his four days’ fast. When this twelve-year coronation-festival was completed, the King bathed, made the oblation, made the propitiatory rite of the tilaka and auspicious things, went outside to the assembly, rewarded the sixteen thousand deities of his body-guard and dismissed them. Then ascending the best of palaces, he enjoyed continually pleasures of the senses, like Śakra in a heavenly palace.

Footnotes and references:


See n. 157.


The Anas Casarca, the ruddy goose. It is separated from its mate at night, and mourns for the dawn, traditionally.


The twenty-first and twenty-second constellations. K. p. 281. In the grouping of the constellations, Citrā and Svāti form the sixth group.

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