Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Preparation of Bharata which is the eighth part of chapter V 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: Preparation of Bharata

Now, Śrī Bharateśa, virtuous-minded, went to the temple—the treasury of the Śrī of good fortune. There he, noble-minded, bathed the image of Ādinātha, with water brought from the tīrthas, Padmā, etc. on his tour of conquest. The tiger of kings rubbed the image—which has no counterpart—with a fine cloth, like an expert artisan a jewel. He anointed the image with gośīrṣa-sandal given by the Prince of Hima and others, like the earth with his own splendor. He made a herb for transfixing the eye in the form of a pūjā with blooming lotuses resembling the lotuses which are the abodes of Padmā (Lakṣmī). Before the image, the King burned incense, as if designing decorations of musk on its face by creepers of smoke. The Light of Kings took the light-vessel with its shining light, like a fire-pit filled with the fuel of all the karmas.

After setting it (the light-vessel) down, the King bowed to Ādinātha with folded hands and began a hymn of praise as follows:


“Even though of little wit, O Lord of the World, I am going to praise you, thinking myself a fitting person to do so. For the speeches of children, though stammering, are certainly suitable for elder persons (to hear). A creature, O God, who takes refuge with yon, even though having heavy karma, attains emancipation. Verily, iron becomes gold from the touch of quicksilver. The creatures who meditate on you, praise and worship you, O Master, are blessed, and gain the fruit of mind, speech, and body. The dust of your feet, as you wander on earth, has become a great elephant for rooting up the tree of evil for men. O Lord, you alone are able to give the eye of discernment to creatures blind from birth from innate delusion. For those who are like bees to your lotus-feet for a long time, mokṣa is not far away, like Meru, etc., for minds. O God, from the words of your teaching, the snares of people’s karma quickly fall to pieces, like jambū-fruit from rain-water.[1] I ask this of you, O Lord of the World, after bowing to you many times—by your favor, may my devotion to you be as imperishable as the water of the ocean.”

After praising Ādinātha in these words, bowing with devotion, the sun of kings left the temple. The King put on armor that had been made to measure, after loosening it again and again because of his body swelling from joy. With that divine jeweled armor clinging to his body the King shone like the image of a god with a pūjā of jewels. The Lord of Bharata wore a golden, jeweled helmet, high in the middle, round like an umbrella, like a second headdress. The King carried on his back two quivers that were like serpent-kings with jagged teeth in the form of very sharp arrows. Then he took in his left hand the bow, Kālapṛsṭha, like Indra taking his straight, red bow. Absorbing the splendor of other splendid people, like the sun; walking with an easy, firm step like the chief of bhadra-elephants; counting his adversaries as straw before him, like a lion; terrifying by his glance, hard to endure like a serpent-king; being praised aloud by eminent bards, like Mahendra, the King mounted a fresh elephant.

Footnotes and references:


The jambū is probably the Eugenia Jambos, (not E. Jambolana). The fruit of E. Jambos is very delicate. It is ready to eat just before the heavy rains and is easily damaged by rain and hail.

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