Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes The Jyotishkas which is the twentieth part of chapter III of the English translation of the Ajitanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Ajitanatha in jainism is the second Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

At 790 yojanas above the surface of the earth is the lower level of the Jyotiṣkas. Ten yojanas above it is the sun, and at the end of 80 yojanas above the sun is the moon; then the stars and planets at the end of 20 yojanas.[1] So in height the stellar world is no yojanas. The circle of heavenly bodies (jyotiṣcakra) moves continually in a circle in all directions at 1121 yojanas from the continent Jambūdvīpa, not touching Mt. Meru. But one polar star is fixed. It (the jyotiṣcakra) remains fixed in a circle, not touching the end of the world, at a distance of 1111 yojanas.[2] Of these Svāti is above all and Bharaṇī is below all; to the south of all Mūla and Abhīci to the north.[3] There are 2 moons and 2 suns belonging to this Jambūdvīpa; 4 moons and 4 suns belonging to Lavaṇoda; 12 moons and 12 suns to Dhātakīkhaṇḍa; and 42 moons and 42 suns to Kāloda. To half of Puṣkara belong 72 suns and moons each. Thus there are 132 moons and the same number of suns. Each moon has a retinue of 88 planets, 28 constellations, and of 6,697,500,000,000,000,000 stars.

The width and length of the moon’s car is 56/61 of a yojana; of the sun’s car ff of a yojana; half a yojana of those of the planets; ¼ of a yojana of those of the constellations; half a kos (=⅛ yojana) of those of all the stars having a maximum life; and 500 bows (=1/16 yojana) of those of all the stars having a minimum life. The height is always half the length.[4] They are (like this) in the manuṣyaloka extending 45 lacs of yojanas.

In the east lions, in the south elephants, in the west bulls, and in the north horses—these are the draught-animals of the cars of the moon, etc. The sun and moon have 16,000 Ābhiyogika gods, the planets, constellations, and stars have 8,000, 4,000, and 2,000 respectively. Because of ābhiyogyakarma they act as conveyances for the moon, etc. moving constantly at their own inclination.

On the far side of Mānuṣottara at a distance of 50,000 yojanas the suns and moons stand still at intervals from each other; half the size of the suns and moons of the manuṣyaloka; their numbers increasing according to the successive increase in the circumference of the worlds; with retinues of brilliant planets, constellations, and stars; innumerable, a beautiful bell-shape; always bounded by the Svayambhūramaṇa-ocean, they remain in rows 100,000 yojanas apart.

Footnotes and references:


They are not all at the end, but distributed at varying distances.


This is on the other side of the Human World. Elsewhere (K. p. 279) these heavenly bodies that are at a distance of 1121 and 1111 yojanas are all ‘polar stars.’


These are constellations.


K. p. 28a, gives the shape as a half-ball (from the Jīv.).

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