Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Description of Meru which is the twenty-second 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.

In the interior of Jambūdvīpa Meru, golden, round like a sthāla,[1] is buried 1,000 yojanas in the ground at its base, is 99,000 yojanas high, and 10,000 yojanas in diameter at the surface of the earth. At the top it is 1,000 yojanas in diameter. It is in three parts, and its body is divided by the three worlds. Now, the first part of Sumeru, composed of pure earth, stone, diamond, and gravel is 1,000 yojanas high. The second is 63,000 yojanas high, its ground composed of gold, crystal, aṅka, and silver. The third part is 36,000 yojanas and is composed of slabs of gold.[2] Its gleaming peak is made of cat’s eye. Its height is 40 yojanas, its diameter at the base is 12 yojanas, 8 at the middle and 4 at the top.

At the base of Meru is a grove Bhadraśāla resembling a surrounding wall. At 500 yojanas from Bhadraśāla, on a terrace, is Nandana, 500 yojanas wide. At 62,500 yojanas on the second terrace, the grove Saumanasa is the same. At 36,000 yojanas above the grove Saumanasa is Sundara on the third terrace. On the peak of Meru is the garden Pāṇḍaka in the shape of a circle, 494 yojanas wide.

Footnotes and references:


Sthāla is non-committal, but Meru is considered the shape of a truncated cone.


These three divisions are not those made by the three worlds. The first one corresponds to the part in the lower world, but the other two do not correspond to the division of the middle and upper worlds.