Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Description of Jambudvipa which is the twenty-third 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.

Part 23: Description of Jambūdvīpa

Now, there are 7 zones here in Jambūdvīpa: Bhārata, Haimavata, Harivarṣa, Videha, Ramyaka, Hairaṇyavata, and Airāvata from south to north. Making the division between these there are 7 mountain-ranges, bounding the zones: Himavat, Mahāhimavat, Niṣadha, Nīla, Rukmin, and Śikharin with equal diameter at the base and top. Of these, the Himavat Mts., buried in the ground 25 yojanas, made of gold, are 100 yojanas high. The Mahāhimavat Mts. are twice that size, made of silver. Then, the Niṣadha Mts., twice their size, made of gold; Nīla Mts., equal to Niṣadha, made of cat’s eye; Rukmin Mts., equal to Mahāhimavat Mts., made of silver; Śikharin Mts., equal to Himavat Mts., made of gold. All abound in various jewels on their slopes.

On the Kṣudrahimavat (=Himavat) mountain-range is a large lake named Padma, 1000 yojanas long and half as wide. On Mahāhimavat is a lake named Mahāpadma, twice the length and width of the lake Padma. The lake on Niṣadha, Tigiñchi, is twice the size of Mahāpadma; the lake Keśarin on Nīla is equal to Tigiñchi, the lake Mahāpuṇḍarīka on Rukmin is equal to Mahāpadma; the lake Puṇḍarīka on Mt. Śikarin is equal to Padma. In all the lakes, Padma, etc., there are full-blown lotuses buried 10 yojanas in the water. Moreover, here are (the goddesses) Śrī, Hrī, Dhṛti, Kīrti, Buddhi, and Lakṣmī respectively, with life-periods of a palya, together with Sāmānikas, gods of the councils, bodyguards, and armies.

In Bharatakṣetra there are the great rivers, Gaṅgā and Sindhu; in the zone named Haimavata, Rohitā and Rohitāṃśā; in the Harivarṣaka zone, the rivers Harit and Harikāntā; in the Mahāvidehas the best rivers Śītā and Śītodā Narakāntā and Narīkāntā in the zone Ramyaka; Svarṇakūlā and Rūpyakūlā in the zone Hairaṇyavata; Raktā and Raktodā in the zone Airāvata. The first of each pair flows to the east and the second to the west. The great rivers Gaṅgā and Sindhu are each attended by 14,000 best rivers. Each pair of the others is attended by twice as many rivers as the preceding pair up to Śītā and Śītodā. The northern rivers (north of Videha) are equal to the southern. Śītā and Śītodā, however, are attended by 532,000 rivers each.[1]

Bharata is 526 6/19 yojanas wide. Then the zones and the mountains bounding the zones become twice as wide in succession to the north, up to Videha. The mountains and zones to the north (of Videha) are equal to those in the south. These are the sizes of the mountains bounding the zones and of the zones.

To the north of the Niṣadha Mts. and to the south of Meru are the Vidyutprabha Mts. and the Saumanasa Mts. in the west and east. They have the shape of an elephant’s tusk, almost touching Meru at the end. Between them are the bhogabhumis, the Devakurus, 11,842 yojanas wide. In them, at each side of the five lakes divided by Śītodā, are ten mountains of gold, making a total of 100. There on the east and west banks of Śītodā are the mountains Vicitrakūṭa and Citrakūṭa. They are 1000 yojanas in height and the same in diameter at the base. The diameter at the top is half of that.

To the north of Meru and to the south of the Nīla Mts. are the Gandhamādana and Mālyavat Mts., with the shape of an elephant’s tusk. Between them are the very charming Uttarakurus with 100 golden mountains at the sides of the 5 lakes divided by Śītā. On the banks of the river Śītā are 2 mountains named Yamaka, corresponding to the golden Vidtrakūṭa and Citrakūṭa.

East of the Deva- and Uttarakurus, they are called East Videhas, and to the west, West Videhas, like different countries to each other. In each, there are 16 provinces, inaccessible to each other, separated by rivers and mountains, suitable to be conquered by a Cakrin. Kaccha, Mahākaccha, Sukaccha, Kacchavat, Āvarta, Maṅgalāvarta, Puṣkala, Puṣkalāvatī are the northern provinces of East Videha. The southern are Vatsaka, Suvatsa, Mahāvatsa, Ramyavat, Ramya, Ramyaka, Ramaṇīya, Maṅgalavat. The ones in West Videha in the south are Padma, Supadma, Mahāpadma, Padmāvatī, Śaṅkha, Kumuda, Nalina, and Nalinavat. The northern provinces in the West Videhas are Vapra, Suvapra, Mahāvapra, Vaprāvatī, Valgu, Suvalgu, Gandhilā, and Gandhilāvatī.

In the center of Bharata is Mt. Vaitāḍhya, dividing it into north and south, extending to the east and west oceans, with a base in the ground of 6 yojanas and a kos,[2] 50 yojanas wide and half as high. On its northern and southern slopes at 10 yojanas from the ground are two rows of Vidyādhara cities, 10 yojanas wide. In the south there are 50 cities with kingdoms of the Vidyādhara kings; in the north there are 60. At 10 yojanas immediately above the Vidyādhara rows, there are two Vyantara rows adorned with the abodes of the Vyantaras. At 5 yojanas above the rows of Vyantaras there are 9 peaks. There is a similar Vaitāḍhya in Airāvata.

The continent Jambūdvīpa has a fortification consisting of a wall, made of diamond, 8 yojanas high. At its base it is 12 yojanas wide; in the middle, 8; and 4 wide at the top. Above it is a lattice, 2 gavyūtas high, a delightful pleasure-resort of the Vidyādharas. Above the lattice is a beautiful terrace, named Padmavara, the pleasure-ground of the gods. In this wall there are 4 gates in the east and other directions, named respectively, Vijaya, Vaijayanta, Jayanta, and Aparājita.

In the space between Kṣudrahimavat and Mahāhimavat, there is a round Vaitāḍhya mountain, named Śabdāpātin. Between Śikharin and Rukmin is Mt. Vikaṭāpatin; Gandhāpātin is between Mahāhimavat and Niṣadha; Mālyavat is between the Nīla and Rukmin Mountains. All are cylindrical shaped and 1000 yojanas high.

Footnotes and references:


This great increase is due to the fact that both Videhas (East and West) have 32 rivers, each with 14,000 tributaries, and each of the Kurus has 84,000, thus making a total of 532,000 for Śītā and Śītodā each.


A kos=¼ yojana.

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