Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Conquest of the southern district of the Sindhu by Sagara which is the eighth part of chapter IV 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 8: Conquest of the southern district of the Sindhu by Sagara

At the end of the eight-day festival, Sagara instructed his general to conquer the west district (See Sindhuniṣkuṭa and Gaṅgāniṣkuṭa) of the Sindhu with half his army. The general, his hands folded in submission, accepted the King’s command on his head like a wreath. Famous in Bhāratavarṣa, bold and powerful like wind, with intense splendor like the sun, knowing the dialects of all the Mlecchas, learned in all the alphabets, possessing varied and beautiful speech like the son of Sarasvati, knowing the entrances and exits of inaccessible places in land and water of all the divisions[1] present in Bharatakṣetra, skilled in all weapons like embodied Dhanurveda, having bathed, having performed the propitiatory rites of the tilaka and auspicious things, wearing a few pearl ornaments like the bright fortnight constellations, resolute, carrying a bow like a cloud with a rainbow, carrying the jewel called ‘skin’ like the ocean with a mass of coral, and adorned besides with the raised staff like a pool with a white lotus, shining with chauris like tilakas of sandal on his shoulders, making the sky resound with sounds of musical instruments, like a cloud with thunder, accompanied by the fourfold army, the general mounted the best elephant and went close to the river Sindhu.

Then the general touched the skin-jewel with his own hand, and it grew and became the shape of a boat on the Sindhu. The general with his army crossed the Sindhu by it as easily as the chief of yogis crosses the boundless ocean of existence by yoga. As a rutting elephant leaves an iron pillar, the powerful general left the bank of the Sindhu, unstumbling. The general invaded the Siṃhalokas, the Barbarakas, Taṅkaṇas and others, and Yavanadvīpa. At will he made the Kālamukhas, the Jonakas, and various Mleccha-tribes living on Vaitāḍhya pay tribute. The general, powerful like a bull, attacked with ease the Kaccha-country, the best in the whole country. Returning from its extremity, the general remained in its plain, like an elephant returned from water-play. The Mlecchas, lords of isolated villages, towns, villages, etc., went from all sides to him there as if drawn by a noose. They brought varied ornaments, jewels, and garments, silver, gold, horses, elephants, chariots, and whatever other choice treasures they had to the general, as if they were entrusted as a deposit. “We shall remain here subject to you, paying taxes like householders,” they said to the general, their hands folded submissively. The general accepted their presents, and dismissed them; came and crossed the Sindhu by the skin-jewel as before. He went and delivered all that to King Sagara. For riches come like servants, drawn by the power of the powerful.

Footnotes and references:


Cf. 1. 4. 252. In this case the use of niṣkuṭa is not so inappropriate as in the former. Cf. I, n, 291, and G.G.A., 32, p. 295.

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