Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Diversion of the Ganga into the moat which is the ninth part of chapter V 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 9: Diversion of the Gaṅga into the moat

When the Nāga-king had gone, Jahnu said to his brothers, “This moat of Mt. Aṣṭāpada has been made, to be sure. But, though deep as Pātāla, it does not look right without water, like a man’s figure void of intelligence, though large. Furthermore, it will become filled with dust. For even a ditch becomes high ground in course of time. So this must certainly be filled up with a large quantity of water and that can not be done without the high-waved Gaṅgā.”

When his brothers had said, “Very well,” Jahnu took the infallible staff-jewel, like another staff of Yama. Jahnu split the bank of the Gaṅgā, like Vajrin the slope of a big mountain with the thunderbolt. Then the Gaṅgā advanced by the path of the cut made by the staff. ‘Water, like an honest man, goes where it is led. The Gaṅgā arrived at Mt. Aṣṭāpada’s moat like the ocean, with high waves like mountain-peaks thrown up, with the noise of beating against the bank like a drum beaten hard, making the fissure made by the staff twice as wide by the rush of her water. She began to fill completely the moat a thousand yojanas deep, terrifying as Pātāla. Beginning from the time the Gaṅgā was brought by Jahnu to fill the moat of Mt. Aṣṭāpada, she was called Jāhnavī.

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