Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This is the English translation of the Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Charita (literally “The lives of the sixty-three illustrious People”), a Sanskrit epic poem written by Hemachandra in the twelfth century. The work relates the history and legends of important figures in the Jain faith. These 63 persons include: the twenty four tirthankaras , t...

Preface to volume 3

 Volume III of the translation of the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra appears a long time after Volume II. The translation was made years ago and the delay in its appearance has been caused by factors over which I had no control. Part of the press copy was lost at sea, during the war. It became apparent that a trip to India was essential to expedite the publication of the remaining volumes. This was made possible by a grant from the American Philosophieal Society.

This visit also has enabled me to discuss many points with Indian scholars. I am under special and continuous obligation to Śāntimūrti Muni Śrī Jayantavijayaji, disciple of the late Śrī Ācārya Vijaya Dharma Sūri, for information of every kind. This was given by correspondence for many years with unflagging zeal and I am indebted to Mr. H. M. Shah, B.A., of Ahmadabad for his services as interpreter. I have had considerable information also from Śrī Muni Puṇyavijayaji, disciple of Caturvijayaji, one of the early editors of the new edition of the Triṣaṣṭi.0

I have received much assistance from the staff of the Oriental Institute: from the Director, Dr. B. Bhattacharyya, who has placed every facility at my disposal; from the Jain Pandit L. B. Gandhi; from Pandit K. S. Ramasvami Shastri for information on Brahmanical points; from Mr. J. S. Pade, M.A., and Mr. M. A. Joshi, Technical Assistant, for references.

To Dr. S. K. Belvalkar, editor of the Mahābhārata for the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, I owe information on some obscure Brahmanical allusions, which he was kind enough to send me in America. Mr. U. P. Shah, M.A., of Baroda also looked up some references for me.

The work required for the translation was much increased and prolonged by the necessity of virtually re-editing the text. Only one volume of the new edition of the Triṣaṣṭi0 by the Ātmānanda Sabhā has appeared. Vol. II (Books II-IV) is in the press, but its printing has been interrupted. I was able to see the printed pages through part of Chapter 4 of Book IV.

For the text I have read the same Poona and Bhavnagar MSS that I had for Vol. II; one from the Śrī Vijayadharma Lakṣmī Jñāna Mandir of Agra and two from the Jñāna Mandir of Baroda. I had readings from Patan MSS for some corrupt passages.

The latest editions of some texts were not always available. Only by using many libraries did I find any edition at all of many works.

In order to expedite the work, it was necessary to make the Index not only from page proof, but in part from pages with incorrect page numbers. I can only hope that it did not result in errors in references in the Index.

I have included in the English Index the Sanskrit words that have been retained in the translation, with an explanation for the reader who does not know Sanskrit. They will be found also with complete references in the Sanskrit Index.

Helen M. Johnson.

February 23, 1949.