Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Birth-rites of Shreyamsa which is the sixth part of chapter I of the English translation of the Shreyamsanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Shreyamsanatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 6: Birth-rites of Śreyāṃsa

Then came eight Dikkumārīs, Bhogaṅkarā and the others, living in the lower world, knowing (the event) from the shaking of their thrones. Bowing to the Tīrthakṛt’s mother with the words, “Do not be afraid,” they introduced themselves, made a whirlwind, cleared the ground for a yojana around the birth-house and stood, singing, not far from the Master’s mother.

Then eight Dikkanyās, living in the upper world, belonging to the peaks of the garden Nandana,[1] Meghāṅkarā, et cetera, came, bowed to the queen, introduced themselves, made the sky cloudy, and sprinkled the ground around the birth-house with fragrant rain for the space of a yojana. They rained flowers, burned fair incense, and stood, singing the Arhat’s virtues, not far from Queen Viṣṇu. Nandottarā, et cetera, goddesses from the east part of Rucaka; Samāhārā and the others from the south; Ilā and others from the west; Alambusā and others from the north—eight of each came, bowed to the Arhat and his mother, introduced themselves properly, and stood in the east and other directions respectively, singing the Master’s virtues, holding mirrors, pitchers, fans, and white chauris. The four, Citrā and others, from the intermediate, points bowed likewise and stood in the intermediate points, singing, holding lamps in their hands.

The four Dikkumārīs, Rūpā and others, belonging to the interior of Rucaka, bowed to the Arhat and the Arhat’s mother and introduced themselves at the same time, cut the Master’s navel-string, leaving four fingers’ length, dug a hole, and at once buried it there. They filled up the hole with diamonds and quickly made a platform dense with incomparable dūrvā-grass over it. In three directions from the birth-house they made plantain-houses of four rooms with lion-thrones. Taking the Arhat in their hands and his mother in their arms they seated them on the lion-throne in the southern four-room plantain-house. After they had anointed them both with oils,[2] the oil with a hundred ingredients and others, they rubbed them with a pleasant touch with finely ground fragrant substances. Then they seated them on the lion-throne in the eastern four-room plantain-house and bathed them with fragrant water, flower-water, and pure water.[3] Then they put clothes, ornaments, et cetera on them and set them on the lion-throne in the northern four-room plantain-house. After they had burned gośīrṣa-sandal in a fire made at once with a fire-stick, they tied an amulet made from its ashes on each of them. They struck together jeweled balls of stone with the blessing, “May you live as long as a mountain.” Then they led the Arhat and the Arhat’s mother to the birth-house and stood not far from them, singing auspicious songs.

Footnotes and references:


Cf. Kirfel, p. 231 and I, pp. 105 ff.


For the enormous number of Indian oils, see Balfour, III, s.v.


Cf. 2. 2. 233.

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