Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Search for him which is the tenth part of chapter VII of the English translation of the Sanatkumara-cakravartin-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Sanatkumara-cakravartin in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 10: Search for him

Aśvasena went after his son, who had been carried away by his horse like a boat by a river’s flood, with a troop of horses to bring him back. “Here he goes. The horse goes here. Here are his tracks. Here is his foam.” While the people were saying this, a strong wind arose, cruel, a bellows for the whole universe, unseasonable, blinding the eyes like the night at the end of the world. The soldiers were hidden by the cruel dust from all directions like houses by walls of cloth and were not able to lift a foot as if they were transfixed by a charm. The tracks and foam, signs of the horse as it traveled, were all destroyed by a series of dust-waves. Neither low ground, nor high ground, nor level ground, nor trees, et cetera, were visible. All the people were just as if they had entered Pātāla. The soldiers, whose expedients were useless, became confused, like sea-faring merchants whose boats were being filled with ocean-water.

Mahendrasiṃha bowed to Aśvasena and said: “Your Majesty, this is certainly an act of fate which has cruel acts. Otherwise, why the prince, why the horse from a distant country, why the prince’s mounting it whose habits were unknown, why the carrying off the prince by the wicked horse, or why the strong wind by which the range of sight is hidden by the extraordinary dust? Nevertheless I, having conquered fate like a vassal on the border, will bring him back, searching for my friend like a master. In the caves and on the high peaks of great mountains, in forests difficult of access because of the unbroken mass of trees, in the chasms of river-banks resembling Pātāla, in places without water and other dangerous • places, search for the prince will be easy for me with a small retinue, or even alone in some places like a spy, O lord. That is not suitable here and there for Your Majesty with a large army because of the inequality like the entrance of an elephant into a small road.”

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