Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Battle with Ashanivega which is the seventeenth 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 17: Battle with Aśanivega

Just then two Vidyādharas came, brought a chariot and armor to Aśvasena’s son and said: ‘Aśanivega, lord of Vidyādharas, Vajravega’s father, has learned that he has been killed by you, like a snake by a garuḍa. He, concealing the sky by his army of Vidyādharas, possessing the strength of the elephants of the quarters, comes to fight you, an ocean with the salt-water of anger. We are your brothers-in-law and have come to help, sent by our fathers, Candravega and Bhānuvega. Get into the chariot they sent, which resembles Indra’s chariot, take that armor, and subdue the enemy’s army. Know that Candravega and Bhānuvega, who have come to help with conveyances swift as the wind, are like other forms of yourself.’

Just then Candravega and Bhānuvega came with great armies, like the eastern and western oceans with great rivers. Then a noise arose from the throngs of Aśanivega’s soldiers, as he advanced, like that from Puṣkarāvartaka-clouds in the sky. Just then Sandhyāvali[1] gave Āryaputra the vidyā Prajñaptikā.[2] For women adhere to their husbands’ party. Āryaputra armed himself and got into the chariot, eager for battle. For the warrior-caste is fond of battle. Candravega, Bhānuvega, and other Vidyādharas, Rāhus to the moon of their enemies’ glory,[3] surrounded him with their soldiers. Crying, ‘Capture! capture! kill! kill!’ Aśanivega’s soldiers advanced with great speed. On both sides the soldiers, devoid of weakness, fought like cocks, flying up repeatedly, striking angrily. Then nothing else was heard except the sound of their battle-cries; nothing else was seen except their blazing weapons. The soldiers retreated and advanced, they gave and received blows repeatedly, expert in battle like elephants. After they had fought for a long time and the soldiers of both were exhausted, Aśanivega appeared with his chariot swift as the wind. ‘Ha! Ha! where is Vajravega’s enemy, a new guest for the house of Yama?’ Insulting his enemies with these words, he strung his bow. Saying,

‘I am he, Vajravega’s enemy, O new guest of the house of Yama,’ Āryaputra strung his bow. Then a battle between the two very powerful men took place, arrow against arrow, causing the multitude of the sun’s rays to disappear.

After Āryaputra and the king of Vidyādharas, intent on killing each other, had fought with missiles and also with clubs, et cetera, without reaching a victory, they fought with cruel divine missiles, the serpent-missile, the garuḍa-missile, the fire- and water-missiles, checked and checking.[4]

The Vidyādhara-king discharged an arrow after twanging his bow and Āryaputra cut his bow-string, like his life, with an arrow. Aśvasena’s son cut off half the arm, like half the glory, of Aśanivega as he ran forward, after drawing his sword. Like an elephant with one tusk broken, like a boar with one tusk lost, even though one arm was cut off, he ran on because of excessive anger. As he ran forward to strike, biting his lower lip with his teeth, my husband cut off his head with the cakra delivered to him by the vidyá.[5]

Then Aśvasena’s Lakṣmī of sovereignty joined my husband completely. For the courageous man is the home of Śrī. Aśvasena’s son, confident, went to Vaitāḍhya with Candravega and other kings of the Vidyādharas. His installation as overlord of the Vidyādharas was held by the Vidyādhara-lords who had been reduced to the rank of footmen. He, whose magnificence was unequaled, held an eight-day festival there in honor of the images of the immortal Arhats, like Śakra in Nandīśvara.

Footnotes and references:


In 253 the form Sandhyāvalī was used; here °āvalis.


See I, p. 173 and n. 218.


See I, n. 410.


The serpent-missile was obstructed by the garuḍa-missile, and the fire-missile by the water-missile.



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