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 , the t...

Appendix 3.1: additional notes

P. 2 (4. i.22). I have not come across any stereotyped number of Śrīs, but the Bhīs are seven: fear of the same genus—on the part of men of other men, etc. (ihaloka); fear of other genera—on the part of men of gods, animals, etc. (paraloka); fear of thieves, etc. (ādāna); fear of outside omens on the part of people in houses, etc., at night, etc., without regard for external causes, i.e. imaginary (akasmāt); fear in regard to livelihood (ājīva); fear of death (maraṇa); fear of censure by people for misconduct (aśloka). Pravac., 1320, com. p. 388a.

P. ii (4. i. 144). Either Hemacandra’s usual accurate knowledge of natural history fails in regard to spiders or there is some species of Indian spider with habits of which I can find no trace. The comparison of people ensnared by karma with spiders and spiderwebs is a favourite one with Hemacandra. He uses it in 2. 1. 53; 4. 1. 144; 5. 1. 127; 6. 6. 222. In three of these lālā, ‘saliva,’ is the substance of which the web is made, though the thread really comes from the spider’s abdomen. In 2. 1. 153 he says man surrounds himself by self-made snares of karma, like a spider with webs made from its own saliva.” The verb used is veṣṭayati. As the spider does sit in his own web, the comparison is not so far-fetched. But in 4. 1. 144 people are “bewildered” by the threads (tantu) of affection which become snares, like spiders by spider-webs (lālā). The verb used is muh, which does not seem appropriate. Hemacandra does not say here, nor in 5.1.127, specifically “their own webs”; but again in 6. 6. 222 the soul is bound closely by evil meditation, like a spider by its own threads (tantu). The verb used is badhyate. Spiders are not in actual fact, so far as I can learn, caught in their own webs; though some kinds are caught in webs made by other kinds. Hemacandra is not alone in the use of this figure. The Kathāsaritsāgara, XII, 70. 90ff. (Penzer, VI, pp. 30-32) has spiders caught in their own webs, which represent men caught in the snares of their own attachments.

P. 17 (4. 1. 232). I am not satisfied with any possible interpretation of this text as it stands: mithaḥ saṅgharṣato grāmāgamāśleṣaparāḥ puraḥ. But the only MS variant that I have seen, grāmāṇeparā puraḥ, with a lacuna at the end, is unintelligible. Puraḥ can not mean ‘cities,’ as has been suggested as a possibility, for only one city is concerned. The capital is crowded because of the birth-festival. There is no reason for any other city to be crowded. My own feeling is that grāmāgama should be corrected to gamāgama, which would involve two changes, with no MS. authority, and I have not made the emendation. However, surely the ‘arrival’ should be personal and I have made the slight correction to °āgatā°.

P. 24 (4. 1. 331). Other groups of 4 gifts are mentioned below, p. 190 (4. 7. 330) and p. 237 (5. 2. 105).

P. 35 (4. 1. 503). Most of the Indian Sanskritists whom I have consulted interpret this differently. They think it should be read ārādham to mean ‘conciliated.’ Even if rādham is read with the edition, ‘conciliated’ would doubtless be a more usual meaning than ‘injured.’ But ‘conciliated’ is not only at variance with the facts, but would destroy all point to the comparison. Aśvagrīva had been angered by Tripṛṣṭha by the attack on Caṇḍavega and by the killing of the lion. Now the girl he wants has been given to Tripṛṣṭha. It says very specifically (495) that “already angered by the story of the lion, he became exceedingly angry” on hearing of the marriage. Also in 468 it says that Jvalanajaṭin held the wedding in Prajāpati’s city from fear of Aśvagrīva. The only point to the comparison with excessive heating of gold is the heaping of insult upon insult. If Aśvagrīva had been ‘conciliated’ before and this was a first offense, the figure of gold lost by overheating would be entirely pointless. Though ‘injure’ is not the usual meaning of rādh, it occurs; and Hemacandra makes a habit of using words in their rarer meanings.

P. 37 (4. 1. 522). The word jāgara, which occurs also in a similar passage in 5. 5. 178, is cited only in the sense of ‘watching, wakefulness,’ which is impossible here. The editor of the text interprets it as ‘siṃha.’ This would suit very well in this instance, but I can find nothing to justify the interpretation and it would not suit at all in the later passage. The only suggestion that I can make is that jāgara goes back to the deśī jagaḍaṇa, ‘fight, quarrel’ (PH). Cf. H. jhagaṛā, Guj. jhagaḍo, meaning the same. It does not make a perfect comparison. There should be someone with whom they start a quarrel; but as jackals are considered low and cowardly, it would be presumptuous for them to start a quarrel at all. In the later passage jāgara is compared with an action and the meaning suggested suits very well.

P. 38 (4. 1. 546). The 8 dhīguṇas are named in the Yogaśāstra, com. p. 53a (Bhavnagar ed.).

śuśrūṣā śravaṇaṃ caiva grahaṇaṃ dhāraṇaṃ tathā |
ūho’poho’rthavijñānaṃ tattvajñānaṃ ca dhīguṇāḥ ||

The desire to hear; hearing; grasping the meaning of the śāstras; remembering; reasoning and doubts about meaning (ūha); resolution of doubts (apoha); ascertainment of definite meaning; and conclusion as to what is the real essence. An alternative explanation offered by the commentary for ūha and apoha is that ūha is general knowledge and apoha specialized knowledge.

P. 48 (4. 1. 692). The text of the edition, parighaṃ parighenātha, is surely corrupt. To correct parighenātha to parighanāthe is a very slight change, especially in MSS with the old style script. ‘Lord of the club’ is a perfectly correct epithet for a Vāsudeva and the substitution of parigha for the more usual gada, just because of the adjacent parigham, would be in complete accordance with Hemacandra’s style. The correction would leave a metrical defect, but one that occurs constantly in the Triṣaṣṭi0. Muni Jayantavijayaji prefers to emend to parigheno’tha, which would require even less change and be correct meter; but nowhere in the Triṣaṣṭi0 does Hemacandra make such use of the suffix -ina. In that case, the word would have to refer to Hayakandhara and it is surely more appropriate for the Vāsudeva. I have found only one alternative MS reading. A reading from one Pātan MS was sent me: parighaṃ taṃ pratyamoghaṃ mumoca, ‘Hayakandhara hurled the unerring club.’ This eliminates the objectionable parighenātha and perhaps should be adopted; but it occurs in only the one MS, so far as I know, and it does not appeal to me. Pratyamogha is usually applied to the cakra. It has the same metrical defect as my suggested emendation.

P. 54 (4. 1. 783). I.e. the 12 aṅgas, of which one has been lost.

P. 74 (4. 2. 147). Kirfel spells the name of the general of the Gandharva-army ‘Tumburu’ and that of the division of Gandharvas ‘Tumbaru.’ But the. lexicons make no such distinction. They make the forms interchangeable.

P. 77 (4. 2. 185). In Chips of Jade there is quoted a similar idea:

The Man who misses his Chance
The Monkey who misses his Branch cannot be saved.

P. 87 (4. 2. 336). Dr. S. K. Belvalkar gave me the explanation and reference for ghṛtayonyādikaraṇaiḥ. This permissible purification was instigated by the abduction of Hindu women by foreign invaders (Mlecchas). The women would be abandoned and, of course, would be outcastes from Hindu society, unless some special provision were made for their reinstatement. A legislator, named Devala, is said to have ordained that fasting and a douche of ghī, accompanied by mantras, should be accepted as sufficient prāyaścitta.

P. 117 (4. 4. 94). The tāpiccha is the same as the tamāla (Abhi. 4. 2. 12). The Prativāsudevas (like the Vāsudevas) were black. Hence the tāpicchakusuma must be black. Balfour, in his Cyclopaedia of India, says of Xanthochymus pictorius (syn. Garcinia xanthochymus), with which the tamāla is unanimously identified, “This beautiful tree is remarkable for its black flowers.” Bate’s Dictionary of the Hindee Language also says, “noted for the dark hue of its blossoms.” The difficulty is that G. xanthochymus does not have black blossoms, but yellowish white ones. Tamāla is used frequently as a symbol of darkness, not only by Hemacandra but also by others (Cf. Penzer, VI, 102; VII, 162; IX, 43), with nothing to indicate what part of it was in mind. MW, indeed, says of it, ‘with dark bark and white blossoms.’ The translators of the Priyadarśikā say, “Evidently Balfour has confused the color of the bark and that of the flowers.” (p. ci). But the inconsistency can not be dismissed so easily. Bate possibly followed Balfour; but Hemacandra’s black tāpicchakusuma remains to be explained. I can not reconcile the literary and botanical colors. To make confusion worse confounded, the Śāligrāmanighaṇṭubhūṣaṇa says that the flowers of the tamāla are red (p. 683). Śyāma might be a dark hue and not exactly ‘black,’ but it is not, so far as I know, ever the same as lāl (H.). See also my note in JAOS. 65 (1945), 224.

P. 120 (4. 4. 144). Perhaps the key was to be sent as a token of submission, or perhaps it means that the entire contents of the treasury were to be sent. The expression maryādīkṛtya kuñcikām is an unusual one. I have not learned of any other occurrence.

P. 141 (4. 5. 94). ‘Stupefying’ is apparently not the proper description of the odor of the saptaparṇa. ‘Penetrating’ would better describe it, though I could not find a single Indian among my acquaintance who had any first-hand knowledge of the smell of the saptaparṇa flower, though the tree is quite common. Another name for it is madagandha. See 4. 7. 139 (p. 177), where it is said that it smells like elephants’ ichor. I finally got relayed information from a Malabari that the comparison was accurate.

P. 152 (4. 5. 249). The story of Kūragaḍḍuka is briefly as follows: In one incarnation he practiced great austerities; but he was very proud of them and was very hot-tempered. Consequently, he was a serpent in his next birth. He knew his past birth and cultivated tolerance to a high degree. In his next birth he was a prince. In youth the sight of some Jain munis recalled his former births and he took initiation, determined to be tolerant. But he could do no penance, because of karma still remaining as the result of his pride in austerities in his previous birth. Even on special fast-days, he was unable to fast, but had to have a potful of rice. Hence he was called Kūragaḍḍuka.

In his group there were four great ascetics who performed fasts of one to four months. On one occasion a goddess came and paid homage to Kūragaḍḍuka and not to the others. One of the munis asked her why she had bowed to no one except to the one who had never observed a fast. She replied that she was not concerned with outward show, but with the real nature: that Kūragaḍḍuka was a true muni, because he was tolerant. The extent of his tolerance was demonstrated by a later incident. On Saṃvatsari, when he should have fasted, of course, he brought a pot of rice, showed it to his guru and the other munis, and invited them to share it (as he should have done), whereupon his scornful associates spit on the rice. Kūragaḍḍuka felt no resentment, but ate the rice. Then his omniscience appeared. The four ascetics felt proper remorse and they also became omniscient. All five attained emancipation. Ṛṣimaṇḍalaprakaraṇavṛtti, 5. 78. I believe the story is also told in the Bharateśvarabāhubalivṛtti, 51, but I have not seen this.

P. 155 (4. 5. 286). Fire does not harmonize with its co-ordinates in this compound. Dhāraṇa is not appropriate for agni. It probably refers to the ‘penance of five fires.’

P. 169 (4. 7. 31). The text as it stands: śaśavacchaśare vanyā kaṅkairākṛṣṭalocanam, is surely corrupt. The MSS that I have seen offer no help. However, a reading from one MS at Pātan was sent me: śaśavacca0, which is a possibility, though not satisfactory.

P. 176 (4. 7. 123). This is just the opposite of the usual idea illustrated by the story of the blind men, who identified an elephant as various things, according to the part each had touched. Ward (A View of the History, etc., III, p. 5) tells the story. Jacob (A Handful of Popular Maxims, I, p. III) cites andhagajanyāya as referring to this. He had not found the maxim in literature.

P. 179 (4. 7. 179). The ‘fifth gait’ here evidently refers to the inverted training of the horse. This is not in

P. 216 (5. 1. 274). Vijayabhadra was her brother-in-law.

P. 218 (5. 1. 298). This episode occurs in the Vasudevahiṇḍi and 500 vassals participate (p. 118). However, many of the names are the same as those of the sons in our text.

P. 241 (5. 2. 146). Prekṣā means among other things—‘looking on (at a performance)’ MW. Hence prekṣāvat might well mean ‘spectator.’ As he was watching a play, that would be very appropriate. Or it may have been used in its usual sense on account of the verbal similarity with the near prekṣya.

P. 260 (5. 3. 10). Muni Jayantavijayaji tells me that a black tilaka, a black thread on the neck or waist, and a garland of black flowers are all means of warding off the evil-eye, according to popular superstition. Pandit L. B. Gandhi prefers to take ariṣṭa as a noun. He says that a necklace of soap-nuts (ariṣṭa) is used as an amulet. But the construction is not so good in that case.

Crooke speaks of the use of black objects to avert the evil-eye, of that of garlands, and of that of black thread (in Europe). The Popular Religion and Folk Lore of Northern India, pp. 28f., 36, 45.

P. 273 (5. 3. 206). This hostility is not mentioned in the biography of Amitatejas in the first chapter.

P. 291 (5. 4. 255). This is the well-known story of King Śibi and the hawk and dove.

P. 298 (5. 4. 358). All five MSS that I have used have the reading I have adopted. See Text Corrections. I do not know how many MSS supported the reading of the printed text. But there are several objections to it. The °tām° is impossible. It could be corrected to tāny, to be taken with sukhtāni, though widely separated. Also °triṃśadyāyur is certainly erroneous. It could be corrected to triṃśadāyur, but that still leaves out the sāgara (or its equivalent) which should be here. Trayastriṃśābdhyāyur would be a possible emendation. (For the use of triṃśa, cf. 6. 1. 27). If the text reading of 358 is kept, surely the alternative reading given by the editor for pada c in 257 should be accepted. As it is, only one brother fasts, but both die.

But with a correct alternative reading supported by five MSS, it is hardly necessary to devise emendations. There is one objection to the reading that I prefer. The brothers were not sahodara—born of the same mother. However, several Indian Sanskritists have assured me that sahodara may be loosely used for ‘brothers’ in general. The Śabdakalpadruma gives bhrātṛ as a definition of sahodara (s.v.). Munibhadra’s version agrees with the printed text in facts; but the wording is entirely different (14. 449).

P. 305 (5. 5. 91). The first three incarnations are omitted in this resume. They were comparatively insignificant ones.

P. 315 (5. 5. 259). Hemacandra still keeps the number of cooks at 363, though he does not here make the comparison with the days of the year, as in the earlier parallel passages. (See I, 263, n. 321; II, 160, n. 317, 348.) All my MSS again have the number 363. In Vol. I of the new edition of the Triṣaṣṭi0 (Bhavnagar, 1936), an alternative MS reading is given for 1. 4. 720, though not adopted by the editors. For śataistribhistriṣaṣṭyagrairvāsarairiva vatsaraḥ two MSS read °agraistridinonārkavarṣavat. This would reconcile Hemacandra’s 363 cooks with the normal year of 360 days.

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