Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Fight with Prahlada which is the sixth part of chapter V of the English translation of the Datta-nandana-prahlada-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Datta, Nandana and Prahlada in jainism refers to some of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 6: Fight with Prahlāda

One day the Prativiṣṇu, lord of half of Bharata, heard about a fine elephant that resembled Airāvaṇa and asked them for it. When this choice elephant was not given by Nandana and Datta, Prahlāda became angry at once like an insulted lion. Viṣṇu and Prativiṣṇu attacked each other, angered like forest-elephants, with their full army-strength. When their army had been reduced to a miserable condition at once by Prahlāda, Sīrin and Śārṅgin went into battle in chariots. Datta blew Pāñcajanya, the best destroyer of an enemy’s force, and twanged his bow, a drum of pre-eminent victory. Prahlāda, making the heavens resound with the sounds of the bow, ran up, strong-armed, like Daṇḍapāṇi (Yama) enraged. Both Hari and Pratihari discharged arrows angrily. Both, eager for victory over each other, destroyed each other’s arrows. Both, expert in destruction, destroyed each other’s club, hammer, staff, and other weapons. Prahlāda whirled the cakra, which was filled with a hundred flames like the sun with meteors at the end of the world, in the air and hurled it at Hari. Hari took the same cakra, which had been useless and was standing near him, hurled it at Prahlāda and cut off his head. Likewise he conquered the half of Bharata by making an expedition of conquest. Then he lifted Koṭiśilā and became an ardhacakrin.

There were two hundred years of Śārṅgin Datta as prince, fifty years each as governor and in the expedition of conquest.[1] After he had passed fifty-six thousand years, Datta went to the fifth hell because of his karma.

After the death of Śārṅgin Datta, Halāyudha, whose age was sixty-five thousand years, passed the time with difficulty. Intensely disgusted with existence by the death of his brother and meditation on existence, Nandana took initiation, adorned by the world. He observed severe vows without transgression; and after that he went to a dwelling in the place of emancipation.

Footnotes and references:


I am convinced that there is something wrong with the text here. The figures for the Vāsudevas’ lives follow a fixed pattern throughout the Triṣaṣṭi0 with this one exception. The time in kaumāra and maṇḍalitva should be the same or nearly the same. However, I have found nothing different in MSS and can find nowhere else figures for Datta’s life. Two hundred years each as prince and governor and fifty years in conquest would fit the pattern.

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