Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Further exploits of Ravana which is the fifth part of chapter II of the English translation of the Jain Ramayana, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. This Jain Ramayana contains the biographies of Rama, Lakshmana, Ravana, Naminatha, Harishena-cakravartin and Jaya-cakravartin: all included in the list of 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 5: Further exploits of Rāvaṇa

Realizing that Vaiśravaṇa was free from desire, (Rāvaṇa) asked his forgiveness, bowed to him, and took his car Puṣpaka together with Laṅkā. He got into Puṣpaka, a flower on the creeper of the Lakṣmī of victory, and went to the peak of Mt. Sammeta to praise the statues of the Arhats. At Rāvaṇa’s descent from the mountain after he had honored the statues, a forest-elephant trumpeted at the noise of the army. Then a door-keeper, named Prahasta, said to Daśānana, “He is a jewel of an elephant, Your Majesty. He deserves to be the vehicle of a god.” Then Daśānana made him submissive in sport and mounted him whose tusks were large and long, whose eyes were yellow like honey, like a spire with a lofty finial,[1] like a mountain with a cascade of ichor, seven cubits high, nine cubits long. He gave him the name Bhuvanālaṅkāra, imitating the splendor of Śakra mounted on the elephant Airāvaṇa. After tying the elephant to a post, Daśāsya camped in the same place for the night and at dawn presided over the assembly with his retinue. A Vidyādhara, Pavanavega, wounded, came there, announced by the door-keeper, bowed, and said:

“Your Majesty, Sūryarajas and Ṛkṣarajas, sons of King Kiṣkindhi of Pātālalaṅkā, went to Kiṣkindhā. A fight took place between them and King Yama who put life in doubt, very terrible like another Yama. After, they had fought for a long time, Sūryarajas and Ṛkṣrajas were bound firmly by Yama and thrown at once into prison like thieves. He arranged dwellings in hell near Vaitaraṇī and made them and their followers undergo pain of cutting, piercing, et cetera. These are your hereditary servitors, Daśakandhara. Have them released. Your command is not to be transgressed. The insult is to you alone.”

Rāvaṇa replied: “That is so beyond a doubt. A dependent is injured because of the weakness of the protector. I shall show the result of my vassals being bound by him secretly with evil intent and being thrown into prison.

With these words he, whose strength of arm was formidable, eager for war, went with his army to the city Kiṣkindhā ruled by the Dikpāla Yama. Daśakandhara saw there seven hells cruel with drinking of tin, beating with rocks, cutting with axes, et cetera. Daśānana, angered, saw his own vassals being tortured and. he terrified, the Paramādhārmikas[2] there, like Garuḍa terrifying snakes. He had his own vassals released and also others in the place. For whom is the coming of the great not a means of removing trouble quickly?

The guards of the hells went at once and reported the release of the hell-dwellers to Yama, with groans and with arms raised. Red-eyed from anger, Yama left the city at once to fight, stage-manager of the play of battle, like

another Yama. Soldiers fought with soldiers, generals with generals, but Yama, angry, fought with Daśamauli, angry. After they had sent arrow against arrow for a long time, Yama attacked quickly, raising his cruel staff, like a rogue-elephant his trunk. Daśagrīva broke it into pieces with a sharp-edged arrow, like a piece of a lotus-stalk, esteeming his enemies as eunuchs. Again Yama covered Rāvaṇa with arrows and Rāvaṇa checked them, like greed all the virtues. Then Daśānana, raining many arrows simultaneously, weakened Yama, like old age causing loss of strength. Then Yama escaped from the fight, and went in haste to Indra the Vidyādhara-lord, chief of Rathanūpura. Yama bowed to Śakra and said, his hands folded submissively:

“The handful of water[3] has been given by me now to the rank of Yama, lord. Neither angry nor pleased, I shall not hold the position of Yama. For Daśagrīva has risen. Now he is Yama even of Yama. He put to flight the guards in hell and released the hell-inhabitants; and I have escaped alive from battle only by a wealth of heroism. After he had conquered Vaiśravaṇa in battle, Laṅkā was seized and his car Puṣpaka; and Surasundara was defeated.”

Then Śakra, angered, wished to fight and was restrained by the hereditary ministers by various means, as they feared a battle with the powerful Rāvaṇa. Then Indra gave the city Surasaṅgīta to Yama and he, himself, remained as usual in Rathanūpura, amusing himself.

Now, Daśāsya gave the city Kiṣkindhā to Ādityarajas and the city Ṛkṣapura to Ṛkṣarajas. He himself went to Laṅkā, his power adequate for anything, praised like a deity by relatives and citizens. Daśàsya ruled his grandfather’s great kingdom, established in Laṅkā like Indra in Ardarāvatī.

Now, a son was borne to Ādityarajas, the king of the Kapis, by his chief-queen Indumālinī, named Vālin, powerful. Vālin, abundantly endowed with strength of arm, constantly circumambulating Jambūdvīpa bounded by the ocean, paid homage to all the shrines. There was another son of Ädityarajas, Sugrīva, and a younger daughter, Suprabhā.

Ṛkṣarajas had two sons by his wife Harikāntā, famous throughout the world, Nala and Nīla.

King Ādityarajas gave his kingdom to Vālin, powerful, became a mendicant, and reached emancipation, after practicing penance. Vālin made Sugrīva heir-apparent, who possessed right-belief, knew the law, was compassionate, powerful, like himself.

One day, Daśagrīva went to Mt. Meru, riding an elephant, accompanied by his wives, to pay homage to the shrines. Just then a Khecara, Khara, the son of Meghaprabha, saw Candraṇakhā and kidnaped her, having fallen in love with her and she with him. He went to Pātālalaṅkā, expelled King Candrodara,[4] the son of Ādityarajas, and took it himself. When he heard of the kidnaping of Candraṇakhā, Daśakandhara went at once from Meru to Laṅkā and was very angry. Daśānana started out to kill the Khecara, Khara, like an angry lion to hunt an elephant. Then Queen Mandodarī said to Rāvaṇa: “What haste is this at the wrong time? At least, reflect a little, honored sir. The maiden must certainly be given to some one. If she herself chooses a husband, agreeable and well-born, that is a good thing. The elder brother of Dūṣaṇa is a suitable husband for Candraṇakhā. He will be a faultless vassal of yours, powerful. Send distinguished men and marry her to him. Give Pātālalaṅkā to him and grant your favor.”

His younger brother also said the same thing and, after suitable deliberation, he married her to him, having despatched Maya and Mārīca.[5] Then he (Khara) enjoyed pleasures freely in Pātālalaṅkā with Candraṇakhā, executing Rāvaṇa’s command.

Candrodara, who had been expelled by Khara at that time, died in course of time. His wife, Anurādhā, who was with child, escaped into a forest.

In the forest she bore a son, like a lioness bearing a lion, powerful, named Virādha, the vessel of virtues, prudent conduct, et cetera. Grown up, a traveler across the ocean of all the arts, he wandered over the earth with unstumbling progress, long-armed.

Now, because of his fondness for stories in his council, Rāvaṇa heard that Vālin, the king of the Vānaras, was very brilliant and powerful. Rāvaṇa could not endure another’s brilliance, like the sun, and despatched a messenger with instructions to King Vālin. He went to Vālin, bowed, and announced in a firm voice:

"I am a messenger from Daśakaṇṭha. Hear his message, O king. ‘Your ancestor, Śrīkaṇṭha, fleeing from his enemies, came for protection to my ancestor, Kīrtidhavala. After protecting his brother-in-law from his enemies, afraid only of separation from him, Śrī Kīrtidhavala established him here in Vānaradvīpa. From that time many kings in both our families have come and gone with the relation of master and servant between them. And there was King Kiṣkindhi, your grandfather, and Sukeśa, my paternal great-grandfather. The relation between them endured just the same, and then King Sūryarajas was your father. The people know how I dragged him from Yama’s prison and how I installed him in the kingdom of Kiṣkindhā, that also is well known. Now Vālīn, you are his son, knowing what is proper. Therefore do service to me as before because of the relation of master and servant.

Angered but his expression unchanged, a śamī tree[6] for the fire of pride, noble Vālin said in a deep voice:

“I know the relation of affection between the two families. Until today it was unbroken between the kings of the Rakṣases and the Vānaras. Our ancestors formed a mutual friendship in prosperity and in misfortune. Affection was the cause of that, not the state of being served and giving service. We do not know anyone to be served except a god, the omniscient Arhat, a sādhu and a good guru. What is this delusion of your master? Today, thinking himself to be served and us to be servants, he has broken the hereditary thread of affection. I myself, afraid only of censure, shall do nothing to him, sprung from a friendly family, not knowing his own strength. If he shows hostility, I shall make requital; (but) I shall not be the first to cut down the tree of former affection. Your master may act according to his power. Go, fellow!”

Thus dismissed by Vālin, he went and told Daśamauli. Broad-shouldered Daśānana, the fire of whose anger was inflamed by that speech, went quickly to Kiṣkindhā with his soldiers. Then putting on his armor, King Vālin, resplendent with strength of arms, approached him. Verily a guest in battle is dear to the powerful. Then a battle started between the soldiers on both sides, stone against stone, tree against tree, club against club. In it chariots were broken into a hundred pieces like cakes of meal that have been dropped. Even great elephants were divided like balls of clay. Horses were broken like melons here and there; foot-soldiers were made to fall to the ground like straw-men. Seeing this destruction of life, the compassionate king of the Vānaras, a hero, came in haste and said to Daśānana:

“Killing of any living thing is not suitable for persons with discernment, to say nothing of five-sensed creatures, elephants, et cetera, alas! Even if it should lead to victory over enemies, nevertheless it is not worthy of the powerful. For the powerful seek victory by their own strength alone. •You are powerful and you are a (Jain) layman. Therefore stop the battle between soldiers which leads to hell for a long time because of the destruction of many lives.”

Thus enlightened by him, Daśāsya, knowing dharma, began to fight in person, skilled in all weapons. Whatever weapon Daśagrīva hurled, the king of the Kapis destroyed it by his own weapons, like the sun the brilliance of strong fires. Rāvaṇa even discharged his magic missiles, Sarpa, Varuṇa, et cetera, and Vālin destroyed them by his missiles, Tārkṣya, et cetera. Then Daśamukha, angered by the failure of his weapons and magic missiles, drew his sword Candrahāsa, cruel as a great serpent. Like a mountain with one peak, like an elephant with one tusk, holding Candrahāsa aloft, Daśakandhara attacked Vālin. Vālin seized the lord of Laṅkā with Candrahāsa, like a tree with its branches, easily with his left hand. Setting him in the hollow of his hand like a ball, adroit, the lord of the Kapis wandered in a moment over the four oceans. Just then, having come there,[7] King Vālin released Daśakandhara whose neck was bent in shame and said:

“No one at any time is entitled to homage from me except the Arhat, free from desire, omniscient, authoritative, to be worshipped by the three worlds. Alas for that pride, an enemy arising within the body, deluded by which you have reached this condition, eager for homage from me. Now I have freed you, recalling former benefits. Rule the realm of the world given (to you) with unbroken command. If I wished to conquer, how would this earth be yours? Can elephants live in a forest inhabited by lions? Therefore, I shall take mendicancy, the source of the sovereignty of emancipation; but let Sugrīva be king in Kiṣkindhā, subject to your command.”

After saying this, he installed Sugrīva in his own kingdom at once and he himself took the vow at the feet of Ṛṣi Gaganacandra. Observing many restrictions, devoted to penance, practicing pratimā, meditating, free from affection, Muni Vālin wandered over the world. Magic powers gradually developed in reverend Vālin, like the wealth of a tree, flowers, leaves, fruit, et cetera. He went to Mt. Aṣṭāpada and practiced kāyotsarga, his arms hanging down, like a tree to which swings have been fastened. Abandoning kāyotsarga at the end of a month, he broke his fast and again and again he broke fasts in this way at its abandonment.

Now Sugrīva gave Śrīprabhā[8] to Daśakaṇṭha, like a water-canal for the tree of former affection which was drying up. Then Sugrīva, his glory brilliant as moonlight*, made Vālin’s son, powerful Candraraśmi, heir-apparent. Daśānana, whose command was acknowledged by Sugrīva, married his sister, Śrīprabhā, took her and went to Laṅkā. Rāvaṇa married by force beautiful daughters of other Vidyādhara-kings, also. Then he set out to marry Ratnāvalī, daughter of the Vidyādhara-lord, Nityāloka, in Nityālokapura. As he was going above Mt. Aṣṭāpada, his car Puṣpaka stumbled suddenly, like an army of enemies against a wall. When Daśānana saw that his car’s progress was hindered, like a boat with the anchor dropped, like an elephant tied, he became angry.

“Who wishes to resort to Yama’s face because of the stumbling of my car?” saying, he descended and looked at the top of the mountain. Beneath the car he saw Vālin standing in pratimā, like a new peak of the mountain that had arisen. Rāvaṇa said in anger: “Even now you are hostile to me. You observe the vow hypocritically, wishing to deceive this world. Before, by some trick you carried me around, like a vāhīka.[9] You became a mendicant, fearing requital for that act from me, certainly.

Now, indeed, I am here and these are my arms. Therefore I shall requite you for your act at the proper time. Just as you wandered over the oceans, carrying me with Candrahāsa, so I shall lift you up with the mountain and cast you into the Lavaṇa Ocean.”

After saying this, Daśagrīva split open the earth at the foot of Mt. Aṣṭāpada and entered it, like a thunderbolt that has fallen from the sky. Daśakandhara recalled the thousand vidyās simultaneously, and lifted up the mountain, difficult to lift, with unbounded pride in his strength of arm. The great muṇi knew by clairvoyance that the mountain, whose Vyantara-gods were terrified by the noise,' ‘taḍat, taḍiti,’ with the lower world filled by the ocean moving to and fro with the sound, ‘jhalat, jhaliti,’ whose forest-elephants were crushed by rocks falling with a ‘khaḍat, khaḍiti,’ with the trees in the groves on its slopes broken down with the sound, ‘kaḍat, kaḍiti,’ was being raised by him (Rāvaṇa) and, pure-minded, the ocean of many rivers of labdhis, thought:

“Alas! how this fool spreads far and wide sudden destruction of many lives today because of jealousy of me! Now, having damaged the shrine of Bharateśvara, he tries to destroy the holy place, the ornament of Bharatakṣetra. I have given up associations and am free from interest in my own body even, devoid of love and hate, plunged in an ocean of tranquillity. Nevertheless, I shall punish him a little, without any love or hate, in order to protect the shrine and save lives.”

Thus reflecting, the blessed Vālin pressed lightly the top of Mt. Aṣṭāpada with his toe. Daśāsya’s limbs became contracted at once all around like the shadow of the body at mid-day, like a tortoise out of water. His arms bent sharply, vomiting blood from his mouth, he cried out, making the earth cry. From that he became ‘Rāvaṇa.’ Hearing his pitiful cry, compassionate, Vālin released him quickly. The act was merely for punishment, not from anger. Daśakaṇṭha came forth, bereft of dignity, repentant, approached Vālin, bowed to him and spoke, his hands folded in submission:

“Again and again I, shameless, have committed crimes against you. But you, very compassionate, noble as well as powerful, have endured it. I think you abandoned the earth before, showing compassion to me, not. from weakness, lord; but I did not know that before. From ignorance, lord, this strength of mine was tested by me, like an elephant struggling to overturn a mountain. Now the difference is recognized between you and me, like that of a mountain and an ant-hill, or a garuḍa and a vulture. Life was given by you, master, to me who had approached to the point of death. Reverence to you who had this thought for one who had injured him.”

After saying this with firm devotion, and asking Vālin for forgiveness, Daśānana circumambulated him three times and bowed to him. The gods rained flowers on Muni Vālin, delighted with such nobility, saying, “Well done! Well done!” After bowing again to Vālin, Rāvaṇa went to the shrine made by Lord Bharata which resembled a crown on the mountain. Laying aside his weapons, Candrahāsa, et cetera, he himself with the women of his household made the eightfold, pūjā to the Arhats, Ṛṣabha and others. Having drawn out a muscle and having wiped off the tendon, Daśānana, very impetuous, played on the lute of his arm with devotion. While Daśānana was playing the lute charmingly with grāmarāgas[9] and his women were singing delightfully with the seven notes,[10] Dharaṇa, the lord of serpents, came there to pay homage to the shrine and worshipped the Arhats with a pūjā. Seeing Rāvaṇa singing songs devoted to the Arhats’ virtues, with clever introductory verses, et cetera, accompanied by the lute, Dharaṇa said:

“This song of yours consisting of praise of the Arhats’ virtues is indeed a good thing in accordance with your own character. I am pleased with it, Rāvaṇa. Emancipation is the chief fruit of praise of the Arhats’ virtues. Nevertheless, I have a wholesome respect for you. What can I give you? Choose, sir!”

Rāvaṇa said: “It is proper that you are pleased with the praises of the virtues of the god of gods (Arhat). For devotion to the Master belongs to you, Lord of Nāgas. Just as your devotion to the Master is embellished by your giving something, mine would certainly be tarnished by my accepting anything.”

Again the Lord of Nāgas said: “Rāvaṇa, showing respect to the noble, I am especially pleased with your lack of greed.” Saying this, he gave Rāvaṇa the spear, Amoghavijayā (Unerring Victory), and the vidyā which makes changes in appearance and went to his own abode.

After paying homage to the Tīrthanāthas, Daśānana went to Nityālokapura, married Ratnāvalī, and went back to Laṅkā.

Then Valin’s brilliant omniscience developed and a great festival of omniscience was made by gods and asuras. Then in time from the destruction of the karmas that prolong existence, possessing the four infinities of the Siddhas, he went to the place from which there is no return.

Now, in the city Jyotiḥpura on Mt. Vaitāḍhya there was a Vidyādhara-lord, Jvalanaśikha. He had a beautiful queen, Śrīmatī, and by her a bright-eyed daughter, Tārā. One day Sāhasagati, the son of Cakrāṅka, a Vidyādhara-king, saw her and was immediately wounded by love. Sāhasagati asked Jvalana for her through agents and also Sugrīva, king of the Vānaras (asked for her). For many seek a jewel. The father asked an astrologer: "Both of them are well-born, handsome, powerful. To which should the maiden be given?” "Sāhasagati will have a short life and the king of the Kapis a long life,” the astrologer said, so he gave her to Sugrīva. Sāhasa did not attain forgetfulness at all because of disappointment in his wish, as if touched by charcoal day by day. Two sons, strong as elephants, Aṅgada and Jayānanda, were born to Sugrīva dallying with Tārā. Sāhasagati, in love with Tārā, his mind stirred by love, reflected:

“When shall I kiss the fawn-eyed girl’s lotus-mouth covered with petals of her lips like a ripe bimba? When, shall I touch her full breasts with my hand? When shall I make them small by a tight embrace? I shall take her by force or trickery!”

With theṣe reflections he recalled the vidyā Śemuṣī (wisdom) which changes the form. The son of King Cakrāṅka went to Mt. Kṣudrahimavat, stood in a cave, and began to subdue her.

Footnotes and references:


With play on kumbha, the finial of a spire and the boss of an elephant.


See I, n. 58.


That is, funeral rites have been performed, as it were.


This is the first mention of Candrodara. The sons of Ādityarajas were Vālin and Sugrīva, mentioned just above.


This is the first mention of Mārīca.


The śamī is used to kindle fire by friction with the aśvattha.


To the starting-point.


Called Suprabhā, above.


Vāhīka is, to me, doubtful here. It is defined in the Lexs. as the name of a people of low standing. However, in 5. 5. 504 it is used clearly of litter-bearers. Possibly the tribe engaged in such occupations. It seems to me a similar meaning would suit here, ‘porter.’ But Muni Puṇyavijayaji favors taking the tribal name to mean a rough, low person, something like a goonda.


See I, n. 163.


See I, p. 133 and n. 173.


See I, p. 133 and n. 173.

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