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...
At Daśagrīva’s command Kumbhakaṛṇa and others went to capture Indra’s Dikpāla, Nalakūbara, in the city Durlaṅgha. By means of the vidyā Āśālī Nalakūbara made a wall of fire, which was a hundred yojanas high, in his city. And on it he made machines made of fire alone making a fire in the sky, as it were, with masses of flames. Ṇalakūbara stood near the wall, surrounded by soldiers, blazing with anger like a Vahnikumāra. Kumbhakarṇa and the others approached and were not able even to look at him, like men aroused from sleep looking at the midday sun of summer. “This city Durlaṅgha is hard to cross,” they declared to Daśāsya, after they had retreated, their eagerness destroyed, with difficulty. Daśāsya himself went there and saw the wall such as it was. Not seeing any means of capturing it, he considered for a long time with his friends.
Then Nalakūbara’s wife, Uparambhā, fell in love with Daśāsya and sent a woman-messenger who said to him: “Uparambhā, like the Śrī of victory embodied, wishes to dally with you. Her mind has been carried away by your virtues. Only in body does she remain there. She will make the vidya Āśālī, the guardian of the wall, as well as herself, submissive to you, honored sir. By it you will capture the city and Nalakūbara and the divine cakra, Sudarśana, will fall to you here.”
Bibhīṣaṇa, at whom Daśāsya looked laughingly, said, “Very well,” and dismissed the woman-messenger. Daśagrīva said to Bibhīṣaṇa angrily: “Look here! What is this you have done which is derogatory to the family? No one in our family has given his heart to another man’s wife, foolish man, nor his back to the enemy in battle. This new stain on the family has been made by you just by speech. O Bibhīṣaṇa, what was your idea in saying this?” Bibhīṣaṇa said, “Be calm, powerful elder brother. Mere speech is not sufficient for family-disgrace to pure-minded men. Let her come and give you the vidyā. Let the enemy become submissive. Do not possess her. You should dismiss her with an appropriate speech.”
While Daśānana gave approval to Bibhīṣaṇa’s speech, Uparambhā came, eager for his embraces. She gave him the vidyā Āśālikā, which had been made into a wall in the city by her husband, and unerring weapons in charge of Vyantaras. Daśāsya destroyed the wall of fire by means of the vidyā and entered Durlaṅgha with his army and transport. Then Nalakūbara armed himself for battle and rose up and was seized by Bibhīṣaṇa like a leather-bag by an elephant. There Rāvaṇa came into possession of the cakra named Sudarśana, invincible even to gods and demons, irresistible to Śakra’s kinsman. Daśāsya gave the city to him when he had submitted. Just as the rich are not greedy for money, neither are the powerful greedy for victory.
Then Daśāsya said to Uparambhā in a manner suitable for their families:
“Fair lady, honor your husband who has shown respect to me. You are now in the place of a guru to me because of giving me the vidyā. I look upon other married women as sisters and mothers. You are the daughter of Kāmadhvaja and Sundarī. Do not let any stain come from you, inimical to both families.”
Talking to her in this way, he returned her to King Nalakūbara, uninjured like a woman who had come to her father’s house because she was angry.
Footnotes and references:
I think this must refer to Nalakūbara himself, who was Indra’s Dikpāla. He must be the Śakra meant here.