Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Story of Nilayashas which is the sixteenth part of chapter II of the English translation of the Neminatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Neminatha in jainism is the twenty-second Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 16: Story of Nīlayaśas

“When Ṛṣabhadhvaja divided his realm and gave it to his followers in the past, it happened that Nami and Vinami were not there.[1] Seeking a kingdom, they served the Lord even though he had taken the vow. The Indra Dharaṇa gave them the sovereignty of the two rows (of Vidyādharas), one to each.

In course of time they gave the realm to their sons, became mendicants near the Master and attained emancipation as if, emancipated, to see the Lord. Nami’s son, Mātaṅga, became a mendicant and went to heaven. In his line there is a Khecara

lord, Prahasita by name. I am his wife, Hiraṇyavatī, and I have a son, Siṃhadaṃṣṭra. His daughter is Nīlayaśas, whom you have seen. Marry her, prince. She was afflicted with love at the sight of you. This is an auspicious moment. She can not endure delay.”

Śauri replied, “I shall say after consideration. Do you come again.” She said, “Who knows whether you go there or I come here?” With these words she went away somewhere.

One day in the hot weather Śauri had played in the water with Gandharvasenā and had gone to sleep. A ghoul seized him firmly by the hand, saying repeatedly, “Get up,” and carried him off quickly, though struck with his fist (by Vasudeva). Taken near a funeral pyre, he saw a blazing fire and the Khecarī Hiraṇyavatī with a terrible appearance in front of it. The ghoul,[2] addressed cordially by her, “Welcome, Candravadana,” delivered Vārṣṇeya to her and instantly departed. She smiled and said to Vārṣṇeya: “Have you considered, prince? Consider sir, at our insistence.”

At that time Nīlayaśas, who had been seen before, came there attended by friends, like the goddess Śrī attended by Apsarases. Instructed by her grandmother, “Take your husband,” Nīlayaśas accepted Vasudeva and went through the air. In the morning Hiraṇyavatī said to Vasudeva:

“This is a large mountain, Hrīmat, covered with a forest, Meghaprabha. On it, which is ruled over by flying ascetics, Aṅgāraka, a Khecara-lord, the son of Jvalana, who has lost his magic arts, is again subduing magic arts. The magic arts will submit after a long time, but at sight of you they will submit quickly. Hence you should go to assist him.” Told by Vṛṣṇi’ son, “No more about him whom I have seen (before),”[3] she conducted him to Śivamandira on Mt. Vaitāḍhya. At the request of King Siṃhadaṃṣṭra, who took him to his own house, Daśārha married the maiden Nīlayaśas.

At that time Śauri heard a tumult and asked its cause. The door-keeper related:

“There is a town here named Śakaṭamukha. Its king is named Nīlavat and his wife Nīlavatī. They have a daughter, Nīlāṭjanā, and a son, Nīla. There was an arrangement in the past between brother and sister that the marriage-festival of a son with a daughter must be celebrated. Nīlaṭjanā had a daughter, who is your wife Nīlayaśas, and there is a son of Prince Nīla, Nīlakaṇṭha by name. Nīla asked her in marriage for his son in accordance with the agreement. Questioned by her father about it, Muni Bṛhaspati said, ‘The father of Viṣṇu, lord of half of Bharatavarṣa, the best of the Yadus, Vasudeva, Manmatha in beauty, will be her husband.’ Brought here by a magic art, you have been married to her by the king. Nīla has come on that account and then the tumult arose.”

Śauri was delighted at hearing that. Playing with her, he saw the Khecaras going to Hrīmat in the autumn for magic arts and herbs. He said to her, “I shall be your pupil in acquiring magic arts,” and she agreed. She went to Mt. Hrīmat, taking him along. Knowing that Śauri desired dalliance there, she created a plantain-house and dallied with him. And she saw a peacock. “Look! this peacock has a full tail,” she said, astonished, and the lovely-eyed woman herself ran to catch it. But when she got near the peacock, the rogue of a peacock mounted her on his back and kidnaped her, flying up in the air like Garuḍa.

Running after him, Śauri came to a herder’s station. Entertained with respect by milkmaids, he stayed there for the night and started south in the morning. He came to the village Giritaṭa and heard a teacher reciting the Vedas. He asked a Brāhman the reason for his recital.

The Brāhman said:

Footnotes and references:


See I, pp. 170 ff.


Preta is here used interchangeably with bhūta in 315.


See above, p. 47f.

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