Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Introduction (birth of Shamba) which is the first part of chapter VII 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 1: Introduction (birth of Śāmba)

Then at the festival which look place here at Pradyumna’s coming Duryodhana got up and announced to Vāsudeva: “My daughter, your daughter-in-law, master, has been abducted by some one just now. So have a search made for her so that Bhānuka can marry.” Kṛṣṇa said: “I am not omniscient. If I were such, why did I not know that Raukmiṇeya had been kidnaped by some one?” Pradyumna said, “I shall bring her here, recognizing her through Prajṭapti,” and brought there the svayaṃvara-maiden. Pradyumna did not take her though offered by Kṛṣṇa saying, “She is my daughter-in-law,” and Bhānuka married her. Govinda married Khecara-princesses to Pradyumna, though he was unwilling, with a great festival. Rukmiṇī and Śārṅgadharin dismissed Nārada after he had been honored as a benefactor because he had restored Pradyumna.

Bhāmā, grieving at Pradyumna’s great magnificence and fame, went to the anger-room and lay on an old couch. Kaṃsāri came there in agitation and said, “By whom have you been insulted, on account of which you grieve, fair lady?” She said: “There has been no insult to me. But if I do not have a son like Pradyumna, then I shall certainly die.” Knowing her persistence, Kṛṣṇa observed pauṣadha with a three-day fast directed to the god Naigameṣin. Naigameṣin appeared and said to him, “What can I do for you?” Kṛṣṇa said, “Give Bhāmā a son like Pradyumna.” Naigameṣin said: “Enjoy her from whom you desire a son. Have her put on this necklace. Then there will be the desired son.” Naigameṣin gave him a necklace and departed. Delighted Vāsudeva assigned a bed-chamber to Satyā.

Informed about this by Prajñapti, Pradyumna told his mother and said, “Take this necklace with desire for a son equal to me.” Rukmiṇī said: “With you as a son, my purpose is accomplished. Moreover, a woman never bears a jewel a second time.” “Which one of the co-wives, to whom I may give a son, is dear to you?” asked by Pradyumna again, Rukmiṇī said: “In the past Jāmbavatī was sympathetic with me suffering from separation from you, son. Let the son equal to you be hers.” With Pradyumna’s approval she summoned Jāmbavat’s daughter and Pradyumna made her look like Bhāmā by means of a magic art. She was sent by Rukmiṇī. who explained to her, to Hari’s house. She went at evening and was enjoyed joyfully by him, after he had given her the necklace.

Just then the god Kaiṭabha fell from Mahāśukra and entered Jāmbavatī’s womb, indicated by the dream of a lion. Then Jāmbavatī, delighted, went to her own house and Satyabhāmā came, seeking the bed-chamber in Kṛṣṇa’s house. Seeing her, Kṛṣṇa thought: “Oh! Women are never satisfied in pleasure. Just now she has gone and she comes again in haste. Or, have I been tricked by some one who assumed Satyā’s form?” With the idea, “May she not be embarrassed,” he dallied with her.

Raukmiṇeya learned that it was the time of her dalliance and had a drum beaten which caused terror to all of Viṣṇu’s people. Hari, disturbed, asked, “By whom was this drum beaten?” and his attendants told him, “It was beaten by Raukmiṇeya.” Hari smiled and thought: Now Bhāmā has certainly been tricked by him. indeed, a son of a co-wife is like ten co-wives. Bhāmā’s son will be somewhat timid because of pleasure with fear. Surely what must be does not happen otherwise.”

At dawn Janārdana went to Rukmiṇī’s house and saw Jāmbavat’s daughter ornamented with the divine necklace. Jāmbavatī said to Hari looking at her with motionless eyes, “Why do you look so, master? I, here, am your wife.” Viṣṇu said, “Where did you get this divine necklace, queen?” She said, “By your favor. Do you not know what you have done yourself?” She told him the dream of a lion and Janārdana explained: “Queen, you will have a son equal to Pradyumna.” With these words Viṣṇu went away.

At the right time Jāmbavatī, like a lioness, bore a son named Śāmba, whose strength was unequaled. Dāruka and Jayasena, sons of the charioteer, and Subuddhi, son of the minister—these sons were born at the same time as Śāmba. And there was a son of Satyabhāmā, Anubhānuka by name, who had another name, Bhīru, as a result of the impregnation. Sons were born of the other wives of Govinda, very strong, very heroic, like young bhadra-elephants.[1] Śāmba grew up with the sons of the minister and charioteer and, intelligent, gradually acquired the collection of arts easily.

Footnotes and references:


The best kind of elephant. See I, n. 128.


Deer are considered especially susceptible to music.


See I, n. 290, for the list of ornaments, including the tilaka.


For proclamation by drum, cf. Pārśva., p. 185. Usually, the drum was ‘touched,’ but here dhṛ is used.

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