Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Initiation of Krishna at Dvaraka which is the first part of chapter VIII 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: Initiation of Kṛṣṇa at Dvārakā

Then Neminātha released the kings, enemies of Kṛṣṇa, from the blockade. They bowed to him, their hands folded submissively, and said:

“Lord, Jarāsandha and we were deceived at that very time when you descended into the Yadu-family, Lord of Three Worlds. Viṣṇu alone, no one else, is the slayer of the Prativiṣṇu, no doubt; to say nothing of one of whom you, Lord, are the aid and kinsman. This was not known by us and Jarāsandha at first. Therefore, we committed such actions. Such is fate. Today we have come to you for protection. May there be good fortune to us ail. Rather, enough of talking. There is naturally good fortune of those submissive to you.”

Nemi went with the kings, who continued talking in this way, to Hari. Hari got down from his chariot and embraced him closely. At Nemi’s command Hari claimed the kings and also Sahadeva, Jarāsandha’s son, at Samudravijaya’s command. Hari gave a fourth part of Magadha to Sahadeva and installed him in his father’s rank, like a pillar of fame of himself. Keśava installed Mahānemi, son of Samudravijaya, in Śauryapura; Rukmanābha, son of Hiraṇyanābha, in Kośalā; and Dhara, son of Ugrasena who did not accept the kingdom, in Mathurā. Then the sun plunged into the Western Ocean. Dismissed by Neminātha, Mātali went to heaven. Kṛṣṇa and the others, at Kṛṣṇa’s order, went to their respective camps. Samudravijaya remained, eager for Vasudeva’s coming.

On the next day three elderly Khecarīs came to Vāsudeva who was in company with Samudravijaya and said:

“Vasudeva, accompanied by Pradyumna and Śāmba, comes soon with Khecaras. Let his actions be heard. Vasudeva went from this place with his two grandsons and Khecaras to Vaitāḍhya and fought with hostile Kheearas. Nīlakaṇṭha, Aṅgāraka, and other former enemies among the Khecaras—all together fought Vasudeva. During that battle yesterday gods who were near said, ‘Jarāsandha has been killed and Kṛṣṇa has become Viṣṇu.’ Hearing that, all the Khecaras quit the battle-field and reported to King Mandaravega.

He instructed them: ‘Do you all come, sirs, bringing large presents. We shall go to Hari for protection by the door of Vasudeva.’ Saying this, he went to Vasudeva’s presence and gave his sister to Pradyumna and King Tripatharṣabha gave his daughter. King Devarṣabha and Vāyupatha gave their daughters to Śrīmat Prince Śāmba with great joy. All the Vidyādhara-lords are coming now with Vasudeva and we have been sent ahead to announce it.”

While they were saying this, Vasudeva, accompanied by Pradyumna and Śāmba, came there with Khecaras, a festival for the eyes. The Khecaras worshipped Kṛṣṇa with much gold and jewels, chariots, horses, elephants, et cetera, imitating streams of treasure. Hari performed the funeral rites, of Jayasena and others; and King Sahadeva those of Jarāsandha and others. When Jīvayaśas had seen the destruction of her husband and father with his family, she abandoned her life by means of fire. Since the Yadus had jumped from joy, Janārdana made a city Ānandapura[1] there on the site of Sinapallī.

Then Govinda, having conquered half of Bharata in six months, went from that place to the Magadhas, attended by Khecaras and mortals. There Kaṃsa’s destroyer lifted a stone named Koṭiśīlā, one yojana high and one yojana wide, four fingers’ distance from the ground with his left arm. Koṭiśīlā was presided over by deities living in half of Bharata. The first Viṣṇu raised it to the end of his arm;[2] the second to his forehead; the third to his neck; the fourth to his breast; the fifth to his heart; the sixth to his hip; the seventh to his thigh; the eighth to his knee; and the last four fingers from the ground. For in avasarpiṇī they had decreasing powers.

Then Kṛṣṇa went to Dvārakā and was installed as ardhacakrin by sixteen thousand kings and by gods. Janārdana dismissed the Pāṇḍavas to Kurudeśa and the others, Khecaras and mortals, to their respective homes. The ten powerful Daśārhas, Samudravijaya, et cetera; the great warriors, Baladeva, et cetera to the number of five; the sixteen thousand kings, Ugrasena, et cetera: three and a half crores of princes, Pradyumna, et cetera; sixty thousand of the uncontrolled (princes), Śāmba, ct cetera; twenty-one thousand heroes, Vīrasena, et cetera; likewise fifty-six thousand powerful, eminent body-guards,[3] Mahāsena and others: others, rich men, sheths, caravan-leaders, by the thousand attended Kṛṣṇa, their folded hands placed on their foreheads. The sixteen thousand kings gave jewels as presents to Vāsudeva from devotion and each gave two choice maidens. Of these. Kṛṣṇa married sixteen thousand maidens, Bala eight thousand and other princes as many, Kṛṣṇa, Rama, and the princes sported at pleasure in pleasure-gardens, pleasure-mountains, et cetera, surrounded by charming wives.

King Samudravijaya and Queen Śivā, seeing them amusing themselves in this way, said to Nemi in a speech permeated with affection: “Dear boy, always there is joy to our eyes looking at you. Let it be more by marrying a suitable bride.” Lord nemi, terrified of existence even from birth and endowed with three kinds of knowledge, said: “I do not see suitable girls anywhere. These lead to falling into misfortune. Enough of them for us. When suitable ones are encountered, then I shall marry them.” By this dignified speech, Nemi restrained his parents, guileless by nature, from insistence on the marriage-business.

Footnotes and references:


Identified with Vaḍnagar in North Gujarat, Lai. p. 266. But no identification of Ānandapura with Sinapalli is made in Lai. See p. 334.


See III, pp. 53, 83, 104, 123, 147; IV, pp. 39, 51, 259.


Talavarga. This seems to be the same as talavara, which MW defines as ‘body-guard’ and PH as ‘city-guard.’ The Prabandhacintāmaṇi. p. 79. line 28. (Siṅghī ed.), has talavargīya. Lai, p. 60. interprets talavara as ‘knights’ and says. n. 11: “They were invested with a paṭṭa given by the king; they possessed the same status, the only difference was that they were without chowries.”

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