Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes The sixth spoke which is the seventh part of chapter XIII of the English translation of the Mahavira-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Mahavira in jainism is the twenty-fourth Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

In the morning there will be destruction of right-conduct; at mid-day, of kingly duty; in the afternoon, of fire. Duhṣamā will last for twenty-one thousand years; and this will be the length of time of ekāntaduḥṣamā (duḥṣamā-duḥṣamā). The essence of dharma having perished, the people, full of the cry, ‘Hā, Hā,’ will be like cattle without any laws about mother, son, et cetera. Harsh winds with much dust, ill-omened, will blow. The heavens will smoke, terrifying by day and night. The moon will send forth exceeding cold and the sun will burn exceedingly hot. The people, afflicted by excessive heat and cold, will experience misery. Then the clouds will be without water. Clouds of acid and clouds of vinegar, clouds of poison, fire, and lightning will rain what is similar to themselves. Because of this there will be cough, asthma, gout, leprosy, dropsy, fever, headache, and other serious diseases of humans. The animals will feel pain—those of water, earth, air. There will be destruction of fields, forests, gardens, creepers, trees, and grass. Except Vaitāḍhya and Ṛṣabhakūṭa, the Gaṅgā and the Sindhu, all the mountains, caves, rivers, et cetera will be leveled. The earth will be reduced to ashes, resembling embers and charcoal; sometimes with much dust, sometimes with thick mud. Men and women will be a cubit in height, bad-colored, harsh-spoken, afflicted with diseases, violent-tempered, hunch-backed, snub-nosed, shameless, without clothes. Men will live for twenty years and women sixteen. A woman will conceive at the age of six and then will have a painful child-bearing. She will be an old woman at sixteen with many children and grandchildren.

There will be cave-dwellings in Mt. Vaitāḍhya, but there will be seventy-two caves in the ground of both banks of the rivers.[1] In each bank of the rivers there will be nine caves and in those animals will come into existence only enough to preserve the species. At that time humans and others will become completely devoted to eating meat, cruel, devoid of discernment. Then the water of the rivers Gaṅgā and Sindhu, a mere chariot-path, will flow, filled with moving fish, turtles, et cetera. Going there at night, after dragging out the fish, et cetera, they will abandon them on the dry ground and will eat them, cooked during the day by the heat of the sun, at the next night. In this way they will always eat, because at that time there will be no curd, et cetera, nor flower, nor fruit, nor rice, nor a bed, seat, et cetera. Such will duḥṣamā be in the ten Bharatas and Airavatas[2] and also duḥṣamāduḥṣamā for twenty-one thousand years.

Footnotes and references:


The Gaṅga and the Sindhu. Sec Jamb. p. 171a.


In the two and a half continents of the Human World. See II, p. 116.

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