ON A LAMP-PILLAR AT VIJAYANAGARA
rough transcript andparaphrase of the subjoined inscription was
published as early as 1836 in the Asiatic Reserches.
The original is engraved on a lamp-pillar in front of
a Jaina temple at the ruined city of Vijayanagara.
The temple is now-a-days styled Ganigitti Temple, i.e.,
“the temple of the oil-women.”
inscription consists of 28 Sanskrit verses and commences with an
invocation of Jina (verse 1) and of his religion (Jina-sasana,
follows a pedigree of the spiritual ancestors and pupils of the
head of a Jaina school, who was called Simhanandin:-
II., alias Bhattarakamuni.
various epithets, which these teachers receive in the
inscription, are :-acharya, arya, guru, desika, muni and yogindra.
Other Jaina terms, which occur in the inscription are :- syadvada
(v. 2.) or anekanta-mata (v.22), patta (vv. 11
and 12) and chaityalaya (v.28.)
pedigree of Jaina teachers is followed by a short account (vv.
15 to 18) of two kings of the first Vijayanagara dynasty, viz.,
Bukka, who was descended from the race of the Yadava kings, and
his son Harihara (II). Harihara’s
hereditary minister was the general (dandadhinayaka, vv.19
and 21; dandanatha, v.20) Chaicha or Chaichapa.
Chaicha’s son, the general (dandesa, vv.21.22
and 28) or prince (kshitisa v.23; dharanisa, v.24)
Iruga or Irugapa, adhered to the doctrine of the above-mentioned
Jaina teacher Simhanandin (v.24). In Saka 1307 [expired],
the cyclic year Krodhana (lines 36 f.), Iruga built a
stone-temple of Kunthu-Jinatha (v.28) at Vijayanagara (v.26).
This city belonged to Kuntala, a district of the Karnata
my assistant I received a copy,-printed with a Telugu commentary
in the Rudhiraodgari-samvatsara (i.e.,1863-64 A.D.),-of a
Sanskrit kosa, entitle target="_self"d Nanartharatnamala and
composed by Irugapa-dandadhinatha or, as he calls himself in the
opening verses, Iruga-dandesa.
Dr.Oppert mentions a large number of MSS. of the same
describes three inferior MSS.
of it and states that, according to one of these, its
composer lived under a king Harihara.
This notice enables us to identify the author of the Nanartharatnamala
with the general Iruga or Irugappa of the subjoined
1.) May that Jina, the dust of whose lotus-feet removes
mental impurity, and who is an abode of comparison, produce
abundant happiness !
2.) May the religion of the lord of the three worlds, the
religion of Jina, the unfailing characteristic of which is the
glorious and extremely mysterious scepticism, be victorious!
3.) In the glorious Mula-samgha, there arose the
Nandi-samgha; in this, the lovely, the pure-minded Padmanandin.
4.) The acharya called Kunda[kunda], Vakragriva,
Mahamati, Elacharya and Gridhrapinchha:-these (were) his
5.) Just as pearls in the ocean, there appeared in his (spiritual)
race (anvaya) certain beautiful sages, who were mines
and endowed with divine splendour.
6.) Among these, there was a teacher, who was an ocean of
beautiful deeds, which resembled pearls, the chief of ascetics (called)
Dharmabhushana, who was distinguished by the title of Bhattaraka.
7.) Resplendent is the Bhattaraka Dharmabhushana,
whose (only) ornament are virtues;even as a bee, the (whole)
sky (enjoys) the perfume of the flower of his fame.
8.) The pupil of this sage was the glorious saint Amarakirti,
a treasury of austerities of unrestrained (power), the
foremost of teachers, and full
9.) I worship that Amarakirti, who removes darkness,
and in whose heart the lamp of knowledge never flickers in
consequence of his shutting the door of his eye-lids and
suppressing his breath.
10.) Let many chiefs of ascetics arise on earth, who are
bent (only) on filling their bellies, and whose minds are devoid
of knowledge; what is their use in this world, (though they
be) endless (in number) ? (For)
there appears the pupil of Amarakirti, the glorious,
wise, and dutiful teacher Simhanandin, the head of a school (ganabhrit),
who scatters (their) invincible and great pride by
his mighty virtues.
11.) His (successor) is office
was the glorious Bhattaraka Dharmabhusha, who
equalled (his)glorius teacher, the saint Simhanandin, who
resembles a pillar of the palce of they holy religion of Jina,
and whose fame (possessed the splendour of) the lotus and
12.) (The successor) in office of this sage was a
lord of sages, (called) Vardhamana, who was a bee at the
lotus-feet of the glorious Simhanandin, the chief of ascetics.
13.) The pupil of this teacher was the teacher
Dharmabhushana, (also called) the glorious Bhattarakamuni,
who was free from the three thorns.
14.) We praise the feet of Battarakamuni, those
unheard-of-lotuses, before which the hands of kings (raja-karah)
are devoutly folded, (which the day-lotus closes under the
influence of the rays of the moon:-raja-karah).
21.) While thus the succession of teachers continued without
15.) There was in the race of the Yadava princes the
illustrious king Bukka, whose might was boundless, and who was
exalted by perfect virtues.
16.) From this prince there sprang the lord Harihara, a king
who knew all arts (kala),-just as the (full) moon,
who possesses all digits (kala), was produced from the
17.) While this prince, who has conquered the world by his
valour, is (her) lord, this earth possesses-ah!-at last a
king who deserves this title.
18.) While this lord of kings, who surpassed al former
princes, ruled the earth, whose girdle are the four oceans,-
19.) The hereditary minister of him, whose wife was the
earth, was the general Chaicha, who was endowed with the three (regal)
20.) (His) second soul in (state) secrets (and
his) third arm on battle-fields,-the illustrious and great
general Chaichapa is (ever) vigilant in the service of
21.) The son of this illustrious and brilliant general
Chaicha was the general Iruga., who delighted the world.
22.) Oh general Iruga ! This great fame (of thine),-which is
not corporeal, because it pervades the whole world, (but
which is at the same time) corporeal, because it resembles
in splendour Siva and the full-moon,
as it shines in autumn,-says for a long time:-“In this world
there is no higher doctrine than the lovely scepticism.”
23.) The bow of this prince Iruga loudly teaches, as it
were, right conduct to the people, as it is of good bamboo (or
of good family), endowed with a string (or with virtues) and
a receptacle of arrows (or a refuge of beggars), but is
bent (or humble) and causes the enemies (or the best)
24.) Prince Irugapa, that moon (who causes to unfold)
the lotus of the goddess of prosperity of the great empire of
king Harihara, he who has reached the highest point of prowess
and profundity, the only abode of valour, (was) a bee at
the lotus-feet of Simhanandin, the best saints.
36). Hail ! In the Saka year 1307, while the Krodhana year
was current, on Friday, the second lunar day of the dark half of
the month of Phalguna;-
25.) There is a district (vishaya), Kuntala by name,
which is situated in the midst of the vast country (dhara-mandala)
of Karnata, and which resembles the hair (kuntala) of
the goddess of the earth.
26.) In this (country) there is a city (nagara), named
Vijaya, which is resplendent with wonderful jewels, and which
exhibits the spectacle of an unexpected moonshine by the
multitude of its whitewashed palaces.
27.) There the girls play on roads paved with precious
stones, stopping by embankments of pearl-sand the water (poured
out) at donations.
28.) In this city the general Iruga caused to be built of
fine stones a temple (chaityalaya) of the blessed Kunthu,
the lord of Jinas.
42.) Let there be prosperity to the religion of Jina !