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South Indian Inscriptions





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A 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.”[1]

The inscription consists of 28 Sanskrit verses and commences with an invocation of Jina (verse 1) and of his religion (Jina-sasana, v.2).  Then follows a pedigree of the spiritual ancestors and pupils of the head of a Jaina school, who was called Simhanandin:-

The Mula-samgha


The Nandi-samgha


The Baltkara-gana.


The Sarasvata-gachchha.  




Dharmabhushana I., Bhattaraka.  




Simhanandin, Ganabhrit  


Dharmabhusha, Bhattaraka.  




Dharmabhushana II., alias  Bhattarakamuni.


The 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.)

The 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],[2] 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 country. (v.25).

Through 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 work. Dr.Aufrecht[3] 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 inscription.                   


(Verse 1.) May that Jina, the dust of whose lotus-feet removes mental impurity, and who is an abode of comparison, produce abundant happiness !

(Verse 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!

(Verse 3.) In the glorious Mula-samgha, there arose the Nandi-samgha; in this, the lovely, the pure-minded Padmanandin.[4]

(Verse 4.) The acharya called Kunda[kunda], Vakragriva, Mahamati, Elacharya and Gridhrapinchha:-these (were) his five (sur)names.

(Verse 5.) Just as pearls in the ocean, there appeared in his (spiritual) race (anvaya) certain beautiful sages, who were mines of speeches
and endowed with divine splendour.

(Verse 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.

(Verse 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.

(Verse 8.) The pupil of this sage was the glorious saint Amarakirti, a treasury of austerities of unrestrained (power), the foremost of teachers, and  full of tranquility.

(Verse 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.

(Verse 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.

(Verse 11.) His (successor) is office[5] 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 the moon.

(Verse 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.

(Verse 13.) The pupil of this teacher was the teacher Dharmabhushana, (also called) the glorious Bhattarakamuni[6], who was free from the three thorns.[7]

(Verse 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).

(Line 21.) While thus the succession of teachers continued without interruption:-

(Verse 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.

(Verse 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 milk-ocean.

(Verse 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.

(Verse 18.) While this lord of kings, who surpassed al former princes, ruled the earth, whose girdle are the four oceans,-

(Verse 19.) The hereditary minister of him, whose wife was the earth, was the general Chaicha, who was endowed with the three (regal) powers.

(Verse 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 king Hari.

(Verse 21.) The son of this illustrious and brilliant general Chaicha was the general Iruga., who delighted the world.

(Verse 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[8], as it shines in autumn,-says for a long time:-“In this world there is no higher doctrine than the lovely scepticism.”[9]

(Verse 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) to bow.

(Verse 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.

(Line 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;-

(Verse 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.

(Verse 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.

(Verse 27.) There the girls play on roads paved with precious stones, stopping by embankments of pearl-sand the water (poured out) at donations.

(Verse 28.) In this city the general Iruga caused to be built of fine stones a temple (chaityalaya) of the blessed Kunthu[10], the lord of  Jinas.

(Line 42.) Let there be prosperity to the religion of Jina !

[1] A similar fanciful name is Malegitti-sivalaya, “the Siva temple of the female garland-maker,” at Badami;

[2] Two other inscriptions of Harihara II. are dated in Saka 1301 [expired] and 1321 [expired] ; see page 80, note 6.

[3] Catalogus Bibliothece Bodleiance, p.193.

[4] According to Dr. Aurfrecht’s Catalogus Bibliothece Bodleiance, p.180, a  Jaina MS. of A.D. 1518 contains the following slightly different pedigree of Padmanandin: Sri-Mula-samghe Sarasvati-gachchhe Balatkara-gane Sri-kundakundacharyanvaye Bhattaraka-Sri-Padmanandi-devah.  Here Padmanandin is said to belong to the spiritual race of Kundakundachrya, while our inscription (verse 4) gives Kundakundacharya as one of the names of Padmanadin himself.  According to Mr.Pathak (Ind. Ant. Vol.XIV, p.15) the correct spelling of Kundakunda, as the present inscription seems to read, is Kundakunda. The Terdal inscription (i.e., p.25) has Kondakundacharya;Professor Wilson (Essays, Vol.I, p.341),-kundakmundacharya; and an unpublished inscription at Sravana-Belagola-Kaundakunda.

[5] Patta, “a tiara worn as an emblem of dignity,” is here used for the dignity itself.  It has the same meaning in Pattavali, a title of two lists of Jaina teachers, extracts from which were published by Dr.Klatt in Ind. Ant.Vol. XI, pp.245 ff.

[6] An earlier Bhattaraka Dharmabhushana was mentioned in verses 6 and 7,and a Bhattaraka Dharmabhusha in verse 11.

[7] Pandit-Lakshmanacharya of Bangalore informs me that, according to the Vedantachudamani, “the three throns” (salya-traya) are thesameas “the three kinds of pain” (tapa-traya),  viz., that produced by oneself  (adhyatmika), by other beings (adhibautika) and by the gods (adhidaivika).

[8] With raka-vita compare raka-sasnka in verse 8 of No.153, below.

[9] The anekanta-mata is the same as the syadvada ; see page 158, note 1.  What the composer of the inscription wants to express by verse 22, is, that Iruga’s fame furnishes a proof of the correctness of the Jaina doctrine of sceptiscism, as arguments can be adduced for its being not corporeal, as well as for its being corporeal.

[10] Kunthu is the name of the seventeenth Tirthakara; see Professor Jacobi’s Jaina Sutras,  Part I, Index s.v.


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