Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3


RaLna Handurukande

OME information about a king of a class of demons called the
daityas, Nirghoadamana by name, also called an asura king, is
found in three Sanskrit texts dealing with caita worship, which
I am currently preparing for publication. The texts in question are: the
Ahort/ravra/acaitaseviusafstvadZmal (AVe hereafter); the Ahori/ra
vralaka/ht (AVK) and a prose version of it also called the Ahori/ra
vrataka/h& (A VK. Prose). The Ave and the A VK belong to the class
of narrative literature called avadZmama/t, which are mostly metrical
adaptations of older works. The period of composition of the avadima
ra/ls is said to be about the sixth century A.c. and later: I have not
been able to trace references to Nirghoadamana in Pali or other Sanskrit
I '
The context in which Nirghoadamana is referred to in the AVe is
as follows. Kng ASoka requested the Elder Upagupta to preach a sermon
on the manner of performing 'he ahari/ra. a rite related to cai/ya
worship, and its merits. The wise Elder then related what he had heard
from his teacher. In the past. the Blessed One, Sakyasimha, resided at the
Jetavana monastery in the company of his disciples -monks, nuns, lay
followers and a host of bodisattvas. Seated in the midst of an assembly,
the Buddha Sakyasimha began to ;>reaeh the doctrine. Desiring to hear the
doctrine there assembled at that venue, gods, brahras, the four great
kings with their followers, leaders of daitya demons, lIaga kings, semi
divine beings like yaksas and siddhas, the celestial choristers known as
galldharvas. mythical beings called killllaras. suprnatural beings like
vidytharas and human beings including kings, princes, mctchants,
artisans, low-caste sudras and so on.
) 0

Rama Hanurukallde 69
The Elder Subhlti rose at that assembly and requested the Buddha
Sakyasifa to preach a sermon on the ahora/ravra/a, the rite of day and
night. The Buddha then related the follOwing story of the past.
King Indrapf!!a, who ruled over the city of Gandhavati in Plravideha,
summoned Vasubandhu, a disciple of the Buddha to his palace and
requested him to preach the doctrine, which Vasubandhu did. The theme
of his sermon was the ahoralra rite, the numerous virtues and advantages
of which he detailed at length. Full of joy on hearing Vasubandhu's
sermon, Indrapf!a wished to perform the rite himself. Vasubandhu
explained the manner of its performance as taught to him by the Buddha
Vipasyin, reiterating once again the fruits of observing the rite. Then
Indrapf!a went to Varaasl, where he erected a caitya, practised the rite
according to Vasubandhu's instructions and gave alms to the Buddha
Dipankara and his community of monks, experienced great happiness and
finally reached the abode of the lilias, the Victorious Ones.
To satisfy the curiosity of the monks who wished to know of others
besides Kng Indraps!a who had practised the ahorarra rite, the Buddha
referred briefy to Indra, who erected a caitya in heaven and paid homage
to it by practising this rite. Thereafter he spoke of Nirghoadamana, a
ri/ya king, the relevant section of the Ave referring to whom is as
patBle ca mahaviro dailyendro 'bhln maharddhiman
nirghosadamano nama devalokabhayaflkara
tena jirva balenapi trailokyaf svavasikrtam
sa(lOb)rve 'pi lokapalas ca parajitya vaslkrtBh
Lada sa prthivlm gara varaasim upacaran
I nd ra p!a vi harastha f!! ca i tya f drs! va n va moda ta
tatah pradaksiikftya taf caityam vidhinarcayat
krtanjaliputo bhlra pranhayad evam anata
yavajjivam sukham bhuklvc samsthapya svavase Jagat
The Daitya King Nirghosadman
sarbuddhasaraJar gatva prante yayar jinalayam
ity evar praJidhir dhfta natva tar ca jinalayam
tata eva yayau svargar daityendra sa maharddhika
tatrapi caityam alokya sakreJa sthapitaf pura
natva pradakiJlkftya vidhina ca samarcayat
tathaiva pra1idhirp krtva natva ca saijalir muda
tatas ca sa samagatya patale svar gfhar yayau
tatra sa daityarajendro yathavidhi jinalayam
mahac caityarp prati9!hapya satkftya vidhinarcayat
tatas capi sa daityendro yathavidhi samarabhan
ahoratravratar dhftva tac caityar samapujayat
tatraivar pra1.idhir kflva so 'surendro mahamatih
sarada vidhinabhyarcya bheje nit yam mahotavai

tatha sa suciram bhuktva yavajjlvarp mahasukham
tac caityar saraIarp kftva yayau latha jinalayam5
The episode narrated in the above extract could be summarised as
follows. There lived in the nether world, a lord of the daityas, Nirghosa
damana by name. Brave and powerful, he was a source of fear to t
world of gods. Winning the three worlds by force, Nirghoadamana
brought them under his control. Likewise he subdued all the guardians of
the world. Arriving on earth, he saw the caitya in the monastery of
[ndrapf!a, cIrcumambulated it and paid homage to it, according to rite.
Then, bent low and with hands folded, he made the following wish: "May
I establIsh the world under my control, experience happiness as long as
[ lIve, seek refuge In the Buddha and reqch the abode of the Buddhas in
the end." Having resolved thus and worshipped the caitya. Nirghosada
mana went to heaven, where he saw a cailYu erected by Sakra. He paid
homage to thiS cauya too according to rite. \vorshipping it with folded
Ratna HandurukaYide
hands, full of delight. Returning to his own abode, the ditya king erected
a huge caitya which he worshipped constantly observing the ahoratra
rite, in festive manner. Seeking refuge in that caitya, he enjoyed life-long
happiness and at the end reached the abode of the Buddhas.
The much shorter A VK version adds a few details to our knowledge
of the Nirghoadamana episode, such as the demon king opposing Indra
in heaven and finging him upon the earth, with the help of the asuras,
at the time of his gaining control of the three worlds; and the mention of
Maghavatpura, a city not mentioned in the AVe, as the place where
Indrapr!a's great place (of worship) was located. According to the A YK,
Nirghoadamana worshipped an image of a deity here, making the five
fold circumambulation and eslMished himself in the perfection of
The relevant verses of the A YK are as follows:
patale ca pura vlro daityendro balavan abhul
nirhoadamano nama devasurapramardaka
indram svarge nirakrtya pflhivirn avadharitam
tenasurasahayena trailikyar svavasc kflam
Pfthivimanalarp gatva gato 'sau maghavatpurim
indrap!amahasthane devatapratimarp sthitam
pafcapradaksiIam krta prajfaparasthito 'bhavat
pataleu punar gatva so 'carat tad vralottamam
naginyo nagarajas ca patalcv acararps tath<6
The prose version of the AVK adds further information. Nirghoa
damana, the celebrated lord of the asuras, is here referred to as living
happily in Amaravatf, the abode of Indra, obviously after vanquishing
him. Distressed and dejected at heart. lndra thought of some means of
overcoming Nirgh()adamana. He decided to prform the ahorifravrafa
at the great cailya erected in the worl d of the thirty-three gods, for
72 The Daita King Nirghoadma/
purposes of worship by former lords of gods. This being done, Nirghoa
damana was overpwered and flung to earth.
The relevant section of the prose version of the A YK which includes
one of it few verses is as follows:
nirghoadamano nama asurcndra prakirtita
amaravali(rp) samasadya tihati sukhalHaya
tada deva (na)m indro dlnamana dukhita sasmaral kena
prakarea vijeyami/ mamarame nirghoadamano
'surendra(h) sthita/ tada iti vicintya ( ..... ) dcvanam
indra/ asmin traya(s)stri(rp)sadbhavane praktanadcven
drai saC m)pu jartha( m) saC m)stha pi tarp ra hacai t yam asti/
tasmin caitye ahoratravrata(rp) kriyate yathaviuhi dcva
nam indrcnal tadanantare nirghoadamano 'surcndro
nirjitya Pfthivyam avadharita()/ cvaryl mJaraja Iursam
ahoratravrataprabhavaryl maya srutam/7
The typescript r presently have Dr this text is haseL on;\ m,Inuscript kept in the
Aiatic Society of Bengal in Calcutta. two mCnuscripts kept in the Tokyo
UnIversity Library and a manuscr ipt he l onging to the School of Orient a l anL
African Studies, Lndon. The text consists of .,56 verses.
2 My typescript of this text IS hased on four manuscripts kept in the Tokyo
Uni versit
L ibrary and it consists of \40 verses.
3 The tentative text I have of this version is hased on a singl e faulty manuscript
kept in the Tokyo University Library. There are 12 verses interspersed in this
prose text.
4 WinterniL, M. A History of Indian Litcrallire II, Calcutta 19,.\ p.291.
5 Thee form verses 183194 of my text of the AVe.
6"nestorr verses 126-129 of my texl of the AYK.