Story of siddha-haima

In 1100s in the chAlukya court of jayasiMha siddharAja was a nAstika (a worshiper of the nirgrantha) genius named hemachandra sUrI of the third varNa. His father was a shaiva and his mother a jaina. The vaishya-s saw in him a kulachUDamaNi, a rival to the brAhmaNa-s, of whose intelligence they were perpetually jealous. So, they trained him under jaina scholars so that he might challenge brAhmaNa-s in scholarship. The chAlukya monarch jayasiMha invaded the paramAra capital of dhAra and carried home the entire library of the great bhoja-shAlA to lATa. Having, added the books to his own library he was one day piqued by the sight of a scholarly treatise on language written by the rival of the chAlukya-s bhoja-deva-paramAra (it was probably the sarasvatI-kaNThAbharaNa though the story does not mention its name). He asked his court vidvAn-s if anybody could produce a rival to it. The only one who stood up to the challenge was the young hemachandra-sUrI. But he declared that he needed books on the 8 traditional grammars of saMskR^ita from the shAradA pITha in Kashmir. So siddharAja sent his emissaries with utsAhapaNDita to pravarapura in the Himalayan lands for an inter-library loan. There they worshiped shAradA with stotra-s. The devI then uttered the statement that she was manifest in hemachandra and hence the books should be provided to him. The king was informed by utsAhapaNDita that shAradA was deeply pleased with hemachandra. Then the jainAcharya composed his own text after consulting these works called the siddha-haima. It not only covered Sanskrit but also Prakrits and apabhramsha. It has a lengthy prashaMsa of the chAlukya kings and this pleased the king who allotted a sum of 3*10^5 coins for is propagation. Copies with explanations were sent to libraries all over India. I only name some places mentioned in the story text to give an impression of its spread: a~Nga, va~Nga, kali~Nga, gauDa and kAmarUpa in the east; jAlandhara, pArasIka, kashmIra (20 copies were given to their library for their help), nepAla and kAshi in the north; choLa, shrIlanka and karNATa in the south.

~ by mAnasa-taraMgiNI on August 20, 2008.

 
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