Introduction to Jayajyotir Malla

Jayajyotir Malla, the son of Jayastithi Malla, was a renowned astronomer and king who ruled Nepal from 1308 A.D. to 1328 A.D. after the death of his brother, Jayadharma Malla.

He was a visionary leader who removed all other houses from central politics in Nepal and created the basis for a peaceful and prosperous reign for his son, Yaksha Malla.

Reign of Jayajyotir Malla

As a son of Jayastithi Malla, who ruled Nepal from 1308 A.D. to 1328 A.D., Jayajyotir Malla was destined to take the throne after the death of his brother Jayadharma Malla.

The Three Sons had actually shared the throne of Nepal in the Past as well. Despite this, his reign is often overlooked in Tibetan texts and later chronicles, leading to confusion about his true status as the king of Nepal.

However, the truth is that Jayajyotir Malla was indeed the de jure and de facto king of Nepal during his reign from 1408 A.D. to 1428 A.D. In fact, he was bestowed with the full title of Maharajadhiraja Paramashwora Paramabhattaraka in some cases.

It was only thanks to William Kirkpatrick that the reign of Jayajyotir Malla was brought to light. His documents, which are widely spread over a span of more than twenty years, make it clear that he was acknowledged as the true king of Nepal during his reign.

Despite this, later chronicles, including the Wright Chronology and Bhasa Bansawali, falsely claim that Yaksha Malla was the actual son and successor of Jayastithi Malla.

However, there are no documents from this period that acknowledge Yaksha Malla as the son of Jayastithi Malla, making it clear that Jayajyotir Malla was the rightful heir to the throne. Also, Yaksha Malla was the son of Jayajyotir Malla.

Chronology of Jayajyotir Malla By Dilli Raman Regmi
Chronology of Jayajyotir Malla By Dilli Raman Regmi

So why was Jayajyotir Malla‘s reign overlooked in some historical accounts? It seems that he deliberately avoided overshadowing the personality of Jayasimharama, which may have led to him being excluded from some accounts.

Nevertheless, the documents from his reign speak for themselves, proving that he was indeed the true king of Nepal. The Importance of Jayajyotir Malla’s reign lies in the very fact that many of his contributions haven’t been well discussed in Nepal.

Contributions of Jayajyotir Malla

Educational Reforms

Jayajyotir Malla was a learned man, and his inscription at Pashupatinath describes him as the ocean of all kingcraft, as taught by Chanakya and other learned men.

He was also a master of all the science of music, and he composed a treatise called Siddhisara to make himself worthy of his fame as an astronomer.

Religious Reforms

However, Jayajyotir Malla was not limited to one religion, and his inscription at Pashupatinath also speaks of him as Paramamaheshwara, binding under a load of fame gained by the restoration of the top of Swayambhu Stupa and the image of Dharmadhatu Vagisvara.

This shows that he was equally devoted to both Shiva and Buddhist cults of worship and honored both deities. Dilli Raman Regmi has stated that he had a catholic mind and did not discriminate between the religious faiths existing in Nepal.

He adopted the viruda of Daitya Narayana, which indicates that he belonged to the cult of Vaishnavism.

Land Reforms

According to the Chronicles of William Kirkpatrick, he divided the lands throughout Nepal among his citizens and Subjects. He also initiated Reforms for Standard Measures and Weights. Moreover, he enlarged the City of Bhadgaon.

He also established his presence considerably over Patan which was the Capital City of Nepal at the time. He also made his sons, led by Yaksha Malla as the governor of Bhaktapur.

Conclusion

Jayajyotir Malla was the only surviving Son of Jayastithi Malla and the Father of Yaksha Malla. He reigned over Nepal for 20 years and established several reforms in Nepal.

Miscellaneous

References

  • Regmi, Dilli Raman. “Medieval Nepal” Four Volumes. Firma K, 1965-66
  • Shaha, R. (2001). Ancient and Medieval Nepal. India: Manohar.
  • Slusser, Mary S Nepal Mandala, “A Cultural Study of the Kathmandu Valley Two Volumes” Princeton University Press, 1982 C.E.
  • Levi Sylvain: Le Nepal, Etuda Historique d’um royaume Izindou, 3 volumes, Paris, 1905
  • Subedi, Raja Ram, 2061, “Nepalko Tathya Itihas,” Sajha Prakashan
  • Kirkpatrick: An Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul, London, 1811.
  • Sangraula, Narayan Prasad, 2068, “Prachin tatha Madhyakalin Nepal,” Kankai Publishers and Distributors

Cite

Pokhrel, A. (2023). King Jayajyotir Malla – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/malla-kings/jayajyotir-malla/