Jayastithi Malla

Introduction to Jayastithi Malla

Jayastithi Malla is one of the greatest reformers King of the Malla Dynasty who ruled Nepal from 1382 A.D. to 1395 A.D.

He established the Mainstream Malla Dynasty in Nepal and further brought Political Stability to the Kathmandu Valley. He brought revolutionary legal and Socio-Economic Measures to reform Nepalese Society and Economy.

Moreover, he developed a unique Caste System for Nepal that originated out of the Nepalese Civilization. He was the eleventh Malla king of Nepal who rose to power after deposing Jayarjunadeva.

Biography of Jayastithi Malla

Early Life

Jayasthiti Malla’s ancestry is still a topic of debate among scholars, but the generally accepted narrative is that he was a person of noble birth in the Mithila region. No one knows the true identity of Jayastithi Malla.

Some argue that Jayastithi Malla was the descendant of Harisimhadeva from the Kingdom of Simrangaud. Some claim he is a descendant of Naga Malla, son of Jayadeva Malla who ruled Nepal for three years. However, Gopal Raja Bansawali mentions that he belonged to the South.

Devaladevi brought him to Kathmandu Valley in 1354 to marry Rajjaladevi, her granddaughter and the heir apparent of Bhadgaon. However, some scholars claim that he was the son of an obscure figure named Ashoka Malla.

After 1354 A.D. Jayastithi Malla was actively involved in the Politics of Kathmandu Valley. After the death of Devalakshmidevi in 1366, Jayasthiti Malla started to play a more prominent role in politics.

Sons

Jayastithi Malla had three sons. Jayadharma Malla, Jayajyotir Malla, and Jayakirti Malla respectively. However, after Jayastithi Malla’s death, the lineage did not transfer solely to Jayadharma Malla.

All three of them were co-rulers with Jayadharma Malla being referred to as Maharajadhiraja or Rajadhiraja in some cases.

Rise to Power

After the grandmother of Rajalladevi died, Huge protests started to occur against Jayastithi Malla. The group that rivaled him was led by Jayasinghrama. Jayasinghrama was a powerful courtier and minister.

But, Jayasinghrama was captured by Jayastithi Malla. He was replaced as Prime Minister by one of the friends of Jayastithi Malla.

Then, the Group of Jayastithi Malla and Jayasinghrama had a huge war against each other. Both parties had a huge war in Thimi, Bhaktapur. Nearly 50 courtiers and citizens died and Jayastithi Malla became victorious.

Jayasinghrama was later released. At last, Jayastithi Malla got control over the Valley.

During this Struggle, Jayarjunadeva was the King of Nepal. So, Jayastithi Malla wanted to remove Jayarjunadeva to become the King of Nepal. First, he got the support of all the courtiers.

He made Jayarjunadeva was made to leave Kathmandu Valley, similar to an exile. But, he returned. So, Jayastithi Malla imprisoned Jayarjunadeva and he died a year later.

Crowning of Jayastithi Malla

After the Death of Jayarjunadeva in 1382 A.D., Jayastithi Malla finally became the King of Nepal. He was accepted as the King by the nobles of Bhadgaon in 1382 C.E. September. He ruled as Prince-Consort to Rajalladevi, who died in 1385 C.E.

He was given the title of “Rajhadhiraja Parameshwara Parambhattaraka”. Jayastithi Malla ultimately died in 1395 A.D.

Jayastithi Malla
Jayastithi Malla

Reforms of Jayastithi Malla

Jayastithi Malla has been named as a reincarnation of Lord Ram himself by the Gopal Raja Bansawali. He is widely known in Nepal for establishing Rules and Regulations to bring Public Security and Political Effectiveness.

Even Prithvi Narayan Shah has mentioned him saying ” I have observed the Great Rules of Jayastithi Malla.”

Jayasthiti Malla also brought several legal, religious, administrative, and social reforms to the valley including Military Expansion.

Social Reforms

Jayastithi Malla codified Varna Vyavastha in Nepal, divided the Society of the Kathmandu Valley into 36 Castes, and integrated Newars into the Caste Hierarchy and Social Stratification.

He divided the Society of Nepal into Castes, Ethnicities, and Sub-Castes, and prescribed their occupation, hierarchy, and means of living based on the Caste System. The Newar community was also divided into various castes and sub-castes, and strict rules were made.

He also codified religious and social conduct with the help of the Five Brahmans. They are Kirtinath Upadhyaya, Raghunath Jha, Srinath Bhatta, Mahinath Bhatta, and Ramanath Jha.

These codes are known as Nyaya Bikashini or ManabNyaya Shastra. A book called Nyayabikashini has been published by UNDP and Lawyer’s Club which has documented Nyayabikashini as a whole. Some argue that Nyayabikashini is a newer version of Narada Samhita.

He brought strict rules and regulations against Theft, Incest, etc. Jayastithi Malla also made sure that 4 classes or varna had their own rules and regulations including house construction and so on.

Jayasthiti Malla standardized the system of measurement for houses and lands. According to the Caste System established as such, the rules for the construction of Houses and the particulars of Housing were made for each caste.

Caste Regulations

In Bhaktapur, each Caste had to follow strict Cultural and Occupational Rules and Regulations on dress, ornaments, and participation.

Therefore, Jayastithi Malla is credited with establishing Caste Regulations in Nepal for 36 Castes.

Economic Reforms

King Jayastithi Malla also stimulated Economic and Measurement Reforms in the Kathmandu Valley. He introduced the measurement System of Mana, Pathi, Pau, Dharni, etc. as provided by Historical Resources.

Jayastithi Malla, amidst conducting Land Reforms in Nepal divided lands based on their productivity into four major categories: Abal, Doyam, Sim, and Chahar. Each Category was more expensive than the other.

He also minted coins for Trade, Economy, and Commerce in Nepal according to several Historians although its proof is limited.

Religious Reforms

King Jayasthiti Malla was a religious-minded king who constructed many temples and shrines and established trusts for its management and renovation.

Further, the worship of Taleju Bhawani in Nepal by the Malla Dynasty was initiated by Jayastithi Malla himself. The Taleju Bhawani Temple was constructed in devotion to this Goddess brought to Nepal by Harisimhadeva.

The Royal Family of the Malla Dynasty continued to Worship Taleju Bhawani until the end of the Dynasty.

Conclusion

Jayastithi Malla is remembered throughout Nepal as the True Founder of the Malla Dynasty in Nepal. He ruled over Nepal from 1382 A.D. to 1395 A.D. although he faced undesired challenges and competitions from the Rama-Vardhana Family.

Miscellaneous

References

  • Regmi, Dilli Raman. “Medieval Nepal” Four Volumes. Firma K, 1965-66
  • Shaha, R. (2001). Ancient and Medieval Nepal. India: Manohar.
  • Vajracharya, Dhanavajra, and Kamal P. Malla. “The Gopalraja Vamsavali” Nepal Research Centre Publications, 1985
  • 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 Jayastithi Malla – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/malla-kings/jayastithi-malla/

FAQ’s

Who was Jayastithi Malla?

Jayastithi Malla was the eleventh king of the Malla Dynasty who ruled Nepal from 1382 A.D. to 1395 A.D. He was credited with establishing the foundation of Nepal’s modern-day state and played a significant role in the cultural and economic development of Nepal.

What were the reforms introduced by Jayastithi Malla?

Jayasthiti Malla introduced several legal, religious, administrative, and social reforms to the valley, including measures to control corruption and promote trade and commerce. He is credited with standardizing weights and measures, dividing the population into castes, and establishing order.

How Did Jayastithi Malla Rise to Power?

Jayastithi Malla became the king of Nepal after deposing Jayarjunadeva, the previous king. Jayasinghrama, a powerful courtier and minister, led a group against Jayastithi Malla, but Jayastithi Malla captured him and defeated his group in a war in Thimi, Bhaktapur. After Jayarjunadeva was made to leave Kathmandu Valley, Jayastithi Malla imprisoned him and he died a year later.

Who were the sons of Jayastithi Malla?

Jayastithi Malla had three sons: Jayadharma Malla, Jayajyotir Malla, and Jayakirti Malla, respectively. All three of them were co-rulers with Jayadharma Malla being referred to as Maharajadhiraja or Rajadhiraja in some cases.

What was the title given to Jayastithi Malla?

Jayastithi Malla was given the title of “Rajhadhiraja Parameshwara Parambhattaraka” after he became the King of Nepal in 1382 A.D.