by K. C. Lalwani | 1973 | 185,989 words
The English translation of the Bhagavati-sutra which is the fifth Jaina Agama (canonical literature). It is a large encyclopedic work in the form of a dialogue where Mahavira replies to various question. The present form of the Sutra dates to the fifth century A.D. Abhayadeva Suri wrote a vritti (commentary) on the Bhagavati in A.D. 1071. In his J...
Q. 17. Bhante! How did Īśāna, the Indra of the Devas, their king, come to possess the divine fortune of a Deva, the divine glow of a Deva, the divine influence of a Deva, how did he obtain them, how did they come in his possession? Who was he in his previous birth? What were his name and line? In what town, village,...till halting place did he reside? What did he hear? What did he offer? What did he eat? What did he do? What was his behaviour? From what monk (śramaṇa) or follower (māhaṇa) did he hear before his death even a single Aryan, pious, good word, and enshrine it in bis ear, by dint of which Īśāna, the Indra of the Devas, their king, obtained the possession of such a great fortune of a Deva,...till it came at his disposal?
A. 17. Gautama! In that period, at that time, in Bhārata-varṣa, in this very isle of Jambu-dvīpa, there was a city named Tāmralipti. Description. In that city of Tāmralipti, there lived a gāthāpati, Tāmalī by name, who was born of the Maurya parents. He had wealth and brilliance,...till he was too powerful to be subdued even by the combined strength of many. One night, during its last quarter, as the gāthāpati Tāmalī, the progeny of the Mauryas, was practising a vigil called kutumba-jāgaraṇa, a resolve (thought)...till cropped up in his mind:
Surely, these are the outcome of my karma, done previously, done properly, done with good exertion, auspicious and blissful, so that I enjoy them till now, and because of my karma, my silver increases, my gold increases, my treasure increases, my grain increases, my progeny increases, my livestock increases, so that I am growing to greater and greater affluence by the accumulation of enough wealth, gold, gems, jewels, pearls, conches, corals and many others.
Now, while observing that my karma, done in the past, and done in proper manner, is being exhausted, if I continue to overlook their exhaustion,...till so long as I grow in silver,...till grow more and more in affluence,...till my friends, relations, kinsmen and subordinates obey me, accept me as their master honour me, respect me, worship me, knowing me to be the source of their bliss and welfare, the embodiment of divinity, their only refuge, I should arrange something for my own (future) well-being. So tomorrow, when the night is over, at the arrival of the dawn,...dll the sun is blazing hot, I shall with my own hands, make a wooden bowl, prepare sufficient food, drink, dainties and delicacies, invite friends, relatives, kinsmen, subordinates, valets and maids and entertain them with plentiful supply of food, drink, dainties and delicacies, honour them with gifts of clothes, perfumes, wreaths and ornaments, and then install my eldest son in charge of the household, in the presence of my friends, relatives, kinsmen, subordinates, valets and maids, and thereafter, with their permission including that of my eldest son, I pick up the wooden bowl, have my head tonsured and be initiated into an order named Prāṇāmā; and having been so initiated, I court a vow like this that till the end of my life, I observe two-day fasts missing six meals at a time, that I stand on an elevation to expose myself to the sun with face turned sun-ward and arms raised sky-ward, and, on the fast-breaking day, after having missed six meals, I come down from the elevation wherefrom I take exposure, and with the wooden bowl in my hand, I beg food from all households in Tāmralipti, high, middle and low, and accept only boiled rice, and wash them twenty-one times in water, and then take them—thus resolved he.
Having resolved thus, next day, at day break, with the sun blazing hot, he made a bowl out of wood; and having done so, he prepared sufficient food, drink, dainties and delicacies; and having prepared these, he took bath, performed expiatory and propitiatory acts of offering, touched holy objects and invoked auspicious omens and practised atonements, put on clean and pure clothes suitable for auspicious occasions, decorated his body with ornaments that were light but costly, and then on the arrival of dinner time, he came to the dinner shed and sat comfortably on an excellent cushion. Thereafter he sat to dinner with his friends, relatives, kinsmen, subordinates valets and maids, tasting and specially tasting food, drink, dainties and delicacies, feeding others and eating himself; and when the dinner was over, he cleaned his hands and his mouth, and honoured his friends,...till maids with sufficient food, drink, dainties and delicacies, with flowers, clothes, perfumes, wreaths, ornaments, and having honoured them, having respected them, in the presence of his friends, relatives,...till maids, installed his eldest son to the headship of the household; and having done so, he sought the permission of his friends, relatives, till maids, and of his eldest son; and having obtained their permission, he tonsured his head and joined the holy order named Prāṇāmā.
While being initiated into monkhood, he resolved as follows: Till the end of my life, do I observe two-day fasts, missing six meals at a time,...till take them (boiled rice, washed twenty-one times in water). Having resolved like that, he lived on practising two-day fasts missing six meals at a time, exposing himself to the sun from an elevation with his face sun-ward and his arms sky-ward, descending from the elevation on the day on which he was to break fast after missing six meals, and then, he himself picked up the wooden bowl and begged food from houses, high, middle and low, in the city of Tāmralipti, accepted pure boiled rice and took the same after washing them twenty-one times in water.
Q. 18. Bhante! Why is the order named Prāṇāmā?
A. 18. Gautama! One joining the order named Prāṇāmā offers praṇāma, i.e., bows to whomsoever he meets—be he Indra, Skanda (Kārtikeya), Rudra, Siva [Śiva], Vaiśramaṇa (Kuvera), Pārvatī, even furious Candikā,... till a sārthavāha, a crow, a dog, (even) an untouchable. He offers high praṇāma to the high, low praṇāma to the low, offering praṇāma (to all) according to their respective ranks. It is for this, Gautama, that this order is called Prāṇāmā.
After this, the said Tāmalī, born of the Maurya parents, became so very lean, dry,...till weak because of the performance of that noble, vast, permitted and committed heretical penance that his sinews became clearly visible. One night, during the second half of it, as this heretical monk Tāmalī was keeping a vigil named anitya-jāgaraṇa (vigil on the transitoriness of the worldly life), a thought...till came up in his mind as follows:
Because of the practice of this penance, noble, vast,...till difficult, great, good, and giving a valuable outcome, I have become lean and dry,...till my body has become so weak that the sinews are externally visible. So long as I have in me (left some) endeavour, activities, strength, energy and capacity to exert, it is good for me that to-morrow, at day-break, when the sun is burning hot, I go into the city of Tāmralipti, and there, taking the permission of acquaintances, heretics, householders, friends, old as well as new, and all fellow monks of the order, I move through the heart of the city and deposit my sandals, pots and other belongings in a lonely spot. Thereafter, in the north-eastern direction outside the city of Tāmralipti, I clean a limited space (of the length of one’s own person), and there I embrace my last fast named pādapopagamana for the benefit of my soul, give up all manners of intake of food and drink, and calmly stay without hankering for death.
Having resolved thus, the next day,...till day-break when the sun was burning hot,...till thus seeking permission,...till deposited his belongings in a lonely spot,...till gave up all intakes of food and drink and courted the final fast named pādapopagamana.
A scene at Balicañcā:
In that period, at that time, the metropolis named Balicañcā was without an Indra and without a Priest. Now, many Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, saw, by dint of their avadhi knowledge, the heretical monk Tāmalī, and having seen him, they addressed one another, and observed as follows:
Indeed, oh beloved of the gods! At this moment, metropolis Balicañcā is without an Indra and without a Priest. Oh beloved of the gods! All of us are the subjects of Indra, all of us live under him and all we do is done under him. Oh beloved of the gods! This heretical monk Tāmalī who has cleaned a spot of the size of self, in the north-eastern direction of the city of Tāmralipti, has linked up his soul with a penance of the final fast, has given up all intakes of food and drink, and stays calm, fixed in pādapopagamana fast. So, oh beloved of the gods, let us all induce the said heretical monk Tāmalī to decide to come over to metropolis Balicañcā and be Indra unto us.
Having considered thus, and on hearing the implication from one another, all these Asurakumāras moved through the heart of metropolis Balicañcā and came to the Rucakendra Utpāta mountain. There, they effected a transformation of their fluid body by vaikriya samudghāta,...till they assumed an uttara-vaikriya form, and then at a super-human speed which was good, quick, fast, tremendous, victorious, skilful, fatigueless, lion-like, hurried, they moved through an unlimited number of isles and seas, in the central part of the sphere and arrived at the place, outside the city of Tāmralipti, in Bhārata-varṣa, in this isle of Jambu-dvīpa, where the heretical monk Tāmalī, born of the Maurya parents, was. Having arrived there, high up in the sky, they stood just in front of the heretical monk Tāmalī. From their position there, they displayed the divine fortune of the devas, the divine glow of the devas, and the divine influence of the devas, and staged before him 32 divine comedies. Thereafter, they moved thrice round the heretical monk Tāmalī and paid him homage and obeisance, and having done so, said unto him as follows:
We, Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, pay unto you, oh beloved of the gods, our homage and obeisance,...till we worship you. Oh beloved of the gods! Our metropolis Balicañcā is without an Indra, without a Priest, but, oh beloved of the gods, we have been subjects of Indra, we have been under him, and we are used to do our work under him. So, oh beloved of the gods, ye come over to metropolis Balicañcā, ye accept lordship over it, ye think of it in your mind, decide for it, make up your mind for it, take a firm resolve about it. If ye agree to our prayer, then, on completion of your time here, you will be born in metropolis Balicañcā, and be our Indra, and live with us in happiness enjoying divine pleasures.
Tāmalī rejects the prayer:
When Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, made a request like that to the heretical monk Tāmalī, he neither welcomed, nor accepted, their prayer, but kept silent. Thereon, Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, moved thrice round Tāmalī, born of Maurya parents,... till, oh beloved of the gods, our metropolis Balicañcā is without an Indra,... till take a firm resolve about it: and this they did and said for the second time, and for the third time, but Tāmalī remained silent as before. Now, as the Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, who were the residents of metropolis Balicañcā, were thus disrespected by the heretical monk Tāmalī, and their words were not duly honoured, they went back in the direction from whence they emerged.
Tāmalī takes birth in Īśāna-kalpa:
In that period, at that time, Īśāna-kalpa was without an Indra, without a Priest. The said monk Tāmalī, having spent full 60,000 years in the order of monks, linked up his soul with the penance of the final fast, missed in all 120 meals, and, on completion of his time here, was born, because of the absence of a Indra, on the divine couch, covered with a piece of divine cloth, of the thickness of an infinite fraction of a finger, in the Hall of Genesis in Indra’s excellent palace, Īśānāvataṃśaka, in Īśāna-kalpa, as Indra of the said heaven. Īśāna, the Indra of the gods, their king, immediately on birth, acquired an endowment of five attainments, which were, attainment of food,... till of expression and mind.
Asurakumāras disrespect Tāmalī’s dead-body:
Now, when the Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, came to learn that monk Tāmalī had passed away, and that he had been born as Indra of the gods in Īśāna-kalpa, they became very much agitated and angry, assumed dreadful forms, clattered their teeth in rage, and thereafter, they moved through the heart of Balicañcā,... till arrived at a divine speed at the place outside the city of Tāmralipti, in Bhārata-varṣa, in this isle of Jambu-dvīpa, where lay the corpse of monk Tāmalī... tied the left leg with a rope, and spat thrice in the mouth, and having spat, they dragged the body through triangular places, where meet three roads, squares, where meet four roads, through all the roads and thoroughfares of the city of Tāmralipti, shouting aloud, and repeating these words again and again, as follows:
When compared with us, what’s that heretical monk Tāmalī who had initiated himself and joined the order named Prāṇāmā ? When compared with us what’s that Īśāna, the Indra of the gods, their king in Īśāna-kalpa?
So shouting, they pulled, decried, denounced, insulted, shouted at, abused, manhandled and rebuked at the dead-body of monk Tāmalī, and dragged it recklessly as they pleased, and having pulled,... till dragged like that, they hurled the corpse at a lonely place, and then went away in the direction from which they had emerged.
Rage of Īśānendra:
Now, many Vaimānika gods and goddesses, who were residents of Īśāna-kalpa, saw that many Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, were pulling, decrying,... till dragging recklessly as they liked, the corpse of monk Tāmalī, and having seen this, they were angry,... till they clattered their teeth in rage, and came to Īśāna, their Indra, their king, (bowed before him,) with their folded palms, with ten fingers placed on their heads, hailed him with shouts of victory, and made submission as follows:
Oh beloved of the gods! Many Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, having known that your divine majesty have completed time on earth, and having observed that your divine majesty have been born in Īśāna-kalpa in the position of its Indra, are angry,... till have hurled thy body in a lonely place and gone back in the direction from which they emerged.
When Īśāna, the Indra of the gods, their king, heard this from many Vaimānika gods and goddesses, residents of Īśāna-kalpa, he became very angry, - till clattered his teeth in rage, and while still on the couch, he wore three (angry) lines on his forehead and with a (bitter) frown, he fixed his glance on metropolis Balicañcā. As he looked on with his fixed and angry glance at metropolis Balicañcā, because of his divine power, the metropolis became extremely hot like fire, like sparks of fire, like a heap of burning ashes, or a heap of burning sand, or like the scorching rays of the sun.
Asuras beg to be forgiven:
When Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, came to realise that their capital-city had become extremely hot,... till like the scorching rays of the sun, they were afraid, terrified, pale, anxious, fear-stricken, and began to run about in confusion and hide behind one another. When these Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, perceived that Īśāna, the Indra of the gods, their king, was angry with them, they, being unable to bear his great divine fortune, great divine grace, great divine influence and great divine fiery tinge, turned towards him, with their faces turned upward, with folded palms, with ten fingers placed on their heads, and hailed him with shouts of victory and submission as follows:
Oh the beloved of the gods! The great divine fortune,... till which is now in possession, of thee, who is the beloved of the gods. The great divine fortune,...till has been achieved by thee, has been attained by thee and has been in thy possession, oh beloved of the gods! (These have we seen, and now we crave the indulgence of thee), oh beloved of the gods, to be forgiven. Be good to consider us worthy of thy pity, oh beloved of the gods!
Thus they repeatedly begged to be forgiven, and again and again they made request to be forgiven, in all humility. Thereon, being thus requested in all humility by Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, Īśāna, the Indra of the gods, their king, withheld his great divine fortune,... till fiery tinges. Since then, Gautama, Asurakumāra gods and goddesses, residents of metropolis Balicañcā, respect,... till worship Īśāna, the Indra of the gods, their king, and since then, they obey him, serve him, take orders from him, and they live as they are directed by him. Indeed, Gautama, Īśāna, the Indra of the gods, their king, is in possession of Such a great divine fortune,... till they are all at his disposal.
Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):
(There is no commentary available for this section).