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...
Part 2 - Ascetic Pudgala
In that period at that time there was a city named Ālabhikā. Description. There was a garden named Śaṅkhavana. Description. Not far from that garden there lived an ascetic named Pudgala. He was the knower of Ṛgveda, Yajurveda etc. till proficient in many a Brahmanic nayas. He always fasted for two days in sequence and used to expose his body on the exposure ground by raising his hands. Because of these austerities and because of his gentle habits he like Rājarṣi Śiva acquired vibhaṅga knowledge.
With this knowledge acquired, he could know and see the life-span, existence and stay of gods of Brahmadevaloka, Thereon the ascetic Pudgala thought in his mind:
“Well, I have come to acquire superhuman knowledge and faith by dint of which I have realised that the existence of gods in heaven is minimum of ten thousand years. Thereafter increasing from one time, two times till countable times becomes maximum of ten sāgaropamas. There is no god or heaven with an existence beyond this limit. Having thought like that he descended from the exposure ground.”
Then picking up his tridaṇḍa, kuṇḍikā till saffron robes he came to the hermitage of tāpasa monks at Ālabhikā and then having deposited his equipments in the hermitage he appeared in the city of Ālabhikā and spoke to men on highways, in the parks and squares in part as follows:
“Oh beloved of the gods! I have come to acquire superhuman knowledge and faith by dint of which I have known and seen that minimum existence of gods in heaven is of ten thousand years and maximum of ten sāgaropamas. There is no god or heaven beyond this limit.”
On hearing these words of ascetic Pudgala, as stated in the case of Rājarṣi Śiva, men talked amongst themselves:
“Oh beloved of the gods! How can we accept his contention? After some time Bhagavān Mahāvīra arrived there till Gautama went to the town on a begging mission. Having heard the discussion as above he came to Bhagavān Mahāvīra and stated what he had heard. Mahāvīra replied, “Gautama! What Pudgala says is not true. I say and establish that the existence of gods in heaven is minimum of ten thousand years. Thereafter increasing from one time, two times till maximum of thirty-three sāgaropamas. There is no god or heaven with an existence beyond this limit.”
Q. 80. Bhante! Are the objects in Saudharma heaven with or without colour, etc.?
Thereafter the assembly went away.
On hearing from the men of Ālavikā that what he was saying was wrong, like Rājarṣi Śiva, Pudgala was afraid, alarmed, confused and his vibhaṅga knowledge disappeared. Then with his equipments he came where Mahāvīra was. When his doubt was removed by Mahāvīra like Skandaka he gave up his tridaṇḍa, kuṇḍikā and saffron robes and took initiation as a monk and like Rājarṣi Śiva became siddha, buddha and mukta i.e., he was liberated and is enjoying the eternal bliss.
—Bhante! So it is. What you say is right.
Chapter Twelve ends.
Satak [Śataka] (Book) Eleven ends.