by Hermann Jacobi | 1884 | 24,941 words | ISBN-10: 8120801237 | ISBN-13: 9788120801233
The English translation of the Kalpa Sutra of Bhadrabahu, which represents one of the Cheda-sutras in Shvetambara Jainism. Traditionally dated to the 4th-century BCE, it contains the biographies of Mahavira and Parshvanatha, two of the twenty-four Tirthankaras. Alternative titles: Kalpa-sūtra (कल्प-सूत्र) or Kalpasūtra (कल्पसूत्र, kalpasutra)...
In that period, in that age the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra, having on the sixth day of the fourth month of summer, in the eighth fortnight, the light (fortnight) of Aṣāḍha, descended from the great Vimāna, the all-victorious and all-prosperous Puṣpottara, which is like the lotus amongst the best things, where he had lived for twenty Sāgaropamas till the termination of his allotted length of life, of his (divine nature, and of his existence (among gods); here in the continent of Jambūdvīpa, in Bharatavarṣa,--when of this Avasarpiṇī era the Suṣama-suṣamā, the Suṣamā, and Suṣamaduḥshamā periods, and the greater part of the Duḥshamasuṣamā period (containing a Koḍākoḍi of Sāgaropamas, less forty-two thousand years) had elapsed, and only seventy-two years, eight and a half months were left, after twenty-one Tīrthakaras of the race of Ikṣvāku and of the Kāśyapa gotra, and two of the race of Hari and of the Gautama gotra, on the whole twenty-three Tīrthakaras had appeared,--the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra, the last of the Tīrthakaras, took the form of an embryo in the womb of Devānandā, of the Jālandharāyaṇa gotra, the wife of the Brāhmaṇa Ṛṣabhadatta, of the gotra of Koḍāla, in the brahmanical part of the town Kuṇḍagrāma in the middle of the night, when the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Uttaraphalgunī, after his allotted length of life, of his (divine) nature, and of his existence (amongst gods) had come to their termination. (2)
The knowledge of the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra (about this) was threefold; he knew that he was to descend, he knew that he had descended, he knew not when he was descending.
In that night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra took the form of an embryo in the womb of the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā of the Jālandharāyaṇa gotra, the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā was on her couch, taking fits of sleep, in a state between sleeping and waking, and having seen the following fourteen illustrious, beautiful, lucky, blest, auspicious, fortunate great dreams, she woke up. (3) To wit:
An elephant, a bull, a lion, the anointing (of the goddess Śrī), a garland, the moon, the sun, a flag, a vase, a lotus lake, the ocean, a celestial abode, a heap of jewels, and a flame. (4)
When the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā, having seen these dreams, woke up, she--glad, pleased, and joyful in her mind, delighted, extremely enraptured, with a heart widening under the influence of happiness, with the hair of her body all erect in their pores like the flowers of the Kadamba touched by rain-drops--firmly fixed the dreams (in her mind), and rose from her couch. Neither hasty nor trembling, with a quick and even gait, like that of the royal swan, she went to the Brāhmaṇa Ṛṣabhadatta, and gave him the greeting of victory. Then she comfortably sat down in an excellent chair of state; calm and composed, joining the palms of her hands so as to bring the ten nails together, she laid the folded hands on her head, and spoke thus: (5)
'O beloved of the gods, I was just now on my couch taking fits of sleep, in a state between sleeping and waking, when I saw the following fourteen illustrious, &c., great dreams; to wit, an elephant, &c. (6)
‘O beloved of the gods, what, to be sure, will be the happy result portended by these fourteen illustrious, &c., great dreams?’ (7)
When the Brāhmaṇa Ṛṣabhadatta had heard and perceived this news from the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā, he, glad, pleased, and joyful (see § 5, down to) rain-drops, firmly fixed the dreams (in his mind), and entered upon considering them. He grasped the meaning of those dreams with his own innate intellect and intuition, which were preceded by reflection, and thus spoke to the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā: (8)
‘O beloved of the gods, you have seen illustrious dreams; O beloved of the gods, you have seen beautiful, lucky, blest, auspicious, fortunate dreams, which will bring health, joy, long life, bliss, and fortune! We shall have success, O beloved of the gods, we shall have pleasure; we shall have happiness, O beloved of the gods, we shall have a son! Indeed, O beloved of the gods, after the lapse of nine complete months and seven and a half days you will give birth to a lovely and handsome boy with tender hands and feet, with a body containing the entire and complete five organs of sense, with the lucky signs, marks, and good qualities; a boy on whose body all limbs will be well formed, and of full volume, weight, and length, of a lovely figure like that of the moon! (9) And this boy, after having passed his childhood, and, with just ripened intellect, having reached the state of youth, will repeat, fully understand, and well retain (in his mind) the four Vedas: the Ṛg-veda, Yajur-veda, Sāma-veda, Atharva-veda--to which the Itihāsa is added as a fifth, and the Nigghaṇṭu as a sixth (Veda)--together with their Aṅgas and Upāṅgas, and the Rahasya; he will know the six Aṅgas, he will be versed in the philosophy of the sixty categories, and well grounded in arithmetic, in phonetics, ceremonial, grammar, metre, etymology, and astronomy, and in many other brahmanical [and monastic] sciences besides. (10) Therefore, O beloved of the gods, you have seen illustrious dreams, &c. (see § 9).’
In this way he repeatedly expressed his extreme satisfaction. (11)
When the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā had heard and perceived this news from the Brāhmaṇa Ṛṣabhadatta, she--glad, pleased, and joyful, &c. (see § 5)-joining the palms of her hands, &c. (see § 5, down to) and spoke thus: (12)
‘That is so, O beloved of the gods; that is exactly so, O beloved of the gods; that is true, O beloved of the gods; that is beyond doubt, O beloved of the gods; that is what I desire, O beloved of the gods; that is what I accept, O beloved of the gods; that is what I desire and accept, O beloved of the gods; that matter is really such as you have pronounced it.’
Thus saying, she accepted the true meaning of the dreams, and enjoyed together with Ṛṣabhadatta the noble permitted pleasures of human nature. (13)
In that period, in that age, Śakra,--the chief and king of the gods, the wielder of the thunderbolt, the destroyer of towns, the performer of a hundred sacrifices, the thousand-eyed one, Maghavan, the punisher of the Daitya Pāka, the lord of the southern half of the earth, the lord of the thirty-two thousand celestial abodes, the bestrider of the elephant Airavata, the chief of the Suras, who wears spotless clothes and robes, and puts on garlands and the diadem, whose cheeks were stroked by fine, bright, and trembling earrings of fresh gold [the most prosperous, the most brilliant, the most mighty, the most glorious, the most powerful, and the most happy one], with a splendid body, ornamented with a long down-reaching garland,--this Śakra was in the Saudharma Kalpa, in the celestial abode Saudharma Avataṃsaka, in the council-hall Sudharman, on his throne Śakra; he who exercises and maintains the supreme command, government, management, guidance, direction, and sovereign power and generalship over the thirty-two thousand gods of the celestial abodes, the eighty-four thousand gods of a rank equal with that of himself, the thirty-two chief gods, the four guardians of the world, the eight principal queens with their trains, the three courts, the seven armies, and the seven commanders of these armies. He was then enjoying the permitted pleasures of divine nature under the great din of uninterrupted story-telling, dramatical plays, singing, and music, as beating of time, performance on the Vīṇā, the Tūrya, the great drum, and the Paṭupaṭaha. (I 4)
And he viewed this whole continent Jambūdvīpa with his extensive (knowledge called) Avadhi. There he saw in the continent Jambūdvīpa, in Bhāratavarṣa, in the southern half of Bharata, in the brahmanical part of the town Kuṇḍagrāma, the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvira taking the form of an embryo in the womb of the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā of the Jālandharāyaṇa gotra, wife of the Brāhmaṇa Ṛṣabhadatta of the gotra of Koḍāla; and--glad, pleased, and joyful in his mind, delighted, extremely enraptured, with a heart widening under the influence of happiness, with the hair of his body bristling and erect in their pores like the fragrant flowers of Nīpa when touched by rain-drops, with his eyes and mouth open like full-blown lotuses, with his excellent, various, trembling bracelets, with diadem and earrings, his breast lighted up by necklaces, wearing long and swinging ornaments with a pearl pendant--the chief of the gods rose with confusion, hasty and trembling from his throne, descended from the footstool, took off his shoes which were by a clever artist set with Vaidūrya and excellent Riṣṭa and Añjana, and ornamented with glittering jewels and precious stones, threw his seamless robe over his left shoulder, and, arranging the fingers of his hands in the shape of a bud, he advanced seven or eight steps towards the Tīrthakara. Bending his left knee and reposing on the right one, he three times placed his head on the ground and lifted it a little; then he raised his bracelet-encumbered arms, and joining the palms of his hands so as to bring the ten nails together, laid the hands on his head and spoke thus: (15)
'Reverence to the Arhats and Bhagavats; to the Ādikaras, the Tīrthakaras, the perfectly-enlightened ones; to the highest of men, the lions among men, the flowers among mankind, the Gandhahastins among men; to the highest in the world, the guides of the world, the benefactors of the world, the lights of the world, the enlighteners of the world; to the givers of safety, to the givers of sight, to the givers of the road, to the givers of shelter, to the givers of life, to the givers of knowledge; to the givers of the law, the preachers of the law, the lords of the law, the leaders of the law, the universal emperors of the best law; to the light, the help, the shelter, the refuge, the resting-place, the possessors of unchecked knowledge and intuition who have got rid of unrighteousness; to the conquerors and the granters of conquest, the saved and the saviours, the enlightened and the enlighteners, the liberated and the liberators, to the all-knowing ones, the all-seeing ones, to those who have reached the happy, stable, unstained, infinite, unperishable, undecaying place, called the path of perfection, whence there is no return; reverence to the Jinas who have conquered fear.
‘Reverence to the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra, the Ādikara, the last of the Tīrthakaras who was predicted by the former Tīrthakaras, &c. I here adore the Revered One yonder, may the Revered One yonder see me here!’ With these words he adored, he worshipped the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvira, and sat down on his excellent throne facing the east. Then the following internal, reflectional, desirable idea occurred to the mind of Śakra, the chief of kings and gods: (16)
‘It never has happened, nor does it happen, nor will it happen, that Arhats, Cakravartins, Baladevas, or Vasudevas, in the past, present, or future, should be born in low families, mean families, degraded families, poor families, indigent families, beggars’ families, or brahmanical families. (17) For indeed Arhats, Cakravartins, Baladevas, and Vasudevas, in the past, present, and future, are born in high families, noble families, royal families, noblemen’s families, in families belonging to the race of Ikṣvāku, or of Hari, or in other suchlike families of pure descent on both sides. (18) Now this is something which moves the wonder of the world: it happens in the lapse of numberless Avasarpiṇīs and Utsarpiṇīs, because the imperishable, indescribable, and undestroyable Karman relating to name and gotra must take effect, that Arhats, &c., in the past, present, and future, descend in (i.e. take the form of an embryo in the womb of a woman belonging to) low families, &c.; but they are never brought forth by birth from such a womb. (19) This Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra, now, in the continent Jambudvīpa, in Bharatavarṣa, in the brahmanical part of the town Kuṇḍagrāma, has taken the form of an embryo in the womb of the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā of the Jālandharāyaṇa gotra, wife of the Brāhmaṇa Ṛṣabhadatta of the gotra of Koḍāla. (20) Hence it is the established custom of all past, present, and future Śakras, chiefs and kings of the gods, to cause the Arhats and Bhagavats to be removed from such-like low, mean, &c., families, to such-like high, noble, &c., families. (21) It is, therefore, better that I should cause the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra, the last of the Tīrthakaras who was predicted by the former Tīrthakaras, to be removed from the brahmanical part of the town Kuṇḍagrāma, from the womb of the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā of the Jālandharāyaṇa gotra, wife of the Brāhmaṇa Ṛṣabhadatta of the gotra of Koḍāla, to the Kṣatriya part of the town Kuṇḍagrāma, and to be placed as an embryo in the womb of the Kṣatriyāṇī Triśalā of the Vāsiṣṭha gotra, wife of the Kṣatriya Siddhārtha of the Kāśyapa gotra, belonging to the clan of the Jñātṛ Kṣatriya,; and to cause the embryo of the Kṣatriyāṇī Triśalā of the Vāsiṣṭha gotra to be placed in the womb of the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā of the Jālandharāyaṇa gotra.'
Well, now, beloved of the gods, it never has happened, &c. (§§ 17-20 are verbally repeated). (23-25)
‘Therefore, go now and remove the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra from the brahmanical part, &c., and place the embryo of the Kṣatriyāṇī Triśalā, &c. (see § 21). Having done this, return quickly to report on the execution of my orders.’ (26)
When Hariṇegamesi, the divine commander of the foot troops, was thus spoken to by Śakra, the chief and king of the gods, he--glad, pleased, and joyful, &c. (see § 15)--laid his folded hands on his head and modestly accepted the words of command, saying, ‘Just as your Majesty commands.’ After this he left the presence of Śakra, the chief and king of the gods, and descended towards the northeastern quarter; then he transformed himself through his magical power of transformation, and stretched himself out for numerous Yojanas like a staff, (during which he seized) jewels, Vajra, Vaiḍūrya, Lohitākṣa, Masāragalla, Haṃsagarbha, Pulaka, Saugandhika, Jyotisara, Añjana, Añjanapulaka, Jātarūpa, Subhaga, Sphaṭika, and Riṣṭa; (of these precious materials) he rejected the gross particles, and retained the subtle particles. (27) Then for a second time he transformed himself through his magical power of transformation, and produced the definitive form (which gods adopt on entering the world of men); having done so, he passed with that excellent, hasty, trembling, active, impetuous, victorious, exalted, and quick divine motion of the gods right through numberless continents and oceans, and arrived in Jambūdvīpa, in Bharatavarṣa, in the brahmanical part of the town Kuṇḍagrāma, at the house of the Brāhmaṇa Ṛṣabhadatta, where the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā dwelt. Having arrived there, he made his bow in the sight of the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra, and cast the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā, together with her retinue, into a deep sleep; then he took off all unclean particles, and brought forth the clean particles, and saying, ‘May the Venerable One permit me,’ he took the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra in the folded palms of his hands without hurting him. Thus he went to the Kṣatriya part of the town Kuṇḍagrāma, to the house of the Kṣatriya Siddhārtha, where the Kṣatriyāṇī Triśalā dwelt; he cast her and her attendants into a deep sleep, took off all unclean particles, and brought forth the clean particles, and placed the embryo of the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvira in the womb of the Kṣatriyāṇī Triśalā, and the embryo of the Kṣatriyāṇī Triśalā he placed in the womb of the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā of the Jālandharāyaṇa gotra. Having done so, he returned in that direction in which he had come. (28) With that excellent, &c. (see § 28), divine motion of the gods, he flew upwards right through numberless continents and oceans, taking thousands of Yojanas in each motion, and arrived in the Saudharma Kalpa, in the divine abode called Saudharma Avataṃsaka, where Śakra, the chief and king of the gods, sat on the throne called Śakra, and reported to Śakra, the chief and king of the gods, on the execution of his orders.
In that period, in that age the knowledge of the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra was threefold; he knew that he was to be removed; he knew that he was removed; he knew not when he was being removed. (29)
In that period, in that age, on the thirteenth day of the third month of the rainy season, in the fifth fortnight, the dark (fortnight) of Āśvina, after the lapse of eighty-two days, on the eighty-third day current (since his conception), the embryo of the Venerable Ascetic Mahāvīra was, on the command of Śakra, safely removed by Hariṇegamesi from the womb of the Brāhmaṇī Devānandā to that of the Kṣatriyāṇī Triśalā, in the middle of the night, when the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Uttaraphalgunī. (30)
End of the Second Lecture.
Footnotes and references:
Cf. Ācārāṅga Sūtra II, 15, § 3.
Add in the text asaṃbhaṃtāe after avilaṃbiyāe.
That is, having reached his eighth year.
According to the commentators, works which treat of the aidamparya of the Vedas.
These are the six Aṅgas which in the same order occur in the well-known versus memorialis. Indeed, that verse is nearly identical with the passage in our text.
According to the commentators, wearing clothes resembling the dustless sky.
Kaḍaga, tuḍiya, keūra. Kaṭaka is the well-known kaṅkaṇa, truṭika is explained by bāhurakṣikā, keyūra by aṅgaḍa. The last two are bracelets worn on the upper arm.
Names of precious stones.
The text has literally, the best lotus among men.
These words are variously and always somewhat fancifully interpreted. One explanation is ascribed to the Aupaniṣadikas, whom I do not remember to have found noticed anywhere else in Gaina books.
According to the commentary all the epithets from 'the enlightened one' down to 'who has reached' are intended by this &c.
The contents of §§ 14-28 are contained in Ācārāṅga Sūtra II, 15, § 4.
In some MSS. the last part of this paragraph is placed at the end of the next one.
The text repeats the corresponding passage of § 21.