Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This is the English translation of the Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Charita (literally “The lives of the sixty-three illustrious People”), a Sanskrit epic poem written by Hemachandra in the twelfth century. The work relates the history and legends of important figures in the Jain faith. These 63 persons include: the twenty four tirthankaras , the t...

Notes on Labdhi (supernatural attainments)

The subject of the labdhis is treated by several of the commentators with varying details. The most complete list which I know is in the Pravac. 1492-1508, p. 430. Most of the names are self-explanatory in the light of our text.

  1. Āmarśauṣadhi-labdhi =third of the text.
  2. Vipruḍauṣadhi-
  3. Khelauṣadhi-(śleṣman) =first of the text.
  4. Jallauṣadhi-(mala) =second of the text.
  5. Sarvauṣadhi- =eighth of the text.
  6. Sambhinnaśroto- =thirtieth of the text.
  7. Avadhijñāna-, clairvoyant knowledge.
  8. Ṛjumatijñāna-The two divisions of manaḥparyāyajñāna,
  9. Vipulamatijñāna-‘mind-reading knowledge.’
  10. Cārana- =thirty-first and thirty-second of the text. See n. 114.
  11. Aśīviṣa-‘poison-toothed,’ =thirty-third of the text.
  12. Kevali-
  13. Gaṇadhara-
  14. Pūrvadhara-
  15. Arhat-
  16. Cakravarti-
  17. Baladeva-
  18. Vāsudeva-
  19. Kṣīratnadhusarpirāśrava-, two interpretations are given which include the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh of the text.
  20. Koṣṭhakabuddhi- =twenty-first.
  21. Padānusāri- =twenty-second
  22. Bījabuddhi- =twentieth.
  23. Tejoleśyā-, the power to send out a hot-flash which causes destruction. This power is acquired by observing fasts of three days in succession for six months, each fast to be broken only by enough kulmāṣa to fill the hollow of the hand and by a handful of water.
  24. Āhāraka-, one of the 5 kinds of bodies. See note 157.
  25. Śītaleśyā-, the power to send out a cold flash which extinguishes the hot-flash.
  26. Vaikurvikadeha-includes 11, nine to nineteen of the text.
  27. Akṣīṇamahānasī- =twenty-eighth.
  28. Pulāka-, a pulāka is the first of the 5 divisions of nirgranthas: pulāka, bahuṣa, kuśīla, nirgrantha, snātaka. Pulāka, though least developed spiritually, has great power. He alone has power to defeat the army of a cakravartin. He displays his powers, however, which he should not do. See T. 9. 48, and for a detailed exposition Bhag. 751, pp. 891 ff.

This list omits the mano-, vāg-, and kāyabala of our text, but these are included in a list in the Aup. (sū. 15). The interpretations by the commentator are much simpler, however. Manobala is defined as ‘firmness of mind’; vāgbala as ‘ability to carry out anything promised, or speech causing discomfiture to opponents’; kāyabala as ‘physical endurance.’ Hem., in the commentary to Yog. x. 8-9, gives a list which is more extensive than the one in the text.

The discrimination in regard to the persons who can gain these labdhis is interesting. All of them can be acquired by bhavya-men; but there are ten (nos. 15-18, 6, 10, 13, 14, 24, 28) which are not possible to bhavya-women—the other eighteen are; these ten exceptions plus nos. 8, 9, 12 are not possible to abhavya-men; all these exceptions plus no. 19 are impossible to abhavya-women. This is according to Pravac. loc. cit.

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