Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Marici’s future births which is the twelfth part of chapter VI of the English translation of the Adisvara-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Adisvara (or Rishabha) in jainism is the first Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 12: Marīci’s future births

When the Lord of Bharata had heard this and had seen the assembly filled with people capable of emancipation, delighted, he asked the Master again, “In this assembly of the lord of the Three Worlds, consisting of animals, men, and gods, just like the three worlds being all in one place, is there any one, O Blessed One, who will purify Bharatakṣetra by founding a congregation, like the Blessed One?” The Blessed One explained: “That son of yours, Marīci, the first Tridaṇḍin, is free from painful and evil meditation, adorned with right belief, meditating in secret on fourfold dharmadhyāna. Now, his soul goes stained with karma like a fine cloth with mud, or a mirror by the breath. He will attain enlightenment gradually from contact with the fire of pure meditation, like a cloth pure from fire, like pure gold. In this same Bharatakṣetra in the city Potana he will be the first Dāśārha (Vāsudeva), Tripṛṣṭha by name. In course of time, in the East Videhas in the city Mūkā, he will become a Cakrin, Priyamitra, the son of Dhanañjaya and Dhāriṇī. After he has wandered in existence for a long time, he will become the twenty-fourth Tīrthakṛt, Mahāvīra, in Bharatakṣetra.”

When he heard this, the Lord of Bharata received leave to depart from the Master and went to honor with devotion Marīci like the Blessed One. “I do not honor you because you will be the first of the Dāśārhas, Tripṛṣṭha by name, and a Cakravartin in the Videhas, named Priyamitra; nor do I honor your life as a mendicant, nor your birth; but I honor you because you will be the twenty-fourth Arhat.” With these words, his folded hands placed on his head, the Lord of Bharata made the pradakṣiṇā three times and paid homage to him. Then, after bowing to the Lord of the World, the King went to the city Ayodhyā, like the Nāga-king to Bhogavatī.

Marīci, delighted by that speech, began to speak very joyfully and clapped his hands three times. “If I shall be the first Vāsudeva, a Cakrabhṛt in the Videhas, the last Arhat, I am satisfied with this. Because my grandfather was first of the Arhats, my father first of the Cakrins, and I first of the Dāśārhas, my family is certainly the best. On the one hand, all the three worlds; on the other hand, my family: another herd of elephants compared with Airāvaṇa. My family alone is superior to all families, like the sun to the planets, like the moon to the constellations.” By taking pride in his family[1] in this way, Marīci made low-family karma for himself, like a spider making a web.

Surrounded by Puṇḍarīka and other gaṇadharas, the Lord went purifying the earth under pretext of wandering. From compassion guiding the Kośālas, like a son, to expertness in dharma; making the Magadhas experienced in penance like his followers; making bloom the Kāśis, like the sun lotus-buds; rejoicing the Daśārṇas like the moon the oceans; by the nectar of his sermon making conscious the Cedis like people who have fainted; crowning the yoke of dharma with the Mālavas like young bulls; making the Gaurjaras like gods from the destruction of evil and distress; making strong the Saurāṣṭras, like a physician, he went to Śatruñjaya.

Footnotes and references:


There are 8 kinds of pride: caste, family, strength, beauty, penance, learning, wealth, and power. Right belief is free from pride. Sam. 8.

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