Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Description of King Vimalavahana which is the fourth part of chapter I of the English translation of the Ajitanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Ajitanatha in jainism is the second Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 4: Description of King Vimalavāhana

In this city the king was Vimalavāhana, pure-minded, like the moon with white rays of virtues. Tender-hearted, he governed his subjects as if they were his own children, nourishing them, cherishing them, making them prosper, and endowing them with virtues. He had a severe standard and did not tolerate any transgression even on his own part. Clever people cure a blemish, even if it appears in their own bodies. Very powerful, he made all the kings bend their heads, as easily as the wind the tree-tops. He kept the three aims of existence[1] uninjured by each other, like a noble soul rich in penance preserving the numerous groups of lives.[2] His virtues, generosity, firmness, earnestness, forbearance, etc., adorned each other like the trees of a forest. To whose neck did his virtues, advancing like the sole leaders of happiness, not cling like friends who had come after a long time? His command, like the course of a powerful wind, did not stumble even in places such as mountains, forests, fortresses, etc. The feet of him who had subdued the whole world, whose cruel prestige spread, touched the heads of kings, like the rays of the sun by which the whole sky is pervaded, whose cruel heat spreads, touching the mountain-tops. Just as the Omniscient, the Blessed One, was the master of him, great-minded, so he alone was the master of all the kings.

With the power of his enemies confused, alone powerful like Sutrāman, from childhood he bowed his head to sādhus only. Just as his power was unequaled in victory over external enemies, so was the power over internal enemies[3] of him alone discerning. Just as he conquered by force elephants, horses, etc., which had strayed on the wrong road, difficult to conquer, so he conquered the group of senses. Possessing liberality and good conduct,[4] he gave to suitable persons only, as was fitting. For that (giving) bears much fruit in a suitable person, like rainwater in a pearl-oyster.[5] Knowing dharma, he guided his subjects on the road of dharma, as if he were making an entrance from all sides into an enemy’s city. He perfumed this earth with pure good conduct, like the sandal-tree the Malaya-country with fragrance. He became a hero in battle, a hero in compassion, a hero in liberality, by victory over enemies, by comforting the miserable, by gratifying beggars. So engaged in royal duties, having a firm mind, free from negligence, he protected the earth for a long time like a serpent-king guarding nectar.[6]

Footnotes and references:


I.e., dharma, artha, kāma.


The divisions of jīvas, described in I, App. I.


See I, n. 5.


Two of the divisions of dharma. See I, pp. 19 ff.


See I, notes 107 and 314. Cf. also, Manwaring, Marathi Proverbs, 1291, and Carr, 2130, p. 367.


Cf. I, n. 184.

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