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...

Part 19: Sumatinātha’s initiation

Self-enlightened and aroused by the Lokāntika-gods, Lord Sumati made the distribution of gifts lasting for a year, as he wished to take initiation. At the end of the year’s giving, the Master’s initiation-ceremony was arranged by the Vāsavas, whose thrones had shaken, and kings. Then the Lord got into the palanquin named Abhayakarā and, accompanied by gods, asuras, and kings, went to Sahasrāmravaṇa. On the ninth day of the white fortnight of Vaiśākha in the forenoon, (the moon being) in the constellation Maghā, he became a mendicant with one thousand kings whose devotion was unceasing. The knowledge, called ‘mind-reading,’ arose in the Master, as if it were a younger brother or dear friend of initiation. The Master broke his fast with rice-pudding on the next day in Vijayapura at the house of King Padma. The gods made the five divine things, a stream of treasure, etc.; and King Padma made a jeweled platform for worship. Observing numerous resolutions, enduring trials, the Master wandered over the earth for twenty years.