Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Birth of Suparshva which is the fourth part of chapter V of the English translation of the Suparshvanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Suparshvanatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 4: Birth of Supārśva

Now, the jīva of Nandiṣeṇa in the sixth Graiveyaka completed his life of twenty-eight sāgaras. Falling on the eighth of Bhādrapada, the moon being in conjunction with Rādhā, Nandiṣeṇa’s jīva descended into the womb of Pṛthvī. Sleeping comfortably during the rest of the night, Queen Pṛthvī saw then the fourteen great dreams indicating the birth of a Tīrthakṛt. While the embryo was growing, the Queen saw herself asleep on a couch of serpents which had one hood, five hoods, and nine hoods. On the twelfth day of the bright half of Jyeṣṭha, the moon being in Viśākhā, she bore easily a son, gold colored, marked with a svastika.

Knowing the birth of the Jina by clairvoyant knowledge, the fifty-six Dikkumāris came there quickly and performed the birth-rites. likewise Śakra came there and took the Lord of the World to the rock Atipāṇḍukambalā on the top of Meru. Holding the Supreme Lord on his lap like a nurse, Purandara sat on the jeweled lion-throne there. The sixty-three Indras in turn bathed the Lord of the Tīrtha with water from tīrthas, like waves of the ocean a mountain on the shore. After placing the Lord on Īśāna’s lap, Śakra bathed him with water rising from the horns of crystal bulls resembling water produced by fountains.

After anointing him and worshipping him with clothes, ornaments, etc., the Indra of Saudharma began a hymn of praise to the Lord of the World.


“The desire on my part to praise you who have undiscernible nature is like the leap of a monkey to take the sun. Nevertheless, I will praise you by means of your power, O Supreme Lord. For moon-stones trickle from the power of moonlight. How are you not giving the comfort to animals, men, and gods, which you give even to hell-inhabitants, by all the kalyāṇas? Even the light in the three worlds at the festival of your birth becomes red from the sun of omniscience that will rise. All these heavens have now become favorable, as if from contact with your favor, Supreme Lord. These pleasant winds blow for the sake of purification. Indeed, who would cause anything displeasing to the world when you, O Lord, are giving pleasure? Shame on us negligent. These seats of ours, by the shaking of which your birth-kalyāṇa was announced to us instantly, are blessed, O god. Now I make a nidāna[1] though it is forbidden, O god: namely, as the fruit of the sight of you, may I have unceasing devotion to you.”

Footnotes and references:


See above, n. 29.

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