Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

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

Part 1: Incarnation as Mahāpadma

There is a city Puṇḍarīkiṇī in the rich province Puṣkalāvatī in the East Videhas in the half[1] of Puṣkaravaradvīpa. In this city Mahāpadma was king, deep as the pool Mahāpadma on Mt. Mahāhima. Dharma, accepted from birth, increased gradually in his childhood and youth along with physical beauty. He was pained by even a moment which was deprived of self-control, like a money-lender by money which fails to draw interest daily. Discharging religious duties, he performed his royal duties, like a traveler taking a drink of water when crossing a river on the road. Wise, devoid of negligence, he preserved completely his layman’s duties spotless as his own family. Filled with contentment generally, he was not satisfied in dharma. He considered others, even though they had little dharma, as superior to himself. From a desire to cross existence he took the vow of mendicancy, like a divine weapon for crossing a battle, under Guru Jagannanda. Successful in lay-duties, he kept the vow firmly, just as one who has undertaken saṃlekhanā observes a fast that results in death. By very severe penances, ekāvali, etc,, by devotion to the Arhats, etc.,[2] he acquired strong body-making karma of a Tīrthakṛt. When he had spent his life in such religions acts, he became a powerful god in the palace Vaijayanta.

Footnotes and references:

1.

The half that belongs to the Manuṣyaloka. See p. 116.

2.

The sthānakas.

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