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 6: Śītala’s life before initiation

Then Dṛḍharatha made a festival with releases from prison, etc.; for the purifying birth of such persons is for the emancipation of the world. The name ‘Śītala’ was given to him because the King’s body, when it was hot, became cool at Nandā’s touch, while he was in the womb.

Attended by gods in the form of boys, the Lord of the World increased in size daily, like the waves of the ocean attended by Indras of the Velādhārins. The Supreme Lord gradually traversed childhood and reached youth from childhood, like a traveler reaching a city from a village.

Ninety bows tall, with arms reaching to his knees, the Lord looked like a tree with large creepers hanging at its sides.’ Though he was indifferent to objects of the senses, requested by his parents, the Lord took a bride, like an elephant taking a ball of food. When twenty-five thousand pūrvas had passed, Lord Śrī Śītala took the kingdom from courtesy to his father. Possessing unequaled strength of arm the Lord ruled his ancestral kingdom fittingly for fifty thousand pūrvas.