Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Shreyamsa’s life before initiation which is the eighth part of chapter I of the English translation of the Shreyamsanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Shreyamsanatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 8: Śreyāṃsa’s life before initiation

At dawn Viṣṇurāja held a great festival. Then there was joy spread like one umbrella over the earth. On an auspicious day the Jina’s father and mother named him Śreyāṃsa at a great festival. Cherished by five nurses appointed by Śakra, sucking his thumb which had nectar injected by Śakra, the Master grew up. Though he had the three kinds of knowledge, the Lord assumed simplicity suitable for a child. Even the sun does not attain heat at dawn. Playing with gods, asuras, and mortals in the form of boys, the Master gradually reached youth from childhood, like mounting an elephant from a chariot.

Eighty bows tall, the Master married princesses at his father’s insistence, even though he felt disgust with existence. When twenty-one lacs of years had passed after his birth, at his father’s request the Lord took the burden of the kingdom. Śreyāṃsa, the depository of good fortune, guarded the earth with undiminished power for forty-two lacs of years.

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