Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Shreyamsa’s initiation which is the ninth 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 9: Śreyāṃsa’s initiation

Then the Master, disgusted with existence, eager to take initiation, was urged by the Lokāntika-gods, who had come like auspicious omens. The Master dispensed charity for a year by means of wealth supplied by gods, the Jṛmbhakas, sent by Kubera at Śakra’s command. At the end of a year the Indras came and quickly performed the Jinendra’s initiation-bath, as if for conquest of the enemy karma. His body anointed with divine unguents, adorned with jeweled ornaments, wearing auspicious, divine garments, like auspiciousness embodied, supported on his arm by Biḍaujas like a respectful servant, surrounded by other Indras carrying umbrella, chauris, et cetera, he ascended the palanquin Vimalaprabhā shining with jewels and, surrounded by gods and men, went to Sahasrāmravaṇa. He descended from the palanquin, removed his ornaments, et cetera, and wore on his shoulder a devadūṣya[1] placed by Śakra. In the forenoon of the thirteenth of the dark half of Phālguna in Śravaṇa, observing a two-day fast, the Lord pulled out his hair in five handfuls. Śakra caught the hair in the end of his upper garment and threw it in the Ocean of Milk instantly, like a wind. The tumult being restrained by Vajrin by a gesture of his hand, the Lord undertook right-conduct which bestows fearlessness on all. Together with the Lord of the Universe one thousand kings abandoned their kingdoms like straw and took the vow. Celebrating an eight-day festival in honor of the images of the eternal Arhats, the lords of the gods and asuras went to their respective abodes.

On the next day the Supreme Lord broke his fast with rice-pudding in the city Siddhārtha in the house of King Nanda. Then the gods made the five things—the stream of treasure, et cetera, and King Nanda made a jeweled platform over the place of the Master’s feet. From that place the Master, unhindered, set out to wander like the wind in villages, mines, cities, et cetera.

Footnotes and references:


See I, n. 212.

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