Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Vimala’s birth and his birth-rites which is the fourth part of chapter III of the English translation of the Vimalanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Vimalanatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 4: Vimala’s birth and his birth-rites

Now in the heaven Sahasrāra, King Padmasena’s jīva completed its life of maximum duration. On the bright twelfth of Rādha in the constellation (Uttara)bhādrapadā, it fell and descended into Queen Śyāmā’s womb. Queen Śyāmā saw the fourteen great dreams indicating the birth of a Tīrthakara entering her mouth. When the time was complete, on the third day of the bright half of Māgha, the moon being in Uttarabhādrapadā, the planets being in exaltation, Lady Śyāmā bore a son easily, marked with a boar, gold colored, possessing the three kinds of knowledge.

The fifty-six Dikkumārīs came from all sides and performed the birth-rites of the Master and Master’s mother, like servants. Śakra came, took the Lord to Mt. Meru, set him on his lap, and sat down on the lion-throne on Atipāṇḍukambalā. The sixty-three Indras, Acyuta, et cetera, bathed in turn the thirteenth Jinendra with water from the tīrthas. Śakra set the Lord on Īśāna’s lap and bathed him with water rising from the bulls’ horns like cascades rising from mountain-peaks. Vāsava himself rubbed the Master, who was wet with bath-water, with a devadūṣya-cloth, like a jewel. He anointed the son of Śyāmā with gośīrṣa-sandal brought from Nandana which looked like clinging devadūṣya-cloth.

After he had worshipped the Lord with varied wreaths, divine clothes, and ornaments, and had waved the light, Śakra recited a hymn of praise as follows:


“With delusion spreading on all sides like darkness, with Śaiva ascetics extremely angry like Rakṣasas; with Cārvākas[1] stealing the wealth of intelligence like robbers; with Brāhmans extremely clever in deceit like jackals; with Kaulācāryas wandering in a circle[2] like bears; with other heretics sounding like owls; with wrong belief destroying the eye of discernment, like a person with magic powers; with ignorance of the true categories on all sides, for a long time the times have been like night, Lord of the World. Now dawn has been made to appear by you, a lord, a sun. Verily, the river of saṃsāra, flowing in depressed places, uncrossable, has been crossed by people, though depressed, by clinging to the path of your feet. I think the place of emancipation has been reached after a long time by persons capable of emancipation who have mounted the ladder of your teaching. After a long time you have appeared as a protector for us who have no protector, like a cloud to travelers burned by the heat of summer.”

After praising the thirteenth Tīrthaṅkara in this way, Purandara went as he had come and deposited him at the side of Mistress Śyāmā. Śakra went to his own abode from the Master’s and the other Indras to theirs from Meru, like ocean-travelers who have made a successful voyage.

Footnotes and references:


Cf. I, pp. 36 ff.


Cf. MW, Brahmanism and Hinduism, p. 196.

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