Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

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

Part 1: Incarnation as Śrīṣeṇa

In this very Jambūdvīpa, which is a circle in shape, there is this zone Bharata which is like the seventh part of the moon. In its southern half there is a city, named Ratnapura, which resembles the city of the gods, the ornament of the middle section (of southern Bharata). In this city there was a king, named Śrīṣeṇa, lotus-eyed, like a blooming lotus for the dwelling of the goddess Śrī. Continually, he showed great respect for dharma like an elder brother; and he guarded wealth and love uninjured like younger brothers. He fulfilled constantly the requests of petitioners; but, on the contrary, not those of other men’s love-sick wives, as he was well-versed in proper conduct. His beauty was so apart from all comparison that he was beyond the range of even a picture by painters. While preserving his sovereignty first in tribute, he worshipped compassion like a wish-granting deity.

His wife, named Abhinanditā, was irreproachable in conduct, delighting the heart by her speech, moonlight to the lotus of the eye. She did not deviate from good conduct at all, even in thought, but adorned herself with it. For outer adornment is of little importance. Even ornaments were ornamented by her when she put them on her body, but they were really a burden to her naturally fair. There was a counterpart in mirrors, and nowhere else, of her form whose limbs were overflowing loveliness and virtue. Ornamented with good qualities, she ornamented three families—her father’s, mother’s, and husband’s—simultaneously, as if she had several forms, though only one.

The king had also a second wife, named Śikhinanditā, delighting the peacock of the heart like a bank of clouds.

In the course of time, Queen Abhinanditā, experiencing unbroken sensuous pleasure with her husband, conceived an embryo. She saw in a dream a sun and moon placed in her lap; and her husband said, “You will have a distinguished pair of sons.” When the time was completed, Queen Abhinanditā bore twin sons, not inferior to the sun and moon in brilliance. King Śrīṣeṇa named his two sons Induṣeṇa and Binduṣeṇa at a big festival. Cherished by nurses with great care like flowers, they grew up gradually like extra arms for the king. Then the king had them taught the sciences, grammar, et cetera, by a teacher, like their own names. They became expert in military science and also the other arts, and skilled in the entrance and exit of an army. They both attained youth which purifies the form, the dawn for the blooming of the lotus of the emotion of love.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: