Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Fourth incarnation as Amitatejas which is the sixth 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 6: Fourth incarnation as Amitatejas

Now in this same Bharata on the best of mountains, Vaitāḍhya, there is a city named Rathanūpuracakravāla. In it lived a lord of the Vidyādharas, Jvalanajaṭin, like a younger brother of Purandara, endowed with many magic powers. His son, Arkakīrti, like a full sun in brilliance, was the heir-apparent, self-chosen by the Lakṣmī of enemies’ kingdoms. He (the king) had a daughter, Svayamprabhā, younger than Arkakīrti, delighting the eyes of all, like the light of the moon. The first of the Vāsudevas, the son of Prajāpati, the younger brother of Acala, Tripṛṣṭha, lord of Potanapura, married her. Then the first Hari, delighted, gave Vahnijaṭin unbroken lordship over the two rows of Vidyādhara-cities. Arkakīrti’s wife was named Jyotirmālā, the daughter of the Vidyādhara-king, Meghavana.

The soul of Śrīṣeṇa fell from Saudharmakalpa at that time and descended into Jyotirmālā’s womb, like a haṃsa to a lotus. Then in a dream she saw a sun of infinite brilliance, lighting up the sky, enter her mouth. At the proper time she bore a son, marked with auspicious marks, like a very strong pillar for supporting the house of sovereignty. To him, possessing infinite brilliance in his form in accordance with the dream that had been seen, his parents gave the name Amitatejas.

Vahnijaṭin settled his kingdom on Arkakīrti and became a mendicant under the flying rishis, Jagannandana and Abhinandana.

The soul of Satyabhāmā fell from Saudharma and became a daughter of Jyotirmālā and Sūryakīrti. Because her mother saw a dream of beautiful stars while she was an embryo, her parents gave her the name Sutārā.

The soul of Abhinanditā fell from Saudharmakalpa and became a son of Tripṛṣṭha and Svayamprabhā. Because his mother saw a dream of Śrī being sprinkled, while he was still in the womb, his father named him Śrīvijaya.

A second son of Svayamprabhā was born, named Vijayabhadra, the abode of victory and good fortune.

The soul of Śikhinanditā fell from the first heaven and became the daughter, Jyotiḥprabhā, of Tripṛṣṭha and Svayamprabhā.

Kapila, who was formerly the husband of Satyabhāmā, after he had wandered for a long time in worldly existence in animal-birth-nuclei, et cetera, was born a famous Vidyādhara-king, named Aśanighoṣa, in the city Camaracañcā.

Arkakīrti married his star-eyed daughter, Sutārā, to Śrīvijaya, Tripṛṣṭha’s son. Tripṛṣṭha married his fair daughter, Jyotiḥprabhā, to Amitatejas, Arkakīrti’s son. Śrīvijaya enjoyed pleasures of the senses with Sutārā and long-armed Amitatejas with Jyotiḥprabhā.

One day, in an extensive garden, which resembled Saumanasa in beauty, outside the city Rathanūpura-cakravāla, the three men, Abhinandana, Jagannandana, and Agnijaṭin,[1] like the three jewels—knowledge, et cetera—embodied, made a stop. When Arkakīrti knew that his father had come, and also the two gurus of his father, he came and paid homage. Eagerness admits no delay whatever.

Then Muni Abhinandana delivered a sermon which resembled the sun for melting the mass of snow of strong delusion. From that sermon Arkakīrti felt disgust with existence and, his hands placed together, said to Abhinandana, “Wait here until I come to take the vow after installing Amitatejas on my throne.” “There must be no negligence.” So instructed by the great sage, Arkakīrti went to his home, his mind already resolved. Again and again requesting Amitatejas persistently, he made him take the kingdom. For this is the custom of father and son. Then his ceremony of departure was held by King Amitatejas and he adopted mendicancy under Muni Abhinandana. The royal monk, Arkakīrti, governing the kingdom of tranquillity, wandered over the earth with his gurus. Amitatejas, resplendent, the stool of his lotus-feet rubbed by the diadems of Vidyādhara-kings, directed the administration of the kingdom inherited from his father.

Footnotes and references:


See above, p. 208.

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