Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Birth of Aparajita which is the first part of chapter II 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: Birth of Aparājita

Now, in this Jambūdvīpa in the province Ramaṇīya, the ornament of East Videha, on the south bank of the Śītā, there is a city, named Śubhā, the fair abode of Lakṣmī, presenting a manifestation of the beauty of the earth, splendid with the greatest magnificence. Its king was Stimitasāgara, who surpassed Meru in firmness, the ocean in depth. He had two wives, Vasundharā and Anuddharā, who wore the yoke of good conduct, by whom the wealth of beauty of an Apsaras was surpassed.

The soul of Amitatejas fell from Nanditāvarta and descended into the womb of Queen Śrīmat Vasundharā. Comfortably asleep, Vasundharā saw the four great dreams, which indicate the birth of a Bala, enter her mouth. As sleep had gone far away as if from humiliation caused by great joy, the queen told the king at the same time:

“I saw a four-tusked elephant, resembling a crystal mountain enter my mouth, like the moon entering a cloud; a bull, a spotless color as if made by weaving an autumn-cloud, high-humped, straight-tailed, bellowing; a moon, making an arrangement of ear-ornaments for the quarters, as it were, by its rays streaming forth very, very far; and then a pool filled with blooming lotuses, singing, as it were, having become hundred-mouthed, with bees buzzing sweetly. O master, what is the fruit of these dreams? Tell me. Ordinary people are not suitable to ask about an important dream.”

The king replied, “O queen, your son will be a Balabhadra, like a god in beauty, possessing extraordinary strength.”

Then Queen Vasundharā carried the embryo, like the earth a deposit, like a bamboo-shoot[1] a pearl. At the proper time Queen Vasundharā bore a son, marked with a śrīvatsa, white in color, with all the lucky body-marks. King Stimitasāgara rejoiced at the birth of his son, like the ocean at the rising of the full moon. When the twelfth day had come, the father gave the name Aparājita to his son who had the brilliance of the twelve Ādityas.[2] Looking at his son, kissing him, embracing him, setting him on his lap, the king never stopped, like a poor man in the case of money that has been obtained.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

One of the sources of pearls. See I, n. 314.

[2]:

A class of gods representing the sun in the twelve months.

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