Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes The childhood of Aparajita and Anantavirya which is the third 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 3: The childhood of Aparājita and Anantavīrya

He grew up slowly, slowly, going from lap to lap of the nurses, like a haṃsa from lotus to lotus, day and night. Growing up gradually, he played with his elder brother like a contemporary, having a charming appearance, watched by women. The two brothers, with their fair and dark bodies looked like autumn- and rainy season-clouds that had met in one place. They learned all the sciences with ease; for knowledge comes of its own accord to such persons from former births. They did study the sciences in the teacher’s presence, so that their acquisition of knowledge provided a living for the teacher. Resembling an abode of Śrī, they reached youth, which is magic for attracting women, devoid of charms, spells, et cetera.

One day Muni Svayamprabha, endowed with various supernatural powers, came there and stopped in a certain garden. Now, King Stimitasāgara went outside the city to ride horses in equestrian sports, being expert in the sport. After he had ridden broken and unbroken horses, a Revanta[1] in equestrian sport, tired, he went to the grove. King Stimitasāgara, his eyes motionless from delight, entered the garden which was like Nandana brought to earth; which had a cloud reposing there, as it were, from the numerous young trees; which resembled a mountain-plateau pouring forth a cascade with its water-channels; carrying fans for travelers, as it were, with plantain-leaves; paved with emeralds, as it were, with grassy ground everywhere; with a maid’s duties performed by the winds carrying perfume from the cardamon, the clove, the kakkola, and the lavalī, creating delight.

While he rested a moment, he saw in front of him the muni at the foot of an aśoka, engaged in meditation, standing in pratimā. Horripilation appeared at once from devotion as if from extreme cold, and the king circumambulated and paid homage to the muni. When the muni had finished his meditation, he gave the blessing “Dharmalābha.”[2] For the noble abandon their own work, even though commenced, for the benefit of others. Then Muni Svayamprabha delivered a sermon that was like visible knowledge acquired by observation of the hearer because of its various proofs.

When he had heard the sermon, the king was enlightened at once; and went home and installed Anantavīrya in his kingdom. The departure-festival was held by Anantavīrya and Bala; and the king went to Svayamprabha and adopted mendicancy. Enduring trials very hard to endure, he preserved the mūla- and uttara-guṇas[3] perfectly for a long time. Because he had mentally violated asceticism at the end, he became the Indra, Camara, lord of the Asuras, after death.

Footnotes and references:


See I, n. 100.


See I, n. 23.


See I, n. 19.

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