Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Kunthu’s omniscience which is the seventh part of chapter I of the English translation of the Shri Kunthusvami-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Shri Kunthusvami in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 7: Kunthu’s omniscience

Free from attachment, unhindered like the wind, the Lord wandered over the earth for sixteen years as an ordinary ascetic. One day in his wandering the Lord came to Sahasrāmravaṇa and stood in pratimā under a tilaka tree, observing a two-day fast. The Lord’s omniscience appeared from the destruction of the destructive karmas on the third day of the bright half of Cakra, the moon being in Kṛttikā. The four classes of gods with their Indras came immediately and made a samavasaraṇa adorned with three walls. Setting his feet on golden lotuses moved by the gods, the Lord entered the samavasaraṇa by the east door. There the Teacher of the World, the Dharmacakrin, circumambulated the caitya-tree which was four hundred and twenty bows high. Saying “Reverence to the congregation,” the Master sat down, facing the east, on the eastern lion-throne on a dais beneath it (the tree). By his power the Vyantaras at once created such images of the Master in the other directions. The holy fourfold congregation stood in the proper places, and the animals within the middle wall, and the vehicles within the lowest one. When the scion of the Kurus[1] knew that the Lord was in the samavasaraṇa, he came, bowed, and sat down with folded hands behind Śakra.

After bowing to the Master again, the Indra of Saudharma and the scion of the Kurus began a hymn of praise, carrying joy in their hearts.


“We praise you, teacher of fourfold dharma, fourbodied, four-faced, lord of the fourth object of mankind (mokṣa). You took off the fourteen jewels because of freedom from attachment; you put on the irreproachable three jewels, Lord of the World. You win the heart of everyone; yet you are free from affection. You, the color of heated gold, resembling the moon, are meditated on. Though free from interest, you are powerful. Though you are meditated on (by others), you are the abode of meditation. Though surrounded by crores of gods, you possess solitude.[2] You show love for everyone, yet you are free from love yourself. Though poor, you are for the supreme wealth of the world. Homage to you, protector, whose power is undiscernible, whose form is unknown, Blessed One, the seventeenth Arhat. Reverence to you, Lord, is an inconceivable wishing-gem of men; how much more meditation with the mind and praise with the voice. May I always continue reverence, praise, and meditation with you as an object, Lord. Enough of other wishes.”

Footnotes and references:


I.e., the King of Hastināpura.


Kaivalya, with reference also to its meaning ‘omniscience.’

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