Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Sermon on purity of mind which is the eighth 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 8: Sermon on purity of mind

After this hymn of praise the Lord of the Gods and the King of the Kurus stopped, and the Blessed One, Śrī Kunthunātha, delivered a sermon.

“This ocean of births, terrifying from its eighty-four lacs of birth-nuclei, is certainly the source of great pain. Purity of mind, powerful from victory over the waves of the senses, is a vessel for crossing the ocean, sufficient for the discerning. Purity of mind alone is an unextinguished light, showing the path to nirvāṇa, handed down by the wise. When purity of mind exists, virtues even though non-existent, become existent; if it does not exist, even though they are existent, they become non-existent. Therefore it alone must be practiced by intelligent persons. Whoever practice penance for the purpose of emancipation without cultivating purity of mind, they are trying to swim the ocean after giving up a boat. To an ascetic who has become devoid, of purity of mind always, meditation is useless, like a mirror to a person deprived of eyes. A wavering mind, like a wind, tosses somewhere else persons practicing penance, wishing to go to emancipation.

The Rakṣas of the mind, wandering unchecked fearlessly, makes the three worlds fall into the whirlpool of worldly existence. Whoever puts faith in yoga, if his mind is unrestrained, is an object of ridicule, like a lame man wishing to go on foot to a village. The karmas are blocked completely in one whose mind is restrained; in one whose mind is unrestrained they advance. This monkey of the mind is eager to wander about everywhere. He must be restrained resolutely by persons wishing their emancipation. Therefore, by all means purity of mind must be practiced by the one seeking emancipation. What is the use of other physical punishments, such as penance, study, self-control? Victory over love and hate is made by purity of mind alone, by means of which the soul remains in its true form without stain.”

After hearing the Lord’s sermon many persons became mendicants and there were thirty-five gaṇabhṛts, Svayambhū, et cetera. At the end of the first watch the Lord ceased preaching and Svayambhū, occupying the Master’s foot-stool, delivered a sermon. At the end of the second watch he ended his sermon; and the gods, et cetera, bowed to Śrī Kunthu and went to their respective abodes.

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