Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Reincarnation of Acala (first of Malli’s six former friends) which is the seventh part of chapter VI of the English translation of the Shri Mallinatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Shri Mallinatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 7: Reincarnation of Acala (first of Malli’s six former friends)

Now Acala’s jīva fell from Vaijayanta and became King Pratibuddhi in Sāketa in Bharata. His wife, the crest-jewel of the women of all harems, was named Padmāvatī, like Padmā in person in beauty. Now in this city in the northeast in a Nāga-temple there were Nāga-statues that fulfilled requests. One day Queen Padmāvatī asked the king for permission for a procession of them and Pratibuddhi gave her his consent. After procuring flowers, et cetera, Pratibuddhi himself went with her to the temple of the chief Nāga-statue on the day of the procession. Looking at the bower of flowers,[1] the cluster of flowers, and his wife also, Pratibuddhi said to Svabuddhi, his chief-minister, “You have gone to many royal palaces on my service. Have you seen such a jewel of a woman or such a cluster of flowers?”

Svabuddhi replied: “When I went to King Kumbha at your command, I saw his daughter Malli. On the birthday of her, first among woman-jewels, a cluster of flowers, such as is not found in heaven, was prepared. A cakrin’s woman-jewel; Rati, the wife of Smara; goddesses, Śacī, et cetera, are like straw compared with her. Whoever has once seen the daughter of King Kumbha, would not forget her beauty like a taste of nectar. No woman, neither of mortals nor gods, is the equal of Malli. Indeed, her unique beauty is not within the sphere of words.”

Because of the affection of the former birth Pratibuddhi sent at once his messenger to ask for her in marriage from King Kumbha.

Footnotes and references:

1.

The puṣpamaṇḍapa is the flowers strung above the pratimā in the inner shrine.

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