Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Reincarnation of Dharana (second of Malli’s six former friends) which is the eighth 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 8: Reincarnation of Dharaṇa (second of Malli’s six former friends)

Now, Dharaṇa’s jīva fell from Vaijayanta and became a king, named Candracchāya, in the city Campā. There was a Jain layman, Arhannaya, living in this city, who made ocean-voyages, embarked on a boat, for commerce. Then Śakra praised him in his assembly, saying, “There is no other layman equal to Arhannaya.” Then a god who was jealous went to the ocean and created instantly a calamitous wind and mass of clouds. At once the sailors, trembling from fear of the boat’s destruction, sought favors from their favorite deities. But Arhannaya thought, “If I am to die from this calamity, I should fast” and, having made the rejection of all worldly interests, he remained absorbed in meditation. The god assumed the form of a Rakṣas and, standing in the air, said to Arhannaya: “Give up the religion of the Arhats and obey my command. Otherwise, I shall break the boat like a potsherd and make you and your attendants food for sea-animals.”

As he remained unshaken from his religion notwithstanding, the god was astonished, asked his pardon, and told about Śakra’s praise. He gave him two pairs of beautiful earrings, destroyed the terrible clouds, wind, et cetera and departed.

In course of time Arhannaya disembarked from the ocean on dry land and went to Mithilā with all his merchandise. Arhannaya, knowing what was proper, noble-minded, made a gift of one pair of earrings to King Kumbha. King Kumbha gave it at once to his daughter Malli and, urbane, entertained Arhannaya and dismissed him. After he had sold and bought merchandise, he went to Campā with untroubled mind and gave the second pair of earrings to Candracchāya. The king asked him, “O merchant, where did you get this pair of earrings?” He told the story of the acquisition of the earrings without any deceit, just as it was. In connection with the gift of the other similar pair of earrings, he described in detail the exceeding beauty of Malli. “If her face is raised, let the moon depart vanquished by it; if there is light from her body, enough of emeralds[1]; if there is a stream of her loveliness, there is no need of the water of the Jāhnavī; if there is her beauty of form, do not speak, of goddesses. Your Majesty, men’s eyes are useless if she is not seen by them. What use are haṃsas that do not see at all the blooming lotus-bed?” Because of affection from the former birth, King Candracchāya sent his chief-messenger to Kumbha, to ask Malli in marriage.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

See I, n. 213 on color.

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