Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Incarnations as Surashreshtha and a god which is the second part of chapter VII of the English translation of the Shri Munisuvratanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Shri Munisuvratanatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 2: Incarnations as Suraśreṣṭha and a god

In this same Jambūdvīpa in the East Videhas in the province Bharata, there is a broad city Campā. Here Suraśreṣṭha was king, like the chief of the gods, long-armed, having extraordinary power. He was a fourfold hero: a protector of the poor, eager in battle, resembling a kalpa tree in granting wishes, the head of the Jaina religion. He showed skill in weapons at the times of military exercises, to be sure, but not on battle-fields, subduing kings by his commands. Even munis, observing silence, destroyed their silence, describing his virtues, reverence, et cetera, day and night.

One day he, wise, paid homage devotedly to Muni Nandana, giving joy to the heart, who had stopped in a garden. After hearing his sermon, he attained meditation on disgust with existence, a flood for the mud of delusion. He became a mendicant at the feet of the same muni and observed the vow properly, a crest-jewel of the noble. He acquired body-making karma of a Tīrthakṛt by the sthānas, devotion to the Arhats, et cetera and became a chief-god in Prānata after his death.

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