Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Munisuvrata’s birth which is the fifth 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 5: Munisuvrata’s birth

Now the god Suraśreṣṭha, immersed in an ocean of bliss, completed his life in Prāṇata. He fell and descended into the womb of Queen Padmāvatī on the full moon of Śrāvaṇa, the moon being in Śravaṇa. Then the queen, comfortably asleep, saw the fourteen great dreams, which indicate the birth of a Tīrthakṛt, during the last part of the night.

On the eighth day of the dark half of Jyeṣṭha, the constellation being Śravaṇa, at the proper time she bore a son, black as a tamāla,[1] marked with a tortoise. After the birth-rites had been performed with devotion by the Dikkumārīs, the twentieth Arhat was taken to Meru by Biḍaujas. The sixty-three Indras gave the birth-bath to the Teacher of the World seated on Śakra’s lap with pure water from the sacred places. Śakra also gave the bath, made a pūjā, et cetera to the Lord of the World seated on Īśāna’s lap and began a hymn of praise.


“Lotus of the best pool of the present avasarpiṇī, by good fortune you have been found by us, like bees, after a long time. Today the best fruit of voice, mind, and body has come to me from praise, meditation, worship, et cetera of you, O god. Just as my devotion to you becomes strong, Lord, so former karma becomes light. This birth would be purposeless for us lacking in self-control, if the sight of you did not take place, Master. This is dependent on merit. Our senses have accomplished their purpose by touching you, by praising you, by smelling the flowers left from sacrifices to you, by the sight of you, by hearing your virtues sung. This peak of Meru shines with you, the color of sapphire, giving delight to the eyes like a rainy season cloud. You omnipresent, though being in Bharátavarṣa, appear to us wherever we are since you are recalled to destroy pain. At the time of falling from heaven, may the memory of your feet be present to me so that it may exist in a future birth from the purifying ceremony of the former birth.”

After he had praised the twentieth Arhat in these terms, Vajrabhṛt took him, and put him down by Queen Padmāvatī’s side according to custom.

Footnotes and references:


See III, App. I.

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