Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Munisuvrata’s initiation which is the seventh 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 7: Munisuvrata’s initiation

Reminded by the Laukāntikas, “Found a congregation, Master,” the Supreme Lord gave gifts for a year. Munisuvrata set his son Suvrata, whose supreme wealth was the military code of ethics, the bee to the lotus of law, on the throne. His departure-festival was celebrated by the gods and King Suvrata and he entered a palanquin, Aparājitā, which required a thousand to carry it. The Lord of the Three Worlds went to a garden, named Nīlaguhā, which was adorned with mango trees which had teeth, as it were, from the bursting forth of new buds; and which had tongues, as it were, from the shooting up of twigs; summoning the approaching beauty of spring, as it were, by the frequent rustlings of old leaves scattered here and there by the wind; occupied by jasmines humiliated, as it were, unable to endure seeing the irresistible wealth of blossoms of the sinduvāras;[1] giving delight with the perfume of the blooming wormwood, possessing a wealth of coolness.

In the afternoon of the twelfth day of the bright half of Phālguna, (the moon being) in Śravaṇa, the Lord adopted mendicancy with a thousand kings, observing a two-day fast. On the next day the Blessed Munisuvrata broke his fast with rice-pudding in King Brahmadatta’s house in Rājagṛha. The gods made the five things, the stream of treasure, et cetera, and King Brahma made a jeweled platform where the Master stood. Free from attachment, free from self-interest, enduring all trials, the Lord wandered for eleven months as an ordinary ascetic.

Footnotes and references:


For the sinduvāra, see the Sinduvāra Tree in Sanskrit Literature by M. B. Emeneau, Univ. California Publications in Classical Philology 12, 333 ff.

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