Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This is the English translation of the Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Charita (literally “The lives of the sixty-three illustrious People”), a Sanskrit epic poem written by Hemachandra in the twelfth century. The work relates the history and legends of important figures in the Jain faith. These 63 persons include: the twenty four tirthankaras , the t...

Marutta bowed to Rāvaṇa and said, “Who is this ocean of compassion who stopped us from that sin through you, master?”

Rāvaṇa replied: “There was a Brāhman, Brahmaruci, who was an ascetic. His wife, Kūrmī, became pregnant. One day some monks came there and one of them said: ‘It was, indeed, well done, that living in a house was abandoned from fear of worldly existence. How, pray, does living in a forest differ from living in a house, if you have relations with your wife again, your mind injured by sense-objects?’

Hearing that, Brahmaruci accepted the teaching of the Jinas and became a mendicant at once and Kūrmī became a laywoman next. Devoid of false belief, living there in the hermitage, she bore a son who was exempt from crying, et cetera, named Ṇārada. When she had gone somewhere else (one day), the Jṛmbhaka gods kidnaped him. Because of sorrow for the boy, she became a mendicant under Indumālā. The gods took care of him and taught him the sciences; and in course of time gave him the vidyā ‘going through the air.’ Observing the lesser vows, he reached charming youth. As he always wore the topknot, he was neither householder nor ascetic. Eager to watch quarrels, interested in singing and dancing, he was always very devoted to bad conduct and talkativeness about love. The creator of peace and dissension between heroes and lovers, with an umbrella under his arm ānd his mat in his hand, elevated on shoes, because he had been reared by the gods Nārada became known on earth as a god-ṛṣi, a celibate in general[1] and doing as he pleased.”

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I.e., he was a celibate, but did not observe all tbe details of the strict celibacy of monks.