Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Previous incarnation of Indra which is the fifteenth part of chapter II of the English translation of the Jain Ramayana, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. This Jain Ramayana contains the biographies of Rama, Lakshmana, Ravana, Naminatha, Harishena-cakravartin and Jaya-cakravartin: all included in the list of 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 15: Previous incarnation of Indra

"In the past there was a Vidyādhara-chief in the beautiful Ariñjayapura, named Jvalanasiṃha. His wife was named Vegavatī. They had a beautiful daughter, Ahilyā, and all the Vidyādhara-lords came to her svayaṃvara. Ānandamālin, lord of Candrāvartapura, came there and Taḍitprabha, lord of Sūryāvartapura, who was you. Ignoring you, though you had come together, Ahilyā chose Ānandamālin of her own accord and you were humiliated. From that time you were jealous of Ānandamālin, thinking, ‘He married Ahilyā, though I was present.’

One day Ānandamālin took the vow from disgust with the world and wandered with great sages, practicing severe penance. One time in the course of his wandering, he went to Mt. Rathāvarta. You saw him and remembered Ahilyā’s svayaṃvara. Absorbed in meditation, he was bound and beaten many times by you, but, immovable as a mountain, he was not moved in the least from meditation. Bu t his brother, chief of ascetics, possessing illustrious qualities, saw (your actions), and discharged a hot flash[1] at you, like a stroke of lightning at a tree. Pacified by your wife, Satyaśrī, by assurance of devotion, he restrained the hot flash and you were not burned at that time. Because of the sin produced by the humiliation to the muni, you wandered through several births and, after acquiring pure karma, you became Indra, the son of Sahasrāra, This defeat by Rāvaṇa is the result at hand of the karma arising from the abuse and beating of the muni. For the acts of every one, from Purandara to a worm, certainty bear fruit, even after a long time. Such is the condition of worldly existence.”

After hearing this, Indra gave his kingdom to his son, Dattavīrya, and became a mendicant, practiced very severe penance, and became emancipated.

One day Rāvaṇa went to Mt. Svarṇatuṅga to pay homage to the sage Anantavīrya whose omniscience had arisen. After he had paid homage, Daśakandhara sat down in the proper place and listened to a sermon, a channel of nectar to the ears. At the end of the sermon Daśāsya asked the great sage, “How shall I die?” and the Blessed One replied, “The death of you, a Prativiṣṇu, will be at the hands of a future Vāsudeva because of a sin connected with another man’s wife, Daśānana.”

He took a vow before the same muni, “I will not enjoy another man’s wife against her will.”

After bowing to the best of munis, an ocean of the jewels of knowledge, Daśavadana went to his own city in Puṣpaka, equal to the moon for giving a wealth of joy to the blue night-blooming lotuses of the eyes of all the women of the city.

Footnotes and references:


See I, n. IIII.