Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Recognition of Bhamandala which is the sixteenth part of chapter IV 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.

One day, a muni who had four kinds of knowledge, Satyabhūti by name, came to this city and made a stop, attended by the congregation. King Daśaratha, with a retinue of his sons, et cetera, went and paid him homage and, wishing to hear a sermon, sat down. Just then King Candragati of Mt. Vaitāḍhya, accompanied by Bhāmaṇḍala consumed with love of Sītā and by Vidyādhara-kings, after worshipping the Arhats on Mt. Rathāvarta, came there in the air on his way back. When he saw the muni who had stopped, he descended, paid homage to him first and sat down, wishing to hear dharma. Knowing Bhāmaṇḍala’s pain arising from love of Sītā, after he had delivered a sermon, Satyabhūti Sūri, speaking the truth, related the former births of Candragati, Puṣpavatī, Bhāmaṇḍala, and Sītā, to turn them from sin.

The muni related the birth as twins of Sītā and Bhāmaṇḍala in this birth and the kidnaping of Bhāmaṇḍala just as it happened. When Prince Bhāmaṇḍala heard the muni’s account, memory of his (former) birth was produced and he fell to the ground in a swoon. When he had regained consciousness, Bhāmaṇḍala himself told the story of his former births which had been related by Satyabhūti. Candragati and the others reached extreme desire for emancipation and Bhāmaṇḍala, intelligent, bowed to Sītā with the thought, “She is my sister.” Sītā, very noble, gave him her blessing with joy, thinking, “He is my full brother v/ho was kidnaped as soon as he was born.” Bhāmaṇḍala, well-bred and with friendship produced at once, bowed to Rāma, touching the ground with his forehead.

Candragati sent the best Vidyādharas and had King Janaka and Queen Videhā brought there. He said to him, “This is your son Bhāmaṇḍala,” and told him the story of the kidnaping at birth, et cetera. Janaka rejoiced at that story like a peacock at thunder and his mother Videhā exuded milk. When Bhāmaṇḍala observed his parents, he bowed to them and they kissed him on the head and bathed him in tears. Then Candragati settled his kingdom on his son Bhāmaṇḍala and, wearied of existence, took the vow under Muni Satyabhūti. Bhāmaṇḍala bowed to Satyabhūti, Candragati, to his parents, and Anaraṇyaja (Daśaratha) and went to his own city. King Daśaratha bowed to the sage Satyabhūti and asked about his own former births. The muni related:

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