by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words
This page describes Story of Kulabhushana and Deshabhushana which is the eighth part of chapter V 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.
Rāma set out in the night and at evening readied a town, Vaṃśasthala, situated on the slope of Mt. Vaṃśaśaila. Rāma saw its people and the king terrified and asked a man, “What is the reason for their fear?” The man explained: “This is the third day of a terrible noise that takes place on this mountain at night. From fear of it all the population goes elsewhere at night and comes back at dawn. This is the continual unfortunate state of affairs.” Then Rāma, from curiosity and urged by Lakṣmaṇa, climbed the mountain and saw two munis engaged in kāyotsarga. Jānakī, Rāma, and Lakṣmaṇa praised them with devotion and Rāma had the lute, which Gokarṇa gave, play before them. Saumitri sang pleasingly with beautiful grāmarāgas and Queen Sītā danced with various gestures and postures.
Then the sun set and the starry night unfolded. A god, Analaprabha, came with several vetālas created by magic. He himself had the form of a vetāla, and, hard-hearted, began to attack the two sages, splitting the sky with loud laughter. Leaving Vaidehī with the sādhus, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, armed, got up to kill him, assuming the form of Death unseasonably. The god, unable to endure their flood of brilliance, went to his own place, and the sādhus’ omniscience arose. The gods held an omniscience-festival for them. Rāma bowed and asked them the reason for the attack. One of them, the sage Kulabhūṣaṇa related:
“There was a king, Vijayaparvata, in the town Padminī. He had a messenger, Amṛtasvara, and the messenger had a wife, Upayogā, and two sons, Udita and Mudita. There was a friend of the messenger, a Brāhman, Vasubhūti; and Upayogā was in love with him and wished to kill Amṛtasvara. At the king’s command Amṛtasvara went to a foreign country one day. Vasubhūti went with him and slew him on the road by a trick. Vasubhūti came to the city and told the people, ‘Amṛtasvara sent me back because of some business.’ He told Upayogā, ‘I killed Amṛtasvara on the road by using a trick, as he was an obstacle to our pleasure.’ She said, ‘You did well. Kill these boys also. Let be complete freedom from troublesome persons.’ He agreed to that. By chance Vasubhūti’s wife heard this plan and from jealousy told his sons, Udita and Mudita. Vasubhūti was felled at once by Udita in anger and, having died, was born a Mleccha in the village Nala.
One day the king listened to dharma from sage Mativardhana and became a mendicant; and they also, Udita and Mudita. Udita and Mudita set out to worship the shrines on Sammeta and came to the village, as they wandered on the road. The Mleccha, the soul of Vasubhūti, ran to kill them because of former enmity, as soon as he saw them, and was prevented by the Mleccha-king. The lord of the Mlecchas was a deer in a former birth and had been set free from a hunter by the jīvas of Mudita and Udita who were farmers in that birth. Henceforth protected by the Mleccha-king, they went to Sammeta, worshipped the shrines, and wandered for a long time. After fasting to death, they became very powerful gods in Mahāśukra, Sundara and Sukeśa.
After wandering through existence, the Mleccha, Vasubhūti’s jīva, attained a human birth with difficulty and in it he became an ascetic. After death he became a god among the Jyotiṣkas, named Dhūmaketu, possessing false-belief, hard-hearted.
The jīvas of Udita and Mudita fell from Śukra and in Bharata in the city Riṣṭapura became the sons, Ratnaratha and Citraratha, of King Priyamvada by his wife Padmāvatī. Dhūmaketu fell and became the son, Anudvara, of the same king by his wife Kanakābhā. He was jealous of Ratnaratha and Citraratha; but they did not feel any jealousy toward him. Priyamvada made Ratnaratha king and the two heir-apparents, fasted six days, and became a god. A certain king gave his daughter, Śrīprabhā, to Ratnaratha ruling the kingdom, though Anudvara had asked for her. Angered, Anudvara looted the land of Ratnaratha, who felled him in battle and captured him. By practicing much deceit he was released by Ratnaratha. He became an ascetic and practiced penance in vain because of his association with women. Then he died and after wandering through births for a long time, became a human. Becoming an ascetic again he practiced penance without knowledge. He died and became this Jyotiṣka-god, Analaprabha.
Ratnaratha and Citraratha took initiation. After death they became very magnificent gods, Atibala and Mahābala, in the heaven Acyuta. They fell and descended into the womb of Queen Vimalā, chief-queen of King Kṣemaṅkara in Siddhārthapura. In course of time Vimalā bore two sons: I, Kulabhūṣaṇa, and Deśabhūṣaṇa here. The king entrusted us to the teacher Ghoṣa for study and we studied all the arts for twelve years. In the thirteenth year we came with Ghoṣa into the king’s presence and saw a maiden standing at a window in the palace. We fell in love with her at once and, disconsolate, went before the king and demonstrated all the arts. The teacher was honored by the king and went to his own house; we went to bow to our mother at the king’s command. We saw the maiden there with our mother and our mother announced: ‘This is your sister, Kanakaprabhā. She was born while you were living at your teacher’s house, sons. Hence, you do not know her.’ Hearing that, we were ashamed of desiring our sister from ignorance. We experienced disgust with existence at once and became mendicants in the guru’s presence. Practicing severe penance, we came here to the great mountain and stood in kāyotsarga, indifferent to the body.
Because of the separation from us, our father fasted, died, and became a lord of Garuḍas, a god named. Mahālocana. Knowing by the shaking of his throne the attack on us, he has come here now, distressed by his affection in a former birth. Out of curiosity the god Analaprabha went with the gods to the side of the kevalin, Muni Anantavīrya. At the end of the sermon he was asked by a disciple, ‘Who will be a kevalin after you in Munisuvrata’s congregation?’ He replied: “At my emancipation two brothers, Kulabhūṣaṇa and Deśabhūṣaṇa, will become kevalins.’ After hearing that, Analaprabha went to his own place and, learning by trickery that we were engaged in kāyotsarga here, attacked us cruelly because of enmity in a former birth in order to make false Anantavīrya’s speech, because of wrong-belief. He attacked us resolutely for four days. Today you came here and he disappeared from fear of you. Our omniscience arose from destruction of karma and he was an aid in destroying karma by making his attacks.”
The god Mahālocana, lord of Garuḍas said, “Kākutstha, you have done well. What can I do for you in return?” Rāma replied, “There is no reward for us,” but the god-said, “Nevertheless, I shall do you a favor sometime,” and went away.
Then the lord of Vaṃśasthala, King Suraprabha, came there, bowed to Rāma, and honored him very much. At Rā ma’s command he had shrines to the Arhats made on the mountains and from that time the mountain was named ‘Rāmagiri’ from Rāma’s name. Then the best of Raghus set forth after taking leave of Suraprabha and fearlessly entered the extraordinary Daṇḍakāraṇya. Kākutstha made his dwelling in a cave-house in a large mountain in it and remained as comfortable as in his own house.
Footnotes and references:
I.e., Suparṇas, a division of the Bhavanavāsins. See I, p. 382.
The name of a forest in the Deccan.