Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Episode of Sumitra and Padma which is the sixth part of chapter I of the English translation of the Neminatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Neminatha in jainism is the twenty-second Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Now in this same Bharata in the city Cakrapura there was a king, Sugrīva, who was not stiff-necked (with pride) because of his virtues. He had a son, Sumitra, by his wife, Yaśasvatī, and one named Padma by Bhadrā, elder and younger respectively. Sumitra was dignified, well-bred, devoted to the law, knowing what was right, adhering to the doctrine of the Arhats. Padma was the opposite.

Thinking, “The kingdom cannot belong to my son while he is alive,” Bhadrā, evil-minded, gave Sumitra strong poison. Dazed by the poison, Sumitra fell to the ground. The effects of the poison spread like waves of the ocean. Sugrīva came there in haste with the ministers and had many remedies applied with charms and spells. But the effects of the poison did not subside at all and the report arose in the city, “Bhadrā gave him poison.”

Bhadrā fled somewhere, terrified by her crime; and the king worshipped the Jinas and performed propitiatory rites to avert evil, et cetera for the sake of his son. He talked unceasingly, recalling his son’s virtues again and again. The vassals and other ministers were also without any devices (for a cure).

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