Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Incident of Jivayashas and Atimukta which is the fifth part of chapter V 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.

Part 5: Incident of Jīvayaśas and Atimukta

Kaṃsa’s younger brother, Atimukta, who had taken the vow already, his body emaciated from fasting, came to Kaṃsa’s house to break his fast. Then Jīvayaśas, Kaṃsa’s wife, who was under the influence of wine, said: “it is a good thing that you have come on this festival-day, brother-in-law. Dance, sing with me.” With such words the muni was tormented by her many times clinging to his neck, as if he were a householder. He, omniscient, announced to her: “The seventh child of the person on whose account this festival is held will be the slayer of your husband and father.”

Hearing that speech that was like a clap of thunder, Jīvayaśas became sober very soon from fear and released the muni. She went and told Kaṃsa and Kaṃsa reflected: “A thunderbolt might be erring, but not the speech of the muni, Before any one knows, I myself shall ask Ānakadundubhi for the seven future children of Devakī. If my friend, being asked, will not give Devakī’s children, I will try something else, that I may have peace.”

Making such a plan, feigning intoxication though sober, he went to Vasudeva’s house, his hands folded in supplication even from afar. Daśārha got up to meet him and received him suitably, stroked him with his hand, and said hastily: “You are my friend, dear as life. You seem to be' wanting to say something. Say it. I shall do whatever you say.” Kaṃsa said, his hands folded: “In the beginning I have been made satisfied, friend, by you by making Jarāsandha give me Jīvayaśas. Now you should give me the seven children of Devakī as soon as born.” Vasudeva, honest-minded, promised it should be so. Devakī also, not knowing the facts, said: “Let it be so. There is no difference between Vasudeva’s children and your children. For our union was arranged by you alone like the Creator. Why are you different now, like one without authority, Kaṃsa?”

Daśārha said: “Fair lady, enough of much talk. Seven children of yours must be given to Kaṃsa, as soon as born.” Kaṃsa said, “This is a favor to me,” with a pretense of being intoxicated. After drinking wine with Daśārha, he went to his house. Afterwards Ānakadundubhi heard the story of the muni and, truthful, was grieved at the thought, “I was tricked by Kaṃsa.”

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