Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Exchange of children which is the sixth 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.

Now in Bhaddilapura there was a rich sheth, named Nāga, and his wife, Sulasā. Both were advanced lay-disciples. In Sulasā’s childhood the flying sage, Atimukta said, “This girl will bear still-born children.” Naigameṣin, Hari’s god,[1] was worshipped by her with penance and, pleased, when asked for sons, said, knowing it from clairvoyance, “I shall deliver to you, whose children will be still-born, Devakī’s children whom Kaṃsa has asked for in order to kill, by transference of the children, pious woman.”

By his own power he made Devakī and Sulasā ready for conception at the same time and they became pregnant at the same time. They gave birth at the same time and the god transferred the dead child of Sulasā and gave Devakī’s child to Sulasā. So the god exchanged six of their infants. Kaṃsa had the still-born infants crushed thoroughly on a mill-stone. devakī’s children, like own children of Sulasā, grew up happily in her house, her nurslings. They were named Anīkayaśas, Anantasena, Ajitasenaka, Nihatāri, Devayaśas and Śatrusena.

Footnotes and references:


The general of Śakra’s infantry. Cf. K., p. 305.

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