Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Marubhuti’s fourth incarnation as Kiranavega which is the eighth part of chapter II of the English translation of the Parshvanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Parshvanatha in jainism is the twenty-third Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 8: Marubhūti’s fourth incarnation as Kiraṇavega

Now, in the East Videhas in the province Sukaccha on Mt. Vaitāḍhya there is a city, named Tilakā, rich in money. In it there was a Khecara-lord, Vidyudgati by name, by whom all the Khecaras had been made to bow, like another Indra. His chief-queen was Kanakatilakā, who took the part of a tilaka of the harem from her wealth of beauty. Some time passed as King Vidyudgati enjoyed sensuous pleasure with her.

And now the elephant-soul fell from the eighth heaven and descended into Queen Kanakatilakā’s womb. In the course of time she bore a son who had all the favorable marks of a man. He was named Kiraṇavega by his father. Cherished by nurses, he grew up gradually. He became the depository of arts and sciences and gradually attained youth. After requesting him, Vidyudgati had him take his kingdom and he himself took initiation under the guru Śrutasāgara.

Not greedy, he guarded his ancestral royal wealth and, not intent upon it, he enjoyed sensuous pleasure, intelligent. He had a son, Kiraṇatejas, the sole abode of splendor, borne by Padmāvatī. In course of time he became of military age with the sciences learned, noble, like a second form of Kiraṇavega. A muni, Suraguru, came there and made a stop. Kiraṇavega went there and bowed to him with great devotion,

Then the sādhu delivered a sermon for the benefit of Kiraṇavega seated at his feet.


“A human birth, which is capable of obtaining the fourth object of existence (emancipation), is very hard to win in this forest of births. A foolish man with an undiscerning soul, even when he has won it. wastes it in service to sense-objects, like a low person a fine jewel for a little money. Sense-objects, served for a long time, lead only to a fall into hell. Therefore, the dharma taught by the Omniscient, which has emancipation as its fruit, must be served.”

After hearing this sermon which was like nectar to the cars, disgusted with existence, he placed his son, Kiraṇatejas, on the throne. He himself became a mendicant at the side of Suraguru and, after finishing his studies, became in course of time like an embodied chapter of traditional learning. With permission of his guru, he engaged in wandering alone. One day he went through the air to Puṣkaradvīpa. After bowing to the eternal Arhats there he stood in pratimā in a spot on Mt. Hema near Vaitāḍhya. The muni continued passing the time, practicing severe penance, enduring trials, sunk in tranquillity.

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