Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Sixth incarnation of Kamatha which is the thirteenth 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 13: Sixth incarnation of Kamaṭha

The serpent, after wandering through births after hell, was born in that very place in a great forest on Mt. Jvalana as a Bhilla, named Kuraṅgaka. When he had grown up, he roamed daily in the forest with a strung bow, killing creatures for a livelihood. In his wandering Vajranābha reached that same forest inhabited by wild animals like soldiers of Antaka (Death). Unterrified by the cruel animals, female yaks, et cetera, the great sage went to Mt. Jvalana. Just then the sun set. From the habit of staying wherever he was when the sun set, he stayed in a cave of Mt. Jvalana in kāyotsarga, like a new peak of the mountain. Darkness spread over the directions, like a flock of flesh-eaters that had arisen. Owls with their hoots sounded like sporting birds of Death. Wolves howled aloud like singers belonging to Rakṣases; tigers wandered, striking the ground with their tails like a drum with drum-sticks. Witches in various forms, female demons, female Vyantaras, by whom cries of “kila! kila!” were made, met at that time by agreement. The Blessed One, motionless, remained at that same time and in that same place very terrifying by nature, fearless as if he were in a garden. As he was practicing meditation, the night passed and the light of the sun appeared, like the light of his penance. Then the muni set out to wander over the earth whose creatures had gone from the touch of the sun’s rays, his gaze fixed at the distance of six feet.

Just then the hunter Kuraṅgaka came forth, cruel as a tiger, wearing a tiger-skin, carrying a bow and quiver. Then he saw muni Vajranābha approaching and he became exceedingly angry, thinking, “This ascetic is a bad omen.” Angry because of the hostility of previous births, his bow drawn at a distance, Kuraṅgaka struck down the great sage like a deer. Reciting, “Homage to the Arhats,” he sat down, after brushing off the surface of the ground, free from painful meditation, though he was wounded by the blow. After confessing fully to the Siddhas, he undertook a fast, asked pardon of everyone, being especially free from attachment.

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