Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Parshva’s childhood which is the fifth part of chapter III 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.

At dawn Aśvasena held his son’s birth-festival accompanied by releases from prison, et cetera. While he was still in the womb, his mother saw a serpent creeping at her side on a dark night and at once told her husband. Recalling that and deciding, “That was the power of the embryo,” King Aśvasena gave his son the name Pārśva. The Lord of the World, cherished by nurses appointed by Indra, grew up in course of time, going from lap to lap of the kings. Nine cubits tall, he gradually reached youth, a pleasure-grove of Love, a charm for (attracting) women. From the blue color of his body Pārśva looked as if made from the essence of blue lotuses, or rather, of the Śrīs of blue lotuses. Long-armed, the Lord looked like a tree with long branches; and having a broad, firm chest, he looked like an immovable mountain. From his hands, feet, face and eyes, Aśvasena’s son had the beautiful appearance of a pool with a bed of blooming lotuses. Marked with the thunderbolt, et cetera, slender-waisted, flat-bellied, the Lord had mortise, collar, and pin joints.[1] After seeing the Lord with such beauty, goddesses reflected, “They are blessed on earth, whose husband he will be.”

Footnotes and references:

1.

The best kind of joints. See I, n. 133.