by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words
This is the English translation of the Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Charita (literally “The lives of the sixty-three illustrious People”), a Sanskrit epic poem written by Hemachandra in the twelfth century. The work relates the history and legends of important figures in the Jain faith. These 63 persons include: the twenty four tirthankaras , the t...
The Lord of the World went from that place to the city Vārāṇasī and stood at the foot of a dhātakī in the garden Āśramapada. At that time when eighty-four days had passed since the day of the Master’s initiation, his destructive karmas broke. In the forenoon on the fourth of the dark half of Caitra, the moon being in Viśākhā, Śrī Pārśva’s omniscience arose. The gods, Śakra, et cetera knew it by the shaking of their thrones and made Śrī Pārśva Svāmin’s samavasaraṇa at once.
Attended by the gods shouting “Hail! Hail!, the Lord entered the samavasaraṇa by the east door. The Master circumambulated the great caitya-tree, twenty-seven bows tall, like the sun the peak of Meru. Saying, “Homage to the congregation,” Lord Pārśva sat down on the principal jeweled lion-throne, facing the east. At once by his power the Vyantara-gods created images of the Master in the other three directions. Gods, goddesses, men, women, sādhus, sādhvis bowed to the Master and remained in their usual places.
Then a gardener saw the Lord’s splendor, went to King Aśvasena, bowed, and said: “By good-fortune you are prosperous today, master. Now Pārśva Svāmin’s omniscience, which destroys the ignorance of the world, has arisen. Endowed with miraculous powers, attended by Śakra, et cetera, the Lord of the World is seated now in a divine samavasaraṇa.” Then the king gave him a suitable gift and he told Queen Vāmā with haste made by the desire to see him. Aśvasena went with Queen Vāmā and his retinue to the samavasaraṇa, a boat for the ocean of existence. After circumambulating the Lord and bowing to him, the king sat down behind Śakra, his mind filled with joy.
After bowing to the Master again, his folded hands placed on his head, King Aśvasena and Śakra began a hymn of praise.
“Glory to your spotless omniscience, giving light to all present, past, and future living creatures everywhere. You alone are the boat for creatures to cross the boundless ocean of existence. You alone are the pilot. This day is the king of all days, Lord of Three Worlds, on which the great festival of the sight of your feet took place for us. The darkness of ignorance, thief of the eye of men’s discernment, does not go away without the juice of the herb of your teaching. Now your congregation in worldly existence, ah! becomes an enterprise for helping creatures cross (existence), like a new ford at a river. Homage to you, having the four infinities of Siddhas, possessing all the supernatural powers, submerged in indifference, alone gracious. There is compassion on your part toward Meghamālin, evil-minded, who committed serious injuries in each birth. In what instance is there not compassion on your part? Wherever I stay, wherever I go, may the protection of your lotus-feet not leave my heart.”