Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

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

Part 5: Marīci’s pride

When he had heard that, Marīci jumped three steps three times from joy and said aloud:

“I shall be the first Viṣṇu; in the city Mūkā there will be the rank of Cakravartin; I shall be the last Arhat. Enough of anything else for me. I shall be the first of the Vāsudevas; my father is first of the cakravartins; my grandfather is the first of the Tīrthakṛts. Oh! Indeed, my family is the highest.”

Thus, showing pride in caste,[1] clapping his hands repeatedly, Marīci acquired karma called ‘low-family’ (nīcagotra).

After Ṛṣabha’s emancipation, he wandered with the sādhus and after he had enlightened bhavyas, he sent them to the sādhus. One day, when he was attacked by sickness, the sādhus said, “He does not practice self-control,” and did not take care of him. Ill, he reflected to himself: “Shame on these sādhus, discourteous, devoid of compassion, devoted to nothing but their own affairs, averse to dealing with people, since they do not even look at me, much less take care of me, though I am intimate (with them), friendly, initiated by the same teacher, and polite. And yet, this is an evil thought on my part. Since they do not care for their own bodies, why then should they care for me when I am ill? When I have recovered from this illness, therefore, I shall make some disciple an attendant of my own and, indeed, with this same garb.” Thus reflecting, Marīci recovered by the power of fate.

Footnotes and references:


Jātimada is pride in caste, but ordinarily Marīci is said to have suffered from kulamada, pride in family. E.g. below, 2. 12. For the 8 ‘prides’ see Sam. 8; I, n. 391.

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