Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Incarnation as Priyamitra which is the fifteenth 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 15: Incarnation as Priyamitra

Then he descended into the womb of Dhāriṇī, wife of King Dhanaṭjaya, in the city Mūkā in the West Videhas. At the proper time she bore a son with full marks, whose magnificence as a cakradhara was indicated by fourteen great dreams. His parents named him Priyamitra and he grew up gradually with his parents’ wishes. Then king Dhanaṭjaya, disgusted with worldly existence, installed his son, Priyamitra, on the throne and took the vow. The fourteen great jewels of King Priyamitra, who protected the country like a wife, appeared gradually.

Following the cakra, he set out to conquer the province with six divisions. He went to the east and stopped at Māgadhatīrtha. Accompanied by the fourfold army, he made a three-day fast. At the end of the fourth day, he got into a chariot, went a short distance, and took his bow. The king shot an arrow, marked with his name, like an eagle, in the direction of the Prince of Māgadhatīrtha. The arrow crossed twelve yojanas in the air and fell in front of the god of Māgadha like a portentous thunderbolt.

“By whom wishing to die was this arrow shot?” Reflecting thus, the Lord of Magadha jumped up angrily and picked up the arrow. When he had seen the row of letters of the cakrin’s name, he was instantly appeased and went to Priyamitra, taking presents. Saying, “I accept your commands,” standing in the air, he, diplomatic, paid homage to the king with many presents. After he had entertained him and dismissed him, the cakrin returned, broke his fast, and held an eight-day festival in honor of the god of Māgadha. Then he went to the south, like the sun in Cancer.

As before, the king subdued the god Varadāman. The cakrabhṛt went to the west and subdued the Lord of Prabhāsatīrtha according to formula; and went to the Sindhu. The Sindhu appeared in person before the king, who had fasted three days, and gave him two divine jeweled thrones, and ornaments. He dismissed her and, following the cakra-jewel, went to Vaitāḍhya. He made a three-day fast and subdued the Prince of Mt. Vaitāḍhya. He went to Tamisrā and Kṛtamāla gave other ornaments suitable for the woman-jewel to the king engaged in a three-day fast. At the cakrin’s command the general crossed the Sindhu by the skin (-jewel) and easily subdued the first division of the Sindhu.

The general returned and, at Priyamitra’s command, fasted for three days and opened Tamisrā with a blow of the staff (-jewel). The cakrin mounted the elephant-jewel, set the gem-jewel on its right boss for light and entered the cave Tamisrā. For light in the cave the cakrin scratched circles, like suns, on the sides with the cowrie-jewel and advanced, following the cakra. After the king had crossed the rivers Unmagnā and Nimagnā by a bridge, he went out of the mountain by a door on the north which opened of its own accord.

There the cakrabhṛt conquered the Kirātas, named Āpātas, and had the second division of the Sindhu conquered by the general. Then the king turned back, following the cakra, went to Vaitādhya, and conquered the Vidyādharas of the two rows on it.

After he had the first division of the Gaṅgā conquered by the general, he himself subdued the goddess Gaṅgā by a three-day fast. The king and his army went out of Mt. Vaitāḍhya through (the cave) Khaṇḍaprapātā by a door opened by the general.

Then the nine treasures, Naisarpa, et cetera, became submissive to Cakrin Priyamaitra engaged in a three-day fast. After he had the second division of the Gaṅgā conquered by the general, the province with six divisions being conquered, the cakrin returned to the city Mūkā. His consecration as cakrabhṛt, which lasted for twelve years, was made by gods and men, together with a great festival.

While the king was protecting the earth with good policy, one day the Ācārya Poṭṭila stopped in a garden. After he had heard dharma in his presence, he installed his son on the throne, became a mendicant, and practiced severe penance for a crore of years.

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