Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Misconduct of Goshala which is the first part of chapter IV 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.

Then the Master, attended by Gośāla, wandered in the country Magadha for eight months without attack. Vīra Svāmin went to the city Ālabhikā and passed the seventh rainy season, observing a fast of four months. At the end of four months the Lord broke his fast outside and went to the hamlet Kuṇḍaka, accompanied by Gośāla. There the Master stood in statuesque posture, like a jeweled statue that had been installed, in a corner of Vāsudeva’s temple. Shameless by nature and suffering from long restraint Gośāla stood with his liṅga in the mouth of Viṣṇu’s statue.

A worshipper came and, when he saw him standing so, thought, “Is he some piśāca or some one possessed by a demon?” So reflecting, he entered the temple and observed him and recognized from his nudity that he was probably some ascetic. “If I beat him, then the people will say, ‘A harmless religious was beaten by this wicked man.’ Let the village do to him what is suitable. I shall tell them.” With this idea he went and brought the villagers to see him. He (Gośāla) was struck by the young villagers with slaps and blows with their fists and was released by the elders saying, “Enough of beating a man possessed by a demon.”

The Master, destroying the enemy karma, went to the hamlet Mardana and stood in statuesque posture in Baladeva’s temple. Gośāla put his liṅga in Bala’s mouth and stood as before. As before he was beaten and as before he was released.

The Teacher of the World, distinguished for his penance, went to the village Bahuśāla and stood in statuesque posture in a garden, Śālavana, in it. There a Vyantarī, named Śālāyā, angry without cause, made karma-destroying attacks on the Master. Appeased, she worshipped the Lord: and the Lord went in his wandering to the city Lohārgala which was ruled by King Jitaśatru.

At that time there was enmity between the king and another king. As he was going on the road with Gośāla the Master was seen by the king’s men. The Master said nothing when he was questioned by the king’s men; and there he was taken before Jitaśatru as a spy. Utpala, who had come before from the village Asthika, saw the Lord, paid homage to him, and described the true state of affairs to Jitaśatru. Honored by the king with devotion, the Blessed One went in his wandering to the city Purimatāla and this incident soon took place.

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