Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Future of Goshala which is the nineteenth part of chapter VIII 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.

Lord Śrī Vardhamāna went to the village Meṇḍhaka and stopped there at shrine named Koṣṭhaka. There Muni Gautama asked the Master at a suitable time, “To what state of existence did Gośāla go?” The Master replied, “He went to Acyuta.” Again Gautama asked: “Master, how did he, evil, with such sins become a god? That is strange to me.” The Master explained: “Godhead is not far from one who denounces his own sins at time of death. Gośāla did this.” Gautama asked, “When he has fallen from Acyuta, Master, where will he be born and when will he attain emancipation?”

The Master said: “In this very Jambūdvīpa in the zone Bhārata there will be a large city Śatadvāra in the Puṇḍras near the Vindhya. There Gośāla’s soul will become the son, named Mahāpadma, of King Sammuci and Bhadrā. He will be a mahārāja and two chiefs of the Yakṣas, Pūrṇabhadra and Māṇibhadra, will command his army. His subjects will give him, the great depository of prosperity, another name, Devasena, originated by his virtues. Of him possessing wonderful splendor just like a cakrin, there will appear a white, four-tusked elephant like another Airāvaṇa. The people, delighted at the sight of him mounted on this, will give him another name, Yimalavāhana.

One day as a result of karma producing hostility to ascetics acquired in a former birth, evil designs against ascetics will develop in him to a high degree. He will injure munis, as soon as he has seen or heard of them, by abuse, beatings, bindings, burnings, and killings. The citizens, ministers, and others will say to him: ‘Oppression of the wicked, protection of the good is suitable for kings. If you do not protect these innocent sādhus, Master, who live on alms, great ascetics, do not protect. But why oppress them? If some muni becomes angry from the beating of an innocent person, then he will consume you and also your subjects by his hot flash.’ Told this by them, he will agree with their speech without feeling.

One day, seated in his chariot, he will go to a garden for sport. He will see a muni, Sumaṅgala, who has three kinds of knowledge, whose hot flash is perfected, practicing penance in the kāyotsarga-posture. Angry without cause, averse to the sight of a sādhu, upsetting him by the front of the chariot, he will make the great sage fall. The muni will get up and will assume kāyotsarga again; and the king will make him fall to the ground again in the same way. Sumaṅgala will get up and again stand in kāyotsarga. Employing clairvoyance and knowing his (the king’s former) births, he will say:

‘O villain! You are not Devasena nor Vimalavāhana. Remember! You are the wretched Gośāla, the son of the Maṅkha Maṅkhali, you by whom your teacher in religion, the last Tīrthakṛt, was injured. At that time you, arrogant, burned two disciples of his. I shall not pardon you as you were pardoned then by them, benevolent. If you do that again, then I shall consume you instantly.’

This being said by him, Mahāpadma, blazing up intensely like a fire sprinkled with ghī, will knock over Sumaṅgala again. Withdrawing seven or eight paces, the muni will consume Mahāpadma with his horses, chariot, and charioteer by his hot flash. Having confessed that deed and having observed the vow for a long time, at the end, after fasting for a month, the muni will go to Sarvārtha. Falling at the end of a life-term of thirty-three sāgaras and being born in the Mahāvidehas, he will attain emancipation by initiation.

When Mahāpadma has been consumed, he will go to the seventh hell. In course of time he will be born twice in all the hells. He will be born again and again in all the genera of animals and he will die in every case killed by a weapon and injured by burning. After wandering through painful births in this way for an endless time, he will be born as a courtesan outside the city Rājagṛha. She will be killed in her sleep by a lover greedy for her ornaments. Having become a courtesan again in Rājagṛha, she will die. He will become a Brāhman’s daughter in the hamlet Ubhela at the foot of the Vindhya and will marry a Brāhman. She, pregnant, will be burned by a forest-fire on the road as she is coming from her father-in-law’s house and will be born among the Agnikumāra-gods.

Then he will be a human and will take initiation and, breaking his ascetic’s vows, will be born in the Asuras. Obtaining human births again and again, breaking his vow repeatedly, he will be born in the Asuras, et cetera. After attaining a human birth again and observing the vow without transgressions, he will become a god in the heaven Saudharma. After observing asceticism in this way through seven births and being born in heaven after heaven, he will go to Sarvārtha.

After falling and becoming the son, named Dṛḍhapratijṭa, intelligent, of a rich man in the Videhas, he will take the vow, disgusted with existence. He, whose omniscience has developed, knowing his own births from the time of the wretched Gośāla, which originated in disrespect of the guru and the killing of munis, will tell them to his disciples. He will instruct his disciples: ‘Disrespect to the guru, et cetera, must in no case be shown. I experienced many births as the fruit of that.’ After so enlightening his disciples, wandering over the earth, Gośāla’s soul will attain emancipation by the destruction of karma.”

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