Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Mahavira’s illness which is the twenty-first 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.

Then the Master became weak from dysentery and bilious fever from Gośāla’s hot flash, but he did not use a medicine. From the sight of such illness there was a rumor among the people, “Vīra will die in six months from Gośāla’s hot flash.” Hearing that, Siṃha, a devoted disciple of the Master, went to a secret place and wept aloud. Where is fortitude at such a speech? The Lord knew this from omniscience, summoned him, and said;

“Why do you grieve in your heart, afraid of popular rumor, sādhu? Tīrthakṛts never die from disease. Were not the attacks by Saṅgamaka and others useless?”

Siṃha said: “Blessed One, even if that is true, nevertheless, all the people grieve very much at your illness, Master. So, Master, take medicine to allay the grief of people like me. We are not able even for a moment to see the Master suffering.”

At his insistence the Master said: “Do not take the pan of gourd which was cooked for me by the Sheth’s wife, Revatī. Take the pan of citron which was cooked for the household and come back. I shall give you satisfaction with it.”

Siṃha went to Revatī’s house and got the prescribed remedy which she gave. Immediately a shower of gold was made by delighted gods. Lord Vardhamāna made use of the excellent medicine brought by Siṃha and at once regained health, the full moon to the partridge (cakora) of the congregation.

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