Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Initiation and death of Abhaya which is the fourth part of chapter XII 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 4: Initiation and death of Abhaya

After hearing this and bowing to the Blessed One, Abhaya went to Śreṇika and began to speak: “If I become king, father, then I can not be a yati, since Śrī Vīra said that Udāyana would be the last royal sage. Since I have obtained Śrī Vīra as master and the state of being your son, if I, distracted, do not cut off the pain of existence, then who else is base? I am Abhaya by name, father, but I am fearful of existence. So I am taking refuge with Vīra who gives fearlessness to the world. Give orders. Enough for me of sovereignty, the cause of arrogance and pleasure, since the sages say that happiness depends chiefly on contentment.” When Abhaya, though urged persistently, did not take the kingdom, then he was allowed joyfully by the king to take the vow. Abandoning the kingdom like straw, he took initiation—the seat of contentment and happiness—at the feet of Vīra, the last Tīrthakeśa. Since Abhaya had taken the vow, Nandā obtained permission from King Śreṇika and took the vow at the feet of Śrī Mahāvīra. The two earrings and the two divine garments were given to Halla and Vihalla by Nandā wandering as a mendicant fearlessly.

Then for the sake of enlightening bhavyas, the Blessed One wandered over the earth, attended by gods and asuras. After observing the vow accompanied by many special vows for a long time, Abhaya died and became the chief god in Sarvārthasiddha.

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