Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Story of Purna which is the fourth part of chapter XIII 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.

Now there was a king named Pūrṇa in the city Pṛthivī and his minister, Subuddhi, a depository of the wealth of wit. One day, questioned by Subuddhi in regard to the future, an expert astrologer, named Lokadeva, said: ‘After a month a cloud will rain, but everyone who drinks its water will be possessed by a demon. After some time has passed there will be a good rain. The people will be well again from drinking its water.’ The minister told that to the king and the king had it proclaimed to the people by beating a drum and instructed them to collect water. Everyone did so. The cloud rained on the predicted day. After some time had passed, the collected water was consumed. Then the people, except the king and minister who had unconsumed collected water, vassals, et cetera drank the new water. From drinking it all were seized by demons and danced, laughed, sang, and behaved as they liked in other ways, except the king and minister. The vassals and the others saw that the king and minister were different and they planned to make the king and minister possessed by demons. ‘These two, with practices different from ours have avoided that. We shall make the king and minister, who are different, like ourselves.’

The minister learned about the plan and told the king; and the king said, ‘How will we protect ourselves from them? A mob is like a king.’ The minister said: ‘Becoming possessed by a demon, we must behave like those possessed by a demon. There is no other means of protection. This is suitable for the occasion.’ Then pretending to be possessed by a demon, the king and minister lived in their midst, guarding their own good fortune. Then at the proper time a good rain came and when the new water had been drunk, all became well, having their original nature. Thus in the evil period of time the ascetics will live with the false sādhus, having become like them, waiting for their own opportunity in future.”

After hearing the meaning of his dreams, noble Puṇyapāla, enlightened, took initiation and in course of time attained emancipation.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: