Jain Friends Home Books Index Articles Index
In that night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira was born, there was a divine lustre originated by many descending and ascending gods and goddesses, and in the universe, resplendent with one light, the conflux of gods occasioned great confusion and noise. (97)
In that night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira was born, many demons in Vaisramana's service belonging to the animal world, rained down on the palace of king Siddhartha one great shower of silver, gold, diamonds, clothes, ornaments, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, garlands, perfumes, sandal, powder, and riches. (98)
After the Bhavanapati, Vyantara, Gyotishka, and Vaimanika gods had celebrated the feast of the inauguration of the Tirthakara's birthday, the Kshatriya Siddhartha called, at the break of the morning, together tht: town policemen and addressed them thus: (99)
'O beloved of the gods, quickly set free all prisoners in the town of Kundapura, increase measures and weights, give order that the whole town of Kundapura with its suburbs be sprinkled with water, swept, and smeared (with cowdung, &c.) that in triangular places, in places where three or four roads meet, in courtyards, in squares, and in thoroughfares, the middle of the road and the path along the shops be sprinkled, cleaned, and swept; that platforms be erected one above the other; that the town be decorated with variously coloured flags and banners, and adorned with painted pavilions; that the walls bear impressions in Gosirsha, fresh red sandal, and Dardara [sandal from Dardara] of the hand with outstretched fingers; that luck-foreboding vases be put on the floor, and pots of the same kind be disposed round every door and arch; that big, round, and long garlands, wreaths, and festoons be hung low and high; that the town be furnished with offerings, &c. (see § 32, down to) smelling box; that players, dancers, rope-dancers, wrestlers, boxers, jesters, story-telling ballad-singers, actors, messengers, pole-dancers, fruit-mongers, bag-pipers, lute-players, and many Talakaras [those who by clapping the hands beat the time during the performance of music] be present. Erect and order to erect thousands of pillars and poles, and report on the execution of my orders.' (100)
When the family servants wre thus spoken to by king Siddhartha, they-glad, pleased, and joyful, &c. (see § 58)-accepted the words of command, saying, 'Yes, master!'
Then they set free all prisoners, &c. (see § 100 down to) pillars and poles. Having done this, they returned to king Siddhartha, and laying their hands on their heads, reported on the execution of his orders. (101)
The. king Siddhirtha then went to the hall for gymnastic exercises, &c. (see §§ 60 and 61). (After having bathed) the king accompanied by his whole seraglio, and adorned with flowers, scented robes, garlands, and ornaments, held during ten days the festival in celebration of the birth of a heir to his kingdom; (it was held) under the continuous din and sound of trumpets, with great state and splendour, with a great train of soldiers, vehicles. and guests, under the sound, din, and noise of conches, cymbals, drums, castanets, horns, small drums, kettle drums, Muragas, Mridangas, and Dundubhis [three kinds of drums], which were accompanied at the same time by trumpets. The customs, taxes, and confiscations were released, buying and selling prohibited, no policemen were allowed to enter houses, great and small fines were remitted, and debts cancelled. Numberless excellent actors performed and many Talakaras were present, drums sounded harmoniously, fresh garlands and wreaths were seen everywhere, and the whole population in the town and in the country rejoiced and was in full glee. (102)
When the ten days of this festival were over, the king Siddhartha gave and ordered to be given hundreds and thousands and hundred-thousands of offerings to the gods, gifts, and portions (of goods); he received and ordered to be received hundreds, thousands, and hundred-thousands of presents. (103)
The parents of the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira celebrated the birth of their heir on the first day, on the third day they showed him the sun and the moon, on the sixth day they observed the religious vigil; after the eleventh day, when the impure operations and ceremonies connected with the birth of a child had been performed, and the twelfth day had come, they prepared plenty of food, drink, spices, and sweetmeats, invited their friends, relations, kinsmen, agnates, cognates, and followers, together with the Gņatrika Kshatriyas. Then they bathed, made offerings (to the house-gods), and performed auspicious rites and expiatory acts, put on excellent, lucky, pure court-dress, and adorned their persons with small but costly ornaments. At -dinner-time they sat down on excellent, comfortable chairs in the dining-hall, and together with their friends, relations, kinsmen, agnates, cognates and followers, and with the Gņatrika Kshatriyas they partook, ate, tasted, and interchangred (bits) of a Iarge collation of food, drink, spices, and sweetmeats. (104)
After dinner they went (to the meeting hall) after having cleansed their mouths and washed; when perfectly clean, they regaled and honoured their friends, &c. (see § 104, down to) Gņatrika Kshatriyas with many flowers, clothes, perfumes, garlands,and ornaments. Then they spoke thus to their friends, &c.: (105)
'Formerly,O beloved of the gods, when we had begotten this our boy, the following personal, reflectional, desirable idea occurred to our mind: "From the moment that this our boy has been begotten, our silver increased, our gold increased, &c. (see § 91, down to) Vardhamana. Now our wishes have been fulfilled, therefore shall the name of our boy be Vardhamana."' (106,107)
The Venerable Ascetic Mahavira belonged to the Kasyapa gotra. His three names have thus been recorded - by his parents he was called Vardhamana; because he is devoid of love and hate, he is called Sramana (i. e. Ascetic); because he stands fast in midst of dangers and fears, patiently bears hardships and calamities, adheres to the chosen rules of penance, is wise, indifferent to pleasure and pain, rich in control, and gifted with fortitude, the name Venerable Ascetic Mahavira has been given him by the gods. (108)
The Venerable Ascetic Mahavira's father belonged to the Kasyapa gotra; he had three names: Siddhartha, Sreyamsa, and Gasamsa, &c. (see Akaraga Sutra II, 15, § 15, down to) Seshavati and Yasovati. (109)
The Venerable Ascetic Mahavira -clever, with the aspirations of a clever man, of great beauty, controlling (his senses), lucky, and modest; a Gņatri Kshatriya, the son of a Gņatri Kshatriya; the moon of the clan of the Gņatris; a Videha, the son of Videhadatta, a native of Videha, a prince of Videha-had lived thirty years in Videha when his parents went to the world of the gods (i. e. died), and he with the permission of his elder brother and the authorities of the kingdom fulfilled his promise. At that moment the Laukantika gods, following the established custom, praised and hymned him with these kind, pleasing, &c. (see § 47, down to) sweet, and soft words: (110)
'Victory, victory to thee, gladdener of the world! Victory, victory to thee, lucky one! Luck to thee, bull of the best Kshatriyas! Awake, reverend lord of the world! Establish the religion of the law which benefits all living beings in the whole universe! It will bring supreme benefit to all living beings in all the world!'
Thus they raised the shout of victory. (111)
Before the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira had adopted the life of a householder (i.e. before his marriage) he possessed supreme, unlimited, unimpeded knowledge and intuition. The Venerable Ascetic Mahivira perceived with this his supreme unlimited knowledge and intuition that the time for his Renunciation had come. He left his silver, he left his gold, he left his riches, corn, majesty, and kingdom; his army, grain, treasure, storehouse, town, seraglio, and subjects; he quitted and rejected his real, valuable property, such as riches, gold, precious stones, jewels, pearls, conches, stones, corals, rubies, &c.; he distributed presents through proper persons, he distributed presents among indigent persons. (112)
In that period, in that age, in the first month of winter, in the first fortnight, in the dark (fortnight) of Margasiras, on its tenth day, when the shadow had turned towards the east and the (first) Paurushi was full and over, on the day called Suvrata, in the Muhurta called Vigaya, in the palankin Kandraprabha, (Mahivira) was followed on his way by a train of gods, men, and Asuras, (and surrounded) by a swarm of shell-blowers, proclaimers, pattivallas, courtiers, men carrying others on the back, heralds, and bell bearers. They praised and hymned him with these kind, pleasing, &c. (see § 47, down to) sweet and soft words: O 13)
'Victory, victory to thee, gladdener of the world! Victory to thee, lucky one! Luck to thee! with undisturbed knowledge, intuition, and good conduct conquer the unconquered Senses; defend the conquered Law of the Sramanas; Majesty, conquering all obstacles, live in Perfection; put down with thy devotion Love and Hate, the (dangerous) wrestlers; vigorously gird thy loins with constancy and overcome the eight Karmans, our foes, with supreme, pure meditation; heedful raise the banner of content, O Hero! in the arena of the three worlds gain the supreme, best knowledge, called Kevala, which is free from obscurity; obtain the pre-eminent highest rank (i. e. final liberation) on that straight road which the best Ginas have taught; beat the army of obstacles! Victory, victory to thee, bull of the best Kshatriyas!
Many days, many fortnights, many months, many seasons, many half-years, many years be not afraid of hardships and calamities, patiently bear dangers and fears; be free from obstacles in the practice of the law!'
Thus they raised the shout of victory. (114)
Then the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira-gazed on by a circle of thousands of eyes, praised by a circle of thousands of mouths, extolled by a circle of thousands of hearts, being the object of many thousands of wishes, desired because of his splendour, beauty, and virtues, pointed out by a circle of thousands of forefingers, answering with (a, salam) of his right hand a circle of thousands of joined hands of thousands of men and women, passing along -a row of thousands of palaces, greeted by sweet and delightful music, as beating of time, performance on the Vina, Turya, and the great drum, in which joined shouts of victory, and the low and pleasing murmur of the people; accompanied by all his pomp, all his splendour, all his army, all his train, by all his retinue- by all his magnificence, by all his grandeur, by all his ornaments, by all the tumult, by all the throng, by all subjects, by all actors, by all timebeaters, by the whole seraglio; adorned with flowers, scented robes, garlands, and ornaments, &c. (see § 102, down to) which were accompanied at the same time by trumpets-went right through Kundapura to a park called the Shandavana of the Gņatris and proceeded to the excellent tree Asoka. (115) There under the excellent tree Asoka he caused his palankin to stop, descended from his palankin, took off his ornaments, garlands, and finery with his own hands, and with his own bands plucked out his hair in five handfuls. When the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Uttaraphalguni, he, after fasting two and a half days' without drinking water, put on a divine robe, and quite alone, nobody else being present, he tore out his hair and leaving the house entered the state of houselessness. (116)
The Venerable Ascetic Mahavira for a year anda month wore clothes; after that time he walked about naked, and accepted the alms in the hollow of his hand. For more than twelve years the Venerable Ascetic Mahivira neglected his body and abandoned the care of it; he with equanimity bore, underwent, and suffered all pleasant or unpleasant occurrences arising from divine powers, men, or animals. (117)
Henceforth the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira was houseless, circumspect in his walking, circumspect in his speaking, circumspect in his begging, circumspect in his accepting (anything), in the carrying of his outfit and drinking vessel; circumspect in evacuating excrements, urine, saliva, mucus, and uncleanliness of the body; circumspect in his thoughts, circumspect in his words, circumspect in his acts; guarding his thoughts, guarding his words, guarding his acts, guarding his senses, guarding his chastity; without wrath, without pride, without deceit, without greed; calm, tranquil, composed, liberated, free from temptations, without egoism, without property; he had cut off all earthly ties, and was not stained by any worldliness: as water does not adhere to a copper vessel, or collyrium to mother of pearl (so sins found no place in him); his course was unobstructed like that of Life; like the firmament he wanted no support; like the wind he knew no obstacles; his heart was pure like the water (of rivers or tanks) in autumn; nothing could soil him like the leaf of a lotus; his senses were well protected like those of a tortoise; he was single and alone like the horn of a rhinoceros; he was free like a bird; he was always waking like the fabulous bird Bharundal, valorous like an elephant, strong like a bull, difficult to attack like a lion, steady and firm like Mount Mandara, deep like the ocean, mild like the moon, refulgent like the sun, pure like excellent gold'; like the earth he patiently bore everything; like a well-kindled fire he shone in his splendour.
These words have been summarized in two verses:
A vessel, mother of pearl, life, firmament, wind, water in autumn, leaf of lotus, a tortoise, a bird, a rhinoceros, and Bhirunda; I
An elephant, a bull, a lion, the king of the mountains, and the ocean unshaken-tbe moon, the sun, gold, the earth, well-kindled fire. II
There were no obstacles anywhere for the Venerable One. The obstacles have been declared to be of four kinds, viz. with regard to matter, space, time, affects. With regard to matter: in things animate, inanimate, and of a mixed state, with regard to space: in a village or a town or in a wood or in a field or a threshing-floor or a house' or a court-yard; with regard to time: in a Samayas or an Avalika or in the time of a respiration or in a Stoka or in a Kshana or in a Lava or in a Muhurta or in a day or in a fortnight or in a month or in a season or in a half year or in a year or in a long space of time; with regard to affects: in wrath or in pride or in deceit or in greed or in fear or in mirth or in love or in hate or in quarrelling or in calumny or in tale-bearing or in scandal or in pleasure or pain or in deceitful falsehood, &c. (all down to) or in the evil of wrong belief. There was nothing of this kind in the Venerable One. (118)
The Venerable One lived, except in the rainy season, all the eight months of summer and winter, in villages only a single night, in towns only five nights; he was indifferent alike to the smell of ordure and of sandal, to straw and jewels, dirt and gold, pleasure and pain, attached neither to this world nor to that beyond, desiring neither life nor death, arrived at the other shore of the sams.Ara, and he exerted himself for the suppression of the defilement of Karman. (119)
With supreme knowledge, with supreme intuition, with supreme conduct, in blameless lodgings, in blameless wandering, with supreme valour, with supreme uprightness, with supreme mildness, with supreme dexterity, with supreme patience, with supreme freedom from passions, with supreme control, with supreme contentment, with supreme understanding, on the supreme path to final liberation, which is the fruit of veracity, control, penance, and good conduct, the Venerable One meditated on himself for twelve years.
During the thirteenth year, in the second month of summer, in the fourth fortnight, the light (fortnight) of Vaisakha, on its tenth day, when the shadow had turned towards the east and the first wake was over, on the day called Suvrata, in the Muhurta called Vigaya, outside of the town Grimbhikagrama on the bank of the river Rigupalika, not far from an old temple, in the field of the householder Samaga, under a Sal tree, when the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Uttaraphalguni, (theVenerable One) in a squatting position with joined heels, exposing himself to the heat of the sun, after fasting two and a half days without drinking water, being engaged in deep meditation, reached the highest knowledge and intuition, called Kevala, which is infinite, supreme, unobstructed, unimpeded, complete, and full. (120)
When the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira had become a Gina and Arhat, he was a Kevalin, omniscient and comprehending all objects; he knew and saw all conditions of the world, of gods, men, and demons: whence they come, whither they go, whether they are born as men or animals (kyavana) or become gods or hell-beings (upapada), the ideas, the thoughts of their minds, the food, doings, desires, the open and secret deeds of all the living beings in the whole world; he the Arhat, for whom there is no secret, knew and saw all conditions of all living beings in the world, what they thought, rpoke, or did at any moment. (121)
In that period, in that age the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira stayed the first raimy season in Asthikagrama, three rainy seasons in Kampi and Prishtikampi, twelve in Vaisali and Vanigagrima, fourteen in Ragagriha and the suburbs of Nalanda, six in Mithila, two in Bhadrika, one in Alabhika, one in Panitabhumi one in Sravasti, one i.n the town of Papa in king Hastipala's office of the writers: that was his very last rainy season. (122)
In the fourth month of that rainy season, in the seventh fortnight, in the dark (fortnight) of Karttika, on its fifteenth day, in the last night, in the town of Papa, in king Hastipala's office of the writers, the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira died, went off, quitted the world, cut asunder the ties of birth, old age, and death; became a Siddha, a Buddha, a Mukta, a maker of the end (to all misery), finally liberated, freed from all pains. (123)
This occurred in the year called Kandra, the second (of the lustrum); in the month called Pritivardhana; in the fortnight Nandivardhana; on the day Suvratagni, surnamed Upasama; in the night called Devinanda, surnamed Nirriti; in the Lava called Arkya; in the respiration called Mukta; in the Stoka called Siddha; in the Karana called Naga; in the Muhurta called Sarvirthasiddha; while the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Svati he died, &c. (see above, all down to) freed from all pains. (124)
That night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira died, &c. (all down to) freed from all pains, was lighted up by many descending and ascending gods. (125)
In that night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira died, &c. (all down to) freed from all pains, a great confusion and noise was originated by many descending and ascending gods. (126)
In that night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira died, &c. (all down to) freed from all pains, his oldest disciple, the monk Indrabhuti of the Gautama gotra, cut asunder the tie of friendship which he had for his master, and obtained the highest knowledge and intuition, called Kevala, which is infinite, supreme, &c., complete, and full. (127)
In that night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira, died, &c. (all down to) freed from all pains, the eighteen confederate kings of Kasi and Kosala, the nine Mallakis and nine Likkhavis, on the day of new moon, instituted an illuminations on the Poshadha, which was a fasting day; for they said: 'Since the light of intelligence is gone, let us make an illumination of material matter!' (128)
In that night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira died, &c. (all down to) freed from all pains, the great Graha [comet] called Kshudratma, resembling a heap of ashes, which remains for two thousand years in one asterism, entered the natal asterism, of the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira. (129) From the moment in which the great Graha, &c., entered the natal asterism of the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira, there will not he paid much respect and honour to the Sramanas, the Nirgrantha monks and nuns. (130) But when the great Graha, &c., leaves that natal asterism, there will be paid much respect and honour to the Sramanas, the Nirgrantha monks and nuns. (131)
In that night in which the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira died, &c. (all down to) freed from all pains, the animalcule called Anuddhari was originated:. which when at rest and not moving, is not easily seen by Nirgrantha monks and nuns who have not yet reached the state of perfection, but which when moving and not at rest, is easily seen by Nirgrantha monks and nuns who have not yet reached the state of perfection. (132) On seeing this (animalcule) many Nirgrantha monks and nuns must refuse to accept the offered alms.
'Master, why has this been said?' 'After this time the observance of control will be difficult.' (133)
In that period, in that age the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira had an excellent community of fourteen thousand Sramanas with Indrabhuti at their head; (134) thirty-six thousand nuns with Kandana at their head; (135) one hundred and fifty-nine thousand lay votaries with Sankhasataka. at their head; (136) three hundred and eighteen thousand female lay votaries with Sulasa and Revati at their head; (137) three hundred sages who knew the fourteen Purvas, who though no Ginas came very near them, who knew the combination of all letters, and like Gina preached according to the truth; (138) thirteen hundred sages who were possessed of the Avadhi-knowledge and superior qualities; (139) seven hundred Kevalins who possessed the combined best knowledge and intuition; (140) seven hundred who could transform themselves, and, though no gods, had obtained the powers (riddhi) of gods; (141) five hundred sages of mighty intellect who know the mental conditions of all developed beings possessed of intellect and five senses in the two and a half continents and two oceans; (142) four hundred professors who were never vanquished in the disputes occurring in the assemblies of gods, men, and Asuras; (143) seven hundred male and fourteen hundred female disciples who reached perfection, &c. (all down to) freed from all pains; (144) eight hundred sages in their last birth who were happy as regards their station, happy as regards their existence, lucky as regards their future. (145)
The Venerable Ascetic Mahavira instituted two epochs in his capacity of a Maker of an end: the epoch relating to generations, and the epoch relating to psychical condition; in the third generation ended the former epoch, and in the fourth year of his Kevaliship the latter. (146)
In that period, in that age, the Venerable Ascetic MaMvira lived thirty years as a householder, more than full twelve years in a state inferior to perfection, something less than thirty years as a Kevalin, forty-two years as a monk, and seventy-two years on the whole. When his Karman which produces Vedaniya (or what one has to experience in this world), Ayus (length of life), name, and family, had been exhausted, when in this Avasarpini era the greater part of the Duhshamasushama period had elapsed and only three years and eight and a half months were left, when the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Svati, at the time of early morning, in the town of Papa, and in king Hastipala's office of the writers, (Mahivira) single and alone, sitting in the Samparyahka, posture, reciting the fifty-five lectures which detail the results of Karman, and the thirty-six unasked questions (the Uttaradhyana Sutra), when he just explained the chief lecture (that of Marudeva) he died, &c. (see § 124, all down to) freed from all pains. (147)
Since the time that the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira died, &c. (all down to) freed from all pains, nine centuries have elapsed, and of the tenth century this is the eightieth year. Another redaction has ninety-third year (instead of eightieth). (148)
End of the Fifth Lecture.
End of the Life of Mahavira.
Jain Friends Home Books Index Articles Index