When the personality like a Tirthankara is conceived, the lord of wealth (Mammon, Kubera) showers 3.5 crores of gems daily by the order of the lord of deities (Indra) even before six months of his conception. Thus, there is rains of gems and gold for fifteen months – six months prior to conception and nine months of post conception. When there is conception, the mother sees sixteen dreams in the last Prehara-hours (~ 3-4 a.m.) of the night. The mother comes to the royal court in the morning and tells her husband about the dreams. She asks about the interpretation of the dreams. The king interprets them through his clairvoyance (AvadhijnÂna) and tells her the interpretation.
The leader of the royal court i.e. the king points out that :
(1) By seeing the AirÂvata elephant, you will have a superb son.
(2) By seeing the white superb bull, your son will earn name and fame throughout the world.
(3) By seeing a lion, the son will have infinite strength.
(4) By seeing a pair of garlands, your son will be a TÍrthankara.
(5) By seeing the goddess of wealth (LaxmÍ), your son will be anointed by the divinities on the top of the Sumeru mountain.
(6) By seeing the moon, he will be offering pleasure to all the living beings.
(7) By seeing the Sun, he will have shining radiance.
(8) By seeing two sacred pitchers, he will acquire many kinds of treasures.
(9) By seeing the pair of fish, he will be highly happy.
(10) By seeing the pond, he will be enriched with many auspicious marks and meritorious qualities.
(11) By seeing the Ocean, he will be the omniscient.
(12) By seeing the throne, he will be the great teacher of the universe and will gain its kingdom.
(13) By seeing the empyrean plane (VimÂna), he will arrive from the heavens to be conceived.
(14) By seeing the abode of NÂgendra, he will have the vision of the clairvoyance.
(15) By seeing the glittering heap of gems, he will be the treasure house of superb qualities.
(16) By seeing the smokeless fire, he will be burning the karmic fuel by self.
In addition, the entry of the bull in your mouth in dream means that the Venerable TÍrthankara will be embodied in your womb.
The queen-mother is thrilled with pleasure by listening to the interpretation of her dreams. At the time of conception, the Lord Venerable transmigrationally arrives from the heavens and stands located in the womb of the mother like a gem in the cavity of an oyster shell. There are certain signs appearing in the abodes of all the deity-lords of heavens. They interpret them as the indication of the conception of the Venerable. They come to the city of the parents of the TÍrthankara and circumambulate the city and offer their bowings to the parents of the TÍrthankara. They celebrate the occasion in many ways through the festivity of music and dances and return back to their heavenly abodes. From this time onwards, six virgin female divinities (DikkumÂrÍs) named êçi, HçÍ, Dhçti, KÍrti, Buddhi and Laxmi live with the mother to serve her all the times with the command of the lord of heavens (Indra). They try to keep the mother always happy through eulogies, religious discourses and other pleasing activities.
As soon as the TÍrthankara is born, the seats of lords of divinities (Indras) begin to tremble. Their crowns are automatically bent. There is flower-showers from the wish-fulfilling trees. At that time, the sounds of (i) bells, (ii) roaring of lion, (iii) kettledrums & of (iv) conches start in the heavenly abodes of empyreans (KalpavÂsÍ), astrals, peripatetics & mansional deities respectively. On the basis of these phenomena, the deities learn the birth of the TÍrthankara. There is a wave of glee around the three parts of the occupied universe on the occassion of the birth of the TÍrthankara.
On the command of the Indra, all the four-fold deities and their armies come out of their heavenly abodes. The Saudharma Indra and his wife-IndrÂàÍ ride on the AirÂvata elephant (having a size of one lac Yojanas) and come to the city of the birth-AyodhyÂ and circumambulate it three times. IndrÂàÍ brings the child Jina from the maternity room. The Indra has a sacred sight of him. He takes him into his lap and gets him seated on AirÂvata elephant and moves for Sumeru mountain. At that time, there are festivities of music (by crores of musical instruments) i.e. singing and dance, making the alround atmosphere auspiciously gleeful.
On reaching the top of Meru mountain, the Indra enthrones Lord Jina on the PÂnduka rock located in the north-east (ÊíÂna) direction on the Meru mountain. The Indra, then, anoints the Jina through thousands of sacred waterpots from his thousands of proteated hands. The Indras and all other deities earn the excellent sacred karmas through this eulogy and anointing of the Lord Jina.
Afterwards, the consorts of Indras also anoint the Jina and adore him with excellent dresses and ornaments. The Indra also celebrates the naming ritual there. Afterwards, he brings the Lord Jina to AyodhyÂ and hands him over to his parents. Then, he has the festivity of frantic dancing (TÂndava) and offering of worship to the Jina parents. He appoints many divine-youths of the same age and dress to serve the child Jina and then he & other deities leave for their heavenly abodes.The Jina does not drink the mother’s milk but he grows by sucking the nectar from his own thumb. This nectar is established there by Indra.
In his early age, the child Jina is always making his parents gleeful through his gentle smiles and sporting on the gem-like sands with divine-children. The Jina has the three cognitions-Mati (sensory), êruta (scriptural) and Avadhi (clairvoyance). Hence, he is the preceptor of all the (earlier) Jina literature and lord of the goddess of learnings-SarasvatÍ. He is, therefore, designated as ‘ the great teacher of the universe’. He does not, hence, accept anybody as his teacher. There are ten specific excellences (Atiíayas) of the Jina since his birth. In his householder state, the Jina experiences the pleasure of all the materials brought from the heavenly gem-made baskets.
Whenever, the Jina has some cause of detachment from the world or he has a natural inclination for it, the LaukÂntika devas (empyrean deities aboding the apex of the fifth heaven and destined to be salvated in the next birth) come to him and eulogize for his detachmental attitude and express their devotion to him. The Jina sits in a palanquin brought by the deities and is carried over first by the Kings and, then, by the VidyÂdharas. Later on, the deities carry the palanquin to the forest (place) of initiation (DÍkîÂ). The Venerable Jina, then, plucks his hairs himself with five-fold fist-clenching, renounces all the possessions and gets himself initiated by pronouncing the words-“Om namah Siddhebhyah (Bowings to the Salvated)”. The plucked hairs of the Jina are carried by the deities in the gem-baskets and they drop them in KîÍra-ocean (milky ocean) with great respect. The Venerable holds silence during his non-omniscient state (Chadma stage) after initiation, until he attains omniscience.
When the four destructive karmas (ghÂtiyÂ) are destroyed due to the effect of meditation, there is manifestation of omniscience (perfect knowledge) where three parts of occupied universe and non-universe and their contents are simultaneously & directly perceived in a moment. The Jina moves 5000 D up in the sky on attaining omniscience. On command from the Indra, the lord of wealth constructs the structure of holy assembly (Samavaíaraàa). The steps of the holy assembly begin from the height of one Hasta (~1.5 ft.) from the ground. There are twenty thousand steps which measure one Hasta (~1.5 ft.) each. These steps may be climbed by the blind, lame, children, old and patients in an Antarmuhörta (48 minutes). The structure of the Holy Assembly, in brief, is as follows :
First of all, there is an alround boundary wall named as Dhuli-sÂla kota. After that there are four pride-subduing pillars (MÂna-stambhas, with Jina images on the top) in four directions. There are water-ponds around these pillars. The ponds are surrounded by trenches full of clean water. Then there is a small garden (LatÂvana) with climbing creepers. There is, then, the first Kota (boundary wall). Beyond this Kota, there are two music and dance halls (NÂtyaíÂlÂs) on each of both the sides and in front. There is, then, the second forest of Aíoka trees with compound wall (VedikÂ) ahead. There are, then, the rows of flags with second boundary wall. Afterwards, there is the forest of wish-fulfilling trees with a compound wall (VedikÂ). There is then, the Stöpas (domes) followed by the rows of houses. There is, then, the third boundary wall made of sphatika gems (quartz). There are twelve assembly halls of human beings, deities and saints inside this wall. There is, then, a seat on the top of which the omniscient Jina is seated. The Enlightened Jina sits with his face in the East or North in the holy assembly round which there are twelve seating halls (in clockwise direction) capable of seating the members of twelve groups(gaàas) in their respective order. (Please see the Holy Assembly in figure7 later in the text).
On attaining omniscience, there is a natural manifestation of ten excellences (Atiíayas) for the Venerable TÍrthankara. Similarly, there is also the manifestation of fourteen excellences caused by divinities. The Jaina Lords also have eight auspicious attending emblems (PrÂtihÂryas). Also, there is manifestation of the tetrad of infinities (Ananta Catuîtaya). Thus, the Venerable Jaina Lord moves for quite a long time propounding His sermons.
In the end, he restrains all his activities (yoga-nirodha) and destroys the remaining four non-destructive (AghÂtiyÂ) karmas. Later, he attains the abode of the salvated ones (Mokîa). Siddhas enjoy the self based bliss there for infinite times. (Please see Table-2 in the end of the book for all the informations about 24 TÍrthankaras).
How He Became Vçîabhadeva ? : His Earlier Births
There is a country named Gandhila in Videha region in the Western side of Meru mountain in this JambödvÍpa. This country is as beautiful as the heavens. There is always sunrise there in the form of Jina-deva. Therefore, there are no wrong faithed people (MithyÂdçîti) at any time in this country. There is a large silvery mountain named VijayÂrdha in the central part of this country. There is a beautiful city named AlakÂ in the North of this mountain. Atibala, a VidyÂdhara was the king of this city. He had a faithful & devoted queen named ManoharÂ. They had a highly fortunate son named MahÂbala. At a proper time, the king Atibala handed over the reigns of the kingdom to his son MahÂbala with prestigious coronation and got himself initiated in a forest alongwith many VidyÂdharas. The king MahÂbala had four ministers who were very intelligent, far-sighted and affectionate. Their names were : (1) MahÂmati, (2) Sambhinnamati, (3) êatamati and (4) Svayambuddha. Out of them, only Svayambuddha was right-faithed (SamyagdçîtÍ) while the other three were wrong-faithed.
Once, the king was sitting on his throne in a festivity of his birthday. Many interesting programmes of dance, music and scholarly assembly etc. were also being held at that time. During that festivity, the minister Svayambuddha made vitally illuminating speech on Jainism with the desire of benevolence of the king. The materialist minister MahÂmati was incapable of understanding his speech. He, therefore, made a speech to establish the CÂrvÂka system and proved the non-existence of the soul (JÍva Tatva). The minister Sambhinnamati wished to prove the non-existence of the soul on the basis of the theory of knowledge-VijnÂnavÂda. He said that the knowledge is the only basic element and the rest is only a delusion or illusion. After him, the minister êatamati lectured and proved all the world as void on the basis of the theory of voidness (êönyavÂda). Presently, both of these theories are included in Buddhism.
After listening to all the three ministers, Svayambhuddha refuted their absolutist theories on the basis of logic and scriptures (Àgama) and made them answerless by proving the religion of non-violence, having a nature of multiple-predications (SyÂdvÂda). The king was pleased with his speech. After some time, the minister Svayambuddha went on a sacred trip to visit the natural (Akçtrima) temples on Meru mountain. On reaching there, he first circumambulated the temple and offered bowings many times with devotion and worshipped the Jinas there. Gradually he made sacred visit to the natural temples located in Bhadra-êÂla forest etc. and later sat in the temple in the Saumanasa forest. While sitting there he suddenly saw two sky-moving (a prodigy) saints named Àdityagati and Arinjaya, who had come from Videha region. Both the saints were the main swans of the pond of the holy assembly of the Venerable ‘Yugmandhara’. The minister rose from his position, circumambulated them, eulogised them and offered worship to them. He, then, asked them, “O Lord, the king of VidyÂdharas-MahÂbala is my Lord. I want to ask whether he is liberatable (Bhavya) or non-liberatable (Abhavya). Will he have faith in Jaina precept, preached by me to him, in same way as validated by logic ?” The clairvoyant saint-Àdityagati told him,” O liberatable, your Lord is liberatable only. He will believe on your words and he will be the first TÍrthankara in the Bharata Kshetra of JambödvÍpa in his tenth birth from now. I will tell you about his pre-birth.”
“There is the town of Simhapura in the country of ‘Gandhila’ in the Videha region in the western side of Meru mountain in JambödvÍpa. êri-îeàa was the king of that kingdom. His queen was SundarÍ. They had two sons named JayavarmÂ and êrivarmÂ. Looking at the capability and due to affection, the father king handed over the reigns of the kingdom to his younger son – êrivarmÂ. It pinched his elder brother, who became detached from the world and got himself initiated by the saint preceptor Svayamprabha. He began undertaking austerities and when, once, he saw MahÍdhara VidyÂdhara moving in the sky, he developed a desire to be VidhyÂdhara in the next birth. At the same time, he was bitten by a snake and died. After that, he is reborn as MahÂbala who is your Lord today. He has seen two dreams tonight. You go and interpret these dreams and tell him about his pre-birth. He is going to have a good fortune.”
After listening to the pre-birth of MahÂbala and command from the saint, the minister Svayambuddha returned to his capital and said to the king. “O Lord, the dream you have seen that your three ministers have put you in the mud (of wrong-faith) and I have raised you and got you seated on the throne – indicates that you have been relieved from the bad effect of wrong-faith (MithyÂtva) and you have taken the shelter in Jainism. In the second dream, you have seen the dying fire-flame. It indicates that your life-span has to last for one month only. You will be a TÍrthankara in the tenth rebirth from now.”
The minister told all the story to MahÂbala as narrated by the saint. On hearing all this, the king MahÂbala handed over the reigns of the Kingdom to his son Atibala and went to the Siddhaköta temple where he worshipped the Siddhas, abandoned the four types of foods (Solid edibles, Tasty materials, Semi-liquids & Drinkables/ liquids) and undertook the vow of holy death with the assumption of his saint-preceptor as witness. He died with virtuous meditation and took rebirth as the empyrean LalitÂnga in the êrÍ-prabha heavenly abdoe of the heaven of AiíÂna.When his life-span there had to last for Pçthaktva palya (3-9 payla), he got one more goddess named SvayamprabhÂ. The empyrean LalitÂnga had more affection towards her in comparison to other goddesses. When the garland of this empyrean started fading, he knew about his imminent death. He became sad. Many empyreans addressed him about this phenomena. As a result, the empyrean worshipped the Jina temples and the Jina images of the heavens of Acyuta for 15 days. After worshipping, he sat under the Caitya Vçkîa (A holy tree with Jin-idols) and began pronouncing loudly the great incantation of ÛamokÂra Mantra. He died there with the vow of holy death.
There is a country named PuîkalÂvatÍ in the Videha region in the east of Meru mountain of JambödvÍpa. One of its town is Utpalakhetaka. VajrabÂhu was the king there who had VasundharÂ as his queen. They gave birth to a son named Vajrajangha who was LalitÂnga empyrean in his pre-birth.
On the other hand, after the death of her empyrean husband LalitÂnga, his faithful goddess SvayamprabhÂ felt very sad but she engaged herself in Jina-worship for six months. She died with the vow of holy death while memorising the five Supreme souls (ParameîthÍs) under the Caitya Vçkîa in the Jina temple in the east of Saumanasa forest there. She was reborn as the daughter named ‘êrimati’ of the king Vajradanta (and the queen LaxmÍmatÍ) who was the king of the city of PundarÍkiàÍ of Videha region. In due course of time, Vajrajangha and êrimati were married together. They gave birth to 49 pairs of sons i.e. ninety eight sons. At a proper time, all of them got initiated along with their grandfather. At a later date, the father of êrÍmatÍ-CakravartÍ Vajradanta also coronated his small grandson PundarÍka and handed over the reigns of kingdom to him. He later got initiated with his son.
Sometimes later, the mother queen LaxmÍmatÍ invited his daughter and son-in-law to come to her. Both of them were on their way to the city of PundarikiàÍ. They had a halting camp in a forest in the way. During this halt, the two sky-moving saints named Damadhara and SÂgarasena came to them. Both the saints had resolved to take their food (ÀhÂra) only in the forest. Vajrajangha and êrÍmatÍ offered them food with nine-fold devotion (NavadhÂ Bhakti) and in the prescribed procedure. This resulted in five types of wonders (PancÂícarya Vçîti) from the sky. Later on, they learnt from their attendant that both the saints were their last pair of sons. Both of them, then, listened their pre-births from the saints and learnt the essence of religion. They also heard the pre-births of nearby sitting animals – mongoose, tiger, monkey and boar. The saints also told them that you will be the first TÍrthankara named Vçîabhadeva in the eighth rebirth from now and your queen will be the king êreyÂnsa Kumara (who will offer food to you).
Once, Vajrajangha was sleeping in his sleeping room alongwith his queen. The attendants had incensed the room but they forgot to open its windows in the night. This led their throats to be obstructed with the smoke and both of them died. It was a wonder that even the material of enjoyment became the cause of death. Due to the effect of offering of food to the saints, they were reborn as enjoyment landers in Uttarakuru which is the maximal land of enjoyment. Those mongoose etc. nearby animals also were reborn there because of their watching & praising the ÀhÂra of saints.
Once upon a time, two sky-moving saints came to the land of enjoyment and began to preach on religion (Samyagdaríana) to Vajrajangha Àrya and êrimatÍ ÀryÂ. The senior saint said, “O Àrya, you take me as the reincarnation of your minister (in earlier birth) Svayambuddha. When you were MahÂbala, I made you the believer of the Jaina faith ”. Both of them, then, accepted the right faith. When they died, they became the empyreans ‘êridhara’ and “Svayamprabha’ in the AiíÂna heaven. It means that êrimatÍ got released from her mode (paryÂya) of female and took rebirth as a male empyrean due to the effect of righteousness (Samyaktva). One day, the empyrean êridhara asked the Omniscient PrÍtinkara (who was Svayambuddha in his earlier birth) in His holy assembly, “O Lord, where are the three other persons who were my ministers when I was in the birth of MahÂbala ?” BhagavÂna said, “The two of them, MahÂmati and Sambhinnamati have taken birth in the Nigodas (general body plants) and êatmati has gone to hell.” The empyrean “êrÍdhara’, then, went to the hell and addressed the infernalised êatamati. There is no question of addressing the living beings in the Nigodas.
There is thecountry of MahÂvatsa in Pörva-Videha in JambödvÍpa. It’s SusÍmÂ city was ruled by the king Sudçîti who had the queen SundaranandÂ. The empyrean ‘êridhara’ was reborn as their son named ‘Suvidhi’. At a later time, the empyrean Svayamprabha (the jÍva of êrÍmatÍ) was also born as the son of Suvidhi and his queen ManoramÂ. In other words, the soul of Vajrajngha became the king Suvidhi and the soul of êrimati became his son. After sometime, the king Suvidhi got initiated and was reborn as Indra in Acyuta heaven. His son Keíava also got initiated later and was reborn as PratÍndra (Indra-equivalent) in the Acyuta heaven.
The above Acyutendra was reborn as a Cakravarti named VajranÂbhi as a son of the king Vajrasena and queen êrÍkÂntÂ in the city of PundarÍkiàÍ of the country of PuîkalÂvatÍ in Pörva-Videha region of JambödvÍpa. After sometime, the PratÍndra Keíava was also reborn as Dhanadeva, son of the businessman Kuberadatta and his wife AnantamatÊ in the same city. The father of VajranÂbhi was the TÍrthankara and he himself was a Cakravarti. He won over the six sections of the land through his ‘Cakra-ratna’ and enjoyed the pleasure of universal kingdom for long. Sometimes later, he learnt the nature of rare “Ratnatraya” (Right faith, knowledge & conduct) from his father and handed over the reigns of the kingdom to his son Vajradanta and got initiated to Jina order in the holy assembly of the TÍrthankara Vajrasena alongwith 16000 crowned kings, one thousand sons, eight brothers and Dhanadeva. Sometimes later, he earned the karmic nature of TÍrthankaraship while introspective reflections on sixteen factors in the proximity of the TÍrthankara. He acquired the eleventh spiritual stage (guàasthÂna) due to the purity developed through meditation. He descended down after an Antarmuhörta (less than 48 minutes) and again ascended to the subsidential ladder, and as the life ended he was reborn as Ahamindra in the empyrean abode of SarvÂrthasiddhi. This Ahamindra will complete his life-span there and will be reborn as the first TÍrthankara named as ‘ Vrsabhadeva’.