There was the king NÂbhirÂja who had the queen MarudevÍ who was like the wife of Indra in her qualities of form, beauty, shine, radiance and splendour etc. During the marriage of MarudevÍ, the Indra catalysed many empyreans to celebrate the occasion with high splendours. At that time, it was only the king NÂbhirÂja who was the highlest in fortunes and MarudevÍ was the most fortunate. Who can compare with those people who will have Lord Vçîabhadeva as their son ? In those times, the couple was enjoying the best of the sensual pleasures and they looked like showing the prosperity of the lands of enjoyment which virtually disappeared in their times.
When the wish-fulfilling trees disappeared totally, the Indra (Lord of deities) constructed the city of AyodhyÂ in the place adorned by the presence of NÂbhirÂja and MarudevÍ. The people living in scattered places were inhabited in that city by the empyreans. They constructed all kinds of facilities useful to them. The heavenly deities constructed a royal palace in the center of the city. It was competing the heavens in all respects. It was associated with all kinds of splendours. Some early texts like Harivanía PurÂàa (p.146) has also written about this city;
“There arose a royal palace on the ground in place of earlier palace based on wish-fulfilling trees. The name of this palace of the king NÂbhirÂja was ‘Sarvatobhadra’. Its pillars were made of gold, its walls were composed with varied kinds of gems. The palace was adored with the garlands of topaz (PukharÂja), coral (MöngÂ) and Pearls (MotÍ) etc. The palace had eighty one sections (storeys) and it had a boundary wall, small water tank (VÂpikÂ) and many gardens. Owing to the influence of the PatriÂrch NÂbhiraja, this palace was the only one decorated and surrounded with many kinds of wish-fulfilling trees. It was located in the center of the city on the earth.
The king NÂbhirÂja had the chief-queen named MarudevÍ. She was born in a high family of pure lineage and she was as beloved of NÂbhirÂja as the wife of Indra is beloved to him. The city of AyodhyÂ was situated in the country of Sukauíala and it was known as ‘SukauíalÂ ‘ also on the name of the country. The city had many revered, educated and highly civilised citizens. That is why, it was also called ‘VinÍtÂ’ (Courteous). This capital of AyodhyÂ was highly well-known and it showed a radiance of the central part or navel of a big country. The city was looking like a pilot city for the imminent period of the land of action through its palaces, ramparts (Vapra), boundary walls and trenches.
Sometimes afterwards, the empyreans assembled and performed PuàyÂha VÂcana (an auspicious activity) on an auspicious day, auspicious moment (Muhörta), auspicious planetary conjunction and zodiac by holding a ceremony with a grand pleasure. It is after this ceremony on this day that the king NÂbhirÂja along with her queen MarudevÍ began to reside in the city of AyodhyÂ with pleasure. The Indra also offered his worship with anointing ceremony to both of them assuming that the omniscient lord æîabhadeva will take birth in their home.
The empyreans began showering the rains of gems from the skies after learning that the Lord Vçîabhadeva will descend here from the heavens and will be conceived after six months. The Indra commanded his deity of wealth (Kubera) and showered the streams of the best of the gems like beryl (Harin-maài), saphire (Indranila maài) and ruby (PadmarÂga) etc. in the courtyard of the palace of the king NabhirÂja. Thus, there has been the rains of gems for fifteen months starting from six months before the conception and ending at the time of birth of Vçîabhadeva nine months later.
One day, while sleeping the chief queen MarudevÍ saw the following sixteen dreams at the last Prahara (3-4 a.m.) of the night which indicated the birth of the Jina Lord Vçîabhadeva. They are as follows-
(1) AirÂvata elephant – An excellent son will be born.
(2) White bull – He will be the best and supreme in the world.
(3) Lion – He will be possessing infinite power & strength.
(4) Laxmi (goddess of wealth) seated on lotus seat being anointed with the golden sacred
pitchers by the elephant. – He will be anointed by deities on the top of Sumeru mountain
(5) Two flower garlands – He will establish the true religious order.
(6) Full moon – He will offer delights to all the living beings.
(7) The rising sun – He will possess radiant lustre.
(8) Two sacred pitchers of gold covered by lotus – leaf- He will attain many kinds of treasures.
(9) Two fish sporting in a pond – He will remain happy.
(10) A beautiful water-pond with lotuses – He will have many auspicious body-marks and meritorious attributes.
(11) Deep ocean with waves – He will be omniscient.
(12) An excellent throne made of gems – He will be the great preceptor of the universe and he will acquire the kingdom of world.
(13) Heavenly abode shining with gems – He will be conceived by arrival from the heavens.
(14) NÂgendra’s (Lord of Snakes) Palace – He will be enriched with the vision of clairvoy ance.
(15) Heap of gems shining with rays – He will be the treasure house of excellent meritorious qualities.
(16) Smokeless fire – He will burn the karmic fuel.
After seeing the above sixteen dreams, the queen MarudevÍ saw that a bull with a golden yellow shine and with high shoulders had been entering into her lotus-like mouth signifying that Lord Vçîabhadeva would be incarnated into her womb.
Later in the morning, the queen woke up by listening to the sounds of musical instruments and recital of hymns. Though she got awake much before these sounds and hymns due to dreams, still the bards pleased the queen like the waking-up process through their musical eulogies etc. The queen was highly pleased. She took the auspicious bath, dressed & ornamented herself and went to her husband, saw him with reverence and sat beside him on half the royal seat. She, then, requested the king NÂbhirÂja seated on the throne, “O Lord, I have seen sixteen dreams in the last Prahara of the night today.”
She told all the dreams and requested, “O Lord, please interpet these dreams for me.” The king NÂbhirÂja learnt the meaning of those dreams through his clairvoyance and told her as shown in front of each dream earlier. The queen Marudevi was very much thrilled and pleased by listening to the explanation of the dreams from the king NÂbhirÂja.
The third spoke of plentitude-cum-penury of this devolution epoch was to last for 84 lac Pörvas, 3 years and 8.5 months, when VajranÂbhi Ahamindra completed his life-span in the empyrean abode of SarvÂrthasiddhi and transmigrationally arrived in the womb of the queen MarudevÍ (i.e. was conceived by her) in the constellation of UttarÂîadha on ÀîÂdha kçîàÂ DvitÍyÂ (the second day of the dark half of ÀîÂdha i.e. June-July). He got seated in the womb without any obstruction like a pearl in the cavity of the oyster shell. At the time of his conception, there were certain signs in the heavenly world (as described earlier) which indicated the deities about the conception of the Venerable. They came there, circumambu-lated the city of AyodhyÂ thrice and offered their bowings to the parents of the Venerable. The courtyard of the king NÂbhirÂja got full of deities. The Indra of Saudharma heaven along with other empyreans celebrated the occassion of auspicious conception through many kinds of festivities like music and dances etc. After the festivities, they offered their veneration to the parents in the form of worship and went to their heavens. The Dik-KumÂrÍ goddesses began serving the pregnant mother from the same day on the commands from Indra. During their service, these goddesses, first of all, purified the mother’s womb by sacred divine materials brought from the heavens. Though the mother was naturally serene and devoid of menses, faeces and urines, still the goddesses purified her. Out of these goddesses, (1) some carried the eight auspicious emblems (Mangala Dravyas) before her, (2) some offered the betels for chewing, (3) some caused her to take bath, (4) some adorated her with dresses and ornaments, (5) some formed an auspicious square space (Mangal Cauka), (6) some sprinkled sandal water on the ground, (7) some offered homage by waving of lamp circularly before her (ÀratÍ) and (8) many goddesses fastened sacramental and protective thread on her wrist with pronounciation of incantational letters. These goddesses began pleasing the mother through specific literary and religious meetings. They also used to have many mystical questions and puzzles. The mother MarudevÍ also caused the goddesses to be wonderstruck by solving the puzzles and explaining the meanings of even the most difficult words immediately. The Venerable Vçîabhadeva did not cause any trouble for the mother despite being situated in her womb. Though the lean stomach of the mother MarudevÍ remained adorated on the upper part of her belly with three folds (Trivali), still the foetus grew gradually. All these were the effects of the miraculous power of the Venerable. There was neither any dislocation in the stomach of the mother, nor there was blackening of the foreparts of her breasts. Her face did also not become white. All these effects were just like a wonder.
Situated in the purified womb of the mother, the Venerable Vçîabhadeva was enriched with three kinds of knowledges-sensory(Mati), scriptural (êruta) and clairvoyance (Avadhi) leading to his purified inner-self, looked so gracious as a unwavering lamp placed in a house made of quartz crystals. The wife of Indra, sent by the Indra himself, also served secretly the mother Marudevi to annihilate own sins. The mother MarudevÍ did not offer bowings to any one but all the people of the world bowed to her like the goddess SarasvatÍ (goddess of learning) and the excellently gracious phases of the moon whom everybody offers bowings but they do not bow before anyone. What more can be said on this point ? It is all to say here that MarudevÍ was the mother of Vçîabhadeva who was to systematise the order in the Land of Action (Karmabhumi) after the lapse of the Land of Enjoyment. Virtually, he was the creator of the universe and so his mother was the mother of the universe.
After the passage of nine months, the mother MarudevÍ served by the goddesses like êrÍ, HrÍ and others, gave birth to the Venerable Vçîabhadeva on Caitra KçîàÂ NavamÍ (the ninth day of the dark half of Caitra i.e. March -April) at sunrise when there was the constellation of UttarÂîÂdhÂ and the planetary conjunction of Brahma. The Venerable was graced with three kinds of knowledges (as pointed out above), he was the only Lord of the three parts of Universe and was enriched with high attributes (like an old man) and extreme & exceptional brilliance in the world. At this point of time, there was cleanliness & purity around all the directions. All the people were highly pleased. The existing wish-fulfilling trees showered flowers naturally. There was gentle blowing of cold and good smelling air all round. There were ringing of musical instruments like large kettle-drums and tymbals etc. in the heavenly abodes without any efforts. The seats of deities began suddenly vibrating and their diadems got automatically bowed as a salute. There were sounds of ringing of bells in the abodes of empyreans (KalpavÂsÍs), sounds like roaring of lions in the astral abodes, drum sounds in the peripatetic abodes and conch-sounds in the mansional abodes. On the basis of the vibration of his seat, the Indra also knew the birth of the TÍrthankara sun through his clairvoyance. He got off from his seat and offered his bowings with devotion to the Venerable indirectly.
On learning the birth of the Venerable Lord, the Indra of Saudharma heaven, accompanied by his wife and a train of empyreans, rode on the AirÂvata elephant of one lac Yojana in length and breadth and moved towards the place of his birth. On being commanded by Indra, a seven-component army of elephants and horses etc. and SÂmÂnika (like Indra in power but not authoritative), TrÂyastrinía (like ministers or priests), PÂriîada (like courtiers) etc. all types of categories of empyreans also began moving surrounding him. All kinds of deities and their Indras were coming there by riding over their heavenly VimÂnas (space-crafts) & conveyances pronouncing the word ‘Jaya, Jaya’ (Victory to the Lord) whose sound was pervading all the skies. The Indra of Saudharma heaven surrounded by his train of empyreans reached the city of AyodhyÂ after circumambulating it thrice.
The wife of Indra entered the delivery room with great festivity and saw with pleasure the Jina-infant and his mother MarudevÍ. First of all, she circumambulated the Jina-infant many times and offered her bowings to him. She eulogised the mother of Jina in various ways and made her under illusory sleep keeping own identity as secret. She kept an illusory child before her and took the radiant, Universe-preceptor, the Venerable Jina by her hands and got highly pleased. She touched the body of the Jina-infant repeatedly and earned high sacredness (puàya) to destroy her mode (paryÂya) of female. While the wife of Indra was moving with the radiant sun of Jina-infant in her lap, many Dik-KumÂrÍ goddesse were also moving ahead of her carrying the eight-fold auspicious emblems. They were looking like the super-attainments or prodigies of the Venerable Lord. The wife of Indra felt herself fully accomplished by this act and handed over the Jina-infant to the Indra with great reverence.
The Saudharma Indra was not satisfied by seeing the charming beauty of the Venerable, though he eulogised him in many ways and was feeling pleasure with the Venerable in his lap. He, therefore, proteated thousand eyes for himself and saw the beauty of the Venerable. He, then, raised his hand to indicate others to move fast to go to Meru mountain. The deities, then, sounded auspicious slogans “O Lord, you be victorious, you be enriched etc.” The sloganeering was so loud that all the directions became deaf-like. While moving through skies, the deities were celebrating festivities of many kinds like singing hymns, dancing and music etc. The Venerable was sitting in the lap of the Indra of Saudharma heaven. The Indra of AiíÂna heaven was serving the Venerable by holding divine white parasol (Chatra) over the child. The Indras of SÂnatkumÂra and MÂhendra heavens were gently waving the white Camaras from both the sides. The Camaras (fly-whisks) were as white as the Milky ocean (Kîira-SÂgara). Seeing the splendour of the Venerable at that time, even the wrong-faithed deities presumed the Indra as authentic and began believing in the rightful Jaina path of salvation. To go to Meru mountain, the steps of blue gems were constructed which were looking so gracious as the sky has transformed itself in the form of the steps out of devotion. Gradually, the Indras and the deities reached one lac Yojana (Y) or 40 crore miles high Meru mountain after crossing the astral world.
First of all, the Indra circumambulated the Meru mountain alongwith other deities with great affection. Later, he got the sun-like Jina-child seated on the PÂnduka rock situated in the north-east (ÊíÂna direction) in the PÂnduka forest. This rock is very sacred. It has a half-moon shape and it is 100 Y in length, 50 Y in width and 8 Y in height. There is an excellent throne for the Venerable Jina in the center of the rock. There are two splendid seats on both the sides of the throne for the Indras of Saudharma and AiíÂna heavens. All the deities got seated properly there surrounding the PÂnduka êilÂ so that they could see the splendour of the festivity of birth of the Jina child. The army of deities also stayed in the PÂnduka forest and above the upper part of the Meru mountain in the courtyard of the sky.
Now, the Indra of Saudharma heaven got ready to anoint the Venerable Jina child seated on the throne kept on PÂnduka êilÂ. He seated him facing east. At that time, the whole sky was pervaded by the sounds of kettle drums played by the deities. The goddesses began dancing. The deities had constructed a big hall (mandapa) there, where all the creatures of the universe could sit together without obstructing each other. The hall was decorated with the variety of smelling garlands of flowers supplied through the wish-fulfilling trees.
After the initial ritual, Saudharma Indra lifted the first sacred pitcher smeared with sandal paste for anointing the Jina child and the incantationist AiíÂna Indra lifted the second sacred pitcher for the same purpose. Those sacred pitchers were 8 Y (64 miles) deep, 1 Y (8 miles) wide on top (mouth) and 4 Y (32 miles) wide in the middle. They were golden. These sacred pitchers were full of water of the KîÍra SÂgara brought by the deities from there. The pitchers were having garlands of pearls hanging on their throat and they had been made graceful by sandal – smeared Aíoka twigs. The Indra proteated one thousand arms to lift all the sacred pitchers and began anointing the Jina-child with all the pitchers simultaneously. When the Indra dropped the first stream of anointing water with slogans (utterances) of Jaya, Jaya, (Victory or Glory be to the Lord), the other crores of deities also shouted the same slogans which filled the skies. Afterward, all other Indras also anointed the Jina child simultaneously with water filled in golden pitchers. The anointing of Jina-child at that time was looking like the water of many rivers like Ganga and Sindh etc. togetherly falling on his head. Though the Venerable was newly born, but he was steady and non-vibrating like Meru mountain during the anointment. The water flowing on ground from the Meru mountain after the anointing of the Venerable was looking like the fact that this flow of water of Kîira SÂgar was measuring the height of Meru mountain. The mountain was getting wettened by the water flow from its top to bottom and imaginations ran whether it is a mountain of quartz gems or it is the nectar reservoir.
When the anointment was over with the pure water, the Indra started anointing the Jina-child with the water of fragrant materials. After completing this step, the Indra and other deities began reciting the hymns of world peace (êÂntimantra) with high sounds. The deities first put on the sacred fragrant water (Gandhodaka) on their foreheads and later applied it to their whole body. They kept the remaining of it to be carried over to the heavens. On completion of the ritual of anointing, the deities circumambulated the radiant Venerable and worshipped him with consecrated octad of substances like (1) water, (2) sandal, (3) unbroken rice grains (Akîata), (4) flowers (Puîpa), (5) Naivedya (Edible dishes), (6) DÍpa (ÀratÍ or lamp), (7) incense (Dhöpa), (8) fruits (Phala) alongwith with their composite (Arghya). May the Venerable with purified soul sanctify the whole world who was anointed by the Indra himself, who had a throne for being anointed at Meru mountain, who had the goddesses as dancers, who had deities as his attendants, who had a water pan to have bath in the water of KîÍra ocean & who had been anointed on supreme Sumeru mountain.
Afterwards, êacÍ IndrÂài began to dress up and put on ornamentation on the Venerble Vçîabhadeva. First she wiped out the water drops on his body by the soft towel, made the tilaka (an auspicious red coloured mark) on his forehead and ornamented him with garlands, crown, ring (in finger), armlet, bracelet and girdle on waist etc. and with divine clothes. The Indra could not seem to be satisfied himself on seeing the beauty of the ornamented Venerable and so he proteated thousands of eyes to see him. All the deities also felt their lives fortunate by seeing his beauty with their unblinking eyes. Afterwards all the deities and Indras eulogised the Venerable Lord in many ways.
Later, the Indra along with other deities carried the ornamented and gracious Jina-child and entered the highly gracious house of his father NÂbhirÂja. He got him seated on the throne made by the deities in the courtyard of the house and made the parents happy. The Indra worshipped & offered homage to them with garlands, ornaments and precious clothes. They praised the parents through recital of many hymns and said, “O revered ones, today this house has become sacred like a Jina temple for us. You are the parents of the Lord of the three worlds, the first TÍrthankara (of this epoch). Hence, you are the parents of all the three worlds”. Thus, the Indra handed over the Venerable to them with many kinds of eulogies. The parents also publicly celebrated the festivity of the birth of the Venerable in this city with the citizens again. The gleeful festivity in the city of AyodhyÂ was also of the same level as that held on the Meru mountain. The residents of the inner part of the palace of the king also participated in this festivity.
On seeing the festivity of the citizens and their glee, the Indra began to play a drama named ‘Ànanda’ (Joy) to express his own sentiments of joy. The earth as a whole with its mountains and oceans in the three worlds was the theatre. The Indra himself was the chief dancer. The best of the men like the king NÂbhirÂja and others were the spectators of the drama. The (future) world-teacher and the Venerable Vçîabhadeva was the adorable Lord of this drama. The objective of the drama was to accomplish the three supreme PuruîÂrthas of religion, riches and desires and to acquire liberations of the nature of supreme bliss. The Indra, first of all, played the scene of decent of the Venerable in the womb (conception) in the drama accomplishing the three kinds of supreme PuruîÂrthas. Later, he played the scene related with the birth and anointment (at Meru) of the Venerable. He, later, played many scenes depicting the ten pre-births of MahÂbala etc. of the Venerable and also many other dramas. Later, the Indra recited benedictory prologue (MangalÂcaraàa), threw handful of sacred flowers (PuîpÂnjali) around and started frantic dancing (TÂndava Nçtya). The deities were pleased with this show and they showered flowers from the skies out of devotion. Crores of musical instruments began sounding simultaneously. The Kinnara goddesses began singing auspicious songs. The king NÂbhirÂja alongwith MarudevÍ was highly wonder-struck by this amazing dance. They were highly pleased with the commendations made by the Indra.
The Venerable Lord is supreme in the world and he will shower rains of the nectar of religion beneficial to the world. Knowing this, the Indra gave a meaningful name of Vçîabhadeva to him. Later, many other names were also given to him like ‘Purudeva’, ‘ÀdinÂtha’, ‘æîabhadeva’ and so on.
When the naming ritual was over, the Indra commanded many divine youths of same age, beauty and dress to serve and play with the child Jina. Similarly, he commanded many goddesses to live with child Jina for his proper caring in bathing, dressing, ornamenting and playing. Later, the Indra and his company went to their respective abodes.
In the first days of childhood, the Venerable Vçîabhadeva, sometimes, had gentle smiles. Sometimes, he made his parents gleeful with his slow and zigzag walking on the gemmed earthy ground and playing with the divine children on the gem-dust.
(1) He possessed the three kinds of knowledges-sensory, scriptural and clairvoyance since birth and therefore, He was the realiser of the state of the world.
(2) He was preceptionally proficient in all the scriptures.
(3) He was the only master of the goddess of learning (SarasvatÍ).
Because of all this, he became the preceptor of all the world. His body was extraordinary like the heated gold and it was devoid of faeces, urine and sweating. His body had white blood like the milk. He had the supreme symmetrical (Samacaturasra) configuration and supreme adamantine wrapped and nailed bone-joints (vajra-vçîabha-nÂrÂca Sanhanana). His body had acquired the supreme stage of beauty and fragrance. It was enriched with 1008 omens and incomparable strength. The Venerable spoke highly beneficial and elegant words. He did not drink the mother’s milk (breast milk) but he drank the nectar, established in his hand thumb by the Indra. He grew gradually by sucking his thumb.
The ultimate-bodied Venerable had a life-span of 84 lac Pörvas. There were 108 omens like êrivçkîa (an auspicious tree), conch, lotus and Svastika (a four-armed auspicious symbol) on his body along with 900 marks & symobls like MasörikÂ etc. It means that the 1008 omens (108 + 900 as above) were gracing the body of the Venerable. Gradually, the childhood of the Venerable was spent with happiness arising through enjoying the varied & best consumable and mutiple-consumable materials provided to him by the divinities.
All the articles for the Lord like soft bed, soft seat, clothes, ornaments, cosmetics, foods, conveyances and space-crafts etc. were made by the divinities. According to TrilokasÂra verses 521, 551 (p.446), there is an assembly hall named ‘SudharmÂ’ in the north-east direction of the abode of the Indra of Saudharma heaven. There is the throne of the Indra in its centre. There are MÂnastambhas (vanity – subduing pillars) in front of this assembly hall. These pillars are 1 Y wide & 36 Y high. They are round with twelve sections in them. There are many baskets hanging from these pillars through the chains of gems. These baskets contain the clothes, ornaments etc. to be worn by the Venerable. The Indras and other divinities bring all the commodities useful for the enjoyment of the Venerable from these baskets only.
When the king saw that the Venerable has become young, he thought to himself, “My son has a high inclination to establish the religious order. He will definitely get initiated after leaving all his royal possessions and going to the forest. Neverthless, I should think about his suitable partner on the basis of public insistence until there is a proper time for initiation.” Thinking thus, the king NÂbhirÂja went to the Venerable with regards and told him, “O Venerable, I want to tell something to you. Please listen to me carefully. You are the Lord of the world. You should, therefore, serve the world. You are the Brahma-the creator of the Universe and you are the self-existent and self-begotten. We, the parents, are only instrumental in your birth. The public follows the great people, hence, O wisest of the men! you should think about marriage with the best of the girls. By doing so, the continuity of progeny will not be terminated and it will catalyse the growth of the religious tradition also. O Lord, I request you to follow the duty of marriage which makes the human race to continue. If you take me as your father-teacher in any way, you should not disobey my words.”
On listening to these words of the king NÂbhirÂja, the Venerable smiled and accepted his words by pronouncing the word ‘Om’ (which conveys the meaning of consent, “let it be so”). It can not be said definitely whether this consent for marriage by the Venerable Lord, conqueror of the sensual pleasures, was the result of skillful speech of his father or his desire for the benefit of the public or it was the karmic destiny.
On listening to the consent of the Venerable Lord, the king NÂbharÂja with the permission of Indra, married him with two girls – YaíasvatÍ and SunandÂ who had the best of the qualities and character. Both of these girls were the sisters of the kings Kaccha and MahÂkaccha. The Indras held many festivities on the occasion of the marriage of the Venerable in which the deities also participated.
Once upon a time, while the great queen YaíasvatÍ was sleeping, she saw the following dreams in the last Prahara of night : (1) Eclipsed earth, (2) Sumeru mountain, (3) the Sun associated with the moon, (4) Lotus-pond with swans and, (5) Waving sea. When the queen was awake in the morning due to auspicious sounds and songs of musical instruments, she went to her husband Vçîabhadeva and asked him about the effects of the dreams. When she learnt from him, “You will have a son who will be CakravartÍ (universal monarch),” she was highly pleased. After nine months, YaíasvatÍ gave birth to a highly fortunate son. There were auspicious constellation and planetary confluence etc. at the time of his birth. It was the ninth day of the dark half of the month of Caitra (March-April). This son was the first CakravartÍ (of this epoch) named Bharata.
Later on, there were ninety nine sons named Vçîabha-sena, AnantavÍrya etc. born to the queen YaíasvatÍ. All of them were Carama íarÍrÍ (ultimate-bodied) and great heros. YaíasvatÍ also gave birth to a daughter named ‘BrÂhmi’. The second wife of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva gave birth to the Venerable BÂhubali and a daughter named SundarÍ. BÂhubali was the first KÂmadeva (cupid – like man) out of twenty four KÂmadevas. The Venerable Vçîabhadeva was gracefuly enjoying the life with these 101 sons and two daughters. The Lord’s parents-king NÂbhirÂja & queen MarudevÍ were also very happy. When the sons and daughters attained the proper age, the Venerable cultivated them with good qualities and undertook all the refinement rituals for them (SanskÂrÂs). In the beginning of the era of the land of action, He graced all of them with many ornaments like necklace, bracelet and ring etc. on throat and chest etc.
Sometimes, the Venerable Vçîabhadeva was sitting happily on his throne and was thinking about the preaching of various types of arts and learnings. While in this thoughtful mood, both of his daughters, in beautiful dresses came to him and offered their regards to him. The Venerable also got them seated in his lap with great affection and blessings. He caressed them with his hands and began enjoying amusement with them. Later on, he asked them to make efforts for studying arts and learnings. He said, “This is the proper time for your studies.” After saying so, he blessed them and installed his mentally thought êrutadevatÂ (scripture-god) on the wide golden plate with respect. He recited a benedictory prologue-“Siddham Namah” (Bowings to the Salvated ones) and asked BrÂhmi to write alphabets (A, À etc.) correctly after writing them with his right hand. This alphabet system is known as ‘Siddha mÂtçkÂ’ (Accomplished alphabets or syllables) which has a two-fold nature of vowels and consonants. It serves the basis of all learnings. The Venerable, then, wrote ikÂÍ-dahÂÍ i.e. ‘one (1), ten (10) etc.’ from his left hand and instructed SundarÍ to write these numbers of Mathematics. There is neither any scripture nor any learning without Vaßmaya. Hence, the Venerable, in the first instance, taught them all about it. The group of three-grammar, metrology and figures of speech forms the Vaßmaya (the whole scriptures). The grammar composed by the Venerable was highly detailed which contained more than one hundred chapters. The Venerable taught the alphabets first to his daughter ‘BrÂhmÍ’ and that is why the script is called ‘BrÂhmÍ’ script even today. Both of these daughters became qualified to be reincarnated as the goddess of learning ‘SarasvatÍ’ after studying all the learnings by the grace of their father.
Similarly, the Venerable Vçîabhadeva, the Lord of the Universe, made his Bharata etc. sons full of reverence and taught many kinds of learnings and disciplines based on established tradition to them. He taught them many subjects and the texts like economics, dance and drama, painting, architecture, artisanship, sexology, Àyurveda (Science of Life-span), gemology and mystical diagramology and the like. What could be said more about it ? The Venerable taught them all the subjects useful for the people. This way, a large span of time was spent in the householder’s life of the Venerable while enjoying all kinds of pleasures alongwith his wives, sons and daughters. Thus, the first phase of life (youthhood) of 20 lac Pörvas was completed by him.
Due to the passage of time, the power of the wish-fulfilling trees and various types of medicines (Mahauîadhi, DÍptauîadhi etc.) was likely finished. The grains etc. useful for sustaining the livelihood of men and which grew without sowing, also became rare. The public became much worried due to the powerlessness of wish-fulfilling trees for supplies. With the desire of sustaining the life, they went to the king NÂbhirÂja who directed them to go to the Venerable Lord Vçîabhadeva. They went to him and requested, “O Lord of the Universe, we have come to you so that you could tell us the ways and means for sustaining our lives. Please make our lives secure.”
The Venerable became compassionate on the people and thought to himself, “Those conditions have to be created here also, which are existing in the eastern and western Videha regions. It is only under these condition that the public may be secured. There should be the same system of six types of professions of warriorship, writing etc., same system of castes or clans like the Kîatriyas (Warriors) etc. and same type of social structure in the form of houses, and villages etc. The application of similar ways will make the life secure here. The wish-fulfilling trees have disappeared resulting in the current state of affairs i.e. the land of action. It is, therefore, proper to earn the livelihood by six kinds of professions like warriorship etc.” (Please refer to ÀdipurÂàa, verses 143-44, chapter 16, p.350).
Later, as soon as the Venerable Lord remembered Indra, he instantly appeared alongwith his attending deities. He classified the society as below for the livelihood of the people. He performed the first auspicious act to construct a Jina temple in the centre of the city of AyodhyÂ on an auspicious day under excellent astral and planetary conditions. He, later, gradually constructed four other Jina temples-one each in the four directions of east, west, north and south of the city. He also created the great countries like Koíala etc., cities like AyodhyÂ etc., forests and ‘large and small’ villages with boundaries.The capital AyodhyÂ was looking graceful by the fort, surrounding walls (PrÂkÂra), trenches (ParikhÂ), city – entry gates and attics etc. Due to the proper divisions of city and villages, the Indra was meaningfully designated as “Purandara’ (City maker). At the end, he got the people inhabited in the villages and cities and felt the accomplishment of his duties. Later, he sought permission from the Venerable to leave for his abode and went away.
Teaching of Six Professions by the Venerable
As per ÀdipurÂàa, chapter 16, verses 179 (p. 362), the Venerable Vçîabhadeva said that the following six professions are the means of livelihood of the people:
(1) Asi (Using weapons for protecting purposes)
(2) Masi (Writing)
(3) Kçîi (Agriculture)
(4) VidyÂ (Learnings)
(5) VÂàijya (Commerce)
(6) êilpa (Arts and Crafts)
It was proper for the Venerable that he taught the six professions as means of livelihood for the people because at that time he was the householder and attached with worldly activities (SarÂgÍ) and not detached (VÍtarÂgÍ). Infact, the teachings on worldly matters can be offered in the attached state only. Out of these six professions :
(1) to serve the society through protecting by weapons like sword etc. is the ‘Asi karma’.
(2) to serve the society through writings is the ‘Masi karma’.
(3) to serve the society through ploughing the land and sowing the seeds etc. is the ‘Kçîi-karma’.
(4) to serve the society through learning and teaching scriptures and performing arts (music-dance etc.) is ‘VidyÂ karma’.
(5) to serve the society through trades and business is ‘VÂàijya karma’.
(6) to serve the society through arts and handicrafts like painting etc. is ‘êilpa karma’.
During the same period, the first Lord of the creation (ÀdibrahmÂ), the Venerable Vçîabhdeva established the three-caste system (on the basis of activities) which included the warriors (Kîatriyas-protectors during calamities), tradesmen (Vaiíyas-businessmen) and menials (êödras, manual workers). All the activities related with marriages, relationship between castes and mutual social behaviour of these three castes were done as per the advice of the Venerable Lord. All the means of livelihood, devoid of violence at that time, were initiated with the approval of the Venerable. Thus, the Venerable became designated as ‘Kçta-yuga’ (Creator of this Age) as he established the era of actions (Karmayuga). He was called as ‘PrajÂpati’ (Lord of the People), because he started the ‘age of action’ on the first day of the dark half of the month of ÀîÂdha. He became known as ‘IkîvÂku’ (a lineage) because he advised the people to collect Sugarcane juice. He could be called as ‘KÂíyapa’ (a gotra) as he protected the spiritual power. He was called ‘Manu’ as he thought of the ways and means for the livelihood of the people. He was also called the ‘Kulakara’ or ‘Kuladhara’ (Family founder or patriarch) because he established and managed the family system. The people of that age called him by many names like ‘VidhÂtÂ’ (Creator of the world system), ‘ViívakarmÂ’ (Supreme architect of world) and ‘SraîtÂ’ (Creator) etc.
The Coronation Ceremony of the Venerable Lord
After keeping up of the people happy for long time by the Venerable, the Indra and deities held a great festivity on the occasion of his coronation. The anointing water for coronation was brought from the holy rivers like GangÂ and Sindhu etc., small lakes like NandÂ and NandottarÂ etc. and oceans like NandÍívara, Svayambhöramaàa & KîÍra SÂgara etc. The anointing ceremony was commenced with golden pitchers along with singing of songs, playing musical instruments and dancing. All the great kings including the king NÂbhirÂja also started anointing him together presuming that the best of men Vçîabhadeva was really capable to be coronated. The citizens also anointed his feet by the Saryö river water through the cups of lotus leaves and earthen pots.
The Indra, then, offered homage with circularly waving kindled lamps (ÀratÍ) before him and clothed and ornamented him with materials brought from the heavens. The king NÂbhirÂja coronated him with his crown saying, “The Venerable Vçîabhadeva is the Lord of all the great crowned kings.” Later, the Indras and other deities staged the drama of ‘Ànanda’ (Enjoyment) as done previously and went back to their abodes. The ruling period of the Venerable had a duration of 63 lac Pörvas. It was being enjoyed with his sons and grandsons.
Detachment of the Venerable Lord Vçîabhadeva
Once, while the Venerable was sitting on his throne in the centre of the large assembly hall, Saudharma Indra came there alongwith his divinities and nymphs. He had brought the materials to be offered in the worship of the Venerable. He got the singing and dancing commenced by the nymphs and musician deities. The Indra thought of how the Venerable will get devoid of attachments from the worldly sensual pleasures. Accordingly, he appointed such a nymph for dancing whose life-span was highly faded. The nymph was named ‘NilÂnjanÂ’. While she was dancing with high sentiments, emotions and tunes in the assembly hall, the lamp of her life-span got extinguished and she became invisible within a moment. Lest there may be interruption in merriment, the Indra proteated another nymph of the same form and dance continued as usual. Though the quality of dance was the same, however, the Venerable Lord could understand the difference between the earlier and present dance. Immediately, his attitude changed and he became detached with sensual enjoyments and developed desire for salvation and emotion of detachment. He began thinking to himself. “What a wonder ! This world is destructible. The riches are as unsteady as the lightning in the sky. All the youth, health and prosperity etc. are of the nature of emergence and evacuation”. During these thoughts, his mind had been subdued by the purifications which looked like the companions of the goddess of salvation had come there in the form of twelve introspective reflections (AnuprekîÂs). The Indra did know all these internal activities of the Venerable by his clairvoyance. At this time, the LaukÂntika devas, the empyrean sages came down from the heaven of Brahmasvarga to applaud his detachmental attitude and offer worship for the auspicious occasion of his initiation to sainthood. These empyrean sages have eight categories : (1) SÂrasvata, (2) Àditya, (3) Vanhi, (4) Aruàa, (5) Gardatoya, (6) Tuîita, (7) AvyÂbÂdha and (8) Ariîta. All these are the excellent among the empyreans and, therefore, they are called ‘Devaçîi’ (empyrean sages). They are child-celibates, detached and proficient in eleven primary canonical scriptures (11 Angas) and fourteen pre-canons (14 Pörvas) because of their studies and practices in their earlier birth. They reside at the end of the fifth heaven-Brahmasvarga and as a rule, they attain salvation in a single rebirth. These empyreans, first of all, offered their homage to the Venerable by worshipping with flowers of the wish-fulfilling trees and, then, they eulogised him with many hymns of meaningful senses for the occasion. These empyreans went to their abodes by accomplishing their mission and feeling as obliged by the Venerable.
In the meanwhile, the seats of the Indras began vibrating and they came with their vehicles and groups of deities and stayed in the sky alongwith their groups surrounding the city of AyodhyÂ. Later on, the Indra anointed the Venerable with the water of KîÍra-SÂgara and dressed him with divine clothes and ornaments. The Venerable Vçîabhadeva coronated his eldest son Bharata as the crowned king of his kingdom and appointed BÂhubali as the crown-prince. When both the functions – the initiation ceremony of the Venerable and the coronation of Bharata were under celebration, all the beings of heavenly and earthly worlds were feeling highly gleeful. The Venerable distributed his kingdom among his other sons too after crowning and crown-princing both the elder sons.
Lord’s Departure To the Forest for Initiation (DÍkîÂ)
The Venerable Vçîabhadeva sought permission for initiation from his parents and other family members before he sat into the ‘Sudaríana’ palanquin brought by the Indra. This was carried by the kings for seven paces (a native unit of distance) and later the VidyÂdharas (proficient in superpowers by birth) carried it to a further distance of seven paces in the sky. Later, the triad of mansional deities and empyrean deities took the palanquin on their shoulders and carried it into the skies with great glee. It is sufficient to state about the glory of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva that his palanquin was carried by the Indra-lord of heaven himself. The Yakîa deities were showering rains of fragrant flowers. The cold air was blowing and crores of auspicious musical instruments were being played. When the Venerable made his departure to forest, the queens like YaíasvatÍ and SunandÂ and many ministers also walked behind him. The grief caused tears in their eyes. The queens alongwith many other chief women of the inner palace, were following the Venerable Lord with the sacred material for offering worship to him. The king NÂbhirÂja and his queen MarudevÍ also followed him alongwith many other kings to see the festivity of the auspicious event of initiation of the Lord. The emperor Bharata also followed him along with his ministers, sub-ordinate kings and younger brothers with great grandeur. In the end, the Venerable Vçîabhadeva reached the extended forest named ‘SiddhÂrthaka’. This forest was neither too far nor too near the city of AyodhyÂ. The army of the deities of Indra also reached this forest pervading all the sky and the earth. This forest was highly alluring due to the sweet chirping of many birds and the trees like Aíoka, Campaka, Banyan, Saptaparàa and Mangoes. The deities had already placed there the rock made of auspicious CandrakÂnta maài and smeared with auspicious drops of liquid from the rubbed sandal paste. The IndrÂàÍs had made Mangal Cauka of gem-powders on it by their own hands. A wonderful hall of big cloth screen was also prepared on the rock which looked highly pleasing on account of incense pots, auspicious emblems and flags. The Venerable got down from the palanquin and got seated on the above rock. He made sermons to the deities and human beings and advised the aggrieved public, “O my dear people, please do not be aggrieved. When the separation of the body (death) of the living beings is imminent, what to say of other things ? I have appointed my greatly efficient eldest son Bharata to serve and protect you. You also serve him with your religious and dutiful attitude.”
After listening to the advice of the Venerable, the public worshipped him. This place was later called as ‘PrayÂga’ (place of initiation, a pilgrimage currently called as Allahabad), as described in the verse 96, Page 174, Harivanía PurÂàa & also PadmapurÂàa.
The Venerable abandoned all the internal and external possessions after asking the family members and other humble kings about it. The Venerable sat in the lotus – posture facing east and hand-plucked his hairs by PancamuîthÍ (using fist 5 times) with pronouncing the incantation of ‘Om Namah Siddhebhyah’ (Bowings to the Salvated ones) and offering salutations to them. The Venerable got initiated to sainthood on the ninth day of the dark half of Caitra (March-April) in an auspicious zodiac and UttarÂîÂdhÂ constellation. The plucked hairs were sacred as they were on the head of the Venerable. They were put into a gems-made basket by the Indra and were drowned into the KîÍra ocean with great regards.
When the Venerable got initiated, four thousand obedient kings of the lineages of IkîvÂku, Kuru, Ugra and Bhoga etc. also accepted initiation. They thought, “Whatever is taken as beneficial to our lord, it should also be taken in the same way by us.” On thinking thus, they became Digambara (naked) ascetics physically (DravyalingÍ) and not psychically (BhÂvalingÍ). By observing the Venerable getting initiated, many of these kings got initiated due to affection, many due to delusion and many due to the fear of the Venerable. After initiation, the Indra proteated one thousand eyes to see the beauty of the face of the Venerable and stood unsatisfied for a good amount of time before him praising him with various great hymns. Afterwards, the emperor Bharata worshipped his lotus-like feet with eight-fold materials (Jala, Candana etc.). He also worshipped him with offers of fruits like mangoes, rose-apples, pomegranates, betel-nuts and coconuts etc. and repeatedly bowed before him.
Propensity of MithyÂtva (Wrongness)
When the Venerable got initiated, he acquired the Manah-paryaya JnÂna (Knowledge which knows the things in others’ mind). He got engaged in steady and silent meditation after resolving for a six month fasting and renouncing the attachment with the body. When the Venerable was in the state of freedom from desires-Kaccha, MahÂkaccha & other kings, who got initiated unthoughtfully, began loosing their patience. The physically initiated ascetics lost patience due to the difficulties of afflictions of hunger and thirst etc. within 2-3 months of their initiation. They requested the Venerable, “What should we do now ? You are exerting to have detachment from the body through austerities, but we have gone sad due to these vitality-destroying austerities.” They thought, “We will live on roots, tubers and fruits grown in the forest until the meditation of the Venerable is completed.” Thus, many of these cowardly kings got indifferent for austerities and got ready with distressful words and propensities. They began moving in the forests for getting fruits etc. and began going to ponds for satisfying their thirst. On seeing all this, the forest deities advised them not to do so. They said, “O foolish men, this great naked garb is accepted even by the Enlightened ones and universal monarchs etc. You should not make it a position of distress. In other words, do not pluck fruits from the trees and do not drink the unpurified water of the forest ponds in this highest garb.” On listening to the advice of the forest deities, the distressed ascetics got afraid of their words and so these demoralized ascetics changed their garbs in many ways.
Out of them, many people began clothing themselves with the barks of the trees, began eating forest-grown fruits and began drinking forest waters. Many of them began wearing old lion-cloth and began acting on their own will. Many of them smeared their bodies with ashes and became JatÂdhÂrÍ (having matted hairs). Many of them became bearers of a stick (Danda) and many of them became saints with three sticks. They did not go to their respective cities out of the fear of the emperor Bharata. They began living in the same forest by constructing their hutments. Many of them became wandering monks. Some of them became perverse heretics due to delusion. They worshipped the feet of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva with water and flowers. They had no other deity for them except the Venerable Vçîabhadeva. MÂricikumÂr, the son of Bharata and grandson of the Venerable also became the leading wandering monk among these heretics. The science of Yoga and the philosophy of SÂnkhyas were propounded first by him only.
Austerities of the Venerable
The Venerable Vçîabhadeva was absorbed in meditation in as steady a way as the unwavering mountain of Meru. During his austerities, his hairs got matted because they were not caressed. These matted and twisted hairs were spread over the head of the Venerable through the stroke of airs. They looked like the black slag coming out of the soul like gold heated by the fire of meditation. Due to the excellence of austerities of the Venerable, the whole forest became full of radiance throughout the day and night. The forest was getting graced with fruits and flowers of all the seasons. The animals like lion and deer etc. were offering their worship to the Venerable resigning their in-born enmity.
In the meantime, the sons of the king Kaccha and MahÂkaccha came to the Venerable. Their names were Nami and Vinami. They were full of devotion and offered their bowings before him and said, “O Venerable! Be pleased with us. You have distributed your kingdom among all your sons and grandsons, but you forgot us during the process. Please award some enjoyment factors for us also.”
It should be noted that these two princes were the nephews of the Venerable. In other words, the wives YaíasvatÍ and SunandÂ were the sisters of the kings- Kaccha and MahÂkaccha and both the princes were the sons of these kings.
During their request, the throne of Dharaàendra began trembling because their requests seemed to create disturbance in the meditation of the Venerable. He came to the Venerable and began trying to let them understand, “Both of you go to the emperor Bharata. As the Venerable has become indifferent to sensualism, how can he award enjoyment factors to you ? He is exerting only for attaining liberation, thus, it is futile of picketing before him.”
On listening to this advice, both the brothers told him, “It is wrong on your part to interfere in our personal matters without any right. We will not go to Bharata. We have come to the Lord of the three worlds. We will not leave him.”
Dharaàendra was pleased with their persistence, self-respect & devotion to the Lord. He said, “I am DharaàarÂja-the Indra of the lower universe (PÂtÂla loka). The Venerable is pleased with your devotion. He has sent me to you to offer you the commodities for enjoyment. You come with me immediately.”
On hearing this and assuming that the Venerable is pleased with us and has commanded Dharaàendra for us, they immediately accompanied him. Dharaàendra got both of them seated in his VimÂna (divine aircraft) and went to the VijayÂrdha mountain. This mountain is 50 Y wide, 25 Y high and its length touches the eastern and western coasts of Lavaàa ocean. It is in the center of Bharata region. It has sixty cities in north and fifty cities in south in its first row. The VidyÂdharas live in these cities. There is no six-fold time-changes in an epoch like the Aryan sections. Of course, there are changes similar to the beginning to end of the fourth spoke. There are no diseases or calamities, fear, over-rains and no-rains etc.
The Dharaàendra entered the city of RathanöpuracakravÂla, graced with high flying flags with them. He got both the princes seated on the throne and said to the VidyÂdharas, “Now, these princes are your kings.” Later, he coronated them with anointment through the sacred golden pitchers in the hands of the VidyÂdhara ladies. Afterwards, he said to the VidyÂdharas. “Just as the Indra is the lord of heaven, similarly the king Nami is the lord of the southern row and Vinami is the lord of the northern row of cities now. The Venerable Vçîabhadeva, the originator of the world of the land of action (Karmabhømi) has sent them here with his own approval. Accordingly, all of you should offer homage to them and observe their orders.” All the VidyÂdharas agreed to the words of Dharaàendra and accepted them as their kings with bowing heads.
The First Food of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva
When six months of meditation and fasting were over, the world great teacher, Venerable Vçîabhadeva began thinking. “It is necessary to take food for establishing the method of food-taking by Jaina saints and sustaining the body and life. However, the purified food should be offered for saints as per the prescribed way (with NavadhÂbhakti). He felt sorry that the newly initiated ascetics, born in high families went astray due to the affliction of hunger and thirst etc. as nobody knew the right way of offering prescribed saint food to them. I will, therefore, tell the proper procedure for taking food for accomplishing the path of liberation smoothly. The liberation – aspirant saints should neither lean their bodies nor nourish it with delicacies of food.” It is stated in MahÂpurana (page-20) that one should adopt a medium way of subsistence so that the senses may remain under control and they should not run after the wrong path.
On making such a resolution, the heroic and patient Venerable Lord Vçîabhadeva began pedestrian wandering (VihÂra),whichever areas he walked through with ÍryÂpatha íuddhi (carefulness), the residents of the areas got pleasure and bowed before him with respects. The people, in those times, were ignorant about the procedure for offering food to the saints. They even did not understand why the Venerable is wandering on foot. Many people began to follow him during these wanderings. Many people offered him baskets of gems asking him to be pleased to accept their small offer. Many people brought innumerable things and vehicles before him, but the Venerable was indifferent to all of this and moved ahead silently. Many people brought fragrant materials, clothes, ornaments etc. for him. Many ignorant people brought even their young girls and requested him to marry with them. Many people brought food materials for him.
Six more months passed away in this way of wandering with amazing and excellent practices of saint life by the Venerable. After completion of a year, the Venerable Lord Vçîabhadeva reached the town of HastinÂpura in the Kuru-JÂngala Country (Currently in Merrut Distt. of U.P.). It was as gracious as the golden ornament. The king of that country was Somaprabha – the êikhÂmaài (gem leader) of Kuru lineage. His younger brother was the king ‘êreyÂnsa KumÂra’. Once king êreyÂnsa Kumar saw some excellent dreams in the last Prahara of the night. The royal priest interpreted them as excellent. On hearing his words, both the brohers sat for talking about the story of the Venerable. However, as soon as they sat for it, the Venerable Vçîabhadeva came there while wandering solitarily. The janitor (door-attendant) SiddhÂrtha gave the news of his arrival to the king. Both the brothers came to the courtyard of the royal palace and bowed devotedly before the Venerable from a distance. Then, they went to him, circumambulated him thrice and washed his feet with water and offered him their worship.
On seeing the face of the Venerable, the king êreyÂnsa KumÂra got his pre-birth remembered. He recollected all the incidents during his pre-birth as Varjajangha and êrimatÍ. He remembered that in the eighth pre-birth, the Venerable was in the form of king Vajra-jangha and he was êrimatÍ-his queen. The pair had offered food to the pair of sky-moving prodigied saints with high devotion. He, suddenly, remebered the whole procedure of offering ÀhÂra to the saints at that time and got ready to offer food to the Venerable. The food-offerer has to offer ÀhÂra with nine fold devotion (NavadhÂ bhakti) in the form of (1) Invitation (PaÅagÂhana), (2) Offering high seat, (3) Washing feet, (4) Offering of worship, (5) Bowings to the saint, (6-8) Proclamation of the purity of mind, speech and body and (9) Proclamation of the purity of food. Thus, following the procedure, the king Somaprabha, his queen LakîmimatÍ and êreyÂnsa KumÂra offered the sugarcane juice in the hand-bowl of the Venerable. Because of this great offering of foods, the deities in the sky showered the rains of five wonderful things (i.e. gems, flowers, sacred water or Gandodaka, cool breeze and divine sounds). This was the third day of the bright half of VaiíÂkha (April-May). Because of this first food-intake of the Venerable, this day is celebrated as ‘Akîaya Tritiya’ even today.
The deities informed the emperor Bharata about the food-offering and its great effects. He also came there and eulogised the king êreyÂnsa repeatedly calling him as ‘Founder of saint food- offering’ (DÂna-tÍrtha-pravartaka). The Venerable was possessed of four kinds of knowledge at this time. This way, he continued his austerities for one thousand years.
Acquirement of Omniscience by the Venerable Vçîabhadeva
Once, while pedestrian wandering, the Venerable sat in the posture of sitting on hams (ParyankÂsana) on a rock under a banyan tree in ‘êakatÂsya’ garden in the town of PurimatÂlapura. The king Vçîabhasena of this town was the son of the Venerable and the younger brother of Bharata. During meditation there, the Venerable Lord burnt the fuel of four destructive Karmas (GhÂtiyÂ karmas) by his meditational fire (of inner spiritual energy) and he acquired the absolute knowledge or omniscience (KevalajnÂna) which perceives the whole universe (Loka) and non-universe (A-loka). When the Venerable acquired omniscience on the eleventh day of the dark half of the PhÂlguna month (Feb. – March) in the constellation of UttarÂîÂdha, all the three worlds got agitated. The bells began ringing in the empyrean world automatically. The astral world got full of lion-roaring. The drums started beating in the peripatetic world and there was the conch-sounds in the world of mansional deities. The seats of all the Indras began waving together and the wish-fulfilling trees began shower of flowers. By all these signs, the clairvoyant Indra knew about the acquirement of omniscience by the Venerable and so he bowed with devotion.
On command from Indra, the lord of riches-Köbera constructed the holy assembly (Samavasaraàa) with the help of the empyrean sculptors. This is constructed in round shape with the IndranÍla gems. It has a size of 12 Y and shape of a wide lotus. In the center of this holy assembly, there is a gandhakutÍ (fragrant seat) raised like the pericarp of a flower. The divine ground of holy assembly (Divya-bhömi) is normally one Hasta (1.5 ft.) above the surface and there is the kalpa-ground (Kalpabhömi) one Hasta above it. On attaining omniscience, the Venerable moves 5000 D (~ 30,000 ft.) above the ground. (One Dhanuîa (D) is equal to four Hasta). There are 20,000 steps in the holy-assembly each of which is one hasta High. The holy assembly consists of four boundary walls (Kotas), five Vedis, eight grounds in between them and three altars (PÍthas) in each inner part. There are four vanity subduing pillars (MÂnastambhas) in the four large galleries (MahÂvÍthÍs) of the holy assembly whose sight alone subdues the pride of the Bhavya MithyÂdçîtÍs (liberatable wrong-faithed people).
In the outermost part of the holy assembly, there is a boundary wall named DhölisÂla made of the powders of gems and jewels. Later, there are vanity subduing pillars, trenches (ParikhÂ bhumi) and creeper grounds (LatÂbhumi). These are followed by golden boundary wall which has four entry gates (Gopuras). The peripatetic deities are guarding these gates with maces (gadÂs) etc. in their hands. There are forests having trees of Aíoka and Campaka etc. (Vanabhumi) and forest altars. These are followed by the flag ground (Dhvajabhumi). After this, there is the second silvery boundary wall which is guarded by the mansional deities. There are, then, grounds of wish-fulfilling trees (Kalpavçkîa bhumi), forest altars and Stöpa (tope) etc. followed by the third boundary wall made of quartz gems. Its entry gates are being guarded by the empyrean deities with maces etc. in their hands. There are sixteen walls based on long galleries (MahÂvÍthÍs) between the quartz wall and the altars or PÍthas (as above). These walls have a length equal to the distance between the quartz wall and the altars. They are dividing the whole area in twelve seating compartments (BÂraha SabhÂs). Over these walls, there is a graceful and colossal êrÍ – mandapa (auspicious hall made up of quartz crystals & which is standing on the gem-pillars). The êrÍ – mandapa has a supernatural power to let all the living beings of all the three worlds seated there together. It is sufficiently high and clean. It looks like the second sky.
In the central part of the area surrounded by êrÍ-mandapa, there is a altar made of Lapis-lazuli (Vaidöryamaài-blue precious stone). There is another altar on it which is made of gold. There is the third altar over it made up of all kinds of gems and jewels. This third altar has three KatanÍs over it. It is graced with Dharmacakra (the wheel of religion), the symbol of the propagation of the religious order by TÍrthankara. On the throne of the third altar, the Venerable Vçîabhadeva is sitting at a distance of four Angulas above it. There are twelve seating compartments (SabhÂs) in the holy assembly where different groups of the living beings get seated to listen to the Venerable. Starting from the right side of the Venerable, (1) Saints or Digambara Munis, (2) empyrean goddesses, (3) ÀryikÂs or Jaina female ascetics and votaresses, (4) astral goddesses, (5) peripatetic goddesses, (6) mansional goddesses, (7) mansional deities, (8) peripatetic deities, (9) astral deities, (10) empyrean deities, (11) human beings and (12) sub-human beings sit in their respective wide assembly compartments. For more details, see Triloka-prajnapti, 4.716-894.
The Brief – Description of the Holy Assembly of the Venerable
First of all, there are four vanity – subduing pillars in the four directions after the DhölisÂla boundary wall. There are ponds surrounding these pillars. These are followed by trenches full of clean water. Then, there is flower garden. This is followed by the first boundary wall. There are two theatres on both sides ahead of this wall. After it, there is the second forest of Aíoka-Mango etc. trees which leads to the VedikÂ followed by flag-ground. Beyond this, there is second boundary wall ahead of which there is the forest the of wish-fulfilling trees alongwith an altar. Later, there are Stöpa (topes, dome like structures) and then the rows of houses and then the third boundary wall made of quartz gems. Inside this wall, there are twelve assembly compartment for humans, sub-humans, deities and Saints. There is, then, the altar and the Venerable Enlightened is seated on the top of this altar.
Eight Auspicious Emblems (Àtha PrÂtihÂryas) of the Venerable
There are the following eight amazing auspicious emblems associated with the Venerable: (1) Aíoka tree, (2) Throne made of gems, (3) Three divine Chatras (Parasols), (4) BhÂmandala (Aura), (5) Divya Dhvani (OmkÂramayÍ), (6) Shower of flowers, (7) Fanning with 64 Camaras (fly-whisks) and (8) Deva-dumdubhi (ringing of divine drums).
The enlightened TÍrthankaras are stated to have forty six characteristics as below:
(1) Eight auspicious emblems (8 PrÂtihÂryas)
(2) Thirty four excellences (34 Atiíayas)
(3) Tetrad of infinitieys (4 Ananta Catuîtaya)
Ten excellences (Atiíayas) Related with the Birth
There are the following ten miraculous phenomena manifesting since the time of birth of the TÍrthankaras:
(2) Clean & pure body.
(3) White blood like milk etc.
(4) Adamantine wrapped and nailed bone joints (VajravçîabhanÂrÂca Samhanana).
(5) Symmetrical configuration of body (Samacatursra SansthÂna).
(6) Incomparable appearance.
(7) Best fragrance like the Nçpacampaka flower (yellow fragrant flowers)
(8) Infinite strength and potency.
(9) Beneficial, moderate and sweet speech.
(10) 1008 omens on the body.
Ten Excellences of Omniscience
The following ten miraculous phenomena automatically occur when the omniscience is acquired due to the destruction of the four destructive karmas :
(1) All round abundance of food and provision in all directions within 100 Y.
(2) Movement in space (or sky).
(3) Absence of violence.
(4) Absence of morsel food – intake.
(5) Absence of afflictions.
(6) Face to be seen in all the four directions.
(8) Non-blinking or non-twinkling eye sight.
(9) Possession of all kinds of learnings.
(10) No growth of nails and hairs.
Fourteen Specific Excellences Created by the Deities (Devakçta)
Simultaneously, the following fourteen excellences have been admitted as created by the deities:
01. Simultaneous sermonisation for the liberatable beings through eighteen main languages (18 MahÂbhÂîÂ), seven hundred dialects and all other lingual and non-lingual languages of the instinctive (SanjnÍ-with mental faculty) beings without the use of palate (tÂlu), teeth, lips and throat. The defectless and incomparable Divya dhvani of the Venerable is manifest for nine Muhörtas (app. 7 hrs. a day) during the three prayer times of the day and it is heard upto a distance of one Yojana. Besides this, this Divya Dhvani is also manifest in those times when the chief disciples (Gaàadharas), Indras and CakravartÍs ask questions for response from him. The Divya dhvani elaborates the six dravyas (6 realities), nine padÂrthas (9 materials or categories), five astikÂyas (5 existents) and seven tattvas (7 reals) logically. [The author of Tiloyapaààatti has counted this excellence under the category of excellences due to omniscience. He has, thus, given eleven excellences of omniscience.]02. Out-of season bearing of fruits and flowers of all the six seasons in the area of numerable Yojanas due to the great effect of the TÍrthankaras.
03. Blowing of slow and fragrant air removing all the dust and thorns.
04. Harmonious amity among all the living beings.
05. Appearance of the gem made earth as transparent as mirror.
06. Rains of fragrant water by the deity Meghakumara on the order of the Indra.
07. Plenty of agricultural yield of êÂli, paddy etc. whose plants become bent due to heavy crops.
08. All beings getting happiness daily.
09. Blowing of cool breeze by the VÂyukumara deity.
10. All the wells and ponds becoming full of water.
11. Having a clean sky / space.
12. No occurrence of / interruptions of diseases etc. among all the living beings.
13. Moving of Dharma-cakras (the wheel of religion) ahead of the TÍrthankaras.
14. The formation of divine and golden lotus mat below the lotus like feet of the TÍrthankara, while he is walking.
Thus, 10 excellences by birth, 10 of omniscience and 14 by deities sum up to be 34 excellences in total.
Tetrad of Infinity (Ananta Catuîtaya)
The tetrad of infinity involves : (1) Anant JnÂna-infinite knowledge, (2) Anant Daríana-infinite conation (intuition), (3) Anant Sukha-infinite bliss and, (4) Anant VÍrya-infinite potency.
Thus, the above eight auspicious emblems, 34 excellences and the tetrad of infinity ( 8 + 34 + 4 = 46) make up the 46 special attributes or characteristics, which are associated with the TÍrthankaras.
The First Chief Disciple (Gaàadhara)
When the Venerable attained omniscience, the king Vçîabhasena came to him alongwith many of his subordinate kings. He got initiated. As soon as he did so, he acquired Manah-paryaya JnÂna and seven prodigies (çddhis) and became the first (principal) chief disciple (Gaàadhara) of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva. The kings êreyÂnsa KumÂra and Somaprabha also got initiated and became his chief disciples. BrÂhmÍ and SundarÍ also got initiated as Jaina female ascetics (ÀryikÂs) along with many other women and became the chief (GaàinÍ) among all.
Arrival of Bharata
At the time of acquirement of omniscience by the Venerable, the emperor Bharata got three news simultaneously :
(1) Birth of a son to him.
(2) Acquirement of the Cakra-ratna (wheel-gem) related to victory.
(3) Acquirement of omniscience by the Venerable Vçsabhadeva.
He took the glory of religion as the first and went to worship the Venerable Jina in the holy assembly, then went to Cakra-ratna and then celebrated the birth of the son at last.
Attainment of First Salvation by AnantavÍrya – Son of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva AnantavÍrya-the brother of Bharata had also received initiation from the Venerable after his address to him. He was worshipped by deities on this occasion. He was the first to attain salvation in this devolution epoch. All other austerites except MarÍci KumÂra who got derailed earlier after initiation, were also reinitiated by the Venerable after address from him regarding the true reals and realities. They undertook austerities again and acquired the auspicious destinities as per their volitional purification.
The Venerable broke his silence after 1000 years when he attained omniscience and started his teachings through Divya-dhvani. In other words, the Venerable observed silence from initiation upto attaining omniscience.
Caturvidha Sangh (The Group of Four Types of Jaina Ascetics)
The Jaina saints (Munis), Jaina female ascetics (ÀryikÂs), votaries (êrÂvakas) and votaresses (êrÂvikÂs) form the Caturvidha Sangh of the Jaina ascetics. Accordingly, the holy assembly of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva consisted of
(1) 84 Chief disciples (Gaàadharas)
(2) 84,000 Saints (Munis)
(3) 3,50,000 Jaina female ascetics (ÀryikÂs)
(4) 3,00,000 Votaries (êrÂvakas)
(5) 5,00,000 Votaresses (êrÂvikÂs)
Besides this, innumerable number of male & female deities, innumerable human and subhuman beings are benefitted by the teachings during the religious order of each TÍrthankara.
The Establishment Period of the Religious Order (TÍrtha Pravartana)
It has been stated that the establishment period or the duration of the religious order of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva was one PörvÂnga (Bigger time unit) and fifty lac crore of SÂgaras.
Teachings of the Venerable Vçîabhadeva
Saudharma Indra came to the holy assembly of the Venerable alongwith the four-fold deities, circumambulated him thrice and eulogised him by many hymns. The Indra and the deities desired to listen to him and therefore, sat in the assembly compartments set for them. Similarly, the emperor Bharata also came there, offered worship with many divine materials, eulogised him and, then, sat in the assembly seating compartment set for the human beings. Later, the Venerable Lord’s non-alphabetical divine sound (Divya-dhvani) appeared. He preached all the twelve primary canonical scriptures (Angas) like ÀcÂrÂnga (Text of Saints’ Conduct) etc. His teachings consisted of four kinds of expositions (Anuyogas) like (i) Exposition of Biographies (PrathamÂnuyoga), (ii) Exposition of Cosmology and Sciences (KaraàÂnuyoga), (iii) Exposition of Primary and Secondary Conduct (CaraàÂnuyoga) and (iv) Exposition of Realology or Metaphysics (DravyÂnuyoga).
Creation of the BrÂhmaàa Caste
It has already been stated that the Venerable Vçîabhadeva created three castes of warriors, businessmen and menials corresponding to the conditions of Videha Region as learnt through his clairvoyance.
Once, the emperor Bharata CakravartÍ returned from his world conquest by winning over the BhÂrata varîa alongwith many kings after sixty thousand years. He thought to himself, one day, “The desireless naked saints do not accept our donations of wealth howsoever we may offer our worship to them. Whoelse is there among the householders who could be suitable for our worship by donations of wealth and grains etc. ?” The CakravartÍ honoured such persons, who were judged as observers of partial vows (Aàuvratas), with proper donations and respects. He got the sacred threads (YajnopavÍta) from his Padma treasury (nidhi) and offered them to these vow-observers. He also taught them the six-fold duties of the householders involving (i) worship (ijyÂ), (ii) business (vÂrtÂ), (iii) donations (datti), (iv) self-study (svÂdhyÂya), (v) observance of restraint (sanyama), and (vi) undertaking of austerities (tapa) from the primary text of ‘UpÂsakÂdhyayana’ (Text on Studies on Votaries). These householders were called as ‘BrÂhmaàas’. Thus,
(1) The individuals refined through vows are called BrÂhmaàas.
(2) The persons protecting the public through weapons, are called Kîatriyas (warriors).
(3) The individuals earning the wealth through moral and justified means are called Vaiíyas (businessmen).
(4) The individuals serving the people in many ways are called êödras (menials).
The persons, who take two types of births – first from womb and the other by action or refinement are called Dvijas (Twice-born). The emperor Bharata taught them the rituals of conception (GarbhÂnvaya), initiation (DÍkîÂnvaya) and ritualisation (Kartanvaya).
Once, the emperor Bharata asked the Venerable, “O Lord, I have created this caste of BrÂhmaàas. Please tell me whether it is alright or not.” The Venerable said, “you have done well by the creation of the twice-born BrÂhmaàas. However, there are some flaws in it. They will normally observe proper conduct until the end of this fourth spoke. However, when Kaliyuga (the present sinful age) begins, they will become proud of their caste and will be derailed from their good conduct and will be opponents of right path of salvation. Though the creation of the caste of BrÂhmaàas is the seedling of flaws for the future, but it is not proper to eliminate it at present because it serves the cause of non-transgression of religious path at this time.” The emperor Bharata, the protector of the religion of the four castes, got himself doubtless after listening to the Venerable.
Attainment of Salvation by the Venerable
Thus, the TÍrthankara Vçîabhadeva alongwith his chief-disciplies wandered for one lac Pörva less by 1000 years and 14 days for teaching the path of getting the best fruit of salvation for the people. When his life was to last for 14 days, he desisted from all his activities (Yoga) and sat on the KailÂía mountain between êri-íikhara and Siddha êikhara on the fifteenth day of the bright half of Pauîa month (Dec.-Jan.). The same night, the emperor Bharata saw a dream that the height of the Meru mountain has increased upto the region of Siddha abode (Siddha-êilÂ)- the tip of the universe. ArkakÍrti, the family head and the chief minister etc. also saw some dreams in that night. All interpreted the dreams as indicators of imminent attainment of salvation of the TÍrthankara Vçîabhadeva. The emperor Bharata came to the KailÂía mountain the same day and engaged himself in continuous worship for fourteen days.
In the auspicious moment at sunrise under the Abhijata constellation on the fourteenth day of the dark half of MÂgha (Jan.-Feb.), TÍrthankara Vçîabhadeva was sitting in a posture of sitting on hams (ParyankÂsana) alongwith many saints facing east. He desisted from all the three kinds of yogas through third êukla DhyÂna (Pure meditation) named SökîmakriyÂpratipÂti (non-falling subtle movement or very fine vibratory movements in the soul even when it is deeply absorbed in itself, in a kevalin) and, then destroyed all the four non-destructive (AghÂtiyÂ) Karmas in the last spiritual stage through the fourth pure meditation-VyutparakriyÂ nivçtti (cessation of activity or total absorption of the soul in itself, steady and undisturbably fixed without any vibration whatsoever) in a time during which five short vowels could be pronounced. Due to the destruction of the three bodies named gross (AudÂrika), luminous (Taijasa) and karmic (KÂrmÂàa), the TÍrthankara acquired the mode of salvated-hood and reached the thin-air-layer (TanuvÂtavalaya) of the universe in a moment. At this moment, he was associated with eight inherent qualities of righteousness etc. Being unstained, having a size little less than his last embodiment, non-mattergic, absorbed in self-bliss and continuously observing the universe below, he got seated there eternally.
At the same time, all the deities, desirous of offering worship on this auspicious event of salvation of the Venerable, thought, “The physical body of the Venerable is sacred, best, clean and undefiled and also the means of salvation. They, therefore, placed it in a precious palanquin. They, then, burnt this body by the fire produced from the gem-made shining crown of the Indra of Agni KömÂra deities and inflamed by the milk, ghee etc. and many fragrant substances like sandal, camphor, saffron and Aguru. This burning fire produced unprecedented smell all around. Later, the same Indras took the ashes of Vçîabhadeva, who had five auspicious events (Panca-kalyÂàaka) in his life and applied that on their forehead, both the arms, throat and chest, thinking that they should also become similar to him (in future).
On this occasion, the emperor Bharata became highly sad due to the separation of his father. The chief disciple, Vçîabhasena consoled him and pacified his sad mind through his nectar-like words about the religion. The Venerable Vçîabhadeva attained salvation when the fourth spoke of time was to start after 3 years, eight months and fifteen days. Later, there have been 22 more TÍrthankaras starting from the second AjitanÂtha upto PÂrívanÂtha in the fourth spoke. After them, the twenty fourth TÍrthankara MahÂvÍra appeared on this earth.