Wishing you all a very happy Diwali & Prosperous Vira Nirvana Samvat 2545.
The first Teerthankar : Vrsabhadeva
- 1 THE FIRST TĪRTHANKARA : VRSABHADEVA/RISABHADEVA
- 2 Their names were:
- 3 THE VENERABLE LORD VṇSABHADEVA / ṚSABHADEVA
- 4 Construction of the City of Ayodhyā
- 5 Conception (Descent into Womb) of the Venerable Lord Vrsabhadeva
- 6 Sixteen Dreams of the Mother
- 7 Birth of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
- 8 Arrival of Indra
- 9 Bringing out the Jina Child from Delivery Room
- 10 Movement of Indra to Mem Mountain with the Venerable Lord in His Lap
- 11 Birth Ceremony of the Jina-Child on Pānduka Silā (Pānduka Rock)
- 12 Naming Ceremony'
- 13 Childhood of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
- 14 Divinely-supplied Foods, Clothes etc. for the Venerable Lord
- 15 Marriage Ceremony of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
- 16 The Sons and Daughters of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
- 17 Studies of Brāhmi and Sundarī
- 18 Studies of the Bharata etc. Sons of the Venerable
- 19 Teaching of Six Professions by the Venerable
- 20 The Coronation Ceremony of the Venerable Lord
- 21 Detachment of the Venerable Lord Vrsabhadeva
- 22 Lord's Departure To the Forest for Initiation (Dīksa)
- 23 Propensity of Mithyātva (Wrongness)
- 24 Austerities of the Venerable
- 25 The First Food of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
- 26 Acquirement of Omniscience by the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
- 27 The Brief - Description of the Holy Assembly of the Venerable
- 28 Eight Auspicious Emblems (Atha Prātihāryas) of the Venerable
- 29 Ten excellences (Atisayas) Related with the Birth
- 30 Ten Excellences of Omniscience
- 31 Tetrad of Infinity (Ananta Catustaya)
- 32 The First Chief Disciple (Ganadhara)
- 33 Arrival of Bharata
- 34 Caturvidha Sangh (The Group of Four Types of Jaina Ascetics)
- 35 Teachings of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
- 36 Creation of the Brāhmana Caste
- 37 Attainment of Salvation by the Venerable
THE FIRST TĪRTHANKARA : VRSABHADEVA/RISABHADEVA
There is a country named Gandhila in Videha region in the Western side of Mem mountain in this Jambūdvīpa. 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 (Mithyādṛṣti) at any time in this country. There is a large silvery mountain named Vijayārdha in the central part of this country. There is a beautiful city named Alakā in the North of this mountain. Atibala, a Vidyādhara was the king of this city. He had a faithful & devoted queen named Manoharā. They had a highly fortunate son named Mahābala. At a proper time, the king Atibala handed over the reigns of the kingdom to his son Mahābala with prestigious coronation and got himself initiated in a forest alongwith many Vidyādharas. The king Mahābala had four ministers who were very intelligent, far-sighted and affectionate.
Their names were:
(4) Svayambuddha. Out of them, only Svayambuddha was right-faithed (Samyagdṛṣtī) 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 Mahāmati was incapable of understanding his speech. He, therefore, made a speech to establish the Cārvāka system and proved the non-existence of the soul (Jīva Tatva). The minister Sambhinnamati wished to prove the non-existence of the soul on the basis of the theory of knowledge-Vijnānavāda. He said that the knowledge is the only basic element and the rest is only a delusion or illusion. After him, the minister Ṡatamati lectured and proved all the world as void on the basis of the theory of voidness (Ṡūnyavāda). 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 (Agama) and made them answerless by proving the religion of non-violence, having a nature of multiple-predications (Syādvāda). The king was pleased with his speech. After some time, the minister Svayambuddha went on a sacred trip to visit the natural (Akṛtrima) temples on Mem 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-Ṡāla 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 Adityagati 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 Tord, the king of Vidyādharas-Mahābala is my Tord. 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-Adityagati told him,” O liberatable, your Tord is liberatable only. He will believe on your words and he will be the first Tīrthankara in the Bharata Kshetra of Jambūdvīpa 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 Mem mountain in Jambūdvīpa. Ṡri-ṣeṇa was the king of that kingdom. His queen was Sundarī. They had two sons named Jayavarmā and Ṡrivarmā. Booking at the capability and due to affection, the father king handed over the reigns of the kingdom to his younger son - Ṡrivarmā. 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 Mahīdhara Vidyādhara moving in the sky, he developed a desire to be Vidhyādhara in the next birth. At the same time, he was bitten by a snake and died. After that, he is reborn as Mahābala who is your Tord 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 Mahābala and command from the saint, the minister Svayambuddha returned to his capital and said to the king. “O Tord, 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 (Mithyātva) 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 Tīrthankara in the tenth rebirth from now.”
The minister told all the story to Mahābala as narrated by the saint. On hearing all this, the king Mahābala handed over the reigns of the Kingdom to his son Atibala and went to the Siddhakūta 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 Lalitānga in the Ṡrī-prabha heavenly abdoe of the heaven of Aisāna.When his life-span there had to last for Pṛthaktva palya (3-9 pay la), he got one more goddess named Svayamprabhā. The empyrean Lalitānga 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 Vṛkṣa (A holy tree with Jin- idols) and began pronouncing loudly the great incantation of Ṇamokāra Mantra. He died there with the vow of holy death.
There is a country named Puṣkalāvatī in the Videha region in the east of Mem mountain of Jambūdvīpa. One of its town is Utpalakhetaka. Vajrabāhu was the king there who had Vasundharā as his queen. They gave birth to a son named Vajrajangha who was Lalitānga empyrean in his pre-birth.
On the other hand, after the death of her empyrean husband Lalitānga, his faithful goddess Svayamprabhā 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 (Parameṣthīs) under the Caitya Vṛkṣa in the Jina temple in the east of Saumanasa forest there. She was reborn as the daughter named ‘Ṡrimati’ of the king Vajradanta (and the queen Laxmīmatī) who was the king of the city of Pundarīkiṇī of Videha region. In due course of time, Vajrajangha and Ṡrimati 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 Ṡrīmatī-Cakravartī Vajradanta also coronated his small grandson Pundarīka and handed over the reigns of kingdom to him. He later got initiated with his son.
Sometimes later, the mother queen Laxmīmatī invited his daughter and son-in-law to come to her. Both of them were on their way to the city of Pundarikinī. They had a halting camp in a forest in the way. During this halt, the two sky-moving saints named Damadhara and Sāgarasena came to them. Both the saints had resolved to take their food (Ahāra) only in the forest. Vajrajangha and Ṡrīmatī offered them food with nine-fold devotion (Navadhā Bhakti) and in the prescribed procedure. This resulted in five types of wonders ĪPancāscarya Vṛṣti) 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 Tīrthankara named Vṛṣabhadeva in the eighth rebirth from now and your queen will be the king Ṡreyānsa 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 Ahāra of saints.
Once upon a time, two sky-moving saints came to the land of enjoyment and began to preach on religion tSamyagdarsana) to Vajrajangha Arya and Ṡrimatī Aryā. The senior saint said, “O Arya, you take me as the reincarnation of your minister (in earlier birth) Svayambuddha. When you were Mahābala, I made you the believer of the Jaina faith Both of them, then, accepted the right faith. When they died, they became the empyreans ‘Ṡridhara’ and “Svayamprabha’ in the Aisāna heaven. It means that Ṡrimatī got released from her mode (paryāya) of female and took rebirth as a male empyrean due to the effect of righteousness (Samyaktva). One day, the empyrean Ṡridhara asked the Omniscient Prītinkara (who was Svayambuddha in his earlier birth) in His holy assembly, “O Tord, where are the three other persons who were my ministers when I was in the birth of Mahābala ?” Bhagavāna said, “The two of them, Mahāmati and Sambhinnamati have taken birth in the Nigodas (general body plants) and Ṡatmati has gone to hell.” The empyrean “Ṡridhara’, then, went to the hell and addressed the infemalised Ṡatamati. There is no question of addressing the living beings in the Nigodas.
There is thecountry of Mahāvatsa in Pūrva-Videha in Jambūdvīpa. It's Ṡusīmā city was ruled by the king Ṡudṛṣti who had the queen Ṡundaranandā. The empyrean ‘Ṡridhara’ was reborn as their son named ‘Ṡuvidhi’. At a later time, the empyrean Svayamprabha (the jīva of Ṡrimatī) was also bom as the son of Ṡuvidhi and his queen Manoramā. In other words, the soul of Vajrajngha became the king Ṡuvidhi and the soul of Ṡrimatī became his son. After sometime, the king Ṡuvidhi got initiated and was reborn as Indra in Acyuta heaven. His son Kesava also got initiated later and was reborn as Pratīndra (Indra-equivalent) in the Acyuta heaven. The above Acyutendra was reborn as a Cakravarti named Vajranābhi as a son of the king Vajrasena and queen Ṡrīkāntā in the city ofPundarīkinī of the country of Puṣkalāvatī in Pūrva- Videha region of Jambūdvīpa. After sometime, the Pratīndra Kesava was also reborn as Dhanadeva, son of the businessman Kuberadatta and his wife Anantamatī in the same city. The father of Vajranābhi was the Tīrthankara 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 Tīrthankara Vajrasena alongwith 16000 crowned kings, one thousand sons, eight brothers and Dhanadeva. Sometimes later, he earned the karmic nature of Tīrthankaraship while introspective reflections on sixteen factors in the proximity of the Tīrthankara. He acquired the eleventh spiritual stage (guṇasthāna) due to the purity developed through meditation. He descended down after an Antarmuhūrta (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 Sarvārthasiddhi. This Ahamindra will complete his lifespan there and will be reborn as the first Tīrthankara named as ‘Vṛṣabhadeva’.
THE VENERABLE LORD VṇSABHADEVA / ṚSABHADEVA
There was the king Nābhirāja who had the queen Marudevī who was like the wife of Indra in her qualities of form, beauty, shine, radiance and splendour etc. During the marriage of Marudevī, the Indra catalysed many empyreans to celebrate the occasion with high splendours. At that time, it was only the king Nābhirāja who was the highest in fortunes and Marudevī was the most fortunate. Who can compare with those people who will have Lord Vṛṣabhadeva 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.
Construction of the City of Ayodhyā
When the wish-fulfilling trees disappeared totally, the Indra (Lord of deities) constructed the city of Ayodhyā in the place adorned by the presence of Nābhirāja and Marudevī. 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 I Iarivansa Purāṇa (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 Nābhirāja 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 (Pukharāja), coral (Mūngā) and Pearls (Motī) etc. The palace had eighty one sections (storeys) and it had a boundary wall, small water tank (Vāpikā) and many gardens. Owing to the influence of the Patriarch Nābhiraja, 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 Nābhirāja had the chief-queen named Marudevī. She was bom in a high family of pure lineage and she was as beloved of Nābhirāja as the wife of Indra is beloved to him. The city of Ayodhyā was situated in the country of Sukausala and it was known as 'Sukausalā' also on the name of the country. The city had many revered, educated and highly civilised citizens. That is why, it was also called ‘ Vinītā’ (Courteous). This capital of Ayodhyā 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 Puṇyāha Vācana (an auspicious activity) on an auspicious day, auspicious moment (Muhūrta), auspicious planetary conjunction and zodiac by holding a ceremony with a grand pleasure. It is after this ceremony on this day that the king Nābhirāja along with her queen Mamdevī began to reside in the city of Ayodhyā with pleasure. The Indra also offered his worship with anointing ceremony to both of them assuming that the omniscient lord Ṛṣabhadeva will take birth in their home.
Conception (Descent into Womb) of the Venerable Lord Vrsabhadeva
The empyreans began showering the rains of gems from the skies after learning that the Tord Vṛṣabhadeva 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-maṇi), saphire (Indranila maṇi) and ruby (Padmarāga) etc. in the courtyard of the palace of the king Nabhirāja. 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 Vṛṣabhadeva nine months later.
Sixteen Dreams of the Mother
One day, while sleeping the chief queen Marudevī saw the following sixteen dreams at the last Prahara (3-4 a.m.) of the night which indicated the birth of the Jina Tord Vṛṣabhadeva. They are as follows-
(1) Airāvata 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 possessing infinite power & strength. He will be anointed by deities on the top of Sumem 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) Nāgendra'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 bum the karmic fuel.
After seeing the above sixteen dreams, the queen Marudevī saw that a bull with a golden yellow shine and with high shoulders had been entering into her lotus-like mouth signifying that Lord Vṛṣabhadeva 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 Nābhirāja seated on the throne, “O Tord, I have seen sixteen dreams in the last Prahara of the night today.”
She told all the dreams and requested, “O Tord, please interpet these dreams for me.” The king Nābhirāja 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 Nābhirāja.
The third spoke of plentitude-cum-penury of this devolution epoch was to last for 84 lac Pūrvas, 3 years and 8.5 months, when Vajranābhi Ahamindra completed his life-span in the empyrean abode of Sarvārthasiddhi and transmigrationally arrived in the womb of the queen Marudevī (i.e. was conceived by her) in the constellation of Uttarāṣadha on Aṣādha kṛṣṇā Dvitīyā (the second day of the dark half of Aṣādha 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, circumambulated the city of Ayodhyā thrice and offered their bowings to the parents of the V enerable. The courtyard of the king Nābhirāja 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-Kumārī 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 (Aratī) 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 Mamdevī also caused the goddesses to be wonderstmck by solving the puzzles and explaining the meanings of even the most difficult words immediately. The Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva did not cause any trouble for the mother despite being situated in her womb. Though the lean stomach of the mother Marudevr remained adorated on the upper part of her belly with three folds (Trivah), 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 Vṛṣabhadeva was enriched with three kinds of knowledges-sensory(Mati), scriptural (Ṡruta) 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 Marudevr did not offer bowings to any one but all the people of the world bowed to her like the goddess Saras vatr (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 Marudevr was the mother of Vṛṣabhadeva who was to systematise the order in the Tand of Action (Karmabhumi) after the lapse of the Tand of Enjoyment. Virtually, he was the creator of the universe and so his mother was the mother of the universe.
Birth of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
After the passage of nine months, the mother Marudevr served by the goddesses like Ṡrī, Hri and others, gave birth to the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva on Caitra Kṛṣrrā Navamr (the ninth day of the dark half of Caitra i.e. March -April) at sunrise when there was the constellation of Uttarāṣādhā and the planetary conjunction of Brahma. The Venerable was graced with three kinds of knowledges (as pointed out above), he was the only Tord 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-dmms 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 (Kalpavāsrs), 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 Trrthankara sun through his clairvoyance. He got off from his seat and offered his bowings with devotion to the Venerable indirectly.
Arrival of Indra
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 Airāvata 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 Sāmānika (like Indra in power but not authoritative), Trāyastrinsa (like ministers or priests), Pāriṣada (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 Vimānas (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 Ayodhyā after circumambulating it thrice.
Bringing out the Jina Child from Delivery Room
The wife of Indra entered the delivery room with great festivity and saw with pleasure the Jina-infant and his mother Marudevī. 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 (puṇya) to destroy her mode (paryāya) of female. While the wife of Indra was moving with the radiant sun of Jina-infant in her lap, many Dik-Kumārī 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.
Movement of Indra to Mem Mountain with the Venerable Lord in His Lap
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 Mem 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 Aisāna heaven was serving the Venerable by holding divine white parasol (Chatra) over the child. The Indras of Sānatkumāra and Māhendra heavens were gently waving the white Camaras from both the sides. The Camaras (fly-whisks) were as white as the Milky ocean (Kṣira-Sāgara). 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 Mem mountain, the steps of blue gems were constmcted 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 Mem mountain after crossing the astral world.
Birth Ceremony of the Jina-Child on Pānduka Silā (Pānduka Rock)
First of all, the Indra circumambulated the Mem mountain alongwith other deities with great affection. Tater, he got the sun-like Jina-child seated on the Pānduka rock situated in the north-east tīsāna direction) in the Pānduka 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 Aisāna heavens. All the deities got seated properly there surrounding the Pānduka Ṡilā so that they could see the splendour of the festivity of birth of the Jina child. The army of deities also stayed in the Pānduka forest and above the upper part of the Mem 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 Pānduka Ṡilā. He seated him facing east. At that time, the whole sky was pervaded by the sounds of kettle dmms played by the deities. The goddesses began dancing. The deities had constmcted a big hall (mandapa) there, where all the creatures of the universe could sit together without obstmeting 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 Aisāna 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 Kṣīra Sāgara 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 Asoka 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 Ford), 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 bom, but he was steady and non-vibrating like Mem mountain during the anointment. The water flowing on ground from the Mem mountain after the anointing of the Venerable was looking like the fact that this flow of water of Kṣira Sāgar was measuring the height of Mem 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 (Ṡāntimantra) 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 (Akṣata), (4) flowers (Puṣpa), (5) Naivedya (Edible dishes), (6) Dīpa (Aratī or lamp), (7) incense (Dhūpa), (8) fmits (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 Mem 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 Kṣīra ocean & who had been anointed on supreme Sumem mountain.
Afterwards, Ṡacī Indrāṇi began to dress up and put on ornamentation on the Venerble Vṛṣabhadeva. 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 fives fortunate by seeing his beauty with their unblinking eyes. Afterwards all the deities and Indras eulogised the Venerable Ford in many ways.
Eater, the Indra along with other deities carried the ornamented and gracious Jina-child and entered the highly gracious house of his father Nābhirāja. 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 Ford of the three worlds, the first Tīrthankara (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 Ayodhyā was also of the same level as that held on the Mem 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 ‘Ananda’ (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 Nābhirāja and others were the spectators of the drama. The (future) world-teacher and the V enerable Vṛṣabhadeva was the adorable Tord of this drama. The objective of the drama was to accomplish the three supreme Puruṣārthas 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 Puruṣārthas. Tater, he played the scene related with the birth and anointment (at Mem) of the Venerable. He, later, played many scenes depicting the ten pre-births of Mahābala etc. of the Venerable and also many other dramas. Tater, the Indra recited benedictory prologue (Mangalācaraṇa), threw handful of sacred flowers (Puṣpānjali) around and started frantic dancing (Tāndava Nṛtya). 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 Nābhirāja alongwith Mamdevī was highly wonder-stmck by this amazing dance. They were highly pleased with the commendations made by the Indra.
The Venerable Tord 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 Vṛṣabhadeva to him. Tater, many other names were also given to him like ‘Pumdeva’, ‘Adinātha’, ‘Ṛṣabhadeva’ 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. Tater, the Indra and his company went to their respective abodes.
Childhood of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
In the first days of childhood, the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva, 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 (Sarasvatī). 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-vṛṣabha-nārāca 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 Pūrvas. There were 108 omens like Ṡrivṛkṣa (an auspicious tree), conch, lotus and Svastika (a four-armed auspicious symbol) on his body along with 900 marks & symobls like Masūrikā 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.
Divinely-supplied Foods, Clothes etc. for the Venerable Lord
All the articles for the Tord like soft bed, soft seat, clothes, ornaments, cosmetics, foods, conveyances and space-crafts etc. were made by the divinities. According to Trilokasāra verses 521,551 (p.446), there is an assembly hall named ‘Sudharmā’ in the north-east direction ofthe abode of the Indra of Saudharma heaven. There is the throne of the Indra in its centre. There are Mānastambhas (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.
Marriage Ceremony of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
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 Nābhirāja 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 Nābhirāja, 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 Nābharāja with the permission of Indra, married him with two girls - Yasasvatī and Sunandā who had the best of the qualities and character. Both of these girls were the sisters of the kings Kaccha and Mahākaccha. The Indras held many festivities on the occasion of the marriage of the Venerable in which the deities also participated.
The Sons and Daughters of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
Once upon a time, while the great queen Yasasvatī 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 Vrsabhadeva and asked him about the effects of the dreams. When she learnt from him, “You will have a son who will be Cakravartī (universal monarch),” she was highly pleased. After nine months, Yasasvatī 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 Cakravartī (of this epoch) named Bharata.
Later on, there were ninety nine sons named Vṛṣabha-sena, Anantavīrya etc. bom to the queen Yasasvatī. All of them were Carama sarīrī (ultimate-bodied) and great heros. Yasasvatī also gave birth to a daughter named ‘Brāhmi’. The second wife of the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva gave birth to the Venerable Bāhubali and a daughter named Sundarī. Bāhubali was the first Kāmadeva (cupid - like man) out of twenty four Kāmadevas. The Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva was gracefuly enjoying the life with these 101 sons and two daughters. The Lord's parents-king Nābhirāja & queen Mamdevī 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 (Sanskārās). 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.
Studies of Brāhmi and Sundarī
Sometimes, the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva 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 Ṡmtadevatā (scripture-god) on the wide golden plate with respect. He recited a benedictory prologue-4 ‘Siddham Namah’ ’ (Bowings to the Salvated ones) and asked Brāhmi to write alphabets (A, A etc.) correctly after writing them with his right hand. This alphabet system is known as ‘Siddha mātṛkā’ (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 ikāī-dahāī i.e. ‘one (1), ten (10) etc.’ from his left hand and instmcted Sundarī to write these numbers of Mathematics. There is neither any scripture nor any learning without Vañmaya. Hence, the Venerable, in the first instance, taught them all about it. The group of three-grammar, metrology and figures of speech forms the Vañmaya (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 ‘Brāhmī’ and that is why the script is called ‘Brāhmī’ script even today. Both of these daughters became qualified to be reincarnated as the goddess of learning ‘Sarasvatī’ after studying all the learnings by the grace of their father.
Studies of the Bharata etc. Sons of the Venerable
Similarly, the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva, 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, Ayurveda (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 Pūrvas was completed by him.
Due to the passage of time, the power of the wish-fulfilling trees and various types of medicines (Mahauṣadhi, Dīptauṣadhi 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 Nābhirāja who directed them to go to the Venerable Lord Vṛṣabhadeva. 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 Kṣatriyas (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 Adipurāṇa, 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 constmct a Jina temple in the centre of the city of Ayodhyā 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 Kosala etc., cities like Ayodhyā etc., forests and ‘large and small’ villages with boundaries.The capital Ayodhyā was looking graceful by the fort, surrounding walls (Prākāra), trenches (Parikhā), 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 Adipurāṇa, chapter 16, verses 179 (p. 362), the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva said that the following six professions are the means of livelihood of the people:
(1)Asi (Using weapons for protecting purposes)
(6)Ṡilpa (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 (Sarāgī) and not detached (Vītarāgī). 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 ‘Kṛṣi- karma’.
(4)to serve the society through learning and teaching scriptures and performing arts (music-danceetc.)is ‘Vidyākarma’.
(5)to serve the society through trades and business is ‘Vāṇijya karma’.
(6)to serve the society through arts and handicrafts like painting etc. is 'Ṡilpa karma'.
During the same period, the first Lord of the creation (Adibrahmā), the Venerable Vṛṣabhdeva established the three-caste system (on the basis of activities) which included the warriors (Kṣatriyas-protectors during calamities), tradesmen (Vaisyas-businessmen j and menials (Ṡūdras, 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 ‘Kṛta-yuga’ (Creator of this Age) as he established the era of actions (Karmayuga). He was called as ‘Prajāpati ’ (Lord of the People), because he started the ‘age of action’ on the first day of the dark half of the month of Aṣādha. He became known as ‘Ikṣvāku’ (a lineage) because he advised the people to collect Sugarcane juice. He could be called as ‘Kāṡyapa’ (a gotra) as he protected the spiritual power. He was called ‘Maim’ 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 'Vidhātā' (Creator of the world system), 'Viṡvakarmā' (Supreme architect of world) and 'Sraṣtā' (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 hke Gangā and Sindhu etc., small lakes like Nandā and Nandottarā etc. and oceans hke Nandīsvara, Svayambhūramaṇa & Kṣīra Sāgara etc. The anointing ceremony was commenced with golden pitchers along with singing of songs, playing musical instmments and dancing. Ah the great kings including the king Nābhirāja also started anointing him together presuming that the best of men Vṛṣabhadeva was really capable to be coronated. The citizens also anointed his feet by the Saryū river water through the cups of lotus leaves and earthen pots. The Indra, then, offered homage with circularly waving kindled lamps (Aratī) before him and clothed and ornamented him with materials brought from the heavens. The king Nābhirāja coronated him with his crown saying, “The Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva is the Lord of all the great crowned kings.” Later, the Indras and other deities staged the drama of ‘Ananda’ (Enjoyment) as done previously and went back to their abodes. The ruling period of the Venerable had a duration of 63 lac Pūrvas. It was being enjoyed with his sons and grandsons.
Detachment of the Venerable Lord Vrsabhadeva
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 ‘Nilānjanā’. 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 (Anuprekṣās). The Indra did know all these internal activities of the Venerable by his clairvoyance. At this time, the Laukāntika 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 :
(7) Avyābādha and
All these are the excellent among the empyreans and, therefore, they are called ‘Devaṛṣi’ (empyrean sages). They are child-celibates, detached and proficient in eleven primary canonical scriptures (11 Angas) and fourteen pre-canons (14 Pūrvas) 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 Ayodhyā. Later on, the Indra anointed the Venerable with the water of Kṣīra-Sāgara and dressed him with divine clothes and ornaments. The Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva coronated his eldest son Bharata as the crowned king of his kingdom and appointed Bāhubali 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 (Dīksa)
The Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva sought permission for initiation from his parents and other family members before he sat into the ‘Sudarsana’ palanquin brought by the Indra. This was carried by the kings for seven paces (a native unit of distance) and later the Vidyādharas (proficient in superpowers by birth) carried it to a further distance of seven paces in the sky. Tater, 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 Vṛṣabhadeva that his palanquin was carried by the Indra-lord of heaven himself. The Yakṣa 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 Yasasvatī and Sunandā 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 Tord with the sacred material for offering worship to him. The king Nābhirāja and his queen Marudevī also followed him alongwith many other kings to see the festivity of the auspicious event of initiation of the Tord. The emperor Bharata also followed him along with his ministers, sub-ordinate kings and younger brothers with great grandeur. In the end, the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva reached the extended forest named 'Siddhārthaka'. This forest was neither too far nor too near the city of Ayodhyā. 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 Asoka, Campaka, Banyan, Saptapama and Mangoes. The deities had already placed there the rock made of auspicious Candrakānta maṇi and smeared with auspicious drops of liquid from the rubbed sandal paste. The Indrāṇīs 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 ‘Prayāga’ (place of initiation, a pilgrimage currently called as Allahabad), as described in the verse 96, Page 174,1 Iarivansa Purāṇa & also Padmapurāṇa.
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 Pancamuṣthī (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 Uttarāṣādhā 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 Kṣīra ocean with great regards.
When the Venerable got initiated, four thousand obedient kings of the lineages of Ikṣvāku, 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 (Dravyalingī) and not psychically (Bhāvalingī). 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 eightfold 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 Mithyātva (Wrongness)
When the Venerable got initiated, he acquired the Manah-paryaya Jnāna (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, Mahākaccha & 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 Jatādhārī (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 constmcting their hutments. Many of them became wandering monks. Some of them became perverse heretics due to delusion. They worshipped the feet of the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva with water and flowers. They had no other deity for them except the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva. Māricikumār, 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 Sānkhyas were propounded first by him only.
Austerities of the Venerable
The Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva was absorbed in meditation in as steady a way as the unwavering mountain of Mem. 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 fmits and flowers of all the seasons. The animals like lion and deer etc. were offering their worship to the Venerable resigning their in-bom enmity.
In the meantime, the sons of the king Kaccha and Mahākaccha 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 Yasasvatī and Sunandā were the sisters of the kings- Kaccha and Mahākaccha and both the princes were the sons of these kings. During their request, the throne of Dharaṇendra 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.” Dharaṇendra was pleased with their persistence, self-respect & devotion to the Lord. He said, “I am Dharaṇarāja-the Indra of the lower universe (Pātāla 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 Dharaṇendra for us, they immediately accompanied him. Dharaṇendra got both of them seated in his Vimāna (divine aircraft) and went to the Vijayārdha mountain. This mountain is 50 Y wide, 25 Y high and its length touches the eastern and western coasts of Lavaṇa 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 Vidyādharas 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 Dharaṇendra entered the city of Rathanūpuracakravāla, graced with high flying flags with them. He got both the princes seated on the throne and said to the Vidyādharas, “Now, these princes are your kings.” Later, he coronated them with anointment through the sacred golden pitchers in the hands of the Vidyādhara ladies. Afterwards, he said to the Vidyādharas. “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 Vṛṣabhadeva, the originator of the world of the land of action (Karmabhumi) has sent them here with his own approval. Accordingly, all of you should offer homage to them and observe their orders.” All the Vidyādharas agreed to the words of Dharaṇendra and accepted them as their kings with bowing heads.
The First Food of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
When six months of meditation and fasting were over, the world great teacher, Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva began thinking. “It is necessary to take food for establishing the method of foodtaking by Jaina saints and sustaining the body and life. However, the purified food should be offered for saints as per the prescribed way (with Navadhābhakti). He felt sorry that the newly initiated ascetics, bom 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 Mahāpurana (page-20) that one should adopt a medium way of subsistence so that the senses may remain under control and they should not mn after the wrong path.
On making such a resolution, the heroic and patient Venerable Lord Vṛṣabhadeva began pedestrian wandering (Vihāra),whichever areas he walked through with īryāpatha suddhi (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 Vṛṣabhadeva reached the town of Hastināpura in the Kuru-Jāngala Country (Currently in Merrut Distt. of U.P.). It was as gracious as the golden ornament. The king of that country was Somaprabha - the Ṡikhāmaṇi (gem leader) of Kura lineage. His younger brother was the king ‘Ṡreyānsa Kumāra’. Once king Ṡreyānsa 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 Vṛṣabhadeva came there while wandering solitarily. The janitor (door-attendant) Siddhārtha 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 V enerable, the king Ṡreyānsa Kumāra got his pre-birth remembered. He recollected all the incidents during his pre-birth as Varjajangha and Ṡrimatī. He remembered that in the eighth pre-birth, the Venerable was in the form of king Vajra-jangha and he was Ṡrimatī-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 Ahāra to the saints at that time and got ready to offer food to the Venerable. The food-offerer has to offer Ahāra with nine fold devotion (Navadhā bhakti) in the form of (1) Invitation (Padagāhana), (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 Takṣmimatī and Ṡreyānsa Kumāra 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 Vaisākha (April-May). Because of this first food-intake of the Venerable, this day is celebrated as ‘ Akṣaya 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 Ṡreyānsa repeatedly calling him as ‘Founder of saint food- offering’ (Dāna-tīrtha-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 Vrsabhadeva
Once, while pedestrian wandering, the Venerable sat in the posture of sitting on hams (Paryankāsana) on a rock under a banyan tree in ‘ Ṡakatāsya’ garden in the town of Purimatālapura. The king Vṛṣabhasena of this town was the son of the Venerable and the younger brother of Bharata. During meditation there, the Venerable Ford burnt the fuel of four destmctive Karmas (Ghātiyā karmas) by his meditational fire (of inner spiritual energy) and he acquired the absolute knowledge or omniscience (Kevalajnāna) which perceives the whole universe (Loka) and nonuniverse (A-loka). When the Venerable acquired omniscience on the eleventh day of the dark half of the Phālguna month (Feb. - March) in the constellation of Uttarāṣādha, all the three worlds got agitated. The bells began ringing in the empyrean world automatically. The astral world got full of hon-roaring. The dmms 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-Kūbera constructed the holy assembly (Samavasaraṇa) with the help of the empyrean sculptors. This is constructed in round shape with the Indranīla gems. It has a size of 12 Y and shape of a wide lotus. In the center of this holy assembly, there is a gandhakutī (fragrant seat) raised like the pericarp of a flower. The divine ground of holy assembly (Divya-bhūmi) is normally one Hasta (1.5 ft.) above the surface and there is the kalpa-ground (Kalpabhūmi) one Hasta above it. On attaining omniscience, the Venerable moves 5000 D (~ 30,000 ft.) above the ground. (One Dhanuṣa (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 (Pīthas) in each inner part. There are four vanity subduing pillars (Mānastambhas) in the four large galleries (Mahāvīthīs) of the holy assembly whose sight alone subdues the pride of the Bhavya Mithyādṛṣtīs (liberatable wrong-faithed people).
In the outermost part of the holy assembly, there is a boundary wall named Dhūlisāla made of the powders of gems and jewels. Tater, there are vanity subduing pillars, trenches (Parikhā bhumi) and creeper grounds (Tatābhumi). These are followed by golden boundary wall which has four entry gates (Gopuras). The peripatetic deities are guarding these gates with maces (gadās) etc. in their hands. There are forests having trees of Asoka 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 (Kalpavṛkṣa bhumi), forest altars and Stūpa (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 (Mahāvīthīs) between the quartz wall and the altars or Pīthas (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 (Bāraha Sabhās). Over these walls, there is a graceful and colossal Ṡrī - mandapa (auspicious hall made up of quartz crystals & which is standing on the gem-pillars). The Ṡrī - 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 Ṡrī-mandapa, there is a altar made of Tapis- lazuli (Vaidūryamaṇi-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 Katanīs over it. It is graced with Dharmacakra (the wheel of religion), the symbol of the propagation of the religious order by Tīrthankara. On the throne of the third altar, the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva is sitting at a distance of four Angulas above it. There are twelve seating compartments (Sabhās) 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) Aryikās or Jaina female ascetics and votaresses,
(5) peripatetic goddesses,
(6) mansional goddesses,
(7) mansional 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 Dhūlisāla 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 Asoka- Mango etc. trees which leads to the Vedikā 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. Tater, there are Stūpa (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 (Atha Prātihāryas) of the Venerable
There are the following eight amazing auspicious emblems associated with the Venerable: (1)Asoka tree, (2) Throne made of gems, (3) Three divine Chatras (Parasols), (4) Bhāmandala (Aura), (5) Divya Dhvani (Omkāramayī), (6) Shower of flowers, (7) Fanning with 64 Camaras (fly-whisks) and (8) Deva-dumdubhi (ringing of divine drums). The enlightened Tīrthankaras are stated to have forty six characteristics as below: (1)Eight auspicious emblems (8 Prātihāryas)
(2)Thirty four excellences (34 Atisayasj
(3)Tetrad of infinitieys (4 Ananta Catuṣtaya)
Ten excellences (Atisayas) Related with the Birth
There are the following ten miraculous phenomena manifesting since the time of birth of the Tīrthankaras:
(2)Clean & pure body.
(3)White blood like milk etc.
(4)Adamantine wrapped and nailed bone joints (Vajravṛṣabhanārāca Samhanana).
(5)Symmetrical configuration of body (Samacatursra Sansthāna).
(7)Best fragrance like the Nṛpacampaka 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 (orsky).
(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 (Devakrta) Simultaneously, the following fourteen excellences have been admitted as created by the deities:
1.Simultaneous sermonisation for the liberatable beings through eighteen main languages (18 Mahābhāṣā), seven hundred dialects and all other Ungual and non-Ungual languages of the instinctive (Sanjnī—with mental faculty) beings without the use of palate (tālu), teeth, lips and throat. The defectless and incomparable Divya dhvani of the Venerable is manifest for nine Muhūrtas (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 (Gaṇadharas), Indras and Cakravartīs ask questions for response from him. The Divya dhvani elaborates the six dravyas (6 reahties), nine padārthas (9 materials or categories), five astikāyas (5 existents) and seven tattvas (7 reals) logically. [The author of Tiloyapaṇṇatti has counted this excellence under the category of excellences due to omniscience. He has, thus, given eleven excellences of omniscience.]
2.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 Tīrthankaras.
3.Blowing of slow and fragrant air removing all the dust and thorns.
4.Harmonious amity among all the living beings.
5.Appearance of the gem made earth as transparent as mirror.
6.Rains of fragrant water by the deity Meghakumara on the order of the Indra.
7.Plenty of agricultural yield of ṠāU, paddy etc. whose plants become bent due to heavy crops.
8.All beings getting happiness daily.
9.Blowing of cool breeze by the Vāyukumara 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 Tīrthankaras.
14.The formation of divine and golden lotus mat below the lotus like feet of the Tīrthankara, 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 Catustaya)
The tetrad of infinity involves : (1) Anant Jnāna—infinite knowledge, (2) Anant Darsana— infinite conation (intuition), (3) Anant Sukha—infinite bbss and, (4) Anant Vīrya—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 Tīrthankaras.
The First Chief Disciple (Ganadhara)
When the Venerable attained omniscience, the king Vṛṣabhasena came to him alongwith many of his subordinate kings. He got initiated. As soon as he did so, he acquired Manah-paryaya Jnāna and seven prodigies (ṛddhis) and became the first (principal) chief disciple (Ganadhara) of the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva. The kings Ṡreyānsa Kumāra and Somaprabha also got initiated and became his chief disciples. Brāhmī and Sundarī also got initiated as Jaina female ascetics (Aryikās) along with many other women and became the chief (Gaṇinī) 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 Vṛsabhadeva.
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 Anantavīrya - Son of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
Anantavīrya-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 Marīci Kumāra who got derailed earlier after initiation, were also reinitiated by the Venerable after address from him regarding the tme 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 (Aryikās), votaries (Ṡrāvakas) and votaresses (Ṡrāvikās) form the Caturvidha Sangh of the Jaina ascetics. Accordingly, the holy assembly of the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva consisted of
(1)84 Chief disciples (Gaṇadharas)
(2)84,000 Saints (Munis)
(3)3,50,000 Jaina female ascetics (Aryikās)
(4)3,00,000 Votaries (Ṡrāvakas)
(5)5,00,000 Votaresses (Ṡrāvikās)
Besides this, innumerable number of male & female deities, innumerable human and subhuman beings are benefitted by the teachings during the religious order of each Tīrthankara.
The Establishment Period of the Religious Order (Tīrtha Pravartana)
It has been stated that the establishment period or the duration of the religious order of the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva was one Pūrvānga (Bigger time unit) and fifty lac crore of Sāgaras.
Teachings of the Venerable Vrsabhadeva
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 Acārānga (Text of Saints' Conduct) etc. His teachings consisted of four kinds of expositions (Anuyogas) like (i) Exposition of Biographies (Prathamānuyoga), (ii) Exposition of Cosmology and Sciences (Karaṇānuyoga), (iii) Exposition of Primary and Secondary Conduct (Caraṇānuyoga) and (iv) Exposition of Realology or Metaphysics (Dravyānuyoga).
Creation of the Brāhmana Caste
It has already been stated that the Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva created three castes of warriors, businessmen and menials corresponding to the conditions of Videha Region as learnt through his clairvoyance. Once, the emperor Bharata Cakravartī returned from his world conquest by winning over the Bhārata varṣa 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 Cakravartī honoured such persons, who were judged as observers of partial vows (Aṇuvratas), with proper donations and respects. He got the sacred threads (Yajnopavīta) 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 (ijyā),
(ii) business (vārtā),
(iii) donations (datti),
(iv) self-study (svādhyāya),
(v) observance of restraint (sanyama), and
(vi) undertaking of austerities (tapa) from the primary text of ‘Upāsakādhyayana’ (Text on Studies on Votaries).
These householders were called as 'Brāhmanas'. Thus,
(1)The individuals refined through vows are called Brāhmanas.
(2)The persons protecting the public through weapons, are called Kṣatriyas (warriors).
(3)The individuals earning the wealth through moral and justified means are called Vaisyas (businessmen).
(4)The individuals serving the people in many ways are called Ṡūdras (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 (Garbhānvaya), initiation (Dīkṣānvaya) and ritualisation (Kartanvaya).
Once, the emperor Bharata asked the Venerable, “O Lord, I have created this caste of Brāhmanas. Please tell me whether it is alright or not.” The Venerable said, “you have done well by the creation of the twice-born Brāhmanas. 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 Brāhmanas 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 Trrthankara Vṛṣabhadeva alongwith his chief-disciplies wandered for one lac Pūrva 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 Kailāsa mountain between Ṡri-sikhara and Siddha Ṡikhara on the fifteenth day of the bright half of Pauṣa month (Dec.-Jan.). The same night, the emperor Bharata saw a dream that the height of the Mem mountain has increased upto the region of Siddha abode (Siddha- Ṡilā)- the tip of the universe. Arkakrrti, 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 Trrthankara Vṛṣabhadeva. The emperor Bharata came to the Kailāsa 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 Māgha (Jan.-Feb.), Trrthankara Vṛṣabhadeva was sitting in a posture of sitting on hams (Paryankāsana) alongwith many saints facing east. He desisted from all the three kinds of yogas through third Ṡukla Dhyāna (Pure meditation) named Sūkṣmakriyāpratipāti (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-destmctive (Aghātiyā) Karmas in the last spiritual stage through the fourth pure meditation-Vyutparakriyā nivrtti (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 (Audārika), luminous (Taijasa) and karmic (Kārmāṇa), the Trrthankara acquired the mode of salvated-hood and reached the thin-air-layer (Tanuvātavalaya) 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 Kūmāra 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. Tater, the same Indras took the ashes of Vṛṣabhadeva, who had five auspicious events (Panca- kalyāṇaka) in his fife 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, Vṛṣabhasena consoled him and pacified his sad mind through his nectar-like words about the religion. The Venerable Vṛṣabhadeva attained salvation when the fourth spoke of time was to start after 3 years, eight months and fifteen days. Tater, there have been 22 more Tīrthankaras starting from the second Ajitanātha upto Pārsvanātha in the fourth spoke. After them, the twenty fourth Tīrthankara Mahāvīra appeared on this earth.