Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (1) ► Lord Śrī Kuṃthunātha

Posted: 10.04.2016

After Lord Śrī Śāṃtinātha the 17thTīrthaṃkara was ŚrīKuṃthunātha. Kuṃthunātha's father was the king of Hastināpura, king Vasu and his mother was queen Śrīdevī.

In his previous incarnation Lord Kuṃthunātha was king Siṃhāsana of Khaḍgī city in east Videha. Becoming disenchanted with worldly things he took initiation from Ācārya Saṃvara and through arihanta-bhakti gained the Tīrthaṃkara nāmakarma. Completing his life-span by fasting he emerged as a god in the Sarvārthasiddha vimāna.

Descending from there the soul of Siṃhāvaha entered into the womb of queen Śrīdevī on the ninth day of dark fortnight of Śravaṇa month under the constellation Kārtika. The queen got the 14 dreams. On completion of her pregnancy, queen Śrīdevī gave birth to a son on the 14th day of the dark part of the Vaiśākha month under Kārtika constellation. When the child was in her womb she saw the kuṃthu jewels in a heap, hence the boy was named Kuṃthunātha.

When Kuṃthunātha became a young man, he was married to suitable princesses. After some time, the king anointed Kuṃthunātha to the throne. He ruled for 22000 years as provincial king. When a cakra jewel appeared in his armouryking Kuṃthunātha raised his banner of victory over six parts and became cakravartī emperor, ruling for 23750 years.

Disenchanted with sensual enjoyments, sensing his desire for initiation the lokāntikagods requested him to take the spiritual path. The Lord gave charities for a year and on the fifth day of the dark half of Vaiśākha under Kārtika constellation along with 1000 kings he accepted to be initiated into monkhood and reaching Sahasrāmravana, observing fast, renouncing all demerits, appropriately became a mendicant. The moment he took initiation he attained telepathic knowledge (manaḥparyayajṅāna). The next day, wandering, he broke his fast at the house of king Vyāghrasiṃha at Cakrapura. This way, observing austerities as a mendicant for 16 years, he reached Sahasrāmravana and became meditative. On the third day of the bright fortnight of Caitra under Kārtika constellation, in the second stage of deep meditation, under the Tilaka tree, destroying delusion and ignorance forever, he obtained pure knowledge.

As an omniscient, Lord Kuṃthunātha gave the discourse of scripture and conducts at an assembly (Samavaśaraṇa) of gods and men and established the four-fold creed thereby becoming a Tīrthaṃkara. His congregation had 35 Gaṇadharas and gaṇas, including Svayaṃbhū, 3200 omniscient, 3340 telepaths, 2500 clairvoyants, 670 14-pūrvadhārīs, 5100 vaikriyalabdhidhārīs, 2000 vādīs, 60000 monks, 60600 female-monks, 179000 votaries and 381000 female-votaries.

Sensing the end of his time the Lord went to Sammetaśikhara. There he fasted for one month along with 1000 monks and on the first day of the bright lunar fortnight of Vaiśākha month under constellation Kārtika, breaking all his karmas, he became enlightened and attained nirvāṇa. As an omniscient, he spent 23,750 years. He was 95000 years old.

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Title: Jain Legend: Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (1)
Author:
Acharya Hasti Mala
Editors:
Shugan C. Jain
Publisher: Samyakjnana Pracaraka Mandala, Jaipur
Edition: 2011