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

Posted: 12.04.2016

Lord Śrī Mallinātha was the 19th Tīrthaṃkara of Jain religion. He was born fifty-five thousand years less than one thousand crore years after the nirvāṇa of the 18thTīrthaṃkaraLord Śrī Aranātha.

Past Life

In his past life Lord Śrī Mallinātha was a king named Mahābala. The story of king Mahābala goes like this:

Long, long ago in Mahā Videha province of Jambūdvīpa in Salilāvatī Vijaya was a city named Vītaśokā. In Vītaśokā was a king named Bala. One night Bala's queen Dharaṇī saw in a dream that a lion cub was entering her mouth. Dream interpreters said that the queen is going to give birth to a very strong and brave son. In time, upon the birth of a son king Bala named him Mahābala. In appropriate time Mahābala was married to five hundred extremely beautiful princesses including Kamalaśrī. This way Mahābala began to spend his life enjoying worldly pleasures.

After sometime some older monks arrived at the garden Indrakumbha in Vītaśokā city. King Bala with his kith and kin went to see the monks and be benefited by their sermon. Hearing the discourse of the monk king Bala desired to be initiated into monkhood. King Bala crowned his son Mahābala as king and in the presence of the older monks, took initiation. After initiation king Bala observed the mendicant's conduct with total dedication and faith. In the end he took the vow of pious death (saṃlekhanā) on Mountain Cārū and after one month's fast annihilation all the karmas, attained nirvāṇa.

There, after ascending the throne king Mahābala looked after his subjects with justice and moral integrity. His wife Kamalaśrī gave birth to a bright son who was named Balabhadra. The king and queen brought up Balabhadra in royal splendour gave him appropriate education and at an appropriate age, announced him the crown prince.

King Mahābala had six inseparable friends Acala, Dharaṇa, Purāṇa, Vasu, Vaiśramaṇa and Abhicanda. There was such deep friendship between the seven friends that one day they resolved to be together for life and would do everything, including austerities for emancipation, together. In time a few elder monks arrived at Indrakumbha garden. All the seven friends went to see the monks and listen to the discourse. After hearing the religious discourse Mahābala said, "I want to hand over the charge of the kingdom to my son and take initiation". Hearing Mahābala say this all the six friends said, "What special attraction remains for us here, we too shall take initiation along with you." All the seven friends gave their respective kingdoms over to their sons and each pulled out five fistfuls of hair each and took initiation from an elder monk.

After initiation into the ascetic order all the seven friends studied the Aṃgas and wandered about, affecting their souls with the power of restraint and penance. After sometime, those seven monks decided that they would do all the penance together to the same extent! As decided, all the seven monks observed the austerities together. After sometime a thought occurred in monk Mahābala's mind that before accepting monkhood I have been ahead of my friends in terms of prosperity, accomplishment and wealth. These people were never at the same level with me hence I should be ahead of them even in penance. The moment this thought occurred in Mahābala's mind, it gave birth to the idea of deceit, and hidden from his friends, but along with them, he began to observe greater methods of penance. Thus when six monks would observe ṣaṣṭhama (six days) fast, he would observe aṣṭama (eight days) fast. Consequently, the desire to be greater and a sense of ego polluted Mahābala's right belief.

This way, despite having taken a vow to observe the same penance with his six friends, hiding his inner secret from them, Mahābala gained the woman nāmakarma. After this, being devoid of all thorns (obstruction) observing 20 causes (sthānakas) again and again, through intense austerities, he gained the Tīrthaṃkara nāmakarma. The seven monks including Mahābala remained immersed in intense and tough penance. In the end, they undertook a fast along with saṃlekhanā on the Cārū Mountain. Those seven monks, being in saṃlekhanā for two months and completing their respective eighty-four lakh pūrva years, became ahamindra gods in the anuttaravimāna named Jayanta. Mahābala became a god of complete 32 sāgara years of age. Mallinātha in the form of monk Mahābala is a source of inspiration for any aspirant and inspires that person to remain ever alert and awake in practice.

Birth and Naming

After completing his life as a god in the anuttaravimāna named Jayanta, Mahābala monk's soul entered into the womb of Prabhāvatī Devī, the queen of king Kumbha of Mithilā city in Bharata region of Jambūdvīpa on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Fālguna month, under the Aśvinī constellation. That same night the queen dreamt the fourteen very auspicious dreams. The next day, the dream interpreters told the king – "Oh king! The queen has seen excellent dreams. The fortunate woman who sees these dreams becomes the mother of a Tīrthaṃkara or a cakravartī. The dreams the queen saw only infers that you both will soon become the parents of a child who will either be a cakravartī emperor or shall establish the religious fold as a Tīrthaṃkara." The royal couple's happiness knew no bounds hearing the dream results. After completion of the pregnancy period on the bright fortnight of the 11th day of the Mārgaśīrṣa month in the middle of the night with moon conjunct with Aśvinī constellation, the queen gave birth to a baby girl of incomparable beauty and aura. Indras, devendras, the king and subjects all celebrated the child-birth as per norms. During pregnancy the mother had a whim for sleeping on a bed of flowers of five colours, because of which the king named the daughter Mallī.

Mallī, the princess began to grow by the day. When she was a little less than 100 years old, she found out with her clairvoyance about her six royal friends and knowing all, began to spend her life happily with her female friends. In the meanwhile, she called the men of her family and told them that a huge beautiful hall be built in the grove of Aśoka trees and in its midst be erected six inner sanctums (garbha-gṛhas) with latticed windows and in those six inner sanctums be made a raised platform.

Upon completion of the same as per her instructions, a message was sent to the princess. The princess got made a golden statue resembling her and placed one each on the raised platforms. The statue was made in such a way that anyone who saw it would feel it was Mallī herself. A hole was made on the head of the statue and it was covered with a lotus leaf. After that, whatever food Mallī ate, some part of it was put into the statue and the hole closed.

The fame of heavenly beauty

The fame of free-spirited, child-like goddess Mallī's heavenly beauty and form and superior qualities began to spread far and wide in all directions. At the same time, there emerged, through distinct factors, an intense love for Mallī in her six friends of the past birth. Those factors are described briefly this way:

  1. King Mahābala's past life friend Acala's soul, completing its time as a god in the Jayanta vimāna, became the king of Kauśala named Pratibuddhi, born in Ayodhya, the capital city of Kauśala. Once in Sāketapura the king Pratibuddhi, seeing a beautiful, attractive bouquet of flowers for the queen Padmāvatī to be taken to the Nāgadhara festival procession, asked his minister named Subuddhi, "Have you ever seen such an attractive bouquet?" The minister replied – "Oh king, I once went to Mithilā with your message. This bouquet is not even an iota of that heavenly bouquet I saw at the annual birthday celebrations of princess Mallī. At the same time, princess Mallī too is of unparalleled beauty. Hearing the praise of Mallī's beauty, king Pratibuddhi sent his able messenger to the king of Mithilā and said that he may request the king Kuṃbha that I wish to marry princess Mallī and for this I am willing to give up my entire kingdom.
  2. King Mahābala's second past life friend Dharaṇa's soul completed its god-life in Jayanta vimāna and became the king of Aṃga, Candrachāga, born in Campā city, capital of the republic Aṃga. In those times there used to be many sea-faring merchants in Campā city, to conduct trade on sea. Those merchants used to go on voyages far and wide on the sea for trade. Among those merchants was one named Arahannaka who was not only wealthy and prosperous but also one totally devoted to the Śramaṇa religion Once Arahannaka embarked upon a sea voyage with his merchant friends with many kinds of precious commodities of trade in tow huge vessels. After many days of traveling, playing and combating with the high waves of the sea, the ships tearing through the chest of the sea, they went very far. They could not see anything apart from the waves of the sea and an endless stretch of water in all directions. It was night time. Suddenly, different kinds of phenomena occurred in the sky. Suddenly, the merchants saw a huge fearsome demon, as dark as coal, approaching their ship with a peal of loud laughter dancing like the kāla-bhairava. Around his neck was a garland of human skulls and in his hands a blood-dripping spear. Seeing this deathlike demon all merchants held on to each other in fear. Only Arahannaka remained steady, standing on a corner of the ship, he meditated upon the Siddhas and observed a fast. Now the demon approached Arahannaka and began to scare him saying many things. Steady, intense and fearless, Arahannaka remained firm in his penance. Seeing Arahannaka so calm and deep in meditation the demon was upset and angry with his unsuccessful attempt. He gave a frightening roar that could shake up the ten directions and picked up Arahannaka with his two fingers and giving a huge leap said, "If you continue to invoke the Śramaṇas I shall send your vessel to the depths of the sea." When he saw that Arahannaka was firm in his religion and his faith as before, he placed the ship slowly on the sea-shore and appearing in his god-form, said, "Arahannaka! I am impressed with your unshakeable faith in the nirgrantha sermon. When king of gods, Indra had praised your devotion and dedication I could not believe his words. Hence I took a demon form and placed all these obstacles in your path about which I regret. In fact no amount of praise is good enough for your dedication to the householder's conduct and devotion to the Śramaṇa religion." Saying so, the god begged for forgiveness again and again and gifting him two pairs of ear-rings, returned to his abode. After the god left, Arahannaka broke his fast and all merchants resumed their sea-voyage.
    Led by the wind, their huge vessels reached the port. The merchants anchored the ships at the port and taking lots of material for sale, ultimately reached Mithilā city. Arahannaka went to meet the adherent of Śramaṇa religion, the king of Mithilā and along with various gift-worthy objects, took the pair of ear-rings given to him by the god. The king made Mallī put on the ear-rings right in front of Arahannaka. After that he respectfully bade farewell to Arahannaka and his fellow-merchants. Completing their work in Mithilā city they moved ahead, and travelling in their vessels, returned to Campā city. Arahannaka went to the king Candrachāga to inform him of the successful trip and the details of the voyage. Along with him he took some gifts and the second pair of earrings given by the god. The king of Campā, Candrachāga, welcomed Arahannaka with love and accepting the gifts happily. He asked him, "You would have gone to many place during your voyages. Did you see any extraordinary sight?" Arahannaka said, "I gifted the same kind of pair of ear-rings to the king Kuṃbha which he asked the princess Mallī to wear in my presence. There can be no human or goddess comparable with Mallī."
    King Candrachāga bade farewell to Arahannaka and his mates after due respects and hospitality and calling his good messenger instructed him to go to the king of Mithilā and request him to marry his princess to me in return for which I shall give him my whole kingdom. The messenger soon started for Mithilā with Candrachāga's message.
  3. The third friend of the past life of king Mahābala, Purāṇa´s soul, after completing the time as a god in Jayanta vimāna, became the king Ruppī of Kuṇāla city, the capital of the republic Kuṇāla. King Ruppī ruled over Śrāvastī city. His wife Dharaṇī gave birth to a very beautiful daughter who was named Subāhu. Once, the king organised the bathing festival for his daughter. A special city and a hall was created for that festival The princess was bathed from beautiful gold and silver pitchers and when, bedecked in clothes and ornaments she came to seek blessings from her father, the king Ruppī was astonished seeing her heavenly beauty. He asked the varṣadharas (eunuchs) – have you seen any girl as beautiful as Subāhu? One varṣadharas replied, "King, once we were present on a similar festival organised for the daughter of the king of Mithilā, Mallī. Your daughter Subāhu's beauty is not even the one-lakh part of the beauty of Mallī." Hearing this, the pride of the king of Kuṇāla was quashed and he became eager to gain the princess Mallī. He sent his messenger to the king of Mithilā to ask him to conduct his daughter's marriage with the king of Śrāvastī, Ruppī.
  4. The fame of princess Mallī's heavenly beauty reached the king of Kāśī as well. The king of Kāśī was named Śaṃkha and in his past life was king Mahābala's friend Abhicanda. Once when one of the pair of ear-rings gifted by Arahannaka broke the king of Mithilā gave it to his goldsmiths to repair, but one of them could do it. Angry with this, king Kuṃbha expelled all the goldsmiths from his city. Displaced, all the goldsmiths went to the king of Kāśī and requested him if they could stay and work there. When the king of Kāśī asked the reason for their expulsion, they told him of the ear-rings and along with it, also described the beauty of princess Mallī, saying, "Oh king, the heavenly aura that princess Mallī exudes is difficult to find in human or celestial women." Hearing the description of Mallī's beauty from the goldsmiths the king fell for her and became impatient to make her his wife.  He immediately sent a messenger with a wedding proposal to Mithilā, and also said that the king of Kāśī is ready to give in return his kingdom.
  5. The fame of goddess Mallī's beauty slowly reached up to the Kuru province. The fifth friend of king Mahābala, Vasu's soul, completing its time in the Jayanta vimāna, became the king of Kuru named Adīnaśatru in the capital of the Kuru republic, Hastināpura. The younger brother of princess Mallī was prince Malladinna. He loved painting and one day he organised a painting exhibition in the pleasure garden. Prince Malladinna, too, went to the exhibition. There he became awe-struck and shy seeing his elder sister Mallī. Embarrassed, when he tried to walk away from his sister, his nursing mother told him the person the prince is seeing is not his real sister Mallī but a life-like picture of hers. Hearing this he was angry and he ordered death sentence for the painter. When he learnt that the painter had not sketched Mallī seeing her but imagined her full form based on sighting the princess' toe, impressed by the unparalleled art of the painter and based on the request of the important people and other great artistes, the artist's thumb was sliced off and he was ordered to be expelled. Displaced from Mithilā, the artist reached Hastināpura. At Hastināpura he presented the goddess Mallī's painting to the king Adīnaśatru. Seeing her picture and hearing her description the king Adīnaśatru became enamoured of her. He called an able messenger and instructed him to Mithilā and said that the king of Videha is eager to make the daughter of the king Kuṃbha his principal queen and is also ready to give his entire kingdom in return.
  6. The sixth friend of king Mahābala, Vaiśramaṇa's soul, after completing its years as a god in Jayanta vimāna, became the king Jitaśatru of Pāṃcāla, in the capital city Kāmpilyapura, of the republic of Pāṃcāla. King Jitaśatru had a magnificent palace in the city within which was a huge and very beautiful harem. In that harem were the king Jitaśatru's main queen Dharaṇī and one thousand queens who were all faultless beauties. During the reign one king Kuṃbha there was a mendicant in Mithilā named Cokhā. Cokhā was well-versed in the scriptures and an accomplished scholar. She used to detailed instructions and also conduct displays of the purifying religion, charities, and purifying from water of various tīrthas. Once she went to the royal palace of Mithilā, too, with many mendicants. There she gave a discourse and display of purifying activities and significance of charity in goddess Mallī's internal chamber. After listening to her explanation princess Mallikā asked her what is believed to be the basics of religion? Cokhā said religion is considered purifying hence cleanliness and purity is very important for religion; hence when something becomes dirty and impure we clean it with mud and water, similarly bathing with water purifies the soul, too. Hearing this, Mallī said, "This is like trying to wash blood-stained clothes with blood itself. This will make it dirtier, more blood-stained and the colour of blood. The soul is enveloped in the karma stains of untruth, violence, lust, attachment, vainglory; the dirt on the soul accruing from these karmas cannot go away from bathing or rituals, etc. because all these activities are full of violence and evil. Just as blood-stained clothes are soaked in milk, etc., baked in fire and again washed with water to clean and purify them, in the same way the soul enveloped in bad karmas is immersed in the milk of right belief, and baked in the fire of austerities / penance and bathed in the pure water of restraint to free it from the dirt of karmas". Hearing this clear female-monkciation given by Mallī, Cokhā was speechless and quietly kept looking at Mallī. After sometime, Cokhā left Mithilā for Pāṃcāla along with other mendicants. Reaching there, she along with her disciple mendicants reached Kāmpilya city and started her discourse on purifying religion. King Jitaśatru welcomed mendicant Cokhā and along with his huge family listener to her discourse in his harem. Even while listening to the discourse, Jitaśatru's mind was on his faultlessly beautiful queens, their invaluable adornments and within he was feeling proud about his incomparable wealth. After the discourse the king asked Cokhā – "For your discourse you must be visiting huge and wealthy harems, have you seen such a vast one filled with beyond description faultless beauties anywhere else?" Hearing king Jitaśatru's question; Cokhā kept laughing for a while and then said, "We have seen the daughter of king of Mithilā, Mallī. Truly she is the most beautiful woman of this world. The beauty of all the celestial women and the nāga women pale in front of her beauty. This, your harem, is insignificant and worthless in front of her beauty." Saying this, Cokhā left for her destination. Hearing the description of Mallī's beauty king Jitaśatru sent his messenger to Mithilā with the instructions to convey to the king of Mithilā that I am firm in my resolve to marry his daughter in return for my entire Pāṃcāla kingdom.

Coincidentally, all the six messengers sent to the king Kuṃbha by the six kings including Pratibuddhi reached at the same time and after meeting each other, went together to the royal assembly of king Kuṃbha. After respectful placations the six messengers placed their respective kings' proposals before the king Kuṃbha. After hearing the wedding proposals for Mallī from the six kings, king Kuṃbha was uncontrollably angry. In an agitated tone, he screamed and told the messengers "Go tell your kings that I shall not wed my daughter to even one of them." The six messengers left the royal hall and started for their respective kingdoms. Each of them told their kings of the angry and agitated response of the king of Mithilā that he would not wed Mallī to you at any cost or on any condition.

Hearing the negative response, Jitaśatru and others sent messages to each other, and decided that king Kuṃbha had insulted our messengers and sent them out of his palace and rejected out proposal and request, thereby insulting us. Hence let all six of us together attack Mithilā and defeating king Kuṃbha, avenge the insult meted out to us. Deciding thus, the six kings started for Mithilā together. When king Kuṃbha found out that the six kings including Pratibuddhi were coming to attack Mithilā he readied his army and reached the boundaries of his kingdom to face them even before their arrival.

In a short while all the six kings' huge army came and attacked Mithilā. King Kuṃbha's army could not stay too long to face the might of the six king' army; it got shattered. The six kings surrounded king Kuṃbha. Seeing his life in danger king Kuṃbha became despondent. He at once asked his army to retreat and got all the entry points of Mithilā closed. This way, closing all the doors to the city and organising people's safety, he started to think about the future course of action.

When king Kuṃbha returned to Mithilā with his army all the six kings with their army followed him and reaching Mithilā, surrounded him from all sides. Let alone the king of Mithilā getting help from any friendly kings, even the entry and exit of ordinary people became difficult. Seeing Mithilā surrounded this way, king Kuṃbha wondered what to do. Not having seen her father for many days, princess Mallī went to her father on her own, but king Kuṃbha was worried and lost in thought and did not pay attention to Mallī. Then Mallī asked the king, "father, what is the matter? Why are you so worried that you did not even notice my coming?" King Kuṃbha replied, "nothing like that. In fact it is you I am worried about. Six kings had sent their respective messengers to me asking to marry you. I rejected their proposals and sent their messengers back, insulting them. Now all of them have collectively attacked Mithilā and have surrounded Mithilā. I don't understand what to do." Hearing these words of her father, princess Mallī said, "You may send separate messages to them saying you are ready to give you daughter to them and calling them each separately in the night, send them to separate inner sanctums, then closing all the entrances of Mithilā city, hold all the king here and prepare for self-protection." King Kuṃbha did as told, and calling the kings separately, put them up in separate inner sanctums.

The moment sun shone in each of those sanctums each king, thinking the statue of Mallī to be Mallī herself, stood swept off by the beauty of her form, and kept staring at her without blinking their eyes. At the same time when they got closer to the statue of princess Mallī and removed the cover on the hole as the entire atmosphere was filled with stench. All the six kings shut their nose with their upper cloth and sat turning the other way.

Seeing this condition of the kings, princess Mallī said, "Oh great men! Why are you sitting this way? Why have you shut your nose with a cloth?" The kings replied, 'Oh princess we are unable to bear this stench." To this princess Mallī said, "Everyday one morsel of food prepared for me has been put into this statue. If the minute transformation of the food particles thrown there can cause such a stench, then filled with many kinds of impurities, home to disease, a body made of bones and skin, the ample food that is put into it every day, how much bad odour would result from it? Hence oh dear ones! Realising this permanent truth you should not get stuck in worldly sensual pleasures".

Remember in our third birth prior to this one, we were deep and close friends, princes in the Vītaśokā city, capital of Salilāvatī Vijaya, in Mahā Videha province. We did everything together in life and took initiation into monkhood together and becoming monks, decided that we shall do penance together and din the same manner. But I deceived you fellow monks. In the initial period of monkhood, I did more penance in hiding from you, as a result of which karma I got a female form. Later we did the same kind of tough penance and fasts with pure feeling. I observed tough fasts to obtain the Tīrthaṃkara nāmakarma through 20 sthānakas several times and consequently gained the Tīrthaṃkara nāmakarma. We were all immersed in our austerities. In the end all seven of us took saṃlekhanā together on Cārū Mountain and completing our time in observation of the fast, became ahamindras in the anuttaravimānanamed Jayanta. In Jayanta vimāna you had fewer years than I did and hence you left there sooner and became kings of six republics. I completed my 32 sāgara years and was born here. Remember your god-form, where we had resolved that once we left the godly abode we shall meet each other.

Listening to the description of their previous births the kings were lost in thought. In that state they gained the knowledge of their past. All the six kings went to Mallī. Mallī said, "I am tired of worldly life and I shall now become a mendicant. You are free to take a decision as per your wishes". Hearing goddess Mallī's words they said in that case they would also like to become mendicants so that like in the previous birth we continue to be guided by you in this birth as well. Goddess Mallī took those kings to her father, king Kuṃbha. The kings saluted him and touched his feet. King Kuṃbha gave them due honour and respect and they left for their respective kingdoms.

Princess Mallī told her father about her decision to take initiation and taking his permission, gave the year-long charities. King Kuṃbha opened food-serving halls at different places in his kingdom where people got different kinds of delicious food to eat. People got what they desired in gifts. Upon completion of the year-long giving, princess Mallī decided to take initiation. The lokāntika gods as per norms requested her to accept the path of spiritual endeavour. King Kuṃbha instructed the family me to quickly bring the necessary things for the departure ceremony of the Tīrthaṃkara. The king of gods, Indra, too, instructed the gods to make all kinds of arrangements on behalf of the gods for goddess Mallī's initiation ceremony. All the articles brought by king Kuṃbha's men and those of the gods were laid out together. At the appropriate time the king of gods, Indra and king Kuṃbha bather Mallī with water from those pitchers. After the ritual bathing, goddess Mallī was seated on a throne and decorated with clothes and adornments. After that king Kuṃbha asked his men to bring the palanquin named Manoramā. The king of gods Indra too asked to bring a heavenly and beautiful palanquin with many poles. By heavenly effect Indra's and king Kuṃbha's palanquins became combined. Mallī, seated on that palanquin, made a round across the main streets of Mithilā and came under the Aśoka tree in Sahasrāmravana. Under the tree, goddess Mallī herself removed all her clothes and ornaments and removed five fistfuls of hair saying "ṇamotthuṇaṃ Siddhāṇaṃ̣." Arihanta Mallī bowed to the Siddhas and accepted the right conduct. Soon as she accepted the right conduct goddess Mallī accrued the telepathic knowledge (knowledge of mental modes of others) and became the beholder of four kinds of knowledge. It was the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Pauṣa month under constellation Aśvinī. Along with goddess Mallī 300 women of her internal council (pariṣada) and 300 men of the external council took initiation shaving off their hair. Besides, 8 princes, Naṃda, Naṃdimitra, Sumitra, Balamitra, Bhānumitra, Amarapati, Amarasena and Mahāsena, too, became mendicants. Four kinds of gods sang the glory of goddess Mallī's departure and observed aṣṭāhnika on an island named Naṃdīṣvara and left for their divine abodes.

Pure knowledge (kevalajñāna)

After becoming a mendicant, the same day goddess Mallī went into meditation in padmāsana posture under the Aśoka tree. Through auspicious results, extensive perseverance and colour of the purity of her soul she entered the state of that unprecedented purity which destroys dense karmic stains and those which obscure, and within a short while, crossing the 12 guṇasthānas, accrued pure intuition and knowledge during the latter half of the day. That was the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Pauṣa under Aśvinī constellation. Thus goddess Mallī's mendicancy period was a little more than one measure of the day, that is, one-and-a-half measure of the day. Nobody until the time of Tīrthaṃkara Mahāvīra after her obtained pure intuition and knowledge in such a short span of time. This was the peculiarity of Lord Mallinātha. Lord Mallinātha's first fast-breaking too happened in pure knowledge in Mithilā at the home of king Viśvasena who was a subordinate ruler to king Kuṃbha.

First sermon and establishing the tīrtha

Sensing the obtainment of Lord Mallinātha's pure knowledge the gods and Indras showered the five auspicious things in celebration of pure knowledge and created the Samavaśaraṇa on that very mango grove. The good news of the Lord's pure knowledge immediately spread everywhere. Along with a huge gathering of Jains, king Kuṃbha, queen Prabhāvatī, their entire kith and kin came to participate in the Samavaśaraṇa. The six kings including Pratibuddhi, too, gave their respective kingdoms to their sons, and seated on grand palanquins, came to the Samavaśaraṇa with the aim of being initiated there. This way, in the grant Samavaśaraṇa of gods and goddesses, men and women, seated on a high throne, Mallī in her first heavenly sermon explained the true form of religion that ends all kinds of sorrows in the world and benefits living beings. For the listeners present there it was a unique experience of Samavaśaraṇa. After the sermon, Lord Mallinātha established the fourfold religious order. King Kuṃbha and queen Prabhāvatī accepted the householder's conduct. Jitaśatru and other kings took initiation into monkhood. In time they became the knowers of the fourteen pūrvas and thereafter, becoming kevalīs became liberated and emancipated. This way, founding the four-fold order, Lord Mallinātha became known as Tīrthaṃkara.

The first disciple and principal Gaṇadhara of Lord Mallinātha was Bhiṣaka and the preceptor of the entire group of female-monks was Bandhumatī who was also the Lord's first female disciple. Before and after Mallinātha all Tīrthaṃkara had only one council. But Lord Mallinātha had an internal council (pariṣada) of female-monks and an external pariṣada of monks. Lord Mallinātha wandered across many regions inspiring people on the path of religion and benefiting them for 54900 years. In the end the Lord reached Sammetaśikhara. There, with her 1000 monks female-monks she observed penance with one month of fasting without food and water. In a tranquil and pure manner the Lord destroyed the four non obscuring karmas and completing her 55thousand years of life-span, on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Caitra month on the midnight hour, under Bharaṇī constellation, completing one month of fasting, attained nirvāṇa along with thousand monks-female-monks.

The congregation of Lord Mallinātha comprised of 28 gaṇas and 28 Gaṇadharas, 3200 omniscient, 800 telepaths, 2000 clairvoyants, 600 fourteen-pūrvadhārīs, 3500 vaikriyalabdhidhārīs, 1400 vādīs, 40000 monks, 55000 female-monks, 2000 anuttaropapātika monks, 184000 votaries and 365000 female-votaries.

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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