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

Published: 31.03.2016

The ninth Tīrthaṃkara after Śrī Candraprabha was Śrī Suvidhinātha. He is also known as Puṣpadanta. King Sugrīva of Kākandī city and queen Rāmādevī were his parents.

In a previous life(incarnation) as the king Mahāpadma of Puṣkalāvatī Vijaya he had developed disinterest in worldly matters and taken initiation from the monk Jagannanda and through excellent austerities obtained the Tīrthaṃkara nāmakarma. At the end of his life-span observing a fast unto death, he became a powerful god in Vaijayanta vimāna (celestial vehicle). After leaving the Vaijayanta vimāna, Mahāpadma's soul entered into the womb of queen Rāmādevī on the ninth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Fālguna under Mūla constellation. Rāmādevī got the 14 auspicious dreams the same night. Upon completion of her pregnancy period Rāmādevī gave birth to a son on the fifth day of the dark fortnight of Mārgaśīrṣa under Mūla constellation. The gods and the parents celebrated the joy of his birth and for ten days the atmosphere of Kākandī city was one of gaiety.

During her pregnancy the mother was happy in all ways so the king Sugrīva named the boy Suvidhinātha. During her pregnancy the queen Rāmādevī had craving for flowers so the child was also named Puṣpadanta. When he had completed a thousand pūrvas he was married to suitable women. After his marriage, considering him eligible, he was crowned king. For a little more than 50000 pūrvas he ably managed the kingdom being unattached to it.

After thus ruling Śrī Suvidhinātha desired to take up the path of self-retrain. The lokāntikagods dutifully requested him. After giving charities for one year, he took initiation with 1000 kings. On the 6th day of the dark fortnight of Mārgaśīrṣa the Lord reached Sahasrāmravana and under the constellation Mūla, destroying all sinful karmas he became a mendicant. Soon after becoming a mendicant he attained telepathic knowledge. The next day he broke his fast with rice pudding at the house of the king of Śvetapura. The gods showered five kinds of things to express the greatness of the giving.

Bearing with many hardships for four months he wandered from village to village. Then coming to the same garden the Lord ascended the accelerated class of annihilating karmas (Kṣapakaśreṇi) and in deep meditation, destroying the obscuring karmas, under the Mālūra tree on the 3rd day of the bright fortnight of Kārtika month under the constellation Mūla, he attained pure knowledge. Becoming an omniscient he addressed a large gathering of gods and men and established the fourfold order being called a Tīrthaṃkara.

The Lord's congregation consisted of 88 Gaṇadharas, 7500 omniscient, 7500 telepaths, 8400 clairvoyants, 1500 14-pūrvadhārīs, 13000 vaikriyalabdhidhārīs, 6000 vādīs, 200000 monks, 120000 female-monks, 229000 votaries and 472000 female-votaries.

Adhering to the spiritual path for a little less than 1 lakh pūrvas, the Lord, sensing the end of his life-span, observed a one-month long fast on Sammetaśikhara with 1000 monks. Then, stopping all activities, destroying the 4 non obscuring karmas, he attained enlightenment and nirvāṇa on the 9th day of the dark fortnight of Bhādrapada. It is said that because of a fault of the time-period after Suvidhinātha, the monkorder discontinued and votaries began to give instructions of their own accord on charity, etc. It is possible that this was the important time of propagation of Brahminical culture.

Sources

Title: Jain Legend: Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (1)
Author:
Acharya Hasti Mala
Editors:
Shugan C. Jain
Publisher: Samyakjnana Pracaraka Mandala, Jaipur
Edition: 2011
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Candraprabha
  2. Karmas
  3. Lakh
  4. Meditation
  5. Nirvāṇa
  6. Nāmakarma
  7. Omniscient
  8. Puṣpadanta
  9. Soul
  10. Suvidhinātha
  11. Tīrthaṃkara
  12. Vimāna
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