Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (1) : Lord Munisuvratanātha

Published: 14.04.2016

The twentieth Tīrthaṃkara of Jain religion was Lord Śrī Munisuvratanātha. In his past life he was the king of Campā city, called Suraśreṣṭha. He accepted the spiritual path under monk Naṃdana and on account of devotion to the arihanta with 20 instruments and their reflections (sthānakas) he obtained the Tīrthaṃkara nāmakarma. In the end he completed his time in meditation and became a god in the Prāṇata heaven. After completing his time in the Prāṇata heaven his soul entered his mother's womb on the full moon day of Śravaṇa month under Śravaṇa constellation. The king of Rājagṛha, Sumitra and queen Padmāvatī were his parents. On completion of pregnancy period he was born on the ninth day of the dark fortnight of Jyeṣṭha month under Śravaṇa constellation. During her pregnancy the mother kept observing right belief like a monk hence king Sumitra named him Munisuvratanātha.

When he became a young man his father got him married to many eligible women including Prabhāvatī and after some time, handing over the kingdom to him, he took initiation. After his father he took over the kingdom, but remained unsullied by royal glory and sensual pleasures. After ruling for 15,000 years, upon request by the lokāntika gods, and a year-long charity giving, leaving the kingdom over to his eldest son, he took initiation along with a thousand princes on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of Fālguna under Śravaṇa constellation. On the second day, he broke his fast at the home of king Brahmadatta of Rājagṛha.

After wandering for eleven months as mendicant he obtained pure intuition and knowledge at the same garden where he took initiation, while meditating under the Campā tree on the 12th day of the dark fortnight of Fālguna month. After becoming an omniscient Lord Munisuvratanātha gave a sermon on right scripture, and right conduct and after initiating thousands of people, established the four-fold order His congregation comprised of 18 gaṇas and 18 Gaṇadharas, 1800 omniscient, 1500 telepaths, 1800 clairvoyants, 500 fourteen-pūrvadhārīs, 2000 vaikriyalabdhidhārīs, 1200 vādīs, 30000 monks, 50000 femalemonks, 172000 votaries and 350000 female votaries.

Out of a total life-span of 30 thousand years after observing tranquillity / restraint for seven thousand years in the end the Lord along with thousand monks observed a month long fast without even water and on the ninth day of the dark fortnight of Jyeṣṭha under the constellation Aśvinī, became liberated, emancipated and free. According to Jain history and Purāṇas the most venerated of men Rāma (Padma Baladeva) and Vasudeva Lakṣmaṇā belonged to his time-period. Rāma obtained Siddhi through intense practice and Sītā's soul became eligible for the 12th heaven.

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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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Arihanta
  2. Meditation
  3. Munisuvratanātha
  4. Nāmakarma
  5. Omniscient
  6. Padmāvatī
  7. Purāṇas
  8. Rājagṛha
  9. Rāma
  10. Siddhi
  11. Soul
  12. Tīrthaṃkara
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