Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
Foreword
I. JAINA TRADITION UPTO MAHAVIRA
II. PRINCE MAHAVIRA
IV. PRECEPTS OF MAHAVIRA
V. DOCTRINES OF MAHAVIRA
  VII. SIGNIFICANCE OF MAHAVIRA

Chapter II - PRINCE MAHAVIRA

 

Dr. V.A.Sangave

King hetaka and Queen Subhadra were blessed with seven daughters, viz. (1) Trishala, (2) Mrugavati or Priyavati, (3) Suprabha, (4) Prabhavati,(5)Chelana or Chelani,(6)Jyeshtha (7) Chandana.Thesecond princess Mrugavati was married to King Shataniki of Kaushambi. The famous King Vatsarja Udayana was their son. The third princess Suprabha was given in marriage to King Dasharatha of Dasharna State The fourth Princess Prabhavati became the Queen of King Udayana of Sindha-Sauvira or Cutch in in Gujarata. The fifth princess Chelana was given in marriage to the Emperor 5h.renika or Bimbisara of Magadha and became his senior queer. Both Emperor Shrenika and Queen Chelana were the great patrons of Jaina religion and were constantly referred to in Jaina literature as the devout followers of Mahavira. The sixth princess Jyeshtha and the seventh princess Chandana remained unmarried throughout their lives and devoted their energies in the propagation of Jaina religion. In fact Chandana entered the ascetic order formed by Mahavira and eventually became the head of the female ascetics of the order.

The first princess Trishala* was married to King Siddhartha, the Ganaraja of Kund hapura (Vaishali), who belonged to the Kshatriya clan of the Jnatrikas. King Siddhartha hailed from Kashyapa Gotra and was the son of King Sarvartha and Queen

* According to another version, Trishala was sister of King Chetaka and not daughter of King Chetaka. -

Shrimati. King Siddhartha Was also known as Shreyamsa and. Yashamsa. King, Sidartha and Queen Trishala, in course of time, gave birth to Mahavira and earned the extraordinary reverence and respect as the parents of the 24th Tirthanlcara of the Jainas. In this way Mahavira, through his parents, was closely related to the powerful royal families of Videha, Magadha, Kaushambi and other important Kingdoms of the time.

 

2. The Birth and the Childhood:

King Siddhartha and Queen Trishaladevi were leading a religious and peaceful life in the seven storeyed Palace, known as Nandyvarta Rajaprasada situated in Kundalapur, the suburb of Vaishali which was the capital city of Videha republic. As Trishaladevi belonged to Videha republic, she was termed as Videhi (i.e. of Videha) or Videhadatta (i.e. given by Videha). Due to her amiable and kind acts towards others, Trishala was: popularly known as Priyakarini, i.e. the doer of good acts. Trishala was also famous as an ideal lady and queen since she possessed in a great measure all the essential attributes of a faithful wife and a devoted queen. Naturally Trishala was very dear to King Siddhartha and was immensely loved and respected by her subjects.

When Siddhartha and Trishala were passing their days in happiness, a pleasant and unusual event occurred in the life of Trishala. it so happened that on the last part of the night of the sixth day of the bright half of the month of Ashadha when Moon was in Hasta Nakshatra; Queen Trishala in her sound and calm sleep saw sixteen beautiful dreams. In these 16 auspicious dreams she witnessed the following 16 objects in succession.

l. Gaja, i.e. an elephant,

2.Vrishabha, i.e. a bull,

3.Simha, i.e. a lion,

4.Lakshmi, i.e. goddess Lakshmi, ,

5.Mala-Yugma, i.e. pair of garlands,

6.Shashi, i.e. the Moon,

7.Surya, i.e. the Sun,

8.Jhasha-yugala, i.e. a pair of fishes.

9.Kalasha-Yugala, i.e. a pair of pitchers,

10.Sarovara, i.e. a lake.

11.Samudra, i.e. an ocean,

12.Simhasana, i.e. a throne,

13.Deva-Vimana, i.e. a divine aerial car,

14.Nagendra-bhavana i.e. a house of Nagendra,

15.Ratna-rashi, i.e. a heap of jewels, and

16.Nirdhuma-agni, i.e., a smokeless fire.

Queen Trishala got upimmediately after witnessing these dreams and began to contemplate over them. Indeed she was extremely eager to know the meaning and indication of the succession of the special objects seen in these sixteen dreams. Soon after finishing her bath and worship, she hurriedly went with high expectations to meet King Siddhartha in the Palace. It was really a pleasant surprise for King Siddhartha to find Queen Trishla entering the Palace in great eagerness at an early hour of the day. King Siddhartha received her with great love, made her to seat near him on the left side of his throne and anxiously enquired the reason of her morning visit. Queen Trishala communicated to, him the successsion of sixteen dreams seen by her in the very early hours of the morning and respectfully asked the purport of these dreams.The King was extremely happy to know about these dreams as he was an expert in the art of interpretation of dreams. The King predicted that the queen would give birth to an illustrious son destined to be a Tirthankara in this very life and while explaining in detail the meanings of these dreams, he narrated the good things and qualities suggested by them.

Realising the special significance attached to these dreams that only the mothers of would-be Tirthankaras get such a succession of sixteen dreams, both King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala felt extreme happiness and eagerly awaited to see the auspicious face of their son. They had not to wait for long. On the conclusion of nine months, seven days and twelve hours of the period of pregancy after the day of conception when she saw those sixteen dreams (i.e. Friday,� 17th June599B.C.)Queen Trishala gavebirth to a son at Kunda pura (Vaishali) during the last hours of the night on the thirteenth day of the bright half of the month Chaitra. Thus Mahavira saw the light of the day on Monday, the, 27th March 598 B.C. At the time of his birth the Nakshatra (i.e. constellation) was Lfttara Phalguni, the Rashi (i.e. a sign of the Zodiac) was Kanya, the Samvatsara (i.e. the the name of the year) was Siddhartha, the Chinha (i.e. the emblem) was Lion, and the Varna (i.e. the colour was Svarnabha (i.e. golden);