Illustrated Tirthankar Charitra
Shri Amar Muni
The Sixty Three Great Men
In the Jain tradition there are sixty three highly endowed person who are known as Shalaka Purush or great men. They are 24 Tirthankars, 12 Chakravaritis, 9 Baldevs, 9 Vasudevs, and 9. Prativasudevs. Brief descriptions of these great men are as follows-
The highest monarch in the human world is known as Chakravarti. He reigns over one specific section of any of the three worlds known as Bharat, Airavat, or Mahavideh. The number of countries under his reign is 32000. He has 32000 subordinate kings and 25000 gods in his attendance. He is the owner of nine types of wealth and fourteen types of gems. He has 64000 queens, 20000 mines each of gold and silver and 16000 mines of gems. His army comprises of 8.4 million each of elephants, horses and chariots; 960 million foot soldiers; 9.9 million personal guards; and 16000 ministers. He has the combined power of 4 million octopeds (a mythical creature). The minimum and maximum number of Chakravartis in all dimensions inhabited by humans are 20 and 150.
The names of twelve Chakravartis of Bharat area during the current descending cycle are -1. Bharat, 2. Sagar, 3. Maghava, 4. Sanat Kumar, 5. Shantinath, 6. Kunthunath, 7. Arnath, 8. Subhum, 9. Padma, 10. Harishen, 11. Jaisen, 12. Brahmadatta.
He is elder brother of a Vasudev and has extreme attachment with his younger brother. A Baldev’s mother sees four great dreams. He has the strength of a million octopeds. Four thousand gods are in his attendance. His weapons, including mace and plough are blessed by a thousand gods each. Because of their mutual affection Baldev and Vasudev rule jointly. After the death of the Vasudev, Baldev becomes and ascetic and indulges n spiritual practices. Some of them are liberated and others are reincarnated in dimensions of gods.
A Vasudev in his earlier births sheds some specific karmas and determines to acquire this status. His soul then incarnates either in the heaven or the hell and then is born as Vasudev. At the time of his conception his mother sees seven great dreams. His complexion is dark. He has the strength equivalent to 2 million octopeds and he conquers three continents by killing the Prativasudev. He has 16000 kingdoms and kings under his subjugation and 8000 gods in his attendance. He has 16000 queens and seven gems.
They also determine their status in their earlier births and are monarchs of three continents. Their powers are slightly lower than that of the Vasudevs. They are necessarily killed by the Vasudevs and go to hell.
The maximum and minimum numbers of Baldev, Vasudev and Prativasudev are 108 and 20. It is believed that as Tirthankar does not meet another Tirthankar, a Chakravarti and a Vasudev also do not meet another Chakravarti and Vasudev respectively. Also a Vasudev does not meet a Chakravarti.
The names of nine Vasudevs, Baldevs and Prativasudevs of Bharat area during the present descending cycle are as follows-
S.No. Baldev Vasudev Prativasudev Tirthankar Period
1. Vijay Triprishtha Ashvagriv Contemporary to Shreyans
2. Achal Dviprishtha Tarak Contemporary to Vasupujya
3. Sudharm Svayambhu Merak Contemporary to Vimalnath
4. Suprabh Purushottam Madhukaitabh Contemporary to Anantnath
5. Sudarshan Purushsimha Nishumbh Contemporary to Dharmnath
6. Nandi Purushpundarik Bali between Armat and Mallinath
7. Nandimitra Datta Prahlad between Arnath and
8. Ram Naryan Ravan between Munisuvrat and
9. Balbhadra Krishna Jarasandh Contemporary to Neminath