Illustrated Tirthankar Charitra
Shri Amar Muni
Munisurvrat Bhagavan – 20
The being that was to be Bhagavan Munisuvrat purified its soul during his birth as Surshreshta, the king of Champa city in Mahavideh. He then reincarnated in the Pranat dimension of gods.
King Sumitra of the Harivamh clan ruled over Rajgriha town. His wife, queen Padmavati, gave birth to a son, the being that had descended from the Pranat dimension of gods, on the ninth day of the dark half of the month of Jyeshta. After the traditional post birth rituals the name giving ceremony was celebrated. The king announced that since this being had descended into the womb of queen Padmavati, she took a variety of good vows and lead a life as disciplined as an ascetic. As such the new born named Munisuvrat (vow like ascetics).
In due course Munisuvrat was married and ascended the throne. After a successful and long reign he became an ascetic on the eighth day of the dark half of the month of Phalgun. He wandered as a ordinary ascetic for eleven months and attained omniscience under a Champa tree. His first discourse was on the subject of “scriptural and applied philosophy”. After a long life devoted to spread of true religion he went to Sammetshikhar and got liberated on the ninth day of the dark half of the month of Jyeshtha.
Bhagavan Munisuvrat’s period was an important period of Jain pre-history. His illustrious contemporaries and followers included stalwarts like the ninth Chakravarti-Mahapadma, the eighth Prativasudev, Baldev, and Vasudev, Ravan, Rama and Lakshman respectively. The elder brother of Bahagavan Munisuvrat, ascetic Vishnu Kumar, also became famous for his pioneering effort of saving the Jain organization from the oppressions of mister Namuchi; the Rakshabandhan festival is celebrated in the memory of that event.