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Childhood of Lord Rishabhdev

Childhood of Lord Rishabhdev
Then the Lady Marudeva awakened and related to Nabhi this meeting with the gods like a dream at night.

Since a bull was the mark on the thigh of the Lord of the World, and since a bull was seen first by his mother in her dream, the delighted parents named him ‘Rsabha’, with a festival on an auspicious day. Then the parents gave a suitable purifying name also, Sumangala, to the daughter born as his twin. The Master sucks the nectar placed in his own thumb by Sakra at suitable times, like a tree absorbing water from a canal. The Blessed One, placed on his father’s lap as a child, shone like a beautiful young lion on a mountain slope. The five nurses, appointed by Sakra, certainly did not leave the Supreme Lord at all, like the samitis a great muni. A little less than a year after the Lord’s birth, the Vasavas of Saudharma came with the object of establishing a family-line. As if with the thought, “A servant, empty-handed, must not see the Master,” he took a large stalk of sugar-cane. Sunasira with the stalk of sugarcane like autumn-time personified, went before the Master seated on Nabhi’s lap.

The Lord, having known Sakra’s intention by clairvoyant knowledge, raised his hand, like an elephant its trunk, to take the stalk of sugar-cane. Bending his head, knowing the Master’s intention, Sakra gave the shoot of sugar-cane like a present. Then the Lord-of-the-sky went to heaven, having established the Master’s family with the name ‘Iksvaku,’ because the sugar-cane was taken by the Lord. The body of Yugadinatha was free from perspiration, disease and dirt; fragrant, with a beautiful shape, like a golden lotus; flesh and blood were white as a stream of cow’s milk, free from odor of flesh; the process of eating and eliminating food* was not visible to the eye; the fragrance of his breath resembled the fragrance of a full blown lotus; these four manifestations of supernatural powers appeared with his birth. The Lord, having a body with mortise-collar-and-pin joints (vajrarsabhanaraca), walked slowly, as if from fear* of breaking the earth with his feet. The Lord spoke, even as a child, with deep, soft tones. For the childhood of great men is only in respect to the body.

The Master’s body, perfectly symmetrical, looked like a golden play-ground of Sri desiring to play. To gratify their wishes, the Master Vrsabha played with gods in the form of boys who had become his companions, and had come together in company. While playing, his whole body gray with dust, wearing a wreath of bells, the Lord looked like a rutting elephant.* Whatever the Master took by the hand even in play, indeed, no god, even a very powerful one, could snatch away. Whoever put even his finger on the Lord to test his strength went far away like dust, just from the wind of his breath. Some god-boys amused the Master with various balls, rolling like balls on the ground.

Some, turned into king-parrots, repeatedly called out flattering remarks like flatterers, “Long live! Long live! Rejoice! Rejoice!” Some, having become peacocks for the Master’s pleasure, excelling in peacock cries, danced in front of him, singing the first note (of the scale). Others, having become hansas, having the third note, went to the Lord’s side, delighting in the contact from taking his lotus-hands in play. Some became curlews before him, calling out on the middle note, wishing to drink the nectar of his glances gentle from affection. Some became male cuckoos and, sitting in trees near the Master, sang in the fifth note to please his mind. Others, who became horses, came neighing in the sixth note, wishing to purify themselves by acting as vehicles for the Master. Some, turned into elephants, went trumpeting in the seventh note, their faces bent down, touching the Lord’s feet with their trunk.

Some became bulls, charming with the second (rsabha) note, and striking the banks with their horns, gave amusement to the Lord’s eye. Some became buffaloes and stood like the Anjana Mountains; fighting with each other, they gave an exhibition of a fictitious fight to the Lord. Some, for the Lord’s amusement, slapping their arms constantly, having become wrestlers in the arena, challenged each other. Thus worshipped continually by the god-boys with various amusements, like the Supreme Spirit by Yogis, cherished carefully by these nurses, like a tree by womengardeners, the Lord gradually grew up. When they are in the next period, that of a householder, after the stage of sucking their thumbs, the Arhats eat perfect food. The Blessed One, the son of Nabhi, always ate the fruit of Uttarakuru brought by the gods, and drank the water from the Ocean of Milk. The Lord, having passed childhood, reached the second period which has several divisions, just as the sun reaches midday, having passed daybreak.

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