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Sixth Incarnation as Vajrajangha – Part 2

Sixth Incarnation as Vajrajangha   Part 2
Just then Vajrajangha came from the city Lohargala, saw the events painted in the picture, and swooned. Fanned with fans, sprinkled with water, he got up. Recollection of his former birth took place, as if he had just come from heaven. Questioned by Pandita, “Why did you swoon, O Prince, when you saw this painting?” Vajrajangha said: “This painting is the life of my wife and myself in a former birth, madam. When I saw it, I fainted. This is the holy heaven Isana, and this the palace Sriprabha. Here am I named Lalitanga, and that is my wife, Svayamprabha. Here in Dhatakikhanda, having descended in Nandigrama, she, named Nirnamika, was born in the house of a poor man. Here she has ascended Mt. Ambaratilaka and begun fasting before Muni Yugandhara. Here I have gone to show myself to her. She died devoted to me and was born again as Svayamprabha. Here in Nandisvara I am engaged in worshipping the images of the Jinas, and here, going from there to other tirthas, I have fallen. Here, I think, my wife also is falling. Here is Svayamprabha, alone, poor, pitiable. I think she is here. Remembering her former birth she painted that. For certainly one person does not know what has been experienced by another.” Pandita agreed, and went to Srimati and told her everything a remedy for healing the arrow-wound in her heart.

At the recital of the news of her lover, Srimati’s hair stood on end from delight, like Vidura’s ground sprouting with jewels at the sound of clouds. Srimati had Pandita tell her father, for dependence is a natural virtue of high-born women. Delighted at once by that recital like a peacock by thunder, King Vajrasena summoned Vajrajangha. The King said to the Prince, “Take now my daughter Srimati for your wife as in a former birth.” The Prince agreed, and the King, delighted, married Srimati to him, just as the Ocean married Sri to Haris Clothed in white linen, like the moon and moonlight united, they had the King’s permission to go to Lohargalapura. Knowing that Vajrajangha was a suitable person, King Svarnajangha installed him in power and took initiation. Vajrasena also bestowed his sovereignty on his son Puskalapala and became a mendicant. He became a Tirthankaras. Vajrajangha, dallying with beautiful Srimati, bore with ease the burden of the kingdom, as an elephant bears a lotus. To them who were never separated like the Gangas and the Ocean, enjoying pleasures, a son was born.

Then the border vassals on all sides, very angry like a lot of snakes, were estranged from Puskalapala. For the purpose of subduing them like snakes, the powerful king Vajrajangha, summoned by him, set out. Srimati, whose devotion was unshakeable, also set out with King Vajrajangha, like Paulomi with Bidaujas. When he had gone half-way, he saw ahead a patch of cane that presented the appearance of moonlight on the night before the new moon. When he was informed by travelers, “Here is a snake whose look is poisonous,” he went by another road. For the prudent are devoted to the completion of their purpose. He, resembling a lotus, went to Pundarikini, and the whole crowd of vassals became submissive to Puskala. King Puskalapala gave numerous gifts to him, like a disciple greetings to a guru.

One day, he took leave of Srimati’s distinguished brother and set out, accompanied by Srimati, like the husband of Sri by Sri. When the grindstone of enemies reached the vicinity of the reedpatch, now the experts in his carriage said, “Here two ascetics attained Kevalajnana. The serpent which was poisonous by its glance became poisonless from the brilliance of the gods coming there. The two munis, named Sagarasena and Munisena, O King, are there like the sun and moon.”The King knew that these munis were his brothers and, exceedingly pleased, dwelt in that very place in the forest, like Visnus in the Ocean. Bowed with the weight of devotion as it were, together with his wife he paid homage to them preaching there, surrounded by an assembly of gods. At the end of the sermon he gave them food*, drink, garments, paraphernalia, etc., and reflected as follows: “These are blessed, free from passions, from self interest, and from possessions. I, alas! am not such, though born from the same parents. These alone are Intimate sons, since they follow the good road of father who took the vows; and I am like a based son. Even in such circumstances, if I become a mendicant, it is not at all unsuitable for me. For mendicancy even just taken is like a lamp for destroying darkness. Therefore, I shall resort now to my father’s course, like a hansa to the course of a hansa, after I have gone to the city and given the kingdom to my son.”

Accompanied by Queen Srimati who agreed about taking the vow, as if her mind were interwoven with his, he arrived at the city Lohargala. Then his son, eager for the throne, alienated the entire kingdom by money. Money penetrates everywhere like water. The King and Srimati went to sleep at night with the thought that at dawn they would take the vow, and give the kingdom to their son. While they were happily asleep, their son infused poisonous incense into their room. Who could restrain it like fire coming out of a house? The husband and wife died at once from the excessive smoke of the incense which entered their nostrils like a hook for pulling out their lives.

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