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Jaina Sutras, Part II (SBE45), tr. by Hermann Jacobi, [1895], at



After (Nami) had descended from the world of the gods, and had been born as a man, he put an end to the influence of delusion, and remembered his former birth. (1)

Remembering his former birth, king Nami

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became a Svayamsambuddha in the true Law, and placing his son on the throne he retired from the world. (2)

After having enjoyed, in the company of the beautiful ladies of his seraglio, excellent pleasures which match those of the heavens, king Nami became enlightened and gave up his pleasures. (3)

Having given up the town and country of Mithilâ, his army, seraglio, and all his retinue, the venerable man retired from the world and resorted to a lonely place. (4)

When the royal Seer Nami retired from the world, at the occasion of his Pravragyâ there was an uproar in Mithilâ. (5)

To the royal Seer who had reached the excellent stage of Pravragyâ, Sakra in the guise of a Brâhmana addressed the following words: (6)

'Why is now Mithilâ 1 full of uproar? Dreadful noises are heard from palaces and houses.' (7)

On hearing this, the royal Seer Nami, pursuing his reasons and arguments, answered the king of the gods thus: (8)

'In Mithilâ is the sacred 2 tree Manôrama, full of leaves, flowers, and fruits, which sheds a cool shadow; this tree is always a favourite resort of many (birds). (9)

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'Now, as this sacred tree Manôrama is shaken by the storm, the birds, suffering, destitute of refuge, and miserable, scream aloud.' (10)

On hearing this, the king of gods, pursuing his reasons and arguments, answered the royal Seer Nami thus: (11)

"This is fire and storm, your palace is on fire! Reverend sir, why do you not look after your seraglio?" (12)

Nami answered (see verse 8): (13)

'Happy are we, happy live we who call nothing our own; when Mithilâ is on fire, nothing is burned that belongs to me. (14)

To a monk who has left his sons and wives, and who has ceased to act, nothing pleasant can occur, nor anything unpleasant. (15)

'There is much happiness for the sage, for the houseless monk, who is free from all ties, and knows himself to be single and unconnected (with the rest of the world).' (16)

Indra answered (see verse 11): (17)

"Erect a wall, gates, and battlements; dig a moat; construct sataghnîs 1: then you will be 2 a Kshattriya." (18)

Nami answered (see verse 8): (19)

'Making Faith his fortress, Penance and Self-control the bolt (of its gate), Patience its strong wall, so that guarded in three ways 3 it is impregnable; making Zeal his bow, its string Carefulness in walking (iriyâ), and its top (where the string is

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fastened) Content, he should bend (this bow) with Truth, piercing with the arrow, Penance, (the foe's) mail, Karman--(in this way) a sage will be the victor in battle and get rid of the Samsâra.' (20-22)

Indra answered (see verse 11): (23)

"Build palaces, excellent houses 1, and turrets; thus you will be a Kshattriya." (24)

Nami answered (see verse 8): (25)

'He who builds his house on the road, will certainly get into trouble; wherever he wants to go, there he may take up his lodgings.' (26)

Indra answered (see verse 11): (27)

"Punishing thieves and robbers, cut-purses and burglars, you should establish public safety; thus you will be a Kshattriya." (28)

Nami answered (see verse 8): (29)

'Men frequently apply punishment wrongly: the innocent are put in prison, and the perpetrator of the crime is set at liberty.' (30)

Indra answered (see verse 11): (31)

"O king, bring into subjection all princes who do not acknowledge you; thus you will be a true Kshattriya." (32)

Nami answered (see verse 8): (33)

'Though a man should conquer thousands and thousands of valiant (foes), greater will be his victory if he conquers nobody but himself. (34)

'Fight with your Self; why fight with external foes? He who conquers himself through himself, will obtain happiness. (35)

'The five senses, anger, pride, delusion, and greed

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[paragraph continues] --difficult to conquer is one's self; but when that is conquered, everything is conquered 1.' (36)

Indra answered (see verse 11): (37)

"Offer great sacrifices, feed Sramanas and Brâhmanas, give alms, enjoy yourself, and offer sacrifices: thus you will be a true Kshattriya." (38)

Nami answered: (39)

'Though a man should give, every month, thousands and thousands of cows, better will be he who controls himself, though he give no alms.' (40)

Indra answered: (41)

"You have left the dreadful âsrama (that of the householder) 2 and are wanting to enter another; (remain what you were), O king, and be content with observing the Pôsaha-days." (42)

Nami answered: (43)

'If an ignorant man should eat but a blade of Kusa-grass every month, (the merit of his penance) will not equal the sixteenth part of his who possesses the Law as it has been taught.' (44)

Indra answered: (45)

"Multiply your gold and silver, your jewels and

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pearls, your copper, fine robes, and carriages, and your treasury; then you will be a true Kshattriya." (46)

Nami answered: (47)

'If there were numberless mountains of gold and silver, as big as Kailâsa, they would not satisfy a greedy man; for his avidity is boundless like space. (48)

'Knowing that the earth with its crops of rice and barley, with its gold and cattle, that all this put together will not satisfy one single man, one should practise austerities.' (49)

Indra answered: (50)

"A miracle! O king, you give up those wonderful pleasures, in search of imaginary objects; your very hope will cause your ruin." (51)

Nami answered: (52)

'Pleasures are the thorn that rankles, pleasures are poison, pleasures are like a venomous snake; he who is desirous of pleasures will not get them, and will come to a bad end at last. (53)

'He will sink through anger; he will go down through pride; delusion will block up his path; through greed he will incur dangers in both worlds.' (54)

Throwing off the guise of a Brâhmana, and making visible his true form, Sakra saluted him respectfully and praised him with these sweet words: (55)

"Bravo! you have conquered anger; bravo! you have vanquished pride; bravo! you have banished delusion; bravo! you have subdued greed. (56)

"Bravo for your simplicity, O saint! bravo for your humility, O saint! bravo for your perfect patience! bravo for your perfect liberation! (57)

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"Here (on earth) you are the highest man, Reverend sir, and hereafter you will be the highest; exempt from all blemishes you will reach Perfection, a higher state than which there is none in this world." (58)

Thus praising the royal Seer, Sakra in perfect faith kept his right side towards him and paid reverence to him, again and again. (59)

After having adored the best sage's feet marked by the Kakra and the Aṅkus1, he flew up through the air, with his crown and his earrings prettily trembling. (60)

Nami humbled himself; enjoined by Sakra in person, the king of Vidêha left the house, and took upon him Sramanahood. (61)

Thus act the enlightened, the wise, the clever ones; they turn away from pleasures, as did Nami, the royal Seer. (62)

Thus I say.


35:2 The Life of king Nami and his Bôdhi is told in the commentary. The Prâkrit text of this romance is printed in my 'Ausgewählte Erzählungen in Mâhârâshtrî,' Leipzig, 1886, p. 41 ff. Nami is one of the four simultaneous Pratyêkabuddhas, i.e. one of those saints who reach the highest stage of knowledge by an effort of their own, not through regular instruction and religious discipline. The Pratyêkabuddhas or Svayamsambuddhas (Sahasambuddha in Prâkrit) do not, however, propagate the true Law, as the Tîrthakaras do. As the legend of Nami is not materially connected with our text, I need not give an abstract of it here.

36:1 The text has Mahilâê, which is against the metre. The locative makes the construction needlessly involved.

36:2 Kêiê, kaitya. The commentator interprets it as meaning udyâna, park; but to make good his interpretation he takes vakkhê for an instrumental plural instead of a nominative singular. The context itself seems to militate against this interpretation; for it is natural to say of a tree that it has many leaves, but it is rather strained to say the same of a park.

37:1 An instrument for defending a town.

37:2 Gakkhasi. The commentator explains this as an imperative, but there is no necessity for it.

37:3 Tigutta, this is a pun on the three guptis.

38:1 Vardhamânagriha; the houses which are so called, belong to the best kind, see Varâha Mihira, Brihat Samhitâ 53, 36.

39:1 The first line of this verse is in the Âryâ-metre, the second in Anushtubh; the whole will not construe, but the meaning is clear. There are numerous instances in which the metre changes in the same stanza from Âryâ to Anushtubh, and vice versa, so frequent they are that we are forced to admit the fact that the authors of these metrical texts did not shrink from taking such liberties.

39:2 Ghôrâsama. A Gaina author cannot forbear to name things from his religious point of looking at them. Thus only can it be explained that here Indra is made to apply to the âsrama of the householder an attribute which not he but his opponent could have used. Our verse is, however, probably only a later addition, as it has not the burden of the verses put into the mouth of Indra.

41:1 The wheel and the hook.

Next: Tenth Lecture. The Leaf of the Tree