Article: Story Aṅgas

Contributed by Nalini Balbir

Parable 8 – Malli

This manuscript painting shows the siddha-śilā. Found at the top of the triple world, on the forehead of the Cosmic Man, the siddha-śilā is the home of liberated souls.

Home of liberated souls
Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

This is the first occurrence of a biography of the 19th Jina, Mallinātha or Lord Malli, from the Śvetāmbara perspective. The only female Jina according to Śvetāmbara Jains, she becomes a Jina in her last incarnation as a woman. The sect of the Digambaras believes that Malli was male because only men can reach enlightenment and emancipation.

Both sects agree that, like all Jinas, Malli preaches after reaching omniscience and founds a 'fourfold community' of devotees before gaining liberation.

Parable 9 – Mākandī

This story tells the eventful lives of the merchant Mākandī’s two sons, Jina-pālita and Jina-rakṣita. While on a sea voyage they manage to survive a storm. They reach the island of Ratna-dvīpa, which is inhabited by an evil goddess. There the brothers face many dangers, and are saved by a yakṣa. But the goddess comes to know about it and threatens them. Jina-rakṣita stands firm in his resolve and finally escapes, whereas his brother is allured by the goddess and dies.

Parable 10 – Candimā

The moon, with its ascending and declining phases, is used as a comparison with progress or decline in ascetic life.

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