Translated by R.C.C. Fynes
Jina·ratna, Jain scholarmonk, completed his poem in the year 1285CE in western India, in Jábali·putra, modern Jhalor in the state of Rajasthan. As its title suggests, “The Epitome of Queen Lilávati” is an epitome of a much larger work, “The Story of the Final Emancipation of Lilávati,” composed in 1036 by Jinéshvara, also a Jain monk. While Jinéshvara was a reformist of lax monasticism, and his original was considered highly conducive to liberation, Jina·ratna wrote his epitome at the request of those who wished to concentrate on its narrative alone. The primary purpose of Jain narrative literature was to edify lay people through amusement; consequently the stories are racy, and in some cases the moralising element is rather tenuous. The main feature of Jain narrative literature is its concern with past and future lives. There developed a genre of soul biography, the histories, over a succession of rebirths, of a group of characters who exemplified the vices of anger, pride, deceit, greed and delusion.
From then on, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at midnight, at every moment, the King would have her sing and dance, as if it were a new thing. Every day, the King gave to her divine food and unguents and divine ornaments and clothes, finer than his own. And as the King continued to give her manifold objects of desire, gold and such, he did not see behind or in front, as if blinded by his heart’s desire. Thereupon, the ministers spoke together, “This kingdom will be utterly ruined, since on the destruction of the treasury there will be certain destruction of the King’s army.”
650 pp. | ISBN-13: 978-0-8147-2742-3 | ISBN-10: 0-8147-2742-5 | Co-published by New York University Press and JJC Foundation
“The Enlightenment and Initiation of His Highness Prince Vímala·sena, the Soul of the Mighty Ascetic Rama·deva”
(Canto 13, pp. 361–379)
(26 pp, 1.59mb)
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Download CSL Front Matter (pdf)
Download the title page and table of contents and one chapter of the book (in English and Sanskrit on facing pages), bundled together as a .pdf file. You can also download the CSL Front Matter (6pp, 1.3mb). It describes how we transliterate the Sanskrit text in the Roman alphabet and includes a guide to pronunciation. It also explains our system of representing phonetic fusion (sandhi).
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About the Translator
R.C.C. Fynes is Principal Lecturer, Faculty of Art and Design, De Montfort University. He is the author of The Lives of the Jain Elders. He has also translated the The Epitome of Queen Lilávati (volume one) for the CSL.