Auspicious dreams in Jainism

Auspicious dreams are often described in texts of Jainism which forecast the virtue of child. Their number varies according to different traditions and they described frequently as fourteen or sixteen dreams.[1] They are seen by mothers of the prominent figures in Jainism including Tirthankaras, on the conception of their soul in womb. They are interpreted as describing virtues and kingship of future child. They are also found in various artistic media as an ornamentation.

Dreams

Their number and description differ according to major traditions of Jainism. According to Digambara tradition, there are 16 dreams while according to Svetambara tradition, there are 14 dreams. Most of them are same. They are described in detail as dreams of queen Trishala, mother of Mahavira, in some Jain texts.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Auspicious dreams
No.
Digambara
No.
Svetambara
ImageDreamInterpretationNotes
11white elephant with four tusks / Airavatamother would give birth to a child with good character. The four tusk of elephant depicts the four components of Sangha: monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen.similar to the elephant of Indra
22bullThe dream foretold the birth of a great religious Teacher who would spread the light of knowledge.[8]-
33Lionpower, strength and fearlessnessHe will be strong as the lion, in overcoming all enemies. -
44Shri or Laxmiwealth and prosperitySimilar to goddess Laxmi in Hinduism
55pair of garlandspopularity and respect-
66full moonpeace and help to others-
77sunsupreme knowledge-
-8flag with lion pictured on it flying on golden stickleadership-
8-pair of fisheshandsomeness-
99full jug / pair of full vases with lotusesperfect in virtues and would be full of compassion for all living beings.considered auspicious in Dharmic religions
1010lotus pond / celestial lakeunattachment to worldly possessions-
1111ocean / rough oceanachievement of infinite perception and knowledge, spiritual liberation-
12-A very big, resplendent, golden throne set with bright diamonds and rubies.Son will become the World Teacher[8]-
1312celestial cheriot palaceindicated that angels in heaven would respect, honor his spiritual teachings-
14-The rising residence of Nāgendra, the lord of the devas of the Nāgakumāra clan.[8]Child will be born with clairvoyance-
1513heap of jewelsvirtues and wisdom-
1614smokeless firereform and restore religious order. He would burn his karmas and attain salvation.-

These dreams features animals, objects and a goddess associated with positive virtues and kingship. They are generally considered positive symbols in Indian culture so they frequently appear in other Indian religions like Buddhism and Hinduism.[1]

Importance

In texts

These dreams are connected with the births of Tirthankaras and the other prominent people including Chakravarti, Balabhadra/Baladeva and Vāsudeva in Jainism. They are 63 in total and called Shalakapurusha. Their mothers see a certain number of dreams on conception of their soul in womb. They are described in the great detail in Kalpasutra.[1][7] 12th century Jain monk Hemchandracharya described and interpreted them in detail in Trishashthishalakapurush. Avashyak-niryukti, an early verse-commentary in Prakrit, explains relation of names of some Tirthankaras and these dreams.[1]

Foretelling as per Kalpasutra
Number of dreamsWhat it foretells
14 dreamsbirth of a future Tirthankara or Chakravarti (universal monarch)
7 of the 14 dreamsbirth of a future Vāsudeva
4 of the 14 dreamsbirth of a future Baladeva/Balabhadra
1 of the 14 dreamsbirth of a future Mandalika (king)

Festivals

On the fifth day of festival of Paryusana, Jain monks read or narrate the portion of the Kalpasutra dealing with birth of last Tirthankara Mahavira, to the Jain lay people. They are displayed to the people in the form of silver models and auctioned for temporary possession and display to other people for festive days.[1]

Other

These dreams are symbolised and found in artistic media like paintings in manuscripts and on its covers, books, ornamentation in stone carvings, invitation scrolls and temple furnitures.[1][3]

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Balbir, Nalini. "Article: Dreams". Institute of Jainology. jainpedia.org. pp. 1–4.
  2. Shah, Pravin. "Fourteen Auspicious Dreams of Mother Trishala". Jain Study Center of North Carolina. www.fas.harvard.edu.
  3. 1 2 Natubhai Shah 1998, p. 180.
  4. Quinn 2009, p. 270.
  5. Jain & Fischer 1978, pp. 4–6.
  6. Pruthi 2004, pp. 62–66.
  7. 1 2 "The Dreams of Queen Trishala". www.herenow4u.net. 2010-09-22.
  8. 1 2 3 Vijay K. Jain 2015, pp. 178–179.

Sources

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