By Jinaratna
Translated by R.C.C. Fynes

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The Epitome of Queen Lilávati tells the stories of the lives of a group of souls as they pass through a series of embodiments on their way to final liberation from the continual cycle of death and rebirth. It abounds in memorable incidents and characters, such as Dhana, the rich merchant who attempted to justify cheating in trade, Padma·ratha, who while invisible attempted to seduce the ladies of the royal household, and Vasun·dhara, the bogus holy man who was caught in a compromising position with a female dog. The purpose of these stories, which are related to Queen Lilávati and her husband King Simha by the teacher-monk Sámara·sena, is to promote the ethic of Jainism, which holds that strict adherence to a nonviolent way of life is the key to liberation from the troubles of the world. In the end, Queen Lilávati, King Simha and the other leading characters attain perfect knowledge and liberation.

He was able to enter the palace among the throng of people, and, gaining the women’s apartments, the criminal violated the women. In his turn, the King found that they lacked sexual desire. Suspecting an intrusion, he interrogated the chamberlain, who said that he had seen no one at all. Then plumes of smoke were raised from wheat flour scattered over the ground. Having rubbed away the lampblack from his eyes, Padma·ratha became visible and was captured.

543 pp.  |  ISBN-13: 978-0-8147-2741-6  |  ISBN-10: 0-8147-2741-7  |  Co-published by New York University Press and JJC Foundation

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 two) for the CSL.