Attacks by Meghamalin
Now the Meghakumara, the Asura Meghamalin, knew by clairvoyance his own crime in a former birth. Recalling his hostility to Parsva in each birth, the Asura blazed inside with anger like an ocean with submarine fire. Meghamalin, the basest of gods, blind from anger, approached to attack Parsvanatha, like an elephant* to split a mountain.
The god created tigers, their mouths terrifying from saw-like teeth, with claws the shape of hooks, tawny-eyed. They beat the top of the ground with their tails again and again and gave loud roars resembling the words of a charm of Death.* The Blessed One was not shaken by them, his eyes motionless in meditation*; they went away somewhere as if from fear* of the fire of his meditation.
Elephants, created by him, attacked, trumpeting, dripping with mada*, their trunks lifted, lofty like living mountains. The Master was not disturbed by them terrifying even to the terrifying. They fled quickly and went somewhere, as if ashamed. Bears, filling the heavens with their growls, devoid of pity; many panthers, cruel, like an army of Yama; scorpions, splitting rocks even with the tip of the sting; serpents, burning trees by their glance, were created there by him with the intention of attacking the Lord. The Lord did not stir from meditation* on their account, like the ocean from its boundary.
Then he created vampires holding knives, like clouds with lightning, with projecting teeth, giving loud cries of “Kila! kila! “With pendent tongue and linga like trees with hanging serpents, with long legs and feet, just as if mounted on palm-treesB, discharging long flames from the mouth, like a stomach-fire, they attacked the Lord on all sides, like dogs an elephant.* The Lord was not shaken by them, absorbed in the pool of nectar of meditation. They too fled somewhere, like owls at dawn.
Then exceedingly angered, the Asura Meghamalin himself created clouds in the sky like the night at the end of the world. Lightning flashed in the sky, terrifying like a tongue of Death*; thunder, splitting open the universe, as it were, spread over the skies. A terrible darkness took place, taking away the function of the eye. Heaven and earth became one as if sewed together. With the evil intention, “I will destroy this former enemy,” Meghamalin began to rain like a cloud at the end of the world. He beat the earth with streams of water like pestles, or like arrows, as if digging it up with spades. The sleeping birds flew up and flew down from the trees; boars and buffaloes, et-cetera moved here and there. Creatures were dragged away by the streams of water terrifying from speed; even big trees were rooted up from the roots.
In a moment the water reached Parsva Swamin’s ankles; in a moment his knees, in a moment his hips, in a moment his neck at that time. In that wide-spread water, the Lord had the beautiful appearance of the great lotus, the home of Laksmi, in the lake Padma. The Master was motionless in the water, like a jeweled pillar, and, his eyes fixed on the end of his nose, did not move at all from his meditation.
When the water reached the tip of Sri Parsva Swamin’s nose, then the throne of Dharana, the Indra of the Uragas (Nagas) shook. He knew by clairvoyance, “Oh! Kamatha, practicing foolish penance, attacks my lord, considering him an enemy.” Then the Naga-king went with his wives to the Teacher of the World with speed, as if competing with the mind. Dharana bowed to the Master and placed beneath his feet a tall lotus with erect stalk, resembling the seat of an omniscient. The serpent-king covered the Lord’s back, sides, and breast with his own coils and made an umbrella with seven hoods over his head. The Blessed One, standing comfortably on the lotus with a stalk the length of the water, absorbed in meditation*, looked like a rajahansa.
Dharanendra’s wives, their minds penetrated by devotion, sang, danced, et-cetera before Parsva Swamin. The loud sound of flutes and lutes, the intense sound of the drums spread there, imitating hand clippings many-fold. A dance was displayed with various beautiful dance-steps, splendid with dramatic actions of the hands, et-cetera, with various angaharas and karanas.* Absorbed in meditation, the Lord remained indifferent to both the Naga-lord Dharana and the Asura Meghamalin. This being so, when he saw Meghamalin raining angrily, the Naga-king, angered, said to him with contempt:
“O villain, what is this undertaking for your own disadvantage, evil-minded wretch. I am the servant of the Compassionate. Henceforth, I will not tolerate it. What crime against you was committed by the Lord, when he showed the snake being burned inside the log, if you were prevented from sin at that time? Good advice then led to your hostility, villain, like rain-water on saline soil. You are an enemy for no reason to the Lord here who is a brother (to everyone) for no reason. Villain, if you have injured him in this way, you will die today.”
After hearing that speech, Meghamalin looked down and saw Parsva standing so, attended by the Naga-Indra. Terrified, he thought: “My power, great as it is, is useless against him, like that of the Payomucs (Meghamukhas), partisans of the Mlecchas, against the cakrin. He, an ocean of compassion, able to grind mountains with his fist, does not reduce me to ashes. Nevertheless, I am afraid of Indra Dharana. I cannot remain in the three worlds because of the crime against him, the lord of the three worlds. Where shall I go for a refuge*, if this lord is a refuge?”
Thus reflecting, he destroyed at once the expanse of water; terrified, he went to the Master himself, bowed, and said: “If there is no anger on your part, Lord, toward me committing a crime, I am delighted; nevertheless, I am terrified by my own act. After doing such a wicked act, shameless, I ask you: Save me, save me, miserable, afraid of falling, Lord of the World.” With these words, the god Meghamalin asked forgiveness of the Lord of the World, bowed to him, and remorsefully went to his own home. Knowing that the Lord was free from attacks, after hymning him and bowing to him, the Naga-king went to his own house. The dawn appeared.