The Epitome of Queen Lilavati 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. Told as a means to promote the non-violent ethic of Jainism, it abounds in memorable incidents and characters, such as Dhana, the rich merchant who attempted to justify cheating in trade, Padmaratha, who while invisible attempted to seduce the ladies of the royal household, and Vasundhara, the bogus holy man who was caught in a compromising position with a female dog.
Written in 1297 CE by the Jain poet-monk Jina.ratna, The Epitome of Queen Lilavati is undeservedly almost unknown outside India. In the stories, embodied souls undergo all too human adventures in a succession of lives, as they advance to final release. The book abounds in memorable incidents and characters, related to Queen Lilavati and her husband, King Simha, by the teacher-monk Samara.sena.
Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation
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