Civakacintamani (Verses 1889 - 3145)
Jain Publishing Co
The circa 9th century work is one of the five epic masterpieces of Tamil literature. Though the work of a Jain mendicant, Tiruttakkatevar, it is famed for its erotic description and the scenes of love of its hero Civakan. It represents a brilliant fusion of the Jain viewpoint and philosophy with the evocative literary modes of the Tamil tradition. While Civakan is in his mother's womb, Civakan's father is murdered by an evil minister Kattiyankaran, whom he had made regent. His mother, Vicayai, escapes by flying off on a peacock shaped vehicle and Civakan is born in a fearsome burning ground for the dead. There his mother leaves him to be taken by a wealthy merchant Kantukkatan. Raised in opulence Civakan finds out about his real father from his guru. Civakan has many adventures and acquires seven wives. Eventually, Civakan has a climatic battle with the evil usurper Kattiyankaran, regains his kingdom, and marries his eighth wife. After having eight sons, he vows to renounce the world and after having direct audience with Tirthankara Mahavira, himself, he becomes a naked Jain monk and preaches the Jain dharma. He becomes a Siddha and achieves release from birth and rebirth soon after, going to the pinnacle of the universe where his soul will exist in infinite bliss forever.
A professor emeritus of Asian Sudies at California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California.