The Jain Symbol

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A symbol to represent the Jain community was chosen in 1975 as part of the commemoration of the 2500th anniversary of Mahavira’s attainment of nirvana. The stylized hand is in a gesture of blessing, and on the palm is inscribed “ahimsa,” which for many is the essence of Jain ethical teachings. The phrase at the bottom of the symbol states “all life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence.”

Just above the hand there is typically a swastika, which for Jains represents the four types of birth that an embodied soul might attain until liberation: heavenly, human, animal, or hellish. Jains in America, however, sensitive to the association of the swastika with Nazism, usually replace this symbol with the word om and the symbol for the Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA). The half crescent with a dot at the top of the diagram represents the abode of siddhas, or liberated souls, which in Jain cosmology is situated at the apex of the universe. The dots just below the crescent signify the threefold path by which liberation can be attained: Samyak Darshan, right faith; Samyak Jnana, right knowledge; and Samyak Charitra, right conduct.

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Jai Jinendra

Today’s Jainism

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Today there are some six million Jains worldwide, and they represent less than 2% of India’s population. The Jain community in India is centred in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Many migrated to East Africa and from there to Britain, where the community is around 30,000.

Jainism is a philosophy of contemporary relevance, based on the overriding principle of reverence for life. As action, this translates into non-violence and non-possession. Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara who lived in the 6th century BC, taught that ‘There is nothing so small and subtle as the atom nor any element so vast as space. Similarly, there is no quality of soul more subtle than non-violence and no virtue of spirit greater than the reverence for life’.

This principle extends to all life forms and dictates that Jains observe a strictly vegetarian diet. In India it also finds expression in the tradition of establishing animal shelters or sanctuaries where neglected or threatened animals may be cared for. It also dictates which professions Jains may pursue, as those which violate life or the environment are to be avoided. This extends to a platform of environmental concerns, based on a respect for life and a recognition of the interdependence of life forms; ‘One who neglects or disregards the existence of earth, air, fire, water and vegetation disregards his own existence which is entwined with them’.

Jainism will always be relevant and contemporary in our lives today. Jainism has been ahead of time because the tirthankars (ford makers) had enlightenment or kevalgyana which made them see everything like a film recording, just like a time machine. Jaati smaran talks about remembering your previous birth, which is also relevant today.

Today, people say that Mahavira, or any of the tirthankaras, were in an underdeveloped world, where there was no electricity or modern gadgets. However, samayik (where one becomes closer to the soul by isolating ourselves from daily lives for 48 minutes) was practiced even when there was no watch, because they knew 48 minutes accurately.

Jainism always talks about the theory of karma which also involves the basic common factor among all organisms, which is a single ‘cell.’ Every organism tries to acquire more cells or develop its own cells by mating, procreation or physical acquisition. Every organism also has lifeless cells such as ‘money,’ which helps him gain more cells. This process of acquiring more and more is called as parigrah (accumulation).

Jainism talks about non violence which means that we should try and destruct less in this universe, be content with what he have and learn to give rather than acquire. ‘Aparigraha’ is the essentially the opposite of parigrah which means to stop accumulating. When we talk about acquiring less it also means to ask for less and to be content with the minimal, which involves less destruction, violence and killing. We are taught to do without the worldly luxuries. Global warming also can be healed with this thought by doing away with unwanted luxuries, which produce carbon emissions.

Thus this practice of non-violence and acquiring less serve as practical solutions to major problems such as establishing world peace and combating global warming. Jainism used boiled water for drinking millions of years before packaged drinking water companies thought about hygienic water. Jains also practiced vegetarianism before many realized the health benefits of the lifestyle.

Rishabhdeva, the first tirthankar, taught us the reason to establish ourselves as a civilization. He taught us that we should help each other, cook food in a certain manner and establish a chaturvidh sangh (ford civilization) where saadhu, saadhvi, shraavak and shraavikas existed. We as laypeople are shraavaks and shraavikas. Those who take diksha, or renounce the world, are the saadhus or saints.

Even today, aparigraha is relevant because the more we accumulate, the more we want, but renouncing the world is very difficult. For example, Alexander the Great, on his death bed, requested his doctor to help him live one more day. However, the doctor said he could not. When Alexander said he would give his kingdom to him in return, the doctor still said he could not help him. If Alexander the Great had known the value of his kingdom was not worth a penny, then he would have not wasted his life by acquiring kingdoms. Thus, he requested to all that his palms would face upward toward the sky when he was laid out in his coffin, to look like a beggar, so that the world would know even Alexander the Great went empty handed.

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JAI JINENDRA

Jain Magaldeevo

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Mangal Deevo

      Spiritual Meaning:

 
Mangal means to eradicate bad karma (päp), to free our selves from Samsär (material world), to remove the darkness of ignorance, to have an auspicious opportunity to practice Right Religion and to practice the path that is beneficial to the Self (soul). Only path of Moksha is beneficial to our Self  that is attained by eradicating all karma. By removing the darkness of karma, one  enlightens himself / herself with the Absolute Knowledge (Keval Jnäna). One Dipak  is used in Mangal Deevo to symbolize the one and only Perfect Knowledge, Keval Jnäna through which the darkness of the ignorance is permanently removed, the miserable cycle of birth and death is permanently ended, the association with the foreign dust of karma is completely terminated, and the true qualities of the souls are forever realized. In other words, one Dipak in Mangal Deevo symbolizes the one and only path of Moksha as expounded by Tirthankars. We should mentally contemplate while performing Mangal Deevo that “I want to enlighten my inner Dipak (self) just like this Mangal Deevo by attaining the perfect knowledge,  Keval Jnäna by practicing the path of Moksha as expounded by Tirthankars.”

Word by word meaning:

(A popular arti prayer, wishing bliss for everyone)
 
Lord! This is the auspicious lamp,
may those who perform Ärati live long.

On Diwäli the houses are decorated
and gods rejoice in the heavens.

“Depaal” says by this the family is blessed
and obstacles are overcome by worship by devotion.

“Depaal” says that in these our times,
King Kumarpal performed the Ärati.

Let there be bliss in our house, your house
and in the entire chaturvidh sangh (four folded Jain community).

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Jai Jinendra

JAIN ARATI Meaning:-

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practice of ärati and mangal deevo was started around 12th Century AD (almost 900 years ago) by the inspiration of Acharya Hemchandraji. It was a time when a lot of Jains were getting converted into other religions such as Hinduism and the practice of animal slaughter that Mahavir Swami had stopped during his times was getting popular again. Acharya Hemchandraji inspired the then Hindu King Kumarpal of Gujarat with his teaching of non-violence and explaining the true meaning of religion. King Kumarpal became a Jain shäravak and is said to have started the practice of Ärati and Deevo and declared the state of Gujarat as a non-violent state. Thus the mangal deevo we will sing will have the name of Raja Kumarpal in the song.

The Ärati that we say today was written by Sheth Mulchand of Dhudeva (Kesaryaji) in Rajasthan. Kesaryaji is a Jain pilgrimage where the main pratimä is a beautiful idol of Adeshwar Bhagwan in black marble. The story goes like this… Sheth Mulchand was a very pious merchant that ardently worshipped and regularly performed poojä and ärati at the Kesariyaji temple near the village where he lived.

He was so deeply devoted to Adeshwarji that in his old age when he had to move to another village to live with his relatives who could take care of him there, he could not bare the separation. At that time it is said that the devs guarding the temple gave him a small piece of the actual moorti of Adeshwarji that he could take with him to pray.

Thus we honor the extreme Bhakti of Sheth Mulchand by singing the ärati he sang everyday at Dhudeva, Kesariyaji.

Even today the ärati at Kesaryaji is unique and mesmerizing and is sung in a special folk tune that is worth participating in.

Arati Spiritual meaning :- There are many meanings of Ärati. One meaning is to experience the spiritual joy from all directions (Ärati = Ä + Rati; Ä means from all sides and Rati means Joy – spiritual joy). When a religious activity is concluded with success, we do Ärati to express our spiritual joy. Ärati also means to seek the end of  “Ärt” (misery). This material world (Samsär) is full of misery, and the aspirant is performing Ärati to free himself / herself from the cycle of the misery of the material world, cycle of birth and death. Third meaning is that to fill our inner selves  with spiritual joy, and to end the mental unhappiness.

To

 free from the miserable cycle of the material world (Samsär), one needs to have bright light of five types of knowledge. That’s why we light five Dipaks (which has candle like flame).  In front of these five lights, there is a symbol of a snake which indicates that delusion (Moha) is like snake and as snakes are afraid of fire, the delusion is conquered by the true knowledge.

The symbol of These five Dipaks are also symbol of five great vows (Panch Mahä Vrat) through its practice, one attains the salvation. Five Dipaks are also symbolic of practicing five Samitis (Restraints), It is also representative ofrestraining negative activities of five senses and five characteristics of Samyak Darshan (Right Perception).

Another way to understand the purpose of performing Ärati is that, to free our selves from the miserable cycle of material world, we need to detach our selves from all worldly attachments as five supreme beings (Panch Parmeshthi) have done it. To pay our spiritual tribute to these five Panch Parmeshthi, we light up five Dipaks, and we mentally contemplate that “I want to also give up all worldly attachments, and want to initiate myself (take Dikshä) to become a Sädhu (or Sädhvi) to free my self from four Sämsarik destinies and to attain the fifth destiny, Moksha.

Word by word meaning:

Ärati is for Victorious oldest Tirthankar

Son of Näbhiräya and Marudevi (parents of Rishabhdev, also known as Ädinäth)

First Ärati is for worshipping the supreme soul (Ädinäth)

One can have such auspicious opportunity by having human life

Second Ärati is for the supreme soul (Ädinäth) who helped poor ones like us

by showing the right path to overcome the misery of the material world.

Third Ärati is for the supreme soul (Ädinäth) who knows past, present and future of all substances of the universe

To whom king of heavenly beings eager to serve

Fourth Ärati is to get rid of the cycle of four destinies (Human, Heavenly beings, hellish beings and animals)

By doing so the goal of attaining everlasting happiness is succeeded.

Fifth Ärati is for manifestation of good karma

that gave Mulchand an opportunity to praise the great qualities of Rishabhdev

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Jai Jinendra

NAVKAR (NAMOKAR) MAHAMANTRA

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History of Namokar Mahamantra:- It is noteworthy that the Namaskära Mantra is not found in earlier scriptures. The Acharänga Sootra and The Suyagdänga do not contain the Namaskära Mantra. The text of the Tattvärtha Sootra does not have the Namaskära Mantra at the beginning and this was composed in the first century AD. The Digambara scriptures like the Samay Sär or the Niyam Sär do not have the Navkära Mantra at the beginning of the text. A part of this mantra is seen at the beginning of the Bhagavati Sootra, but is not in the same form as is now generally accepted.

The practice of writing the Namaskära Mantra at the beginning of any text must have been started after around the first century AD. Even most manuscripts of the Nandisootra and the Anuyogadwär (composed after first century AD) also do not have the Namaskära Mantra at the beginning of the texts. The manuscripts of theKalpa-sootra (which was penned in 453 AD3) are seen with the Namaskära Mantra at the beginning of the main texts. Therefore it seems that the tradition of writing the Namaskära Mantra at the beginning of any texts was developed quite late. The question is therefore: was the Namaskära Mantra composed quite late or is it true that the practice of writing the Namaskära mantra at the beginning of any sacred texts started quite late.?

The answers to these questions may not be found anywhere. Jains believe that the Namaskära mantra is eternal. But then again it is not seen in the earlier scriptures. Let us see two more sources which are the inscriptions found on rocks. The Khärvel inscription says: ‘Namo Arihantänam, Namo Savva Siddhänam’. Another inscription discovered from Mathurä says: ‘Namo Arihantänam, Namo Siddhänam’ This one is believed to have been carved in the sixth century AD

Parsavnath Bhagwan:-

It may be possible that the Namaskära Mantra in it’s present form was composed much later then the general belief of most people. Jain writers were only writing a sentence or two in obeisance to Mahävira1, and not the Namaskära Mantra. Again one cannot deduce that because the Namaskära Mantra was not written at the beginning of any texts, it did not exist. The Trishashti Shaläkä Purusha Charitra , which consists of the lives of 63 great personalities, has mentioned an incident in the life of Pärshvanätha. In the incident, Pärshvanätha recites the Namaskära Mantra seeing a snake who was about to die after accidentally being burnt in a fire. If this incident did in fact occur then, the Namaskära Mantra was in existence during the 9th Century BC.

Digamber – Shvetambara View

According to the Jainendra Siddhänta Kosha vol. 3, page 247, the Namaskära Mantra was composed by aDigambara ächärya, Pushpadanta. According to the Shvetämbara text the Mahänishitha, the Namaskära Mantra was composed in the form of a sootra (present form) by the disciples of Mahävira but its main essence was derived from the words of Mahävira himself.

Mulmantra

Namo Arihantanam 1

Namo Siddhanam 2
Namo Ayariyanam 3
Namo Uvajjhayanam 4
Namo Loe Savva sahoonam 5

{ Pada – 5, guru -3, laghu – 32, total alphabets – 35 }

Choolika

Aeso Pancha Namukkaro, Savva Pavappanasano. 7

Manglalanam cha Savvesim, Padhamam Havai Mangalam. I9I

{ Pada – 4, guru – 4, laghu – 29, total letters 33 }

Meaning :

1. I bow to the Arihantas (with body), the omniscient (knowing everything).

2. I bow to the Siddhas, the bodiless liberated souls.

3. I bow to the Acharyas, the heads of the four – fold order.

4. I bow to the Upadhyays who are next to the head.

5. I bow to all the Saints in the universe.

The above five worships are destroyer of all sins and this is the first beneficent among all benefactions.

We call the above as the Namaskar Mantra because all Jains bow to all the padas mentioned above with mind, body and speech and honor it highly. The Mantra has two Lords: – Arihantas and Siddhas, three Gurus: – Acharya, Upadhyaya and Sadhu. These five collectively known as the five excellent Souls make up of five padas.

Paying heartiest obeisance to these five great Souls helps the devotee annihilates all his sins and is highly benevolent to the Soul. It bestows physical and spiritual gains. It is an initial auspicious eulogy. ‘Navkar Mantra is relevant not only to the Jains but to each and everyone who wants to get rid of the wheel of worldly existence and attain liberation as the ultimate aim of every Soul is ‘Moksha”.

(pad – 9, sampada – 8, guru- 7, laghu – 61, total letters – 68)

PADAKSHAR FORM OF  NAMASKAR MAHAMANTRA

One of the secrets of any mantra science is that it should be learnt from a well versed Guru. Traditionally, the Mantra and its essential elements are very well understood from a Guru. Any curious person should follow this principle. The Guru is the one who has harnessed the power of sound. When he gives the disciple a mantra, this sound is alive. It is the same thing as eating. Before we eat, we and the food are separate. But after we chew, digest and assimilate the food; it becomes a part of us. We do not call it food anymore, because it has become a part of our blood, body and life force. It is no longer separate. So, when the guru gives a mantra, the disciple at first is separate from the mantra . But after he/she has spent some time repeating it with love and faith, following the proper techniques, the disciple will completely absorb the mantra. It will be a part of the life force and will work positively for him/her. It is the duty of the disciple to practice faithfully and follow the guidance of the guru.

To understand the internal and external form of Navkar Mantra an essential thing is to learn and chant the mantra correctly. The external form denotes that A B C of the body of the mantra should be properly preserved. Mantra means the shortest—as short as possible. All seeds are very small but have great capacity to grow into trees; a mantra contains a few words but has a deep meaning like a tiny ocean in a glass.

To obtain perfect fruit of any rite one has to pray systemic worship of the rite. To obtain the fruits in the form of corn a farmer has to do complete procedure of farming and to till the soil. The ritual incantation of this Maha Mantra liberates tremendous energy which can unravel the karma bondage of the soul and make it shine in all its glory. There are 9 Pada (designations), 8 Sampada and 68 letters in Shree navkar Mantra. In these sixty eight letters there are 7 guru-jodakshar (measuring two matrass /conjunct consonant) and 61 laghu (small letters).

EIGHT SAMPADA

Sampada means a full stop of a meaning. Its definition as per scripture (Shastra) is done as follows:-

“SANGTYEN PADYATE-PARICHCHHIDYATEARTHO YABHIRITI SAMPADAH”. Sampada is one with which the compatible meaning is ascertained. There are eight such sampada in Navkar. First seven padas have seven and eighth- ninth these two padas have one aggregating to eight sampada.

GURU LAGHU LETTERS:

Jodakshar is considered as one letter in counting the letters and not one and half. Thus Navkar Mantra has 68 letters.

There are seven letters in the first Pad ‘Namo Arihantanam’ and all seven are Laghu.

In the second pada ‘Namo Siddhanam’ there are five letters out of which four are laghu and one is Guru. The letter ‘ddha’ is guru.

In the third pada ‘Namo Ayariyanam’ there ar e seven letters and all 7 are Laghu.

The fourth pada is ‘Namo Uvajjhayanam’ in which there are seven letters out of which six are laghu and one is Guru. The letter ‘jjha’ is guru

The fifth pada is ‘Namo Loe Savva Sahunam’ in which there are nine letters out of which eight are Laghu and one is Guru. The letter ‘vva’ is Guru.

Thus there are in aggregate 35 letters in the above five padas consisting of 32 Laghu and 3 Guru.

The sixth pada is ‘Eso Pancha Namukkaro’ and has eight letters, out of which seven are laghu and one is Guru letters. The letter ‘kka’ is guru.

The seventh pada is ‘Savvapavappaanasano’. There are eight letters in this pada out of which six are Laghu and two are guru. Here the letters ‘vva’ and ‘ppa’ are Guru.

In the eighth pada ‘Mangalanam Cha Savvesim.’ There are eight letters out of which seven are laghu and one is Guru. The letter ‘vve’ is guru.

The last and nineth pad is ‘Padhamam Havai Mangalam’. There are nine letters and all are Laghu.

In this manner the last four Padas of Navkar Mantra which is termed as CHULIKA in which there are 33 letters in aggregate consisting 4 guru and 29 laghu.

In SHREE MAHANISHITH SUTRA there is a mention that Navkar is of five Adhyayan (study) and one CHULIKA and the number of letters as mentioned as above being 35 of first five padas and 33 of next four Padas.

Namaskar Mantra, the incomparable form of power which gives the desired fruit in this world (Aalok ) and other ( Parlok) (Limitless space beyond the world), be saluted greeted, whose five padas are stated as Panchatirthi by Shree Tirthankaradevas. The significant 68 letters of Jinagam are praized as sixty eight (68) places of pilgrimages (Tirthas) and whose eight Sampadas are explained as incompatible excellence.

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Jai Jinendra.

SHRI Manibhadra veer

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श्री मणिभद्र वीर – जीवन परिचय

मणिभद्र जी पूर्व जन्म में सेठ माणक शाह के नाम से जाने गये, जो जैन धर्म और इसके संदेशों के प्रति पूर्णतया समर्पित थे। इनके पास अपार संपत्ति थी तथा इन्हें 36 तरह के वाद्य यंत्रों का शौक था। वे एक निष्ठावान श्रावक थे। इनकी असीम निष्ठा भक्ति से इन्हें क्षेत्रपाल घोषित कर दिया गया था। इन्हीं की हवेली में पद्मावती माता का घर देरासर भी था।

एक बार माणकशाह का मन कुछ भ्रान्तियों के कारण धर्म से विमुख हो गया और उन्होंने देवदर्शन, पूजन इत्यादि बंद कर दिए। जब आनंदविमल सूरीजी मा. सा. उज्जैन के निकट पहुँचे, तो माणकशाह अपनी माँ के आदेश पर उनके पास गए। आनंदविमल सूरीजी मा. सा. ने ज्ञानदर्शन के माध्यम से माणकशाह की सभी धार्मिक विसंगतियों को दूर किया और वे फिर से निष्ठावान श्रावक बन देवदर्शन, पूजन, सामायिक इत्यादि धार्मिक क्रियाएँ सहृदय करने लगे।

एक बार माणकशाह किसी व्यापारिक कार्य से आगरा गए थे। वहाँ उन्हें जब आनन्दविमल सुरीजी का चातुर्मास आगरा में होने का पाता चला, तो वे दर्शन के लिए उनके पास पहुँचे। अपने गुरु से पवित्रता पर दिए गए उपदेशों व शत्रुंजय की महत्ता से बहुत प्रभावित हुए। इसी प्रभाव के कारण, इन्होंने नवणुनि यात्रा करने के लिए पैदल शत्रुंजय जाने व रयान वृक्ष के नीचे दो दिन के उपवास से इसे संपन्न करने की कठिन तपस्या का संकल्प लिया।

गुरु के आशीर्वाद से, कार्तिकी पूनम के शुभ दिन माणकशाह ने अपने संकल्प का शुभारम्भ किया। जब वे वर्तमान के मगरवाड़ा के निकट थे, डाकुओं के एक दल ने इन पर हमला कर दिया। माणकशाह अपनी तपस्या के चलते मौन धारण किए हुए थे और शत्रुंजय का ध्यान करते हुए नवकार मन्त्र का मन ही मन जाप कर रहे थे। डाकुओं द्वारा उकसाए जाने पर भी उन्होंने अपनी तपस्या नहीं तोडी और मौन रहे। इससे गुस्साए डाकुओं ने उन पर वार कर उनके शरीर को तीन हिस्सों में काट दिया। माणकशाह, जो अंतिम श्वास तक नवकार मन्त्र के जाप और शत्रुंजय की पवित्रता में पूरी तरह से लीन थे, इन्द्र मणिभद्रवीर देव के रूप में अवतरित हुए। उन्होंने अपने दैवीय प्रताप से अपने शरीर के तीनों भागों को अलग-अलग दिशाओं में भेजा। पिंडी (शरीर का निचला हिस्सा) गुजरात के मगरवाड़ा में गिरा, धड़ अर्थात शरीर का ऊपरी हिस्सा गुजरात के आग्लोड़ में गिरा, और मस्तक अर्थात सिर मध्य प्रदेश के उज्जैन में उनके घर में गिरा। मूलतया भारत में मणिभद्र वीर के ये तीन स्थान ही हैं – उज्जैन, आग्लोड़ एवम् मगरवाड़ा।

कुछ समय बाद इधर अचानक आचार्य श्री आनन्दविमल सूरीजी के साधुओं का असमय कालधर्म होने लगा। आचार्य श्री ने ध्यान लगाया तो अधष्ठायक देव ने दिव्य संकेत दिया कि आप गुजरात के मगरवाड़ा गाँव में जाकर अट्ठम तप पूर्वक साधना करेंगे तो यह उपद्रव मिट जायेगा। गुरदेव वहाँ पहुँचे और ध्यान तप किया, जिसके फलस्वरूप मणिभद्र जी साक्षात प्रकट हुए और अपना परिचय दिया कि मैं आपका वही अनुयायी माणकशाह सेठ हूँ। शुभ ध्यान पूर्वक मृत्यु पाकर मैं मणिभद्र देव के रूप में उत्पन्न हुआ हूँ। फिर गुरुदेव से उपद्रव की बात सुन उन्होंने भैरवों को वश में किया तथा भविष्य में मुनि हत्या न करने की प्रतिज्ञा दी।

इसके पश्चात मणिभद्र जी ने गुरुदेव से विनती करी की मेरी जागृति के लिए आप तपागच्छ के उपाश्रय में मेरी स्थापना करवाइए ताकि आने वाले साधु-साधवियाँ मुझे धर्म लाभ देते रहें और जो भी मुझे सच्चे मन से याद करेगा मैं उसकी हर मनोकामना पूर्ण करूँगा और जिन शासन की हमेशा रक्षा व सहायता करूँगा। गुरुदेव ने इनका सम्मान करते हुए महासुदी पंचमी को मगरवाड़ा में इनके पिंड को स्थापित कर मंदिर का निर्माण करवाया।

वर्तमान में बड़ी संख्या में भक्तगण मगरवाड़ा जाकर मणिभद्रवीर से अपनी समस्याओं के समाधान व अपनी परेशानियों को दूर करने में मदद के लिए प्रार्थना करते हैं। ये भी कहा जाता है की अगर कोई भक्त मणिभद्रवीर देव के दर्शन व पूजा तीनो स्थानों पर एक ही दिन में अर्थात सूर्योदय से सूर्यास्त तक के बीच में करते हैं , अपने देव को अपनी भक्ति व प्रार्थनाएं समर्पित करने का ये सबसे उत्तम तरीका है।
मणिभद्र वीर देव के कुछ प्रमुख लक्षण

  • मणिभद्र देव एकावतारी तथा सम्यक दृष्टी देव हैं।
  • प्रतिमा पर इनका मुख अधिकतर वराह के रूप में होता है।
  • इनकी प्रतिमाएँ चार भुजा और कई बार छह भुजाओं के साथ दिखाई देती हैं।
  • यक्षराज मणिभद्र जी वर्तमान समय के इन्द्र माने जाते हैं, जिनका वाहन ऐरावत (सफ़ेद हाथी जिसकी एक से अधिक सूँड है) है।
  • विशेषकर इनकी पूजा अष्टमी, चौदस और दीवाली के दिन होती है। महीने की हर पाँचम को भक्तों की बड़ी संख्या यहाँ आकर इनकी पूजा करते हैं। इनके विशेष दिन रविवार व गुरूवार हैं और इनके भक्त जैन भोजन (जमीकंद रहित) पर रहकर भी इनके प्रति अपनी आस्था, सम्मान व्यक्त कर सकते हैं।
  • सुखड़ी और श्रीफल (नारियल) इनका पसंदीदा भोजन है व इन्हें प्रसाद के रूप में अर्पण किया जाता है।
  • महिलाएँ इनके दर्शन कर सकती हैं, प्रार्थनाएँ दे सकती हैं, इन्हें मान सकती हैं किन्तु, इनकी पूजा या प्रतिमा पर केसर चन्दन लगाकर पूजा नहीं कर सकतीं।
  • क्षराज मणिभद्रवीर जी वर्तमान समय के इन्द्र माने जाते हैं। उन्हें जिन शासन रक्षक के रूप में भी जाना जाता है। मणिभद्रवीर देव चमत्कारों की रचना के लिए जाने जाते हैं।कहा जाता है इनकी पूजा करने से धन वैभव मिलता है व बुरी शक्तियों से संरक्षण मिलता है।

उज्जैन में भैरवगढ़ में माणकशाह की जन्मभूमि हवेली, जहाँ उनका मस्तक आकर गिरा था, वहाँ जैनाचार्य श्री आनन्दविमल श्री करकमलों से श्री मणिभद्र जी की स्थापना हुई थी। समय के प्रवाह से हवेली करीब 600 सालों से काल के थपेड़े खाकर जीर्ण-क्षीर्ण हुई।

विक्रम संवत 2039 में चारूप तीर्थ में मणिभद्र देव द्वारा दिए प्रत्यक्ष दर्शन के बाद प.पू. पन्यास प्रवर गुरुदेव श्री अभयसागरजी म.सा. के लिखित आदेश से उंनके पट्टधर शिष्य प.पू. आचार्य श्री अशोकसागर सुरीश्वर जी म.सा. ने इस जन्मभूमि हवेली का जीर्णोद्धार कराया तथा नूतन केशरियानाथ जी के जिनालय का निर्माण करा कर विक्रम संवत 2066 महासुदी ग्यारस दिनांक 11 फरवरी 2010 को इस तीर्थ की स्थापना सम्पन्न कराई। वर्तमान में इस तीर्थ में श्रद्धालु यात्रियों के ठहरने व भोजन की उत्तम व्यवस्था है।

  • श्री आग्लोड़ जैन तीर्थ मगरवाड़ा से 80 किलोमीटर ( पौने दो घंटे ) की दुरी पर है।कहा जाता है की मणिभद्रवीर का धड़ अर्थात शरीर यहाँ गिरा था और यहाँ धड़ की ही पूजा की जाती है।भक्त अपनी पूजा मगरवाड़ा में इनके चरणों व शरीर के निचले हिस्से से शुरू करते हुए आग्लोड़ में शरीर की पूजा कर उज्जैन में सर की पूजा पूर्ण कर सकते हैं।
  • गुजरात के मगरवाड़ा (पालनपुर जिला ) में मणिभद्रवीर दादा के शरीर के निचले हिस्से अर्थात पिंडी की प्रतिमा जी है।इनके भक्त बड़ी संख्या में अपनी पूजा अर्चना समर्पित करने व अपनी मनोकामना पूर्ण करने के लिए यहाँ आते हैं।मणिभद्रवीर देव चमत्कारों की रचना के लिए जाने जाते हैं।कहा जाता है इनकी पूजा करने से धन वैभव मिलता है व बुरी शक्तियों से संरक्षण मिलता है.

श्री मणिभद्र वीर जी से जुड़ी चमत्कारी घटनाएँ
भैरवगढ़, उज्जैन स्थित मणिभद्र वीर जी के मंदिर के जीर्णोधार व केशरियानाथ जिनालय की स्थापना

प.पू. पन्यास प्रवर गुरुदेव श्री अभयसागरजी म.सा. के लिखित आदेश से उंनके पट्टधर शिष्य प.पू. आचार्य श्री अशोकसागर सुरीश्वर जी म.सा. ने माणकशाह की जन्मभूमि हवेली स्थित मंदिर का जीर्णोद्धार करवाया तथा केशरियानाथ जी के जिनालय का निर्माण करा कर विक्रम संवत 2066 महासुदी ग्यारस दिनांक 11 फरवरी 2010 को इस तीर्थ की स्थापना सम्पन्न कराई।

केशरियानाथ जी की मूर्ति की विधिवत स्थापना के अंतर्गत किए जा रहे हवन के दौरान अचानक हवनकुंड की अग्नि तीव्र हो चली व कई फीट ऊंची लपटें उठने लगी। इसी समय मणिभद्र वीर जी देव की मूर्ति के ऊपर लगा हुआ चाँदी का छत्र अपने-आप पंखे की भांति गोल-गोल घूमने लगा.

यह घटना 9 जून 2016 को घटी थी। प्रति माह की सुदी पंचमी की भांति मणिभद्र जी के मंदिर में भव्य हवन व पूजन का आयोजन किया गया था। जब हवन चल रहा था, अचानक हवनकुंड में से उठ रही लपटों में मणिभद्र वीर जी के वराह अवातर की ऐरावत हाथी पर बैठी हुई आकृति दिखाई देने लगी। यह घटना कुछ देर चली। उस समय एक श्रद्धालु द्वारा मोबाईल से इस घटना का फोटो लिए गया था।

श्री माणिभद्रवीर जी की स्तुति

घरेलु सहू काम सिद्ध करवा चो देव साचा तमे

ने विघ्नों सघला विनाश करवा, चो शक्ति शाली तमे

सेवे जे चरणों खरा ह्रदय थी , तेहने उपाधि नथी

एव श्री मंदिभद्र देव तमने , वंदु खरा भावति

देव सुख समस्त जानने , जे छे सदा जगता

सेवना कर्नारना पलकमाँ , कष्टों बघा कापता

सीधी सर्व मले आने भय टले , आपे सदा सन्मति

एव श्री मणिभद्र देव तमने वंदु घना भाव थी

श्री मणिभद्रवीर स्तोत्र

ॐ नमामि मणिभद्रं वन्दे वीर महाबलिं ।

विपत्तिकाले माँ रक्ष, रक्ष माँ देव माणिभद्रे ।।

ॐ आं क्रों ह्रीं मंत्ररूपे महाबलीं रक्षं सदा ।

माँ शरणं शरणं तव, रक्ष माँ देव माणिभद्रे ।।

भ्रां भ्रीं भूम भ्रं: मंत्ररूपे तव भक्ति प्रभावतः ।

प्रत्यक्षं दर्शनं देहि, रक्ष माँ देव ! माणिभद्रे ।।

धर्मार्थ काम मोक्षच्चेव, कामदात, सुखसंपदा ।

महाभीती विनाशय रक्ष माँ देव ! माणिभद्रे ।।

झां झीं झूम झ: मंत्ररूपे, तव शरी शुशोभितं ।

सत्राम सः ते तु प्रत्यक्षम, रक्ष माँ देव ! माणिभद्रे ।।

सुखाड़ी श्रीफ़लंशचैव, ,कामदं मोक्षदं सदा ।

आधीं व्याधीं विपत्तीम च, रक्ष माँ देव ! माणिभद्रे ।।

राजभयं चोरभयं नास्ति, न च सर्पेण डस्यते ।

सर्व मंगल कारकं देव, रक्ष माँ देव ! माणिभद्रे ।।

ॐ ह्रीं श्रीं माणिभद्राय तुंगभद्राय क्राम क्लीं नमोस्तुते स्वाहा ।

ॐ ह्रीं माणिभद्राय भद्रे नमोस्तुते स्वाहा ।

ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं मम हृदये माणिभद्राय नमोस्तुते स्वाहा ।।

श्री माणिभद्रवीरजी की आरती

(रागः- जय जय आरती आदि जिणंदा….)

जय जय आरती माणिभद्र ईन्द्रा, बावन वीर शीर मुगट जडींद्रा ।

तपगच्छ अधिष्ठायक विख्याता अतिय विघन दुःख हरो विधाता ।

तुम सेवकनां संकट चुरो, मन वंछित सुख संपदा पूरो ।

खडग त्रिशूल डमरु गाजे, मृगदल अंकुश नाग विराजे ।

षट् भूजा गज वाहन सुन्दर, लोढी पोशाल संघ वृद्धि पुरन्दर ।

विनये श्री आणंद सुरिधीर,

आशा पूरा मगरवाडिया वीर,

आशा पूरा उज्जनीया वीर,

आशा पूरा आगलोडीया वीर ।

श्री माणिभद्रवीर जी का मन्त्र

|| ॐ असीआउसा नमः श्री माणिभद्र दिसतु मम सदा सर्वकार्येषु सिद्धिं ||

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GODDESS PADMAVATI IN JAINISM:

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Mother Padmavati is a popular Jain goddess. Among the Yakshis to the 24 Tirthankara, Yakshi Chakreshwari, Kushmandini, Jwalamailini, Ambika and Padmavathi are popular. Of these Goddess Padmavathi happens to be one of the most popular and most worshiped Yakshi in the Jain community. She is also described as Shasan-devi of the 23rd Tirthankara, Lord Parshva.

Humbaj is a hamlet located in Shimoga district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is also known as known as Humcha or Hamchawadi. It is famous for being home to an ancient temple of Goddess Padmavati, and to the Humbaj Matha meaning seminary or monastery. This is an important institution of the Jain community. Apparently the lake here never dries up and a tree that likewise always remains green. Humca contains one of the most popular Padmavati shrines in the world.

The worship of the Yaksha and Yakshi’s in Jainism varies in different sects and different regions. Yakshi worship predominates the Southern states of India. It is said that the worship of Goddess Padmavathi as yakshi is prominent with the Bispanthy sub sect of Digambars. Digambar means skyclad. Murthipujak sub sect among the Shwetambars also worship Goddess Padmavathi as yakshi.

Deities of Goddess Padmavathi and Lord Parshwanatha glorify the main temple complex at Humcha, Shimoga district, Karnataka, India. The main features are the temple Complex, Jain Mutt, Panchakuta Basadi, Muttina, origin of river Kumudvati and Parshwanatha Idol

DEPICTION: In Jainist religious practice, Tirthankara idols look similar with standard symbolism. One finds snake hoods above the head of Dharanendra Yaksha and Padmavathi Yakshi. This is symbolized with a diamond studded crown. Like wise Lord Parshwanatha is identified with the symbol of a snake and usually we find hoods of snake above the idol.

A snakes hood also covers Mother Padmavati’s head, and she sits on a lotus flower. Often a small image of the Tirthankara is placed in her crown. In addition to this Goddess Padmavathi is said to have four hands. This is called as Chaturbhuje. Her color is golden and her vahana is the snake.

Mythology:-

Jinadatta, the prince of Mathura, fled to south India leaving his home town due to family reasons. Jain monk Muni Siddhantakeerthi advises Jinadatta to carry the idol of Goddess Padmavathi on the horse back and tour the southern parts of India. Reaching Humcha, he took shelter under a Lakki tree. There he is inspired by a dream.

Goddess Padmavathi graces him with thoughts that if she is installed in Humcha, then he may get local support. She too would stay in Humcha. She further instructed him that when iron is touched to the feet of Padmavathi deity, it will be converted into gold. With this wealth, Jinadatta could make Humcha as the capital city.

This prompts Jinadatta to construct a temple dedicated to Goddess Padmavathi and Lord Parshwanatha. His Guru Siddanthakeerthi and his mother settled at Humcha also. Further he married princess Manoradhini of the Kingdom of South Mathura. Humcha is made the capital of his new kingdom.

Everything is moving smoothly but Mother Padvati wanted to test Jinadatta’s devotion. She created two Muttu or pearls at a pond located a few meters away from the temple. Since then this pond is called as Muttina Kere. Kere means tank in Kannada. Of the two pearls one of them was pure and the other was stained a bit. One of persons in the kingdom who found the pearls handed them over to the king.

Now, Jinadatta made two nose rings. The one with pure pearl was given to his wife; Padmavati was given the one with the stained pearl. Later when Jinadatta visited the temple, he was astonished to find the Goddess adorned with pure pearl nose-ring. Padmavati’s divine voice was then heard. The deity was to l loose its divine power of converting the iron into gold. It was to land itself into the well besides the temple.


Jinadatta realized his mistake and pleaded the Goddess for forgiveness. The all-merciful Mother decreed that Jina should install another idol at that place. He was also promised to have her presence felt, Goddess Padmavathi would ensure, the Lakki Tree and the Muttina will never dry; water will be constantly oozing out from the point of origin of Kumudavati River and that when bhaktas are blessed by Goddess Padmavathi, flowers will fall from the right side of the deity..

YAKSHIS:

The feminine form of Yaksha is Yakshi. This concept is an ancient Indian Indian tradition referring to a class of natural spirits who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. This concept of Yaksha and Yakshi or Yakshini is existent in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

TIRTHANKARAS:

The essential goals to human life in Jainist belief is free oneself from worldly sufferings, inner passions and attain liberation. A Jina, Arihanta or Tirthankara is a liberated soul that is freed of the worldly sufferings and inner passions. He or she resides in Siddhaloka or the top of the world. Tirthankaras are worshiped in Jainism as they have liberated themselves by conquering their inner passions and attained moksha. They have expounded the path of liberation and to get an inspiration to attain their state.

Yaksha and Yakshis are found in pairs flanking the Tirthankara idol with the Yaksha on the right and Yakshi on the left as guardian deities. They are regarded as the devotees of the Jinas with supernatural powers. Just like humans they too go through the cycles of birth and deaths but have supernatural powers. As they have renounced the world, they cannot reward devotees. But since they do have supernatural powers, Jains give them a place in the temple as some Yakshis were known for bestowing worldly desires. Progressively, the concept of Yaksha and Yakshi’s became very popular in Jainism.

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Ankit mehta

Jai jinendra

MAHAVIR SWAMI BHAGWAN(24TH TIRTHANKARA)

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Bhagwan Mahavir Swami was the last and the twenty fourth Tirthankar of this era in the Jain tradition. He had a highly developed multifaceted personality. He scintillated with the infinitely intense glow of the pure soul. All the virtues and powers of his soul were completely awakened and active. He had infinite power but, at the same he also had infinite compassion. Possessing ultimate powers of the soul, he was unconquerable, fully developed and absolutely composite human being.

But the seeds of this grandeur and greatness of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami were sown in the remote past. He had been doing vigorous penance, indulging in altruism and practicing deep meditation in many of his past incarnations. From this angle the incidents from earlier incarnations of this supreme soul are very important and inspiring. The first incident in this sequence is known as “the first touch of righteousness”. It is from the 27th birth before the final birth of the soul of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami. The story of this birth as the village elder Nayasar, goes like this-

First Glimpse of Right Knowledge: Nayasar

In the twenty seventh birth before being born as Bhagwan Mahavir Swami, this soul was a village elder and forester working for king Shatrumardhan for Pratisthan city in the west Mahavideh area. He used to bring all the wood required for construction purposes from the forest. One day at noon time all the workers were taking rest after their lunch. Nayasar also sat under a tree in order to take the food he had brought along. Before starting to eat he saw some ascetics wandering at the foot of nearby hills. Nayasar thought that these ascetics are wandering without food or water in this scorching sun. If they happen to come this side, I will offer a part of my food to them. I will be benefited by this simple act of serving guests and my day will become purposeful.

Innocent Nayasar waited looking at the approaching ascetics. With deep devotion he offered them this pure food. When they proceeded towards the town, Nayasar accompanied them for some distance to show the way. When Nayasar bowed before the ascetics before taking their leave, they gave him sermons of the true path, the simple code of compassion, pity, simplicity, humility and equanimity. Devoted and respectful, Nayasar got enlightened and the seed of righteousness (Samyaktva) sprouted in his mind. As this is the starting point of the spiritual evolution, the moment when a soul lost in the darkness of illusion got the first glimpse of spiritual light, the counting of the earlier incarnations of the soul that became Bhagwan Mahavir Swami begins here.

The Third Birth: Marichi

After completing his age (the age of being, according to Jainism, is a fixed period determined by actions in the immediately preceding birth), the soul of Nayasar was reborn as a god in the Saudharm Kalpa. He then took birth as Marichi, the son of Chakravarti (sovereign of six continents) Bharat in the city of Ayodhya. After hearing the first discourse of Bhagavan Rishabhdev he became a Shraman. But as he could not sustain the rigorous ascetic codes, he abandoned the dress of a Shraman, made desired relaxation’s in the harsh code of Shraman conduct, and became a Tridandi Parivrajak (a class of mendicants). He started keeping an umbrella and a pair of wooden slippers. He also used to take bath and apply fragrant pastes like sandal wood pastes. However, he still believed the path of Rishabhdev to be the best. He would sit just outside the divine pavilion (Samavasaran) of Rishabhdev and when asked about his strange dress, he would innocently accept his weaknesses and preach to the people around, inspiring them to accept the religion of Shramans.

One day Bharat Chakravarti asked Bhagavan Rishabhdev, “Prabho! Is there any great being (soul) present in this congregation who will become a Tirthankar like you?” Rishabhdev replied, “Bharat ! Outside this religious congregation sits your son Marichi dressed as a Parivrajak. After penance’s and other practices for many reincarnations, he will become the last Tirthankar of this cycle of time. during his passage from Marichi to Mahavir, he will also be born as Triprushtha Vasudev (the lord of three regions) in one birth and in another reincarnations Priyamitra Chakravarti.”

Hearing about the astoundingly bright future of the soul of his Marichi, Emperor Bharat burst with joy. He went to Marichi with the happy news and said, “Marichi ! You are extremely lucky, I greet you as the future Tirthankar.”

Marichi was overjoyed hearing the prophecy of Bhagavan Rishabhdev. His happiness was boundless. But at the same time, thoughts of the glory of his clan stirred his conceit. Filled with pride for his clan, he uttered, “How great is my clan and what a superior family is that to which I belong! My grandfather is the first Tirthankar, my father is the first Chakravarti, and I will became a Vasudev, a Chakravarti, and finally the last Tirthankar of this cycle of time. How great, indeed!” And thus Marichi almost burst with conceit. Slowly he slid down from the heights of spiritual excellence, and was drawn into the whirlpool of the egoism of racial supremacy.

According to the Jain tradition, Marichi was the founder of the Parivrajak school. Marichi used to say that the Shramans were free of the distortions of mind, speech, and body, but the Parivrajaks had these. As such, the Parivrajaks started keeping a trident, there symbol. In his last days he made prince Kapil his disciple. From that point on the derivative Parivrajak school gradually distanced itself from the Shraman school.

Vishvabhuti

The soul of Marichi moved from the human dimension to that of gods and back again alternatively for twelve incarnations. When born as human he became Parivrajak many a time and observed numerous austerities. In his sixteenth reincarnation he was born as prince Vishvabhuti the nephew of king Vishvanandi of Rajgrih. He became an ascetic and did harsh penance before breathing his last. In the seventeenth reincarnation he took birth as a god in the Mahashakra dimension of gods and in eighteenth as Triprushtha Vasudev.

Tripushtha Vasudev”-

Queen Mrigavati of king Prajapati of Potanpur gave birth to an extremely powerful son. He was named Triprishtha.

Prajapati was an ordinary king of subordinate kingdom of the Prativasudev Ashvagriv. Triprishtha was a very brave and valorous young man. When the fame of his powers and strength reached Ashvagriv he became apprehensive. He asked his astrologer about how he would meet his end. The astrologer said, “The man who would crush your powerful emissary-Chandamegh and also kill the ferocious lion of Tunga mountain will be the messenger of death for you.” One day Ashvagiv sent Chanda to Potanpur. When this emissary misbehaved, Triprishtha threw him out. Then an order was issued to Prajapati, “A ferocious lion has created havoc in the Shali area. Immediately proceed to that area and protect the farmers from the lion. ” When Prajapati prepared to go, prince Triprishtha requested, “Father ! When we are available you need not take the trouble to proceed for this insignificant venture. Your sons can easily take care of that petty beast.”

Triprishtha and his elder brother Baldev Achal Kumar went to that forest and inquired about the lion from the local populace. As directed , they proceeded toward the den of the lion. Disturbed by the noise of the village folk, the lion came out of its den and charged towards the princes. Looking at the approaching lion Triprishtha thought, “The creature is alone moving on its feet, why do I need my bodyguards and the chariot? When it dose not carry any weapon, why should I ? I will face it alone and bare handed.” Triprishtha got down from the chariot and threw away his weapons. He fought alone and bare handed with the ferocious men-eater. In the end he caught hold of the jaws of the lion and tore it apart. The driver of the chariot of the prince went near the writhing lion, said a few words of sympathy, and covered its wounds with medicinal hers. The dying moments of the beast became peaceful. This act infused a feeling of affection for the driver in the mind of the dying lion.

When the driver reincarnated as the chief disciple of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami, Indrabhuti Gautam, this lion was born as a farmer. When the farmer saw Gautam he was infused with a feeling of fraternity and respect for Gautham. He became Gautham’s disciple. But when he happened to see Bhagwan Mahavir Swami, the dormant feelings of fear and vengeance surfaced. Bhagwan Mahavir Swami then revealed the cause of these dormant feelings by narrating the story of his earlier life.

Prince Triprishtha conquered the evil king, Prativasudev Ashvagriv, and established his own empire over three continents. He became the first Vasudev of this cycle of time.

Lead in the Ears

Once the Vasudev was enjoying a musical concert in his assembly. When his eyelids became heavy with slumber he instructed his bed attendant, “When I am asleep stop the program?”

After a few minutes Triprishtha closed his eyes and went to sleep. Everyone present was engrossed in the lilting music. The concert went on throughout the night. Suddenly Vasudev was awake. When he heard the music going on, he turned crimson with anger. He shouted angrily at the attendant, “Why the music has not been stopped yet ?” With folded hands the bed attendant submitted, “Everyone was lost in the intoxicating waves of the melodious music. Pardon me, Sire! I too became lost.” The negligence in following his instructions added fuel to the fire of Triprishtha’s anger. Directing all his anger on the negligent aide, he said, “Pour molten lead in the ears of this music buff. Let him realize the consequences of ignoring the instructions of his master for the sake of his live for music.” Vasudev’s order was carried out. Writhing with extreme and intolerable agony the bed attendant died on the spot.

The soul in the form of Triprishtha accumulated the bondage of tarnishing Karmas due to its extremely cruel attitude. It had to suffer the excruciating result in the form and life as Mahavir. The aide reincarnated as a farmer and hammered nails in Mahaveer’s ears when he did penance as a Shraman. As a result of the intoxication of power, passion for grandeur, and cruelty of attitude, Triprishtha Vasudev, after living his age was reborn in the seventh hell. In his twenty first incarnation he became a lion; in the twenty second he again went to the fourth hell, and after that he was born as Priyamitra Chakravarti in the twenty third birth.

The Right Direction- priya mitra Chakravarti:- After seeing many auspicious dreams, the queen of Dhananjay, the ruler of Mukanagari, gave birth to a son. He was named as Priyamitra. As a result of his virtuous Karmas and his bravery he conquered all the six continents and became a Chakravarti. He enjoyed all these pleasures and grandeur befitting a Chakravarti. In the end, he got detached and became a Shraman by taking Diksha (the formal act of renouncing the mundane life style) from Pottilacharya. For about ten million years he indulged in serving the guru, studying and pondering over the scriptures, meditation, and a variety of austere penance’s. Though these he continued to wipe out the tarnishing Karmas acquired during previous lives. Living his age, he was reborn as a god in the Mahashukra Kalpa from where, in his next incarnation, he was born as the son of king Jitshatru of Chhatranagari.

Nandan Muni :- The life of prince Nandan (son of king Jitshatru) was like a lotus flower in the swamp of passions and mundane indulgences. The attraction of the beauty and love of beautiful damsels did not divert him from his spiritual quest. Finally he became a disciple of Pottilacharya. Becoming an ascetic, he started purifying his soul with the fire of penance. He undertook the tough practice of the twenty step penance that includes discipline, penance, devotion for Arihant, service of the ascetic, and other such purifying acts. As a result of these practices, he earned the Tirthankar-nam-and-gotra-karma (the Karma that would make him a Tirthankar if future birth). He spent about a hundred thousand years as a Shraman with perfect discipline. During this period he did one hundred and sixty thousand one month fasts. Living his age with austure Pranat Pushpottar Viman (a specific dimension of gods). This was the birth preceding his reincarnation as Mahavir.

The embodiment of Love :-

Leaving Asthik-gram Mahavir proceeded in the direction of Shvetambika town. The trail to this town passed through a dense and desolate forest. When some shepherds saw Mahavir entering the forest they shouted, “O Monk, stay put for a minute. This is a dangerous trail. There is a black serpent with venomous gaze on this trail. His hissing and gaze burn plant and trees. Even flying birds and standing humans drop dead. Please leave this trail and take a different route.”

Mahavir heard this fear filled call of the shepherds. With a serene smile he raised a hand as a gesture of assurance. With firm steps Mahavir went near the snake-hole. All around human and animal skeletons could be seen. There was not a single green leaf as far as the eye could see. Close to the snake-hole was a delepidated temple. Mahavir stood in the shade of this temple and started his meditation.

After some time the giant black serpent came out of its hole hissing fiercely. It had seen a human being after a long time. The man was standing firm and fearless with closed eyes. The serpent was surprised. It looked at Mahavir with its venomous red eyes. Like flames from a ball of fire, its poisonous eyes emitted waves of venom. It hissed awesomely. But all this had no effect whatsoever on Mahavir. The serpent was astonished, “Till today every man I came across has been consumed by my first venomous hiss and this man stands still, absolutely unmoved.”

The serpent glanced at the sun and once again focused its gaze at Mahavir and hissed at him with renewed anger, but in vain. It slithered from the line of the expected fall of the body and than with all its force sank its fangs in Mahaveer’s toe and injected all its venom. It drew back and waited expectantly again in vain.

The angry serpent, vexed further by its failure stung Mahavir twice again. All its three attacks were wasted. Mahavir stood undisturbed. The serpent was astonished to see milk oozing out instead of blood from the spots where it has stung on Mahaveer’s toe.

Bhagwan Mahavir Swami was standing unmoved. His face was glowing and on his lips was a charming smile, like a blooming rose. His eyes reflected the inner compassion.

The

 serpent continued to stare with surprise. Confused by its failure it was lost in its thoughts.

Involved in his spiritual pursuits, Mahavir uttered din his deep and tranquil voice, ” O Chandakaushik ! Open your inner eyes. Be calm and remember your past life. do not inject venom of anger in your life. Rise above the deadly poison of anger.

Mahavir opened his ambrosia filled eyes. When the serpent met his gaze, it felt as if a wave of peace and tranquillity had engulfed its inner self. It appeared that its venom was slowly vanishing. It was lost in deep thoughts. Its dormant memory started unfolding and it acquired Jatismaran Jnan. Incidents from its past two births surfaced in its memory. It realized that it had suffered excruciating pain and degradation due to extreme anger and acute attachment during those births. The heat of repentance melted its vices.

Its spirit embraced enlightenment and mind became tranquil. It touched the pious feet of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami and resolved, “O Lord ! Now I will not look at any one at all throughout my life. I will not eat anything. I will not drink also. I will just put my mouth in the hole and lie still in the shadow of your feet. I will now at one for all my sins committed during the last three births and improve my future.”

Knowing that the serpent had become harmless, throngs of people started arriving from nearby villages. They worshipped the serpent-god by offering milk and sweets. But the serpent was lying, keeping its hood in the hole, in meditation without even a trace of movement . Swarms of ants were attracted by the sweets. They started stinging the serpent. But the serpent tolerated these afflictions with equanimity. It silently took the last vow (fast unto death). It tolerated the agony of hunger, thirst and the stings of ants. Its body became almost perforated, but it did not react at all. After fifteen days it died and was reborn as a god in the Sahasrar dimension.

Quashing of the flame :- once,

, leaving Shravasti, Shraman Vardhaman was going to Haliddug village. On the way he saw a large banyan tree. finding it suitable, he went under it and started his night meditation. It was winter and a cold wind was blowing. Gaushalak was also following him. As Gaushalak could not tolerate the piercing wind, he shifted to the other side of the tree. After some time some wayfarers also stopped under the tree. They collected dry wood and started a fire to cook food. They spent the night there and kept the fire burning.

The fire slowly spread and reached the spot where Mahavir was standing. Gaushalak shouted a warning. But Mahavir had no Early in the morning they broke camp and went away. The fire was left burning. Slowly it spread and engulfed the surrounding dry twigs and leaves gathered under the tree. The wind was blowing in the direction of meditating Mahavir. The fire slowly spread and reached the spot where Mahavir was standing. Gaushalak shouted a warning. But Mahavir had no awareness besides that for his soul. He was unmoved by the heat of the approaching flames. He was busy quashing the ultimate fire, the fire of rebirth. The flames reached him and scorched his feet. Even this acute pain did not reach the depth of his tranquillity. After some time the fire subsided on its own.

Torture by Kalahasti :-

Leaving Chorak village Mahavir arrived at the out skirts of Kalambuka village. This village was ruled by two brother, Megh and Kalahasti. Although they were landlords and chieftains. they were still involved in unlawful activities like looting the neighboring kingdom. Tying them with ropes, he tortured them inhumanely. When he still could extract no information from them be ordered them, to be taken to his elder brother, Megh, for further torture and interrogation.

Shackled like criminals, They were produced before Megh, who felt as if he was looking at a known face. He suddenly recalled that once he had seen prince Vardhaman at the court of king Siddharth. This shackled spy seemed to have an uncanny resemblance with the prince. He came closer and recognized that the person in bondage was none else but prince Vardhaman who had become a Shraman. He fell at the feet of Mahavir and, with tears of repentance in his eyes he begged to be forgiven. When released Mahavir resumed his journey

Among the aborigines :-

t was the fifth year of practices of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami. He moved into the Radh (or Ladh) country. This area was also known as Vajra Bhumi or Shubhra Bhumi and was inhabited by scant and scattered population of rustic aborigines. Gaushalak also followed Mahavir wherever he went. The people of this area did not know anything about ascetics and their ways. They stared in astonishment when they saw a naked person standing like a statue at godforsaken places. When they did not get any response or even reaction on shouting at him, they would get irritated and hit him with sticks, lances, bones and stones. Some on his body. Shraman Mahavir equally tolerated all these tortures and continued his advance toward purity.

He wandered from one place to another and once in a while came across small villages. Not so very often he would enter a village to beg food and mostly got dry and stale food. However, most of the time he went without any food. People would curiously stare at him and wild dogs would pounce on him and bite. For their crude entertainment, the aborigines would pick up Mahavir and throw him on the ground. Mahavir spent almost five months in that area during his first visit. Once again, during the ninth year of his practices, Mahavir returned to this area for about six months.

Saving Goshalak:- once

, while moving from Siddharthpur to Kurmar village Mahavir was passing through a dense forest. All of a sudden Gaushalak saw a Tapas ascetic in an opening on one side of the trail. On closer observation he saw that the hermit was busy doing some strange penance. He was standing facing the sun with his head hanging down and arms straight up. Long strands of his hair were hanging on the ground like roots of some old banyan tree. Due to the heat of sun rays, small insects, falling from his unkempt hair were writhing, and out of compassion, he was picking them up and putting them back in his dense locks of hair.

Gaushalak could not control his laughter seeing this strange activity. Jokingly he said, “O abode of insects! What do you think you are doing? You are gathering insects and considering this act to be a penance.” The hermit remained calm the first time. But when Gaushalak did not refrain from making biting remarks, the hermit looked at him with his burning eyes and said, “O vicious person! My name is Vaisyayan Tapas and I am the doom of ignorant fools like you.” Instead of jolting him to sanity, this scornful comment drew an insulting laughter from Gaushalak. The hermit now took a few steps back and angrily started emitting fire from his mouth (this is a miraculous power called Tejoleshya, acquired through long and harsh penance). Within no time, a ball of fire rushed towards Gaushalak, who retreated with fear and ran to Mahavir shouting in panic, “Sire! Save me. This Tapas will burn me.” Reaching Mahavir, Gaushalak fell at his feet.

Hearing the pathetic call of Gaushalak, Mahavir was moved. Turning back he saw the approaching fire ball. From the compassionate heart of Shraman Mahavir flowed a spontaneous stream of cool pacifying energy. When the nectar-glance of Mahavir fell on the fire-ball, it subsided. The angry hermit was astonished to see his fire-ball extinguished. He recognized Mahavir as a much greater and more benevolent power than he, and said, “Pardon me, O embodiment of benevolence! I did not know that this man was your disciple.” Gaushalak was saved from his imminent death.

Gaushalak was relieved. He asked, “Sire! What does this abode of insects say?” Mahavir replied, “He was just going to turn you to ashes with his fire-power. You were saved by me by my pacifying power. Do not disturb anyone in the future.”

Affictions by kataputna :- it

was an incident from the sixth year of the period of spiritual practices of Shraman Mahavir. It was the month of Magh, the peak of winter season. Chilling and biting winds were blowing. During the quiet part of the night in a lonely jungle, Mahavir was standing in meditation. All of a sudden, a witch named Kataputna came there. Seeing Mahavir deep in meditation she became angry for no apparent reason.

But there is nothing that happens without reason. There must certainly been some antagonism from some previous birth. As soon as the feeling surfaced, Kataputna lost her reason, and, in order to take her revenge of some forgotten deed from some past life, she started torturing Mahavir.

She took the form of a giant and ominous looking Parivrajak with long strands of hair. Filling ice cold water in her braided hair she sprayed that freezing water on Mahavir. The atmosphere was filled with the moaning sound of icy winds and demonic laughter of the witch. It was a horrific scene.

Mahavir, elevated completely into a higher spiritual realm, remained unmoved and serene. At last the witch accepted her defeat. She bowed to the feet of Shraman Mahavir and left. As a result of his total absorption in the self and his high purity of soul, Mahavir acquired the special mental powers of perceiving the whole physical world at will.

In the prison :-

During the sixth year of his practices, Mahavir one day went to the Kupiya village in the state of Videh, east of Vaishali. The village guards caught him and, taking him to be a spy, put him in prison. There were two female mendicants in the village. When they, Vijay and Pragalbh, heard that a spy disguised as a nude ascetic had been apprehended, they came to see him. Shraman Mahavir, tied up, was standing in meditation in the prison. The mendicants recognized him and became sad. They approached the guards and said, “You call yourself guardians of the state and people and you fail to distinguish a thief from a honest citizen. You do not find any difference between a Shraman and a smuggler. For your information, you are torturing Shraman Vardhaman, the ascetic son of king Siddharth. Have you no fear of the wrath of the gods?”

With this revelation the soldiers started trembling. They, at once, released Mahavir and sought his forgiveness. Shraman Mahavir just raised his palm a gesture of pardon and assurance and left for some other solitary place.

Deadly Torture by Sangam:- one day

 Shraman Mahavir was doing a special one night meditation in the Polash temple in Pedhal garden outside the Pedhal village. In this practice one makes his body, mind, psyche and soul absolutely still and tranquil. Observing the high degree of engrossment in meditation, Indra exclaimed, “You are great, Prabhu Vardhaman! Today you have no equal as an ascetic and serene, brave, and equanimous spiritualist.” Sangam, a god in Indra’s assembly, was peeved at this praise of a moral being. He retorted, “If Devraj promises not to interfere, I can disturb the concentration of Mahavir. It is a child’s play for me.”

Indra remained silent, through unwillingly. Considering it to be affirmative, Sangam, with all his cunning and power came to Polash temple. One after another he crated twenty almost fatal predicaments to disturb Mahaveer’s meditation.

He created a terrible sand storm an in no time Mahavir was submerged in a heap of sand. Mahavir, in his unshakable determination did not even close his eyes. As soon as the storm stopped, arrived a swarm of ants. Mahaveer’s body was covered with biting and stinging ants, but he remained still. After this, innumerable mosquito’s attacked Mahaveer’s body. After mosquitoes, came an attack by white ants turning him into a termite-hill. Scorpions crawled over his body and pierced it with poisonous stings. This was followed by biting mongoose, large cobras, and giant field rats.

After all this, appeared a white elephant that goaded Mahavir with its large pointed tusks. This elephant than lifted Mahavir in its trunks and tossed him up. When Mahavir fell on the ground, it crushed him with its legs. This was followed by an attack by an ominous looking ghost. Then a tiger attacked and gored Mahavir with its sharp talons.

When all these painful afflictions failed to disturb Mahaveer’s meditation, Sangam took a different approach. He created a realistic illusion of Siddharth and Trishla weeping and wailing profusely. But this too could not penetrate Mahaveer’s iron resolve. Sangam then lit a fire almost touching Mahaveer’s feet and started cooking. After this he took the form of a bird catcher and hung a number of cages on Mahavir. The birds attacked Mahavir with their beaks and talons through the gaps in the cages. Blood oozed from these new wounds. Then came a storm, torrential rain, and hail-storm. Nothing could disturb the rock hard resolve of Mahavir.

Now came a giant whirlwind; lifting and swirling everything that came in its path. Mahaveer’s body swirled but his mind remained stable. At last Sangam himself lifted a large mace and hit Mahavir. It was a heavy blow that buried Mahavir in the ground up to his knees but he did not even blink. After all these physical blows, Sangam resorted to a psychological attack. He arrived in his divine form riding a Viman (space vehicle) and said to Mahavir, “Why are you suffering so much and still standing on the earth. Come, I will take you to heaven with this mortal body of yours.” Mahavir did not respond.

Lastly Sangam produced sparsely clad fairies who approached Mahavir and undulated their voluptuous bodies invitingly. He also created an atmosphere conducive to lust. Mahavir never even shifted his icy gaze and his body remained reactionless.

All these twenty afflictions drained Sangram’s energy and he was tired. On the other hand even after tolerating these painful tortures Mahavir remained poised in his elevated state of meditation.

Refuge to the demon king :- In the

Vindhya range there lived a hermit named Puran. As a result of his rigorous penance’s he was reincarnated as the king of demons, Chamarendra. He had a bloated ego due to his natural powers and miraculous capacities. When through his demonic perception, he came to know that the king of gods, Shakrendra, had more glory and luxuries, his ego was hurt. He decided to subjugate the king of gods. He prepared to attack the abode of Shakrendra, the Saudharm Viman, with his demonic arsenal. But in case he faced defeat he wanted support from someone more powerful than him. On searching he found that Shraman Mahavir was the most suitable person.He immediately rushed to Sumsumarpur, where Mahavir was standing in meditation. After bowing to Mahavir he said, “Bhante! I, demon king Chamarendra, am going to fight with Saudharmendra Shakra, please protect me.” Saying thus and without waiting for a reply, he rushed to the assembly of gods and challenged the king of gods. Fro a moment Shakrendra was taken aback but when he saw that it was demon king Chamrendra, he calmly lifted his most potent weapon, the Vajra, and launched it at the demon king.

As the Vajra sped in the direction of Chamarendra it emitted bright sparks and thunderous sound. Afraid of this fierce weapon Chamarendra fled in the direction of the tree under which Mahavir stood in meditation. When Shakendra realized where Chamarendra was heading, he became worried about any possible damage the Vajra could cause to Mahavir. He at once rushed after fleeing Chamarendra to defuse the Vajra. It was a strange seen in the sky; first the demon king crying with fear, then the sparkling Vajra followed by the king of gods.

The demon king transformed himself into a tiny being and took refuge behind Mahaveer’s feet. He uttered, “Prabhu! I am under your protection, kindly save me.” As the Vajra was bout to hit him and explode, Indra caught it and disabled it Chamarendra was trembling with fear and Shakrendra was boiling with anger. Mahavir lifted his open palm and blessed them both. Indra said to Chamarendra, “Demon king! What you have done is unpardonable? But by taking refuge with Bhagwan Mahavir Swami you have tied my hands. As he has forgiven you I am leaving you unharmed. You may go.” The demon king, free of the fear of fear and the king of gods, free of anger, bowed before Bhagwan Mahavir Swami and left for their respective abodes.

The deliverance of chandana:- f

rom the capital town Kaushambi, king Shatanik ruled over the state of Vats. His chief queen Mrigavati was the daughter of Maharaj Chetak of Vaishali republic. Anga was neighboring state and its capital was Champa. The king of this state was Maharaj Dadhivahan. His queen Dharini was the younger daughter of Chetak. Dharini had a daughter named Vasumati who was very beautiful as well as graceful.

Once, when king Dadhivahan had gone with his army to assist a neighboring king, Shatanik attacked Champa. The cruel soldiers of Kaushambi plundered Champa. The general and a great Charioteer of Kaushambi, Kakmukh was attracted more by beauty rather than riches. He entered the palace and kidnapped queen Dharini and Vasumati. On the way when Kakmukh intended to violate her chastity, queen Dharini committed suicide. When Vasumati also threatened to do so, he had a change of heart. He took her to his home as a daughter. When his wife did not tolerate Vasumati, he was persuaded by Vasumati to auction her in the slave market and please his wife with the proceeds.

Kakmukh took Vasumati to the slave market. In the auction the highest bidder was a courtesan from Kaushambi. There was an altercation when Vasumati refused to go with her.

Just at that moment a rich merchant from Kaushambi arrived there. Seeing the commotion he inquired, “What is going on here?”

Someone from the crowd said, “Today a slave girl, lifted from Champa, has been bought for sale at a hundred thousand gold pieces. She looks like a divine beauty. A courtesan has bought her but she refuses to go with her. She appears to be a high born and chaste girl.”

Immediately the merchant entered the slave market. He looked at the princes and was immediately drawn to analyzing the situation, “no, she cannot be a slave girl. She is a divine person. O lord! How evil the prevailing conditions have become! Such inhuman torture to such a delicate and cultured girl. A lovely girl in such a wretched predicament.” The merchant was moved. He approached Vasumati and said, “Child, I am merchant Dhanavah. I am a follower of Nirgranth Shramans and live in this town. Looking at your troubles I feel depressed. If you do not wish to go with the courtesan I will not allow this to go with the courtesan I will not allow this to happen. I will buy you by paying a hundred thousand gold pieces. Would you come with me? Would you live with me as my daughter?”

An orphan princess, sold as a slave, arrived at the house of merchant Dhanavah. But his wife, Mula, became doubtful as soon as she saw the divinely beautiful girl entering her household. The moment Mula set her eyes on Vasumati she saw a rival for the favors of her husband. Sown were the seeds of doubt even for her upright husband.

Due to her sweet demeanor Vasumati had a magical influence over the household. The fragrance of her poise and coolness of her nature inspired Dhanavah to call her Chandan (sandal wood). His wife Mula was smitten with envy. She thought that this poisonous flower should be nipped in the bud.

One day, merchant Dhanavah left the town on some business errand. This was a golden opportunity for Mula. She relieved all the servants of the household, called Chandana, replaced her beautiful dress with rags, took off all of her ornaments, tied her in shackles and shaved her long silky hair. Chandana uttered in surprise, “Mother, what are you doing? I have done no harm to you. For what misdeed are you punishing me?”

Mula silenced Chandana, put her in a dark cell, locked it and left. Dhanavaha returned on the third day. When he saw the house abandoned he was taken aback. He called, “Chandan, O Chandan !” but no one replied. He went at the back of the house and shouted once again. Chandana shouted back, “Father, I am here, in the cellar on the back side.”

The

merchant went in and saw that the cellar was locked. Looking through the bars of the iron gate he saw Chandana in her wretched condition and started crying, “What happened to my daughter? What evil soul has done this to you?” Chandana replied calmly, “Father, get me out first and then I will tell you everything.”

The merchant broke the lock and brought out Chandana . She asked, “Father, I have not taken even a drop of water for last three days. Please give me something to eat and drink.” The merchant went around the house but everything was locked. Not even a utensil was available. He saw a basket containing a handful of dried pulse-bran meant for cows. He took the basket and put it before Chandana, “Child, eat some of this. I shall call a blacksmith to cut your shackles.”

The impossible Resolution :- it

was the 12th year of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami’s spiritual practices. Spending the monsoon-stay at Vaishali he came to a garden in Kaushambi. It was the time around which the incidents of Shatanik’s attack on Champa, fall of Champa, sacrifice of queen Dharini, auction of princess Vasumati as a slave, etc. were occurring. Bhagwan Mahavir Swami with his penetrating knowledge and perception had a glimpse of all this. He made an almost impossible resolution on the first day of the dark half of the month of Paush.

“I will accept alms for breaking my fast only from a princess that has become a slave. And that too only if she has a shaven head, her limbs are shackled, she has not eaten for three days, she is sitting on the threshold of a house, she has pulse-bran lying in a basket and she has a smile as well as tears in her eyes. Unless these conditions are met I resolve to continue my practice and not to break my fast.”

Four months passed since Bhagwan Mahavir Swami started going from door to door to beg in the town of Kaushambi.

One day Mahavir approached the house of the chief minister of Kaushambi, Sugupta. Sugupta’s wife, Nanda was a devotee of Bhagavan Parshvanath and was acquainted with the ways of ascetic Shramans. Looking at Mahashraman Vardhaman approaching her house for alms, she became enthralled. She requested Prabhu to accept pure and ascetic food. Mahavir turned back without accepting anything. Nanda became disappointed. Cursing her bad luck she said, “Mahashraman Vardhaman came to my house and, what a misfortune, I could not provide him anything.”

Nanda’s maids reassured her, “Lady, why are you so dejected, this ascetic has been approaching almost every household in Kaushambi for alms and without taking a single grain or uttering a word he is returning back. We have been witnessing all this for the last four months. This is nothing unique at your place so why be dismayed?”

The words of the maid added to Nanda’s distress, “What! The Mahashraman is returning without alms for last four months. That means Prabhu has been on fast for four months and I have not been on fast for four months and I have not been able to serve him. How unlucky I am?”

At that moment minister Sugupta arrived. Nanda told him everything.

Sugupta also became worried. King Shatanik and queen Mrigavati also got the news that Shraman Mahavir was wandering in Kaushambi without food or water for four months. Everyone was sad and worried. The ruling family for Bhagwan Mahavir Swami’s Darshan and requested him to accept food. But he was unmoved.

Five months and twenty five days had passed since Bhagwan Mahavir Swami had eaten anything. The twenty sixth day of the sixth month dawned. It was past noon when Prabhu Vardhaman, wandering for alms, was approaching the house of merchant Dhanavah. An expectant crowd followed him.

Chandana was sitting on the threshold of the cellar, one feet inside and the other outside. In her hand was a basket and in the basket, stale pulse-bran. When she looked at the shackles on her limbs a broken dream emerged in her memory and she became lost. All of a sudden she heard the sound of approaching footsteps, and a murmur of a crowd. She looked up and found that the great savior Sharaman Mahavir was standing at her door. Chandana became enthralled. She thought, “Thank lord! You have yourself come to my rescue from this pitiable condition.” A glow of happiness dawned on her face. She forgot all her misery, the pain turned into joy as if every cell in her body was dancing. She tried to stand, “Welcome O lord! Please accept something from these wretched hands.” Prabhu took a step forward and stopped. Twelve out of the thirteen conditions were visible, only Chandana had no tears in her eyes, Mahavir turned and started moving away.

As

 soon as Mahavir turned, Chandana’s joy vanished as if struck by lightening, “How unlucky I am that even in this wretched condition Prabhu has returned empty handed from my door.” Filled with self pity she started crying.

Mahavir turned back and looked. All conditions of his resolution were visible now. He stepped ahead and extended her cupped palms before Chandana. Joyous Chandana took the pulse-bran from the basket and put it in the extended palms of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami. Mahavir broke his fast.

The next moment Chandana’s shackles shattered to pieces. Divine drums sounded in the sky. Divine applause echoed from all directions, “Hail the alms-giving.” Flowers, fragrant water and perfumes showered from the sky and the courtyard of Dhanvah was filled with heaps of gems. Her beauty had magnified thousand fol. Gods and goddesses adorned Chandana with beautiful garments and ornaments.

This resolution of the period of penance of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami may be deemed as the first step of the human endeavor for women’s liberation.

Last calamity:- after

 spending the twelfth monsoon-stay of his period of practices in Champa, Bhagwan Mahavir Swami arrived outside a village named Chhammani and stood in meditation. It was dusk and a cowherd was returning home from his farm he said, “Ascetic! Please look after my oxen, I will return in a few minutes”, and he left.

The cowherd went into the village and returned a little late. The oxen had drifted away grazing. Not finding his oxen, he asked, “Ascetic, where are my oxen?”

Mahavir was in deep meditation and unaware of all this. The cowherd asked again, and once again he did not get any response. He got irritated and shouted, “You hypocrite! Are you deaf, don’t you hear anything?”

Mahavir still did not respond. The cowherd lost his temper, “You pretender,-it seems that both your ears are useless. Wait a minute, I will give you proper treatment.” He picked long nail like thorns from a nearby shrub of Kansa grass and pierced the ears of Mahavir deeply by hammering the thorns in.

Even such excruciating agony did not move Mahavir from his meditation, neither did it evoke any feeling of anger or aversion in him.

Completing his meditation in normal course he went inside the village for alms. He arrived at the door of a trader named Siddharth. A friend of the trader was sitting with him. He was a doctor. Both of them gave pure food to Mahashraman with due respect.

Doctor Kharak told Siddharth, “Friend, the face of this Shraman has a divine glow but there is a shade of tiredness too. Some inner pain is visible in his eyes. I feel this great sage suffers from some inner agony.”

Siddharth replied, “Friend, if such a great sage suffers from some kind of pain, we should immediately go and treat him.”

After taking alms Mahashraman returned. Taking Doctor Kharak with him, Siddharth followed. Going into the garden, where Prabhu rested, when the two exclaimed him they found the tow thorns stuck in his ears. Kharak shivered with remorse. The friends then arranged for necessary instruments and medicines. They used some medicated oil and forceps and pulled out he thorns. This caused such an unbearable agony to Mahavir that an anguished cry was forced out of him. Blood oozed out of his ears. The doctor dressed the wound with some coagulant.

Ten great dreams :- once

after some deep and exhausting spiritual practice Bhagwan Mahavir Swami was extremely tired. The exhaustion resulted in a slumber for a few moments during the last hour of the night and Mahavir saw ten strange drams.

The ten scenes of Mahaveer’s dream and the interpretations of Utpal are as follows-

Dream Interpretation by Utpal
Defeating a Tal demon You will soon destroy the Mohaniya Karma (illusory Karma).
A bird with white feathers is in attendance You will always have purest attitude or feelings.
A bird with multicolored feathers is around You will propagate multifaceted knowledge through the twelve Angas (canons).
Two gem strings appear in front (Utpal could not understand the fourth scene. On his inquiry Mahavir explained.) I will preach two way religion… the conduct of ascetics and the conduct of laity.
A herd of white cows is in front. The four pronged organization (Shraman, Shramani, Shravak, Shravika) will serve you.
A pond with open lotuses. Gods from four dimensions will serve you.
Crossed a waxy ocean swimming. You will cross the ocean of rebirths.
Sun rays are spreading in all directions. Soon you will get enlightenment or omniscience.
Encircling the Manushottar mountain with your bluish intestines. You will pervade the universe with your pure glory.
Sitting on a throne placed on the summit of the mountain Meru. You will give religious discourse sitting on a high throne.

The light of omniscience:- observing

bserving the details of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami’s twelve year period of spiritual practices it becomes evident that his practices combined four qualities-1. Deep and undisturbed meditation, 2. Rigorous penance, 3. Extreme tolerance of pain, and 4. Ultimate equanimity.

It was the tenth day of the bright half of the month of Vaishakh. Twelve years five months and fifteen days had passed since the beginning of Mahaveer’s spiritual practices. Prabhu Mahavir sat in mediation under a Saal tree in a garden on the back of Rijubaluka river. Sitting on both feet with knees touching his chest, he was feeling calm even in the scorching summer sun. Focusing all his physical, mental and spiritual energies he was engrossed in deep and pure meditation. Gradually the sun was setting in the west and within the soul of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami the sun of omniscience was rising. As soon as the dark clouds of four deeply binding Karmas scattered, the all enlightening sun of omniscience dawned. The physical world was being envelop by the darkness of night but the spiritual would was being filled with the light of infinite rays of knowledge. The endeavor had reached the summit of success and attained the goal. Mahavir had become Bhagavan (God), Jina (Victor), Sarvajna (all knowing), and Sarvadarshi (all perceiving). As soon as he became omniscient a soothing light spread in the three worlds for a few seconds. The living world was filled with a strange feeling of hitherto unknown bliss.

The First Discourse

After a twelve and a half year long period of extreme spiritual practices Shraman Vardhaman acquired the ultimate perception (Kewal Darshan), and ultimate knowledge (Kewal Jnan or omniscience). To greet and eulogize the first ray of the divine sun of Mahaveer’s infinite knowledge, innumerable gods and goddesses from heavens landed on the earth. Doing Vandana of Prabhu Mahavir they celebrated the ultimate attainment (Kivalya).

Traditionally a Tirthankar preaches the religion of equanimity (Ahimsa) immediately after his gaining omniscience. To take advantage of the first divine discourse of Mahavir the gods created the divine pavilion (Samavasaran) on the pious banks of Rijubaluka river. Numerous gods were engrossed in listening the discourse.

The gods may admire and eulogize truth, discipline, and virtues but they cannot do spiritual practices by taking vows. Only man is Capable of entering the discipline of spiritual practices. As such, it is aid that in absence of a human being the first discourse of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami was a failure in context of spiritual gains as none of those present took any vow.

From the bank of Rijubaluka river Mahavir came to Madhyam Pava. A divine pavilion was created in the Mahasen jungle.

During that month of Vaishak Som Shrama had organized a great yajna. Eleven famous and great scholars with their 4400 disciples had come to participate in this Yagna. Thousands of people from far and near were arriving to behold the pious flames of the Yajna. Thus, Mhahyam Pava had become a place of pilgrimage.

On

hearing of the sudden arrival of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami, Pandit Som Sharma become worried and disturbed due to the anti Yajan attitude of the Shraman culture. He went to the chief guide of the Yajna, Mahapandit Indrabhuti. They all confabulated but were short of ideas. Indrabhuti finally said, “Shraman Vardhaman is certainly a person to reckon with. He has the power of spiritual practice and fire of penance but still in knowledge he will prove to be no match for us. With out unmatched power of knowledge we should be able to defeat him now and subjugate a rising adversary in time. We need not worry. It is probable that this pious day may turn out to be the day of our ultimate victory.”

This hope filled assurance form Mahapandit Indrabhuti made all the other scholars happy. Som Sharma started dreaming of the victory of the Brahman Yajna organization. Indrabhuti with this 500 disciples proceeded to confront Mahavir.

Indrabhuti and the Self

Indrabhuti’s mind got a shock the moment he put his first step inside the divine pavilion. His mind got agitated. From the distance he saw the astonishing glow on the face of Shraman Mahavir. When the powerful sun rays fall on the Himalayan ice caps the ice starts melting. Similarly Indrabhuti’s ego started melting. He felt as if streams of doubt and uncertainty had started emerging and flowing.

“Indrabhuti Gautam! You have arrived?”

The

deep resonant voice of Prabhu Mahavir fell on Indrabhuti’s ears the moment he entered the third gate of the assembly. “Mahavir recognizes me!” Indrabhuti was astonished; he thought, “Of course, he must have heard of me, the world famous scholar.”

“Indrabhuti Gautam, although you are a great scholar of Vedas, you are still doubtful of the existence of soul.” When these words in the imposing voice of Mahavir echoed in the ears of Indrabhuti he was stunned.

Prabhu sweetly uttered in friendly tone, “Indrabhuti Gautam, you doubt about if the soul is based on your knowledge of the Vedas. But the same Vedas contain undeniable proof of independent existence of the soul. Have you ever thought what is a soul? Who is it? and who is it that has this knowledge is the cognizant factor of soul. Soul is an entity that is formless and beyond the sensory realm, it can be perceived not through the sense organs but through direct intuitive experience . . .”

Listening to the Vedic aphorisms and irrefutable logic of Mahavir about the existence of soul, Indrabhuti’s doubts were removed. His ego melted. With the rising of humility the divine ray of truth became visible. The darkness within Gautam was dispelled. With overflowing respect and curiosity Gautam fell at the feet of Prabhu Mahavir.

“Prabhu, I came with a desire to be victorious, but now I am only a seeker of knowledge. Please bestow on me the infinite knowledge of truth. I wish to become a disciple and sit at your divine feet.”

“You are welcome, O beloved of gods!” Mahavir uttered equally. Indrabhuti Gautam became the first disciple of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami. His five hundred disciples were also initiated by Mahavir into the order. The sky reverberated with sounds of hailing.

The news of initiation of Gautam brought shadow soft gloom over the Yajna site where the scholars were waiting. But the second great scholar, Agnibhuti, summoned courage and said, “I will go and bring back my brother by defeating Mahavir.”

Agnibhuti also arrived at the religious assembly with hi five hundred disciples. As soon as he entered the pavilion and approached Mahavir, Mahavir said, “Agnibhuti, your senior has his cobwebs of doubt cleared, he has now become unambiguous. Now you should also remove your quandary about the fruits of Karma. As the existence of soul is self evident, it is also established that it is soul that is the doer of the Karma (action) and the sufferer of its consequences (fruit).”

The

moment his doubt was removed the shackles of dogmas shattered. With the vanishing of ego a stream of faith started flowing within Agnibhuti. He also submitted before the omniscience of Shraman Mahavir along with his 500 disciples.

The youngest brother of Indrabhuti, Vayabhuti, also decided to try his luck with his 500 disciples. As a thirsty person stops at a source of clean water, Vayabhuti stayed with Mahavir and along with his 500 disciples joined Mahaveer’s order.

Great scholars like Vyakta and Arya Sudharma also came and removing their doubts became Mahaveer’s disciples along with 500 followers each. Similarly, Mauryaputra and Akampit with their 350 disciples each; Achalbhrata, Metarya, and Prabhas each with 300 disciples got initiated into Mahaveer’s order.

Thus, eleven great scholars were inducted with their 4400 disciples into Mahaveer’s order during his first discourse.

Establishment of the Jain Order

The eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Vaishakh is considered to be the date of the historical glory of the Jain tradition. On the tenth of the same month, Bhagwan Mahavir Swami attained omniscience, so the day is important as the occasion of his personal triumph. But from the view point of establishing the religious organization (Tirth/Ford) the eleventh is the most important day. It was on this day that the eleven great Brahman scholars rid themselves of their egos of superiority by birth and the misconceptions, and were initiated into the Shraman tradition based on equanimity and Ahimsa. They became the chief disciples or Ganadhars of Mahavir. In Jain tradition, the Ganadhar is the most exalted spiritual person after the Tirthankar. Thousands of other men and women were also converted, many of whom became ascetics and others who took vows for laity.

Princess Chandanbala, who had fulfilled the complex resolve of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami, was also waiting for this auspicious day. As soon as she received the news of Mahaveer’s omniscience, she was over-joyed. She reached divine pavilion by the fastest available means. She was also accompanied by many worthy women. After listening to the discourse she became the first woman ascetic disciple of Mahavir.

Shankh and Shatak with many other rich and prominent citizens joined Mahaveer’s order as lay followers. Sulasa and many other women also joined the religious family. Thus, the land of Mahasen jungle in Madhyam Pava and the eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Vaishakh became the blessed land and the blessed day respectively.

The achievements:- the twelve year

spiritual practices of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami was the basis of his personal achievement of omniscience and the status of Arihant/Tirthankar. After his enlightenment the remaining thirty years of his life were devoted to the welfare of the living world. During this period he revolutionized human thought and shattered many long established misconceptions and curses of traditional dogmas. His deeds and achievements in the fields of human welfare and upliftment as well as his contribution to the storehouse of human knowledge may be briefly summed up as:

1. He opposed the wanton human and animal sacrifice and the misleading rituals in the name of religious Yajnas for benefits in the next life. As a more humane and rational alternative he showed the path of Ahimsa.

2. He broke the established tradition of depriving women in general and men of lower castes from the formal study of scriptures and indulging in many religious activities. He was bold enough to initiate people from this section of society into his religious order. he provided equal rights an opportunities to all for study and practice of religion. He successfully rooted out the caste system in his area of influence at social and spiritual level.

3. Under his influence the established norms of social status based on caste, wealth, power and grandeur were shattered and new norms of social status based on virtues and moral and ethical values were established.

4. He used Ardha-Magadhi, the lingua-franca of that period for his discourses. Giving importance to folk culture and language of the masses over Sanskrit, the language of scholarly few and the upper class, he preached in eloquent and attractive style.

5. For the ascetics of his school pursuing the path of detachment with the help of discipline, penance, chanting and meditation, he also prescribed regular indulgence in activities of social welfare. His order included people from all sections of the society-Indrabhuti Gautam and many others from the Brahmin caste; Shalibhadra, Dhanna, and many others from the Vaishya caste; Megh Kumar, Nandishen, etc. from the Kshatriya caste; and Maitarya, Arjunmali, etc. from the Shudra caste. Among women prominent in his order Chandanabala, Mrigavati, Kali, etc. were from ruling families and Subhadra, Revati, etc. were from the merchant class.

6. The Shravakas (householders) in his organization included people from all walks of life. Udayi, Shrenik, Ajatshatru, etc. were kings; Anand was a farmer, Saddalputra was a potter; and Sulas was a butcher.

7. The religious organization of Mahavir was founded on virtues like detachment, equanimity, knowledge and discipline.

8. The original contributions of Mahavir were Ahimsa as the basis of code of conduct and relativity of thought (Anekant) as the basis of spiritual purity and equanimity.

9. As Mahavir had millions, of admires and followers, he also had opponents like Gaushalak and decenters like Jamali. For 5 to 6 years Jamali moved with Mahavir as his disciple. But later, driven by ambition and lust for popularity he became Mahaveer’s opponent. He projected himself as omniscient and Tirthankar. The feeling of envy burning within him made him attack Mahavir and try to burn him. But the great pacifying powers of a true Tirthankar defeated him. Compassionate Mahavir still forgave him and advised to work for purity of the soul.

The liberation:- At

t the request of king Hastipal Mahavir spent his last monsoon-stay at Pavapuri (Apapapuri at the age of 72 years. When about three and a half months passed he became aware that the end of his life is approaching. Ganadhar Gautam was overly attached with Mahavir. He may not be completely swept away by the sorrow of separation- thinking thus Mahavir directed him to go and enlighten Brahman Som Sharma.

On The fifteenth day of the dark half of the month of Kartik Mahavir was observing a two days fast. He sat in the Samavasaran and gave his last discourse which became famous as Uttaradhyayan Sutra, Vipak Sutra, etc.

Just before the hour of midnight he shed all his remaining Karmas and attained Nirvana. For a few moments the whole world was enveloped in darkness.

Gods dispelled the darkness with the help of gems and humans lit earthen lamps to have the last glimpse of their savior. In memory of that day people celebrate the festival of lights or Dipawali.

Hearing about the Nirvana of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami, Ganadhar Gautam became sad and melancholic. But soon he came out of it and progressed on the path of purity with help of extreme detachment. Jumping the levels of spiritual purity he acquired omniscience the next morning.

Gods and human beings celebrated jointly the events of attainment of Nirvana by Mahavir and omniscience by Ganadhar Gautam. After the Nirvana of Mahavir the responsibility of heading the large religious order came to his fourth chief disciple Arya Sudharmaswami.

After Arya Sudharmaswami the order was headed by his disciple Arya Jambuswami. After the Nirvana of Arya Jambuswami (406 Before Vikram) the tradition of omniscients became extinct from Bharat area for this descending cycle of time.

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Ankit Mehta

Jai Jinendra

Parshvanath Bhagwan (23rd Tirthankara)

Ankit mehta

Bhagwan Parshwanath, the most worshippable, Tirthankara in the present Chauvishi had nine birth incarnations before he had been to born to the queen VAMA of the king ASHWASEN at Varanasi on the eleventh day of dark half moon midnight of Gujarati Month Magshirsh. His nine previous births are:

Marubhuti
An Elephant
Heavenly god in Sahstra heaven
Kiranveg Vidyadhar
Heavenly god in Achyuta heaven
Vajranabh
Heavenly god in Nav Graiveyak
Kanakbahu Cakrin
Heavenly god in Pranat Heaven and last one as Parshwanath

From the birth of Marubhuti he had entangled with Kamath Tapas. This continued until the last birth. When he was in the eighth birth he had undertaken Tapa of Vissthanak Padas and made sure to have strong bond of Tirthankara Naam Karma. Later on he went to 10th heaven. When he was in heaven he attended 500 auspicious occasions of Tirthankaras. He again bonded solidly with Adeya Naam Karma, one of the 103 Karma prakrutis. Hence, he is called Purushdaniya Parshwanath. Therefore, he is being worshipped very much nowadays. Notable five Kalyanaks of Parshwanath are as under:

Chyavan kalyanak
Janma Kalyanak—Magashirsh Vad Dasaham
Diksha Kalyanak—Magashirsh Vad Agiyarash
Keval gyan Kalyanak—Fagan Vad Chaudash and
Moksha Kalyanak.— Shravan Vad Aatham

When he was in the womb of Vama she saw a huge serpent passing through her bedside so he is named as Parshwa after his birth. When he grew up he married to Prabhavati a daughter of king Prasenjit.

Encounter with Kamath Tapas
Once upon a time Parshwa was sittin in the balcony with his queen Prabhavati, he heard noise and shouting on the road. He called upon a servant and inquired about it. He learnt that a Tapas had come at the outskirts of Varanasi and carrying out Yagya and had hypnotized the people of the town with his magic power. Parshwa went to the spot due to curiosity. He asked some irritating questions to Tapas. Tapas was irritated and turned angry. However, Parshwa was as cool as ice. He did not pay attention to the words of Tapas. He, then asked his servants to break open cautiously the burning wooden piece as there were twin serpents inside it.

Servants opened it and found the facts. Twin serpents were half burnt and already on the verge of loosing their conciousness. Again Parshwa asked his servants to let the twin serpents listen the “Namaskar Mahamantra.” Servants obliged to the order and said Mahamantra. At the end of their life they went to Patal-loka and turned to be Husband and wife as Dharnendra and Padmavati respectively. (Details can be had from Parshwa-Dharnendra Nexus by Prof. M.A. Dhaky) Later on Tapas was downgraded by the audience and gathered heavy spite and deceit for Parshwa. He died and due to his pre-determined Tapas he turned to be heavenly god in the Meghkumar category. His name mentioned in the scripture as “MEGHMALI.”

Here Parshwa left the scene as if nothing had happened. His time for initiation drew near and Lokantik Gods came to remind him for the initiation. Before he set out for renunciation of the world, charity custom began to relinquish all the worldly wealth for the one year. After completion of the charity work, he embraced the royal path to salvation. At this stage he attained fourth Gyan called ManahParyaya.

Last and final encounter with Kamath
Once upon a night time Parshwa was meditating near “AHICATRA” town at present in UP. He was so concentrated vigorously in the meditations, he had forgotten the outer world and totally in the own SOUL, Kamath due to predetermined vow realized because of his Gyan that Parshwa was alone now and he could satisfy his will. He came down to earth and started harassing Parshwa in whatever possible means he could. He did not get success. He then produced with the help of his divine power the huge gathering of the dark clouds and started raining heavily with horrible thunderstorms and lightening. He did it so vehemently and dangerously that the outskirts of the Ahicatra town was submerged with the flood waters. The water rose to the level of the nose of Parshwa.

The throne of Dharnemdra shook. He used his divine knowledge to know the cause of the shaking. He realized the matter. He understood his important duties and with his queen Padmavati, rushed to the spot of scene at once. They came there paid salute to the Parshwa and also asked for his pardon. Realizing their duties, Padmavati generated beautiful and fragranceful huge Lotus. She sat under the lotus and kept Parshw who was in the standing posture at that time in the lotus. Dharnendra also created shelter in the form of huge and decorated umbrella over the head of Parshwa.

Now as the water level grows, the lotus move in the upward direction and due to umbrella shelter Parshwa was protected from the obstacles produced by the Kamath. Later on stabilizing the Parshw and assisting him in his meditations, Dharnendra, formulated his another form and told Kamath to withdraw his divine power and allow Parshwa to meditate smoothly. Adamant Kamath did not listen to the advices and started quarreling with Dharnendra. Ultimately, Dharnedra won over and Kamath left the field defeated. Both Dharnendra and Padmavati after paying and praying worship to Parshwa also withdraw their divine power and left for their palatial residence. As the night was over Parshwa finished his meditations without knowing what had happened during night and moved from there for another place. The very important thing is to learn from this incident. Kamath and Dharnedra were doing their respective jobs, one for destruction and other for protecting respectively, Parshwa was neither had attachment to Dharnedra nor did he have spite for Kamath. He was “STHITPRAGYA” in terms of Bhagwad Gita.

Parshwa attained Omniscience after 84 days of initiation. He then turned to be BHAGWAN PARSHWANATH. He established his own four-fold order. Aray Shubh Duatt became the principal Gandhar of that order. The souil of Ashadhi Shravak became Aryaghosh gandhar. The tonk of Shubh Gandhar is situated on holy pilgrimage place of Sammetshikhar. Parshwanath then moved for several years on this earth, devoting his life to annihilate the Tirthanakar Naam Karm. As his end of life drew near he approached Sammetshikhar and accepted Anasan with THIRTY THREE monks including his principal Gandhar. As the life remained for few samayas he stopped all the yogas of Mind, Speech and Body and attained 14th and last qualitative step of spiritual ladder “AYOGI GUNASTHANAK.” Within the time required to speak five “Harshva” letters his soul relinquished its body forever and left for his salvation abode seat from where any soul never returns to this horrible and torturous world. The soul of Parshwanath now enjoys eternal peace and bliss.

Following are the names of Gandhar of Parshwanath

1 Aray Shubh Datta
2 Arya Ghosha
3 Arya Vashishta
4 Arya Brahma
5 Arya Soma
6 Arya Shridhar
7 Arya Virbhadra
8 Arya Yashobhadra
9 Arya Jaya
10 Arya Vijay

Numbers in Parshwanath Organisation:

Sadhu: 16000
Sadhvi: 38000
Shravak:164000
Shravika:327000

Courtsey

Trishasthi salaka purush of Kalikaal Sarvagya Hemcandrasuri The history of Shankheshwar Parshwanath

Jain History had recorded that the 23rd Tirthankara, Bhagwan Parshwanath was to be born in the present Chauvishi. Bhagwan Damodarswami, the 8th Tirthankara of last Uttasarpini forecasted the story of Parshwanath before Ashadhi Shravak. Ashadhi Shravak was one of the staunch disciple and polite Shravak of Bhagwan Damodarswami.

Once upon a time he had been to the assembly of Damodarswami and after listening to his sermons he was worried about his emancipation and salvation. He stood up and politely requested the Tirthankara to foretell about his Salvation time. Tirthankara replied “O! Good and fortunate Shravak! You will achieve the Salvation in the time of 23rd Tirthankara Parshwanath in the forth coming Avasarpini in Bharatkshetra. You will become his Gandhara, named Aryaghosha.”

Listening and learning from very honourable Tirthanakar Shri Damodarswami, he felt ease and became very happy that he would be the Gandhar of 23rd Tirthankar Parshwanath in the nxt Avasarpini. However, he did not forget that Bhagwan Parshwanath would be his GURU and in his time he would achieve salvation, he asked further to Damodarswami the structure and form of Parshwanath. The compassionate Bhagwan described the structure as under and also told brief history of Parshwanath.

Parshwanath would be 10 Haath in height and would have Azure colour of the body. Ashadhi Shravak fully engrossed with the structure of his benevolent Tirthankara, started to create the images of Parshwanath. He created three images of Bhagwan Parshwanath. They are called now as CHARUP PARSHWANATH at village Charup near Mehsana in Gujarat, ANTARIKSHJI near Nasik in Maharashtra and SHANKHESHWAR PARSHWANATHJI at Shankheshwar in Gujarat. Charup Parshwanath was originally known as Shamla Parshwanath. It is said that this Charup Parshwanath too was miraculous image. In the past it showed four types of forms everyday. Ashadhi shravak was worshipping his Bhagwan beyond our imaginations after constructing the images. He worshipped them with four categories; such as Naam, Sthapna, Dravya and Bhav. Always one finds him worshipping the images and remains in continuous touch with them. He was so connected with these idols that he remained disconnected with the worldly happenings. His end came near and his light of soul was to extinguish. He died but he was in the meditation of Parshwanath. He went to heaven. He used his divine knowledge to know from where he had come to this heaven. He knew it was the affect of his worshipping the image of Parshwanath. He brought one image to the heaven and worshipped it everyday until his end. He finished his heavenly life span.

The Parshwanath image, which he took to heaven, is now taken over by Dharnedra and Padmavati. They took it to their palatial residence at Patal-Loka. They worshipped there for millions of year with utmost devotion as they knew that their up-gradation from the worldly life would be due to Parshwanath. The time is passing like flow of water and as dew drops fall from lotus leaf. In the present Avasarpini, that is also called current Chauvishi, the first Tirthankara Rishbhadev born to Marudeva and Nabhi and his lineage was termed as ISHWAKU. Several Tirthankaras were born in the same “ISHWAKU”. Then came the turn of YADAV lineage in which child celibate, 22nd Tirthankara Bhagwan Neminath was born to queen Shivadevi of king Samudravijay. Neminath and Narayan Krishna were cousin brothers. Approximately 100,000 years were left to finish the 4th wheel of time cycle in the present Avasarpini. In this fourth wheel of time cycle there were twelve Cakrins, nine Narayanas, nine prati-Narayanas and nine Baldev along with twenty three Tirthankaras. Bhagwan Rishbhadev happened to be in the third wheel of time cycle. The image of Parshwanath continued to be worshipped by Dharnedra and Padmavati during this entire period in the Patal-loka.

When Krishna was narayan, at the same time there was prati-narayan, named Jarasangha. He was elder than Krishna. There was a war between Narayan and prati narayan to establish supremacy of power. This is the natural phenomena. The army of Krishna was defeated by Jarasangha when Jarasangha called his divine power named as “JARA.” This divine power when used entire army of Krishna went in to Coma. Narayan Krishna was worried because Jara could not affect only Neminath and Krishna and his step brother Baldev. He consulted Neminath for the remedies.

Neminath advised him to bring the miraculous idol of Parshwanath from Patal-loka after pleasing Dharnedra and Padmavati. He also showed the path to bring it. He asked Krishna to sit in the meditation for three consecutive days without food and water and please the god and goddess. He also informed him that he would protect his army for three days without any assistance and alone from the onslaught of Jarasangha and his army. Narayan Krishna went for meditation and pleased Dharanedra and Padmavati. They appeared before him and asked for the favour. Krishna saluted them and politely requested them to provide him with that miraculous image of Parshwanath. Although they were reluctant to provide it but due to the involvement of Neminath, bind through the worship of Krishna and most important thing was that the time had ripened for the appearance of that image of Parshwanath on this earth, they gave that image to Krishna. They then disappeared. Krishna was delighted and as advised by Neminath he carried out Snatra and Puja of that image. He collected the Snatra-Jal and returned to the war-front. He sprinkled this Sntra-jal over the unconscious bodies of his soldiers. They woke up with the sprinkling and ready for fighting.

Then Krishna entered in to the war field. He too was defeated and to kill him Jarasangha called his ultimate powerful armory tool Cakra. He left the Cakra after revolving it on his finger towards Krishna. It was so luminous and gorgeous that except Neminath, Krishna and Baldev others could not see it. It came rushing towards Krishna. It hit him and he fell down unconsciously. After some time he regained his conciousness and hold the same Cakra on his first finger of the right hand. He then forcefully threw it towards Jarasangha. Cakra this time showed its charismatic act. It killed Jarasangha and Krishna was proclaimed and established last Narayan of this Chauvishi.

He blew up his crouch loudly for the celebration of his victory over Jarasangha. He then set out for the establishment of the image of Parshwanath at the place near war front. He constructed a town and named it as “SHANKHPUR.” as he blew the crouch there. He named the image as “Shankheshwar.” This was the second renovation of image of Parshwanath. Since Krishna carried out fasting for three days, we are also observing fast for three days and worship Parshwanath. He then worshipped this image until he died.

The historical evidences of renovations of Shankheshwar Parshwanath tirth are available at present and they are preserved well. The time never waits for any one. It passes beyond imaginations. Several thousands of years elapsed after the establishment of Shankhpur town and Image of SHANKHESHWAR PARSHWANATH by Narayan Krishna. There was a rule of Solanki dynasty in Gujarat in the 11th and 12th century of Vikram era. King Siddharaj was the ruler. He had wise and brave chief minister, named Sajjan. Once upon a time while he was returning from the pilgrimage tour of Girnar, he came near Shankhpur. He saw the temple of Bhagwan Parshwanath in ruined conditions. He decided to renovate it on the advice of Hemcandracarya, who also narrated history in brief to him. He constructed the new temple from carved wood blocks and established the image originally created by Ashadhi Shravak. This was third renovation of Shankheshwar Parshwanath Tirth. This was in the Vikram era 1155.

The time cycle goes on moving and moving tirelessly. There were two most famous brothers, called Vastupal and Tejpal happened to be in the thirteenth century of Vikram era. Their learned preceptor was Acarya Vardhmansuri. He was pious and well charismatic. They all were returning from the Sangha yatra of Mount Shatrunjaya reached Shankheshwar. They worshipped there. Vardhmansuri told both the brothers the history of Shankheshwar Parshwanath and advised them to renovate it from the scratch. Both the brothers very much attached with Jainism readily agreed. They made wonderful temple of Shankheshwar Parshwanath from stones and marbles. They established again the image of Parshwanath renovated with pearls’ slurries. They not only made new temple but it had added beauty of another 52 small Deris with 52 Tirthankaras images in it surrounding the principal temple of Shankheshwar Parshwanath. This was fourth renovation of Shankheshwar Parshwanath tirth. It was in the Vikram era 1286.

The time is passing. The rulers in India too were changed. Muslim attackers started roaming in the northern part of India. Jains of that time were very clever and foresighted. They understood the need of the time and to protect such miraculous image and decided to remove the Image of Shankheshwar Parshwanath from the temple and safely placed under ground. There was a town named Zanzupur, which is now called Zinzuvadia, near Shankheshwar. There was a king named Durjanshalya. He was suffering severely from Leprosy diseases. It is unfortunate to have a king with such disease to rule. Therefore, he decided to please his KULDEVTA, the luminous god the Sun. There was The Sun temple near Zunzpur which is now called Modhera. He went there and sat to please his god. After sometime the Sun god appeared before him and asked why he was called. The king told his problem. The Sun god clarified that he was unable to remove his disease but suggested to bring out the image of Shankheshwar Parshwanath from underground. He showed him the place from where it could be found. The king was happy, brought out carefully the image and started worshipping with daily Snatrapuja. He was sprinkling Snatra-Jal everyday over his body with the intention to remove his disease. After some day his disease was completely disappeared and he turned out to be fresh and young. He knew that it was only due to the blessing in disguise of that image. He became now staunch Jain and started following Jain dharma and continued worship of that image daily without interruptions. One day he thought to reestablish and renovate the old temple of Shankheshwar Parshwanath. He ordered for that and renovated the same. This was the fifth renovation of Shankheshwar Parshwanath Temple in the fourteenth century of Vikram era and carried out by King DurjanShaly.

Now the India was in the grip of Muslim kings and rulers. They had started demolishing Hindu and Jain temples at various places. They invaded Gujarat also and demolished Somnath Hindu temple. They were turning their march towards other parts of Gujarat. The Jains again rose to an occasion. They thought that a miraculous image of Shankheshwar Parshwanath should be protected from the onslaught of Muslim invaders as this image was prepared by Ashadhi Shravak through the inspiration from Tirthankara Damodarswami billions of years ago. They precisely did what their ancestors had done in the past. They placed it safely underground.

The time moved on and the rule of Moghuls established in India. Akabar the Great was ruling when Acaray Hirsuri was holding the command over Jain Sangha. Hirsuri converted violent Akabar into Non-violent form. Acarya Vijay Sensuri was next on the throne of Jain Sangha after Acarya Vijay Hirsuri. During the time of Vijay Sen Suri the last and sixth renovation of Shankheshwar Parshwanath Temple took place.

There was a cow in the cowherd of shepherd. A shepherd was grazing the cow herd everyday in the farm land outside the village near Shankheshwar. His particular cow always milking at one significant spot and did not yield milk at home. This shepherd had observed this phenomenon for certain periods. He learnt that this particular spot has something very special in it. He then tried to dig it out very carefully. A miraculous image of Parshwanath appeared with fresh flower worship and divine fragrances. He knew nothing about this but understood that this could be Jain Image. He contacted some Jain leaders and brought them to the spot. They realized that it was their Parshwanath. They contacted present Acarya Vijaysensuri and he rushed to the spot. He told the Shravakas that this was the miraculous image of Shankheshwar Parshwanath and informed them about its history. He advised them to reestablish it in the new temple.

This is the sixth and final renovation of Shankheshwar Parshwanath Temple under the guidance of Acaray Vijaysen suri in the sixteenth century.

The present temple we find today has undergone various changes during the period of time. This is the only temple in the world where the Image of Shankheshwar Parshhwanth is worshipped vigorously and with perfect affections. In other temple one can find that various gods and goddesses are being worshipped. It is said that this idol is presently protected and covered by Gods.

I shall deal with the miraculous stories attached to this idol and temple in the next article if time permits. The stories of Vastupal-Tejapal-Vardhamansuri, Story of Udayratna Upadhyaya and that of Mahopadhyaya Yashovijayji are of interest.

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Ankit mehta

Jai Jinendra

Neminath Bhagwan (22nd Tirthankara)

Ankit mehta

Bhagwan Neminath ,the 22nd Tirthankar, was a cousin, of Krishna. Andhakavrisni, the king of Sauripur had ten sons, of which the eldest was Samudra Vijay and the youngest was Vasudev. Samudra Vijay became the father of Neminath, as Vasudev became the father of Krishna. The name of Neminath’s mother was Shivadevi. The entire race, the Yadavas, had fled Sauripur because of the fear of Jarasandh, who was a half-Chakravarti Emperor and Prati-Narayan and they had taken shelter in Dvaraka. Krishna is one of the 63 illustrious personages, he was a Narayan and his brother Baldev was a Balabhadra. This was the Age of the Mahabharata, when flourished the Pandavs and the Kauravs, who have been noticed in the Jain Puranas.

The story of Neminath’s attaining a state of detachment is exceedingly heart-rending on which poems, songs and paintings exist in a large number. There exist many poems and songs in the form of Nemi-vivaha and Rajul-barahamasa. The incident goes as follows:

Rajmati (Rajul), the princess at the famous city of Junagadh near the Girnar mountain was betrothed to Nemi Kumar. From both the sides, elaborate preparations were made for the celebration. It was at its pitch and the marriage procession reached the vicinity of Junagadh. The inmates at the palace at Junagadh were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the procession. Things were ready for the performance of rites at the entrance. The atmosphere everywhere was one of joy. Although Rajul, who was surrounded by her attendants who were cracking jokes befitting the occasion, looked grave, inside, she was also in a light mood, awaiting the arrival of the procession. While dreaming of the pleasant company of Nemi Kumar, she had in fact forgotten everything else.

Right then, like a cyclone, the news spread all over the city that being sympathetic to the mute appeal of the animals who had been caged for the purpose of the marriage dinner, the minutest chord of attachment in Nemi Kumar had given way. He had decided not to marry, removed the nuptial thread, and taken the road to the Girnar mountain. His attachment had transformed into detachment, and having torn asunder the great acquisition including the parents, treasures, granaries, the kingdom and every other object of attachment, and like wise all internal attachments, like greed, malice, etc., he had become a digamber-possessionless monk.

The news took no time to spread. Efforts were made to induce him to return, but all was in vain. The Lokantik “gods” appeared and approved his decision. The initiation was appropriately celebrated with suitable zeal by all “gods” and men. There dropped a curtain of metamorphosis on the whole situation which changed from a happy marriage occasion into an environment of detachment.

Rajul’s mind too changed. She too took the road to self-realisation. Following the footprints left by him, she proceeded towards the Girnar mountain. The whole city looked agape with a sense of deprivation. The members of the marriage party had come to acquire a bride, but they lost the groom. King Ugrasen desired to endow a huge dowry on his daughter and send her to her new home in a palanquin, but all these remained discarded, and Rajmati proceeded towards the mountain in a white saree. The king had collected and got prepared costly robes to be bestowed on his son-in-law, but he discarded whatever robes he had on his person and became a digamber-possessionless monk and took his place on the mountain. He had come to marry with Rajul but events turned in a manner in which he got married with liberation.

The heart-rending episode in the life of Nemi Kumar and Rajul has been sung by the Jain poets in a touching and thought provoking manner. It has also been the theme of many traditional paintings and crafts. It was indeed an unusual episode of separation for the Jain stories-separation without a physical contact. And what did Rajul get out of it except a pleasant reverie?

Compared to her, Yasodhara enjoyed the company of the Buddha for some time. She had a son to support her, she had the expectation that the Buddha would some day come back. Sita too enjoyed the pleasant company of Rama and she had the expectation of a future restoration-though circumstances were very much against her, she knew for certain that Rama’s mind had not changed. So hope still lurked. Even Radha was not fully disheartened. But Rajul got nothing before she was discarded, and she held nothing on which to live in memory. Besides, the mind of Nemi Kumar too had changed, and so there was no hope on which she could live on. There was the need of a Bhavbhuti (Bhavbhuti was a Sanskrit poet) to depict the pathetic story of this pious lady.

Monk Neminath was already self-enlightened, and now he started making steady progress on the steps to stability. On the 56th day from his initiation, he rose to the stage of kshapaka-shreni, which was the extreme point in penance, and soon acquired the supreme knowledge and became a Bhagwan. He shone like a beacon light for full seven hundred years, showing the right path; and, in the end, on completion of the life-span of a thousand years, he entered into liberation at the Girnar mountain.

This is the reason why Girnar has been considered to be a Siddhakshetra, a Land of Liberation. This is a holy place of the Jains. Located near Junagadh in Gujarat, this place attracts also many who are not Jains. This was not only a land of liberation for Neminath, this was also a land where he practised penance. Rajul too practiced her penance here. Two sons of Krishna, Pradyuman Kumar and Sambhu Kumar, too were liberated from their seat on this mountain. Pradyuman Kumar was a Kamdev.

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Ankit Mehta

Jai Jinendra

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