Glory of Jainism: Shri Mandevsuri

Published: 07.08.2012

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Shri Mandevsuri

A monk’s way of life leads to upliftment and well-being of the self and the society. Laghushanti Stava always sung by the Jain community, is composed by Mandevsuri for the well-being of the shreesangh. Having listened to the sermons of Pradhyotansuriji, he felt an inclination for renunciation. He made a deep and intensive study of the scriptures in a very short time and mastered 11 angas (Jain canonical text, one of the twelve) and chhedsutra (a law book dealing with monastic offences) and consequently he was bestowed Acharyapad.

While guru Pradyotansuri honoured Mandevsuri with the title of Acharya (head of a mendicant group), an astonishing happening was witnessed. Goddess Lakshmi and goddess Sarasvati were seen seated on either shoulders of Mandevsuri. As guru Pradyotansuri watched this sight, he became worried if Mandevsuri having earned the great title of Jainacharya, would be able to stick to Niratichar (non-transgression) code of conduct or would it cast a slur on his character.

Mandevsuri, obedient disciple as he was, could appreciate the mental agony of his guru and at that very moment he took a vow that henceforth he would not accept alms from his devotees and that he would stick to the vow taken till the very end. As a result of this vow Shri Mandevsuriji’s penance achieved a dignified status. Because of his celibacy and excellent knowledge, the four goddesses viz. Jaya, Vijaya, Aparajita and Padma resided by his side. They always came to bow and pay their respects to Mandevsuriji. This earned him immense reputation everywhere.

At this time Takshashila town abounded in riches and wealth of the Jains and it had 500 Jain temples. Unexpectedly, the city happened to suffer from the terror of an epidemic and people started dying. The entire city became a dumping ground of thousands of dead bodies. Being greatly worried, the Jain community made urgent efforts to find out a solution. They all invoked the guardian goddess (Shasandevi) and she told them to approach Acharya Mandevsuri and after washing his feet to sprinkle the same water in the city so as to eradicate the terrifying epidemic.

One of the Jains of Takshashila, named Virchand, came to Acharya Mandevsuri with a letter of request from the shreesangh. As he saw the goddesses near the Acharya, he wondered as to why women should be sitting near the Acharya. Under the impact of these doubts he took his seat without bowing before the Acharya. Consequent upon his disrespect to Acharya, the goddesses tied him in a tight bondage. Then Virchand repented very much and the Acharya set him free as a gesture of forgiveness. Now Virchand presented the letter of request from shreesangh of Takshashila and Acharyashri told Virchand: “I shall perform the task entrusted by shreesangh from over here.” He composed Shantistava Stotra and asked him to chant the same and then sprinkle the holy water which would eradicate the epidemic.

Virchand arrived at Takshashila with this stotra and as instructed by Acharya Mandevsuri he chanted the stotra and sprinkled the holy water invested with the charm of stotra (devotional song) all around and the epidemic was eradicated. Subsequently, Acharya Mandevsuri composed Tijay Pahutta for the eradication of calamity. It was through his sermons that Sandha Rajputs came to the fold of Jain religion. He passed away in 204 CE on Shri Girnar Tirtha in Saurashtra by undertaking fasts.

Sources
Title: Glory Of Jainism
Artist:

Ashok Saha and Prathana Saha

Publisher:

Shri Anilbhai Gandhi (Trustee),
Shri-108-Jain-Tirth-Darshan-Bhavan-Trust,
Shri-Samavasaran-Mahamandir,
Palitana - 364270 (India)

Edition: 1998

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Angas
  3. Celibacy
  4. Girnar
  5. Guru
  6. Jain Temples
  7. Jaya
  8. Lakshmi
  9. Sarasvati
  10. Tirtha
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