Glory of Jainism: Shri Mallavadisuri

Published: 08.08.2012

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Shri Mallavadisuri

This episode dates back to the golden period of Vallabhi in Saurashtra with the unusual prosperity of Jain sangh. In a holy town like this, Durlabhdevi gave birth to three sons - Ajityash, Yaksha and Malla. Ideal mother as she was, she had inculcated religious culture in accordance with the Jain religion in her sons and had accepted initiation along with her three sons from Acharya Jinanandsuri, her brother.

At that time, a great ideological debate was going on between Jainism and Buddhism. Acharya Jinanandsuri participated in this debate wherein it was laid down that the defeated participant would have to face exile from Gujarat. The Buddha king declared Acharya Jinanandsuri a defeated participant. So Acharyashri had to leave Gujarat and he came to Vallabhi. While Acharyashri was in agony, his sister Durlabhdevi told him she would give him one of her three sons and he would be able to remove Acharya’s agony and anxiety.

Durlabhdevi talked to her three sons and all of them were ready to take up this task. They vied with each other to go for initiation. With tears of joy in her eyes, the mother consented to their initiation. The youngest son of Durlabhdevi, child Malla, was determined that he would acquire thorough knowledge of the religious books and would be victorious in the debate assembly. Muni Malla invoked goddess Sarasvati. To fulfill his aim, the young Malla Muni resorted to severe penance on a mountain and on conclusion of his fast he would sustain his body by accepting whatever little was offered to him in a nearby village.

Pleased by his penance, goddess Saraswati granted him a boon in the form of his excellent ability in the exposition of a gatha (verses). Gifted thus by the goddess, he composed a unique book entitled "Dwadashar Nayachakra". As a wheel has twelve spokes, this classical darshanik (philosophical) volume contains twelve chapters. Previously Acharya Siddhasen Diwakar had written a great book on nyayshastra (science of logic) entitled "Sanmati Tarka". Acharya Shri Mallasuri composed this book elucidating the principles of nyaya (science of logic) and anekant darshan (the doctrine of manifold aspects) in Sanskrit.

The young Muni conveyed to the king Shiladitya that he was prepared to face a theological debate in his court. It was an amazing challenge as it was offered by a young Monk to the versatile and mature scholars. To the surprise of everybody king Shiladitya’s court became a debating forum for as many as six months. Ultimately Acharya Mallasuri won this theological battle and greatly impressed by his performance the king honoured him with the title of ‘vadi’ (great debater). Consequently he became famous as Shri Mallavadisuri Kshamashraman.

He wrote a commentary entitled "Sanmati Tarka" and "Padmacharitra" (Jain Ramayan) containing 24 thousand shlokas (verses). Shri Mallavadisuri was proficient in debate and discussion; hence he was called ‘the best logician’ by Shri Hemchandracharya. His book entitled "Dwadashar Naychakra" is regarded the best book on the philosophical system called nyay (logic). It was written in Sanskrit and it reviews the various systems of contemporary philosophy.

His elder brother Muni Ajityash wrote a book entitled "Praman" (valid cognition) and his other brother Yaksh Muni composed a samhita called "Ashtang Nimitt Bodhini". Thus all the three sons of the great mother served the Jain religion in a unique way by means of sainthood, literary contribution and theological philosophy.

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. Anekant
  3. Body
  4. Buddha
  5. Buddhism
  6. Darshan
  7. Gujarat
  8. Jainism
  9. Kshamashraman
  10. Muni
  11. Nyaya
  12. Sangh
  13. Sanskrit
  14. Sarasvati
  15. Saraswati
  16. Science
  17. Shlokas
  18. Siddhasen Diwakar
  19. Tarka
  20. Vallabhi
  21. Yaksha
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