Glory of Jainism: Sadhvi Mrugavati

Published: 24.08.2012

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Sadhvi Mrugavati

Mrugavati was the daughter of Vaishali’s king Chetak and the get married to the Kaushambi’s king Shatanik; she used to have family relations with prince Vardhaman. Besides having all the virtues, she happened to possess immense skill in state affairs and administration, brought up as she was in the palatial atmosphere.

Once an artist came to the court of Kaushambi. He had the divine blessing of painting a full human figure only by seeing one of the limbs of the person. By chance, the artist happened to have a look at the royal palace; there he saw a toe of a female figure. On the basis of these details, this skilled artist prepared a full-fledged painting of the female figure. While he was painting, a drop of soot fell on the thigh of the painted young lady. The artist wiped it off immediately but it happened again while he was applying the colors. When it happened the third time, the artist thought that there might be a blot on her thigh and he allowed it to be there. This painting happened to be that of queen Mrugavati and as the king saw the blot on the thigh, he became furious.

Thinking that the artist might have abused her chastity, the king imprisoned him immediately. Other artists told the king that the painter had a divine skill to draw a full-fledged painting of a human figure on the basis of a glimpse of one limb only. To test his skill, the king arranged to show him a face of an ugly maid-servant and asked him to paint a full figure and the artist did it successfully. The king realized the skill of the artist; however he ordered that the artist’s right thumb should be cut off. The artist was greatly shocked and he decided to avenge it; so he drew a very tempting painting of Mrugavati who was the most beautiful woman of the time. He sent the painting to Ujjain’s king Chandapradyot who had fatal attraction for women. Chandrapradyot tried to possess Mrugavati but ultimately under the impact of Mahavir’s sermon, she accepted initiation and Chandapradyot promised to look after Mrugavati’s son and her kingdom.

Once Sadhvi Mrugavati had gone to attend a gathering of Bhagavan Mahavir and she was engrossed in listening to his sermon so much that she hardly realized that it was almost evening time. Consequently she became late in returning to the Upashraya (abode of Jain monks and nuns), whereupon Sadhvi Acharya Chandana reprimanded her. Mrugavati begged to be forgiven but Sadhvi Chandana felt great remorse and this expiation led to lofty spiritual feelings in Mrugavati. With the annihilation of harmful karmas, she acquired absolute knowledge.

Once a poisonous serpent was passing by the sleeping quarter of Sadhvi Chandana. With the power of her divine sight, Mrugavati could see the poisonous serpent and immediately she lifted Chandana’s hand, which was lying in the serpents way. As a result of touching of somebody’s hand, Sadhvi Acharya Chandana awoke all of a sudden and on being asked, Mrugavati pointed to the serpent hidden in a dark corner. Thereupon Sadhvi Chandana asked her: “While it is impossible to see even the palm of a hand in this thick darkness of the night, how could you detect the serpent?” Mrugavati said: “Because of your kind blessings, I have acquired divine knowledge.” Sadhvi Chandana bowed before Mrugavati with utmost respect and as there was manifestation of lofty feelings in the heart of Chandana, she acquired divine knowledge too. Mrugavati occupies a special place among 16 distinguished Sadhvis of Jain religion, who are worshipped early in the morning (Pratahsmaraniya). One finds her story in the literature of all the three religions - Hindu, Buddhist and Jain.

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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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Chandana
  3. Bhagavan Mahavir
  4. Chandana
  5. Karmas
  6. Mahavir
  7. Sadhvi
  8. Sadhvis
  9. Ujjain
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