Glory of Jainism: Shridevi

Published: 24.10.2012

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Shridevi

Born in Kakar village, Shridevi blazed a trail and carved out a niche in the history of Gujarat. In her one finds a combination of insight and a streak of adventure. She would find a way out of a seemingly difficult situation and no adversity would scare her. King Bhuvad invaded Panchasar on the outskirts of the Ran of Kutch. King Jayshikhari of Panchasar fought very bravely but died in the battle. His son Vanraj was given shelter by sadhu Sheelgunsuri and was brought up in an upashraya. He resolved to get back the lost kingdom of his father. In the company of his uncle Surpal, Vanraj turned a robber. He robbed people and kings passing through the forest so as to buy arms and raise an army. Vanraj, once, went to Kakar to rob a rich businessman. He entered the house and peeped into the cellar to look for hidden treasures. His hand, instead of a pot of gold, fell into a pot filled with curd. Vanraj thought for a while. What it signalled was that he was now a member of the family and how could he think of robbing the same family. He, therefore, returned empty handed.

Next morning the businessman woke up to find that his house was in a disarray and things were lying scattered all over. The businessman called his sister Shridevi and said, "A thief must have entered the house at night. Let's find out what things have been stolen". They began to look for valuables and to their surprise they found that nothing was stolen. "How could this happen?", they wondered. It was a mystery unresolved when Shridevi's eyes suddenly fell on the pot of curd. She discovered fingerprints and that set her thinking. From the fingerprints she inferred that they were those of a great and powerful personality.

At the same time, she was puzzled that, a man who had come to rob the house, went away without stealing anything. How strange! Who that man could he? She was eager to find him and know from him his compulsions for indulging in stealing and robbing. Vanraj also came to know that Shridevi was eager to meet him. He came to her house at night in cognito. On seeing Shridevi, he felt brotherly affection towards her. He found peace and love in her house after wandering for days together. Shridevi fed him with sisterly affection and behaved as a sister would towards her brother. Vanraj said, "From today, you are my sister and if I became king, I would want you to apply rajtilak."

Years passed and Shridevi got married and settled in Patan. Once, while she was passing through the forest, she met Vanraj and her sisterly love for him was aroused once more. Vanraj, in the meanwhile, had raised an army. He fought and defeated king Bhuvad and regained his lost kingdom. He founded Anhilpur Patan on the banks of the river Saraswati on Monday in the month of Vaishakh in Vikram Samvat 802. Vanraj was installed as king and Shridevi was present to apply the rajtilak (anointing). The character of Shridevi is an inspiring one. She accepted Vanraj, a nomad, as her brother, who ultimately became a king, but she did not entertain any thought of getting any reward from him. Thus, she is a shining example of pure sisterly love and affection, devoid of any trace of selfishness.

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. Gujarat
  2. Sadhu
  3. Saraswati
  4. Vikram Samvat
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