Glory of Jainism: Lachhidevi

Published: 27.10.2012
Updated: 02.07.2015

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Lacchidevi

Bhakti (devotion) is something which is more valuable than any other possession one will like to have. The five kartavya (commandments) of Paryushan and the annual eleven kartavya of a shravak also emphasise the importance of bhakti. Lacchidevi is a shining example of devotion to religion. Lacchi Chhipan (Laxmi Bhavsar), wife of Tribhuvansinh of Karnavati, was on her way to the temple, attended by her retinue of servants. Outside the beautiful jinalaya, with a carved turret, on the bank of the Sabarmati, sa.t Udaji of Marwad for darshan of the deity. While coming out of the shrine, she saw Udaji, in tattered, dirty clothes, sitting on the steps. Lacchi, in a soft, affectionate tone asked: “You look like a stranger to Karnavati. Whose guest are you?” Udaji was touched by her sweet words. He said: “I have come to this place for the first time. I do not know anybody here except you for you are kind enough to talk to me. I am, therefore, your guest.” Lacchi said: “Welcome to my house. I am fortunate to have a guest like you. You are welcome with your family.” Udaji went to Lacchi’s house with his wife Suhadevi and two sons, Chahad and Bahad. They were all treated well and offered sumptuous food. Udaji, then, asked: “Why do you spow such affection and love to me?” Lacchi replied: “You are a co-religionist and it is the sacred duty of a Jain to love a co-religionist.”

Lacchi gave a house to Udaji and his family to live in. She would go out of her way to help people. It was her innate goodness and nobility which shone through her acts of charity and generosity. Udaji became very happy now that he had a house to live in. He set up a small shop and started selling ghee. He was very honest in his dealings and sold pure, unadulterated ghee. He would listen to his customers’ complaints and would behave courteously with them. He became a popular man and came to be known as Uda Gheewala. One day Udaji was digging up land to construct a new house when he found pots of gold. He went to Lacchi and said: “These are yours. I bought your house but the land is yours.” Lacchi replied: “Since the house is yours, the land also now belongs to you. These pots are, therefore, yours.” Uda was adamant and refused even to touch the pots. The matter was referred to king Karnadev. Queen Minaldevi wanted the wealth equally divided between Udaji and Lacchi but that also was not acceptable to both. What was the way out, then? The king rejected the proposal of depositing the money in the court’s coffers. At last Udaji said: “Let’s offer it to god.” Everyone agreed and a temple was constructed. It was called Udayan Vihar. It is said that good and noble sentiments bloom in the hearts of people only if there is right environment. However we do have exceptions. A person must be judged by his thoughts and deeds and not by his family. A person with evil thoughts inhabiting sacred environs has to be judged as of a lower species. Bakuladevi was a woman to be judged by her deeds, by her thoughts and her noble character and history indeed has judged her as such. Udaji became nagarsheth, then a minister to king Siddharaj and lastly chief of the city of Cambay but remained beholden to Lacchi till the end of his life.

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. Bhakti
  2. Darshan
  3. Environment
  4. Ghee
  5. Laxmi
  6. Paryushan
  7. Shravak
  8. Vihar
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