Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (1) ► Lord Śrī Mahāvīra (II)

Posted: 24.04.2016

The 4th year of spiritual-exertion

Leaving Aṃga country's Campā city the Lord reached the province of Kālāya. There at an abandoned house, the Lord became meditative but Gośālaka started to tease, and make fun with a maidservant at the house entrance. The maidservant went and complained to the village headman and the headman's son Puruṣasiṃha beat up Gośālaka. From Kālāya, the Lord went to PuttaKālaya. There too while the Lord became meditative at a lonely place Gośālaka did some or the other mischief and ended up being a target of people's wrath. They left PuttaKālaya and went to Kumāraka. There in a beautiful garden, Campaka, the Lord entered into meditation. The disciple ācārya of Pārśvanātha, Municandra, was staying with his disciples there at a shed of a potter named Kūpanātha. He had made a disciple the head monk and accepted the jinakalpa (conduct like Mahāvīra's).

When Gośālaka went on his own for alms, he saw the Pārśva tradition monks wearing colourful robes. Out of inquisitiveness Gośālaka asked them – "Who are you?" They replied – "We are Śramaṇa nirgranthas of the Pārśvanātha tradition." To this, Gośālaka said – "Strange! You people are wearing these colourful robes, and have vessels and yet you call yourselves nirgranthas. The true nirgrantha is my teacher, who is the epitome of sacrifice and penance. The Pārśva tradition monks said – "Just like you your ācārya too must have accepted nakedness." To this an angry Gośālaka retorted – "You people criticise my teacher; your rest house will burn to ashes." Gośālaka returned to Campaka garden and told the Lord everything. Siddhārtha Deva said – "Gośālaka! Those are Pārśvanātha tradition's disciple monks. Glory of monks' penance does not consist in cursing or burning down resting places."

Ācārya Muni Candra went into meditation standing outside the monastery. At midnight, the potter Kūpanaya returned to his home after getting drunk with his friends and thinking the meditative monk to be a thief, strangled him with both his hands. Despite unbearable pain, the monk maintained calm. Being in deep meditation with a sense of equanimity, he attained omniscience and nirvāṇa. The gods showered flowers expressing the glory of omniscience. Seeing the arrival of gods, Gośālaka said to the Lord – "It looks like their resting place is burning." Siddhārtha Deva said – "No, Ācārya Muni Candra has attained omniscience; hence gods are expressing its glory." Gośālaka woke the disciples of Muni Candra up. Believing their ācārya to be dead they began to repent. Referring to this incident Ācārya Hemacandra writes that Muni Candra at that time attained clairvoyance and he went to heaven.

After leaving Kumāraka, the Lord arrived near Corāka. The place was infested with the activities of thief and robbers. So the guards were very attentive and so wanted to know his introduction, the Lord remained silent because of his vow. The guards thought he was some thief or spy, so capturing him they gave him all kinds of pain. When the word reached the soothsayer Utpala's sisters, Somā and Jayantī, they came there and released the Lord. Realising the Lord's identity, the guards begged for forgiveness for their mistake. From there the Lord left for Pṛṣṭhacampā and spent his fourth rainy season halt there. In this time he observed four months of fast and went into meditation in different forms in kāyotsarga. After completing his penance, he broke his fast at a place outside Campā.

The 5th year of mendicancy

After completing the monsoon stay at Pṛṣṭhacampā, the Lord arrived at Kayaṃgalā. There, at a temple of a heretic named 'Daridrathera', he stood meditating in kāyotsarga posture. Leaving Kayaṃgalā, he arrived at Sāvatthī, and stood in meditation outside the city. It was biting cold in winter. Yet, not caring about the cold, the Lord remained in meditation through the night. Gośālaka could not bear the cold and kept shivering through the night. There at a temple festival men and women kept dancing through the night. Gośālaka made fun –"what kind of religion is this, where men and women shamelessly dance together?" People threw him out. Seeing him shiver in cold outside they invited him inside again thinking of him Lord' disciple and turned the volume of their music louder so that they do not hear his utterances. He was thus, thrown out and taken in the congregation many times. In the morning, Mahāvīra left for Śrāvastī. There, based on a soothsayer's advice, a laywoman, for protection of her son, cooked rice pudding for a month during her pregnancy and with the intention of giving it to an ascetic, gave it to Gośālaka. Despite Siddhārtha Deva's warning to be careful, Gośālaka ate that pudding. However, after this incident, he became a total fatalist.

After leaving Śrāvastī, the Lord arrived at 'Haleduga'. He stayed a night there. Other travelers too were staying there that night. To protect themselves from the cold they lit a fire and left without putting it off in the morning. Mahāvīra burnt his feet because of dry grass catching fire. In the afternoon after completing his meditation, the Lord moved ahead and reached Āvarta via Nāṃgalā. There he became meditative at the temple of Baladeva. Gośālaka used to tease and taunt people and fall into all kinds of trouble. After leaving Āvarta, passing through many places, he reached the vicinity of Caurāka habitat. There Gośālaka got beaten up on account of his misdeeds. Angrily he said – "People have troubled me needlessly; with the purity of my teacher's penance, may the sacrificial hall get burnt." By coincidence, the hall caught fire.

After moving ahead, they reached 'Kalaṃbukā', where the rulers of the mountainous region were two brothers, Megha and Kālahastī. Incidentally, Kālahastī met Mahāvīra. He asked him, "Who are you?" When the Lord said nothing, Kālahastī beat him up, yet he kept quiet. Kālahastī sent him to Megha; Megha had seen him earlier at Kuṇḍagrāma. Hence, he recognised him and sought forgiveness for his brother's mistake. After this incident the Lord thought, 'I must destroy many of my karma snow. Keeping on finding some known person, everywhere, will delay destruction of my karmas. Hence I must wander in Anārya (not knowledgeable) and unknown places.' Thinking thus, he decided to go to Lāḍha (Rāḍha) country, considered as Anārya where no monk or ascetic would even imagine going. There were two divisions of Lāḍha country – north and south, or Vajra and Śubhra. The river Ajaya used to flow in between. Ārya Sudharmā's Ācārāṃga Sūtra describes, the fearsome, thrilling calamities there as follows:

In Lāḍha country, there were no suitable places to stay for the Lord. Even tasteless, minimal food used to come about with great difficulty. Dogs would come running from afar to bite, but there were none to stop them. In fact, people would mostly provoke them further. All those of an insensitive attitude used to walk about holding sticks. However, the Lord used to wander uninhibited. He used to be polite even towards the mean people. His intention was to destroy karmas – he used to gladly bear with people's abuses and obstacles in the path, and stay happy. He would not let any violent thought enter his mind for anyone. Sometimes he would have to spend nights in frightful forests. Sometimes people would not let him enter into villages and force him to move on. Without reason they would attack him and laugh at him and would give him many kinds of troubles, like throwing sand on him, lift him and throw him to the ground like a ball and would cause injury to his body parts. What one means to say is that the Lord was thus given many kinds of unbearable and unimaginable troubles, which he faced peacefully, being steady in spiritual path of restraint. Staying in the Anārya region, bearing with many calamities, he destroyed much karma. He was re-entering the Anārya region after leaving the Ārya country when he met two thieves on the borders who were going to steal in the non-Anārya region. Considering it ominous to see him on the way, they attacked him with their weapons. Indra himself appeared, saved him, and chased away the thieves. Reaching the Ārya region the Lord reached the Malaya country and stayed during that year's monsoons in Bhaddila city. Being meditative in different postures, the Lord observed four months of fast and on completion of the rainy season, breaking his fast outside the city, he moved towards 'Kadalī Samāgama' and 'Jambū Saṃḍa'.

6th Year of mendicancy

From 'Kadalī Samāgama' and 'Jambū Saṃḍa' the Lord arrived near 'Taṃbāya'. At that time the elder monk of the Pārśva tradition, Nandiṣeṇa, was staying there. Gośālaka argued with him, too. From 'Taṃbāya' the Lord went to 'Kūviya' where he was arrested due to the suspicion of his being a spy. There, two female-monks named Vijayā and Pragalbhā told people about the Lord and said he was the great tīrthaṃkara Mahāvīra and if Indra finds out, he would punish them. Both of them had been Pārśvanātha's disciples. Listening to them people freed the Lord and sought his forgiveness. From there the Lord moved on to Vaiśālī. Gośālaka expressed desire to wander alone and gaining acceptance from Siddhārtha Deva moved towards Rājagṛha. Reaching Vaiśālī, the Lord took permission to stay in the ironsmith's workshop and meditated there. A worker of the workshop was not attending work because of his illness. The next day of the Lord's arrival there, he came to work and seeing the Lord there, thinking it to be inauspicious, attempted to attack him. However, by divine grace, his raised hands remained stuck in that position and he stood like a statue. Leaving Vaiśālī, the Lord arrived in the province of Grāmaka and became meditative at the place of the Yakṣa Vibhelaka. Inspired by the penitent life of the Lord the Yakṣa too started singing his praises.

Leaving Grāmaka the Lord arrived at the beautiful garden, 'Śāliśīrṣa'. It was the chilly winter month of Māgha. People were shivering in their warm clothes within their homes, while at the same time the Lord was standing in meditation, naked. When the vyaṃtara named Kaṭapūtanā saw the Lord in meditation, he was reminded of a past life enmity. Taking the form of a female-monk, with her open hair standing on the Lord's shoulders, she started showering rain like a cloud and created gale too. Biting cold, gale and rains and yet the Lord remained steady in meditation and he obtained the unique clairvoyant knowledge – he could see the entire world. Seeing the Lord's equanimity, his capacity and forbearance, Kaṭapūtanā felt tired, defeated and seeking forgiveness for her behaviour, left. The Lord arrived at Bhadrikā city on leaving 'Śāliśīrṣa'. There he spent the sixth rainy season observing four months of fast and meditation. At the end of the rainy season, the Lord broke his fast outside the city and left for Magadha.

The 7th Year of mendicancy

Wandering across different parts of Magadha, the Lord practised the seventh year of austerity without calamities for eight months. He reached the Ālaṃbhiyā city for the monsoon stay and observing four months fast, completed his cāturmāsa meditation breaking his fast outside the city he stayed in the Vasudeva temple in 'Kaṃḍ āga' and in Baladeva temple 'Bhaddaṇā' he reached Bahusāla village and there in a Sāla  forest, he became meditative. There a demoness named Śālārya produced many calamities but could not disturb the Lord and in the end begged forgiveness and left.

8th Year of mendicancy

Leaving Bhaddaṇā the Lord arrived at Lohārgalā. The local authorities questioned him as he entered Lohārgalā. As Lord maintained silence and feeling suspicious, people took him to the king Jitaśatru. The soothsayer of Asthika village was present there saluted the Lord and introduced him to all. King Jitaśatru too prayed to him and after due respects, bade him farewell. From there the Lord moved to Purimatāla and stood in meditation at the 'Śakaṭamukha' garden outside the city. From there, passing through 'Unnāga' and 'Gobhūmi', he arrived at Rājagṛha. There he spent the eighth monsoon retreat and observed fasts of four months and due austerities and completion of the cāturmāsa fast, broke his fast outside the city and moved ahead.

The 9th Year of mendicancy

After leaving Rājagṛha, the Lord thought again that truly, it is possible to annhilate karmas only in Anārya region. Thinking thus, he again left for the Anārya Lāḍha and Śubhrabhūmi. People there were insensitive, cruel and without compassion. Hence, the Lord bore with different troubles with equanimity. When he did not get the right place, he completed the monsoon time in ruins, under trees, or simply wandering about. This way, wandering in Anārya region, the Lord re-entered the Ārya region.

The 10th Year of mendicancy

From the Anārya region the Lord was going to 'Siddhārthapura' and from there to 'Kūrmagrāma' and Gośālaka was with him, too. On the way when he saw a sesame plant with seven flowers, he asked the Lord – "Lord! Will this plant beget fruits?" The Lord said –"Yes, the plant will bear fruits and all the seven flowers' life will emerge from this one seedpod." To falsify the Lord's words, Gośālaka stopped for a moment, uprooted that plant, and threw it far away. By coincidence, within minutes, it rained there and the uprooted sesame plant stood up again. From there the Lord reached Kūrmagrāma. There an ascetic named 'Vaiśyāyana' was standing outside the village facing the sun with both his hands raised upwards in penance. Due to the heat, lice were coming out from his long locks and falling to the ground and the ascetic was again placing them back on his hair. When Gośālaka saw this, he asked the ascetic – "Are you an ascetic or a home of lice?" The ascetic remained quiet. When Gośālaka kept questioning him persistently, the ascetic got angry and spewed hot flash at him. Gośālaka ran in fear and fell at the Lord's feet. Out of compassion, the Lord doused the fire with a cool flash and saved Gośālaka.

After sometime, the Lord again left for Siddhārthapura. Reaching the sesame field, Gośālaka remembered the old question. He asked the Lord, "Lord, what happened to your prediction?" The Lord said, "That plant you see is the one you uprooted and threw." Gośālaka was not ready to believe the Lord. He went to that sesame plant and when he broke the pod, seven sesame fruits came out. With this incidence, he became a confirmed fatalist. From there Gośālaka left Lord's company and began to think of starting his own sect.

From Siddhārthapura, the Lord reached Vaiśālī. There outside the city he stood in meditation at a spot. Boys passing by, thinking him to be a demon started troubling him. By coincidence, king Siddhārtha's close friend Śaṃkha - bhūpati was passing through that place. He sent the boys away explaining to them, and paid obeisance to the Lord. From there the Lord reached 'Vāṇiyagrāma'. On the way, to cross the river Gaṃḍakī, he had to sit on a boat. When the boatman asked for a fee, the Lord remained silent. Angry, the boatman made him stand on hot sand. Incidentally, Citra, the son of king Śaṃkha's sister, came that way. Explaining to the boatman, he released the Lord. At Vāṇiyagrāma, a monk named Ānanda of the Pārśvanātha tradition had attained clairvoyant knowledge. He used to do penance facing the sun and observing fasts. Seeing the Lord he paid obeisance to him and said

"Your body and soul are firm like thunderbolt. You bear with equanimity the most difficult of ordeals. You will soon attain omniscience."

The 11th Year of mendicancy

From Sāvatthī the Lord left for Sānulaṭṭhiya. There he did the Bhadra, Mahābhadra and Sarvatobhadra penance and continuous fast for 16 days. In the bhadra penance, for the first two days, a person meditates in the east, south, west and north directions, respectively, four times a day. Observing the two days of fast without breaking it, he took the mahābhadra penance. Therein, in the same sequence, he meditated in each direction, day and night. This way, after 16 days of fast, he completed the three kinds of meditation. After completing the three kinds of meditation, the Lord reached the house of householder Ananda. At that time, his maidservant, Bahulā had come out to throw leftovers of food after cleaning the utensils. Seeing the Lord, she asked – "What do you want, oh Lord?" Mahāvīra extended his palms. The maid gave the leftover food to the Lord with great devotion. Considering it faultless, the Lord broke his fast with it. The gods showered the five auspicious things and through the glory of the giving, released the maid from her servitude.

From there the Lord proceeded to Dṛḍhabhūmi. Outside the city, in the caitya named Polāsa, was a garden named 'Poḍhāla'. There, observing a fast, the Lord bent his body slightly and fixing his gaze on a gross object, he became meditative. Seated amidst gods and goddesses the king of gods, Indra, saw the Lord in meditation and saluting him, said –"So unique is the courage and resolve of Varddhamāna Mahāvīra that let alone men, even gods cannot disturb him from his penance." Everyone was happy with Devendra's words, except a god named Saṃgama. He went to the Lord with the intention of disturbing Lord's penance. Accordingly he created a web of calamities. First he caused pain in the entire body of Lord, created an apocalyptic shower of sand, caused pain to his body with ants, scorpion, snake, etc. When nothing affected the Lord due calamities he produced; he created enchanting seductive scenes and then tried to agitate the mind with pitiable sights. However, Lord remained firm and steady like the Sumeru Mountain in meditation. Saṃgama produced 20 kinds of unbearable calamities of different kinds in one night – even showing the Lord's parents, Siddhārtha and Triśalā crying in pain, tried to seduce through beautiful apsarās and in the form of a god, he also allured him with heaven or mokṣa. Finally, when he was unsuccessful, Saṃgama began to think of other means.

The Lord, completing his meditation, left for Bālukā. From Bālukā he arrived at places such as Suyoga, Succhetā, Malabha, Hastiśīrṣa, etc. Saṃgama created calamities at every place. At 'Tosaligrāma' and 'Mosaligrāma' in the disguise of an ascetic, he would steal and when caught, would accuse the Lord, calling him his teacher. The magician Mahābhūtila in Tosali village and a regional official in Mosali village introduced the Lord and saved him.

Again coming to Tosali, he stole some weapons and hid them beside the Lord who was in meditation. He returned to steal more, when he was caught stealing. He accused his teacher for making him steal. As the Lord had the weapons lying around him, the kingdom sentenced the Lord to be hanged until death. However, the rope used for hanging Lord used to snap as and when it was used to hang the Lord. Ultimately, the officials left the Lord considering him a great man. Even in Siddhārthapura, Saṃgama got the Lord caught on false accusation of theft, where a horse trader freed the Lord.

At Vraja village there being a festival, rice pudding was prepared in all homes, and wherever the Lord went for alms, Saṃgama made the food unworthy. Realising it to be a calamity created by Saṃgama, the Lord left and remained meditating outside the village. This way, for six months Saṃgama gave the Lord countless ordeals and the Lord did not get agitated. Saṃgama lost his patience and feeling defeated, he went to the Lord and said –"Lord! Whatever Devendra said about you is true. You are firm in your resolve. Please forgive my crimes. Now you may go for alms. There will be no more calamities." The Lord said –"I accept penance and alms from my own will." I do not expect anybody's assurance." The next day completing his six months of penance the Lord went to the same village to the home of an old woman named 'Vassapālaka" and broke his fast with rice pudding. The five auspicious things appeared to express glory of the giving. This was the Lord's long penance with calamities.

Description relating to Saṃgama god is available in Āvaśyakaniryuktī, Malayavṛtti and Āvaśyakacūrṇī. Even after continuous intense calamities when Saṃgama saw the Lord would not be disturbed in anyway, he apologized in Vrajagrāma and returned to Saudharma abode of gods. There the gods turned against him and expelled him from the realm of gods. With this example of Saṃgama ordinary people can understand that on account of his misdeeds if a god too had to reap its fruits, where does an ordinary person stand who purposefully causes harm to others?

Moving from Vraja village to Ālaṃbhiyā, Śvetāṃbikā, Sāvatthī, Kauśāmbī¸ Rājagṛha, Vārāṇasī, Mithilā, etc, the Lord arrived at Vaiśālī. Outside the city at the Baladeva temple in the Samara garden, accepting four-months fast, he became meditative and completed the rainy season halt there.

The feeling of Jīrṇa Seṭha

A devout votary named Jinadatta used to live in Vaiśālī. Because of poor economic condition, his house had become old and people started calling him Jīrṇa Seṭha. He had the knowledge of oceans. He went to study the footprints of the Lord to the garden and seeing a meditating Lord there, was very happy. Every day, he would go to the Lord and request him to take food offerings. Despite his continuous effort for four months, he did not succeed in fulfilling his desire. After completion of the cāturmāsa the Lord left for alms and went to the house of Abhinava śreṣṭhi (merchant) whose original name was 'Pūrṇa'. Seeing the Lord the śreṣṭhi ordered his maidservant to give a spoonful of pulse. The Lord broke his four months fast with it. There was a shower of five auspicious things accompanied by divine sounds. There Jīrṇa Seṭha was waiting for the Lord to come to break his fast. He was at the pinnacle of his feeling. At that time, he heard the divine sounds. Dieing with that right feeling, Jīrṇa Seṭha went to the 12th heaven.  Had he not heard the divine sounds for a moment, or two, he would have attained omniscience due to his firm resolve and penance.

The 12th Year of mendicancy

Completing the rainy season halt, the Lord reached 'Sunsuṃārapura'. Here Bhūtānaṃda came and enquired after the Lord's well-being and said –"In some time you will attain pure intuition and pure knowledge." Hearing Bhūtānaṃda's words, the Lord remained silent. The BhagavatīSūtra describes in detail the calamities of Camarendra in Sunsuṃārapura, as follows:- The Lord said – "At the time when I had spent 11 years of mendicancy, breaking fasts regularly, I reached Sunsuṃārapura's forest stretch and focusing my gaze on a stone I became meditative under an Aśoka tree. At that time, the soul of an ascetic Pūraṇa of Camaracaṃcā had become an Indra. There through his clairvoyant knowledge the saw Śakrendra seated on a throne enjoying divine pleasures. He became envious. With the idea of destroying Śakrendra's splendour, he came to me and said – "Lord, I want to take refuge in you and make the Indra Śakra corrupt with his splendour." After this taking a celestial bodyfrom me, he went to Saudharma realm of gods and started saying unpleasant things to Śakrendra. The king of gods, Indra, in anger hurled his thunderbolt at Camarendra. Seeing that, the demonking Camara, started running and fell at my feet. After releasing the thunderbolt, Indra thought Camara on his own does not have the courage to insult me; perhaps he has somebody's assistance in this. Through his avadhijṅāna when he found out Camara has taken refuge in me, with great speed he held his thunderbolt four aṃgula and left Camarendra and."

From Suṃsumārapura the Lord reached Bhojapura, Nandigrāma and Meḍhiyāgrāma. From Meḍhiyāgrāma he reached Kauśāmbī and on the first day of the dark fortnight of Pauṣa month he took the following vows:

"1In substance it should be uḍada-dāla pods; 2 Should be at the corner of a winnowing basket; 3 In terms of place, should be in the middle of the threshold; 4 In terms of time the time for giving alms should have passed; 5 In terms of existence, a princess should have become a slave girl; 6 With chained feet; 7 Should be with shaven head; 8 Should have tears in her eyes; 10 She should have observed a fast. If I get alms from a person of this kind, I shall accept it, not otherwise."

With this resolve, Mahāvīra would go everyday seeking alms; people would come with eagerness and hope to give. Mahāvīra would return without accepting anything due to the resolve being not fulfilled. Four months passed off this way without his accepting alms. All over the city people expressed surprise at this. Once, the Lord went to the minister of Kauśāmbī, Sugupta's house. The minister's wife, Naṃdā, a pious devotee, went with great devotion to give alms, but Mahāvīra went away without accepting anything thereby making her unhappy.

Five months and twenty-five days had passed after the Lord had taken his vow. Incidentally, one day the Lord went to 'Dhannā' nobility (śreṣṭhi)'s house for alms where the princess Candanā was waiting for the arrival of her guest, hungry, thirsty for three days, with uḍada-dāla pods in a winnowing basket. The śreṣṭhi's wife Mūlā had shaved off her hair and tied her feet in chains, imprisoning her. Seeing the Lord arriving Candanā was delighted. Her heart blossomed like lotus but when the Lord started to go away seeing something amiss, tear drops fell from Candanā's eyes. The Lord's vow was fulfilled He accepted alms from princess Candanā's hands. Candanā's chains on her hands and feet turned into ornaments. The sky echoed with drum sounds with the shower of the five auspicious things. Candanā's anxiety-ridden mind, face and the place lit up like the moon. After five months and twenty-five days, the Lord broke his fast.

After leaving Kauśāmbī, the Lord arrived at Campā city after passing through the villages Sumaṃgala, Suchettā, Pālaka etc. After four months fast, he completed the 12th cāturmāsaat the sacrificial hall of the Brahmin Svātidatta. Impressed by the Lord's austerity two Yakṣas, Pūrṇabhadra and Maṇibhadra used to come every night to be at the service of the Lord. Seeing this, Svātidatta thought he must be an important and knowledgeable person. He came to the Lord and said –"Lord, what is soul?" The Lord said –"The literal meaning of 'I' is soul, that is, soul is different from the body parts. It is devoid of any form, taste, smell, etc. Its quality is consciousness. Being formless, acquiring the senses cannot take it." Svātidatta asked again –"Is knowledge the other name of soul?" The Lord replied –"knowledge is the extraordinary quality of soul and the soul is the source / basis of knowledge. Being made of qualities, the soul is considered knowledge." Svātidatta was very pleased with the answers to his questions.

The 13th Year of Mendicancy

Leaving that place the Lord arrived at Jaṃbhiyagrāma After staying there for some time the Lord went to Chammāṇi village passing through Meḍhiyāgrāma and became meditative outside the village. A herdsman came there in the evening and leaving his cattle beside the Lord, went to the village on some work. On his return, he did not see his oxen and he questioned Mahāvīra, but he was silent. Angry due to his silence, the herdsman inserted reeds of a grass named 'Kāṃsa' in both ears of Mahāvīra and with a stone, hammered it into the ears completely. The Lord considered the intense pain from this as a past life karma and bore it quietly. Leaving Chammāṇi the Lord arrived at "Meḍhiyāgrāma" and went for alms to a vaiśya 'Siddhārtha's house. At that time, Siddhārtha was talking to his physician friend 'Kharaka'. When Kharaka saw the Lord's facial features, he knew there is some sharp thing inside his body. He told Siddhārtha and they requested the Lord to stay a while but the Lord did not stop. From there he went out of the village and again became meditative in a garden. After a while, Siddhārtha and Kharaka reached the garden with medicines. They massaged the Lord's body with oil and with the help of pincers, extracted the reeds from the ears. The moment the blood-ridden reeds came out of the Lord's ears he gave a cry, the echoes of which reverberated throughout the garden. After that, the physician Kharaka applied the ointment saṃrohaṇa on the wound and after paying obeisance to the Lord, both friends left. It is said that during his mendicancy period, the Lord bore with many ordeals and calamities but the ordeal of removing the nail-like reeds from the ears was the most painful of all. Bearing with all these ordeals with equanimity, the Lord destroyed a great amount of karmas. Strangely, the herdsmen caused the first and the last calamities faced by the Lord.

During twelve-and-a-half years of mendicancy period, the Lord accepted food only for 349 days. He fasted without water for the rest of the days.

Omniscience and First Sermon

In the middle of the 13th year on the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Vaiśākha month in the afternoon, the Lord was in meditation under a Śala tree in the Jīrṇa garden by the banks of the river Jṛṃbhikā outside the village Jṛṃbhikā. At that time, ascending the accelerated path of annihilating the obscuring karmas (kṣapakaśreṇī) with a fast without water and in the second stage of pure (Śukla) meditation; the Lord destroyed the four obscuring karmas, namely, deluding, intuition obscuring, knowledge obscuring and interference producing under Uttarāfālgunī constellation, and achieve pure intuition and pure knowledge i.e. became an Arhanta and omniscient.

The moment the Lord attained omniscient, the gods showered five auspicious things to express the glory of knowledge. The gods created a beautiful, grand holy religious hall (samavaśaraṇa). Even knowing that there was none present to accept doctrine, the Lord gave his sermon for some time, which is termed as unimpressive. As per tradition, the Tīrthaṃkara's first sermon is never wasted. Accordingly, this unprecedented incident is considered extraordinary. Ācārya Guṇacandra in his 'Mahāvīra Cariyam', while accepting the presence of people in the Lord's first samavaśaraṇa, calls it unimpressive. But highly acclaimed scholars like Ācārya Śīlāṃka and ancient ācāryas in their 'Cauvanna Mahāpurisa Cariyam' do not even mention the unimpressive council and say that first sermon of Lord Mahāvīra on the banks of river Ṛjubālukā had scholars like Indrabhūti, etc present with their respective disciples. The Lord cleared their doubts and taking initiation at the Lord's feet, they became his gaṇadharas.

The Religious gathering of the lord (Samavaśaraṇa) at Madhyamāpāvā

From Jṛṃbhikā the Lord arrived at 'Madhyamāpāvā'. There Ārya Somila was organising a grand sacrificial ritual to which several great scholars were invited. At the other end, on the arrival of the Lord the gods glorified the Lord with the mahāpratihāryas (great auspicious entities) under the Aśoka tree and erected a grand samavaśaraṇa. There, in a gathering of gods-demons and humans the Lord sat on a high throne and started his sermon in a deep and serious voice using Ardhamāgadhī language. Gods and goddesses arrived at the samavaśaraṇa from the sky route. The scholars at Somil's sacrificaila ritual thought the gods were coming for the ritual but when the gods went ahead, they were surprised. When scholar Indrabhūti found out that the gods are going to Mahāvīra's samavaśaraṇa, he too, with the intention of testing Lord Mahāvīra's knowledge, and to defeat him in a debate on the meaning of scriptures, went there with his 500 students. Indrabhūti was greatly impressed seeing the brilliant aura around Mahāvīra's face and the great auspicious things (mahāpratihāryas). When Mahāvīra addressed him as Indrabhūti Gautama, he was surprised. However, in his mind he thought 'I will consider him all-knowing only when he clears the doubt in my mind.' Understanding Gautama's mind, Mahāvīra said – "Gautama! You are doubtful since a long time about the question of soul." Indrabhūti consented and said, "The śrutis say that consciousness arises out of the five elements and again merges into them; hence existence of other world (beyond this life) is not possible. Then, how is a distinct identity of a person (puruṣa) separate from the earth and other elements possible?" The Lord said – "Indrabhūti! Your doubt arises from a difference of meaning. Actually, the wealth of knowledge does not mean that consciousness is born out of the elements, but different forms of knowledge. There are always new forms of knowledge produced in the soul and the past knowledge blends with it. In the same way, the meaning of 'bhūta' (elements) is not the five elements, as earth etc, but all objects both the inanimate and the animate matter that we know. The previous form of knowledge becomes redundant in a person when subsequent better forms of knowledge emerge." The meaningful answer of Lord Mahāvīra cleared Indrabhūti's doubt. Along with his disciples, he became the Lord's principal disciple. This same Indrabhūti became popular later on as Gautama (his family name) in Mahāvīra's period.

The belief in Digambara tradition

According to the Digambara tradition when Lord Mahāvīra attained pure knowledge the gods showered the five auspicious things and instructed by Indra; Kubera created samavaśaraṇa on the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Vaiśākha month. Lord Mahāvīra entered the samavaśaraṇa from the eastern entrance and sat on the high pedestal. The gods and Indras sat on their respective seats to hear the Lord's sermon, but the Lord kept silent. After waiting for many days, Indra was worried as to what could be the reason. Through clairvoyant knowledge, he understood that there are no gaṇadharas in the council. When Indra searched for a suitable person, he remembered the scholar Indrabhūti. Disguised, Indra went to Indrabhūti and said – "my teacher has taken a vow of silence these days. I want you to explain to me the meaning of a story." Indrabhūti told him, "I shall only explain to you the meaning if after that you will become my disciple." Indra in disguise as an ascetic readily agreed.

Indrabhūti got perplexed hearing the tale. The term 'chajjīvaṇikāyā' used intrigue in him. The subject of existence of soul filled his mind with doubt. After sometime he said –"then take me to your teacher. I will explain the meaning of this narrative only in front of him." Indra was happy in achieving his objective and took Indrabhūti with him, to Lord's samavaśaraṇa.

The moment he saw Indrabhūti the Lord addressing him by his name and gotra said, "Come, Gautama Indrabhūti! Your mind has doubts about the existence of the soul. The one within you which is thinking thus is the soul. There has never been a lack of that soul nor will there be, that is, this soul is permanent." Hearing a solution to his doubt from the Lord, without even expressing it, Indrabhūti, overwhelmed by devotion and faith, fell prostrate at the Lord's feet. He took initiation as the Lord's first disciple. This way, finding a purpose in Gautama Indrabhūti, Lord Mahāvīra gave his first sermon of 66 days after attaining omniscience starting on the first day of the dark fortnight of Śrāvaṇa month.

Founding the Tīrtha (religious order /creed/tradition)

Following Indrabhūti, ten more scholars took initiation from Lord Mahāvīra. The Lord imparted them the tripadī (i.e. three words aphorism) knowledge of "uppanei vā, vigamei vā, dhuveivā" i.e. reality is with origination-destructon and permanence simultaneously. Based on this tripadī knowledge Indrabhūti and other scholars produced the twelve Aṃgas known as Dwādaśāṃgi and incorporating the fourteen prior canons (pūrvas)in Dṛṣṭivāda and became gaṇadharas. Four thousand four hundred disciples of these scholars also took initiation on that day. Princess Candanabālā was the first female disciple female-monk in the Lord's congregation. Śaṃkha and others accepted the layman's conduct while Sulasā and others, the laywomen's conduct. This way, giving instructions on scripture and conduct, Lord Mahāvīra established the four-fold order of monks (male and female) and laymen-laywomen and became a Tīrthaṃkara. After founding the tīrtha the Lord returned once more to Rājagṛha from 'Madhyamāpāvā' and completed the rainy season halt of that year there.

The 1st Year as omniscient (Kevalī)

In those days in Rājagṛha, there were many householders of the Pārśva tradition. The Lord resided in the Guṇaśīla caitya there. When king Śreṇika heard the news of the Lord's arrival, he came to be present at the Lord's service with his family members. The Lord gave a sermon at the gathering. Impressed, Śreṇika accepted right belief; and along with Abhayakumāra and others became votaries (śrāvakas). Prince Meghakumāra and Nandiṣeṇa accepted initiation into monkhood.

Nandiṣeṇa's initiation is described as follows: - Listening to the Lord Mahāvīra's sermon Nandiṣeṇa desired to take initiation. A god said, from the sky, "Right now your layman's karma is strong, so stay at home for some more time." However, the prince paid no heed and took initiation at the Lord's feet. He gained knowledge from the elder monks and started observing different kinds of austerities. Again, the god said, "Nandiṣeṇa, your enjoyment (vedanīya) karmasstill remain. You cannot attain salvation without fulfilling those." This time too Nandiṣeṇa paid no attention. Once, he went alone seeking alms; and by coincidence, reached the home of a courtesan. When he spoke of religious benefits, the courtesan said, "Here we only speak of material benefits" and she smiled. Nandiṣeṇa did not like that woman smiling and filling the place with gems using a straw, said, "Take this, material gain" and left.

The courtesan was amazed to see the pile of gems and ran behind Nandiṣeṇa saying –"Oh my beloved, where are you going leaving me alone? I shall give up my life if you leave." Because of the courtesan's loving request and emergence of the enjoyment karma he agreed to stay and said –"But I shall accept food only after awakening knowledge of ten people each day. The day something is found wanting in this, I shall return to my teachers." The courtesan agreed to this condition and Nandiṣeṇa started staying there. Observing his vow, he would give awakening knowledge to ten people every day and send them for initiation to the Lord. One day he could only inspire nine people to take initiation into the spiritual path and the courtesan kept inviting him repeatedly to eat. Ultimately, when she went to call him personally, Nandiṣeṇa said –"Okay, the tenth person for today is I." Saying so, he left the courtesan's house and immersed himself in austerities at the feet of the Lord. Lord completed 13th rainy season halt at Rājagṛha.

Note: A year's completion of mendicancy is after initiation (Mārgaśīrṣa 10) to the full moon day of the bright fortnight of Kārtika and the New Year starts from Mārgaśīrṣa again. After omniscience, too the same calculation has been followed, whereas omniscience happened on the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Vaiśākha which comes six months after Mārgaśīrṣa.

2nd Year as omniscient

Completing the rainy period stay at Rājagṛha, the Lord moved towards Videha. He arrived at 'Brāhmaṇakuṇḍa' and stayed at Bahuśāla caitya. Scholar Ṛṣabhadatta had come to pay respects with his wife Devānandā. Seeing the Lord, Devānandā's heart was filled with love. She became joyous and overwhelmed and tears started flowing form her eyes while milk oozed from her breasts. Gautama was astonished to see this and asked the Lord – "Lord! Who is this?" The Lord said – "Gautama, she is my mother and due to love for her son, she is excited." Thereafter, hearing the Lord's speech at the samavaśaraṇa Ṛṣabhadatta and Devānandā took initiation and studying the 11 Aṃgas, observed years of austerities and penance and attained mokṣa.

Adjacent to Brāhmaṇakuṇḍa was Kṣatriyakuṇḍa. There prince Jamāli along with five hundred other princes took initiation. His wife, Priyadarśanā, who was Lord's daughter, also took initiation with one thousand women. The Lord spent that monsoon in Vaiśālī.

The 3rd Year as Kevalī

Leaving Vaiśālī the Lord arrived at the capital city of Vatsadeśa Kauśāmbī, and sat in the Candrāvataraṇa caitya. The grandson of king Sahasrānīka used to rule over Kauśāmbī. His name was Udāyana; he was the son of Śatānīka. His mother's name was Mṛgāvatī who was the daughter of king Ceṭaka of Vaiśālī. There used to live a Śramaṇa follower by name Jayaṃtī, Sahasrānīka's daughter, or Śatānīka's sister, the aunt of Udāyana. Learning of the arrival of the Lord, Udāyana, along with his mother Mṛgāvatī and aunt Jayaṃtī arrived at the service of the Lord. Jayaṃtī heard the Lord's discourse and asked questions, given here briefly:

Jayaṃtī's first question was –"How does a soul get heavy or light?" In reply the Lord said –"A soul immersed in 18 sins, becomes heavy and keeps wandering in the world through endless time. A soul becomes light by getting rid of these sins and crosses the ocean of the world." Jayaṃtī's second question was –"Does a soul have a natural eligibility to attain mokṣa or as a causal one?" The Lord said – "The eligibility for mokṣa is a natural inclination not causal." Jayaṃtī's next question was – "Will all the Siddhas attain mokṣa?" The Lord said –"Yes, all the righteous souls will attain mokṣa." The fourth question was –"When all such souls attain mokṣa would the world be devoid of great souls?" The Lord's answer was –"No, soul is immortal; even if the Siddha souls will remain liberated always yet the world will not be devoid of righteous souls." To Jayaṃtī's other question the Lord said it is better for the unrighteous people and the people who preach unrighteous things to remain asleep; when they are asleep, unrighteousness will not prosper in the world. The Lord also said that goodness or wrongfulness of power, wealth, and material depends on their good use or bad use. Happy with the Lord's skillful answers to her questions, Jayaṃtī accepted the path of restraint and self-redemption and welfare of others.

From Kauśāmbī the Lord arrived at Śrāvastī. There Sumanobhadra and Supratiṣṭha took initiation. They attained liberation in time after excellent austerities. From there the Lord arrived at Vāṇijyagrāma where he awakened householder Anaṃda and initiated him into the householder's conduct and completed his rainy season stay there.

The 4th Year as Kevalī

After the end of the monsoons, the Lord moved from Vāṇijyagrāma to Magadha and stayed at 'Guṇaśīla' caitya in Rājagṛha. Śālibhadra, son of a merchant, used to stay there. Śālibhadra's father was Gobhadra, a resident of the abode of gods. Out of love for Śālibhadra, he used to bring clothes, ornaments and food from the heaven for his son and his wives. Śālibhadra's mother Bhadrā was so magnanimous she would give the gem-studded blankets that even king Śreṇika could not buy to her daughters-in-law to wipe their feet. Even king Śreṇika was amazed at Bhadrā's magnanimity. He reached Bhadrā's house. He was amazed to see Śālibhadra's wealth. When Bhadrācalled Śālibhadra to meet the king he said –"What is the necessity for me to come and meet? Whaveter Whatever is valuable, see it and keep it in the godown." To this the mother said –"This is not a thing that can be bought; this is our Lord (nātha)." Hearing the word 'nātha' Śālibhadra was surprised. "So there is some Lord over me as well. And I must do some good deed to release myself from his servitude." As advised by his mother he gradually took to the path of renunciation and started leaving one wife of his each day.

When Śālibhadra's sister Subhadrā praised her brother in front of her husband Dhannā Seṭha he said –"If he wants to leave why he doesn't leave it all at once? Leaving one by one is cowardice." Subhadrā said – "Easier said than done." Hearing this Dhannā got up at once and taking Śālibhadra with him, both took initiation at the Lord's feet. After practising different austerities, they became gods in Sarvārthasiddha vimāna. This way, giving initiation in conduct to many people the Lord completed his rainy season halt in Rājagṛha.

The 5th Year as Kevalī

Completing the monsoon period in Rājagṛha, the Lord went to Campā and stayed at Pūrṇabhadra there. Hearing news of his arrival there, the king of the city, Datta, came with his family. Prince 'Mahācandra' awoke on hearing the Lord's sermon. He became a votary. After sometime on the Lord's arrival again he renounced everything and became a monk. After sometime, the Lord arrived at Vītabhaya city after leaving Campā. The king Udāyana there was a śrāvakaobserving the vowsand used to stay awake in the night in his armoury. On the way to Vītabhaya, the monks had to face many difficulties because of the heart. There was no habitation anywhere nearby. It was impossible to find food or water. On the way, they came across caravans loaded with sesame. The caravaneers stopped their caravans and seeing the monks, requested them to partake of the sesame. Knowing that the sesame is pure without any living beings (acitta)the Lord stopped the monks from accepting it. The water at a nearby pond was also acitta, so the Lord did not permit them to quench their thirst with it. The Lord thought if the soulless grains and water is accepted easily, in future the practice of accepting the unacceptable will develop and there will not be any control over the monk tradition. Hence even if it is faultless, for a mendicant, accepting something against the social custom is wrong. At the time of leaving Vītabhaya city, king Udāyana served the Lord and many took the path of renunciation. From there the Lord arrived at Vāṇijyagrāma and spent the rainy season there.

The 6th Year as Kevalī

Completing his monsoon stay at Vāṇijyagrāma the Lord proceeded to Vārāṇasī and stayed at 'Koṣṭhaka caitya'. There he gave a sermon to the people present, inspired by which the father of Cullinī, his wife Śyāmā and Surādeva and his wife Dhanyā became votaries. Later on, they were counted amongst the foremost śrāvakas of the Lord. From Vārāṇasī, the Lord arrived in Ālaṃbhiyā and stayed with disciples in Śaṃkhanāda garden. The king of Ālaṃbhiyā, Jitaśatru, came to the Lord. Near the Śaṃkhanāda garden, there was a place of a renouncer named Pudgala, who was a veritable scholar of the Vedas andśāstras. He had attained vibhaṃga (skewed) knowledge by observing fasts and penance enabling him used to know the situation till Brahmaloka. Once out of ignorance he opined that the age of gods is between ten thousand years to ten sāgaras and he had propagated this opinion everywhere. This view reached Gautama during his wandering for alms and he told the Lord about this. The Lord said –"No, the best age is up to 33 sāgaras." When Pudgala learnt this, he came to the Lord for clarification. On listening to the sermon of the Lord, He got enlightment; and taking initiation from the Lord, observing penance and restraint, he attained liberation.

During this period, Culaśataka also became a votary. After passing through various places in Ālaṃbhiyā a, the Lord reached Rājagṛha. There Maṃkāī, Kiṃkama, Arjunamālī and Kāśyapa were initiated into monkhood by him. Householder Varadatta too accepted restraint and attained liberation after 12 years of austerities. He had his rainy halt in Rājagṛha. Nandana also took initiation here.

The 7th Year as Kevalī

Sensing opportunities, Lord Mahāvīra remained in Rājagṛha after the end of the rainy season. Once, king Śreṇika was with the Lord when a leper came and sat there. Suddenly, the Lord sneezed. The leper said –"die soon." Then Śreṇika sneezed and he said –"live long". When Abhayakumāra sneezed, he said, "Live or die". When Kālaśaukarika sneezed he said, "Neither live nor die." This way, he said different things when different people sneezed. However, Śreṇika was angry at the use of the word 'die' for the Lord. Even before anyone reacted, the leper vanished. Addressing Śreṇika's curiosity, the Lord said –"O king! This man is not a leper, but a god in this disguise. He said, "Die soon" to me, implying "attain salvation soon". To you he said, "Live long", which means, there is happiness in this life; live it as later there is sorrow and the path to hell is open for you. For Abhaya both are alike; there is no joy here or after death in his next birth as well. Kālaśaukarika is bad both ways – neither joy in living, nor any use in dying, that is why he said, "Neither live nor die."

Hearing that the path to hell is open, Śreṇika asked the Lord – "What is the way to save me from the sorrow of hell?" The Lord said –"If you can prevent butcher Kālaśaukarika from killing, or can get the Brahmin woman Kapilā to donate, you can be released from going to hell." Śreṇika tried his best. However, he did not succeed' either in making butcher leave his killing profession or to make Brahmin woman become of charitable disposition. Seeing Śreṇika defeated and sad, the Lord said –"Do not worry; you will be a Tīrthaṃkara in future." After sometime Śreṇika made an announcement that, whosoever wants to take initiation from the Lord was free to do so. All help would be extended to that person's dependents who would be well looked after by him. Many householders, 23 princes and 13 queens, encouraged by the announcement, took initiation. Ascetic Ārdraka too, came to the Lord. The Lord spent that rainy season halt too in Rājagṛha.

The 8th year as Kevalī

After the rainy sweason halt, spending a little more time in Rājagṛha, the Lord arrived at Kauśāmbī. Attracted by the beauty of Mṛgāvatī of Kauśāmbī, the king of Ujjayinī, Caṇḍapradyota, wanted to make her his queen. Therefore, he had surrounded Kauśāmbī as after the death of her husband and her son Udāyana being very young, Mṛgāvatī was ruling the kingdom. Hearing the Lord's arrival, she went to listen to his sermon and, ready to renounce asked Caṇḍapradyota present there to give her permission. In a full assembly, helpless, not only did Caṇḍapradyota gave her permission, but got the Lord to give her initiation in the assembly with great pomp and show. With intelligence, Mṛgāvatī protected her chastity and followed the right path. The Lord completed that cāturmāsa Vaiśālī.

The 9th Year as Kevalī

Completing the rainy season halt in Vaiśālī, the Lord came to 'Kākaṃdī', passing through Mithilā, and stayed at Sahasrāmra garden. On the news of the Lord's arrival, king Jitaśatru came to offer his service. The merchant Bhadrā's son, Dhanyakumāra, too, reached there. Listening to the Lord's sermon, he gave up his vast wealth and prosperity and took initiation. Accepting initiation, he took an oath in front of the Lord –"All my life I will wander observing fasts and shall only break my fast with food free from living beings." This way, through severe penance he made his body emaciated. Dhanyakumāra's penance and austerities were so lofty that Lord Mahāvīra praised him for being the one observing the most difficult penance among his 14,000 monks. In nine months of mendicancy, monk Dhanya completed his life observing a fast and became a god in the Sarvārthasiddhi vimāna. 'Sunakṣatrakumāra' too went to Sarvārthasiddhi in this manner after initiation. After leaving Kākaṃdī, the Lord, passing through Kampilapura and Polāsapura, arrived at Vaṇiyagrāma. At Kampilapura, Kuṇdkaulika accepted the śrāvakaconduct and 'Saddālputra' in Polāsapur accepted the 12 vows. Leaving Vāṇijyagrāma the Lord arrived ta Vaiśālī and completed the rainy season halt there.

The 10th Year as Kevalī

After the rainy season, the Lord reached Rājagṛha through Magadha. There, Mahāśataka gāthāpati accepted the vows of a votary. An elder monk from Pārśva's tradition, too, came to the Lord's samavaśaraṇa; and getting clarifications for his doubts from the Lord, was very happy. He said Lord Mahāvīra is omniscient. He accepted the five major vows (mahāvratas) from the Lord. There, in reply to some questions of Rohaka monk, the Lord said, "The question of existence of the world, the other world, living-non-living, egg and hen their pre-post discussions is an immortal one (infinite regress). In fact, there is no normative order in these, as this is an eternal tradition. In the same way, the existence of all matter in the world is interdependent." Addressing Gautama's inquisitiveness the Lord said, "The conditions and arrangements of the world are of eight types. These are; air on the basis of sky, water on the basis of air, earth on water; living beings on earth, non-living beings on living beings, different forms of life on basis of karmas and modes of souls, adoption of mind and speech particles and souls adopting different modes due to karmas. He spent rainy season haltat Rājagṛha.

The 11th Year as Kevalī

Leaving Rājagṛha, the Lord reached Kṛtaṃgalā-Kayaṃgalā where the samavaśaraṇa was held at the 'Chatrapalāśa' garden. At that time, a renouncer named Skaṃdaka used to live in Śrāvastī city near Kṛtaṃgalā. He was the disciple of 'Gardabhāla' and well-versed in Vedas and Vedāṃgas. Once he met a nirgrantha named Piṃgala. Piṃgala asked Skaṃdaka –"O Magadha! Can you tell me if the world, soul, Siddhi and Siddhas are with an end or without an end? What kind of death enhances or reduces a soul?" Skaṃdaka thought a lot but could not get the answer. He learnt that the Lord had arrived at 'Chatrapalāśa', so he thought, why not get the solution to this from him, and he went to Kaytaṃgalā.

There the Lord told Gautama, "Your past acquaintance, a mendicant Skaṃdaka will come here in a while." Gautama was curious and asked – "Lord, will Skaṃdaka become your disciple?" The Lord said –"Yes, today Skaṃdaka will become my disciple." Skaṃdaka came there. Gautama welcomed him and asked -"Skaṃdaka, did you come here because the nirgrantha Piṃgala asked you something you could not find an answer for?" Surprised, Skaṃdaka said –"Gautama, May I ask you as to who told you my secret thought?" When Gautama introduced him to the Lord's omniscience, Skaṃdaka devotedly saluted the Lord. He then placed his problem in front of the Lord. The Lord said –"Skaṃdaka, the world is of four kinds – substance (dravya), place (kṣetra), time (kāla) and modes or thoughts (bhāva). In some way the world is with an end and in another, endless, without an end. It is the same for soul, Siddhi and Siddha. As far as dying is concerned, there are two kinds of deaths; death as a child/fool (bāla) and death of a knowledgeable one (paṇḍita). Death as a child enhances the transmigration cycle (saṃsārā) while the death of a knowledgeable one or death in samādhi (meditation) reduces trans migratory cycle. Dying in ignorance, unmeditative, on account of anger, greed, lust, etc is a childhood death."

Skaṃdaka was very happy with the knowledgeable solutions given by the Lord. He expressed desire to be a mendicant. Knowing him to be a suitable person the Lord gave him initiation. Skaṃdaka became a monk.

For 12 years, he seriously observed the conduct of a monk and affected his soul through various austerities and died on the Vipula Mountain in meditative state. The Lord reached Vāṇijyagrāma passing through Sāvatthī, from Kaytaṃgalā.

The 12th Year as Kevalī

At the end of the monsoon period the Lord left Vāṇijyagrāma and came to the Bahuśāla caitya in Brāhmaṇakuṇḍa. Jamāli, the heretic had sought permission in this very place from the Lord to wander separaetely and when he was silent he left with five hundred monks to wander independently. The Lord arrived at Kauśāmbī while going towards Vatsadeśa. At Kauśāmbī, Candra and Sūrya had come for venerating the Lord in their own vimānas, which is an extraordinary event. From Kauśāmbī the Lord reached Rājagṛha and stayed at Guṇaśīla caitya. The Lord's monsoon stay of the year was at Rājagṛha. In that same year his disciples, 'Vehāsa' and 'Abhaya' became gods after their fast unto death on Vipula Mountain.

The 13th Year as Kevalī

Leaving Rājagṛha the Lord reached Campā and stayed at Pūrṇabhadra garden. Kauṇika used to rule Campā at that time. Kauṇika had made systematic arrangements to stay abreast of the Lord's well-being and news of his leaving. He used to have his food after he got the above news of the Lord. On the news of arrival of the Lord, Kauṇika went to pay obeisance to the Lord with pomp and show. The Lord gave his sermon. Many householders became monks. Prominent among them were the ten grandsons of Śreṇika. Jinapālita, etc also became Śramaṇas and a famous trader like Pālita became a votary and the Lord completed his rainy season halt there.

Share this page on:

Author

Source/Info

Title: Jain Legend: Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (1)
Author:
Acharya Hasti Mala
Editors:
Shugan C. Jain
Publisher: Samyakjnana Pracaraka Mandala, Jaipur
Edition: 2011