Journey into Jainism ► The Value of Faith

Posted: 07.10.2017

Arnak was a prominent export- import businessman from Champanagari. Though a wealthy man, he also had keen faith in his religion, Jainism. Once a business deal required a massive shipment of merchandise to be sent abroad. Thus he and his business associates set sail.

Suddenly the sky became dark and there was thunder and lightning. Coming rapidly toward the ship, as if in a horror movie, was a terrifying demon with grotesquely elongated features, earrings of real snakes, a blood-covered body and a sword in his right hand. Aranak's ship-mates were panic-striken. They tried to invoke their family gods for help, but to no avail, and screamed, "We're going to die! We'll never see our homes again!" Aranak, however, calmly asked them, "What are you so fearful about? If we're to die now, death would soon be upon us, and if we are to live more no one can make us die. Life and death are but the two ends of life. As such, we should be patient in favourable and unfavourable circumstances alike. Why do we desire to live so long anyway? Why don't we want to die? We shouldn't have fear of death. The gods you worship cannot truely protect you. The true shelters are: 1) Arihant, 2) Siddha, 3) Acharya, and 4) Religion as propounded by the omniscients. Please accept these shelters and you will be free from your sufferings. I myself accept these shelters."

The demon became furious and lifted the ship up in the airand threw it down, causing Arnak's companions to weep pitiously and plead with Arnak to at least say he was giving up his religion, which he did not.

Aranak then declared that he would fast and perform meditation for the remaining trip. However, the next minute the demon approached the ship, challenging Aranak, "Give up your religion and all your companions will be safe; refuse to give it up and I will destroy you all!"

Aranak heard the threat but paid no attention to it, for he was engrossed in kaayotsarg. The demon challenged him again and again but Aranak did not reply. The demon became furious and lifted the ship up in the air and threw it down, causing Aranak's companions to weep pitiously and plead with Aranak to at least say he was giving up his religion, which he did not. They complained, "You claim you are a religious person, but you have no compassion in your heart. You will be the cause of death of hundreds of people. How is this compatible with your religion?"

Though both the demon and his companions tried their best, they could not shake Aranak from his faith in true religion. At last, the demon bowed down to Aranak and said that he had heard Aranak was a firm religious person, that no one could divert him from his religion, and had come there to test him. He concluded: "I am very happy to find you steadfast in religion. Please accept a gift of two special earrings and again I commend you on your staunch faith in religion." Other members of the ship echoed similar comments, thanked Aranak, and arrived safely at their destination.

Share this page on:

Author

Source/Info

Title: Journey into Jainism
Author:
Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha (Samani Smit Pragya)
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun, India
Edition: 2012