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Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (2): Ārya Khaputa

Published: 19.05.2016

The era of Ārya Khaputa may be described as the era of extra ordinary super sensual powers. Some special events of his life are described below: Once he went to Bhṛgukacchapura. There his nephew Bhuvana, impressed by his sermons, became his disciple monk. Believing him to be intelligent, Ārya Khaputa taught Bhuvana a few such powers. Incidentally, in Bhṛgupura the Buddhist monks became arrogant due to the patronage of and reverence shown by the King Balamitra. They would throw small bundles of grass into the dwellings of Jain monks, suggesting that the Jain monks as equal to animals. By chance, novice monk, Bhuvana happened to see this. Out of fury, he went to the royal court accompanied by some laymen. There he said in a loud voice, "O King! Your Guru is abusing the Jain Śramaṇas. We want to debate with him. Summon him once and ask him to participate in a discussion with us and let the people grasp the reality".

So the king summoned the Buddhist monks and arranged a debate with monk Bhuvana. The Buddhist monks faced defeat as they were unable to challenge Bhuvana's incontrovertible arguments. With the victory of Monk Bhuvana, waves of happiness spread all over the Jain congregation, but, the Buddhist monks were grieved because of their humiliation. They invited their Ācārya Vuḍḍhkara from Guḍaśastrapura and requested him to debate with Monk Bhuvana. Monk Bhuvana defeated him as well, with his logic and transcendental powers. Miserable because of the humiliation, Vuḍḍhkara died after some time and was reborn as a Yakṣa in Guḍaśastrapura. Carrying forward the animosity that he bred in his previous birth, he started harassing the Jain monks in numerous ways. The congregation informed Ārya Khaputa about the situation and requested him to head to Guḍaśastrapura.

Ārya Khaputa asked Bhuvana monk to stay behind with the other monks of the Gaccha in Bhṛgupura, while he went to Guḍaśastrapura alone. While leaving, Ārya Khaputa gave a casket to Monk Bhuvana and commanded him to guard it carefully and not to open it at any time. Reaching Guḍaśastrapura, Ārya Khaputa with his power, made the Yakṣa his devotee and impressed the king and all his subjects.

When Ārya Khaputa was still in Guḍaśastrapura, two monks from Bhṛgupura arrived there and informed him, "After you left from the place, Bhuvana monk opened the secret casket that you gave him to safeguard; he took one leaflet from it and by just reading the verse in that, acquired 'ākarṣiṇī vidyā' (a magical power by which one can attract anything towards him). With that power in hand, each day he is attracting the best of foods and savouring them. When the Sthaviras objected to this, he angrily left the place and joined the Buddhists. As a result of the magic power, empty vessels fly in the air and return filled with delicious sweetmeats. Seeing such things, all the Votaries are getting attracted to him. Therefore you should come and provide solace to the congregation".

Listening to the monks, Ārya Khaputa considered the matter for a while and from Guḍaśastrapura set out for Bhṛgupura. After reaching there, instead of going directly to the congregation, Ārya Khaputa stayed at a place in secret and started breaking with stones in the midway itself the food-filled vessels into pieces, which were being attracted by Monk Bhuvana. The sweetmeats from the broken vessels started falling on the heads of the people. When his efforts met with failure, it did not take long for Monk Bhuvana to understand that Ārya Khaputa had returned. In awe, he fled from Bhṛgupura. Ārya Khaputa followed by the monks went to the Buddhist monastery and impressed upon them with his knowledge and later embarked on continuing his wanderings.

In an age which was dominated by the exhibition of magical powers, Ārya Khaputa, using his unique magical powers, did a lot of service to the Jain order. According to Tapagaccha Paṭṭāvalī his period was fixed as V.N. 453 and according to Prabhāvaka Caritra it was V.N. 484. If we consider these texts as complementary to each other than a conclusion can be derived that his tenure as ācārya began in V.N. 453 and ended in V.N. 484, both the authors appear true and provide determinative data about the tenure of Ācārya Khaputa.

14th Epochal-ācārya - Ārya Revatimitra

Ārya Revatimitra was next in line to Ārya Skaṃdilācārya as epochalācārya. No data is available about his caste, birth, native place, etc. The information about him, available in the nine stanzas of Yugapradhāna Yantra and Vicāra Śreṇi written by Meru Tuṃgācārya is given below:

Birth V.N. 352
Initiation V.N. 366
Became ācārya V.N. 414
Heavenly abode V.N. 450
Household life duration 14 years
Ordinary Monk tenure 48 years
Tenure as ācārya 36 years 5 months 5 days
Total longevity 98 years

Sources

Title: Jain Legend: Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (2)
Author:
Acharya Hasti Mala
Editors:
Shugan C. Jain
Publisher: Samyakjnana Pracaraka Mandala, Jaipur
Edition: 2011
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Caritra
  2. Gaccha
  3. Guru
  4. Meru
  5. Yakṣa
  6. Yantra
  7. Ācārya
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