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Journey into Jainism: The Value of Tolerance (1)

Published: 18.09.2017

King Kanakketu of Shraavasti and his queen Malayasundari had a son and a daughter, named Skandhak and Sunanda respectively. Skandhak was a remarkably intelligent young man. He possessed a great ability to do everything with efficiency. Sunanda's charm and intelligence enhanced her exquisite beauty. Both were extremely fond of each other. At length, however, Sunanda was married to King Purushsingh.

One day a muni named Vijaysena came to Shraavasti. Thousands of persons, including Prince Skandhak, came to hear his lectures. After listening intently to the learned monk's profound words, and observing his serene state, Skandhak's ideas about future began to take definite form in his mind. He made up his mind to give up the worldly life and live a truly religious and righteous life. Skandhak confidently approached his parents and told them of his earnest desire to become a monk. As Skandhak was resolute and firm in his purpose, they, at last, gave their consent, and he left to pursue the path of asceticism.

Muni Skandhak, now living among practising monks, began to study the Jain scriptures and perform penance. He engrossed himself thoroughly in his religious duties. Soon he received permission from his guru to lead the life of a recluse.

Thus he began to live in solitude, travelled from village to village and underwent austerities. When Skandhak's father learned of this, he appointed five hundred soldiers to be the bodyguards of Muni Skandhak. Normally a saadhak does not need the help of others. However, due to attachment, Skandhak allowed his father to make such arrangements. As a result, wherever the muni went, the soldiers followed.

Despite all efforts, nobody can avoid destiny. Muni at last came to the city of his sister Sunanda. He had completed a month long fast on that day and intended to do parana. The soldiers thought that, because it was his sister's city, there was no need for his protection. Thus they left him unattended.

King Purushsingh and Queen Sunanda were playing chess. Suddenly the queen looked at the monk and

This men then took Skandhak to the crematorium and began to remove his skin.

recognized him as her brother. The king did not recognise the muni, and suspecting the queen, immediately con­cluded the game and called his henchmen. He ordered them to peel off the skin of the monk. His men then took Shandhak to the crematorium and began to remove his skin. Despite the excruciating pain, the muni remained calm.

There were no hostile feelings of enmity or retaliation in the muni's mind. He was so intensely engrossed in meditation that he experienced the separation of soul and body. He bore all the tortures very peacefully and attained kevalgyana.

Sources

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

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Guru
  3. Meditation
  4. Muni
  5. Parana
  6. Soul
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