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Journey into Jainism: The Value of Satisfaction

Published: 20.09.2017

King Shrenik was sitting in his palace with his queen Chelana. It was a dark night, and the sky was overcast with clouds. Yet bright, intense lightning pervaded the sky. In a brilliant flash of lightning, Queen Chelana was startled to see an old man collecting firewood on the bank of the river. She was greatly distressed by the piteous sight and exclaimed to the king, "O dear, what sort of poor people dwell in your kingdom? Among such poverty, how can your magnificence be justly appreciated?" The king agreed with his queen that something must be done.

The next morning, he summoned the old man and asked him, "Who are you, and why do you take so much trouble in the odd hours of the night?" The man woefully replied, "O king! I am Mamman, the son of a rich person. I have an ox and, with the purpose of obtaining its pair, I labour round the clock."

The king ordered his servant to take the man to the royal stable and to give him the ox of his choosing. Mamman examined the options, but could not select a single ox. He even refused to take those oxen used for the chariot of the king. When the king was informed of this, he asked Mamman, "What type of an ox do you have, that the best of mine won't do?"

"O worthy king," the man dejectedly began, "I beseech you to visit my house, since you are kind enough to wish for my welfare. Please take this slight trouble, and sanctify my dwelling by your presence.

The king consented to go to the house of Mamman. When he arrived, his eyes were dazzled by the brilliance and radiance of an ox decorated with sparkling diamonds. The king then cried, "0 fool! The property of my whole kingdom is unable to make such an ox. What a strange person you are indeed! You must surely have an empty belly, and yet you desire to obtain another of this ox, to get a match for this ox? What purpose will they serve you?"

When the king informed the queen about the incident, she too went to see the ox. Having seen everything, the queen exclaimed, "This old man is not poor, but greedy and miserly. None in this world can alleviate a sorrow such as his."

When he arrived, his eyes were dazzled by the brilliance and radiance of an ox decorated with resplendent diamonds.

Sources

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

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