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Journey into Jainism: The Value of Repentance (1)

Published: 25.09.2017

Suvrat was born in a rich family. He had every facility at his home. Although a wide array of sweets were offered to him, Suvrat relished the taste of kesariya- modaka. Whenever he desired to eat the modakas, he ordered his cooks to prepare the dish and it would be promptly served to him.

One day Acharya Shubhankar with his Order happened to come to the city. Suvrat was so impressed by their serene nature that he renounced the worldly life to become a monk. After his initiation, he studied Jain canonical literature and performed penance.

All other monks praised him for his keen interest in study and penance. The Acharya too was extremely pleased with Suvrat's learning and spiritual practices.

Once the Acharya went to Rajgriha. On that day there was a special function of modakas. In each home modakas were being prepared. As a result, all the lay- followers were occupied and could not go to receive the Acharya.

A few hours later they came to the Acharya and begged forgiveness for their negligence. The Achaarya asked them how modakas prepared. When the lay- followers explained the process of preparing them, the Acharya believed it to be very rich in diet. Thus he advised all the monks not to go to the houses to collect the alms because it would hamper their study and meditation.

All the monks except Suvrat muni observed fast on that day. Muni Suvrat remembered the taste of modakas which he used to eat as a householder. He did not observe fast and, with the Acharya's permission, went on his rounds for alms.

The muni went to every house looking for modakas, but was not given any. He rambled on in search of modakas from afternoon until evening. The feeling to eat them grew so intense that he could not control his sense organs.

He continued to wander on the roads. It became dark, but all that was irrelevant to him. Like a mad man he was shouting into the night for the modakas that obscured all other thoughts.

When a lay-follower named Jinbhadra heard these words, he looked out through his window and was stunned to see a muni in such a state.

When a lay-follower named Jinbhadra heard these words, he looked out through his window and was stunned to see a muni in such a state. He understood, that the monk's behaviour was the result of unfulfilled desire for modakas.

Jinbhadra came out and requested the monk to come into his house. When the monk started to go in, Jinbhadra asked politely, "Gurudeva, what time is it?"

The Muni looked at the sky to determine the hour. He perceived that there were stars and moon in the sky. He could not move a single step forward. "It is already midnight and I am wandering for my food," he replied, repenting deeply.

Jinbhadra implored him to spend the night at his residence. Muni Suvrat, felt ashamed and regret for his action, accepted the advice and stayed there. It dawned upon the muni that he should not have done what he had done. He repented over the deed and in doing so he attained the supreme height of knowledge.

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. Acharya
  2. Meditation
  3. Muni
  4. Muni Suvrat
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