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Journey into Jain Aagam: Firm Determination

Published: 07.11.2017

A king named Balbhadra ruled over Sugriva Nagar. Mrigavati was his queen and they had a son named Balshree. When Balshree grew up, he became famous as Mrigaputra. In due course, he got married. One day, while he was enjoying himself with his wife, he looked out of the window and saw some people approaching. All of a sudden, his eyes fell upon a monk, strolling on the highway. This scene seemed to remind him of something, so he was compelled to think deeply. He wondered, "Have I seen such a person earlier?" As a result of his concentration, he attained the knowledge of his previous birth, in which, he had been a monk. Now, he started visualizing the incidents of his previous life. This fact resulted in a feeling of detachment and he became eager to renounce the worldly life. Then, he went to his parents to seek their permission. He said to them, "I want to take initiation. This body is immortal and filled with impurities. It is destined to perish. This body is merely a vessel of miseries. Birth is sorrow, old age is sorrow too, and so are diseases and death. As a matter of fact, the whole world is full of miseries."

His parents tried to dissuade him by introducing him to the hardships of monkhood. They said, "It is very difficult to practice thousands of restrains of monkhood. They have to follow five great vows (Mahavrats), which are non-violence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy and non-possession of any materialistic thing. They, neither eat nor drink before sunrise and after sun set." They further added, "The burden of monkhood is heavier than an iron weight which has to be borne throughout the whole life, without resting even for a moment. It is very difficult to sustain all this throughout one's life." They further said, "The life of a monk is tasteless like a mouthful of sand and the penance they practice is like walking on the sharpened edges of a sword. These and even much more are the difficulties they have to endure."

Thus, a form of debate took place between them. The parents wanted him to lead a worldly life but he was determined to renounce everything and accept monkhood. Finally, the parents gave up saying, "Son, if you want to become a monk, you may do so, but you should know the fact that if a monk falls ill, he is not liable to get any treatment for that disease even if it is very painful." Hearing all this, Mrigaputra said, "I agree that a monk's life is really very difficult, but tell me, who looks after ailing beasts and birds living in the forest? Who provides food and water for them? They satisfy their hunger and thirst by eating grass and drinking water. They go about freely in the company of their own herd. Likewise by accepting monkhood, I will be able to roam freely like a deer in the forest and shall attain emancipation, that is the ultimate goal of a monk."

Finally, Mrigaputra succeeded in convincing his parents. He renounced and abandoned all kinds

Mrigaputra seeking permission from his parents for taking initiation

of attachments and affection, (like a snake who casts off his skin) and became a monk. He observed monkhood carefully and achieved emancipation.

A person who is firmly determined, will reach his destination definitely.


Jain Stories

Title: Journey into Jain Aagam
Author: Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati
Edition: 2001

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Celibacy
  3. Concentration
  4. Mahavrats
  5. Non-violence
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