Published: 21.11.2019
Updated: 04.12.2019

Stotumsamudyata-matir-vigata-trapoaham |

O Lord, your pious feet are worshipped by celestial beings, just as an ignorant child tries the impossible task of grasping the moon from its reflection in a pool of water, out of impudence alone, an ignorant man like me is excited to eulogize a great soul like you.

Vaktumgunaanguna-samudra! shashaanka-kaantaan

O Ocean of virtues! Can even Brihaspati, the guru of heavenly beings, with the help of his unlimited wisdom, narrate your virtues which are as radiant as the moon? Who can possibly swim across a crocodile infested ocean, lashed by storms of doom?

Acharya Maantung made a resolution - "I will sing the praises of Lord Rishabh".

In the process of enacting ones resolution, a person begins to analyze the feasibility of the resolution. One contemplates: how will I accomplish the resolution I have undertaken? Did I think deeply on the task or was it a spur-of-the-moment decision? How much potential and ability do I have?

Similarly, Acharya Maantung wonders - Is it possible for me to create a stuti on teerthankars? Is it possible for me to hail Lord Rishabh, the first among all teerthankars?”

Stotumsamudyata-matir-vigata-trapoaham |

Amongst the many questions that arose in the mind of Acharya Maantung, the key question was - "Do I possess the required power of intellect to praise Adinath?"

It is said: 'Buddhiryasyabalamtasya' - One, who has intellect, has power.

Power can be of myriad types - power of wealth, power of position, power of morality, and more. In spite of attaining all of the above powers, one can be defeated if they do not possess the power of intellect. Historically Indian literature is replete with a long lineage of intellectuals such as Akbar, Birbal, and Sanskrit poets and scholars of the court of King Bhoj. Texts depict incidents illustrating their intellect. Intellect can be described as the Kaamdhenu(wish-fulfilling cow) that makes one victorious.


Internal Conflicts and Dilemmas

Acharya Maantung deliberated that although he had the resolve to create stuti of the Lord whose feet are worshipped by deities; he lacked the necessary power of intellect. How will his resolution be accomplished? Will it not be a matter of shame to leave the resolution unaccomplished? To resolve the dilemma, Acharya Maantung reasons out as follows-

"Lord! Lack of intellect is not my worry because I present myself as a child in front of you. A child can accomplish all that adults and intellectuals cannot. I am undertaking this task like a child trying to catch the moon by its reflection in water. Nobody makes fun of the innocent child's attempts. Likewise, my action should not be a subject of ridicule."

Today the world has become such that people are more allured towards external opinions rather than inner reflections. They stay at the surface and hesitate to delve deep. A child is attracted to the reflection of the moon because of simplicity and innocence. Here, the most significant attribute is that a child knows how to devote oneself. Innocence is essential for devotion. Acharya Maantung presents himself as an innocent child completely surrendering himself to the Lord's feet. He says - "Without thinking, reasoning or evaluating my intellect I have resolved to devote myself to you. I am completely devoted to you. Please bless me with liberation."

Samapatti - Power of Devotion

I have mentioned earlier that among all types of power, power of devotion is the most significant. One, who devotes,  himself completely, breaks down all the walls blocking them and establishes oneness with the divine power. Various forms devotion have been described in Vedic literature –

  • Saalokya- Attainment of Brahmalok.
  • Saarshti- Enjoy the grandeur like the Lord.
  • Saamipya- Closeness with the Supreme Being.
  • Saarupya - Enjoying the similarity (like him) with the Lord
  • Saayujya- Establishing oneness with Supreme Being.

MaharshiPatanjali has called this state of oneness as Samapatti. This state can be understood from the example of sugar and milk. Just as sugar dissolves in milk and loses its form; similarly, when a devotee immerses completely with the Lord he gets absolved in the Supreme Being. This state of oneness awakens the source of power. Even a spark of dualism makes this power questionable. The power awakens, when one achieves oneness with the Supreme Being. Using this oneness, spiritual masters have performed a myriad of astonishing tasks.

Naamdev and Gyandev, renowned saints of Maharashtra were once travelling towards a town called Kolayat. While passing through a forest they became thirsty. Gyandev, an erudite scholar, went near the well, drew out water and quenched his thirst. Naamdev was not a scholarly person but had an innate quality of devotion. While sitting near the well he sang a devotional stotra called 'Abhanga. The water level of the well rose automatically. Not only did he manage to quench his thirst but also helped quench the thirst of others accompanying him, including animals and birds. This simple story is a demonstration of the greatest of all powers - the power of devotion. Childlike innocence and devotion strengthen resolutions. Power presents itself to that person who presents himself as a child, just as Acharya Maantung did. It is human tendency to want to be addressed as 'big'. Nobody likes to be called small. There is nothing wrong in this. A person who understands the magic behind becoming child-like is capable of achieving everything.

A child trying to catch the moon by its reflection in water is an act of simplicity and innocence. Great importance is paid to innocence in other religions as well. Someone questioned Jesus Christ - "Who is eligible to go to heaven?" Taking a child in his arms he said - "This child is a symbol of innocence and thus is eligible to go to heaven".

Lord Mahaveer always believed in innocence. He said - spirituality resides only in the soul which has innocence. Any soul indulging in deceit cannot lead to purity. A child is a symbol of innocence and devotion. Human existence begins with childhood, moving towards maturity. However, those who can retain their innocence even with maturity are the fortunate ones. To have the heart of a child is to have an innocent and devotional heart.

Spirituality resides only in the soul which has innocence.

Acharya Maantung considers himself to be like an innocent child and surrenders himself to the Lord's feet. He says: "Without thinking, reasoning or evaluating my intellect I have resolved to devote myself to you. Please do not mock me in my child like effort to eulogize you."

Realization of Self-capability

Human life passes through three states while undertaking a task.

State of depression - state of mind that is incapable of accomplishing any task

State of idleness - having the ability to do things, but not making an attempt out of sheer laziness

State of recklessness - having accomplished a task but unable to sustain it for a prolonged time

Acharya Maantung is not afflicted by any of these states depression, idleness or recklessness. Instead he finds himself to be inefficient.

Vaktumgunaanguna-samudra! shashaanka-kaantaan

Evaluating his inefficiency, Acharya Maantung says - "I cannot praise you, but who else has the ability to do so? I will admit my defeat if a person with an intellect of Brihaspati (teacher of deities) can claim to do justice to you with the apt praise. Is there anyone who has the capability to do so? Is there anyone who can swim the ocean with violent storms, very strong winds and infested with dangerous sea creatures? It is impossible to swim in such an ocean. Therefore, even if I think I am inefficient I will not worry about it. When great intellectuals are not capable enough, then how can a simple person like me praise you?"

Oneness with the Almighty

Acharya Maantung was in a state of perplexity. This occurs when questions of significance arise. In such instances, the mind relegates into a strange state. It is in such moments one establishes direct contact with God, the Supreme Being and self.

All these contemplations within Acharya Maantung helped him make direct contact with the Supreme Being. People have asked me many times - "In your book 'ShramanMahaveer' how can you claim to have established contact with Lord Mahaveer? Is it possible to establish contact with the Supreme Being?" I remarked - "Yes, with proper method it is possible."

There was a Sufi Fakir called Bataayo. He went to the market. On seeing a heap of honeydew muskmelon, he got hungry. But he did not have a single penny to buy one. He went to the fruit seller and asked -'Can I have a muskmelon?' The shopkeeper replied, 'Yes why not? Buy it in exchange of money.' The Fakir replied, I do not have any money with me. Can't you give a melon in the name of Allah?' After a lot of requests and petitions, the fruit seller gave him a rotten muskmelon. The Fakir was disappointed on seeing the rotten melon. Suddenly the Fakir remembered that someone had given him one Takka (old currency equivalent to one Paise) a day earlier. That one Takka was still tucked in his turban. The Fakir took it out and again went to the fruit seller and said, 'Give me melon worth one Takka'. The fruit seller handed him a sweet, fresh melon without wasting any time. After thinking for a while, the Fakir asserted, lord! I got a rotten fruit in your name and a fresh and sweet one for a Takka. How's that possible? Is money greater and bigger than Allah?' One who gives more importance to money than to the Lord can never form oneness with the Almighty.

Only when people face problems and are engulfed in internal confusions, they try to unite themselves with the almighty for a solution. Acharya Maantung was in a similar predicament of conflict and exclaimed-“ If I am not capable of eulogizing, then let me know who is competent enough so that I can approach and learn the art of Eulogy? "O Lord! I searched far and wide not only on this earth but even the celestial regions and not a single soul seems to be competent enough for this task. When everybody is incapable, why should I feel inferior for my incompetency?"

Being an erudite scholar, Acharya Maantung became composed and calm with confidence. He decided, 'I should try to utilize my potential to its full capacity'. This resolution eradicated the web of confusion, allowing free flow of devotion.


Title:  Bhaktambar Stotra
Author:  Acharya Mahapragna
Publisher:  Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Digital Publishing: 
Amit Kumar Jain

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Adinath
  3. Akbar
  4. Deceit
  5. Guru
  6. Kaamdhenu
  7. Maharashtra
  8. Mahaveer
  9. Rishabh
  10. Sanskrit
  11. Soul
  12. Stuti
  13. Vedic
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