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Bhaktambar Stotra: 05 ►REALIZING THE VALUE OF STUTI

Published: 24.11.2019
Updated: 04.12.2019

-9-
Aastaamtavastavana-masta-samasta-doshamTvatsam-kathaapijagataamduritaanihanti |
Dooresahastra-kiranahkuruteprabhaiva Padmaa-kareshujalajaanivikaasha-bhaanji |
|

The brilliant sun is far away; still, at dawn its soft glow makes the drooping lotus buds bloom. Similarly, let alone your stuti, which has the power to destroy all sins, the mere utterance of your name with devotion destroys the sins of the mundane beings and purify them.

-10-
Naatyad-bhutambhuvana-bhooshana! Bhootanaatha! Bhootair-gunair-bhuvibhavanta-mabhishtu-vantah|
Tulyaabhavantibhavatonanutenakimvaa Bhootyaa-shritamyaihanaatma-samamkaroti||


O Eminence of the world! O Lord of the living! It is not surprising that he who is engrossed in the praise of your infinite virtues becomes like you. What is the use of serving such a master who does not allow his dependents to prosper just like him?

Stuti is one of the most important spiritual practices. What is the benefit of Stuti? Astasamastadosham - Stuti is mat which eliminates negativity. It has the power to annihilate all kinds of impurity. In Uttaradhyayan Sutra (canonical text) Shraman Mahaveer says - naana-dansana-charitra-bohilaabham-janayai, i.e. through stuti one is benefitted with right knowledge, right perception, right conduct and enlightenment. This is called the 'Quadruple of benefits'.

Quadruple of Benefits

Ignorance is a prominent vice. No other vice is bigger than this. An ignorant person is unable to discriminate between good and bad, right and wrong, merit and demerit. Therefore, ignorance is rightly called as the biggest misery - Agyaanam khalu kashtam. Eradicating ignorance is the prime benefit of stuti. When performed correctly it destroys ignorance, eradicates wrong perceptions and eliminates wrong conduct.

Benefits of Stuti are:

  • Right Knowledge - Eradicating ignorance and attaining knowledge.
  • Right Perception - Eradication of wrong perception. Some examples of wrong perception are- to consider impermanent world as permanent, to believe violence as the path of righteousness, etc.
  • Right Conduct - Annihilating wrong conduct is done by engaging oneself in righteous acts, such as - transforming anger into forgiveness.
  • Enlightenment - the state of inner wisdom.

The amalgamation of right knowledge, right perspective and right conduct leads to enlightenment.

Acharya Maantung's poetic presentation of the benefits of eulogy is identical to the explanations in Uttaradhyayan Sutra.

Stuti - An Expression of Appreciation

Stuti is the manifestation of feeling of admiration. It is an indication of the development of consciousness. A common person knows, hears and feels the qualities of others but cannot convey it. They find it arduous to appreciate and express others qualities. Generally, people are talkative by nature, but when it comes to appreciating the qualities of others, they are tongue tied. It is quite natural to eulogize a Teerthankar, Krhat, Upadhyay, Acharya or Guru. In reality, one should eulogize everyone around them. To acknowledge and admire the qualities of another person is also stuti. To eulogize means to express someone's specialty. And this can be done by anybody. A common man can also be eulogized by a common man.

It was the chaaturmaas of Acharya Tulsi at Anuvrat Bhavan in Delhi. Once during the ceremony which had a huge gathering, a poor auto driver was acknowledged and appreciated for his honesty. He had returned a bag full of expensive belongings left in his auto to its rightful owner. Here, he was admired for his morality. Without the feeling of gratitude stuti is not possible. With stuti this feeling is intensified.

Praise a Virtue; Gain the Virtue

You may question - how can one annihilate all flaws by praising other's qualities? If you ponder over on a certain quality, focus on its importance and repeatedly practice it, then that quality will be imbibed within you. This will gradually erase undesirable qualities within you. According to the theory of Yoga, to articulate virtues of a person is an important principle of transmission of virtues.

While there may be instances where praising someone may lead to fuelling their ego, the one praising will always benefit from it. The kind of thoughts you have will ignite corresponding transformations within you. When one glorifies someone, they become like a mirror or pure water, reflecting the qualities of the person who has been glorified. Therefore, to imbibe a virtue it is essential to speak about the virtues of others repeatedly.

For example, frequently referring to Bahubali (son of Lord Rishabh; a symbol of power) in your conversations will help you increase your strength and will power. By eulogizing Shraman Mahaveer repeatedly, one's tolerance, endurance and vitality will be enhanced. By eulogizing Adinath one can expand their inner knowledge and become spiritual. In a nutshell, the prime quality of the person whom you eulogize gets transmitted within you.

Some believe that glorification is a selfish act. Let us remember that every act of a living being is inspired by a selfish motive. There is nothing wrong about it. I believe one who is not self-centered cannot have a spiritual connection. What is more important is that our selfishness must not have the intent to harm others.

While singing the praises of Lord Rishabh, Acharya Maantung said- "It's an honour to be able to hail you. Whether or not I get the right to praise, I will be more than happy to simply speak about you. This is all that I wish."

Right Speech to Annihilate Sins

Talking is a strong human instinct. To remain quiet is an arduous task. It's said that when two people meet, they cannot remain silent. Their talks are unending. Leave aside humans, even when two birds meet they start twittering in their own language. Everybody enjoys conversations.

Acharya Maantung remarkably proclaims - 'Lord! The talk of your praises is capable of annihilating all the sins. It's said in the Veetaraag stotra - Lord! May my days pass in being immersed in your eulogy. That's all I want'

Sthaanaang sutra (Jain canonical literature) lists four types of spiritual talks that enhance the quality of a being.

  • Aakshepanee - A type of talk; that talk, which generates keenness for philosophical knowledge and righteous conduct.
  • Vikshepanee - A type of talk; that talk, through which doctrines of Jain ascetics are established.
  • Samavednee - A kind of talk; that talk, which induces detachment words of mundane life, through presenting the transient nature of life depicting it as full of miseries and the body as full of filthy matter.
  • Nirvedanee- A kind of talk; the talk, which is told with the moral that one should remain detached to the mundane world by depicting the auspicious and in-auspicious fruition of karma committed in one's life.

Besides these, there are four further types of non-spiritual talks. A superficial person indulges in such talk.

  • Kaamkatha - Erotic conversation
  • Deshkatha- Conversation related to various worldwide subjects.
  • Bhaktakatha- Conversation related to food.
  • Rajkatha- Conversation related to administration.

Such non-spiritual talks do not develop qualities. A person staying at the sensory level indulges in such talks. Such a person belongs to the category of animal kingdom and is the least developed. A spiritually conscious person does not relish such talks.

Acharya Maantung in his stuti says –

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Aastaamtavastavana-masta-samasta-doshamTvatsam-kathaapijagataamduritaanihanti |
Dooresahastra-kiranahkuruteprabhaiva Padmaa-kareshujalajaanivikaasha-bhaanji | |

Acharya Maantung exclaims that eulogizing the Lord is even more magnanimous, yet he would be satisfied with just speaking about him. He clarifies this using the metaphor of a sun. It is the greatness of the sun that in spite of the vast distance between the Earth and the sun, it's single ray blooms thousands of lotuses.

Here, Acharya Maantung compares the glorification of Adinath to a sun and says - 'Even your single ray will blossom infinite hearts.'

The Soul - Fascinating Philosophy

Acharya Maantung stated this description of Lord Rishabh with Atma-kartritva-vad(theory which believes the soul to be the doer). According to Jain Philosophy - Soul is the only valid source of cognition. Nothing else can be considered as an authentic source of cognition.

Most philosophers believe that scriptures such as Veda, Puran, Bible, and Quran are valid sources of cognition. However, if a Jain Philosopher is asked: What is a valid source of cognition? Is it Sthaanaanga sutra or Uttarandhyayan sutra? His response will be -neither of them. Aagam is the only valid source of cognition.

What is the meaning of Aagam? It is said - one who has the right knowledge of reality (authentic and complete) and one who expresses it in right manner authentically is known as Aagam or Aagam-purush (ommscieni).

Kevalgyani (omniscient), Avadhigyani (possessor of clairvoyance), Manahparyavgyani(possessor of mind reading knowledge), Chaturdashpurvi (Knower of fourteen purvas) and Dashpurvi (knower of ten purvas) are also known as Aagam-purush. Their knowledge is considered authentic because they attained it through purification of soul. In reality, Jain philosophy gives importance to soul and it is called Aagam. This philosophy believes in atmakartrivavad. Texts like Aachaaranga, Sutrakritaanga, etc. that contain their teachings are metaphorically considered as Aagam (upachaarat aaptavachanam cha).

Praising Lord Rishabh with full devotion Acharya Maantung said - 'Lord! There is a self-centred instinct behind the act of eulogizing you, and it is to make myself a kin to you.' Continuing the discussion on soul, Jain philosophy believes in the existence of soul, but does not believe that there is a supreme soul who creates or decides the destiny of all beings. The followers of 'ishvar-vad! (Theory related to god) believe God to be the supreme soul and all other souls subjugated in his control. They believe that even after attaining moksha (liberation), an individual soul gets dissolved in the supreme soul. According to Jainism, soul does not get dissolved in any supreme soul. It has an independent existence when occupying a body and equally so after attaining moksha

Making Someone like Oneself

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Naatyad-bhutambhuvana-bhooshana! Bhootanaatha! Bhootair-gunair-bhuvibhavanta-mabhishtu-vantah|
Tulyaabhavantibhavatonanutenakimvaa Bhootyaa-shritamyaihanaatma-samamkaroti||

Acharya Maantung enumerates - 'Embellishment of earth and mentor of all beings! There is nothing to be surprised if you are making others like you or others become like you. What is the meaning of that god who does not make his disciple or devotee like himself?’

A God who makes his devotee like himself is the real God.

It was not always the case that Mahaveer was in a superior position than Gautam. One day Gautam became Mahaveer too. Gautam was a wise person but fell in trap of disappointment because of not achieving omniscience in spite of having sound knowledge and years of spiritual practice. On seeing him dispirited, Lord Mahaveer consoled him - "Gautam, don't get disappointed. The day will come when you will become like me and there will be no difference in the qualities of our soul."

This was a great assurance given by Lord Mahaveer to Gautam. It is imperative for someone to become identical to their ideal. It is not desirable for a devotee to always remain a devotee, and for God to always remain as God. A God who makes his devotee like himself is the real God. Lord Mahaveer became omniscient.

Gautam also attained omniscience. Lord Mahaveer got moksha

Gautam also attained moksha. Lord Mahaveer is in the state of liberation - Gautam is also in the state of liberation. Both became similar. Both became equal. They were neither inferior nor superior, neither less nor more.

Jain concept of Atma-kartritva is one of the most fascinating principles. On the basis of the same principle, while eulogizing, Acharya Maantung said, 'O Lord! Whoever eulogises you with your real qualities becomes a kin to you.'

Unlike politics which is all about dominance and monopolistic power, Jainism talks about equality. There is no space for autocracy in Jainism. It says, in a state of bliss everybody becomes equal. Problems arise where there is disparity in class. All disputes get resolved, where there is equality. Therefore, Acharya Maantung expressed his feelings by eulogizing on the basis of the philosophy of Atma-kartritva. This is similar to celestial beings of AnuttarViman also called as ahamindra (self-governed heavenly beings). Everyone is equal there. They peacefully live their lives. Nobody is master or subservient there. There is no space for disputes amongst them, everyone there enjoys life and do not interfere with each other.

Both these shlokas reflect the inner thoughts of Acharya Maantung. Acharya Maantung became a living example of self-confidence when he exclaimed - "I will be like Lord Rishabh by eulogizing him."

Sources

Title:  Bhaktambar Stotra
Author:  Acharya Mahapragna
Publisher:  Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 
2019
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. Aagam
  2. Aagam-purush
  3. Acharya
  4. Acharya Tulsi
  5. Adinath
  6. Ahamindra
  7. Anger
  8. Anuvrat
  9. Bahubali
  10. Body
  11. Clairvoyance
  12. Consciousness
  13. Dashpurvi
  14. Delhi
  15. Guru
  16. Jain Philosophy
  17. Jainism
  18. Karma
  19. Kevalgyani
  20. Mahaveer
  21. Manahparyavgyani
  22. Mind Reading
  23. Moksha
  24. Omniscient
  25. Purvas
  26. Rishabh
  27. Shlokas
  28. Shraman
  29. Soul
  30. Space
  31. Stuti
  32. Sutra
  33. Teerthankar
  34. Tolerance
  35. Tulsi
  36. Upadhyay
  37. Uttaradhyayan
  38. Veda
  39. Veetaraag
  40. Vikshepanee
  41. Violence
  42. Yoga
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