Bhaktambar Stotra: 06 ►SEEKING INNER BEAUTY

Published: 25.11.2019
Updated: 04.12.2019

Drishtvaabhavanta-manimesha-viloka-neeyam, Naanyatratosha-mupa-yaatijanasyachakshuh|

Your sight is spell-binding. After looking at your divine form, nothing else appeases the eye. Surely who would like to taste the saline sea water after drinking fresh water of the divine milk-ocean, pure and soothing like moonlight?

Yaihshaanta-raaga-ruchibhihiparamaanu-bhis-tvam, Nirmaapitas-tribhuva-naikalalaatna-bhoota |
Taavantaevakhaluteapya-navahprithi-vyaam Yat-tesamaana-maparamnahirupa-masti||

O extraordinary crown of the three realms! The number of atoms having the glory of equanimity had constituted your body.All those atoms were used up in the constitution of your body and that's why there is not anyone superior to you in this universe.

Acharya Maantung continued to be perplexed when praising the Lord - 'Leave aside the thought of extolling you, to even utter something about you is difficult for me. In fact, my wish is to not just eulogize you but to see you. I know that once I have seen you, nothing else around me will ever appeal to me. It is a known fact that after seeing the most beautiful thing, the attraction for anything lower will cease to exist.'

Here Acharya Maantung says - 'Now that I have seen you, my eyes only seek you. My gaze refuses to leave you. No other sight pleases them. Until now my eyes used to wander everywhere else, but now they are transfixed on you. I do not wish to see anything or anyone else.'

Once upon a time, a person got an opportunity to eat kheer made for Chakravarti (emperor of the six divisions of ancient Bharat). That kheer was cooked with special milk. For preparing Chakravarti's kheer, firstly, one lakh cows are milked and then a thousand cows are made to drink that milk. Then those cows are milked again and special ingredients in that milk are mixed to cook the kheer. Who would not relish such kheer? The person who tasted that kheer experienced great satisfaction. Chakravarti then passed an order that every house must offer kheer made in their homes to this person. From the following day that person started to visit other houses to taste kheer made there. Obviously, he did not relish any other kheer after tasting the special kheer. While eating the kheer at other houses his mind hankered after chakravarti's kheer. A person who always had flour water considering it to be real milk, would he be anymore attracted towards that flour water after realizing the taste of real milk? No, it is not possible.'

Acharya Maantung says - 'O Lord! I am in the same situation. After seeing you, nothing else can delight my eyes. These eyes do not have the desire for any other attraction. My interest is now deviated from all other things and is centered only on you. Lord! Explain this to me - how would a person like to drink the water of salty well after enjoying the tasty milk of a milky ocean?'

Drishtvaabhavanta-manimesha-viloka-neeyam, Naanyatratosha-mupa-yaatijanasyachakshuh|

Teerthankars - The Magnetism They Emanate

A question arises - What is it about teerthankars that after seeing them nothing else feels significant?

If you dwell on it, the answer is quite clear. Physical appearances fall short in front of a teerthankar. They are a reflection of inner beauty, purity of mind and Veetaragata(detachment). They are symbolic to the simple and austere life, where they have banished all external desires to attain moksha. This phenomenon is known as attaining "Veetaragata". Even a person who does not possess physical beauty but has found his infinite peace can be more appealing and beautiful than others. Analogues to how a magnet attracts iron; pure aura, peace and Veetaragata are great spiritual attractions. During Acharya Tulsi's stay in Delhi, he visited an Ashram. The supervisor of that Ashram was an old man with grey hair and a wrinkled face. However, because of his peaceful demeanour, he was always the centre of attraction for people around him. Pacification of passions or veetaragata is a source of peace. Where there is presence of veetaragata, peace will automatically be reflected on one's face, increasing its attraction.

Beauty is not skin deep. One needs to look beyond external beauty and look for inherent conduct, behaviour and attitude. It is an eternal fact that a person full of anger, ego and other vices is not appealing. Can we call a person beautiful if anger is stimulated by just looking at them? If the shadow of deceit, greed, ego or other flaws is reflected on the face of an attractive person, would you like to call them attractive? One whose personality is tinted with duplicity and deception cannot be called beautiful. Appearance of such person changes every moment. In one instance, they look beautiful and the next moment they appear ugly.

Acharya Maantung, while praising Lord Rishabh said - I am spellbound on seeing an alluring and serene figure like you. I have never seen someone like you before." It is clear here that Acharya Maantung is not stating this based on external beauty. External beauty is not a subject of his concern. On a visit to the Ajanta and Ellora caves, inspired by the elegance of the sculptures, I composed a poem. One of the lines states - "Baaharkaasaundaryayahan to bheetarkapratibimbrahahai"; meaning the external beauty is the reflection of the inner beauty. When Acharya Maantung refers to beauty he means inner beauty. He says - 'Lord! You have made your soul, your consciousness and your emotions so beautiful that now it has manifested within you and in your periphery, the nectar of beauty is being sprinkled around you. Aestheticism has become a stream of philosophy and beauty has become its subject of analysis.

Once there was hot discussion between a saint and a person.

Saint: Who is the wisest person in this world?

Man: One who understands friend and foe, good and bad is the wisest person.

Saint In that case, animals will also be called wise, because they have the knowledge of kinship and enemy. Feelings of revenge can be noticed in animal kingdom too.

The man remained silent pondering on this observation by the saint.

Saint: That person is wise who knows what the worst amongst bad things is and what is the best amongst good things.

The one who can understand this differentiation is wise.

Who is the most beautiful?

Discernment of the most beautiful thing signifies the wisdom of Acharya Maantung. He has solved the biggest mystery - Who is the most beautiful? Emphasising his opinion, he says - 'Lord! I am not calling you the most beautiful without any foundation. I have materialistic as well as spiritual justification for this claim'.

Materialistic justification is - the specific atoms that constituted your physical form became extinct after forming your body. There is nothing left of those atoms to make another body like you. However, the question arises - there are infinite atoms in the Universe, what is the speciality of those atoms that constituted you? Acharya Maantung answers this –

Yaihshaanta-raaga-ruchibhihiparamaanu-bhis-tvam, Nirmaapitas-tribhuva-naikalalaatna-bhoota |
Taavantaevakhaluteapya-navahprithi-vyaam Yat-tesamaana-maparamnahirupa-masti||

'The atoms that constitute your body have the properties of peace -known as Shaant raag ruchi; atoms that have pacified the emotions of attachment. Attachment and hatred go hand in hand. Where there is attachment, there will be hatred and vice versa'. Acharya Maantung says - 'those atoms are rare which pacified your emotion of attachment, therefore, the body comprising of these unique atoms is also rare!

Philosophy of Peace

Amongst nine types of ras(emotions) some people regard shaantras(peaceful emotion) as the primary ras. Others consider shringarras(emotion of love) to be the primary ras. If we reflect upon Freud's concept of mind, shringarras seems to be primary. Abhinavgupt said - Shaantevarasah i.e., shaantras is the only primary ras. Others are temporary. They arise and subside. Permanent ras is only one and that is shaantras.

Now there is a question - what is natural? Natural is that which stays intact for long time. That which arises by stimulus is called unnatural or extrinsic. It is stimulus from an external source that causes anger or restlessness. A person is sitting peacefully. A stranger comes and starts shouting and abusing him. Peaceful person will get annoyed. If there is no stimulus then on whom will that peaceful person be angry? It is the rule of logic that in the absence of cause there will be no effect.

Let us analyse how long can a person remain angry in comparison to being at peace? One can be angry for two to four hours, but not for an entire day. Even if a man is of quarrelsome nature, he cannot stay angry all day. Nobody can laugh or cry through the day, however, one can remain in state of peace all day. That is because it is the natural state of humans.

All nine ras are stimulated from causes. There are nine kinds of a motions(ras) in literary works - hasya(humour), shringar(love), karuna(compassion), raudra(fury), veer(heroic), bhayanak(horrifying or fear), bibhatsa(pathetic), adbuta(amazing), and shaant(peaceful). All these emotions except shaantras are an effect of an external stimulus. When a cause is removed, the only emotion that remains is that of shaantras. If a man practices to control his emotions, he can stay peaceful in every moment.

If the atoms of peace had been in large numbers, everybody's consciousness would have been drenched in shaantras. These special atoms have the power to pacify attachment that, exist in humans. This is the foundation of Jainism. Teerthankars are considered to be the most peaceful personalities. During the period of his spiritual practice, Lord Mahaveer came across many threats but he remained oblivious and endured them. There is no reference in Jain literature about him getting annoyed or provoked. This is attributed to the unique atoms that constitute the bodies of teerthankar.

Negative Emotions and their Impact

How do negative emotions impact our body? To study this, a research was conducted on finger nails. When negative emotions are aroused, they produce toxins in the body. The effect of toxins can easily be found in nails. In the absence of anger, many toxic particles get destroyed. Snakes, scorpions, etc. are known as poisonous creatures, but human beings are considered to be the most poisonous one.

In the presence of a person with pure aura, one feels peace and happiness. On the contrary, the company of a person with a contaminated aura causes restlessness.

Focusing on this fact, Bhagavati sutra states that the body of anyone who has negative thoughts and emotions becomes venomous. Such a person can affect and kill someone, even thousands of miles away. If a person is bitten by any poisonous creature, they do not die, but the creature that bites him dies. It becomes impossible to communicate with any negative people. However, if you come across a person with an intense pious aura, you can be in their company for hours. In the presence of a person with pure aura, one feels peace and happiness. On the contrary, the company of a person with a contaminated aura causes restlessness. A person is attracted by one's purity aura and not by their external appearance.

Stuti of Lord's Beauty

Acharya Maantung continues to describe the Lord as an ornament of the three worlds (Tribhuvanaika-lalaama-bhoota). Here the word ‘lalam' denotes tilak (an auspicious mark in the middle of forehead) and garland of Chakravarti. AcharyaMaantung says - 'Lord, you have become the lalam of three realms. Nobody embodies you in the entire universe.'   

In this composition of stuti, AcharyaMaantung laid emphasis on the purification of emotions, which is required for purity of consciousness and purity of body. He has described the physical beauty of Lord on the basis of acknowledgement of inner beauty. Teerthankars body is regarded to be the most beautiful. The author of niryukti (commentary Jain literature) states that if all the celestial beings took their collective beauty and formed a thumb, even that will be subdued in comparison to the beauty of a teerthankar's thumb. It is like placing scalding coal in front of cool and sweet water. This may sound to be an exaggeration, but it is an apparent fact that a teerthankar's beauty is magnificent. The one endowed with peace, purity, immaculateness and Veetaragata is the most beautiful. The one with a pure aura is the most beautiful. The one who radiates peace is the most beautiful. Such a person spreads peace and amity all around.

A unique analysis of aestheticism is submerged in these two shlokas. Beauty can be outlined in an apt manner on this basis. In fact, the mode in which the beauty of Lord Rishabh is mentioned is important from the perspective of spirituality as well as aesthetics.

The one with pure aura is the most beautiful. The one who radiates peace is the most beautiful. Such a person spreads peace and amity all around.


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. Anger
  3. Aura
  4. Bhagavati Sutra
  5. Body
  6. Chakravarti
  7. Consciousness
  8. Deceit
  9. Delhi
  10. Ellora
  11. Ellora Caves
  12. Equanimity
  13. Fear
  14. Greed
  15. Hasya
  16. Jainism
  17. Karuna
  18. Lakh
  19. Mahaveer
  20. Moksha
  21. Niryukti
  22. Raag
  23. Ras
  24. Rishabh
  25. Shlokas
  26. Soul
  27. Stuti
  28. Sutra
  29. Teerthankar
  30. Tilak
  31. Veer
  32. Veetaragata
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