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Published: 26.11.2019
Updated: 04.12.2019


How can your incomparable face, which is beyond the comparison of any other thing in the three realms pleases the eyes of celestial beings, humans and other beings, be compared with the spotted moon that is as dull and pale during the day, as the autumn leaves?

Sdmpoorthi-miuiddla-shdshaanhii-kaliUi-kalaapd -Shubhraagunaas-tri-bhuvanamlava Umgha-yanti|
Yesanshriiaas-tri-jaga-deeshvara - turntlui-meka m Kastaannivadrayausatuhd-ratoyatheshtam||

O Lord of the three realms! Surpassing the glow of the fullmoon, your infinite virtues are radiating throughout the universe.Indeed, who can curb the freedom of movement of the virtues which have taken refuge under the only protector like you?

Acharya Maantung whilst praising Lord Rishabh realised that the image of a person becomes the first subject of adoration. When we look at someone, at the first glance, we either focus on the person's face or feet or sometimes both. Many spiritual gurus have written praises in the context of the feet. While composing the poetic work of SindurPrakar eulogizing Lord Parshva, Acharya Somaprabha said - "Lord! May the rays emitted from the nails of thy feet protect us"?

Prollaasahkramayomakhadyutibharahpaarshvaprabho! Paatuvah||

Head and face are the prominent parts of our body. How ever, in this shlok Acharya Maantung choose to focus on the face of Lord Rishabh. He exclaims - 'Lord! Your face is radiant. It is so because it captivates the eyes as well as the mind of the on looker. It is said that eyes are the windows to our mind. I wonder when gods and celestial beings look at you, are they also mesmerized by your radiance! You are the one who mesmerizes human beings, deities, and even naagkumars (category of celestial beings resembling snakes), who are considered the most beautiful of all forms. As soon as they see your face, they get attracted towards you. It seems as though their eyes are captured by your magic’.


In this regard, mention of naagkumars is significant. Beauty resides in human beings, deities and naagkumars. How ever, external beauty of Naagkumars holds the prime position. Acharya Maantung says that they all are beautiful, but as soon as they all see your serene appearance, they get attracted towards you.

Beauty, So Unique!

One of the specialties of Lord's face is that it is incomparable. Every metaphor linked to beauty in the three realms is insignificant against you. There are various metaphors used to explain the beauty of the face, such as – mukh kamal (lotus-like face), mukhchandra (moon­like face) or mukhdarpan (mirror-like face). Lotus is often used as a metaphor because of its delicacy, detachment, and purity despite of being immersed in murky waters. Lotus is used to describe every part of a body - mukh-kamal, charan-kamal, nakh-kamal, etc. Acharya Maantung expresses- 'Lord! Metaphor of lotus is used for the face, but it does not apply in your case. Your delicate face and your quality of detachment are beyond that of a lotus.'

Another metaphor used for the face is - Mirror. It describes a face that is as clean and transparent as a mirror. Acharya Maantung expounds that the Lord's transparency cannot be compared with any mirror. Moon is also used as a metaphor for face. This metaphor connotes a round, calm face that emits radiance. Can we use the simile of a moon for your face? The moon has many qualities such as emitting radiance, coolness, being the king of night, and giving a soothing feeling. Irrespective of all these qualities, moon cannot be used as a simile as even the moon is full of specks. It is not flawless. Moreover, its light and coolness remain only for few hours and fades when sun rises. If one sees the moon during daytime it appears as a withered leaf which has lost its beauty and radiance. The sight of moon during the day is devoid of light, luminosity and shining.

Acharya Maantung says - 'How can I compare you with such a moon? Your face is clean and clear. It is illuminated eternally; day and night. It bestows peace and light of knowledge evenly to all. Not only moon, but no other metaphor can stand in comparison to your face. Your unparalleled face becomes the centre of attraction for everybody. This very fact is reflected in this shlok.’

Divine Inner Qualities

Describing the significance of Lord's divine face, Acharya Maantung dives deep into the inner qualities of Lord. He describes the qualitative aspects of Lord Rishabh's personality. He reaches for the depths of his personality. Whenever any kind of stuti is composed, it starts by praising the beauty of Lord's external appearance. While praising the beauty of teerthankar and chakravarti their body is referred to, right from their toes to the head. Acharya Maantung also followed the tradition and admired Lord Rishabh's face. Many have touched upon external adorations but until one focuses on consciousness and its qualities, compliments regarding physical body do not hold any worth. Ultimately, the fact is that body has no significance as it is materialistic. One must focus on the inner conscience and qualities. A spiritual and philosophical person cannot be satiated without focusing on the qualitative aspect of a personality.

Acharya Maantung is describing the qualitative fact of Lord Rishabh's personality. He says - 'Lord! I see your qualities everywhere and in everyone. It seems that your qualities pervade the entire universe.They transcend the three realms.’ In his stuti, Acharya Maantung further says –

Sdmpoorthi-miuiddla-shdshaanhii-kaliUi-kalaapd -Shubhraagunaas-tri-bhuvanamlava Umgha-yanti|
Yesanshriiaas-tri-jaga-deeshvara - turntlui-meka m Kastaannivadrayausatuhd-ratoyatheshtam||

Moon has many phases (kalas). When all phases get together, it becomes full moon. Your qualities are luminous and white as a full moon. Here, the colours - black and white relate to darkness and light. Virtuous qualities are viewed as white and light, whereas flaws are viewed as black and dark. Three types of qualities are stated in Ayurveda and Samkhya philosophy - sattva, rajas, and tamas. Sattva quality is white, rajas is red, whereas tamas is dark and black.

It is said that the quality of a soul is of two kinds - Natural and Acquired. Knowledge, faith and conduct are natural qualities. Generosity, efficiency, etc. are acquired qualities. Acquired qualities are temporary and conditional. They manifest in certain conditions and lose their importance in other circumstances. Acharya Maantung asserts that both types of qualities reside in the Lord, but they do not remain confined and transcend three realms.

The Supreme Being

Who can be the Supreme Being of three realms? Can it be a single person?

Just as there are many nations and kings on earth, similarly there are many lords in the upper universe. Indra is considered as king of heaven or the upper universe. Likewise, in the lower universe also there are many masters. No single person is a Lord of all three realms. One who is a lord of upper universe cannot be a lord of human world (middle universe) or lower universe. One who is a lord of human world cannot be a lord of upper and lower universe. The question still remains - Is there any king, emperor or ruler who is the lord of the Universe?

Acharya Maantung deeply pondered on this question from the perspective of anekant(non-absolutism) and got an affirmative answer. He says - 'If you give up everything and assimilate the truth 'Nothing is mine' then you will become the lord of three realms. The thought of 'owning something limits you. The notion of 'my house, my village, my town, my state and my nation confine you.’ If you don't possess anything, you become boundless. Everything becomes yours. In a nutshell, anyone who is completely possession less can become the Lord of three realms.

Once, a king decided to appoint a guru for himself. Everyone wondered who the guru of a king would be. The king decided that the saint with the biggest ashram would be his guru. The announcement was made in his kingdom. Hundreds of saints and scholars came to the king. One said - my sanctuary expands over 50 acres of land. Another said - my sanctuary covers 100 acres of land. Someone said - my sanctuary is built on 200 acres of land. One saint mentioned that his sanctuary was spread across 1,000 acres of land. It seemed like no one else had a bigger sanctuary.

Amongst the crowd of saints one saint was sitting silently. He did not say anything. The king looked at him and asked - "Oh learned one, how big is your sanctuary?" He said - "King! I cannot say that here, come with me". The saint took the king to a big forest devoid of houses or habitation In that forest there was a huge banyan tree. The saint sat under that tree and said to king- "This is my sanctuary". Vie king asked - "How big is it?" The saint said - "It includes the entire sky and the complete landscape, so it is limitless". The king fell at his feet and said - "You are my guru. I am your disciple." It is important to understand that the materialistic aspects cannot be the parameter to define a Guru.

Akinchanoha-mityaasva, trailotyaa-dhipatir-bhavet |
Yogee-gamya-midamtathyam, rahasyamparmaatma-naam||

It is important to understand that the materialistic aspects cannot be the parameter to define a guru.

One, who has abandoned everything, becomes Lord of everything. Whereas, anyone who owns something becomes a slave of their possession. This enigma is the subject of a yogi's knowledge. In this context, Acharya Maantung aptly explains -'Lord! Is this why are you called as the Supreme Being of three realms? - You were a king, but abandoned your kingdom, your capital Vineeta, your family and all worldly matters. You became completely non-possessive. Thus, you became Lord of three worlds.'

Non-Possession - Supreme Quality

All positive qualities are contained within Adinath, the supreme being of the three realms. Now, who can curtail these qualities to spread everywhere? Who can restrict them? Acharya Maantung says -'Lord! Your supremacy is functioning in three realms; therefore, these qualities are freely spreading everywhere. Nobody can obstruct them. Nobody is there to inquire about movement of those qualities.'

The most important aspect is that non-possession becomes a germinating ground for all other superior qualities. One of the 10 kinds of dharma is - akinchanta i.e., complete non-possession or detachment or abstinence. The consciousness of detachment leads to the development of virtuous qualities.There is a well-known proverb - 'bhogi possesses and yogi renounces.’ As those qualities are manifestation of abstinence and non-possession, they take shelter in you. O Lord! The Supreme Being of three realms, your supremacy is extending throughout three realms without obstruction. Acharya Maantung reveals a philosophical truth - 'All qualities perceived by us are the origin of renunciation while absence of renunciation gives rise to flaws.’

If modern problems are to be condensed in one word, it will be 'Possession'. Qualities are deteriorating because of this problem. Development of qualities and life values has become the need of present age. Today, people are lacking faith in being non-possessive. In Jain philosophy, non-possessiveness is considered as the quintessential maxim of spiritual practice. Non-possessiveness commences with abandonment and renouncing attachment towards the body.

Possession and consumption leads to limitless accumulation. Renouncement or yog results in sharing and giving.

Lord Rishabh is described as a yogi - detached and indifferent towards his body. Outer beauty did not concern him. He engrossed himself in atma-vidya and yog-vidya (the science of spirituality and yoga). He taught atma-vidya to his children too. He derived the concept of renouncement, restraint and spiritual practice through the realisation of soul. Possession and consumption leads to limitless accumulation. Renouncement or yog results in sharing and giving. These qualities are still pertinent and even more significant in the modern age.

Lord Rishabh is the source of origin of all these doctrines. As he was the first who introduced the soul, he is recognised as the originator of all doctrines. He stands as the founder of concepts such as soul, rebirth, karma and spirituality. These concepts cannot be discussed without his context. Hence, he is considered to be the most potent person to give shelter to these qualities.

A qualitative interpretation of Lord Rishabh has been done in a remarkable way by Acharya Maantung. One should reflect upon this truth - Qualities emerge from non-possessiveness and renouncement. Where there is non-possession and renouncement, there is development of qualities.


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. Anekant
  4. Ayurveda
  5. Body
  6. Chakravarti
  7. Consciousness
  8. Dharma
  9. Guru
  10. Indra
  11. Jain Philosophy
  12. Karma
  13. Mukhchandra
  14. Mukhdarpan
  15. Non-absolutism
  16. Rajas
  17. Rishabh
  18. Samkhya
  19. Sattva
  20. Science
  21. Shlok
  22. Soul
  23. Stuti
  24. Tamas
  25. Teerthankar
  26. Yog
  27. Yoga
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