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Bhaktambar Stotra: 12 ►APPRECIATION OF VIRTUES

Published: 01.12.2019
Updated: 04.12.2019

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Tvaa-maa-manantimunayahparamampumaansa, Maaditya-varna-mamalamtatnasahparas-taat|
Tvaa-mevasamya-gupa-labhyajayantimrityum, Naanyahshivahshiva-padasyamuneendra! Pantluuih|
|

O Sage of sages! The learned people believe you to be the Supreme Being. You are as brilliant as the sun. You are pure and beyond darkness. One wins against death or gains immortality by following the right path shown by you. There is no other way to lead the beneficial path of salvation.

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Tvaamavyayamvibhnmachintyamasankhyamaadyam, Brahmaanameeshvaramanantamanangaketum|
Yogeeshvaramvidita yoga manekamekam, Gyaana-svaroopa-mamalampravadantisantah||

Virtuous people say that you are an imperishable, omnipresent, unimaginable, innumerable, initiator. You are Brahma, God. You are like Ketu to subsidize lust. You are lord of ascetics and preceptor of yoga. You are many as well as one. You are an epitome of knowledge. You are pure.

Bhaktamar is not only full of devotion, but also encompasses philosophy, metaphysical knowledge, ethics and conduct. The first word of Bhaktamar is 'Bhakta' i.e. devotee. Once there was a discussion-

Question - 'What is big?' Answer - 'Earth is big.'

Q - 'Is there anything bigger than land on Earth?'

A - 'Ocean is bigger than the land on Earth. The landmass of Earth is small in comparison to water.’

Q - 'Is there anything bigger than ocean?'

A - 'Space is bigger than ocean because it accommodates the Universe!

The argument continued, 'What is bigger than the Space?'

'Lord is bigger than Space, as Space is incorporated in Lord himself!

'Does it mean that Lord is the greatest among all?'

'No; a devotee is greater than Lord as the Lord resides in his heart.

In the world of devotion, Lord is great but not greater than devotee.

In the world of devotion, Lord is great but not greater than devotee. Acharya Maantung with complete devotion says –

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Tvaa-maa-manantimunayahparamampumaansa, Maaditya-varna-mamalamtatnasahparas-taat|
Tvaa-mevasamya-gupa-labhyajayantimrityum, Naanyahshivahshiva-padasyamuneendra! Pantluuih||

The word indicating bhakti (devotion) is 'tvaam' i.e., 'to you'. If in an elderly person is addressed as 'tu' or 'tum' (in Hindi language) they would feel disrespected. Elders are always addressed as 'aap'; a word used as a formal respect for them. As devotees are considered bigger, than the Lord they can use the word 'tvaam' or 'tum'to address Lord. Devotional feeling is so great that one can use 'tu' for Lord.

Acharya Maantung commenced his eulogy with 'tvaam' and says - 'The munis address you as ParamPuman (Supreme personality).' Here the meaning of 'munis' is not monk. In Sanskrit, it means a 'learned one'." It is also described as one who practices silence. However, if by just remaining silent one could become a muni (monk) then many non-munis would have also been called as muni. There are many people who can neither hear nor speak anything. Some people are very good looking, but ignorance deters them to speak. They cannot be called muni. Here muni signifies knowledge. The word "Puman" has dual meaning. External meaning of puman is 'body' whereas the deeper meaning is 'soul residing in one's body'.

Acharya Maantung articulates -'Lord! Not only is your external personality great and impressive but so is your inner personality. This concludes that your body and soul both are eminent and excellent. You not only have a beautiful body but also a strong one, through which you became omniscient and attained salvation.' Complexion and structure of body is related to external perspective. Two elements are related with body- samhanan(structure of bones) and samsthan(configuration of body). The best samhanan is called "vajrarishabhanaaraach" whereas the best samsthan is known as "samachaturasra". Many spiritual powers are awakened with their combination. This combination is existing in the Lord's personality therefore learned ones have concluded that his external and inner personality, both are great.

Lord, Incomparable and Flawless

The second specialty is the Lord's glowing red colour akin to the rising Sun. The color of sunrise is considered as the best color to develop inner power. Even in Preksha Meditation it is suggested to meditate on a rising sun as the centre of intuition (between the eyebrows) in order to develop "intuitive power". The colour of sunrise is considered important as all colors converge in it. The seven colors of the spectrum emerge from the sun rays. Therefore, Acharya Maantung has prudently used simile of the color of sunrise for Lord Rishabh and clarifies that all the colors emerge from the Lord making him incomparable and flawless.

'Tama (darkness) is left behind and you have moved on. You have reached beyond the horizon where there is always brightness. There is always day; no night or darkness exists at all.' -concludes AcharyaMaantung.

Lord Rishabh became sun-colored - pure and pious by annihilating the darkness.

Tama can be defined in three ways. In one sense 'tama' means darkness. In Samkhya philosophy, tama is considered as one of the physical tendency and termed as 'tamo guna'. According to Jain philosophy, 'tama' means paap(demerit). Acharya Maantung says - 'Lord, you are free from darkness or tamoguna or paap. One who is pure like the sun will definitely be free from darkness, whereas one who does not have their aura in the color of sunrise remains in darkness.' In short, one who is not pure remains in darkness.

Lord Rishabh became sun-colored - pure and pious by annihilating the darkness.

To Overcome Death

Acharya Maantung, while explaining the cause of exaltation said -'Lord! There is a reason behind my stuti. The reason is that I want to win over death.' It is believed that there is a very powerful mantra called - 'Mahamrityunjaya Mantra'. By chanting this mantra one can be free from the obstacles caused by the effect of stars and planets and can also extend their lifespan by at least ten years. However, Acharya Maantung disapproves this belief. He claims that just by chanting 'Mahamrityunjaya Mantra' nobody can overcome death.


In fact, the truth is that except siddhas (liberated ones) nobody can overcome death. Only siddhas are immortal. A logical conclusion is derived - all men are mortal. "Manhood" is the reason of this statement. Devdutt was a human and so he died, similarly Sagardutt is a human, and he will die too. No man can be immortal. Celestial beings are believed to be immortal, but the fact is that they are also mortal. There is a limit to their lifespan. A time comes when their soul will leave their body. Only pure and liberated souls, who are free from body, are immortal. Keeping this fact in the center, Acharya Maantung said - 'Lord! By coming into your pious vicinity, by achieving you, one can overcome death; become immortal and ultimately get liberated. There is no other virtuous path to emancipate except you and your vicinity' The description of realizing the nature of the supreme soul and the path of its achievement is clearly presented in this shlok.

Lord, the garland of qualities

With heartfelt devotion Acharya Maantung ruminates that his situation is analogous to that of a man standing in a big garden intending to pluck all the flowers simultaneously. Is it possible to do so? His mind is in a dilemma as to which flower should he pluck and how many flowers should he pluck. When he moves forward to pluck one flower, the other catches his eye. There are innumerable flowers and all of them are beautiful and attractive. To pluck all of them simultaneously is impossible, so he chooses to pluck a few and weave a garland out of it. Making the garland of qualities Acharya Maantung says-

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Tvaamavyayamvibhnmachintyamasankhyamaadyam, Brahmaanameeshvaramanantamanangaketum|
Yogeeshvaramvidita yoga manekamekam, Gyaana-svaroopa-mamalampravadantisantah||

Lord, you are eternal

'Avyaya'(eternity) is the first flower of the garland, signifying that the Lord is eternal and imperishable. Nothing else is imperishable like him. But for man and nature, if there is no inflow, then all possessions will dry up. A river needs replenishment with rain and flows from mountains; similarly a person needs income to sustain their life. However, when the inflow stops, everything ceases to exist. No matter how much wealth and material a man accumulates, if there is only expenditure without increment then someday all his possessions will cease to exist. In such instances, even a King becomes a beggar.

A beggar went to a wealthy man. Seeing the beggar, the man's heart wrenched and he gave him Rs 100 from his pocket. The beggar said - Oh Wealthy Sir! Keep in mind; never give so much to any person. Listening to the words of beggar, the wealthy man was shocked. Wealthy man wondered about the beggar - what kind of a beggar is he?' A man begging would typically prefer to get Rs 200 instead of Rs100 but this beggar is opposite. The wealthy man asked the beggar - 'Why are you saying this?' The beggar replied - Oh wealthy sir! Once upon a time I was also wealthy. I used to donate in charity wholeheartedly. Then a situation came where this habit of giving led me to becoming a beggar. So be cautious while giving.


Do not outstretch such that you have to repent later and need to beg. If there is only expense and no income or gain, then one day there will be deficiency in anyone's treasure. This is the reality for all assets.

Acharya Maantung says -'Lord! You are eternal No matter how much we draw from you, you are inexhaustible. If we think from the perspective of knowledge, you have given us unlimited knowledge and yet you are full of knowledge.' It is said that knowledge is inexhaustible. The more you impart the more it increases.

'Akshar(alphabetical letters, that which never destroy) is imperishable because it has infinite meanings. It is said, the meaning of one single alphabet is infinite in comparison to the quantity of water and sand particles of all the rivers and oceans in the universe. 'A' is an Akshar. It possesses infinite modes and on the basis of various modes, meaning of this letter will be infinite.

The literary works of dvisandhan(literary style narrating two stories simultaneously) and saptasandhan(literary style narrating seven stories simultaneously) have been composed by the great poets in Sanskrit and Prakrit literature. Acharya Hemachandra has also composed saptasandhan, a literary work that narrates the story of King Kumarpal, biographies of teerthankars, Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc. simultaneously.

In Sanskrit, there is a couplet or shlok comprising of eight letters, i.e. "Raajaano dadate Saukkhyam".One of the Acharyas derived 8 lakh meanings of it yet he says that he is less knowledgeable' have only derived 8 lakhs or more meanings. A scholarly person could have derived 8 crores or more meanings of it. This shlok possesses that much depth to it. Acharya Maantung says, -'If an Acharya is capable of deriving 8 lakh meanings from a shlok, then being an omniscient you have the potential to derive infinite meanings of a single letter. Hence your possession for so much knowledge makes you Avyay' i.e. eternalor imperishable.'

If we look from a different perspective you are 'Avyay' because you have become Parmatma, i.e. free from physical body. Hence there is no dearth of energy in you. You are full of energy. There is inflow and outflow of energy as long as the body exists. Even while drinking water and eating food, energy is gained and lost. Therefore, it is said one who eats less, lives longer.

It is considered that sleeping is essential to maintain physical and mental balance of the body. But it is also a fact that one who sleeps more loses more energy. Frequent sleeps decrease the life span and may cause untimely death. Hence it is suggested to conserve energy by limiting the intake of food and maintaining regular sleep habits. The process of losing or gaining of energy takes place as long as physical body exists. Lord you are devoid of body, so you are Avyay.

Lord, you are universal

The second flower of garland is 'Vibhuta', which means Lord, you are universal. Lord Rishabh is accepted and respected not only by one religion but by all. Modern thinkers and scholars have done extensive research and accepted his universality. Another meaning of Vibhu' is 'Potent'. You are potent because you can do anything as per your will.

The third flower in the garland is 'Achintya', i.e., unimaginable'. The word Achintya means - one for whom nothing can be said or thought. There is a well-known couplet in Sanskrit - "achintyo hi manimantraushadheenaam prabhaavah" i.e. gem, mantra and medicine have unimaginable effects. By using the word achintya' Acharya Maantung says -'Lord! Your greatness is unimaginable and inexpressible!

The fourth flower is 'Asankhya' i.e., innumerable. 'Lord! You are innumerable; beyond numbers. I cannot count your virtues. Nobody is capable of expressing your qualities. Your innumerable virtues cannot be limited to any number.'

Fifth flower is - 'Aadya'. Lord you are the pioneer. Rishabh is the first teerthankar, the first King. 'Chand Charitra' describes Lord Rishabh beautifully - "Lord! You are the first king, the first monk, the first omniscient, the first teerthankar and the first initiator. "Many pioneering initiatives are associated with Lord Rishabh.

Sixth flower is - 'Brahmatva, i.e., power of creation. Lord! You are Brahma! Lord of creation. In legendary Pauranic(Puran) literature we come across three personalities- 'Brahma, 'Vishnu and 'Mahesh'. Brahma creates the universe, Vishnu protects it and Shiva (Mahesh) destroys it. There are three factors - creation, protection and destruction. Like Acharya Maantung, Acharya Jinasena also named Lord Rishabh as - Dhata, Vidhata, Brahma, Prajapati, etc. He used these titles for Lord Rishabh because he created a holistic social system. Therefore, you are Brahma.

The seventh flower is - 'Ishvar', i.e., God. Lord! You are Ishvar Defining 'Ishvar, Nyay philosophy says - "kartumakartum anyathaa kartum kshamah Ishvarah" This describes the one who has the potential to 'do, not do, and to do something unbelievable'. Ishvar has the power to turn a worthy person into worthless and a worthless person into someone worthy. Acharya Maantung remarks -'Lord! You are Ishvar because you have reformed and restructured the society. Moreover, you have created a great evolution in the field of spirituality.' One who reads the story of Rishabh will know about his unique contribution to the society. Therefore, Acharya Maantung compared Adinath with Ishvar (God).

The eighth flower is - 'Anantata'. You are infinite. You have infinite knowledge, perception, bliss and power.

Ninth flower is - You are 'Anangaketu'. Kaamdev is known as Ananga. In astrology it is believed that the rising of ketu(a planetary demon causing eclipses by devouring the sun or moon) causes destruction. AcharyaMaantung says - 'Lord! You too act as a ketu because you are the destroyer of lust and sexual desire.' Historians advocates Shiv and Adinath as identical. In the text Rati Pralap, it has been mentioned - when Shiv opened his third eye it became the cause of Kaamdev's destruction. For Rishabh, it is said that he was the ketu (destroyer) of Kaamdev(lust).

There is another meaning to the word 'Anangaketu'. It is comprised of two words - Ananga and Ketu. The word 'ketu' stands for symbol and 'anang' means free from physical body (ashariri). Absence of body symbolizes Lord Rishabh and that's why he is named 'Anangketu'.

The tenth flower is - You are 'Yogishwar'. This is a universal fact. In Bhagavat, Lord Rishabh is described as an Avadhoot Yogi (one who has renounced the world). In Hathyog Pradipika, Lord Rishabh has been paid homage as the first and foremost yogi. "Shree Aadinaathaaya namastu tasmai yenopadishtaa hathayogavidyaa" i.e. You were the knower of all yoga (spiritual practices) and among all yogis you were the pioneer. Therefore, you are Yogishwar.

"The eleventh flower is - 'You are ek-anek i.e. one as well as many'. The question of one and many has been asked since time immemorial. In the Jain canonical text Gyata Sutra, it is mentioned - Saumil Brahmin asked Lord Mahaveer "are you one or many?" Lord Mahaveer replied "I am one as well as many. From Dravyarthik naya (substantial viewpoint, which takes cognizance of only the aspect of permanance of substance), I am one soul! Whereas, from Paryayarthik naya (modal viewpoint, which takes cognizance only of particular mode of substance), I am many. My soul has many modes like mode of knowledge and mode of perception. From nishchay naya (transcendental viewpoint, a view which accepts the real nature object), I am one whereas from vyavahar naya(empirical viewpoint, which takes cognizance only of particular mode of substance), I am infinite." Each and every individual is one from a substantial point of view and infinite from a modal point of view. Hence Acharya says -'Lord! You are many as well as one. You are a liberated soul.'


The question arises whether the soul is one or many in Moksha (the revelling of the soul in its own nature on account of annihilation of all karmas). There are infinite souls in Moksha and they are all in one location. The nature of those liberated souls is such that the space is not an obstacle for them to reside. There are two factors - Avagaah(occupying space) and Kshetravarodh(reserving space.Space is not a restrictive factor for liberated souls. Though every liberated soul occupies space, they do not have the power to reserve the occupied space for themselves. In any particular space is only for gross beings (beings having physical body). AcharyaMaantung says- ‘You are subtle (ashariri- soul devoid of physical body, siddha) so you are beyond this problem.’

Infinite liberated souls live in one location yet they all have their individual identity. Many schools of thoughts believe liberation of soul means unity with God after which the soul loses its individual existence. Jain philosophy expounds that even after liberation souls have their own independent existence. On the basis of this philosophy Acharya proclaims- 'Lord! from the perspective of occupying the space you are one, whereas from the perspective of independent existence of soul, you are many'

The twelfth flower is - Gyaan swaroop i.e. you are an embodiment of knowledge. Now you are beyond Audayik(the state of transformation of soul consequent upon the rise of karma) and Kshayopashamik (the state of soul, emanating from annihilation cum subsidence of karma) state of soul. You always remain in Kshayik(the state of soul, emanating from the annihilation of karma) state of soul. Your ignorance has been completely destroyed therefore you are enlightened.

The thirteenth flower is - Amalata i.e. you are pure, immaculate and enlightened because you have destroyed the dust and dirt of Karma.

Acharya Maantung beautifully wove an attractive garland of flowers revealing the splendid qualities of Lord Rishabh, a glorious personality. He has proven the phrase "Ocean in a drop". Each and every word in this shlok has been defined in such a descriptive manner that plethora of books can be penned. In brief, each word of this shlok defines each and every quality of the Lord.

 Who was Lord Rishabh? What he did to the humanity? What was his extraordinary contribution to the universe? In his stuti Acharya Maantung explains all of them symbolically representing the magnificent personality of Lord Rishabh. This shlok is an inclusion of faith, knowledge and conduct. One who chants the shlok with its meaning and deeper sense can experience their oneness with Lord Rishabh.

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. Acharya
  2. Acharya Hemachandra
  3. Acharyas
  4. Adinath
  5. Aura
  6. Bhagavat
  7. Bhakti
  8. Body
  9. Brahma
  10. Brahmin
  11. Centre of Intuition
  12. Devdutt
  13. Dravyarthik naya
  14. Dvisandhan
  15. Hemachandra
  16. Ishvar
  17. Jain Philosophy
  18. Jinasena
  19. Karma
  20. Karmas
  21. Kshayik
  22. Kshayopashamik
  23. Lakh
  24. Mahabharata
  25. Mahaveer
  26. Mantra
  27. Meditation
  28. Moksha
  29. Muni
  30. Munis
  31. Naya
  32. Omniscient
  33. Paap
  34. Parmatma
  35. Paryayarthik
  36. Prakrit
  37. Preksha
  38. Preksha Meditation
  39. Ramayana
  40. Rishabh
  41. Samachaturasra
  42. Samhanan
  43. Samkhya
  44. Sanskrit
  45. Shlok
  46. Siddha
  47. Soul
  48. Space
  49. Stuti
  50. Sutra
  51. Tama
  52. Teerthankar
  53. The Pioneer
  54. Third Eye
  55. Vyavahar Naya
  56. Yoga
  57. siddhas
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