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Published: 02.12.2019
Updated: 04.12.2019

— 25 —
Buddhas-tva-mevavibudhaar-chita-buddhi-bodhaat, Tvamshanka-roasi-bhuvana-traya-shankara-tvaat |
Dhaataasidheera! shiva-maarga-vidhervidhaanaat, Vyaktamtvamevabhagavan! purushot-tamoasi||

O Lord, the one worshipped by deities! With omniscience, you are the knower of all things, hence you are Buddha. You are the benefactor in the three realms, and so you are Shankar.

O patient one! You are the originator of the codes of conduct leading to Moksha, so you are Brahma. Lord! You are manifested in the hearts of all, so you are Vishnu.

Tubhyamnamas-tri-jagatahparameshvaraaya, Tubhyamnamojina! bhavo-dadhi-shoshanaaya ||

O Lord! You relieve the three realms from their miseries, hence bow to you. You are the embellishment of this earth; hence I bow to you. You are the Supreme God of the three realms, hence I bow to you.

O Jina! You are the terminator of the unending chain of rebirths, you are the emancipator, and hence I bow to you.

Lord Rishabh with several names; names that were well known in the other religions. Acharya Maantung saw the image of Lord Rishabh in them because he was pioneer in many things. In Jainism, Lord Rishabh is considered as Aadi Kashyap(the first Kashyap) and Mahaveer as the last Kashyap(one who was born in Kashyap clan). Lord Mahaveer had disseminated the same dharma which has already been propounded by Lord Rishabh. Lord Rishabh propounded soul-oriented religion which has been followed by various philosophers. Therefore, it is said -

Anudhammam muninaa paveiyam

Thus, Acharya Maantung says Lord can be eulogized in the names of all great personalities. With this thought, he addressed Lord Rishabh with various names –

— 25 —
Buddhas-tva-mevavibudhaar-chita-buddhi-bodhaat, Tvamshanka-roasi-bhuvana-traya-shankara-tvaat |
Dhaataasidheera! shiva-maarga-vidhervidhaanaat, Vyaktamtvamevabhagavan! purushot-tamoasi||

'You are Buddha.' Here Buddha is not intended to be a name but an adjective. One who knows the reality of this world is called Buddha. A general adjective became the name of an individual. There was a time, when Mahapragya was my title; later it was converted to my name. Eulogizing 'Buddha' Ashvaghosh has written this fact in his great epic that the original name of Gautama Buddha is 'Shakya Putra', but because of his profound knowledge, he became famous with the name 'Buddha'. Here the use of the title 'Buddha' for Lord Rishabh by Acharya Maantung indicates his brilliance and intelligence.

Words and their Interpretations

Coining a new word is one thing, but to interpret prevalent words with new connotations is something special. One who studies the twelfth chapter of Uttaradhyayan Sutra knows how Lord Mahaveer has given new meanings to prevalent words like teerth yatra (pilgrimage), teerth sthal (holy place), etc. He advised to do teerth, yagya, holy bath, etc., in a new sense. Contradiction does not exist in words, but in its hidden meaning.

When we analyze any word on the basis of philosophy, it gives a different meaning. Therefore, it is necessary to know which word is used in what sense. Modern philosophers state - before comprehending another philosophy one should first have the knowledge of the terms used in their own philosophy. The words 'ashrav', 'samvar', 'karma', etc. are used in Jain philosophy as well as in Buddhist philosophy. Have these words been used in same sense in both the philosophies? If we analyse a word on the basis of philosophy it will connote a different meaning. Many meanings can be derived from a single word. Therefore, it is necessary to know that intended meaning of any word.

 A monk said to Brahmins - "I am doing yagya". Brahmins asked ­'which yagya?'

He said- 'The yagya suggested by Rishis!

Brahmins asked - 'What is jyoti (fire) in your yagya?'

Muni- 'Penance is my fire.'

Brahmins - 'What is Jyotisthan? (Where will the fire occur?)

 Muni - 'Soul is my Jyotisthan.'

Brahmins - 'Which spoons do you use to pour Ghee in fire?'

Muni - 'Good actions of mind, body and speech work as spoons to pour ghee.'

Brahmins - 'Which Kande (cow dung cake) do you use to make fire?'

Muni - 'Body works as Kande in my yagya.'

 Brahmin - 'What is indhan (fuel) is your yagya?'

 Muni - 'Karma is the fuel'

Brahmin - 'What is your prayer for shanti paath (peace)?'

Muni - 'Self-restraint is my prayer for shanti paath'

Lord Mahaveer used words like jyoti, jyotisthan, indhan, shanti-paath in the context of nonviolent yagya.

Here words related to yagya remained the same, but they were used in a different metaphor. Following the same concept, Acharya Maantung logically explained - 'Lord! you are Buddha.' What is the logic behind this statement? The meaning of the words used with logical background can be understood easily. Here the logic is - because of being respected or worshiped by celestial beings you are called Buddha. It may be interpreted as "you are Buddha because you are worshipped by scholars and ganadhars (chief disciples of teerthankar; the ascetic who composes the canonical text on the basis of the direct revelation to him by the teerthankar)". In the present context, "worshipped by Ganadhars" is more appropriate. They adore Lord's illumination of intellect. To have intellect is one thing and to have illumination of intellect is a completely different matter.

One who knows the essence of scriptures understands that gyan (knowledge) and upayog (utility of that knowledge) are totally different. One monk memorizes thousands of shlokas. A question may arise "does he really remember all these?" In fact, they are all stored in memory, and need to be recollected. They will be remembered only when an effort is made to recollect them. However, if there is illumination of intellect i.e. enlightenment, then there is no need to make an effort to remember anything! Where there is pure & perfect knowledge, there remains continuous flow of knowledge.

One who has an uninterrupted flow of knowledge, whose expanse of knowledge never sets, whose knowledge is not veiled by any clouds by karma, is known as Buddha.

That is the difference between chhadmastha(non-omniscient soul whose knowledge and intuition are veiled) and kevali(omniscient). Knowledge for a common man requires recollection whilst for an omniscient does not. Omniscient has a constant flow of knowledge. Unlike computers, they do not need input and output. Intention behind Acharya Maantung's statement is that "Illumination of intellect is always manifested in you, therefore you are Buddha". In fact, the omniscient should be considered as Buddha.

One who has an uninterrupted flow of knowledge, whose expanse of knowledge never sets, whose knowledge is not veiled by any clouds of karma, is known as Buddha. Acharya Maantung eulogized Lord Rishabh by giving new interpretation to the word 'Buddha. This is an illustration of defining a new interpretation to a prevalent word.

The Three Names of Lord Rishabh

There is a mythology in Vedic tradition which believes in three gods. They are Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar (Shiva, Mahesh). Addressing Lord Rishabh with the word 'Shankar, Acharya Maantung said - 'Lord! You provide well-being to the three realms of the universe; therefore you are Shankar'.

In Sanskrit literature, Dhvani kavya and Vyang kavya hold a significant place. In poetic literature, when abhidha and lakshna cannot interpret the meaning of any statement, vyanjana expresses it. In a vyanjana type of poetry words suggest something else and actual meaning of word is different. Nowadays we find satires in newspapers. Words by themselves don't hold any importance, but the meaning behind the word touches the heart. Wise people use profound words which convey the intended message without ambiguity.

A young scholar was walking. A young lady saw him and was attracted to him. She started thinking of ways to present her feelings to the scholar. Addressing the scholar, she said –

Re paantha?pustakadhara! kshanamatratistha, Vaidhyosivaaganita-shaastra-vishaaradosi|
Kenau-shadhena mama pashyatibhartu-rambaa, Kim vaagamishyatipatihsuchira-pravaasee||

"O traveler! You have books with you. You just tell me - whether you are vaidya (ayurvedic doctor) or astrologer. If you are vaidya, then tell me which medicine can cure my blind mother in law. If you are astrologer, then tell me when will my husband who is travelling abroad since a long time will return home?" If we focus on the literal meaning of the words then the above phrase will not make any sense, but if we focus on its dhvani (intent) we will realise that the lady is conveying an invitation to the traveller. The intent says - O traveller! My mother in law is blind and my husband has gone abroad. I am alone at home. You can come to my house and stay there.

Dhvani kavya is considered as the most important style of writing a poetry. Acharya Maantung has used the literary art of dhvani in eulogizing Lord Rishabh as Buddha and Shankar. Here the intention of these words is - I am not ready to accept that person as "Buddha" who propounded the philosophy of absolute transience. In fact, you are 'Buddha' who propounded the concept of 'Parinami-nityavad' (Theory of eternal-cum-non-eternal).

Shiva (Shankar) means one who provides well-being to all, but mythological belief is that Shiva is that person who destroys the universe. Acharya Maantung says - 'I am not ready to accept that person as 'Shiva' who destroys the universe. For me, you are only Shankar because you never cause destruction instead provide well-being to all'

Another mythological God is Brahma. He is considered as the creator of the Universe. Acharya said -'Lord! You are Brahma or Vidhaata as you have shown the path of liberation'. Right knowledge, right perception and right conduct constitute the path to liberation. By legislating this path, you have formulated the 'power of creation'. I don't consider that person as creator whose own creation is related with many mythological stories, such as creation from the navel or lotus, pond or matter? In my view, the person who propounded the path of liberation is Vidhaata. You have shown that path, so you are Vidhaata.

Acharya Maantung used one more word to address Lord Rishabh. He said -'Lord! You are Purushottam'. The word 'Purushottam' has been used for Vishnu too. One who has the light of intellect and the light of omniscience, one who provides happiness and well-being, one who propounds the path to eternal happiness i.e. path to moksha is called purushottam. In my view one who remains engrossed in Leela, war, etc. cannot be called purushottam. Therefore, Acharya Maantung says - 'You have the light of omniscience, your existence provided well-being to others, you have advocated the path to salvation, and so only you are Purushottam.'

Acharya Maantung, through his intense wisdom gave a new dimension to the mythological names. It is truly commendable that he has expressed the truth and reality of words by giving them a new meaning.

Saluting the Lord

Moving ahead with the explanation of stuti, Acharya Maantung said -'Lord! You are Shankar, Vidhaata and Purushottam therefore I wish to salute you' One desires to salute someone who is wiser and enlightened compared to themselves. There is no merit to salute just any one. Salute should be paid where there is possibility to achieve something. One should not beseech in front of anyone.

Addressing Chaatak(a type of bird) a poet said, "O Chaatak!" I know you have self-esteem, but there is a drawback in your personality. You start to sing in an asking mode' as soon as you see clouds in the sky and start to cry in a pathetic way as soon as they spread in the sky. You don't realize that all clouds are not similar, some clouds are competent to make the earth wet, where as some clouds just make thunder but do not shed a single drop of rain. So, you must pray to only those clouds which are capable of rain. Don't implore those clouds that just make noise and don't rain."

Re Rechaatak! Saavadhaana-manasaa, mitra-kshanamshrooyataa Mambhodaabahavovasantigagane, sarvepinaitaa-drishaah |
Kechidvrishtibhiraardrayantivasudhaam, garjantikechanvrithaa Yam yampashyasitasyatasyapuratah, maabroohideenamvachah||

Head does not bow down to anyone. It bows towards those who are great. Acharya Maantung says -'Lord! You are the one who takes misery away from people of three realms therefore I bow down to you'

Salutation is done to those who free others from misery. Whoever helps free others from misery is indeed great. One who studies Aagam knows that at the moment of teerthankar's birth and salvation peace spreads everywhere. Even hellish beings momentarily become free from misery and experience peace in those moments. Is there any doctor or vaidya who can free the three realms from misery? Ashwini Kumar is a heavenly doctor who cannot favor the human abode. There are doctors in human world who do miraculous work but cannot free the three realms from misery.

Misery of Three Realms

Describing the specific quality of Lord Rishabh, Acharya Maantung continues -

Tubhyamnamas-tri-jagatahparameshvaraaya, Tubhyamnamojina! bhavo-dadhi-shoshanaaya ||

'Lord! Your existence on this land will surely take the misery away of people of all three realms! A question may arise - "What is the misery of the three realms?" It is kashay (passion, anger, deceit, ego greed); whether in human land, celestial land or hellish land. This forest-fire of passion is burning everywhere.

There is mutual conflict amongst hellish beings. There are two types of hellish beings - beings having right world-view and beings having wrong or perverted world-view. Beings having right world view suffer from the problem of heat, produced due to location, but don't indulge in any dispute amongst them. They often resolve the problem with mutual understanding. Beings with wrong world view not only suffer from heat generated by the location, but also by constant mutual conflicts between them.

The episodes of restlessness, emotional distress and mutual smuggle take place amongst heavenly beings too. Incidents such as stealing, snatching, kidnapping the female celestial being etc., are very common in heaven. Heavenly beings are powerful although there isn't a significant difference between human beings and lower category of heavenly beings.

Acharya Maantung further says -'Lord! you have given solution to the problem of passion, mental restlessness and emotional agony'. In the first discourse, it was said - "Know the soul, perceive the soul & pacify the passions". This discourse gives the solution to all the problems or misery of three realms. Therefore, I bow down to you for annihilating the misery of three realms through your discourse and philosophy.

Water of Pure Emotions

Acharya Maantung elaborates further on the reason for saluting, - 'You are a pure ornament on this land. Only that person can become pure who is free from passion pervading in three realms. One cannot be pure whose passions are intense. Where there is passion, dirt gets accumulated.'

In a meeting with monks and nuns I mentioned- Every householder takes bath daily. They do this to clean the dirt accumulated in the last twenty-four hours. Similarly, each monk and nun should take bath to remove the impurity of emotions. One should purify themselves if they have had impure emotions, mental restlessness or if they have committed any of the eighteen types of sin. By sinful activities whatever dirt is accumulated on the soul it should be removed by the water of pure emotions. The way to purify or cleanse the soul is by chanting of Mahamantra, eulogy of teerthankars, Kayostarga (relaxation; giving up the attachment towards body), Jaap, and Meditation. These auspicious practices stop the influence of external factors which pollutes life.

Secondly, Acharya Maantung observes -'You are an ornament that beautifies the earth and attract others'. In modern age, ornaments are not as prevalent as they were in the ancient times. Now-a-days wearing ornaments are considered as just a fashion statement. In reality there are profound reasons for wearing them. In scriptures, ornaments have been explained with significance. In the ancient ages, scholars knew how ornaments apply pressure on the right nerves hence affecting the right instincts. Every ornament, be it a nose pin, earrings, necklace, or anklets certainly affect our instincts. It keeps a person disciplined. People of modern age don't have knowledge of this archaic secret and thus consider it as just a form of fashion or symbol of tradition. In fact, ornaments are significant and hence Acharya Maantung calls his Lord an ornament of earth.

Third reason for paying salutation is - 'You are a Parmeshwar (the Supreme Being).There are various meanings of the word 'Ishvar'. As per Vedic, Nyaya and Vaisheshih tradition "Ishvar" (God) is the creator of universe. In the language of Jain philosophy - "Ishvar is one who has attained liberation". Ishvar is the one who is omnipotent. 'You have attained salvation. That is why I bow down to you.'

Fourth reason for paying salutation is - 'You have made the ocean of transmigration dry' Agastya Rishi made the ocean dry by drinking just three fists of water. You make the ocean of transmigration dry without taking a single fist of water. These reasons for paying salutation became the background of the shlok.

In this shlok, Acharya Maantung resolved the question on whom a salutation should be paid. I don't pay salutation to someone who cannot free me from pain. Why do people pay salutations to monks and nuns? They are not doctors or vaidya who can remove bodily pains. People come to them because in their presence they experience peace. Their mere presence helps to eliminate mental agony.

Increase your strength and be powerful. Everything is possible when there is strength, vigour and prosperity. Salutation is paid to one who takes us out from the whirlpool of transmigration.

Many people in a state of remorse come to Gurudev to pay obeisance. In the presence of his pious aura they get consolation and power to tolerate the grief from being separated with loved ones. Gurudev preaches the importance of detachment which empowers them to become free from suffering.

Problems get dissolved when there is purity. Salutation is paid to one who is pure and mighty. Nobody salutes a weak person. Earlier there was a belief - "don't beg for justice." A weak person never gets justice. Increase your strength and be powerful. Everything is possible when there is strength, vigour and prosperity. Salutation is paid to one who takes us out from the whirlpool of transmigration.

There is an incident of a journey to Kolkata. A monk got caught in the mud of the banks of a river flowing outside of Kanpur. The body of the monk was heavy. He was taken out from the mud with difficulty. Nobody would have been caught in that mud if it was dry or empty. One attains the potential of being respected if they make the ocean of transmigration void.

Acharya Maantung's intellectual and devotional powers became prominent in these two shlokas. Maintaining the depth of the meaning of shlok, he was swayed with the constant flow of devotion.


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

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Aagam
  2. Abhidha
  3. Acharya
  4. Anger
  5. Aura
  6. Ayurvedic
  7. Body
  8. Brahma
  9. Brahmin
  10. Brahmins
  11. Buddha
  12. Chhadmastha
  13. Deceit
  14. Dharma
  15. Dhvani
  16. Dhvani kavya
  17. Gautama
  18. Ghee
  19. Greed
  20. Gurudev
  21. Gyan
  22. Ishvar
  23. Jaap
  24. Jain Philosophy
  25. Jainism
  26. Jina
  27. Kanpur
  28. Karma
  29. Kashay
  30. Kevali
  31. Kolkata
  32. Mahapragya
  33. Mahaveer
  34. Meditation
  35. Moksha
  36. Muni
  37. Nyaya
  38. Omniscient
  39. Parmeshwar
  40. Purushottam
  41. Rishabh
  42. Rishi
  43. Rishis
  44. Sanskrit
  45. Shlok
  46. Shlokas
  47. Soul
  48. Sthal
  49. Stuti
  50. Sutra
  51. Teerth yatra
  52. Teerthankar
  53. Upayog
  54. Uttaradhyayan
  55. Vaidya
  56. Vedic
  57. Vyang kavya
  58. Vyanjana
  59. Yagya
  60. Yam
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