Bhaktambar Stotra: 17 ►ATISHAY: DIVINITY OF THE LOARD

Published: 06.12.2019

-33-
Itthamyathaatavavibhutira-bhooj-jinendra! Dharmo-pdeshana-vidhaunatathaaparasya|
Yaadrikprabhaadina-kritahprahataan-dhakaaraa, Taadrikkutograha-ganasyavikaashi-noapi||

O Jinendra! The power during your discourse is not seen in any other deity. How can the brightness of twinkling constellations be the same as the darkness dissipating dazzle of the sun?

-34-
Schyotanmadaa-vila-vilola-kapola-moola, Matta-bhramad-bhramara-naada-vivriddha-kopam|
Airaava-taabha-mibha-muddhata-maapa-tantam, Dristvaabhayambhavati no bhava-daashri-taanaam||

The devotees who have submitted to you are not scared even of an attacking mad mammoth like Airavat who is disturbed by the intake of mada oozing from its temple and which is being incessantly goaded by humming bees. They are always fearless.

In the stuti to Adinath, as Acharya Maantung is narrating all the incidents he is also reviewing them. He expresses poetically-‘Lord! I have not seen this divine power that I witnessed in the Samavasaran (the place where teerthankars deliver their sermon). I have not experienced with any other Lord divinities like Ashok tree, divine canopies, and divine sound' In the present context, the word 'other' denotes a deep meaning. Here the meaning of 'other' is - Aveetarag, one who is not free from attachment and aversion.
When a person becomes Veetaraag, power manifests in them automatically.

Power of Veetaragata

There are two categories of spiritual aspirants -Veetarag and Aveetarag. The power which is manifested in Veetarag cannot be found in Aveetarag.

In the text - Patanjal Yog-darshan, Patanjali, discussed about siddhi (specific power) in the chapter of Kaivalyapad. The first maxim of Kaivalyapad is - janm-aushadhi-mantra-tapah-samaadhijaah-siddhayah. There are five causes of siddhi -Janma (birth), Aushadhi (medication), Mantra (sacred syllable having spiritual power), Tap (penance) and the highest state of Samadhi (bliss). Some people have special powers since birth. Medication and mantra also become a means to attain some siddhis. Austerity and blissful state becomes the cause of attaining specific powers. When a person becomes Veetarag, power manifests in them automatically. When all three - aavaran (obscurance), vikar (distortion) & avarodh (impediment) are destroyed, then the state of Veetaragata is attained. No obstruction, distortion or impediment remains when knowledge obscuring, perception obscuring, deluding and hindrance producing (gyanavaraniya, darshanavaran, mohaniya and antaray) karmas are destroyed. All powers manifest in this state only.

A Veetarag has the power to influence the environment around him. Surrounding atoms change their forms accordingly. It is said - Go near a Veetarag, animosity will be destroyed. In this context following maxim is appropriate -

"Ahimsaa-pratishtthaayaam tat-sannidhauvairatyaagah".

Animosity does not stay in the presence of one who strictly follows complete nonviolence or has attained utmost nonviolence. One should not just practice nonviolence but master it. Where there is mastery in practice, transformation of atoms occurs inevitably. In fact, it brings changes in both living being as well as non-living objects. It is actually a result of Veetaragata (absence of attachment and aversion) or the elimination of obstructions. Giving emphasis to this fact, Acharya Maantung composed this shlok

— 33 —
Itthamyathaatavavibhutira-bhooj-jinendra! Dharmo-pdeshana-vidhaunatathaaparasya|
Yaadrikprabhaadina-kritahprahataan-dhakaaraa, Taadrikkutograha-ganasyavikaashi-noapi||

'Lord! The specific power you attained is because of your Veetaragata and elimination of karma. Therefore, your method of giving religious discourse is powerful' Clarifying his statement through an example, Acharya Maantung says - 'Can any other stars and planets have the same radiance as the Sun? The Sun penetrates through the darkest of darkness, brightening everything that comes its way' In this shlok the poet tried to see Adinath from an external perspective, but his personality can be described from inner perspective too.

Spiritual Explanation of Atishayas

There are two standpoints to describe anything -Vyavaharnaya (pragmatic standpoint) and Nishchay naya (transcendental view point, a view which accepts the real nature of an object). If we look at Adinath from pragmatic point of view we come across lakshans (figurative sense of a word) like throne, Ashoka tree, fly-whisk, etc. But if we describe Adinath from transcendental and spiritual outlook it can be said

  • One who has mastered Aasan siddhi (postures) or who can sit in a particular posture for long time is called siddha. yogi. The place where a siddha yogi takes seat transforms into simhasan (superhuman magnificence of the teerthankar; a throne made of crystal; the teerthankars delivers the sermons by sitting on it). One of the Jain Acharyas has written - one who does not have command over aasanas does not have the knowledge of Jain Metaphysics. Aasan siddhi is essential. To do aasan is one thing and mastering them is a completely different aspect. In the present context, spiritual explanation of simhasan is - one who has supreme command over aasan.
  • One of the atishay is - Ashok Tree. How does misery exist in the state of eradication of moha (delusion)? Shok (misery) is the form of moha. Ashok (happiness, absence of misery) extemporaneously comes into existence where there is eradication of moha. Where there is no moha there is no shok. From a spiritual outlook occurrence of Ashok Tree is possible only in the moment of eradication of moha.
  • Another atishay is - Shvetchanvar (white fly whisk). It can be said that poet has used white flywhisk to represent the shukla leshya of Lord. Where there is Shukla leshya or flow of pure emotions there is only whiteness and complete absence of animosity.
  • Next atishay is - Chhatra (three-tier canopy). If the awakened souls have completely stopped the influx of karmas i.e. state of samvar, then why will the canopy not appear? For them the canopy is not just a 3-tiered one but the entire world becomes their canopy.

The one, who praises you, establishes oneness with a Veetaraag like you; becomes free from fear.

These internal qualities that have depicted symbolically are from a pragmatic standpoint. From the transcendental standpoint, these qualities -aasan siddhi, Shukla leshya, amoha and samvar can be illustrated as specific features of spiritual yogi. Vibhooti (divinity) such as Ashok tree, canopy, flywhisk and throne are symbols of those specific features. People can see symbols that are external, but do not see the internal mastery of specific qualities. However, Acharya Maantung has used metaphors and symbols to interpret his view, but we shouldn't limit ourselves with those symbols alone. We should try to reach out for the deeper essence of spirituality that lies behind those symbols. Only then the depth and feelings of author can be fully comprehended.

A New Dimension of Stuti

After the illustration of Atishaya, Acharya Maantung gave a new dimension to stuti. 'Fearlessness' became the subject of stuti. He says -'The one who praises you establishes oneness with a Veetarag like you; becomes free from fear.' There are many kinds of fear. A poet keeps in his mind the peripheral facts while composing his literary work.'

Losing the Fear of Elephants

In those days elephants caused fear. Today with urbanization the situation is different. However, people who live in dense forest of
Vindhaychal, Assam, Karnataka, etc. do face the fear of elephants.

Once a monk took a foot journey to Assam. While passing through the town, people warned him, "Sadhviji! Do not take this path; this jungle is full of elephants." Sadhvi Mohanaji (Rajgarh) continued to cross the jungle barefoot. While passing through the jungle a big elephant confronted her. She did not stir from her place and stood fearless. The elephant and Sadhviji both stared at each other. Sadhviji started to chant the Namaskar Mahamantra. The vibration of the mantra reached the elephant as a result of which it changed its path. Sadhviji moved ahead without any hurdles.

Importance of Elephant

Nowadays, elephants are confined to jungles and sanctuaries. However, in olden times elephants posed the biggest threat to towns. Kings took pride in owning powerful elephants. There are instances where Rajhasti (king's elephant) became frenzied because of mada, a liquid that oozes out of the elephant's temples. The elephants would break free from its chains and cause destruction in the town. There would be chaos everywhere. Whoever came in its path was crushed. Frightened, people closed the doors of their houses and fled to the terrace. It was very difficult to control and pacify those terrified elephants.

Kings were in a dilemma whether to keep elephants or not. Elephants assured great level of security to their kingdom and were critical. Only elephants had the capability to break the high walls and iron gates of the castles and forts surrounding the town. They could use their collective power to break down the large iron gates and walls surrounding the enemy's forts.

There were four types of army- Gaja-sena (elephantry corps),Ashwa- sena (cavalry crops), Rath-sena (chariot crops) and padaati-sena (infantry corps). Among these, elephantry was considered the most powerful. Just as in modern days tankers are always in the front line, similarly, then elephants were used as the front line. Elephants were as important then as tankers are today. In fact, you could consider elephants as living tankers compared to modern lifeless tankers made of matter. For a common man living in this modern age it is difficult to comprehend the importance of elephants in the army.

Once an elephant came to a village. Those villagers had never seen an elephant. The entire village was excited to see the huge animal. Some rich farmers came to the mahout and asked - "Is this an animal?"

Mahout replied - "Yes, it is an elephant."

Farmers asked - "Would you like to sell it?"

Mahout replied - "Yes I can sell it"

Farmers - "At what price?"

Mahout - "Five thousand rupees!"

As soon as the farmers heard the price they went silent. In that era five thousand rupees was a considerable sum of money.

People asked, "What is the utility of such an expensive animal?"

Mahout replied - "It is useful in riding."

People - "Does it give wool?"

Mahout - "No, it does not give wool."

People - "Does it give milk?"

Mahout - "No, it does not give milk either."

"Then what is the use of an animal which gives neither milk nor wool? Sheep is better as it gives both milk as well as wool Five thousand rupees is a far-fetched amount, we will not purchase this animal even for five kodis (coins or pennies)."

There are different perspectives to evaluating different things. If we consider the above story from the perspective of wool or milk, elephant holds no value. But if we had to consider from safety point of view, elephants are the most valuable. Problem arises when the elephant that assures safety becomes a cause of destruction. When elephants became fanatic and go out of control they create havoc. When such dangerous situations arose people would chant a mantra to get rid of the fear of the elephant.

The Power of the Shlok

When one becomes unified with you, accepts your virtues and inculcates them becomes valiant and fearless.

The name of this thirty fourth shlok of Bhaktamar is Gaj-bhaya-nivaranstavan i.e. getting rid of the fear of elephants. Acharyas and scholars of mantra vidya have composed supporting mantras for the shlokas of Bhaktamar. However, they did not write any mantra for this shlok. In their view this shlok is a mantra in itself. When a situation arises where people fear elephants, then chanting of this mantra aids in eradicating that fear.

-34-
Schyotanmadaa-vila-vilola-kapola-moola, Matta-bhramad-bhramara-naada-vivriddha-kopam|
Airaava-taabha-mibha-muddhata-maapa-tantam, Dristvaabhayambhavati no bhava-daashri-taanaam||

Acharya Maantung assures that the one who recites the name of the Lord can get rid of the fear of not only a common elephant but also Airavat, the elephant of Lord Indra. Acharya Maantung describes Airavat as an undisciplined and discourteous elephant. There are 2 types of elephants - trained and barbaric. A disciplined and trained elephant is useful. Their skillful performance leaves people spellbound. They become a source of livelihood.

However, Acharya Maantung is depicting rude, undisciplined and untrained charging elephant. From the temples of such elephant's liquid (mada) oozes out. The elephant's cheeks get wet by the constant flow of the liquid making the ground mucky. When such kind of mada oozes out it emits a strange smell that attracts bees. As the intensity of this odour increases, swarms of bees gather over the elephant. The bees start buzzing in the elephant's ears and sting it making it wild and furious. On one hand there is a frenzied elephant and on the other hand buzzing bees. The sharp sting makes the elephant more aggressive. The elephant breaks loose of all chains and wrecks destruction.

It is mentioned in Acharanga Sutra that when Lord Mahaveer took initiation (accepted sainthood) as per rituals his body was sprinkled with aromatic ingredients. After many days his body continued to have the fragrance. Ironically that fragrance attracted bees and stung him. Under such circumstances Acharya Maantung vows - 'Lord! Whoever takes refuge under you in situations like these becomes free from fear. When one becomes unified with you, accepts your virtues and inculcates them becomes valiant and fearless. 'A fore said shlok is a Mahamantra for eradicating the fear of elephants.

Just as fear has many facets, the practice of fearlessness is manifold. Various types of fears have different related mantras to ease and eradicate them. One who chants these mantras diligently can even tame a notorious elephant.

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. Acharanga
  2. Acharya
  3. Acharyas
  4. Adinath
  5. Ashok Tree
  6. Ashoka
  7. Assam
  8. Body
  9. Chhatra
  10. Environment
  11. Fear
  12. Fearlessness
  13. Indra
  14. Jinendra
  15. Karma
  16. Karmas
  17. Karnataka
  18. Leshya
  19. Mada
  20. Mahaveer
  21. Mantra
  22. Moha
  23. Mohaniya
  24. Namaskar Mahamantra
  25. Naya
  26. Nonviolence
  27. Patanjali
  28. Pride
  29. Rajgarh
  30. Sadhvi
  31. Samadhi
  32. Samavasaran
  33. Samvar
  34. Shlok
  35. Shlokas
  36. Shok
  37. Shukla
  38. Shukla Leshya
  39. Siddha
  40. Siddhi
  41. Simhasan
  42. Stuti
  43. Sutra
  44. Tap
  45. Teerthankar
  46. Veetaraag
  47. Veetarag
  48. Veetaragata
  49. Vidya
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