Glory of Jainism: Shri Chandarudracharya

Published: 28.07.2012


Shri Chandarudracharya

In the evening time, some youths who had set out for fun and frolic, arrived at the upashraya (a place for Jain monks and nuns to stay) of Muni Chandarudracharya. Old and angry Shri Chandarudracharya was staying at the upashraya. These youths, out of mischief, wanted to play some joke on this elderly saint. One of the mischievous youths was to be married soon and his marriage was fixed. Pointing at this young boy, the other youths said in a jocular tone to the monk: “O monk! Save this boy. The poor fellow is compelled to marry though he has the least desire to get married. You are merciful. If you be kind enough to him and grant him initiation, it shall end all his miseries and it shall be a great obligation of yours.”

Initially the elderly monk ignored the joke. But his silence provoked the youths further. They again requested the monk to redeem the youth from the worldly ties. True to his name, Shri Chandarudracharya was known for his extremely angry temperament. As a result of excessive joking, the old monk lost his temper and addressed the about to-be-married youth: “So you want to have initiation? Well, I shall grant you that; only then would you realise what it is to live as an initiated.” The youth was still in a jocular mood. He said: “Yes, please grant me initiation. At any cost, I want to leave the worldly way of life and accept the path of penance.”

Shri Chandarudracharya’s temper burst out. He caught hold of the youth and seizing his head he soon began to pluck his hair. On seeing this, the other youths ran away; but that youth did not budge an inch. He said to Shri Chandarudracharya: “Muniraj, soon my relatives would arrive here. It would be better if we start on a journey (vihar) before they all arrive.”

Due to his old-age, Chandarudracharya had already entrusted all the responsibilities of the gachchha (a chapter of monks) to a disciple. He had confined himself to self-attainment. How could such a Muni undertake a journey?

The youth carried the old monk on his shoulders and started the journey. It was a very difficult and uneven path strewn with thorns all the way. Whenever the disciple’s foot would falter giving the old monk a jerk, the old guru’s temper would soon burst out. The disciple’s feet were bruised with blisters and stained with blood. The guru (spiritual teacher), riding on his shoulder, scolded him constantly. Meanwhile the disciple’s feet faltered as a result of a deep pit on their way and the guru too lost his balance. That was enough! It was the undoing of the disciple. As the volcano of guru’s anger erupted, he gave a heavy blow with his thick stick on the disciple’s head.

The disciple was in an extremely difficult and pitiable condition; yet he thought it was his fault that the guru had to undergo all such hardships and harassment. Consequent upon his deep repentance, disciple’s thinking was purified and soon he attained pure and absolute knowledge. The guru said: “Previously you did not walk properly but now you walk so smoothly and steadily. How is that? How do you find your way in such thick darkness?” The disciple said: “That is the power of knowledge (kevalajyan).”

As soon as he heard these utterances, the guru jumped off the disciple’s shoulder. He apologised to the disciple who had now attained pure knowledge. Full of repentance as he was by now, the guru too attained pure knowledge.

Title: Glory Of Jainism

Ashok Saha and Prathana Saha


Shri Anilbhai Gandhi (Trustee),
Palitana - 364270 (India)

Edition: 1998

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Gachchha
  3. Guru
  4. Muni
  5. Vihar
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