Glory of Jainism: Shri Vajraswami

Published: 05.08.2012


Shri Vajraswami

Life of Shri Vajraswami, born yogi and the tenth and the last purvadhar, was a unique combination of penance, accomplishment and religious pursuit. The most outstanding feature of his life is that he acquired the knowledge of jati-smaran (memory of past birth) as soon as he was born. From the day he was born, he went for renunciation of worldly life and he lived as a devoted ascetic up to the age of eighty.

Though Dhangiri and Sunanda of Tumbavan city were married, Sunanda was well aware about her husband's keen yearning for spiritual advancement. As Sunanda had a garbhasuchak dream, Dhangiri told her that soon she will have a support in her new-born son, and if she would permit he would pursue spiritual well-being by accepting initiation. Being an ideal Indian woman, she let him go his way. Sunanda delivered a baby boy in B.C. 31 and there was great rejoicing in the family.

As soon as the child was born, he acquired jatismaran knowledge of his earlier birth. Instantly he started crying, lest he should get caught up in the worldly entanglement of motherly love. Sunanda was so harassed and tormented by the child's crying day and night for over six months that out of sheer frustration she left the child in the sag of monk Dhangiri and surprisingly enough the child ceased crying as soon as he was put in the sag. Monk Dhangiri came to his Guru Aryasinhgiri carrying the sag. The Guru, having looked at the heavy sag, said that it was heavy like a thunderbolt. As the Guru opened the sag, he found a child in it and he named him vajra who was ultimately brought up by nuns and a Jain laywoman (Shravika).

After a lapse of three years, Sunanda was overcome by her motherly love and she demanded her son. The matter was ultimately referred to the king's court and it was finally decided that the boy would belong to the person with whom he felt attached. Sunanda tried to win over the boy with toys, sweets and loving gestures but the boy did not budge an inch. Then the boy's father Dhangiri lifted his rajoharan (a whiskbroom) and asked the child if he knew the ultimate truth and if he was anxious to go for life of restraint, he should accept the rajoharan so as to do away with the bondage of karma. Before Monk Dhangiri could complete his sentence, Vajra, the child, went to the Monk and sat in his lap and picking up the rajoharan began to fan him. The entire royal court was amazed and Sunanda was lost in deep thoughts - her husband, brother and son all had accepted initiation. Soon she decided to follow into their foot-steps.

The gods tried twice to tempt the young Muni Vajraswami by offering him food by means of creating illusion in the forest but with the sheer power of his intelligence he could see through the divine illusion and refused the food. Thereupon, the gods granted him the vaikriya labdhi (supernatural power of assuming any bodily form) and the knowledge to fly in the sky.

Once when there was very acute famine in Northern India, Vajraswami sent the entire sangh to Maheshwari Puri with the power of this akashgamini knowledge. No flowers were available there so he managed to supply 20 lakh flowers by means of a viman (celestial ariel car). He was a noble and worthy symbol of strength and sainthood. He passed away in A.D. 57. With a view to making his inspiring memory everlasting, the Vajjishakha was established after his death.

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. Guru
  2. Karma
  3. Labdhi
  4. Lakh
  5. Muni
  6. Rajoharan
  7. Sangh
  8. Shravika
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