Glory of Jainism: Sadhvi Rukmini

Published: 07.09.2012
Updated: 02.07.2015



Sadhvi Rukmini

A great personality and a great saint Arya Vajra had arrived at Pataliputra and was staying near the garden outside the city. Almost the entire city had been out for his darshan. Rukmini, the only child of Pataliputra’s richest merchant, had also gone to the garden with her friends. All of them - the young and the old - were engrossed in the heavenly delight of the religious discourse of Arya Vajra who was cool, calm and collected and was glowing with the luster of celibacy. Unlike the multitude, Rukmini was attracted and infatuated by the physical beauty of Arya Vajra.

Strange are the ways of the mind. Rukmini began to cherish sweet dreams of her future married life, thinking of Arya Vajra as her husband. In fact she was determined to marry him and she conveyed this to her parents also and added that if the marriage would not take place, she would immolate herself on the pyre. It was unbearable for her to live  without him in separation - so intense was her infatuation.

Rukmini’s father Dhan Shresthi (great merchant) was a money-minded man and considered everything in terms of money. He thought that if he gave inexhaustible wealth to Arya Vajra, he would surely marry Rukmini renouncing his saintliness instantly. Along with his daughter bedecked with costly clothes and valuable ornaments and 100 crore mudras (coins), Dhan Shreshti went to Arya Vajra and requested him to accept Rukmini as his wife since she had already regarded him as her husband. He also added that with the 100 crore mudras Arya Vajra would be able to enjoy all the worldly pleasures of life. Having made the tempting proposal of wife and wealth, Dhan bowed to Arya Vajra and looked expectantly for a suitable answer.

But Arya Vajra was firm as regards his path of renunciation and he was not at all moved by the tempting offer. Unmoved as he was, he said very calmly: “O great merchant! By temperament you are very simple and innocent. You intend to entangle me in all the bondages that I have already renounced. Do you think one would let go the desire-fulfilling-tree (K alpavriksha) for a small blade of grass? Would one barter one’s swan for a crow? You are trying to tempt me by worldly, sensual pleasures and enjoyment and thereby you intend to deprive me of my penance and renunciation that are worthy of ensuring me desired bliss. If your daughter really intends to follow me, she should accept and follow the great vows accepted by me, namely samyak jnana (enlightened knowledge), samyak darshan (enlightened world view) and samyak charitra (enlightened conduct). She should be prepared and get ready to tread the path of spiritual upliftment by accepting my way of life of austere discipline and devotion.”

Such a sweetly convincing speech of Arya Vajra dispelled the infatuation of Rukmini. The more she listened to him, the more enlightened she felt and all her doubts, ignorance and attachment were dispelled. She was now inspired by the preaching of a person whom she had regarded as her husband; now he was a godly figure and Arya Vajra led her on to a righteous path of spiritual bliss.


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. Celibacy
  2. Charitra
  3. Crore
  4. Darshan
  5. Discipline
  6. Enlightened Knowledge
  7. Jnana
  8. Sadhvi
  9. Samyak Charitra
  10. Samyak Darshan
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