Glory of Jainism: Sadhvi Rudrasoma

Published: 09.09.2012

 


 

Sadhvi Rudrasoma

Somdev was a royal priest to the king of Dashpur. His wife Rudrasoma gave birth to a brilliant child named Aryarakshit. An authority on Vedas (the oldest sacred books of the Hindus) and a learned man, Somdev was immensely loved both by the king and the people. His wife Rudrasoma was held in high respect by the common people because of her intense love for the Jain religion. Somdev sent his son Aryarakshit to Pataliputra for further studies. In Patliputra he studied six angas (Jain canonical literature) and the vedas.

After being well-versed in all the branches of learning Rakshit returned from Pataliputra to Dashpur and his entry into the city was celebrated both by the king and the people with enthusiasm at a grand function, and was honored too. Aryarakshit ran down to his mother to pay his respects and to bow down to her but he found that his mother was engaged in practicing equanimity. As he found his mother practicing equanimity, he was choked with emotions and bowed down. Then the mother merely cast a loving glance at her son who had anticipated that her mother would express boundless joy and love on his arrival.

Rakshit, the scholar, was puzzled by the attitude of his mother. He knew too well that his mother was simplicity, love and affection incarnate and was never disturbed and yet she was not at all happy on such a glorious event. On being asked by Rakshit the reason for her passivity, his mother said that as a result of the scholarship he had got, he would get great honor, fame and money but it would not serve any meaning as regards the spiritual well-being or uplift of his own self or that of others. Even the birds and animals were able to meet the needs of their belly. Such a learning had no meaning in her view. She added that her innermost desire was that her son should study Drashtivad (a title of twelfth anga work), and should acquaint himself with the spiritual path and acquire genuine self-realization.

Rakshit determined to fulfill the desire of his mother. She told him that Acharya Toshaliputra was camping outside the town; only he could provide the desired learning. Aryarakshit passed the night in a disturbed state. Early in the morning he paid his respects to his mother and went to Acharya Toshaliputra and requested him to teach him Drashtivad. Acharyashri told him that Drashtivad could only be taught to a saint who had accepted initiation as a possession less shraman (Jain ascetic). Having listened to this, Aryarakshit unhesitatingly accepted the initiation and immediately started the study of Ekadashangi (the eleven angas). So keen was his desire for the pursuit of knowledge that Aryarakshit approached Vajraswami, the greatest authority of his time and studied nine purvas (early canons) under him intensively.

In view of the adequacy of his learning, Acharya Toshaliputra conferred upon him the title of Ganacharya (a leader of a group of monks). When Aryarakshit’s brother Falgurakshit came there to escort him back home, he too was inspired to accept initiation by the impact of the preaching of Aryarakshit. Both the brothers came to the town of Dashpur. Their mother had tears of joy in her eyes on seeing the spiritual awareness and keenness of her sons. Somdev, the royal priest, Rudrasoma, the mother and the entire family accepted initiation.

In due course of time, sadhu Rakshit was known as Yugpradhan (the foremost spiritual leader in the age) Acharya Rakshitsuriji. In view of the needs of the future generation, Acharya Rakshitsuriji compiled the agams in four anuyoga (a group of post canonical texts). Along with the name of Acharya Rakshitsuriji, Sadhvi Rudrasoma’s name also became immortal.

Sources
Title: Glory Of Jainism
Artist:

Ashok Saha and Prathana Saha

Publisher:

Shri Anilbhai Gandhi (Trustee),
Shri-108-Jain-Tirth-Darshan-Bhavan-Trust,
Shri-Samavasaran-Mahamandir,
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. Acharya
  2. Agams
  3. Anga
  4. Angas
  5. Anuyoga
  6. Equanimity
  7. Purvas
  8. Sadhu
  9. Sadhvi
  10. Shraman
  11. Vedas
  12. Yugpradhan
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