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Glory of Jainism: Sadhvi Pahinimata

Published: 13.09.2012


Sadhvi Pahinimata

Pahini was the wife of Sheth Sachig of Dhandhuka and was a sister of the renowned merchant Neminath. One night Pahini dreamt that somebody was prompting her to accept the divine jewel named Chintamani. She accepted the jewel in her dream and dedicated that jewel to her guru. She had tears of joy in her eyes and just at that time her eyes opened. Pahini thought that as gurudev Devchandrasuriji was in the town at that time, it was better to consult him regarding the interpretation of her dream. Acharya Devchandrasuri told her that she would give birth to a child who would be a jewel among men and in his later age he shall become a great guru. The words of the guru gave her immense joy.

In A. D. 1089, she gave birth to a baby-boy. The parents named him Changdevj; ‘chang’ meaning the best. The little Changdev once sat on a pat (cot) of the Acharya. Pahini had immense faith in her guru. It was but natural for a mother to desire that her son should achieve the highest attainment in life, since she regarded sadhuta (the ascetic way of life) as the ultimate achievement in life. Changdev’s parents gave him permission for the initiation. The mother who had given birth to such a great personality had also followed in the footsteps of her son. His parents were present on the occasion and so greatly were they inspired that together with the son the mother also accepted the path of penance and became a sadhvi; Pahini was given the title of Pravartini (head of the order of nuns).

Changdev was named Somachandra and in course of time he was conferred the title of acharya and was named Hemchandrasuri. Kalikalsarvagna (omniscient in the Kali age) Hemchandracharya was a treasure-house of knowledge and he wrote many books on numerous and varied subjects. He provided guidance to the rulers of Gujarat like Jaysinha Siddharaj and Kumarpal. He enhanced the glory of the Jain religion. His impact was felt by the commonest man to the kings. He had undertaken five vows in his life and he had controlled his senses and it was exemplary for others. He was full of compassion and mercy.

Sadhvi Pahini was constantly engrossed in the pursuit of knowledge and meditation. In the heart of her hearts, she felt extreme joy at the extraordinary knowledge and wisdom of her son Hemchandrasuri as also by his unusual yogsiddhi and great religious impact. Shri Hemchandracharya also took utmost care of his mother whom he greatly adored. Sadhviji was bed-ridden and the group of nuns around her was busy with the religious worship. Sadhvi Pahini now was engrossed in penance and meditation. In the course of his journey on foot, Acharya Hemchandra happened to arrive at Patan, the town in which lived Pravartini Pahini who had renounced food and water. Many devotees used to come for her darshan. All of them paid high respects to Sadhvi Pahini who as a mother had dedicated her young son to the cause of religion. When Pravartini Pahini passed away at last, the Jains spent rupees three crore for the philanthropic activities. The son who had renounced everything in the world had the unique contribution of three lakh shlokas (verses) in memory of her great mother who had firm faith in religion.

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. Acharya
  2. Acharya Hemchandra
  3. Crore
  4. Darshan
  5. Dhandhuka
  6. Gujarat
  7. Guru
  8. Gurudev
  9. Lakh
  10. Meditation
  11. Neminath
  12. Omniscient
  13. Sadhvi
  14. Shlokas
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