Glory of Jainism: Sadhvi Padmavati (Chitrasen)

Published: 17.09.2012


 

Sadhvi Padmavati (Chitrasen)

Prince Chitrasen was attracted by the statue of a very beautiful woman and decided to find that woman at any cost. Ratnasar, the Prince’s friend, met Kevali Muni and said: “With the immense power of your knowledge, kindly let us know if there is such a princess like the one in a statue.” The Muni said: “This stone statue is a copy of princess Padmavati, the daughter of Queen Padmashri and king Padmarath of Padmapur. Her beauty is carved by a sculptor named Sagar but since Padmavati hates men, she has remained unmarried so far.” This disappointed Chitrasen but the monk consoled him. He also told the prince that a tragic event of Padmavati’s earlier birth had made her hate menfolk. In the previous birth, a pair of swans together with their little ones, lived happily. Once there was a wild fire in the forest and the male swan went to fetch water. As the lake was far away, he was delayed in returning. The female swan was unable to flyaway together with her little ones. As the swan did not return, the female swan thought that males are faithless and heartless and they betray the females. If ever she knew that males to be so selfish she would not have lived with her mate at all. This male-hating female swan, together with her little ones, died in the fire. As the male-swan returned he saw that his mate and little ones had died in the fire and under the impact of the severe shock he too jumped into the fire and was burnt alive.

The monk told the tale of the couple’s previous birth and then he suggested a remedy. If Chitrasen would show Padmavati the pictures of the previous birth, her hatred for menfolk would disappear as the ice gets melted in heat and she would be ready for the marriage. Indeed it happened likewise. Padmavati, daughter of king Padmarath, did get married to Chitrasen. As time passed, Chitrasen became uneasy with all the memories of Vasantpur. Along with Padmavati and Ratnasar he left for Vasantpur. There king Virsen and Chitrasen’s step mother tried to kill Chitrasen three times but both failed in their efforts.

Ratnasar once heard the prediction from the Yaksha that one night a cobra would bite the prince and if saved from, he would rule Kalinga for years to come. That night Ratnasar killed the cobra with a sword in the bed-room of Chitrasen but the drops of blood fell on the thigh of queen Padmavati. Thinking that the blood-stains of the poisonous serpant would be fatal to the queen, Ratnasar tried to wipe those blood-stains with his scarf. Just at that moment, the king awoke all of a sudden and having seen the sight, he doubted the integrity of Ratnasar. Ratnasar was in a dilemma. If he told everything that had happened he would be transformed into a black stone as per the forecast by the Yaksha and if he did not tell the truth, Chitrasen’s doubts would be confirmed. At last Ratnasar told the truth and he was transformed into a stone. Chitrasen seriously considered the doubts he entertained about Ratnasar and the sacrifice latter had made for him and he decided to die with such a loyal friend on his funeral pyre. Having been pleased with such a friendship, the Yaksha manifested himself and said, “If an absolutely chaste woman, along with his newly born son, would touch Ratnasar he would come alive.” In due course a son was born to queen Padmavati and she being a chaste woman, Ratnasar carne to life again at her touch. Later they all renounced the world and attained salvation.

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. Kevali
  2. Muni
  3. Padmavati
  4. Sadhvi
  5. Sadhvi Padmavati
  6. Sagar
  7. Yaksha
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