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Glory of Jainism: Ardrakkumar

Published: 19.09.2012



There were ties of friendship between king Ardra of Ardrapur and king Shrenik of Rajgruhi. King Shrenik sent valuable gifts to king Ardra. To further strengthen the bonds of friendship and love, king Ardra’s son sent gifts to Abhaykumar, the son of king Shrenik. Pleased with the gifts, Abhaykumar thought of sending such gifts as would inspire, in Adrak’s heart, love for Jain religion. He, therefore, sent an idol of Bhagwan Adinath in a box with an express instruction to open it in a pious and calm place. Prince Ardrak did as was bid by Abhaykumar and on seeing the idol, he could remember his past. In the third incarnation before the present one, he was a householder in Vasantpur in the kingdom of Magadh. His wife was Bandhumati. Later as a result of his karma (one’s good or bad deeds during one’s life-time), he was born as a prince of a non-Aryan kingdom, and his wife was born as Shrimati, the daughter of a gentleman of Vasantpur. This knowledge of his previous life prompted Ardrakkumar to seek his father’s approval for diksha (renunciation) but his father refused permission. Thereupon, Ardrakkumar dressed himselfin the robes of a sadhu (ascetic) and set out for Vasantpur quietly. He came to a temple and sat there in meditation.

By chance, Shrimati also happened to come there while playing the game of hide and seek. She was blindfolded and got hold of Ardrak thinking that she was holding onto a pillar. Then she realized that the inanimate pillar was in fact a living human being.She said to her companions: “Mentally I am married to this man.” At that time gods from heaven showered gems blessing the couple. However Ardrak felt that it was not the ideal place for a man like him to live in. He immediately left the place. But he returned to the same place after twelve years. He found Shrimati waiting for him there and she said: “Lord! I had vowed to marry you when I saw you in the temple twelve years back but you deserted me. You are my husband and now if you refuse me, I will immolate myself in fire.” Shrimati’s father too reasoned with Ardrak and he married her and lived with her at her abode.

After a gap of twelve years, he once again felt the desire to renounce the world. Shrimati was spinning at that time. Her son said: “Why do you engage yourself in such an ordinary type of work?” To which she replied: “Your father is going to renounce the world and I will need some occupation to earn a living.” The child, in all innocence, said: “I will tie him down so that he cannot escape.” So saying the son tied his father’s feet with cotton threads spun by his mother. Ardrakkumar was overwhelmed by the child’s love. He said: “I will count the number of threads tied round my feet.” He counted them and there were twelve threads. He said: “I will stay here for twelve more years and live like a householder.” On the completion of those years he again left the place and decided to have a glimpse of Mahavir. On his way he met followers of different sects. He engaged himself in debates with Buddhists and Brahmins, well-versed in the Vedas and others,and demolished their points of view and beliefs.‘Shri Sutrakritang’, an Agam, contains his logical arguments and also tells us how he dispelled the myths related to Bhagwan Mahavir. Ardrakkumar took refuge at the feet of Mahavir and five hundred followers were and five hundreds followers were initiated into the fold by him.

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. Adinath
  2. Agam
  3. Bhagwan Mahavir
  4. Brahmins
  5. Diksha
  6. Karma
  7. Magadh
  8. Mahavir
  9. Meditation
  10. Sadhu
  11. Shrenik
  12. Vedas
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