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Glory of Jainism: Bhim Kundaliyo

Published: 29.09.2012


Bhim Kundaliyo

God wants utter devotion from a devotee. A man who donates a huge sum but has no true devotion or love for the people does so out of either vanity or ego. On the other hand another person donates a very small amount but does it with no ulterior motives except sincere devotion. The second one is better as it is not the sum that is important but the sentiment, the bhav (emotion) attached to it. Bhim Kundaliya’s life symbolises selfless devotion and love. In A. D. 1157 Mahamatya Vahad undertook the restoration of original jinalay in Shatrunjaya Tirth, the well-known centre of pilgrimage. Celebrations were on. Poverty-stricken Jain Bhim of Timana Village in tattered clothes, was also there to take part in the celebrations. He was a trader selling ghee (purified butter). He had earned about two rupees, out of which he spent a rupee in buying flowers to perforn the pooja (worship). After performing the pooja, Bhim desired to have a glimpse of Mahamatya Vahad, but he was hesitant; he was too poor to go near him. But Vahad could see devotion write large on his face and seated Bhim beside himself. Bhim told him everything about his life and his present state.Then Vahad said: “Bhim we are fellow-travellers. You are a devotee and so am I. Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.” Bhim felt overwhelmed at these words of Vahad.

At that time, the administrators of the restoration project came to Bhim and asked for his contribution. Bhim had a very small amount with him but he contributed every penny he had and felt happy. It was a gesture of utter devotion, his love for religion. Mahamatya Vahad highly appreciated Bhim’s gesture and told the people gathered there: “This is what I call sacrifice. Whatever, he had earned, he spent on buying flowers for worship and the remaining money he donated. He is not worried about what he will eat tomorrow. This is selfless devotion.” Vahad gave three silk robes and a certain amount to Bhim but he refused to accept the clothes and money. He said: “Mahamatya, I cannot barter my punya (noble, good deeds) for what you offer me. I cannot part with my accumulated punya in exchange for these worldly possessions. I cannot indulge in this deception.” This pleased Vahad much and honoured him by offering him a betel leaf as was the custom.

Bhim, then, went home. He was apprehensive about his wife who was a tart-tongued woman, quarrelsome by nature. But he found her very happy as she told him about her discovery of four thousand gold coins. She had found them while digging up the land. Bhim exclaimed: “How wonderful! It is the reward for what I did for the god. We must spend the money for the restoration work in Shatrunjaya.” Next day he met Vahad and offered the gold coins to him which he refused to accept. At night Yaksha (demigod) Kapardi appeared to him and said: “The money belongs to you. You had pleased the god by offering flowers from your meager earning. Keep it and use it for your own well-being as well as for god’s worship. You will be prosperous forever now.” Bhim, next day, performed the pooja of god Rishabhdev with flowers and precious jewels. Bhim of Kundaliya village built a water-tank in Shatrunjaya Tirth.

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. Ghee
  2. Pooja
  3. Punya
  4. Rishabhdev
  5. Shatrunjaya
  6. Tirth
  7. Yaksha
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