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Glory of Jainism: Sushila

Published: 10.11.2012



Subhadra, a leading merchant of Pruthvipur, was a Jain who observed twelve vows. Once upon a time he had to visit Rajpur for trading purpose and he happened to stay at Sheth Jindas' home. Subhadra, Jindas's daughter was known as Sushila because of her good character. Considering Sushila's religiosity, her father got her married to Subhadra. One incident that took place just in the beginning of their married life created a rift between them. Subhadra was fascinated by the beauty of one of Sushila's friends. Being of a noble nature, Subhadra did not utter a word in this regard but his weak body betrayed the disturbed state of his mind. Sushila, clever woman as she was, told her husband, "Please leave all your worries and be assured that I shall fulfill your desires. Moreover my friend also would not ignore my proposal. My only condition is that when my friend, in her best dress, comes to your bed-room you shall put out the lamps so that she may not feel unduly embarrassed."

Lustful as he was, Subhadra agreed to act accordingly. The only intention in Sushila's mind was that she did not want her husband's vow to be broken. It was strange and ironical that a man who was observing 12 vows should have a keen desire for a woman other than his own wife. In the darkness of the night, Sushila called her friend under some pretext and both of them talked in a jovial mood. This assured Subhadra that his long-awaited keen desire would be fulfilled that night. Subhadra was sitting near the bed temptingly decorated with exciting and scented material. The entire bed-room was decorated with flowers. She entered with the same gait as that of her friend. Subhadra put out the lamp and having drawn her to the bed, he was engaged himself in love-making. Before the day dawned, the woman left the bed and went away, saying it was time to go home.

When it was morning, there was turmoil in Subhadra's mind regarding his slavery to sexual enjoyment. He thought that he had totally ignored Jineshvar Bhagwan's preaching about virtuous character. His heart was tormented by utmost remorse. He began to hate himself for the sin that he had committed. Whenever he happened to face Sushila, Subhadra would not look into her eye. He felt as if he were a criminal. Having observed the state of his mind, Sushila thought that still there was modesty and bashfulness in her husband; she became hopeful that since he was a god-fearing person, he could be led on the path of religion. While performing her samayika (practicing equanimity), Sushila read aloud the words regarding the damage and loss suffered by a person consequent upon the breach of a vow. She made sure that her husband overheard what she read. Subhadra was pleased with his wife's religious devotion and was all praise for her good intention. But he constantly suffered pain and remorse due to his breach of vow. Consequently he looked gloomy and became lean day by day. Ultimately on the insistence of Sushila, Subhadra unburdened his heart by narrating the incident of that night; thereupon Sushila was reconciled with her husband and she was very happy that all ended well as desired by her. Finally she told him everything and made him realise that it was not her friend but she herself who had spent the night with him. Subhadra thanked his wife whose extraordinary faith in religion had saved him. Having attained absolute knowledge, both of them attained salvation.

Title: Glory Of Jainism

Ashok Saha and Prathana Saha


Shri Anilbhai Gandhi (Trustee),
Palitana - 364270 (India)

Edition: 1998

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  1. Body
  2. Equanimity
  3. Samayika
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