When the charm of the woman failed the story the great jain monk sthulibhadra


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When the Charm of the Woman Failed - The Story the Great Jain Monk Sthulibhadra

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When the charm of the woman failed the story the great jain monk sthulibhadra

  1. 1. 5/16/2012 WHEN THE CHARM OF THE WOMAN FAILED : THEJAIN STORY THE GREAT JAIN MONK STHULIBHADRA Life of the great Jain Monk Sthuli Bhadra | Dr. T.K. Jain, jain.tk@gmail.com
  3. 3. There are many stories in Jain literature. These stories were known toevery Jain person earlier, but now these are getting limited to booksand libraries. These stories have a message hidden in them. Themessage is about self control, self regulation and ultimate goal of life.These stories also tell us about the rich tradition of Jain Saints, whichcan certainly inspire the next generations to lead a life of principles andcommitments. One such story is presented here for the guidance of theyounger generations. I heard this story from my mother. My cousin SriLalit Nahata even started a newsletter on the great saint Sthulibhadra. Iam sure that similar initiatives will spread the great ideas further.Nothing is more difficult to avoid than the charm that a woman carries.Nothing is more difficult to conquer than one’s own emotions andtemptations. Nothing is more difficult to challenge than to challengeone’s own image. Nothing is more difficult to follow than to followone’s own vows which have not yet be tested out.Life creates its own trainings and its own ups and downs. The biggestturnaround is not converting your loss making unit into a profit makingunit, but the biggest turnaround is when you see a U turn in the life ofpeople just due to change in the goal of life. Can you believe that adecoit can turn into the greatest of all saints - read the story of Valmiki.Can you believe that the most knowledgeable persons can also failagainst the charm of a woman and loose everything – read the story ofRavana. We have many inspiring stories spread out in Indian sub-continent, which tell you about correct and incorrect method of takingdecisions and what can be the most difficult moment in the life of aperson.
  4. 4. Sthulibhadra is one of the greatest saints from India. His story is aninpriational story for the young persons as the story tells you about theimportance of commitment to vows, self-restraint, concentration ongoals and the most important -- the power of true spirituality.Patliputra (close to modern Patna in Bihar State) city was capital ofchampa state. Sthulibhadra’s father was minister of Champa. Whenhe died at Patliputa, the living of Champa offered the post of ministerto one of his sons, called Shriyak. But Shriya ka suggested that the postshould be offered to his elder brother SthuliBhadra. The life ofSthulibhadra took a U turn from this moment. While till this time, hehad spent his time in romance and in other youthful sports, now takesthe birth of the great saint. Sthulibhadra was contemplating on the lifeand its utility. The untimely death of his father shook him and forcedhim to look at life from ontological perspective. He was thinking onfundamental questions – what is the purpose of life, why have we cometo the world, why should we spend our time in wasting here and there,what is the ultimate goal for us, how can we liberate from the cycle ofbirth and death etc. Meanwhile, the king asked where Sthuli Bhadrawas; and Shrivak inform that all last 12 years, he had been living at acourtesan’s house. Sthuli Bhadra asked to take this position. In thebeginning he asked for some time to think, but after wards he refusedto accept the post of minister. He said that such lucrative and temptingposition can definitely bring him hell only. He therefore decided tobecome a monk. He himself plucked out his hairs in five handful anddeclared that he wants to join the Jain monk order. However, the kingwas doubtful about Sthuli Bhadra ’s intention (because over theperiod, his image was built as a lascivious person) , but he himselfverified that instead of going to the place of courtesan, he went to
  5. 5. renounce the world. Shriyak was appointed as minister. Sthuli Bhadrapracticed severe austerely at the foot of famous sage SambhutVijayjee. Sambut Vijayjee had two more disciples, besides Sthuli Bhadr.As per Jain traditions, a saint cannot travel during four months ofmansoon (as during this period lots of insects travel through roads andwalking on roads means killing insects, therefore, the Jain Saints spendthese four months of Mansoon in a city only and don’t move out of thecity. One of the three saints preferred to stay in a lion’s cave. The otherone preferred to stay near the hole where most poisonous snake wasstaying. Both the furious lion and poisonous snake became friendly withthe monks and did no harm to them. At that time, the Jain Saints couldbuild an aura around themselves (leshya) which could calm any furiousperson or animal. They had the capability to give calmness to anyperson or animal. It is shocking that such vital arts and capabilities havedisappeared. There are many instances of similar situations.Sthuli Bhadra preferred to spend his mansoon period (four months) atthe residence of the same courtesan with whom he was stayingpreviously. She was happy to receive Sthuli Bhadr a back home- SthuliBhadra explained to her that he had now become a monk. He saughtonly a small place to live. The courtesan tried to attract him is manyways; but Sthuli Bhadra was firm. The courtesan realised that herefforts will bring her no results; so she gave up and requested SthuliBhadra to give her religious instructions. Finally, she accepted thephilosophy of Jainism and became a Shravika. After a successfulcompletion of 4 months monsoon, all thee monks came back to theirGuru Sambhunt Vijayjee. The guru received them well and appreciatedtheir boldness and firmness. He made special appreciation for Sthuli
  6. 6. Bhadra, which made both other disciples jealous. They felt that theGuru was making a preferential treatment to Sthuli Bhadra. Theyhowever did not speak, but their displeasure was obviously seen. Inthe next monsoon, one of the monks who had spent 4 months in thelion’s cave, preferred to go to the courtesan’s house for this monsoon.The Guru tried to warn him, but he was confident of his strength. TheGuru consented and he went to the courtesan’s house. Here aftersometime, he got attracted to the courtesan’s charm and beauty. Herequester her for her favor; but she did not respond. More she refused;more the monk was attracted to her. Now to test him, the courtesanplaced a condition before a monk that if he gives her huge amount ofmoney, she would consider his request. The monk therefore moved outin search of huge amount of money. Somebody informed the monk that if visits a Nepal; he will get a precious blanket from there, andwould get huge amount of money. He went to Nepal and begged for ablanket. After getting blanket, he returned; but on way some robberscame to rob him. With great efforts only, he could save his life and thesame blanket. Later he saw a dancer dancing on a bamboo. A lady wastelling the dance to focus on the bamboo and not to see here and thereas the dancer was about to complete the dance. That was the moment,when the monk got a message that he had spent entire life as monkand now at the feg end, he was getting distracted. When he returnedhome and presented the precious blanket to the courtesan she saidthat both the blanket and the monk were worthless to her. The monkrealized that he had deviated from the right path. He approached hisGuru and apologized and narrated the whole story, Guru immediatelysaid that by now he must have realized why Sthuli Bhadra wasconsidered better and was appreciated for his great firmness. The
  7. 7. monk realized this. Later the Guru gave knowledge of 10 Purvas toSthulibhadra. Sthulibhadra could now transform his shape. Once hissisters (from his original family) came to meet him. Sthulibhadratransformed his shape to that of a lion. The two sisters got worried andrushed to the guru and said that Sthulibhadra has been killed by a lion.The Guru understood the facts and asked the sisters to go again andassured them that Sthulibhadra was safe. When they again came, theyfound SThulibhadra. On this incident, the Guru didn’t like the conductof Sthulibhadra. He warned him that the spiritual powers were not fordisplay. He refused to grant further knowledge. He did provideknowledge of remaining four purvas to Sthulibhadra, but he told thatthese powers cannot be transferred further. He was apprehensive ofmisuse of the powers. Thus the most of the powers were nottransferred further.Still Sthulibhadra is considered one of the greatest saints in Jain historyfor his firmness, his determination and his capabilities. You can readstories on him, which are regularly published in Sthulibhadra Times(published by Sri Lalit Nahata from Delhi).The life of Sthulibhadra gives us many inspirational ideas. It depends onus what we absorb and transmit to our next generations.