Journey into Jain Aagam: Attachment Turned To Detachment

Published: 05.11.2017

In the ancient time, there was a beautiful town named Ilavardhan. In that town, lived a man named Dhandatta. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. When he grew up, he got married to a girl named Dharini. After performing many poojas to the deities, she gave birth to a son, who came to be known as Ilachikumar. Ilachikumar had a sharp intellect, so within a short span of time, he acquired proficiency in various forms of art.

Once, a famous group of acrobats visited the town of Ilavardhan. In the middle of the town, was a huge playground where the acrobats were to show their brilliant performances. The acrobats inserted bamboo poles in the ground and made the necessary set ups required for the performance of the show. A huge crowd of onlookers gathered there. Ilachikumar too, accompanied the inhabitants to witness the marvelous performance by those famous acrobats. The showman had brought his daughter along with him. She was very beautiful and performed her art along with other acrobats. Ilachikumar was greatly impressed by, her beauty and performance. He then resolved, "I shall marry only this girl and if I cannot do so, I shall remain a bachelor throughout my life." The

Ilachikumar getting attached towards showman's daughter while she is performing her art.

performance soon ended and people returned to their home but Ilachikumar remained standing there, spellbound by her beauty and performance. Through his friend, he sent a message to his father saying, "I shall forsake food and water until my wedding is fixed with this girl." Ilachikumar's father tried to pacify his son but did not succeed. Ultimately, the father called the showman and said, "My son wants to marry your daughter. Please accept his proposal. If you agree to do so, I shall provide you with a lot of money so that you can get rid of your poverty for ever." The showman said, "I do not want to sell my daughter. If your son wants to marry my daughter, he should also become a showman. I shall give my consent only when he becomes proficient in the art of acrobats. Besides this, he should also please the king and acquire a huge amount of money from him as a reward."

Ilachikumar accepted this challenge. In order to marry that beautiful maiden he renounced his parents and riches. Disguising himself as a showman, he joined the group and wandered from place to place with them. Within a very short period of time he became efficient in dancing. The daughter of the showman also began to like Ilachikumar because of the great sacrifice, he had willingly made for her. But she could not express her love for him without seeking the permission of her parents.

After some days, the showman came to know that Ilachikumar had achieved great dexterity in the art of dancing. He suggested to Ilachikumar, "Take your equipment with you and go to the town of Benatat. There, you should woo the king and bring back a lot of money from him as a reward for your excellent performance. Only then, I shall give my daughter to you." On hearing these words from the showman, Ilachikumar was overjoyed and on that very day, along with his group, he set out for the town of Benatat. After reaching the town, the first thing he did was to visit the king's palace. There, he requested the king to grant him permission to perform a show in the presence of His Highness. The king agreed to his request.

The place selected for the performance was a vast campus, situated in front of the king's palace. After getting permission from the king, Ilachikumar made the necessary arrangements and preparations to perform the feats of the dance. He fixed bamboo poles

in the ground and tied strings around it. The king sat on his throne to witness the show along with his ministers and his kith and kin. Ilachikumar started his performance at the specified time. At first, he got a wooden plank and put it on the bamboo sticks. Then, a nail was fixed in the middle of the wooden plank. He placed a betel nut on the nail. After that, he tied anklets around his ankles and wore wooden slippers. He then, took a sword in one hand and a shield in the other and climbed up the bamboo pole. Balancing himself with his naval on the betel nut, he started rotating round and round. People were astonished by his wonderful performance and cheered aloud with their clapping. Then, he performed his next feat in which he walked on the strings, performing different and difficult feats, holding a sword and a shield. On the other side, the showman's daughter, dressed in beautiful robes, danced and sang folk songs in her melodious voice. Everyone was watching the whole show with great interest. Seeing the beautiful performance of the girl, the king began thinking, "If this girl comes to my palace, my life can become joyous. But I cannot fulfil my desires as long ashe is alive. My life is useless without this beauty. I must possess her by any mean. If this performer falls down while dancing, only then I can possess her."

While the king was engaged in such evil thoughts, the showman completed his dance performance and everyone began applauding him by clapping loudly. But, as the king had evil thoughts in his mind, he said, "I had been preoccupied with my thoughts about other matters. So I could not judge your performance properly. Do it again and then I will award you." Although Ilachikumar knew that to ascend the poles, was not free from danger. He still climbed it once more to perform the difficult feats to win the prize and the beautiful girl. Soon, the show was over for the second time and the audience were well satisfied once more. Ilachikumar came down, bowed his head before the king and stood there, expecting the King to give him a prize. The king persuaded Ilachikumar to perform the dance for the third time. It became apparent to everybody that the king was attracted towards the girl and wanted to kill the Ilachikumar.

As Ilachikumar came out of the arena after the third performance, suddenly he saw a young monk coming to beg alms from a well to do man's house. The rich man's wife was a prima donna. Being an ardent

The rich man's wife giving modak to the monk, while the king and Ilachikumar were impressed with the control & detachment of the monk who was not looking at the beautiful lady.

devotee, she welcomed the monk and gave 'modak' to him with great respect and devotion. The monk never looked at the beautiful lady but kept on looking down at the floor.

Seeing this scene, Ilachikumar was deeply impressed with the control and detachment of the monk. He was not looking at the gorgeous young lady even though she stood in front of him. He started thinking, "If I were to die now, with this feeling of attachment, I would definitely go to hell." The king too, witnessed that scene and felt guilty about his wicked thoughts about the girl. He repented for the better and they obtained supreme knowledge. Not only Ilachikumar and the king but also, both the queen and the girl thought over the event and obtained purity of heart due to detachment and attained supreme knowledge.

Sources


Jain Stories

Title: Journey into Jain Aagam
Author: Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati
Edition: 2001

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