The Secret of Past Lives ► 09 ►Incidents Quoted from the Scriptures of Jainism ► Freedom from Passion and Desire

Posted: 24.08.2017

Kapil was a student. He used to go to his father's friend for advanced learning. But he was in love with a dancing girl. In order to keep her he was going to the house of Sreshti Dhan in the night. He was caught because he was mistaken to be a thief. He was presented in the court of the king. He explained the facts truthfully. He said, "I wanted to go to Dhan because he gives gold to any man who first appears at his doorstep early in the morning. So I go to his house at night itself and sleep there so that I am the first one he sees. But unfortunately I had been caught by the security people thinking that I am a thief."

The king was impressed with his honesty and said, "Why only a few grams of gold. Ask as much as you want." Kapil thought for a while and then said, "Give me some time to think." As the king agreed he went to the Ashoka garden. He thought what would he do with a few grams of gold. Why should he not ask for hundred gold coins. Again he thought that hundred gold coins would get spent in a short time. He thought of asking for lakhs of gold coins. Then he thought why not ask for half of his kingdom. Gradually he came to realize why he wanted so much. That too for satisfying his lady love. Later if a child is born to her. Thinking on these lines he came to the conclusion that this was all because of his sensual desires. How long and to what extent would he nurture these desires? This thought gripped him. He could see no end. There came about a change in his thinking. His aura was cleansed. He decided to pursue a life of no desires, the life of an ascetic. He went to the court of the king. The king said, "Ask for a boon." Kapil said, "I had decided to ask for the whole of your kingdom. But on meditating on this issue has led me to recall my previous birth. Avarice and greed has been sublimated. I have decided to forsake this material world which is transient and take to the ascetic order." The king tried to give him various kinds of temptation but Kapil was determined to take to the monastic order. He started meditating more and more intensely. Over a period of six months with strict penance and meditation, he was able to ascend towards kaivalya or enlightenment. (Uttaradhyayana Sutra, chapter 8 as per the commentary)

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Source/Info

Title: The Secret of Past Lives
Authors: Muni Kishanlal
Publisher: B. Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2017