Journey into Jainism ► The Value of Equanimity

Posted: 06.09.2017

Prince Lalitangkumar was the son of King Kumbha, the ruler of Amarpur. He was very handsome and was loved by all the members of his family.

Once Acharya Dharmaghosa came to the city. The prince, listening to the acharya's sermon, was very much influenced and impressed by it. After receiving permission from his parents, he became a monk.

He was given the name 'Kuurgaduk' because he loved to eat the coarse grain known as 'Kuur.' As a monk, he wanted to learn to control his sensory organs. However, as he could not bear the pangs of hunger, he did not observe fast and would instead eat kuur.

On the starting day of the Chaturmaas, all the monks including the Acharya as well as all the lay-followers observed fast. Because the Acharya inspired all his followers to do penance, some of them fasted for one, two, or even four months. During the time of fast, Acharya was busy with his lectures.

It was excruciatingly difficult for Kuurgaduk muni to remain without food. He was waiting for the lecture to conclude so that he might collect alms and eat his kuur. Because of his immense appetite he could not desist from satisfying his hunger. Thus he went to Acharya after the sermon to seek permission to collect alms. Acharya was

once again disappointed, "All are fasting; you should do it too."

Muni Kuurgaduk replied, "I know you are saying this for my benefit and welfare. I know the value and usefulness of fasting, but I regret I am unable to do it. Please exempt me from fasting and allow me to eat kuur." The Acharya, exasperated, at last gave his consent the muni to gather the alms.

It was excruciatingly difficult for Kuurgaduk muni to remain without food. He was waiting for the lecture to conclude so that he might collect alms and eat his kurr.

In spite of the half-hearted approval by the Acharya, the muni want out in search of food. When he obtained some, he brought it back to show the Acharya, who, upon seeing it, lost his temper and rebuked him. He spat on the food. Kuurgaduk remained completely equanimous.

Kuurgaduk went into his room and sat down with his food, slowly seeing the Acharya's point of view. He thought it over with complete equanimity of mind. While eating his food, his mind was absorbed in meditation and re-evaluation of his habit. Then he stopped eating; he had experienced a state of purity of thought and then the climax of forgiveness.

Meanwhile, a goddess named Chakreshvari ap­peared and asked the monks, "Where is Kuurgaduk muni?" They told her first to visit the Acharya and asked her, "Why are you so eager to see Kuurgaduk who is attached to food?" Whereupon the goddess replied, "I have come here to visit only him. Simandhardswami, the Omniscient Tiithankara, told me that muni Kuurgaduk has attained omniscience."

All the munis ridiculed her at this, nevertheless pointed to the place where the muni was sitting. She went there and did vandanaa to him. He was absorbed in meditation and had indeed attained kevalgyaana. Many gods celebrated the kaivalya function of the monk. His acharya, however, was surprised to learn of it. Then, he too repented for his anger and attained enlightenment.

 

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Title: Journey into Jainism
Author:
Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha (Samani Smit Pragya)
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun, India
Edition: 2012