Truth Of Present - Stories From Jain Heritage ► [21] Realization Of Truth

Posted: 10.07.2008


Realization Of Truth

Chitra and Sambhuta were milkmen in their previous birth. They were very good friends and after death, they went to heaven. Thereafter, they took birth in a well-to-do family in Kshitipratishita town. As they grew up, they became friends of four other rich young men. Listening to religious discussions, all of them decided to accept sainthood. At the end of their lives, they took ‘Santhara’ and were born in heaven again. Except for the two milkmen, all the four men took birth in Isukaar city. One took birth as Isukaar, the King; the second was born as Kamlavati, the queen, the third as Bhrigu Purohit and the fourth as his wife Yasha. Bhrigu Purohit did not have any children of his own but he and his wife longed for one.

Both the milkmen, who were in heaven, came to know about the couple’s sadness and decided to take birth as sons of Bhrigu Purohit. They disguised themselves as monks and came to the Purohit’s house. The couple paid their respects to them and the monks preached them. Inspired by the sermons, the couple accepted the vow of becoming their followers.

The Purohit asked the monks, “Lord! Can we ever be blessed with a child?” the monks replied, “You will get two sons. But they will renounce your house in their tender age itself do not obstruct them as they will propagate religion.” Saying this, the monks went away. The couple was very happy and pleased to hear this. After some time Yasha, the wife of Purohit gave birth to two sons. The couple left that city and resided in a nearby village to protect their children from the shadow of the sages. The parents tried to turn their sons against the monks and so told them, “These monks seem to be good and simple extremely, but in reality they kidnap children and kill them. Then they eat their flesh, so don’t ever go near them.”

One day, both the brothers were playing far away from the village. They saw some monks coming in their direction. Remembering what their parents had told them, they were frightened and quickly climbed up a tree. It so happened that the monks too, came to rest under the same tree. They first cleaned the place and then sat down to eat their food.

On seeing their pure vegetarian food, the fear of the brothers vanished and they remembered that in their previous birth, they had seen such kind of monks. They climbed down the tree and after paying their respects to the monks, straight away went to their parents. They told their parents, “This human life is momentary. Many impediments are here and this life does not last long. Therefore, we have no interest in household life and we wish for your consent to enter monkshood.” The Purohit said to them, “Dear sons! Those who are well versed in the Vedas, say that one who has no sons cannot get a good status in the next birth. Therefore, first of all, study the Vedas, feed Brahmins, enjoy pleasures with women by marrying them, give birth to sons and thereafter, become monks.” To this, the sons said, “Even the knowledge of the Vedas can give protection, feeding Brahmins can lead to hell and one’s own sons or adopted sons cannot provide us shelter, worldly pleasures are momentary and painful for a very long time. They give us more of sufferings and little joy. They are only obstacles in the path of attaining salvation”.

“Atheists believe that there is no existence of consciousness without the body. Just as fire is produced from the wooden drill, butter from milk, oil from sesame seeds, yet they do not exist in their actual form. Similarly, the soul remains with the body, though its actual form cannot be seen. However, atheists believe that the soul is formless. It is devoid of sight, smell, taste etc. Attachment is the internal cause of bondage.”

Thus the discussion went on. The father represented the Brahmin culture and the sons, the shraman culture. Finally, the father agreed to the demands of his sons and declared that he too would renounce the world. His wife also opted to renounce the world and both of them accepted sainthood.

At that time, it was the rule that if no member was left in a family, the property would go to the king. When the king learned about the renunciation of the family of the Purohit, he decided to take over their property, but queen Kamlavati prevented the king from doing so. Influenced by the arguments, King Isukaar also decided to accept sainthood with his wife.

Thus, Bhrigu Purohit, his wife, the two sons, King Isukaar and Queen Kamlavati, all six of them realized the truth by becoming Jain monks.

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