Truth Of Present - Stories From Jain Heritage ► [42] Happiness Lies In Solitude

Posted: 31.07.2008

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Happiness Lies In Solitude

Padmaratha was a well-known and powerful king. Under his administration, every person in Mithila was happy and satisfied with his lot. He was not only ready to listen to the grievances and problems of his subjects but also made sincere efforts to give them suitable solutions. The aim of his life was ‘simple living and high thinking’. When Nami, Padmaratha’s baptized son grew up, he was crowned with all the responsibilities of the Kingdom. Thereafter, Padmaratha left his kingdom forever and went in search of the real happiness of the mind and soul. It was during this process that he became a monk.

Nami, the new king was always concerned about the welfare of the masses and he showed great affection towards his subjects. During his rule Mithila flourished, but all of a sudden, Nami developed a high fever and felt that his body was burning. He suffered from fever for about six months. A number of doctors were called and despite their best efforts they could not cure him. Finally, the queens started their own treatment. They made sandalwood paste and applied it on Nami’s forehead. Once, while preparing the paste, their bangles clanked against each other and the sound, thus produced, irritated the king as he found it quite unpleasant. The queens, then, took off all the bangles except the one whish signified their good fortune as married women.

After sometime the king said to his minister, “Why can’t I hear the sound of the bangles?” The minister replied that the queens had removed all the bangles except for one as the sound had irritated him. He further said, “With one bangle there is no friction and without friction is no sound.”

The king, at once, realized the truth of words. He felt that happiness lies in solitude. Congestion creates unpleasing sound and irritation. After realized this truth of life, he decided to renounce the kingdom. Just as he was planning to leave this materialistic prosperity, Indra, the king of gods, appeared before him in the guise of a Brahman to take his test. The Brahman tried his best to divert his attention towards responsibilities of the kingdom. Indra said, “O Lord, first win your enemies and then think of renouncing the world.”

At this, Nami said calmly, “To conquer one’s soul is a greater victory than defeating ten million people in a battle.” A long discussion of this type took place between Nami and Indra. Finally, Indra realized that Nami was absolutely firm on his decision. Indra appeared in his original form and eulogized Nami and went away happily.

Thereafter, Nami handed over the complete responsibility of Mithila to his son and totally absorbed himself in asceticism.

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© & Publisher Jain Vishva Bharati
Translated & Edited by Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha