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Abstract Thinking: [16.03] Bhavana Of Compassion - Everlasting Source of Compassion

Published: 20.02.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

The rainy season departed, leaving the door open for the coming in of winter. The extent of greenery lessened. The pathways grew clear. Lord Mahavir, proceeding from Asthikgram, reached Morac Sannivesh. He sojourned in the outer garden.

An ascetic called Achhandak lived in Sannivesh. He was skilled in astrology, enchantments, spells and incantations. He had built up quite a good reputation. The public was greatly impressed by the miracles performed by him.

The keeper of the garden saw an ascetic standing in meditation. Next day, when he saw the ascetic again, standing in the same posture, devotion awoke in him. He told the people of Sannivesh about the ascetic. They started coming. Lord Mahavira did not break the sequence of his meditation and silence. Still, the people came and sat in adoration for a while before leaving. They were fascinated by the Lord's posture of meditation. Keeping in the vicinity of the Lord afforded them great peace.

The growing attraction of the people of Sannivesh towards Lord Mahavira greatly perturbed Achhandak. He bethought himself a plan to vanquish the Lord. Accompanied by his supporters, he presented himself before Lord Mahavira.

The Lord was immersed in the depths of self-realisation, where the question of victory and defeat was non-existent. Achhandak's heart oscillated between victory and defeat. He addressed the Lord thus: "O young ascetic! Why are you silent? If you are a learned sage, answer my hand. Here is piece of straw in my hand. Will it break or not, even now?" The Lord's meditation was not disturbed.

Siddharth was much devoted to the Lord. For some time he had been living in the vicinity of the Lord. He was very wise. He said, "Achhandak! Must you disturb the meditation of the Lord just to seek an answer to such a simple question? I'll answer your query. This straw is inanimate. It has no volition of its own. If you want to break it, it will break, otherwise not." The people present there said to themselves, "Achhandak does not even know a simple thing like that! How can he be expected to know any subtle truth?" His image was dimmed in the public mind. He had thought, "If Mahavira says the straw will break, I shall not break it; if he says it will not break, I shall break it. Either way he loses." But he who thought of vanquishing Mahavira, himself stood vanquished before the people.

He was on the lookout for an opportunity. One day, he saw the Lord standing alone. He went to the Lord and said: "O Illustrious One! You are most venerable! Your personality is stupendous. I know great beings do not descend upon this earth to shadow the small fry. I hope the Lord will respect my sentiment."

As Achhandak turned towards his village, Lord Mahavir left for Bachala at once. His compassion did not allow him to stay there even for a second more. Lord Mahavira was an inexhaustible source of compassion.

  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Mahavir
  2. Mahavira
  3. Meditation
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