20 December 2009

A holistic view of life essential for survival :- HH. ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYA JI

The comprehensive way to meditation and penance is experience, not intellectualisation. Intellectuals might argue against this, for the nature of the intellect is to argue. Those who practice meditation and restraint do not use only logic and intellect as the touchstone. Their path is paved with experience. The one who has tasted the sweetness of experience will know there can be no other viable route.

This is an optimistic perspective. It is possible that one who prefers going the intellect way might find this perspective pessimistic. Logic has its own path, which can become complicated but the path of experience is less complicated.

A head clerk told the other clerks, “During office hours you go for a shave and that takes a long time. Do not shave during office hours.” One clerk replied, “When hair can grow during office hours, why can’t they be cut also at that time. If you find a way of stopping hair growth during office hours, we will also not cut it during office hours.” This is the language of logic.

Those who live within the limits of the intellect and logic speak this language. There are three limits. One is that set by the consciousness of the senses. The other is set by the consciousness of the mind. The third is set by the consciousness of the intellect.

We have experienced the limits of all these three. Till experience does not enter the limits of the conscious, everything seems as above. One who has not experienced meditation cannot enter the field of experience.

Those who have sat down for meditation for the first time say this after 10 days – which they could never have imagined such an experience was possible. When there was no question of imagination, how could they have imagined?

How can a man sitting on the shores of an ocean estimate its depth? Only the one who has dived into the ocean can describe its depths. Many spend their lives knowing just their outer self. They never get an opportunity to go within. Are they able to see all that is within? They do not know what lies within. Many of those who see the body get scared on seeing its vibrations. Where have they come from? Are they something new? They are not new.

They were all within. They are constantly working. The energy of the body is also working. But as we concentrate we get to know of them and get scared. We are faced with a new world. The vibrations were on even earlier but we were not aware of them. As soon as the mind gets more stabilised, the inner self emerges clearer.

We need to engage more with the inner world. We should be less obsessed with what others do and pay more attention to our selves. Only then will there be opportunities for major changes in our consciousness that will enhance our personality. If the transformation were to continue, then there is the further possibility that we could reach the final point.

Our perspective should become more and gentler and the perspective of anekanta should always be with us. We need to work towards promoting a balanced and mutually connected individual, local and global perspective with equanimity, taking into account every possible view. That is, giving equal consideration to all things, howsoever small or big.


Put together by Lalit Garg.

The Jaina Doctrine of Karma and The Science of Genetics :- Dr Sohan Raj Tater

Contents

The Science of Karma | What is karma? | Theory of karma in Indian philosophies | Metaphysical base of theory of karma --
Life in the Science of Karma | Characteristic of living substance | Birth of life in Jainism | Jaina view of paryap¯ tiand pran¯ ?a -- Classification of Karma | Main Types (mul¯aprakr?ti) of karma in Jainism | Auspicious and Inauspicious Karma | Darvya and BhaV¯ a Karma | Sub Groups (Uttaraprakr?ti) of eight main karmas-- Bondage of Karma | Causes of Bondage | Components of bondage process | Pun?ya and pap¯ a | Relation with bondage and les´ya --
Fruition of Karma | Process of energy during rise of karma | Pun?ya and pap¯ a | 42 Types fruits of auspicious karma 80 Types fruits of inauspicious karma -- Eradication of Karma |
Sanvara | Nirjara ¯| Caritra | MahaV¯ ratas | Anuvratas | Triple Jewels—the pathway to emancipation -- Science of Genetics | An introduction to the science of Genetics | Characteristics of genes | Characteristic of Genome -- Life in the Science of Genetics | Characteristics of living being | Organization of the cell | Characteristics of chromosomes - - Genetic Codes in DNA and RNA | DNA | RNA | RNA—The Process of Transcription | Genetic Codes | Classification of Genes -- Gene Mutation | Factors causing mutations | Genes and diseases | Role of faulty genes in
chromosomes -- Genetic Engineering | Genetic Engineering and its application | Impact of Genetic Engineering | Preventive and social measures --
Comparative Study of Karma and the Science of the Genetics | Corelation between karma and genes | Effect of karma over genes | Spirituality (combination of spirit and karma s´arir¯a) and genes | Life and genes | Classification of karma and genes | Function of genes on all 24 chromosomes | Role of genes in behavioural responses/personality | Karma and Genes | arma and genetic engineering.


06 December 2009

Nominated as “Vice President” of Akhil Bhartiya Darshan Parishad

JAI JINENDRA,


Prof. (Dr.) Sohan Raj Tater Former Vice Chancellor, Singhani Universityis Nominated as “Vice President” of Akhil Bhartiya Darshan ParishadIt is a matter of pleasure to convey. Prof. Tater Ji received following prestigious Awards:


(1) “Indira Gandhi Rastriya Akta Award” on 19 November 2009 at New Delhi .

(2) “Jain Gyan Vigyan Manishi” given by Jain Digamber Samaj on 23 November at Udaipur (Raj.).

(3)“Gem of Yoga” given by University of Lucknow on 29 November at Lucknow(U.P.).

22 November 2009

JAIN DHARMA AS A WORLD RELIGION -ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYA

There have been twenty-four Tirthankaras or prophets of the Jain religion. The first one was Bhagwan Rishabh and the twenty-fourth one was Bhagwan Mahavira. Contemporary Jainism has Bhagwan Mahavira’s pronouncements as the basis. They include some of the principles enunciated by the twenty-third Tirthankara. Bhagwan Parsa also.Bhagwan Mahavira preached his doctrine after attaining omniscience. He propounded Dharma by giving central importance to the soul. For him, caste, creed and colour were not significant. Religion or Dharma came to Acquire a comprehensive scope by upholding the principle that casteism is not real.The basic unity of Dharma was reinforced by treating Dharma and sect as two separate things . There can be a plurality of sects but there can be no plurality of Dharma. True Dharma consists in subduing attachment and hatred. It is the same for everyone and for all toimes and all places.Bhagwan Mahavira gaves us the anekanta Pholosopy (non-absolutism ) to blook at the world. It is a widely used metaphysical concepty and is an important mehtod in the quest for truth. According to this theiry, you can not arrive at the entire truth with the help of sense perceptions because senses have their limitations- they can at best arrive at partial truth. Besides, there are as many facets of truth as there are ideas. Therefore, before declaring that a particular idea is false, one must try to discover its latent fragment of truth. This humble but comprehensive viewpoint of the Jain Dharma regarding the quest for truth is enough to give it the status of a world religion.Once Acharya Tulsi was camping in Hissar (Haryana). It was a summer afternoon. SuddenlyKaka Kalelkar emerged as if from nowhere. The Acharya wondered how Kaka had come wothout any prior information. The latter said, I was sitting in my office in Delhi thinking about anekanta. While doing so I felt very unhappy about the inactivity of the fillowers of the Jain Dharma. People of all religions are trying to turn their religions into world religions. But the Jains are totally inactive on this front. They have a great philosophy like the anekanta which qualifies as a world religion and yet they are least bothered about it. I was distressed by it. I could not contain my grief and it explains why I have come here in this scorching heat.Kaka Kalelkar’s complaint did not merely have a tinge of grief; it also had a lot of truth. The Jain Dharma is a fit candidate for being a world religion. For it supports human unity, explains religion from a non-sectarian angle and concedes partial truth in the doctrines of all other sects. Three Stages of SoulJain Dharma postulates three stages of the soul: (1) the external soul. (2) the internal soul and (3) the omniscient or liberated or supreme soul. The external soul is characterised by an aversion to the quest for truth. The internal soul is fully dedicated to the quest for truth. One who attains self-realization is a liberated soul. Supreme soul or paramatman. Bhagwan Mahavira was a supreme soul. All those who are fully devoted to spirituality have the right to become supreme souls. Anyone who follows the spiritual practice that Mahavira preached and followed, can like him become a liberated soul. This principle of attaining the status of a liberated soul transcends time, space and individualit. It is a universal principle.Truth can be ascertained in two ways: scientific appraisal and popular estimate.To know the ultimate nature of the reality of subtle truths. We use scientific appraisal. Popular estimate is used to know empirical trith. The form of religion exclusively based on scientific appraisal cannot take the place of a world religion. On the other hand a religious code of conduct based on empirical truths has the potentiality of becoming a world religion. The code of conduct comprising the vows enunciated by Mahavira is universal. That code can command wide acceptance from human beings living in any society.Jain Dharma as a World ReligionThe universality of a religion can be assessed on the basis of the following six points:1. God, man the world2. Intuitional perception or direct experience 3. Ethics and paht of spiritual practice 4. Rituals and regular observances 5. Mythology6. Ultimate goal. The picture of Jain dharma which emerges on the basis of the above six points automatically reveals its universal acceptability.1(a). God: God is not the controller of the world. God is pure unattached consciousness, eternal, unborn, desireless and not subject to reincarnation. All souls which attain the above characteristics belong to the category of a God. There have been countless souls of this kind and there will be countless of the kind in future.(b) The World: The world is real. The constant natural and causal changes of the modes of conscius beings, matter and other substances constitute the sentient and non-sentient world. This perfectly tallies with the concepts of modern science. (c) Man: Man is a living being endowed with special abilities. By birth there is no difference between one man and another man. By awakening his discriminating facult. Man can make his present individual, as well as collective life, happy and peaceful. For this what is needed is not the worship of a God. But heroic self-effort. Any man can attain the highest good through his valorous effort. Irrespective of caste nationality creed or sex.2. Intuitional perception or direct experience: Everyone can have the kind of direct experience that the Tirthankaras had. It is possible through dedicated spiritual practice. One who methodically practises meditation. Yoga etc. Can attain direct experience. The maxim appannaa sachchamensanjjaa (discover the truth yourself) gives the same direction. The knowledge gathered through mere intellectualism will be superficial and indirect in nature. Konwledge born of one’s own experience is not possible and in the absence of such knowledge no progress in the direction of self-emancipation can take place.3. Ethics and the path of spiritual practice: The ethical code needed for the practice of religion is much stricter than ordinary maral values. It is not in the form of sectarian ethical directions, but aims at intensifying spiritual practice and eliminating the impurities of inner passions. The practice of self-restraint, cintrol of the sense organs and mental restraint etc. Constitute its basis. Its universality is axiomatic. Social and group moral values have limited value in a large context since they are contingent upon contemporary factors. The code of conduct prescribed by the Jain Dharma can fully satisfy the above croterion and the needs of the times as well. 4. Rituals and regular observance: Such practice and props which could be easily resorted to. Heip in the progressive dvelopment of introspection and are essential for those who are incapable of intense spiritual practice. They (simple religious performances) are, on the one hand, easily accepted and on the other hand. Help the aspirant to attain spiritual heights through prolonged practice. Other religions lay greater stress on devotion worship praper rituals, etc. Where Jain Dharma, being grounded in one’s valorous self-efforts, lays emphasis on those activities which strengthen one’s faith in the spiritual ideal. The famous formula of five-fold salutation given by the Jain Dharma in the form of navakaar mantra is unique. Besides it there are directions regarding good conduct. Worship of saints, treating guests properly, etc. Laying emphasis on the ways of worship can be meaningful only if they are free from violence. Possessiveness and inequality and the Jain Dharma regards only such worship as valid. Such worship is easy for all to follow.5. Mythology: Mythological literature is a storehouse of religious traditions and historical events. It appeals specially to those who are devotional in temperament rather than to those who are rational. Children, women and villagers find it easier to reinforce their faith in religious ceremonies through mythological tales and illustrations. Mythological legends, descriptions and discussions may smack of exaggeration and eulogies, but taken on ralative terms, it is not difficult to understand their real intent. Any statement expressed metaphorically can be properly understood in its right context. The special feature of the Jain mythological literature is that most of its characterizations are based on human behaviour. The accounts relating t deities, hell etc. are also consonant with the intentions of the original agama literature. Nothing has been included in them which may be said to be an expression of mere imagination and false notions. 7. Ultimate Goal: Only that religion can comand univerasl acceptance which has as its fianl foal the elevation of the soul to the status of the supreme soul or fully libertaed soul. The sublimity, purity and exaltdness of a religion gets destroyed if it regards its final goal of life as the selfish pursuit of mundane goals of life and if it is reduced to one of the means of solving day-to-day problems. The Jain Dharma regards only liberation ( moksha) as the goal of life. A person who behaves religiously with a view to obtaining worldly happiness and satisfying selfish desires neither progresses towards the final goal nor does he grasp the essence of Dharma.It is not important when one attains the final goal. What is important is that the spiritual aspirant marches towards it uninterruptedly and constantly. Even partial progress marks an attainment of the goal. Complete liberation is its final fulfilment. The above view urges the Individual constantly to revel in his real inner sell. Such an individual leans the art of leading a happy and tension-free even while living in the mundane world. Passing joys and sorrows do not deflect him from the enjoyment of inner bliss. The life style developed by the Jain Dharma on the above basis gives man the means to lead a peaceful, happy and healthy life. On these frounds. It is obvious that the Jain Dharma can claim to be a universal religion.
Jain Dharma is Not to Follow There is a common misunderstanding about Jain Dharma that it is too rigorous to be acceptable to all. The average man is attracted more towards a religion which can be easily practiced. Therefore, how can a dharma in which harsh penance etc, are abligatory become a world religion? It can be only for a few individuals.It is important to dispel the above misunderstanding. Nowhere does the Jain Dharma lay down harsh penance as a compulsory practice. One who goes on practising spirituality according to his own capacity and competence keeps marching ahead and scales greater and greater heights of spiritual practice. Statement like ‘self-mortification is dharma’ or ‘starving is dharma’ do not belong to the Jain Dharma.There are four constituents of the path to liberation (1) right knowledge (2) right faith.(3) right conduct and (4) right penance. A spiritual practitioner can attain liberation by an integrated practice of the above four. He can steadily march forward according to his own competence by sincere self-effort. No one is bound by it. The possibility of gradation and amalgamation of self-restraint and penance is so vast that the above dedicated practice can be under-taken in the simplest form possible. Faith is concerned with the mental attitude, which is free from the distinction between the simple and the difficult. Right knopwledge consists of ther basic understanding of the ultimate principle. No more knowledge is required.

03 August 2009

Human Beings and Relations :- HH.ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYA JI

Human Beings and Relations
The human religion enunciated by Anuvrat Anushasta Tulsi, provides a solution to the problems pervading the whole society, a solution that does not create new problems and therefore renders violence unnecessary. Various forms of violence are striking terror in society. The increasing bitterness in human relations is also a product of violence.
Let us examine the two terms 'human being1 and 'relation' in the above context. First, it is necessary to understand the meaning of 'human being’. Many branches of knowledge including sociology, psychology and philosophy have interpreted the term and tried to understand man. Sociologists hold man to be basically a social being. Psychologists have explained man and his behaviour on the basis of his unconscious and basic instincts. Philosophers have made karma the basis of their interpretation. Spiritual teachers have defined man on the basis of intellectual awareness. Aristotle defined man as a rational animal. This kind of ability to reason is not found in any other being. I feel that though none of these interpretations is wrong, none is entirely right either. With a partial or one-sided viewpoint, no single view or opinion is either fully right or wrong.
Individuality: Communality
It is true that man is a social living being but it is not true that he is only social and nothing else. He is as much individual as he is social. Existentialist philosophers lay emphasis on his individual features, not on common or universal features. In their opinion, individuality is man's exclusive quality and he cannot be understood by underplaying it. Sociologists hold the view that man cannot survive, much less develop, without society, even as fish cannot survive without water. Here we have two diverse views - premium on individuality by existentialists and that on communality by sociologists. It is only by combining both that we get a total view.
The Psychological View
Psychologists say that man is governed by the unconscious. All his activities and behaviour are conducted by the unconscious. It again is a partial truth, because there is much besides the unconscious which also acts as conductor. Our wakeful awareness or the conscious has also something unique about it. Further, the soul, which is beyond the unconscious, has its own importance too. We can thus treat the unconscious as a midpoint with the soul at its back and intelligent awareness in its fore. Between the two ends operates the unconscious. Man has countless aspects and it is extremely difficult to define him in a few words.
Society and Relations
Let us now consider the nature of relations.Society is a chain of relations. Relation means social orientation or orientation towards society. Anyone who is oriented towards society is relation-oriented, i.e. characterised by relations. These relations start with the very birth of a child. He gets related to parents, brothers, sisters, etc. One who is beyond relations is a sanyasi or mumukshu (an ascetic who has renounced the world or one who is desirous of salvation). The first characteristic of a muni according to the Uttaradhyayan Sutra is freedom from relation. But on the worldly plane, the child is surrounded by relations right from its birth. A relation is based on duality.
The Philosophical Context
Three streams emerged in Indian philosophy:
1. Advaitavad Monism
2. Dvaitavad Dualism
3. Dvaitadvaitavad Dualism and Monism
The first Shankaracharya and his guru Gaurhpal gave birth to advaitavad. According to this doctrine, God or the Eternal Spirit alone is real; the world is unreal - an illusion. Supporters of the doctrine of Dvaitavad are the schools of Buddhism, Samkhya and Nyaya. According to them, both the animate and the inanimate exist. By conceding advaita, one wonders how we can function in daily practical life. What will be the relation between the individual and society ? Advait would rule out all behaiour, language, ideas and thinking. So the believers in Advait had to put forward the concept of Maya - mere appearance or illusion. Whatever is going on is unreal. Thus conceding the inanimate installed Maya on the royal pedestal. This is idealistic thinking.For the realists, positing the concept of Maya is essential. Both the animate and the inanimate are real. But here too there is a problem. By conceding dvait we lend weight to the notion of difference. Therefore, it is essential for us to concede advait at the back of dvaita and dvaita at the back of advaita.
Coordination between Dvaita and Advaita
The philosophy of anekant subscribes neither to dvaita nor to advaita. It coordinates the two. We cannot explain relations purely on the basis of advaita, or on the basis of dvaita alone. We have to resort to both in order to explain relations. An exclusive allegiance to dvaita will mean perpetual bitterness in relations as a result of accentuating difference and distance. It will be impossible to remove that bitterness. In fact advaita is inherent in dvaita. It is on the basis of the advaita tradition that one treats everyone else like oneself, that self-realization takes place and one observes equanimity in both joy and sorrow. But advaita alone is not adequate and one has to resort to dvaita. If the 'other' is there, dvaita will have to be explained and human nature and behaviour will have to be understood on that basis.
I and My
Let us discuss the ways of improving relations on the basis of both advaita and dvaita. It is the basic instincts which are responsible for relations. Two of our basic instincts are ‘I’ and 'my', ‘I’ represents selfishness and 'my' represents relation. All relations are built on the basis of the instinct of possession. As the instinct of possession extends in scope, the relations multiply. There would have been no relation in the absence of that instinct. An extension of that instinct is an extension of relations. But if there had been no ‘I’, there would have been no problem in relations. The problems we face today in respect of relations have ‘I’ at their back, because the ‘I’ instinct breeds increasing selfishness. The 'my' instinct gets divided into many categories. If it is my son or my family, thay can be partners in the profits I earn. But my servant cannot share my profits. Again, the factor influencing such a categorization of relations is the ‘I’ instinct. Once ‘I’ ceases to be narrow and confined and spreads out to others, all problems pertaining to relations come to an end. ‘I’ in its narrow form breeds bitterness in relations resulting in complicated problems.
Causes of Violence
Violence and crime are two major problems we face today. Violence has a myriad forms. One major factor behind violence is the individual tendency to grab more and more, denying others their share. The latter react with violence, which sometimes assumes the shape of terrorism. Even as one man is busy earning, he wants to earn at the cost of others. This exploitation is an important cause of violence. If we analyse the phenomena of thefts, robberies, kidnappings and murders, we find that one man's instinct is encouraging the instinct of another person. Greed and selfishness as individual instincts give birth to savage cruelty. In fact, one man's cruelty shifts to the victim and makes him cruel too. Many of these problems would not have appeared if there had been no greed in man. Man has not grasped the true import of the instincts of ‘I’ and 'my'. In fact, he has fed them to such an extent that they have made all other instincts secondary.
Material Objects and Peace are not the Same
Let us elaborate the above proposition, for it is essential if people want to lead a happy and peaceful life. Society has come into being so that man may live in peace, and be free from all worry and anxiety. There can be no happiness in the absence of peace. One can pile up items of comfort, but not of peace and happiness. We should never forget the fact that material objects and peace are not the same. Material objects and happiness are not the same. We should also remember the fact that problems and unhappiness are not the same. A problem may occur at the physical or mental level. However, intellectual awareness transcends these levels. If we cling to a problem, there can be no solution. If we are genuinely interested in improving human relations, we should refine the instincts of ‘I’ and 'my' so that selfishness is not fortified and the freedom of others is not transgressed. If someone is mine, it does not mean that he or she has no independent existence. Every living being has a right to live in freedom. A relation is justified only to the extent it is useful without trampling on someone's freedom.
Life's Relativeness
Our life is relative. Life cannot be led in isolation. Everyone requires someone else. For sustaining one life the labour of thousands of people is needed. The labour of a large number of people is involved between the time a seed is planted and its product is cooked in the kitchen. It is only thereafter that someone eats a meal. Being so much relative (related to others), it will be the height of unwisdom on the part of a man not to closely deliberate upon relations and not to make them cordial. To consider the problems of those related with our life amounts to considering the problems of relation, adopting an attitude of sensitiveness and compassion towards others, making relations cordial and refining them.
World Created by Resoluteness
It is very difficult to know how to improve relations or how to make them cordial. The difficulty is caused by the persistent presence of the ego or the 'I'. As long as the ego is uncontrolled, selfishness will grow strong and will prevent cordiality of relations. They would be like the seawater, which cannot be made sweet even by mixing sugar in it.
Religious teachers have discovered the ways of curbing the ego. Anuvrat has given a philosophy for this purpose. The first step is to resolve or to take a vow, which symbolizes great strength. With the awakening of a resolve, the process of transformation commences. Our world is born of resolves or vows. It takes shape according to the resolves we make. It is a major resolve that "I will not kill anyone deliberately or will not practise inessential violence". A little violence now and then may be essential for survival, but if the resolve to commit violence is given up and the resolve to practise nonviolence is made, a strong base for making relations cordial is built.
The Principle of Equipoise
Lord Mahavira gave a principle for rousing self-awareness:
‘weigh all living beings with your pair of scales’.
Vyas gave a similar principle:
‘we should not do to others what we consider bad for ourselves’.
By practising these principles we generate compassion. If pain is unfavourable for us, it is equally unfavourable for others. Robbing others of their bread is bad, >because I do not like my bread being robbed. By balancing the two scales we refine our disposition and the ego is curbed. If I had been alone in the world, the world would have been mine - my ego would have expanded. But the world is peopled by countless others like me - this thought puts a curb on my ego, limits it within well-defined confines.
The Issue is one of Refinement
Using contemplation of compassion is extremely important to awaken the intellectual awareness of compassion and sensitivity. Practice is essential for bringing about a change. It refers to our individuality or internal change. By being merely social and opportunistic, we should not devalue its importance. Socialization cannot be useful beyond a point for refinement, though it does prove useful when it comes to building an organization or system. Practice is a long-term process; one cannot expect transformation to occur in a short time. Changing an attitude and developing another does take a long time. Maharshi Patanjali has rightly exhorted - Practice changing acquired or inherited traits uninterruptedly over a long period and that too with deep faith. Following such practice we can succeed in removing the disposition of cruelty and restoring the disposition of compassion.
Practising Equality of Distribution
One of Schumaker's books is entitled Small is Beautiful. It can guide us in the right direction. Again, a Scottish company experimented with distributive justice and it yielded positive results. Cruelty in society is likely to decrease if the principles of distributive justice and worker participation in management are practised., Does it not encourage violence when a man earns huge profits and squanders millions just on an ordinary celebration ? Does it not generate a strong reaction? Human relations can certainly be improved if the principle of distributive justice is practised in society.
Who will provide Protection?
It is likely that we may understand properly and transformation may come about if we adopt and practise social change and spiritual experiments and be aware of the consequences of violence. Violence is constantly increasing and man feels insecure wherever he may be. Millions are being spent on providing security to a single individual. It is frightening to imagine a time when each individual throughout the country may need commandoes for personal security. Who will then remain secure and who will provide security to others? Such a vicious circle can only be imagined. If serious thought is not given to this problem and appropriate and timely measures are not taken, no one should be surprised to see the law of the jungle prevail in society, where large scale mutual killing will become the order of the day. To avoid such a frightening eventuality, we should act wisely and learn to eschew disproportionate and unjust consumption, denying others their share and as a result making them a frustrated lot.
The Solution
Bearing all these things in mind, one concludes that the solution lies in adopting the principles of anuvrat and following the exercises of Preksha Dhyan. What can cause a bigger surprise than the fact that in this scientific age, intellectually aware and intelligent people are unable to transform themselves or even to think of its need, while daily new inventions are being made and radical material changes are taking place unabated. It is therefore imperative that steps are taken with a view to ensuring a bright future for humanity and a life led with sublime human qualities. One prior condition of such a consummation is an equal and simultaneous emphasis on a change of social order and refinement of attitudes. It is possible through reflection, firm resolution and persistent practice. Let us therefore move forward in that direction.

02 August 2009

महीना अगस्त का :- शबनम शर्मा

महीना अगस्त का
आते ही, हवा में सीलन
बदन में तपिश,
और रूह में
कंपनमहसूस होती है,


सीने पत्थरों के
भी पसीजने लगते हैं
रो पड़ते हैं मेरे
घर के सामने वाले
पहाड़ भी,
याद करके उन वीरों को
जिन्होंने हमें ये खुली हवा
में साँस लेने का
सुअवसर दिया,
उन्हें रहती दुनिया तक
मेरा, सम्पूर्ण विश्व का
शत-शत प्रणाम।

माता-पिता की महिमा

माता तो सर्वोच्च है, महिमा अगम अपार!
माँ के गर्भ से ही यहाँ, प्रकट हुए अवतार!!

माँ की महत्ता तो मनुज, कभी न जानी जाय!
माँ का ऋण सबसे बड़ा, कैसे मनुज चुकाय!!

मात-पिता भगवान-से, करो भक्ति भरपूर!
मात-पिता यदि रुष्ट हों, ईश समझलो दूर!!

पिता दिखाए राह नित, दे जीवन का दान!
मान पिता को दे नहीं, अधम पुत्र को जान!!

रोम-रोम में माँ रहे, नाम जपे हर साँस!
सेवा कर माँ की सदा, पूरी होगी आस!!

माँ प्रसन्न तो प्रभु मिलें, सध जाएँ सब काम!
पिता के कारण जगत में, मिले मनुज को नाम!!

मात-पिता का सुख सदा, चाहा श्रवण कुमार!
मात-पिता के भक्त को, पूजे सब संसार!!

माँ के सुख में सुख समझ, मान मोद को मोद!
सारा जग मिल जाएगा, मिले जो माँ की गोद!!

माँ के चरणों में मिलें, सब तीरथ,सब धाम!
जिसने माँ को दुःख दिए, जग में मरा अनाम!!

माँ है ईश्वर से बड़ी, महिमावान अनंत!
माँ रूठे पतझड़ समझ, माँ खुश, मान वसंत!!

बहुत चले हैं बिना शिकायत :- साध्वी कनकप्रभा

बहुत चले हैं बिना शिकायत हम मंज़िल के आश्वासन पर,

लेकिन हर मंज़िल को पीछे छोड़ रहे हैं चरण तुम्हारे,

तपे बहुत जलती लूओं से, रहें नीड़ में मन करता है,

पर नभ की उन्मुक्त पवन में खींच रहे हो प्राण हमारे॥


देख रहे दिन में भी सपने, कितनी सरज रहे हो चाहें,

सदा दिखाते ही रहते हो हमें साधना की तुम राहें,

खोली हाट शान्ति की जब से ग्राहक कितने बढ़ते जाते,

नहीं रहा अनजाना कोई सबका स्नेह अकारण पाते,

बिना शिकायत जुटे हुए हम हर सपना साकार बनाने,

फिर भी तोष नहीं धरती से तोड़ रहे अंबर के तारे॥

बहुत चले हैं बिना शिकायत :- साध्वी कनकप्रभा

बहुत चले हैं बिना शिकायत हम मंज़िल के आश्वासन पर,
लेकिन हर मंज़िल को पीछे छोड़ रहे हैं चरण तुम्हारे,
तपे बहुत जलती लूओं से, रहें नीड़ में मन करता है,
पर नभ की उन्मुक्त पवन में खींच रहे हो प्राण हमारे॥
देख रहे दिन में भी सपने, कितनी सरज रहे हो चाहें,
सदा दिखाते ही रहते हो हमें साधना की तुम राहें,
खोली हाट शान्ति की जब से ग्राहक कितने बढ़ते जाते,
नहीं रहा अनजाना कोई सबका स्नेह अकारण पाते,
बिना शिकायत जुटे हुए हम हर सपना साकार बनाने,
फिर भी तोष नहीं धरती से तोड़ रहे अंबर के तारे॥
बचपन से ले अब तक कितने ग्रन्थों को हमने अवगाहा,
अपनी नाजुक अंगुलियों से जब तब कुछ लिखना भी चाहा,
समय-समय पर बाँधा मन के भावों को वाणी में हमने,
नहीं कहा विश्राम करो कुछ एक बार भी अब तक तुमने,
बहुत पढ़े हैं बिना शिकायत मन ही मन घबराते तुमसे,
कब होंगे उत्तीर्ण तुम्हारी नज़रों में पढ़ पढ़कर हारे॥
हर अशब्द भाव को बाँधा मधुर-नाद में हे संगायक!
मन की प्रत्यंचा पर सचमुच चढ़ा दिया संयम का सायक,
हर मानव की पीड़ा हरकर तुमने उसको सुधा पिलाई,
मुरझाते जीवन के उपवन की मायूसी दूर भगाई,
बहुत जगे हैं बिना शिकायत छोटी- बड़ी सभी रातों में,
बिना जगे कुछ सो लेने दो अब तो धरती के उजियारे!
कदम-कदम पर चौराहे हैं लक्ष्य स्वयं मंज़िल से भटका,
बियावान सागर के तट पर आकर प्राणों का रथ अटका,
जूझ रही है हर खतरे से विवश ज़िंदगी यह मानव की,
कुछ अजीब-सी अकुलाहट देखी जब से छाया दानव की,
डटे हुए हैं बिना शिकायत जीवन के हर समरांगण में,
किन्तु कहोगे कब तुम हमको खड़ी पास में विजय तुम्हारे॥

प्रेरणा की साँस भर देना :- साध्वी कनकप्रभा

प्रेरणा की साँस भर देना थकन में,
चरण मंज़िल से नहीं अब रूठ पाए,
सींचते रहना नयी हर पौध को तुम,
पल्लवों फूलों फलों से लहलहाए॥
तोड़ सपनों को हमें दो सत्य का सुख,
अनकही मन की तुम्हें है ज्ञात सारी,
स्वाति बनकर दुःख को मोती बना दो,
भटकते अरमान दो छाया तुम्हारी,
चाँद सूरज से अधिक ले तेज अपना,
तिमिर- तट पर पूर्णिमा बन उतर आए॥
दीप हर आलोक से मंडित हुआ है,
मुस्कराते हैं गगन में नखत तारे,
एक मूरत गढ़ गया कोई मनोहर,
ज्योति- किरणों ने बिछाई हैं बहारें,
मुग्ध हैं ये प्राण इस अनुपम छटा पर,
मौन मन की धड़कनें कुछ गुनगुनाए॥
स्नेह संवर्षण मिला जब से तुम्हारा,
क्यारियाँ विश्वास की हैं शस्यश्यामल,
ज़िन्दगी को मोड़ दे तुमने बढ़ाए,
साधना की राह पर ये चरण कोमल,
जग निछावर पुण्य चरणों में तुम्हारे,
दीप ये विश्वास के तुमने जलाए॥

साध्वी कनकप्रभा

परिचय


नाम : साध्वी कनकप्रभा

साध्वी कनकप्रभा एक जैन साध्वी होने के साथ ही उत्कृष्ट लेखिका व कवयित्री भी हैं। 1941 कलकत्ता में जन्मी कनकप्रभा ने 19 साल की छोटी उम्र में जैन दिक्षा ग्रहण की। ऋजुता, करुणा और गंभीरता को अपने में समाहित करने वाली साध्वी कनकप्रभा को 17.01.1972 में साध्वीप्रमुखा बनाया गया। जीवन की गंभीरता को शब्दों में ढालना उनकी कविताओं की विशेषता है। उन्होंने प्राकृत संस्कृत व हिन्दी साहित्य में अपना अमूल्य योगदान दिया है व दे रही हैं।
प्रकाशित कृतियाँ : उनके कविता संग्रह “सरगम” व “साँसों का इकतारा” प्रकाशित हो चुके हैं।

05 July 2009

A DOCTOR - MONEY DOES NOT EQUAL HAPPINESS

There, once lived a boy named Ajit who worked very hard during his student life. He was the smartest student in the school and had big dreams of becoming a doctor. Finally his dream came true and he became a very fine doctor. He lived in a big city in a big house where he established a huge practice.
One day, an old woman came to him from a nearby village. She was very poor. She asked him, “Doctor, please help my son. He has a very high fever and has been sick for a few days.” The doctor said, “I am sorry, but I must have the fees first and then I will help you,” in a very mean manner. The lady promised to work really hard and then pay him back later but the stubborn doctor refused. The old woman started to cry and told him that a son is always very important to the parents and that money is not the only thing in life. Still, the doctor would not listen. The woman left with her son and went home.
A few days later, the doctor was cleaning his gun which he kept for the protection of his family. His son was playing nearby him. Suddenly, the cloth he was cleaning the gun with, got stuck in the trigger and the gun went off striking the boy in the head. He rushed his son to the hospital. A team of doctors tried feverishly to save the boy’s life but the child died on the operating table. Dr. Ajit was stricken by grief.
He knew that he had a lot of money. The hospital had fine doctors and was well-equipped. He had all these facilities but still could not save the life of his son. The doctor realized that neither skill nor money could help him. He felt very helpless and full of remorse.
He then remembered the incident of the old lady who had pleaded him to help her son. He then realized how wrong he had been to turn her away just because she could not pay him the fees. He understood the feelings of the young boy’s mother. It dawned upon him that his uppermost duty was to care for human lives without any regard for money. His mission in life was to serve mankind.
This unfortunate incident had a profound impact on Dr. Ajit’s life. He started to go to remote villages and caring for the poor and needy. He started a charitable hospital where the poor and rich could all be served without discrimination.
The instinct to amass wealth is very strong in all humans. Jainism teaches us to not be greedy because this passion is a big obstacle to salvation. The more one has, the more one wants. Greed really does make monsters out of us.
A poor man is unhappy because he does not have enough to live properly. A wealthy man is sad because he is not satisfied with what he has. This is the reason why monks and saints first renounce all possessions in their pursuit of salvation. Because of our good Karmas, which include intelligence, skill, and hard work, we should share it with the poor and needy.

DHARMAKUMAR

There was a city named Kamalpur. There reigned a king named Sahasraksa. One day, as the king was seated in the court, there came an astrologer who uttered benediction and resumed a seat. The king said, “Astrologer ! If it pleases you, do enlighten us about what is going to happen in the near future.”
The astrologer remained silent. When the king repeated his request again, he said, “Your Majesty ! A severe famine is about to break out, which is to last for about twelve years. This will strain the administration and wipe out the people.”
The king was very much perturbed. He said, “We should take remedial measures immediately.”
He discussed the matter with his entire cabinet and arrived at the decision to empty the treasury to fill up the granaries. The work started at once. Many who could afford it, however, fled the country and moved elsewhere, some even across the sea.
It was the month of Ashadha. A patch of cloud was visible in the sky. The king was happy. This will give us the much-needed water, he thought. It is a very auspicious omen.
And so it was. The cloud soon spread all over the sky. It gave a good shower, and the fields had enough water. There was a bumper crop. People were relieved. The famine had been averted, and the astrologer proved wrong.
One day, the keeper of the king’s parks came with the following message: “Muni Yugandhar has camped for his monsoon stay in a park. He will remain without food for all these months. By dint of silence, meditation, and Kayotsarga, he has already acquired the Kevalgnan.”
The king duly rewarded the keeper for this message and started with his people to welcome the Muni and pay him obeisance and homage. After the king had met the Muni and heard his holy words, he made the following submission: “Bhante ! How did it so happen that the astrologer’s words proved untrue ?”
The Muni responded, “Oh king ! The famine was really unavoidable due to the influence of the stars. But the reason it has been averted was not clear to the astrologer.”
The king: “Bhante ! I am eager to know the reason, if possible.”
“In this land of Bharat, there is a city named Purimatala. There lived a rich young man who suddenly became ill due to the coming up of some inauspicious Karmas. No amount of substantial food intake would cure him, and his ailment was worsening daily.
One day, in the presence of his spiritual master, he gave up all rich food, sweets, and milk products and resolved to live on a coarse diet and physical exercise to control the stomach. He also courted a celibate life. Very soon, he recovered and was in the very best of health. This helped him even to take greater care of his business and add to his wealth. But he did not change the course of his life nor deviate from the vow about food and sex.
Once, there was a severe famine in the land, and all his wealth was spent to help the people. Now, on completion of that life, he was born as a Dev and has now been reborn as the son of Shravak Subuddhi. Because of the birth of this pious soul in your kingdom, Oh king, even the inevitable has been averted.”
The king took leave of the Muni and proceeded straight to Subuddhi’s house. He saw the child, who was the embodiment of divinity. He blessed him from the core of his heart and named him Dharmakumar.
Dharmakumar grew up to be a worthy lad. He was married in a respectable family. He had a happy life, and in his old age, he joined the holy order of the Munis. There, in the end, he attained Kevalgnan.

DHISTA

Prince Sura lived in the city of Dhara. His wife, Chatura, was a shrew with a sharp tongue. Sura was very sorry for her behavior. He tried his best to improve her, but there was no fruitful outcome. So he thought of taking another wife and was on the lookout for a suitable bride.
One day, he reached the house of an old woman in the city of Avanti. She had a beautiful daughter named Sundari. When Sura made the proposal to marry her, the woman said, “I shall give my daughter to one who agrees to look after me. This daughter is my only support.”
Sura agreed, got married, and brought the new wife home. Chatura became furious to know this, but she was helpless, so now she applied the only instrument at her disposal. She would torture the co-wife, often quarrel with her and use harsh words. Soon Sundari became disgusted.
The prince then housed them in separate buildings, but still there could be no peace. Chatura would often come to Sundari’s house to quarrel with her, to beat her, to bite her with her teeth, and to scratch her skin with her nails. The situation was out of control.
Sura now housed Sundari at a distance of 20 miles. The mother lived with her, Sura often visiting.
One day, as Sura was about to go to her house, Chatura came to know of it. She lauded the idea in so many words and gave her husband some Modaka (sweetmeat) to be eaten on the way. When Sura reached the bank of a river, he sat down to rest and ate the Modaka. This was an enchanted stuff, and no sooner had he taken it than he changed into a dog.
Now, instead of proceeding to Sundari, the dog returned to Chatura. She tied the dog and beat him half dead. “Will you go again to Sundari ?” She said in anger. Then she restored the dog to human form. It took Sura a whole month to recover.
But he could not check the temptation of visiting Sundari for long, nor could he keep his plan a secret, so that this time Chatura gave him another sweet named Karamba to be eaten on the way. As previously, Sura reached the bank of the river and was about to eat the sweet when a hermit with matted hair came there and sought the whole of it. Now, no sooner had the hermit taken it than he turned into an ass, and the ass took the road to Chatura’s house, Sura following from behind.
As the ass reached Chatura’s house, she tied it fast and showered all her passion on its back. The animal brayed bitterly, but Chatura would take no respite until it was half dead. Then the ass was released and turned into a human being. And lo behold ! It was a hermit with matted hair. Chatura was terrified on the realization of what she had done to a holy man. She fell at his feet and begged sincerely to be forgiven. These are the only words the hermit uttered while departing: “Correct is the saying, whosoever eats Karamba undergoes pain.”
Fear always haunts a sinful soul. Chatura was afraid that whatever her machination, her husband could not love her. This anguish always tortured her. So she hatched a plan at once to get rid of her husband. She arranged a sacrifice to propitiate the deity, and she was successful. As she dropped her offerings into the fire, a snake came out and said, “What can I do for you, Madam ? I am pleased with your propitiation and I am at your service.”
Chatura was happy. She said, “My husband goes to another woman. I cannot bear this. So you deprive him of his life.” The snake said, “I shall do this as you desire, but it will take a little time. I promise you that at the end of six months, your husband will be a dead man.” Then the snake departed.
Sura witnessed the whole thing from a distance and thought, how mean is this woman’s conduct; not even the Brahma can fathom its depth.
After all this, he had no courage to return home, and he went to Sundari’s residence, where he started living from that day, and decided not to see Chatura anymore.
Sundari tried her best to make him happy through conversation, dance, and music, but Sura remained indifferent all the time. If someone is unhappy in the family, even other family members can’t be happy. So one day, Sura’s mother-in-law said, “My son ! What’s bothering you ?”
“Mother ! What’s the use of stating it when it’s beyond cure ?” “But, my son, sometimes the affection of the near-and-dear ones may hit upon something that may help. What’s the harm in your telling me ? Maybe when the disease is diagnosed, a remedy may come up.”
Still Sura wanted to suppress, but in the face of an overwhelming affection, he could not. He gave a full account and said, “On the completion of six months from that fateful day, I will die.”
“Don’t you worry about it. You leave it to me, and I shall set it right. Be happy from now. My own ward’s happiness is linked up with you.”
Sura felt somewhat relieved but could not be fully assured. Chatura’s words would often ring into his ears, and he could find no rest.
Sundari and her mother painted two peacocks on the wall outside. They were very lifelike. The two ladies worshipped them daily. Thus six months passed, and the fateful day arrived when Sura was to die of a snakebite. he was restless, but the two ladies gave him courage, and Sundari said, “You will see our power, my dear. If there’s some power on earth that kills, there’s a greater power that saves.”
The ladies now cleaned a spot in the room and purified it. Then they placed a cushion at the center, and on it sat the prince. The two ladies now, with enchanted rice in their hands, looked around for the snake. Soon their eyes detected one, and at once they hurled their rice at the peacocks. What a surprise !
They were no longer a coat of paint, but one of them actually descended from the wall, picked up the snake, and flew away in the sky. Sura witnessed all this speechlessly. He saw the infallible power of the enchanted words. He felt as if he had acquired a fresh life.
Chatura’s plan was thus upset. She got a report from a traveler that Sura was hail and hearty, living happily and making charities daily. She now turned herself into a white cat and reached Sundari’s house. When the mother and the daughter saw the cat in their house and read into its intentions, they themselves became two black cats and chased the white one. But the white one jumped on both, tearing each with sharp claws. Even the combined strength of the two was no match for the strength of the white cat. After scratching them severely, the white cat returned home.
When Sura asked all about it, the ladies said, “The cat was none other than your first wife, who had come to chastise us. But as it commanded a greater power, it overpowered us both and escaped unhurt.”
Sura was again depressed and wanted now to get rid of all the three ladies. Hardly a month had passed when the white cat appeared again and the same scene repeated, with similar outcome. After the encounter was over, Sundari came to her husband and said, “My dear ! When the white cat comes next time, you will have to help us. When we shall be fighting, you only say, “Black cats, kill the white cat.” At once our power will increase and we shall throw it on the ground.”
This time the white cat came earlier. It had gained confidence by her previous successes. Now, as soon as the fight started, Sura came up and said, “Black cats ! Kill the white cat.”
At once their power increased tremendously and the white cat was down rolling on the ground beneath them, and the black cats pressed so hard at its neck that it was about to die. Now, Sura thought, if my words can give strength to the black cats, similar words may give strength to the white one, and I may be rid of all the three. Let me try. And he said aloud, “White cat ! Kill the black cats.” And the black cats soon lay dead. Even the white cat didn’t live long thereafter.
When all the three were thus dead and gone, Sura felt relieved. He performed the last rites for all the three and came straight to his brother’s house where he was received by his sister-in-law. Destiny is so powerful that it pursues a man wherever he may go.
One day, as Sura was at his brother’s house, a man came from the farm to announce the death of a bull while plowing the land. He said that if it was not immediately replaced by a new bull, the work of cultivation would suffer. As soon as his sister-in-law heard this, she at once showered some powder on Sura’s head, which at once turned him into a bull. It was then led to the farm and yoked to the plow.
Poor Sura ! What a miserable life started for him ! Days passed. One day, the hook in his nose broke and fell down. This at once dispelled the charm, and Sura regained his human form. At once he slipped away from the farm.
On the highway, he met his brother who expressed a deep concern at the severe wounds on his body and requested him to accompany him home. Declining the offer, Sura said, “My brother ! Let your home be sweet to you. My sister-in-law is a devil incarnate. She turned me into a bull and yoked me at the plough. The wounds you see have been derived therefrom. Now I shall go to your home only when I desire to be changed into a bull. Until then let me keep far from your home. For me, even life in the forest is more covetable. It seems that all homes are haunted by the devil.”
After saying that, Sura started walking toward the forest, and soon he was in the very depth of it. There he saw six men attired in costly robes with a load of grass on each head. He was surprized. When he made inquiry, the men said, “Here lives an old lady in the forest, who is crippled in body, but is the very embodiment of kindness. At her bid, we take these bundles of grass for her, and in exchange, we are given rich and fresh robes. This has made our life happy.” Sura said, “My dear friends ! I want to meet the lady. Will you be good enough to introduce me to her ?”
They agreed. Sura now gathered a load of grass and started walking with them. When they reached the lady, she inquired about the stranger. The men said, “Madam ! We met him in the forest. We have it from him that his name is Dhista. He desires to join with us in supplying you grass. May we hope that you will kindly accept him ?” The lady looked very much pleased. She patted on Dhista’s back and said, “My son ! You are very weak. You stay with us and have a nice time.”
Dhista said, “Mother ! I am very unfortunate. In rolling through a hard life, I have reached here. Now, I want to spend the rest of my life at your feet.” The lady cast a very affectionate glance at him, at which Dhista felt obliged. He took a bath, wore fresh clothes, and ate delicious dishes.
A mood of inquiry invariably unlocks fresh avenues of knowledge. Dhista felt inquisitive as to what the lady did with such a huge quantity of grass. At night, he lay with his companions but did not sleep. At midnight, the lady got up and checked everybody. She made sure that everybody was fast asleep. Then, with the help of chanted words, she changed herself into a mare, ate the whole stock of grass, and thereafter became a beautiful damsel. Dhista followed her in disguise keeping certain distance. She now reached a cave where she was received by a few other female spirits, who asked, “What offer have you prepared for us ?”
She answered, “Have patience. I have gathered seven men for you, six of whom are fat and plump. Only the seventh man is lean and weak. He is a recent arrival. However, I have started feeding him well, and I have no doubt that he will put on sufficient flesh by the fourteenth day (of the fortnight). He is also meant for you.”
The devils were highly pleased, but Dhista was alarmed at death following him so closely on his heels. He had no doubt that this lady, herself a devil, would put him to death at the earliest available opportunity.
In the morning, as usual, they all started for cutting grass. On the way, as Dhista narrated his night’s experience, all the six protested, “We have not detected any evil intention in the woman’s behavior so far.”
Dhista replied, “My dear friends ! A comfortable life has blinded you, but you won’t escape from her trap, I assure you. I am not going to stay here even for a moment.” They said, “Stay for a day more, and let us make sure of what you say. If your apprehension proves true, we shall go with you.”
Dhista agreed. The day passed as usual. At night, all the seven did not sleep, and, following the lady incognito, they had a corroboration of what Dhista had said. They now sat thinking about a suitable plan. Dhista suggested that such an evil character must not be allowed to live, and since she was too powerful for any one of them, they must pull up their whole strength together and put her to death.
There was unanimity among all the seven, and they decided to take the action at once. Two men held the woman by her legs, two held her head fast, and one of them beat her so severely with a club that the poor witch breathed her last.
Now there was nothing to be afraid of, and so the seven friends started from there. Passing through a forest, they reached the bank of the Sipra, and therefrom, a fine city on its bank. But to their surprise, they found it wholly deserted. They entered into it and reached at last the palace gate, where sat an old woman. The woman at once received them and said, “Good fellows ! Here are seven beautiful damsels for you. Please accept them.”
Dhista said, “But, mother, tell us first who they are, and where do they come from “ The whole city is deserted, and the presence of seven damsels in such a lonely place causes us both surprise and suspicion.”
The woman responded, “My good fellows ! These are Vidyadhar girls. One day, their father had inquired of an astrologer about their prospective husbands. The astrologer suggested that the girls should be entrusted to me and that the husbands would come without seeking. So I am here. You now relieve me of my charge by accepting the girls.”
Continued the woman, “Here you have everything that makes life pleasant; the finest cushions, dressing rooms and bed chambers, and the most beautiful damsels. Enjoy life in their company. There are seven fine steeds in the stable; enjoy a ride on their back in any direction save the East. I bid you strictly not to go in the Eastern direction even by mistake.”
The offer seemed attractive, and the seven agreed. It was a pleasant life for them in the company of the Vidyadhar girls. Sometimes they would be on the swings dangling in the air, sometimes in the garden plucking beautiful flowers, and sometimes in the lake enjoying a swimming in the company of the girls.
One day the seven got together to consider the taboo imposed on their movement in the Eastern direction, and they decided to go there to unfold the mystery behind it. They started on horseback, all the seven together. Hardly had they gone some distance when they saw piles of human bones as far as the eyes could reach. They now looked at each other.
Just at that moment, the hoof of one of the horses struck against a skull, and the skull at once laughed aloud and said, “I too once enjoyed the same horses and the same girls.”
Everybody was afraid and surprised. But Dhista gathered courage and said, “Who are these horses, and who are these girls ? Who was the woman we met at the palace gate, and how is this place so much infested with human bones ?”
The skull responded, “This shameless witch is a notorious devil. She has killed us all. If you have love for your life, run away at once.”
At these words, all the seven got so much terrified that they ran at once. Without so much as turning their faces even once, all the seven were on their horses until the sun was high up in the middle of the sky.
Finding that the men had not come back, the seven girls at once reported to the guardian woman. She at once picked up her enchanted drum and reached the top of the mansion. Therefrom she could detect at a great distance all the seven men fleeing. She started beating on the drum to turn the horses, and she was readily effective. The seven tried to jump down from their horses but could not. They now sat helpless on their horses and the horses started back to the palace. As the woman recalled them near her and thundered, “Fools ! Why did you try to flee from my trap ? Don’t ever try it again !”
Saying that, she displayed her long, bloody tongue, and with an unsheathed sword in her hand, she trampled Dhista beneath her heels and said, “Confess, you fool ! Where were you going on horseback ? These are your last moments on the earth. Remember your creator.”
For a moment, Dhista felt nervous, but soon he gathered courage and said, “Old devil ! Tell me first, who cut your nose ?”
The question pleased the lady, who released him at once and said, “Lucky man ! Let me give you an account. In the land of Bharat, there is a city named Manorama, where reigned King Manorath. His queen, Manimala, gave birth to seven sons and one daughter. I am that daughter.
When I reached the threshold of youth, I developed a test for spells and enchantments and soon mastered all the arts, leading to hypnotism, mesmerism, slaughter, maddening, demon-arts, moving to heaven, hiding in the nether world, attracting planets, etc. I also acquired the art of making alive a corpse.
With these special powers, I reached one day the court of Indra, the king of gods, where I met many heavenly stage-players, and learnt from them the art of dramatics. This soon brought me a chance to dance at Indra’s court, and I pleased him by my performance. When he asked me for a boon, what else could I ask for but seek Indra as my husband ? And to this he kindly agreed. Henceforth I became a regular visitor to heaven and had a very nice time there.”
The lady further continued her account: “You don’t know, my dear fellow, how life at times takes a major turn without giving any notice. One day, my gardener, whom I liked, desired to go to heaven with me and see the stage performance there with his own eyes. I couldn’t refuse him. I turned him into a black bee who stuck at my petticoat, and with him thus I reached heaven. The performance started and I was on the stage, but I could not fully exert myself because of the load on my petticoat, and my dance was thus spoiled. This infuriated Indra, who cursed me not to go to heaven anymore but to live on the earth and suffer for my error. At that time, he cut my nose.
I was perplexed and couldn’t conceive for a moment that I could be in a situation like that. I fell at Indra’s feet begging pitifully to be forgiven, and humbly sought about the time of my deliverance. At this, Indra took pity on me and prescribed human flesh for my daily intake and said, “The day a human would ask you woman, who cut your nose that day you will attain deliverance.”
So I descended on this city, and with the help of these girls and horses, I deceived all the residents here and lived on their flesh. I didn’t even spare the strangers visiting the city. But no one so far did dare to ask me the question but you did today. No one had ever thought of it. You did a very right thing, and by dint of it, you are my deliverer. I am grateful to you. I now very gladly bestow on you the use of these girls, the horses, and the city.”
Dhista said, “Thank you, madam, for the kind offer, but tell me what shall I do with a deserted city ?”
The woman said, “Sir ! With my arts, if I know how to kill, I also know how to make dead men alive. The kingdom I offer you can’t be a desert.” The lady now applied her art, and the city was back to life again.
She handed over the administration to Dhista and disappeared, never to be seen again. Dhista took over the reign of the highest office and gave very high positions in the state to his companions.
One day, an Acharya came to that city. He gave his sermons, after which king Dhista expressed his inquisitiveness about the devils traps that were so often laid in the course of his life. The Acharya said, “Oh king ! In your previous birth, you were a Brahmin named Haridatt in the city of Pratisthanpur. The Brahmin had six servants. His daily hobby was to attract spirits and tease them, in which the six servants were his accomplices. Fortunately, a Muni came to that city, whose words influenced all the seven and gave them a chance to acquire pious Karmas. Now you see, you seven are brought together here, and since in your previous births you so much teased and troubled the spirits, they paid you back in your own coins in this life.”
These words restored the previous life’s memory to Dhista, who could find a corroboration of the Muni’s words. This gave a mighty turn to the course of his life, which, needless to add, he made a worthy living, and at death, attained a higher stage.

DHARMABUDDHI AND PAPBUDDHI

Two men named Dharmabuddhi (good thinking) and Papbuddhi (sinful thinking) lived in a city. They helped each other and so developed a close friendship.
One day both the friends thought, “We should earn more. We should undertake some business venture abroad. No one could make a fortune unless one travels abroad.” With this thought they left for a foreign country and earned a large fortune and then they decided to return home.
When they were close to their home town, Papbuddhi entertained an evil thought in his mind, “If, by some means, I deprive this fellow of his wealth, I would increase my wealth immensely.” He said to his friend, “Brother, with great difficulty we have earned this fortune, if we take it home, our relatives will demand to share with them and we shall have to part with our wealth. Therefore, let us hide a major portion of this wealth under this tree and carry home only what we presently need. We can always come here and dig out as we need it later on.”
Dharmabuddhi was simple-minded and innocent. He agreed to his friend’s proposal and both of them buried a major portion of their wealth underground near the roots of this tree.
After a while, Papbuddhi got worried about this wealth thinking perhaps, his friend might dig out and take away that wealth. A sinful man’s mind is always under various doubts. One night, he went to that hideout place, dug out all the wealth and filled up the pit as before.
After a few days Dharmabuddhi, feeling a need for the money went to the hideout along with Papbuddhi. On digging, nothing was found. Papbuddhi striking his head against a stone cried and said, “I am ruined. Now what shall I do ? I had all my possessions here. And you came here and stole all my wealth. Return to me my share or else I shall go to the court for justice.”
Dharmabuddhi said: “Oh my friend ! What are you saying ? I would never steal but I feel you may have stolen my wealth. Return my share or else I shall drag you to the court.” But Papbuddhi did not give up. On the contrary, he began to scold Dharmabuddhi. Thus quarreling, both of them approached the judge in the court. The judge, after, hearing both the parties said, “I shall have to rely on mystical evidence in this matter.”
Papbuddhi said: “This is not a proper form of justice. Documentary evidence is the most reliable and then follows oral evidence. In the absence of these two forms of evidences only, the mystical is to be resorted to. In our matter Sylvan God is my witness.” On hearing this plea the judge asked them to come the next morning.
Papbuddhi narrated the entire account to his father at home and he confessed that he did steal the wealth. He also added that with the help of his oral evidence he would succeed in swallowing the whole amount of wealth. His father inquired, “How is it possible ?”
Papbuddhi said, “In that region there is a Khijada tree with a cavity inside the trunk where you could hide. When I arrive there along with the judge, you will be asked by me, “Oh, Sylvan God, you stand as our witness. State, therefore, who could be the thief ?” Then you should say “Indeed, Dharmabuddhi is the thief.”
The father was not so wicked as the son. He said: “This is not proper. I feel this will not lead to any good.” But Papbuddhi compelled his father and added: “If you don’t act so, we shall be doomed. Don’t find fault with me when consequences follow.” A sinful man induces others to commit sin and leads them to calamity.
In the absence of any other alternative the father had to follow the son’s wishes and he lay himself concealed in the cavity of the said tree.
In the morning Dharmabuddhi and Papbuddhi arrived there along with the judge and other officers. The words from the tree resounded meaning that Dharmabuddhi was a thief. The officers were surprised and began to reflect as to what sort of punishment should be inflicted to the culprit.
Here, Dharmabuddhi was immensely embarrassed to find this strange development. He was deeply pained to find himself convicted as a thief considering he was innocent.
Suddenly an idea flashed in his mind. He piled grass round the trunk of the tree from where the voice came and set it on fire. The tree caught fire in no time. A man, partially burned, came out of a tree and he was screaming. The judge was surprised. He asked him, “Who are you ?” and ordered him to tell the truth.
The man said with faltering words: “My wicked son degraded me to this plight.” With these words he fell on the ground and died. The judge was convinced that this was the plan of Papbuddhi to prove Dharmabuddhi as a culprit.
Papbuddhi confessed that he compelled his father to stay in the cavity of the tree and made him utter the words: “Dharmabuddhi is a thief.” So they found Papbuddhi guilty of the theft. They searched his house and found the wealth and gave all of it to Dharmabuddhi. Papbuddhi was punished for the offenses of breach of trust, false representation, cheating and producing false witness.

MORAL LESSON: See what consequences follow when one tries to obtain wealth by sins, injustice or unrighteousness. Papbuddhi lost his wealth, and also got punished. His father died of burn to go along with his culprit son. Remember greediness is a curse.

DHANASAR

A merchant named Dhanasar used to live in Mathura. He was the owner of a vast fortune of 620 million gold coins, but he was extremely stingy and would not even give as much as a copper or a nickel. He was well known for his wealth as well as stinginess.
Money can be acquired by both honest and dishonest means. Money honestly earned does not become a source of trouble, but not so for the money earned through dishonest means. Besides, the latter does not last as much as money honestly earned.
One day, Dhanasar went to take stock of the treasure kept underground, but to his great shock, he found it all changed into charcoal with reptiles crawling through it. As he was brooding over this great loss, there came the news of the loss of one of his ships loaded with cargo on the high seas. Then followed a third shock about a highway robbery in which a convoy of his carrying precious merchandise had been looted. These made him feel so helpless and wretched that he saw darkness all around. Holding his forehead between his palms, he was bewailing for his ill-luck.
When the unfavorable Karma is prevailing, whatever a man may do will inevitable go against him. Dhanasar borrowed one million gold coins from a relative and went abroad to do business. But as ill-luck would have it, there was a shipwreck, and all his gold went into the sea. He could save himself with difficulty by catching a floating log and swimming ashore.
He spent a day on the seashore, and on the next day he moved to a nearby park. There he saw a Muni under the shade of a mango tree giving a sermon to assembled people. Dhanasar also sat down to listen. When the sermon was over, the merchant came near the Muni, paid him homage and obeisance, and said, “Oh Muni ! For what Karma did I acquire so much wealth, and for what Karma did I lose it all ?”
The Muni said, “Oh merchant ! All these things happen as per Karma, which is powerful. In Dhatakikhand, there was a city named Ambika. Two brothers lived there. The elder brother was always generous helping the needy, but the younger brother was miserly and did not like the charities made by his elder brother. When he saw him making charities, he would even lose his temper.
Such a situation continued for some time, and then the younger brother could tolerate it no longer and separated. But even after this, the elder brother’s wealth did not decrease but rather increased. So the younger brother lodged a complaint with the king and induced him to take custody of his brother’s property and wealth. The elder brother was deeply wounded at this, and he renounced the world. After his death, by virtue of his good deeds, he became a Dev in heaven.
The younger brother was now bitterly criticized by the people, and he could no longer remain in the society. So he joined the order of some heretics, and on completion of his life was born as an Asurkumar in hell. Having completed his life there, he is reborn as you. In your previous life, you disapproved of gifts and charities, and so you are still a miser. You deprived your brother of his rightful wealth, and so you are deprived now. And, well, your elder brother, having spent his life in Saudharmalok, was born as a merchant in Tamralipti. He earned much wealth and gave up all of it to join the order of monks. He is the person now speaking to you.”
Dhanasar was sorry and yet was amazed to hear this revealing account. He fell at the feet of his elder brother, the Muni, and begged to be forgiven. He took a vow not to indulge in sinful acts any longer and to donate three-fourths of his earning, retaining for personal use only a quarter. This had an instantaneous effect. By the mercy of a Dev, all his wealth and affluence that had been lost were restored.
Henceforth, Dhanasar became a devout Shravak who regularly spent his wealth on seven worthy items: Jain abodes, Jain idols, Jain literature, Jain Munis, Jain nuns, Jain Shravaks, and Jain Shravikas. This was a real turning point in his life, and the rest of it was worthily lived.

DHANNA AND SHALIBHADRA

Pratishthanpur was a city on the coast. There lived a trader named Dhanasar. By his wife Shilavati he had four sons named Dhandatt, Dhandev, Dhanchand and Dhanyakumar. The first three were selfish and unintelligent, while Dhanyakumar who was fondly called Dhanna was smart, bright, intelligent and attractive. Dhanasar loved him very much. The other three were therefore feeling jealous of the younger brother. Dhanna was lucky too; whatever venture he undertook, turned out to be successful.
Once a ship came to Pratishthanpur with lot of merchandise. The owner was in urgent need of selling the merchandise. He therefore sent a message to his regular customer. As it was however the time of that customer’s lunch and afternoon nap, he deferred it for the next day to go to the port.
Dhanna happened to go to the port and saw that the merchandise was available at low price. He therefore instantly contracted to buy it. When the regular trader went to the ship the next day, he was disappointed to learn that the merchandise was already sold. He needed it any way. He had therefore to buy the same from Dhanna who could make fancy profit from the transaction. Dhanna bought valuable jewelry from that profit and presented to his sisters-in-law, who were very pleased with the young brother-in-law.
On another occasion, he saw shining sand outside some premises. He could make out that it was Tejanturi and was very valuable for certain purposes. The original trader who had bought it, had died and his sons were not aware of the use of sand. They had therefore dumped it outside. Dhanna asked them whether they would like to sell it. They replied that it was of no use to them and he was at liberty to pick it up. Dhanna did accordingly and stored it in the warehouse. His brothers considered this act of Dhanna as foolish and were repeatedly telling Dhanasar to throw it away.
Once however a trader came to Pratishthanpur in search of Tejanturi. As he could not find it anywhere, he requested the king to help him in getting it. Dhanna was a friend of the prince. When Dhanna heard from him that some trader was looking for Tejanturi, he offered to supply it. The trader willingly paid fancy price for the sand and Dhanna became a wealthy man. He again bought fancy gifts for every one in the family. His father was pleased and very much appreciated the insight of Dhanna. But that made his brothers all the more jealous.
Getting sick of his brothers jealousy, Dhanna once decided to migrate to some other place to try his luck. He therefore left the place leaving everything for his brothers. He traveled far and reached Ujjayini which was being ruled by Chandpradyot. By his intelligence and good luck he acquired lot of money and soon became the right hand man of the king.
Meanwhile his brothers had lost everything that he had left. His parents therefore came to Ujjayini in search of work along with the three sons and their wives. Dhanna invited all of them to stay with him. His brothers however could not appreciate his magnanimity and again started envying him. In disgust, Dhanna once again left everything to them and proceeded towards Rajgruhi.
On the way while he was meditating on the bank of river Ganga, he gained Chintamani Ratna, which is a jewel that fulfills all desires. Equipped with that he came to Rajgruhi.
When Dhanna reached Rajgruhi, he was very tired. He decided to rest on the outskirts of the city in a park. It was owned by Kusumpal but was deserted, because all its trees and plants had gone dry. How nice this park would have been, if it was green ? Dhanna thought and by virtue of his Chintamani jewel the entire plant life was revived. People passing by were surprised to see the park green. Kusumpal also came there and noticed that the miracle had happened on account of Dhanna’s presence. He was pleased with that lucky young man. He had only one daughter named Kusum. He thought that Dhanna would be an appropriate match for her. He therefore took Dhanna to his place and got him married to his daughter.
Shrenik, the king of Rajgruhi, had an elephant named Sechanak. It was known all over the country for its boldness and extraordinary performance. Shrenik was very fond of it. Once that elephant went mad. His keepers were unable to bring it back to control. Abhayakumar was in captivity of Chandpradyot at that time. The King therefore felt very much helpless.
As Dhanna learnt about the problem, he volunteered and brought the elephant in control with the help of his Chintamani jewel. The king was very pleased with him. He was in need of a capable advisor in absence of Abhayakumar. He saw Dhanna as the right man for the purpose. He therefore appointed Dhanna as his advisor. He also gave him his daughter Shobha in marriage. In those times, polygamy was an accepted way of life.
In Rajgruhi there was a wealthy man named Gobhadra. By his wife Bhadra he had a son named Shalibhadra and a daughter named Subhadra. Attracted by his status and wealth, 32 people had given their daughters in marriage to Shalibhadra who was leading the most luxurious life. Meanwhile, Gobhadra was conducting his lucrative money lending business and Bhadra was efficiently managing the family affairs.
Once a rogue planned to gain money by playing a trick. He had only one eye. He complained that he had mortgaged the other eye to Gobhadra and now wanted it back. The king was exasperated to hear such bogus claim but the rogue produced his accomplices as witnesses to the mortgage. The king therefore entrusted that knotty problem to his new advisor.
Dhanna called that rogue and said that Gobhadra had many eyes mortgaged to him. It was therefore hard to identify the complainant’s eye. Dhanna therefore asked him to give his other eye so as to properly identify his mortgaged eye. The rogue had to withdraw his complaint and was appropriately sentenced for the attempted fraud.
Gobhadra got sick of the worldly life by this incident. He however wanted to get his daughter married before leaving the worldly life. He was very pleased with Dhanna for the way he had solved the problem. Gobhadra therefore gave Subhadra in marriage to Dhanna and became a Muni leaving a vast fortune for his son Shalibhadra.
Dhanna’s brothers again lost everything that Dhanna had left in Ujjayini. His parents therefore came to Rajgruhi along with the sons and their wives. Dhanna once again welcomed them to stay with him. The brothers however could not bear the high status and prosperity of Dhanna and started creating problems. Their wives advised them to live happily and peacefully with Dhanna, but they were picking up quarrels every now and then.
In disgust, Dhanna left Rajgruhi with the permission of the king and went to Kaushambi. There too, Dhanna could soon please the king and became his favorite. During that trip he happened to marry three more girls and then came back to Rajgruhi.
Meanwhile Gobhadra had died and was reborn in heaven. On account of his attachment for Shalibhadra, he used to supply all his needs, heavenly jewelry, divine apparel etc. Bhadra was taking every care to see that the luxuriously happy life of Shalibhadra does not get any way affected. Most of the time Shalibhadra used to stay along with his wives in palatial building where all his needs were taken care of by his mother.
Once some traders from Nepal came to Rajgruhi to sell diamond studded blankets. They went to the king’s palace, but Shrenik declined to buy any because they were too costly. They couldn’t t get any other buyer as well.
In despair, they happened to pass by Shalibhadra’s place talking about their failure in selling the blankets. Bhadra heard it and called them inside. She offered to buy 32 blankets for her daughters in law. They however had only 16 blankets. Bhadra bought all of them at the demanded price. She cut them into halves and gave one piece to each of her daughters-in-law. It was the custom in their household that they would use anything for only one day and the next day even the most costly materials were to be discarded.
When queen Chellana heard about the Nepali blankets, she asked king Shrenik to buy at least one for her. Shrenik accordingly called back those traders who told him that all their blankets were sold to Bhadra. Shrenik therefore sent a messenger to Bhadra with a request to spare one blanket for his queen.
The messenger came back with the reply that they were halved and every half of the blankets was in use by her daughters-in-law. The next day all the pieces of blankets were discarded and picked up by the servants. One of them used to work for Chellana too.
She went to the palace for work with a stitched blanket on her shoulder. Chellana could not believe her eyes when she saw that the blanket which the king couldn’t buy, was adoring the maid. When she inquired, she came to know of all the details of Bhadra’s household.
She told it to the king who was surprised by the affluence of Shalibhadra. He was inquisitive to see him and invited him to the court. Bhadra however sent the reply that her son never got down from the upper floor of her palace and in turn invited the king to her place.
Shrenik accepted her invitation. As he came, she took him to the fifth floor, from where she called Shalibhadra to come down from the seventh floor to see the king. Shalibhadra had never heard anything about king. He thought that king was some thing that his mother wanted to buy. He therefore replied that she could decide about the king herself.
Then Bhadra went up and explained that king was the lord of the Magadha and was accordingly his lord too. Shalibhadra therefore came down to pay his respect to the king as advised by his mother. He had always thought that he was the lord of everything that concerned him. The idea of having a lord over him therefore hurt him.
Once along with a friend, he happened to go to Acharya Dharmaghosh. After listening his sermon, Shalibhadra asked the Acharya how he could gain a status where he would not have any overlord. Acharya replied that as long as he desired something, he had to depend upon others and dependency creates an overlord. The only way to become really independent was to give up everything and to lead renounced life like his father.
Shalibhadra therefore was inclined to renounce immediately but his mother told him that renunciation meant leading a very tough life. As he was brought up in heavenly luxury, it would be very hard for him to give up everything all of a sudden. It would be better for him to give up his attachment for everything gradually. Shalibhadra had maximum attachment for his wives. He therefore decided to leave them one after another and planned to renounce on the 33rd day.
The news of his intention soon reached his sister Subhadra. After that her husband Dhanna once saw tears in her eyes. When asked about the cause of her grief, she told him about the intention of Shalibhadra to renounce. Dhanna told her that if her brother was really serious about renouncing, he should better leave all of them immediately. Subhadra was unable to say anything, but another wife replied that it was easy to say so and asked whether he could leave even one of his six wives.
Dhanna had already developed a high sense of detachment and was really thinking to renounce. He saw this opportunity. He instantly decided to leave all of them. Then approaching Shalibhadra he asked him to join him in renouncement.
Shalibhadra was very much encouraged by what Dhanna had done. He also left everything at once and went to Lord Mahavir along with Dhanna. They adopted monkshood. Both of them very soon got well versed in all the Agams (Scriptures). They were keen to follow the path of salvation and were observing severe austerities.
Once they came back to Rajgruhi along with the Lord. They were due for the termination of one month’s fast. They therefore went to Bhadra’s place for alms. When the Munis came to her house, Bhadra was getting ready to go to the camp in order to see them. As the Munis had become very slim on account of severe austerities, none of her servants could recognize them. Thus they did not get any alms. On their way back, they however got yogurt from a milkmaid who happened to be Shalibhadra’s mother in the previous life; and thus they terminated their fast.
After that with the permission of the Lord, they went up the nearby Vaibhargiri hill and resorted to Anashan (fast unto death). At the end of Anashan, they attained Sarwartha Siddhi heaven.