05 July 2009

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.

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