The Daughter-in-law -
Long long ago, there lived
a merchant who was very religious. He was Jain. Every morning when he woke
up, he would recite the Navkar Mantra, peacefully perform Samayik, and
then bow down to the Sadhus.
This merchant had a
daughter whose name was Soma. She also performed religious activities like
her father. She had taken a vow from a Sadhu that when she woke up, she
would recite the Navkar Mantra and perform Samayik.
When she turned eighteen
she got married. Her in-laws were not very nice. They didn't like the idea
of religion, and they hated Jainism. Her mother-in-law didn't practice any
religious activities at all and didn't like it when Soma performed her
Soma didn't know what to
do. Should she forsake her religion? No, she would continue to observe her
religion. Every morning she would wake up early and recite the Namokar
Mantra and perform Samayik. Every time her mother-in-law tried to prevent
her from undertaking her religious activities. She used to curse Soma, but
Soma did not pay attention to her. Soma was very polite. She repeatedly
requested her mother-in-law to understand. Soma did whatever her
mother-in-law told her to do, but she wanted to spend at least forty-eight
minutes for her prayers.
Soma's mother-in-law did
not pay any attention to her request. She kept on disturbing Soma.
Sometimes she would scream at Soma and physically abuse her. Soma stayed
calm and tolerated all of these problems. Soma never said a single unkind
word to her mother-in-law. She had learned about Ahimsa (Nonviolence) from
her parents and her religious teachers. She understood the importance of
One day Soma's
mother-in-law decided to resort to an extreme measure. She got a poisonous
snake from a snake charmer and put it in a pot. In the evening when it
started to get dark, she called Soma and asked her to bring the flower
garland from the pot for her husband.
Her mother-in-law wanted to
get rid of Soma, because she did not like Soma's religious activities.
Soma went to get the flower
garden. She had deep faith in her religion. Before getting the garland,
she uttered the name of Lord Mahavir and recited the Namokar Mantra.
After that she put her hand
in the pot to take out the garland. When Soma pulled out her hand, she
really had a flower garland in her hand. Her mother-in-law was shocked.
Soma gave the garland to her husband but he hurriedly put it aside. As
soon as he put the garland down garland turned into the snake. The
mother-in-law now realized that Soma was really a religious girl and a
true devotee to Jainism. She knew that the snake had become a garland due
to Soma's faith.
True faith can help in
changing the circumstances of a situation. Soma's mother-in-law felt very
fortunate to have such a religious daughter-in-law. From that day on the
mother-in-law started to love Soma. Since then everybody in the family
including of the mother-in-law became follower of Jainism.
Religious faith is very
important. We should be able to face the difficulties of life with
1) Who was Soma?
2) What religion did Soma follow?
3) What kind of vow did Soma take from the
4) How did her in-laws view the religion?
5) How did Soma's mother-in-law treat her?
6) How did Soma treat her mother-in-law?
7) Where did Soma get her strength during
8) What did Soma's mother-in-law plan?
9) What happened to Soma?
10) How did the family feel about Soma
after the garland incident?
11) What did you learn from this story?