QUEEN CHELNA AND
This is a story from the time of Bhagwan
Mahavir. At that time, king Chetak was the ruler of Vaishali and he had a
beautiful daughter named Chelna. Once an artist called Bharat painted a
picture of Chelna and showed it to king Shrenik (Bimbisar) of Magadh.
Charmed by Chelna's beauty, Shrenik fell in love with her. One day Chelna
came to the city of Magadh where she saw king Shrenik, and she also fell in
love with him. They soon got married.
Queen Chelna was a devoted follower of
Jainism, while Shrenik was influenced by the Buddhism. The king was very
generous with a big heart but somehow was not happy with his queen's
devotion to the Jain monks. He wanted to prove to Chelna that Jain monks
were pretenders. He strongly believed that no man could follow the practice
of self-restraint and non-violence to that extent, and that the equanimity
shown by Jain monks was just superficial. Chelna was greatly disturbed by
One day king Shrenik went on a hunting
trip where he saw a Jain monk, Yamadhar, engaged in deep meditation. Shrenik
let his hunter dogs go after Yamadhar but the monk remained silent. On
seeing the calmness and composure of the monk the dogs became quiet. king
Shrenik got angry and thought that the monk had played some trick on them.
So he started shooting arrows at the monk but they kept on missing him.
Becoming more upset, he finally put a dead snake around Yamadhar's neck and
came back to his palace.
The king narrated the whole incident to
Chelna. The queen felt very sorry and took the king back to Yamadhar's
meditation spot. Because of the dead snake, ants, and other insects were
crawling all over the monk's body but the monk did not even stir. The couple
witnessed the limits of human endurance. The queen gently removed the ants
and snake from the monk's body and cleaned his wounds. She applied
sandalwood paste. After sometime, Yamadhar opened his eyes and blessed both
The monk did not distinguish between the
king who had caused him pain, and the queen who had alleviated his pain.
King Shrenik was very impressed, and convinced that Jain monks were truly
beyond attachment and aversion. Thus, king Shrenik along with queen Chelna
became a devoted member of the order of Bhagawan Mahavir.