Bhudhardasji occupies an important place
amongst the old Jain poets of spiritualism and detachment. His verses and
lyrics are sung with great respect in the religious community.
He lived in Agra and was born in
Khandelwal Jain community, as is clear from the last verses of his Jain
He was a great scholar of Hindi and
Sanskrit. Three of his writings are available at present, Jain Shatak,
Parshwapuran and Pad-Sangraha. Jain Shatak includes one hundred verses
which are very easy and conducive to detachment.
Parshwapuran can be included in the list
of great epics of Hindi literature. It describes the life of the
twenty-third Tirthankar Bhagwan Parshwanath. It is of great poetic value
and has very interesting exposition of many principles of Jainism.
His spiritual lyrics which are dear to
the public, easy to follow and full of poetic qualities regale the minds
of the people even today.
The present lesson is based on his
- Ramesh, what do you know of Parshwanath ?
- Sir, it is the name of a railway station.
- Stand up on your seat. You don't know how to reply. You should stand
up first and then answer. Learn good manners. I asked you about Bhagwan
Parshwanath, you point out to the name of a railway station.
- Sir, I went to Calcutta. In the way I came across a railway station
named Parshwanath. If I have made some mistake, I want to be excused.
- It is also the name of a station, but do you know why that station
is named Parshwanath ? There is a hill named Sammedshikhar nearby, from
where the twenty-third Jain Tirthankar Parshwanath obtained complete
liberation. That is the reason why that station is named Parshwanath and
the hill is also called Parshwanath Hill.
This is a great religious place of the
Jains. Lacs of people come here on pilgrimage. This place is in the
district of Hazaribagh in Bihar, near Isri. Besides Parshwanath, so many
other Tirthankaras also attained complete liberation from this place.
- Where was Parshwanath born ?
- In Kashi, which is called Varanasi these days. About three thousand
years back prince Parshwa was born at the palace of king Ashwasen of the
Kashyapa clan of the Ekshwaku Kshatrjya family from the womb of his
learned queen Wamadevi, on the eleventh day of the first fortnight of
Paush. His auspicious birth was celebrated not only by his parents and
subjects, but also by the heavenly beings and their lords, the Indras,
with great dignity and pomp.
He was a genius, full of brilliance and
having clairvoyance (Awadhi Jnan). In his boyhood he was possessed of many
auspicious physical signs and vitality of a very high order and a very
- Since he was a prince, he must have been equipped with all worldly
- Undoubtedly so. Besides being a prince he had great merits to his
credit and heavenly beings attended and served him. He did not feel the
absence of any worldly possessions, but meritorius possessions and kingly
pomp had no place in his heart. He did not have any desire for the
pleasures of the senses. He remained unaffected with the worldly
pleasures, like a lotus in water. When he attained youth, the parents
tried to persuade him to marry, but they could not do so. He remained a
celibate since boyhood.
- Why so ?
- He was conversant with the intricacies of the soul. He was
indifferent towards the activities of this earthly existence. One day, an
event touched his soul to the quick and he accepted the order of Digamber
monkhood and engaged himself in the conquest of the self.
- What was that event ?
- One day, he was on a morning walk with his comrades. In the way he
saw his maternal grandfather, a monk engaged in penance, surrounded by
fires. The wood on fire had a pair of snakes burning inside. Parshwanath
knew of their presence in the log of wood by his divine consciousness and
requested the monk to extinguish the fire. Nobody believed in what he
said, till everybody saw the half burnt pair of snakes in the log of wood.
- Were they completely burnt ? What afterwards ?
-Prince Parshwak addressed the snake, who breathed their last with
auspicious feelings. They were born as Dharnendra and Padmawati in the
- It was good they attained a higher life phase.
- There was nothing good in having attained the life span of heavenly
beings. The real good was that they were attracted towards the path of
This heart-melting event turned
Parshwakumar into a detached person and he became a Digamber monk on the
eleventh day of the first fortnight of Paush.
- Did he engage himself in hard penances ?
-Yes, he observed unbroken silence and absorbed himself in deep
meditation. Once he was in the state of contemplation in the Ahichhetra
wood. Samvar Deo, his enemy of some previous life, was going
through the sky. Old passionate anger overpowered him and he began to
torture monk Parshwanath in many ways. Showers, hail and tempest and
stones fell on him, but he did not move from his meditation. The same day,
the fourteenth day of the first fortnight of Chaitra, he attained
omniscience. Samvar Deo became repentant and fell on his feet.
- We have been told that Dharnendra and Padmawati had offered
protection to Parshwanath.
- How can ordinary heavenly beings protect the Lord of the three
worlds ? He was completely protected with his pursuit of the self. The
fact is that Dharnendra and Padmawati attempted to offer protection to the
Lord, who did not need any such protection, out of feelings of compassion.
After that he moved from one place to
another with the religious congregation called the Samavsharan, throughout
the country and preached the principles of detachment to all for seventy
years. He always emphasized self-attainment in his talks. He told his
audience that this soul is full of eternal consciousness and bliss.
Without knowing and having faith in it and without merging oneself with
it, nobody can attain real happiness. Lacs of people got peace of the soul
from his teachings. Poet Bhudhardas has given expression to this effect :-
"Many accepted the order of Digamber
monkhood, many accepted the rules of conduct of the householders and many
animals accepted lower abstinence rules. Women accepted the status of
she-monks and left for the woods with their husbands. Right faith dawned
upon many human, heavenly and animal beings. This way all the beings in
the religious congregation of the Lord listened to the divine preachings
of the Lord and got happiness."
Thus, propounding the gospel of
non-violence, Parshwanath obtained complete liberation on the seventh day
of the second fortnight of Shrawan, from Swarnbhadrakut top of the
Sammedshikhar hill, at the age of a hundred years.
Dr. H.C. Bharill