NARRATIVE OF ANANTMATI
Once upon a time,
Vasudeva was the king of Champanagri in Angadesh. His queen was
Lakshmimati. A seth, named Priyadatta along with his wife Angawati and
daughter Anantmati also lived there. They were highly religious minded.
Ashtanhika Parva, Priyadatta and his wife, in the presence of Acharya
Dharamkirti, took .a vow of celibacy for eight days. (Ashtanhika Parva
is an important Parva of the Jains, which is observed for eight days and
comes thrice in a year). While taking this vow, Seth out of fun,
requested Acharyaji to administer this vow of Brahmcharya to his
daughter Anantmati also and Acharyaji did so. But, while doing so, she
thought it was for the whole of her life and was very happy. At that
time her age was just nine, but she was very intelligent.
In due course of
time, Anantmati entered her youth and grew up to marriageable age. So,
her father told her to marry. But she said, "Father, as I have been
administered the vow of chastity, I am a Brahmcharini and marriage is
not possible in any case". At this Seth told her that it was done
only for fun. But, Anantmati was adamant and told her father that fun
had no meaning in such 'Vratas' and she would keep the vow. The father
again emphasised, that the vow was administered for eight days only i.e.
for Ashtanhika duration. But she replied that Acharyashri did not
mention any duration, so it was for the whole of her life. She,
therefore, exercised her will to observe the 'vrata' and not to marry
through out her life. She then learnt various arts and developed mastery
in almost every field of learning. She grew up and looked as beautiful
and attracted all.
One day, when she
was enjoying a swing with her friends in her garden, king of Vidhyadhara
named Kundalmandita happened to pass that way in his own 'Viman'
(celestial plane). He saw the beautiful Anantmati and fell in love with
her. He decided to get Anantmati by hook or by crook. But he was already
married to a Vidhyadhar Kumari, who was accompanying him at that time.
he went back to his palace and left his wife there.
after, he came back to the garden where Anantmati was and kidnapped her.
She shouted, wept and cried but he did not pay any heed. He was blind
with lust. He set aside all laws and the morals. The lust is such an
evil in this world that it always corrupts the man, whether young or
old; married or unmarried. At that time one becomes unmindful of any
fair or foul means. Therefore he forcibly carried her away with him.
His wife, who was
left behind at the palace, became suspicious and went back towards the
garden where Anantmati was. Kundalmandita, while Carrying Anantmati, saw
his wife coming towards him and became afraid of her. He, therefore,
left Anantmati in a forest and offered her a 'Vidhya' known as "Parnlaghu
Anantmati wept and cried. After a while, a Bhila named Bhim came there
and carried her to his Parnakuti i.e. hut. On account of her beauty, the
Bhila also fell in love with her. He tried to allure Anantmati by saying
that he would make her his supreme queen. But, she refused and
emphatically told him not to touch her. But at night Bhima, who was full
lust for her, tried to make love to her against her wishes. As 'soon as he went
towards her, Vanadevta appeared and saved Anantmati - because of her
Brahamcharya Vrata. At this the Bhila was not only surprised but became afraid
of her. He thought that there was something great in Anantmati. So he handed her
over to Vanjara.
tried to marry her, allured her by offering her many things. But she remained
firm on her 'Vrata' and did not yield to the allurements of Vanjara. He
therefore passed Anantmati to a prostitute of Ayodhya, Kamsena by name. Kamsena
wanted her to become a prostitute. She, therefore, caused her many troubles but
Anantmati did not yield to her wishes too. Thus failing in her attempts, Kamsena
handed her over to king Simharaja who also became lustful and tried to make love
with her against her wishes. No sooner, the king tried to touch her; Nagar
Devata came there and protected her from the king. As Van devi caused many
troubles to the king, for his. bad behaviour, he left Anantmati again in a
again in distress and sorrow, and her agony subsided to some extent because she
was protected by Vanadevi and Nagar devata. This protection was possible because
of her firm belief in seven 'tatvas' and her strict observance of her
One day, she was
deeply thinking about her past karmas. At that time Kamalshri Aryikaji passed
that way. Aryikaji, saw Anantmati and met her. Aryikaji sympathised in her
distress and recognised her as a Shravika. She, therefore, took Anantmati with
her and gave her shelter.
Infact, Karmas are
very strong to cause distress and agonies to the soul (jiva). None but
our 'Karmas' collected in past or present Jives are the real causes of
all the trouble, sorrows, happiness etc. Except karmik matters no one
else can be blamed for that. Anantmati started living with Aryika
Kamakshri in Ayodhya. One day Priyadatta, father of Anantmati came to
Ayodhya to meet Jindatta's maternal uncle of Anantmati. Priyadatta was
always full of sorrow due to the loss and separation from Ananmati. At
night, he told Jindatta all about the kidnapping of Anantniati. Jindatta
on hearing this tragic story also became very sad. In the morning
Priyadatta, as per his routine went to Jin Mandir to worship Jinendra
being treated as a very important guest by Jindatta. Jindatta's wife,
therefore, not only prepared delicious food, but also wished to decorate
her house as a special welcome gesture to the guest. So, she invited
Kamakshri's pupil Shravika Anantrriati to draw a Rangoli. As such,
Anantmati came and drew the Rangoli in isolation before Priyadatta came
back from the temple.
returned from the temple, he saw the Rangoli. He was reminded of his
daughter Anantmati and felt very sad. He expressed his desire to meet
the lady, who had drawn the Rangoli. Soon, the Shravika was sent for.
When she came and Priyadatta saw Anantmati, he was extremely happy. This
occasion, when the father saw her long lost daughter face to face was
celebrated with great pomp and joy. Afterwards, Anantmati softly told
her father of her desire to become Aryika and to observe penance to free
herself of all the 'Karmik matter', Stri paryaya (female check),
mundane existence etc. She asked for her father's permission to
so; which her father gladly granted.
took Jain Deeksha from Aryika Kamakshri. She observed penance and at the
end took 'Sallekhna'. Her death was very graceful. She became Indra in
the 16th heaven after life. All this was due to her strict observance of
Brahmcharya Vrata and adherence to Nihkankshita Anga of Samyagdarshan.
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