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THE NARRATIVE OF ANANTMATI IN           NIHKANKSHITA ANGA

 

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.

 

Once, in 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 as an

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Apsara 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.

So he went back to his palace and left his wife there.

Soon 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 vidhya"

 

Poor helpless 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

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of 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.

Vanjara again, 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 jungle.

 

Anantmati was 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 Brahmcharya Vrata.

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.

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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 deva.

 

Priyadatta was 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.  

When Priyadatta 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

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do so; which her father gladly granted.

Then Anantmati 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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