Shri Amar Muni
MALLINATH BHAGAVAN -
In the Aparvideh area there was a city named Vitshoka.
It was ruled by a powerful king Mahabal. He was very intimate with six
other kings who were his childhood friends. Influenced by discourses of
ascetics, king Mahabal decided to follow the spiritual path. he sought
opinion of his six childhood friends with the remark-I want to became an
ascetic, do you also?
All the six friends replied, "We have been together
during both good and bad times. When we have been together during both
good and bad times. When we have enjoyed the mundane life in company, it
would be shameful if we part company on the spiritual path. We shall
become ascetics together and we shall do all spiritual practices
The seven kings took Diksha from Varadharma Muni and
started the spiritual practices earnestly. Mahabal was bitten by the bug
of ego. he thought, "I have always been ahead of my friends. Now, if I do
the same practices I will remain at the same level. As such I should do a
little more and be ahead as before." With this feeling Mahabal started
secretly doing more practices than the others. All the seven friends would
formally take vow of some specific penance together but when on
conclusion, other friends broke their fast, Mahabal would continue his
fast on some pretext. The desire to be above the ordinary inspired this
competition. As a result of this deception Mahabal feel from the lofty
spiritual level he had attained due to his intense practices and acquired
the Karma that would result in being born as a woman (Stri-ved). However,
as he still maintained the purity and intensity in his practices he later
also earned the Tirthankar-nam-and-gotra-karma. All the seven ascetics
breathed their last after sixty days fast and mediation. They reincarnated
as gods in the Anuttar dimension.
Birth of Malli Kumari
The being that was Mahabal, leaving the abode of gods,
descended into the womb of queen Prabhavati, wife of king Kumbh of Mithila
town. During the third month of pregnancy the queen had a desire to sleep
on a bed made up of fragrant flowers of five colors and to smell a bouquet
of flowers (Malladam) all the time. It is said that if a pious soul
resides in the womb all the desires are fulfilled. On the eleventh day of
the bright half of he month of Margshirsh the Queen gave birth to a pious
and beautiful girl. It was unprecedented that a Tirthankar be born as a
girl; everyone was surprised. But even the almighty is helpless when the
Karmas precipitate into action.
The mother�s craving for flower bouquet inspired the
king to name the girl as Malli Kumari. She was very fond of having a
bouquet of flowers. Florists from far and near used to bring attractive
and beautiful bouquets to present her and get desired gifts in return.
Strange yarns about her infatuation for flowers and bouquets spread all
Once a famous and rich merchant, Arhannak, of Champa
town, went on a sea voyage with some other people. After earning heaps of
wealth when he was returning, a god appeared. In order to test Arhannak�s
devotion for his religion, the god created a variety of afflictions. Even
in the face of death Arhannak did not yield. His devotion for the path
shown by Jina was absolutely unwavering. The god was pleased with this
unrelenting determination of Arhannak. He gave the merchant a pair of
divine earrings as gift.
On the way back the ship stopped at Mithila. All the
merchants went to King Kumbh�s assembly with gifts. Arhannak gifted the
divine earnings for Malli Kumari. The king and his ministers became
astonished at the divine beauty of these earrings. Once a joint in these
earrings broke. king Kumbh called expert goldsmiths to weld this joint but
none of the artisans had skill enough to do its work. In annoyance the
king exiled many of these artisans. Wherever these artisans went they
talked of the divine beauty of Malli Kumari.
Once Mallidinna, the younger brother of Malli Kumari,
constructed an entertainment room in the palace premises. One of the
working artists was highly talented. This artist had a glimpse of a toe of
Malli Kumari who was standing behind a lattice. This enable the highly
gifted artist to paint a fresco of the princess on a wall of the room. he
was under the impression that the prince will be pleased to look at he
exact replica of his sister and richly reward him.
When the room was complete, the prince came with his
wives to look at and approve the beautiful paintings, some of which were
erotic as well. While he was enjoying these works of art, he came across
the painting of Malli Kumari. He could not believe what he saw. Ashamed of
himself he said, "My elder sister is here and I am shamelessly enjoying
these sensual paintings along with my wives." His governess explained,
"Prince, You are mistaken. this is not your sister but her life size
portrait." The prince carefully examined the painting and was astonished
at the realistic work of art and the skill o the artist. However the
feeling if anger overtook the sense if appreciation. He was annoyed at the
mindless effrontery of the artist who had pained such a live portrait of
his respected elder sister in the entertainment chamber.
The angry prince called the painter and asked him when
and how he saw the princess. The artist humbly submitted, "Sire! I just
saw one toe of the princess from behind a lattice. But I am endowed with
this miraculous skill that when I start painting even a part of a thing I
automatically complete the thing perfectly."
This explanation did not pacify the prince. He exiled
the artist after amputating his right thumb. The vexed artist made another
painting of the princess and sold it at a very high price to king
Adinshatru of Hastinapur. Adinshatru was attracted towards Malli Kumari,
as many others who had heard about her divine beauty.
one day a female mendicant named Choksha came to
Mithila. In order to influence the royal family she came to Malli Kumari.
choksha was a scholar of Vedas and other scriptures and her interpretation
was that keeping the body clean, indulging in charity and the annointment
of Tirth (sacred place)were the only religious activities that lead to
liberation. She started preaching her ideas to Malli Kumari, who heard all
this with patience. When Choksha had nothing more to say, Malli Kumari
said in her magnetic voice, "With due respect to your attire, I am
surprised at your ignorance, Choksha. Know that every charity is not done
with religious or pious intent. Even cleaning the body and annointment of
a Tirth are not sacred if they are not done with equanimous and pious
feelings or if they cause any destruction of any living organism. A blood
stained cloth will never be cleaned by washing it with blood. The basis of
religion is a discerning attitude. To an irrational person, even penance
causes discomfort and irritation." This irrefutable logic of Malli Kumari
silenced Choksha, but she became angry and decided to take revenge.
Choksha decided that, in order to shatter the pride of
this princess it would be best if she could be manipulated into marrying
some king who already had many wives. Cooking up her plan, she approached
the king of Kampilyapur in Panchal state. She gave a titillating
description of the divine beauty of Malli Kumari and provokingly said to
the king, "Your life and palace both are lack luster as long as you do not
marry and bring this divine beauty to your palace." King Jitshatru was
highly impressed. He decided to seek the hand of Malli Kumari in marriage.
Change of Heart of
the Six Kings
The six friends of Malli Kumari�s earlier birth were
born in six different royal families and inherited the kingdoms.
1. King Pratibuddha of Saketpur,
2. King Chandrachhay of Champa,
3. King Rupi of Shravasti,
4. King Shankh of Varanasi,
5. King Adinshatru of Hastinapur, and
6. King Jitshatru of Panchal (Kampilyapur).
The fame of the beauty of Malli Kumari inspired all
these six kings to send proposing kings and returned the emissaries. These
kings felt insulted and marched on Mithila with their armies and lay a
When king Kumbh got the challenge he became worried.
Malli Kumari asked about the cause of her father�s anxiety. Kumbh replied,
"Daughter! All these kings want to marry you. My refusal has irked them
and they have surrounded Mithila. I am anxious about what I should do
Malli Kumari was already aware of all these activities
through her Avadhi Jnan (the capacity to know all about the physical
world). She made a plan to enlighten these friends of her last birth. In
the palace garden she got a chamber made and in its center installed a
life size statue that was her exact replica. It�s inside was hollow and
there was an opening hidden under the neck. Six adjacent chambers were
also erected around this central circular chamber. These six chambers had
windows opening in the main chamber. These windows were so designed that a
n onlooker could only see the statue and nothing else. Making all these
arrangements, Malli Kumari started putting one handful of the food she ate
every day inside the hollow statue.
When the stink of decomposed food, coming out of the
statue on opening the lid became intolerable, Malli Kumari went to her
father. She said to her father, "Stop worrying, father, and inform the
kings individually that I want to meet them to discus about marriage." The
king did likewise. Believing that only he had been invited, everyone of
the kings accepted the invitation. At the predetermined time they all came
one by one and were led to the six chambers allotted for them separately.
From the windows in their chambers each one of them gazed at the divinely
beautiful statue considering it to be Mali Kumari. Everyone was dreaming
of the marriage and the happy moments thereafter. All of a sudden Malli
Kumari removed the concealed cover from the hole in the neck of he statue.
The obnoxious smell of decomposed food filled the chambers. The hellish
smell hit the peeping kings and they were jolted out of their state of day
dreaming. Their faces distorted with revulsion.
Panic stricken, the kings shouted, "What is all this?
Why have I been locked in this chamber? It is impossible breath here.
Please open the doors." It was then that Malli Kumari appeared and said,
"O slaves of passions! You are totally infatuated with female beauty. A
moment ago you were admiring this earthly beauty and were nurturing a
desire to possess and enjoy it. Now a hatred for the same is evident on
your distorted faces. What sort of love for beauty is this?"
The kings shouted, "Why are you trying to make fools of
us? It is impossible to tolerate this stink?"
Malli Kumari asked the attendants to open the gates of
the chambers. All the six kings rushed out and were surprised to see each
other. Finding the right opportunity Malli Kumari said to them, "The stink
caused by just a few handfuls of food is intolerable. Mind you, this body
is nothing but a statue made of bones and flesh and maintained by the same
food. Why such infatuation for such decomposed thing? You are all friends
of my last birth. Rise above this infatuation and commence once again the
terminted pursuit of purification of the self."
All the six kings acquired Jati-smaran Jnan, They
sought pardon from king Kumbh as well as Malli Kumari. Resolving to follow
the path of renunciation they left for their respective kingdoms.
Malli Kumari also announced her decision to become an
ascetic. After the great charity she became an ascetic along with three
hundred males and equal number of females. Immediately after her Diksha,
she acquired Vipulmati Manahparyav Jnan (the ultimate Pra normal capacity
and started deep meditation. The same afternoon she attained omniscience.
In her first discourse she discussed on the subject of philosophy of
equanimity. The six kings took Diksha during this first discourse. After
enhancing the spread of religion for a long period she attained Nirvana on
the fourth day of the bright half of the month of Chaitra at Sammetshikhar.