Udayan Raja

Once upon a time King Udayana observing Pausadha kind of vow and keeping vigil in the Pausadha mansion i.e. the place for penance, was pondering in this way.

Those towns, groups of villages, districts, etc. are blessed that are purified by Lord Vardhamana Mahavira, the world-perceptor.

Those kings etc. are also blessed who after hearing Lord Mahavira’s preaching, follow the path (of twelve rites) of Jaina-householders and also take initiation (in renunciation.)

So when Lord Mahavira comes and purifies the city Vitabhaya by his lotus feet, I shall take initiation and would be a fortunate one.

Lord Mahavira a knew the wish of king Udayana set off from Campanagari and one day arrived in the park of the city Vitabhaya.

Then on hearing that Lord Mahavira has come up (to the park of the city Vitabhaya), king Udayana approached the Lord with great pleasure, he bowed him respectfully, heard the discourse from him and prayed to Lord Mahavira.

After passing on the Kingdom to my son, till I come to you for taking initiation, please bless this park (i.e. please stay here.)

“Do not delay unduly” said Lord (Mahavira) to the king Udayana. Then king Udayana bowed to Lord Mahavira, went home and thought :

If at the moment I pass on the kingdom (reign) to my son Abhici, he will get extreme attachment to the empirical affairs and go on wandering for a long period in this world of Existence.

The Kingdom like a poisonous fruit looks attractive on the first sight but leads to misery at the end. So I will not pass it on to my son.

Thinking in this way king Udayana crowned – his sister’s son Kesi and took initiation from Lord
Mahavira. King Kesi celebrated the initiation.

That royal seg Udayana, destroying deeds through austere penance like observing fast a month-long etc. and emaciating his body, wandered.

Once the sickness developed in his body due to the dry and tasteless food, so the physicians prescribed curds as the medicine.

Then Udayana the best of ascetics began to wander in the stations of cowherds, believing that pure curds will be easily available there only.

Some day Udayana, the best of ascetics, went to the city Vitabhaya. At that time ministers revenging needlessly advised the king in this way.

Your Highness ! your maternal uncle Udayana could not put up with the adversities and so with a purpose of getting the kingdom back, has come here. Please do not trust him.

King Keshi told, “This Udayana is the owner of the state. and if the Lord of wealth, (Kubera) takes this money, what would be the reason in a merchant’s son being angry ?

The wise ministers advised, “Your Highness ! it is not befitting for rulers, because Ksatriya – rulers – seize away the empire forcefully even from the father.

Those wicked ministers advised the king Kesi, “Your Highness ! give him poison through any
person. Convinced by them the foolish king accepted their advice.

Thereafter when the king Kesi caused some cowherdess to give poison-mixed curds to ascetic Udayana, some goddess removed the poison from that.

“You have received poison-mixed curds, so please do not take it.” When the goddess told thus to ascetic Udayana, he gave up that, too.

On not getting curds, the disease increased. At that time ascetic Udayana took the curds again. This time also the goddess, as before, removed the poison from it and spoke.

Even thrice the goddess removed poison away and being possessed and impressed by his devotion she began to roam after him.

Once while that goddess was inattentive, ascetic Udayana ate curds mixed with poison, because destiny any way takes place.

Thereafter on having found his all limbs affected and having known of poison consumption, the ascetic being balanced in the Ocean of bliss, began fasting.

Fasting for thirty days and achieving absolute knowledge, the royal Sage Udayana being merged in the trance attained salvation.