SURASEN AND MAHASEN
In the city of Ksitipratisthita, there lived a king named Virasen. They had two sons, Surasen and Mahasen. Both brothers grew up with deep congenial ties.
Suddenly, Mahasen developed a boil on his tongue. It increased in size, became more painful and would not let him rest. They tried all the means to cure him but failed. Even the people could not see his suffering. All the attempts to cure him failed and at last the doctors declared it as an incurable problem. After a while, disease advanced so much that he had a horrible bad breath. No one could come close to him because they could not tolerate the odor. But his younger brother, Surasen would not let him alone. He always sat by his bed. One day, he decided not to eat any food till his brother was well. Later, that evening it struck him to recite the holy Namokar Mantra.
Surasen brought a cup of water to his brother’s bedside. He chanted the holy mantra, and sprinkled the water on his brother’s tongue. To his and his brother’s surprise there was some immediate relief. After continuing this for several days, his brother’s tongue got better. The odor and the boil disappeared. Everyone felt happy and developed the deep faith in Namokar Mantra.
After a while, Acharya Bhadrabahu came to that city. He had Avadhi knowledge. The two brothers came to pay him the homage. After the sermon was over, Surasen approached him and asked if he could explain them why his brother had to suffer.
The Acharya told them how his past life caused this to happen.
“In the Bharatkshetra, there is a city called Manipur. Madan, a warrior lived there. He was a strong believer of the Jina path. Madan had two sons, named Bhir and Vir. One day on the way to a park, those two boys saw a monk lying in the street. They inquired about it, and found out that the monk was in the meditation when he was bitten by a poisonous snake. The snake had, however, escaped into his hole. Hearing this Vir boiled up. He said, “There were so many people here and why didn’t anybody kill the snake?”
Bhir said, “Brother, the snake could escape because of his good karmas. But why are you wishing such a sinful act?”
Vir said, “Bhir, can’t you understand that the snake has committed the grave sin by biting a holy righteous monk? Therefore killing a snake would not be a sinful act.”
Bhir replied, “No, two wrong acts do not make one right. Wrong is wrong. You should not get emotional to justify your thinking. You should repent for what you have wished.”
Vir was still upset and said, “No.”
The monk continued to tell Surasen, “Bhir is reborn as you and Vir as your brother. Since he wished to hurt the snake and did not repent, he had to suffer by having a boil on his tongue. By the time you started reciting the holy Namokar Mantra his bad karmas got over and it looked as if you helped him cure his illness.”
Listening about their previous lives they were enlightened. They decided to renounce the worldly ties and became monks. From there on, they lived spiritual life.