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Words of Wisdom

From the Sacred Jainism Scripture “Uttaradhyayana,” Part 2 of 2: Lecture 22 – Rathanemi

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Twenty Second Lecture Rathanemi “On his way he saw animals, kept in cages and enclosures, overcome by fear and looking miserable. Seeing them on the point of being killed for the sake of their flesh, and to be eaten afterwards, the great sage spoke to his charioteer thus: ‘Why are all these animals, which desire to be happy, kept in cages and enclosures?’ Then the charioteer answered: ‘Lucky are these animals because at thy wedding they will furnish food for many people.’

Having heard these words, which announced the slaughter of many animals, the great sage, full of compassion and kindness to living beings, meditated thus: ‘If for my sake many living beings are killed, I shall not obtain happiness in the next world.’ Then the famous man presented the charioteer with his pair of earrings, his neck-chain, and all his ornaments.

When he had formed his resolution, the gods descended (from heaven), according to the established custom, to celebrate, with great pomp together with their retinue, the event of his renunciation. Surrounded by gods and men, and sitting on an excellent palanquin, the Venerable One left Dvaraka and ascended mount Raivataka.”

“‘I am the daughter of the Bhoga-king, and you are an Andhakavrishni; being born in a noble family let us not become like Gandhana-snakes; firmly practice self-control!’ ‘If you fall in love with every woman you see, you will be without hold like the Hatha-plant, driven before the wind.’ ‘As a herdsman or a keeper of goods does not own the things (he has the care of), so you will not truly own Sramanahood.’

Having heard these well-spoken words of the virtuous lady, he returned to the Law (Spiritual Precepts). Protected in thoughts, words, and acts, subduing his senses and keeping the vows, he practiced true Sramanahood throughout life.

After practicing severe austerities, both of them became Kevalins (liberated souls), and having completely annihilated their karma, they reached the highest perfection.

Thus act the enlightened, the wise, the clever ones; they turn from pleasures as did this best of men. Thus I say.”
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