Puniya Shravak

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Puniya Shravak was a resident of Rajgruhi, he listened with rapt attention to discourses of Lord Mahavir, and began to practice aparigraha (abandonment of worldly possessions). He embraced poverty willingly and contented with what he earned from making cotton threads (puni). He believed that contentment had nothing to do with possessions, with wealth or acquisitiveness. It is simply a state of mind. Puniya Shravak and his wife became simple villagers by their own choice. They lived in a small shack made of mud and grass. Puniya had a vow not to earn more than 12 dokadas (1/12 rupee) every day. He did that by spinning cotton yarn in the house and selling it. They also had another vow to offer food to a Sadharmik(co religionist). As they could not afford this, he would fast one day and his wife would fast on the next day. Even during such difficult situations, they always offered their hospitality to fellow beings, feed one with a meal. In this way, the couple did Sadharmik Bhakti (helping deserving people) everyday.

Puniya Shravak was known for performing Samayik (to maintain equanimity for a set period of time) regularly. Once during Samayik, he could not be in perfect attention of mind speech and body, he was disturbed with several thoughts. He started pondering, the cause for it, but was not able to pin point it. Therefore, he asked his wife, “What have we done differently that I can’t concentrate today.” At first, his wife could not think of anything either. But as she kept on thinking, she remembered that today while coming back from market, she had picked up dry cow-manure and used that as fuel to cook. She told Puniya about this. He told her that she should not have done that even though it did not belong to anyone. “We should only use things, which are bought from our daily earnings”.

Once when king Shrenik asked Lord Mahavir how he can destroy his bad Karmas to avoid being born in hell in his next life, Lord Mahavir said, “If you can get the punya (good deeds) acquiring from one samayik of Puniya” King Shrenik approached him with request. Shravak asked him to find out from Lord Mahavir the real worth of a samayik. Bhagwan said it is invaluable. Yet he tried to explain it differently. He said “one goes to buy a horse and the price of a leash for the horse will be equal to the total value of the money in king Shrenik’s coffers, but the price of the horse will be worth the value of one samayik.”

Shrenik left in disappointment! But with admiration that how great must be the one who was praised by Lord Mahavir himself. The importance of such a samayik manifested in his life too.

Moral:-  Puniya Shravak was performing Nirvichar (thoughtfree) and nirvikalp (without any kind of imagination nor motive) samayik. One should be absolutely aparigrahi in the true sense to come to this state.

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