Nandi Sutra contains the description of eleven Anga Agams and twelve Upanga Agams. Amongst them, Rai-paseniya Sutra is the Upanga of the second Anga Agam namely Sutrakritanga.It is the second Upanga relating this Agam to Sutrakritanga.
Sutrakritanga mentions three hundred and sixty three different philosophies namely Kriyavadi, Akriyavadi, Ajnanvadi, Vinayavadi etc. Based on Akriyavadi(non action of the soul) philosophy, the philosophical beliefs of Pradeshi have been presented and Keshi Kumar Shraman had provided logical refutation of all such beliefs. The primary description in this Sutra is that of King Pradeshi.
The said king was a staunch believer in oneness of soul and body of the period. He was extremely cruel, merciless and contemptuous towards religion by temperament. That king Pradeshi was irreligious, highly sinful, was preaching sin, was following sinful ways, and always preferring sin to piety.
King Pradeshi came with Chitta Saarthi to the place where Keshi Kumar Shraman was present. The king sat down and asked – KP-“O sage! Do you believe that body and soul are separate?” KS -“O king! It is not just that I believe, it is, indeed, a fact. Soul is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. Soul is immortal. KP – “if soul is immortal do you mean that my, grandfather, who, like me loved violence must have gone to hell after his death KS – “Yes! Those who commit violence go only to hell. KP–“But he never came back to tell me –“Son, I suffer the bitter fruits of violence. Therefore, you should not indulge in violence.” Had he said to I would have accepted your doctrine.” KS – “O king! Consider this. There is some great criminal and you have caught him after great effort. You sentence him to death he requests you to leave for some time so that he could go and tell his family members to avoid the crimes that he committed. Would you leave him? KP – “Not at all, such a criminal cannot be allowed to go.” KS- “when the sinner goes to hell the guardians of hell torture him gravely. They do not allow him to go anywhere even for a moment.”
KP – O sage! By an experiment I have proved that within the body there is nothing like a soul.” KS- “what was that experiment O King!” KP – “I passed death sentences for a thief. I put him alive in an iron box, closed it and sealed all passages of air with clay. A few days later I got the box opened. The thief was dead I found no hole in it .Tell me from where the soul escaped? This proves that when body is dead soul is destroyed. Thus the two are one and the same.” KS- “O king suppose there is a chamber with just one gate. A person enters with a drum. The room is than sealed airtight .The man inside beats the drum. DO you hear the sound of drum outside or not?” KP –“Yes I can hear.” KS-“ when a material thing like sound can come out of a sealed place without being seen, what is the problem in coming out of a subtle formless thing like soul ?” KP – “Accepted that soul can come out of airtight place but it should at least be visible.” He then narrated his experience- KP –“There is no soul in this body.” Once I sentenced criminal to death. I got his body cut to pieces to find where was his soul but I failed to see it.” The sage smiled- KS- “O king! You talk foolishly like those woodcutters. KP – “Which woodcutters? What foolishness? Some woodcutter went to the jungle. The carried some fire for cooking but it got extinguished. One of the elders said – OM – Get some fire out of Arni wood and cook food.KP -“what next?” The old man left. The woodcutter broke Arni wood into pieces but No fire come out of it. He then broke the pieces into still failed to find fire .WC- Oh! Even now there is no fire. I have broken this wood many pieces but no fire came out of it. By then the old man returned – You are a Lair. There is no fire in Arni wood. See have broken it into so many pieces. OM –Give it to me. The old man took to pieces of Arni wood and rubbed them together. Spark where produced and fire was lit. OM- see here is the fire. “WC says- great.” KS -“in the same way the flame that is soul resides in the body. In order to see one must grind it the form of austerities and meditation has to be performed. Only then the flame- like soul is seen. The king debated for long and in the end it appeared to him that KS was telling the truth. He thought – KP- “My belief is wrong. What the sags is true. Body is made of material things. Soul is transcendental. Like the flame in a lamp. The soul resides in the body.”As flame and lamp are separate so are soul and body.
After pondering for some time. The king sad – KP–“You say that we all move around due to soul. Can you hold that conscious soul in your palm and show me?” KS-“O King! See those branches of tree overhead. Why its leaves are moving? Who shakes them? KP– “They are moving due to wind.” KS –“So, can you hold this are in your palm and show me? KP -“No! Air can never be held in palms.” KS –“King! Air is a substance with form. When even Air cannot be held in hand how can a formless thing like soul can be shown by ho ding it in hands?” King Pradeshi asked again –KPM –“All right sage! You say that soul of an ant and elephant are equal.” KS -“Yes, O king! The light of the soul is equal in all beings. KP – “Dose an ant and, an elephant have equal strength and power?” KS – “No .An elephant is strong than an ant. KP- “When how soul of the two can be equal? KS-“O King! Imagine a person carrying a burning lamp in his hand enters a small room and closes it, how far the light of the lamp will spread?” KP-“It will be limited to the room only.” KS –“Now that person puts a large iron cover over the lamp. How far the light will spread now?” KP –“Now the light will be within that cover. There will be darkness outside.” KS -“In the same way, O king! The light of the lamp, i.e. the soul spreads or gets confident, according to the available space.” KP– “You mean t he light is the same but it becomes large or small according to the area. KS – “Yes, O king! You have understood correctly. There is no difference in the substance of the soul but its area of influence is confined to the body the soul attains.” Finally the king asked – KP –“But O sage! My Grandfather always believed body and soul to be one and always indulged in violent activities. He spent his life enjoying mundane pleasures. How can I abandon the tradition of my ancestors?” KS “O king a person who is adamant on his false premises, repents in the end. You will also have to repent like that iron trader. O king!! Will tell you story of the iron- trader. Listen carefully – Some traders left their city in search of business. On the way they found iron minces. One of them said – We should collect iron ore in bundles. When we arrive in a city we will sell it and earn some money. Each one of them collected the iron –ore in bundles. Some distance away they found copper mines. They consulted each other – Let us throw away the iron –ore and collect this copper-ore. Every one collected copper except one who was very adamant. He said – I do not change my decisions time and again. What I have taken once is final. After going some distance they found silver and gold mines. They said to the fourth – Brother! Now at least throw iron and collected gold. Your poverty will be removed in one stroke. The fourth replied – You all are like clay models and keep on changing every moment. I am a determined man. What I have taken once is final. KS- “Tell me king, who was right?” KP –“What the three of them said was correct. The fourth was stone dumb. To carry iron when gold is available is absolute foolishness, or not?” going further across a diamond mine, the three threw away the gold and collected diamonds but the fourth was still adamant on his idea that what was taken once was final. He retained his iron. When they reached the city the three traders sold their diamonds and become rich and influential. They started leading a happy life. The fourth sold his iron and become a hawker. One day while the hawker was moving around one of his old companions recognized him. He sent his servant to call the hawker. On his arrival- OC- “Don’t you recognize me?” HK- “Sir! Why make fun of a poor man. I am nothing before you. If you are a mighty king, I am a poor.” The merchant laughed –OC-“I am your old companion who discarded iron, silver and gold for diamonds, but in spite of all advice you remained adamant and stuck to your iron. The hawker stared wide- eyed at the merchant’s grandeur and cursed himself– Alas!! I have ruined myself, there was no use crying over spilt milk…
Explaining the theme of the story, the sage said – KS-“Pradeshi! If you remain trapped in shackles of the ways of your grandfather, you too may have to repent like that.” KP-“Gurudev! I have understood the lesson. It is foolish to have false dogmas even after knowing the truth. I am not such a fool. After that the king joined his palms- KN-“I accept your philosophy. Now I believe that soul and body are separate. Soul has to suffer the consequences of sin and piety. Please teach me your religion. KS gave KP lessons on fundamentals including Ahimsa, kindness, truth, celibacy, detachment and austerities and added- KS-“O king! A being has to bear the fruits of his deeds. Therefore always do good deeds. Noble actions bring noble fruits.” KN –“Gurudev ! Since this day I accept the path of austerities and discipline shown by you. I abandon violence and resolve to be kind, compassionate and loving to all.” The king returned to his palace after paying homage to keshikumar Shraman.
Next day he called his minister and other officials- KP-“Commander! Free all the prisoners from the prison. I have pardoned them all. Then he said to the minister all the incoming of the state should be divided into four parts. One part of it was to be spent on the defense of the state and the army. Second part was to be spent on public welfare. Third part was to be spent on the king, his family and servants, Fourth part to be turned into a Welfare fund for destitute, orphans, hermits, Brahmins, sages, mendicants and shramans. On getting news about this, people started talking – How the has changed so much within a day? Till yesterday he enjoyed sucking blood of the people and today he is spending everything for the people. This is the influence of keshikumar Shraman. Blessed is the benevolent sage. The king told minister Chitt- KP –“Chitt! Now all the responsibility of the state is on you. I will atone for the sins I committed and purify my soul.” And the king started living in isolation in his meditation hut. He spent his time in austerities including fasting, and remaining engrossed in meditation and devotion for the supreme soul.
One day his queen Suryakanta thought- My husband is so engrossed in religious activities that he has forgotten me. He neither comes to the palace nor talks to me anymore. It is as if he has broken relationship with me. Thinking throughout the night she made a plan – Why not kill the king and make my son king. Then I will enjoy life with the status of queen mother. In the morning she met her son – Son! Your father has turned away from his duties as a king. He neither loves his family nor the people. Son- Yes mother! His life has changed. MO- Son! Shouldn’t you finish such worthless king and take over the reign of the kingdom? NO! NO! Mother! Please don’t utter such words. I hate such talks. How can I commit a grave sin like killing my father, NO! NO!“ He got up and left. The queen thought- The situation has complicated now. If the king comes to know of my conspiracy he will deal me a dog’s death. One day his maid said – O queen! Tomorrow the king will break his two day fast. What should I prepare? This is good opportunity. I will act on my plan today. Then she said to the maid- What is there for you to do! I will make breakfast and serve with my own hands. Indeed, it is the duty of a wife to serve her husband. The queen got up early in the morning and cooked breakfast for the king. She asked the maids to leave – You all may go I will serve food to the king with my own hands. She then stealthily mixed potent poison in the food. She also sprinkled some poison on her dress. Now I will see how the king can be saved from this poison.
The king entered the place for breakfast. The queen expressed her love and devotion- Blessed I am that today you will eat food cooked my own hands. The king remained silent. He calmly took his seat. The queen served and the king started his breakfast. Within no time he had burning sensation throughout his body. He felt nauseated and blisters appeared on his body. Oh! It appears that the queen has mixed poison in this food. Without a word he got up and went to the hut. He lied still on the mattress- There is no use getting angry at someone. All pain is caused by one’s own sins. The queen must be under an evil spell due to my bad karmas. She is just an instrument. It is me who is doer of the sinful deeds. The king endured that terrible pain with equanimity. The body was burning due to the poison but it was as if ambrosia was being showered within the mind. The king recalled the unforgettable statement of Keshikumar Shraman- Body is mortal, Soul is immortal, agitation is poison, equanimity is ambrosia.
After some time the king left his mortal body. His soul reincarnated as sun like radiant and impressive Suryaabh god in the first heaven. After narrating the story of the past birth of Suryaabh god to Gautam, Bhagvan Mahavir added- Gautam! Thus king pradeshi became a god endowed with great opulence due to the good deeds from his past birth. Curious Gautam again asked- Bhagvan! What is the life span of Suryaabh god? Where will he reincarnate after leaving the divine dimension? Gautam, his life span is four Palyopam. Descending from the divine dimension he will reincarnate in Mahavideh area in a prosperous family. He will be named Deidhapratijna. Deidhapratijna will get initiated and after observing ascetic religion he will attain omniscience. After shedding all his karmas he will get liberated. Gautam Swami was elated to hear the story of the past and the future of king Pradeshi. He paid homage to Bhagavan Mahavir and said- Bhante! What you say is a fact. After paying homage and obeisance to Bhagavan Mahavir, Gautam resumed his contemplation and meditation.