The story ofTirthankara Rishabha has travelled across generations of Jains. Acharya Mahapragya, the tenth Acharya of the Jain Swetambar Terapanth, presents it to us in a composition of 2000 verses. Tracing the evolution of human civilization as it grew from a society based on need to one attached to material possessions, the epic depicts the search for truth and the role of renunciation and sacrifice.
As the first king, Rishabha does his primary duty of ensuring the well-being of his subjects. But one spring morning, a small thought about the withering of flowers triggers deep reflection in him: Is there more to life than reigning over a kingdom? To discover the meaning of life, he renounces his kingdom and wanders up to the Himalayas, thus introducing the idea of monkhood to the world. With enlightenment comes the realization that all living beings have a soul that is indestructible and permanent and that true happiness lies in freedom from all attachment. Thus evolve the pillars of Jainism based on introspection and non-violence.
Capturing the subtle dilemmas of the human soul caught in the mesh of existence, this translation by eminent translator Sudhamahi Regunathan offers the classic in a contemporary idiom, something to read aloud and savour for both the general reader and the scholar alike.
Acharya Mahapragya was the tenth Acharya of the Jain Swetambar Terapanth sect and one of the most widely respected Jain thinkers in the world. He received his education under the guidance of Acharya Shree Tulsi, who launched the Anuvrat movement in 1949 to rid the world of violence and hatred and to free religion from sectarianism. A multidimensional personality and a renowned scholar of Indian and Western philosophy and religion, Acharya Mahapragya walked more than 100,000 km on foot over his lifetime and visited 10,000 villages to spread the message of non-violence. He recently passed away at the age of eighty-nine. He is the author of numerous books, including Understanding Joy and Sorrow, Transform Your Self, The Happy and Harmonious Family, and The Family and the Nation with A .P. J. Abdul Kalam.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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