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The Recluse

By the side of Kundagrama there was a garden called Shandavana. At the center was the happy blossoming Ashoka tree. The palanquin was lowered near the tree.
Mahaveera descended. He stood facing the East. Then he sat on the marble bench. He removed the garlands around his neck, and also all the ornaments. He took off the fine and expensive clothes
and made a pile. He had now no love of the body. All these comforts were no longer needed. A Jain monk removes the hair from his head with his own hands. Mahaveera had such a luxurious growth of hair! So with his own hands he removed the hair. The people who had come with him left. Siddhartha and Priyakarini also returned to the palace. Without her son the palace looked like a prison to the mother. She sent Yashoda to her parents. (According to the Shwethambars Mahaveera had married Yashoda and had a daughter by her. But the Digambars do not accept this view.)

Mahaveera fasted for two and a half days. He did not drink even a drop of water. He was far away from the world of men. He was all, all alone. For twelve years from 569 B.C. to 557 B.C. Mahaveera led a monk's life. He had no other Gurus or teachers. He was his own Guru. Thirthan- kara Parshvantha's teaching was the high road before him. He led the rigorous life of a monk. He paid no attention to the body. He did not think of protecting the body. All his thoughts were only about the soul. He did not stay in the same place for long. He had nothing with him.

His body was naked. He wore no clothes. Insects bit him. Mosquitoes stung him. Ants bit him. Flies moved on his body. Mahaveera was not even aware of all this. He inflicted no pain on the insects or plants. They too have life like us. Inflicting pain on living beings is wrong. People laughed at his naked form. Some made fun of him. The riff-raff cried them hoarse. Mischievous fellows began to whistle. The ignorant beat him. The wicked hurled stones at him. Mahaveera did not protest. He forgave them all. His patience was UN-limit. He did not complain that he suffered pain. He did not turn round on them. He did not abuse them, or curse them. He did not say a word to them.

Days and weeks were passed. He used to observe the vow of silence for months together. He was lost in thinking about the, soul. He did not mix with the people. Some
abused him. Some bowed to him. Mahaveera treated both equally. He was not angry with those who blamed him. Nor did he show favor to those who bowed before him. Nothing could disturb his mind. Many spoke to him. They asked questions. Mahaveera did not break his long silence.

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Mahaveer- A young prince, who gave up everything to follow the path of Jainism
About Mahaveer
The Brave Prince
Chetaka Of Lichchavi
Jaina Dharma
Vardhamana's Birth
What Can The Elephant Do?
hand.gif (968 bytes) The Recluse
Severe Tapas
His Food
A Thirthankara
He Shows The Way
His Influence Spreads
Himself Like The Himalayas
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