Article: Story Aṅgas

Contributed by Nalini Balbir

Parable 11 – Dāvaddave

Sensitive to coastal winds, this kind of tree is compared with ascetics. Those who are able to tolerate the difficulties of ascetic life and criticisms can reach the goal – ārādhaka. However, those mendicants who are unable to do so cannot fulfil their aim – virādhaka.

Parable 12 – Udaga

A minister who follows the Jain doctrine explains to a reluctant king the fact that change and transformation are inherent to things. He uses the analogy of water. Stinking water can be transformed into clean when it goes through various methods of purification.

Parable 13 – Maṇḍukka

When Jains become mendicants, they swear to follow the 'Five Great Vows' – mahā-vratas: 1. non-violence – ahiṃsā 2. truth – satya 3. non-stealing – acaurya or asteya 4. celibacy – brahmacarya 5. non-attachment or non-possession – aparigraha.

'Five Great Vows'
Image by Shree Diwakar Prakashan © public domain

The merchant Nanda has adopted the lay man’s vows after listening to Mahāvīra’s discourse. He makes a beautiful pool, which everybody praises and which makes him very proud. As a result of attachment to the pool, he is reborn as a frog in that very pond.

Having the ability to remember his former existence, the frog resolves to adopt the lay vows again and goes to pay homage to Mahāvīra. On the way, the frog is trampled by a horse's hoof.

Before breathing its last, the frog utters the 'Homage to the Jinas' and expresses its resolution to take the five vows of an ascetic. As a result, it is reborn as a god.

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