Lord Mahavir and Disciple

Lord Mahavir was the founder of the Jain religion. Like Lord Buddha, he too was a king who renounced the world, performed austerities and realised the Self.

Lord Mahavir

One of Amma’s bhajans, “Manjunatha”, refers to the Manjunatha Temple in Karnataka, overseen by Jain monks.

Lord Mahavir had a senior disciple who went on to become a good orator. He then left the ashram, against his Guru’s advice. He started preaching, formed an ashram, and gathered a large following of his own. Typically, five thousand people would gather to hear him talk, whereas only about five hundred or so people would be seated in front of Lord Mahavir.

This inflated the disciple’s ego even further, and he began to speak ill about Lord Mahavir and his teachings. Lord Mahavir saw that his disciple was going in the wrong direction and said to him, “You are not Realized; what exactly are you doing with this preaching business of yours?” But the disciple paid no attention to his Guru. Slowly, things began going wrong in the disciple’s ashram. His followers started leaving him. He fell ill and had nobody to take care of him.

Upon hearing about his disciple’s condition, Lord Mahavir immediately sent his disciples to bring him back to Mahavir’s ashram. He made arrangements for his disciple’s medical care. The wayward disciple, devastated by ill health and his past behavior, repented at his errors. He begged for forgiveness from Lord Mahavir before he passed away. Lord Mahavir, however, never held any grudge against him.

Similarly, Amma says she holds no grudge against anyone who speaks or writes ill about Her. All are Her children, and Her compassion is vast. She has welcomed wayward disciples back when they have approached her for help.

— Govinda Raya