Lord Shantinath's soul in his
previous incarnation was Meghrath, son of King Dhanrath of
Pundarikgiri town in the Mahavideh area. King Dhanrath gave his
throne to his son & became ascetic.
Meghrath was a religious ruler. He was very compassionate &
protected all living beings. Being a kshatriya & a warrior, he
had the courtesy to sacrifice all he had in order to protect those
One day while observing the partial renunciation vow (Paushadh),
he was about to start a discourse on the religion propagated by
Tirthankars. All of a sudden a pigeon, trembling with fear, fell in
his lap & uttered in choking human voice, "Save me, O King!
Give me refuge; take me under your protection!" The compassionate
King comforted the bird & took it under his protection.
The pigeon was followed by a falcon who too uttered in human
language, "O King! This pigeon is my food, leave it alone". The
King tried to explain, "It has taken refuge with me, as such I am
duty bound to protect it. I will give you any type of food you
want; why do you want to kill a living thing just to fill your
The falcon insisted, "If you will not leave it, I may die of
hunger. I am a carnivore. If I die, you will be responsible &
bear the sin."
When the falcon didn't yield, Meghrath said at last, "O falcon!
As long as I exist, I will not allow you to die. I will cut out
flesh from my body equivalent to the weight of this little pigeon
& give it to you. You may satisfy your urge to eat but under no
circumstance I shall allow you to kill the bird that has taken
refuge with me."
The falcon agreed to this proposal & the King put the pigeon
in one pan of balance & in the other started putting pieces of
flesh cut out from his own body. Everybody present on the scene was
spellbound & full of tears.
Surprisingly, the weight of the pigeon continued to increase
& the King continued putting flesh in the pan. Witnessing this
pathetic scene, the Queens & the members of the assembly were
moved to tears. They requested the King not to sacrifice his
precious life for a mere pigeon but the King denied. The falcon was
also requested relent but he too declined.
The King continued to cut flesh from his body & put it in
the pan of the balance. At last, when the pieces of flesh were not
enough, the King got up from his seat & sat down in the pan.
Everyone present was dumb struck at this lofty compassion &
chivalry displayed by the King.
Suddenly, there was a flash of divine light & a divine
personage appeared. The pigeon & the falcon disappeared. The
God addressed the King, "Maharaj! The King of Gods was praising
your compassion & courage in his assembly. I could not contain
& came around to test you myself. All this was my creation. You
come out with flying colors. You are worthy of the praise bestowed
on you by the King of Gods. Please forgive me." The God filled
Meghrath's wounds instantaneously & left for his abode.
Whenever there is a talk about chivalry & compassion, King
Meghrath's name is taken with respect. King Meghrath's uncommon
purity & determination made Gods to bow to him with
Moral: So friends, did you notice that what could be an
outcome of your purity, compassion & dedication to fulfill your
promise? Non-violence is the central concept particularly relevant
to compassion & that would lead to you achieve anything one