In the kingdom of Magadh, there was a village named Vanijyagram
where a very wealthy man named Anand Shravak lived. He was married.
He had four crore gold coins hidden underground, another four crore
invested in business and yet another four crore in household
possessions. Moreover, he owned four cowsheds with a total of 40
thousand cows. He was a very intelligent and able businessman; as
such many people would approach him for his advice. He had a
beautiful wife named Shivnanda. At the age of 70, he still had no
knowledge about 'Vitraag Dharma'. During that time, one fine day,
Lord Mahavir arrived at his village. Anand joined the thousands of
people who gathered to hear the Lord's divine speech. The Lord
spoke extensively about Shravaks (one who practices true religion
and leads his whole life in accordance to the Lord's teachings) and
awakened Anand's curiosity and with full awareness he took the oath
from the Lord to lead the Shravak way of life. He informed his wife
about it and asked her to do the same. His wife Shivnanda also went
to the Lord and took the oath. Thus, both husband and wife started
leading a pious life, practicing the Shravak way of life.
After a long period of time, Anand had the inclination to
perform severe penance.He invited all his near and dear ones for a
feast, and in their presence handed over the responsibilities of
family welfare to his eldest son and then set off to begin severe
penance. As a result, he attained 'avadhignan' (the knowledge that
allows one to envision up to a certain limit, clairvoyance). With
this knowledge he could see in all four directions within a certain
limit. Besides this, he also looked high above into Saudharm Devlok
(the name of a celestial world) and down below into Ratnaprabha
Narak (the name of one of many hells). Having seen all this, he was
quite pleased. Subsequently, he had the strong desire to meet Lord
By good fortune, Lord Mahavir happened to arrive in the same
village. Gautam Swami who was out in search for food offerings
heard of Anand's 'avadhignan' from people. Gautam Swami went to
Anand's 'paushadshala' (place of penance). Seeing Gautam Swami
approach, Anand bowed respectfully and politely asked, "Maharaj!
Can a Shravak attain avadhignan without taking up Sainthood?"
Shri Gautam Swami replied in affirmation, "Yes, it can happen."
To this Anand said, "Lord! I have attained that gnan." Upon hearing
this, Gautam Swami fell into doubt. He said, "Anand, a Shravak
cannot envision so much. So repent for the lie you have uttered."
Anand thought, "He is my guru. This time, he is mistaken but to
tell him, You are making a mistake would be inappropriate. It is
only right that I speak to him politely because he is my guru."
After these thoughts, Anand said, "Maharaj! Should one repent for
lying or for speaking the truth?" Gautam Swami replied, "For
lying." Anand continued, "Then it is not necessary for me to
repent." Hearing this, Gautam Swami walked away. He went to Lord
Mahavir and related everything. The Lord said, "O Gautam! What
Anand says is true. You are mistaken. Therefore, go to Anand and
ask for forgiveness." Gautam Swami immediately went to Anand
Shravak and asked for forgiveness for his mistake.
Well friends, do you see how Gautam Swami's param vinay (perfect
humility) for Lord Mahavir was of the highest degree? Upon the
Lord's advice, without even the slightest use of his 'buddhi'
(intellect), Gautam Swami immediately went to Anand Shravak to own
up for his mistake. Although he was the senior most disciple of
Lord Mahavir, he was so 'laghutam' (humble) that without any
reservations or hesitation, he immediately asked Anand Shravak to
forgive him for his mistake. He was so aware about his
On the other hand, Anand Shravak's 'vinay' (humility) for
his guru is also commendable. Anand did not lose 'vinay' (humility,
respect) for his guru even though his truth was doubted.