Bridegroom ran away on Wedding Day! Bride became a Saint! (Post No.7452)

Bridegroom ran away on Wedding Day! Bride became a Saint! (Post No.7452)


Post No.7452

Date uploaded in London – 13 January 2020

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Jainism has beautiful stories highlighting Ahimsa (non violence) and  sacrifice. They have women with exemplary character and one of them was Rajimati.

Hinduism appealed to Vedic believers.

Buddhism appealed to Kshatria warriors; and

Jainism appealed to Vaisya business community.

Here is a story of Saint Neminatha who was cousin of Lord Krishna, and lived probably around 3200 BCE. He was the 22nd Tirthankara and so must have lived before 6th century BCE. Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism was a contemporary of Buddha (sixth century BCE).

Chastity amongst women and faithfulness on the part of a wife towards her husband, even when the marriage rite has not taken place and she is only a ‘vaag dattaa’ – betrothed—is the highest ideal of Indian womanhood and Jainism made no exceptions.

An ideal woman of this type was Raajiimatii, the wife of the twenty second tirthankara Neminaatha, a cousin of Lord Krishna. When his marriage procession was on its way towards the marriage pavilion, Neminatha, the bridegroom saw a number of animals caged in a pen situated on the way. Upon enquiry he learnt that they were to be killed for serving the groom’s party with meat. Alarmed at the thought of impending large scale animal slaughter on his account, Neminatha immediately stopped it and turned his mind  away from this world, which involved such sins of killing and entered the life of a monk.

Rajimati followed the footsteps of her husband  and joined the ascetic order. Once while Neminatha and his brother Rathanemi and Rajimati were practising penance on the same mountain – Girnar – Rathanemi lost self- control and was attracted towards his sister in law. But Rajimati  boldly resisted and baffled his attempts by telling him  that he was preparing to drink from the vomit of another.

The theme of Rathanemi and Rajimati   also forms the subject of a very old and beautiful ballad in the Jaina canonical text – Uttaraadhyayana Sutra– which shows from very early times she was held an ideal of chastity.

(Neminatha is revered and worshipped by the Jains  along with Mahavira and Parswanatha through out India. Neminatha has shrines in many places. In ancient Tamil Nadu the tallest statue was Neminatha in a village called Tirumalai. It is 52 feet tall)

WE must include such stories in School syllabus and encourage students to do more research into the historicity of all religious personalities.

Let us salute  the great Saints Neminatha and Rajimati!

Source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, 1953

Tags – Neminatha, Rajimati, Jain woman, Ahimsa