Ajinatha Bhagwan


श्री अजितनाथ भगवान

 Ajitanatha, like Rishabha, was born in the Ikshvaku line and was therefore directly descended from the first Lord.  The ruling monarch at Ayodhya at this time was Jitasatru and his queen was Vijayadevi.  The king had a brother, Sumitra (Vasumitra) whose wife was Yasomati.  By a striking coincidence, both Vijayadevi and Yasomati dreamt the same fourteen dreams, as is usual with a would-be TIRTHANKARA's mother.  The seers were called in.  As per their perdiction, the former would give birth to a TIRTHANKARA and the latter to a CHAKRAVARTI-monarch.

The princes were duly delivered, by Vijayadevi on the eighth day of the bright half  of Magha and by  Yasomati during the same night.  The occasions of the TIRTHANKARA's conception and birth were duly celebrated by the gods.  The elder prince who bore the mark of an elephant  was named Ajitanatha and the younger one Sagara.  On the attainment of proper age Sagara was entrusted to a teacher for his education but this was not necessary for Ajita, since a would-be TIRTHANKARA needed no formal schooling.  The two princes  were then married.

Now it was time for the king to lay down the rein of office.  His brother Sumitra too expressed a similar desire but he was persuaded by the crown-prince to stay in the palace as a  monk-by-instinct (BHAVA-JATI).  Ajita was now crowned king and Sagara was made the crown-prince.  On the completion  of his career as a king,  which indeed was very  illustrious because of the  righteousness with which Ajita governed, the time was now ripe for his renunciation.  He was duly notified of it by the gods. He then passed on the responsibility of the state to the crown-prince Sagara who reluctantly took it up and spent a year in making gifts out of riches supplied by the gods.  On the completion of a year, he was taken in a procession to the Sahasramravana where he  was duly initiated into monkhood. He broke his initiation fast by accepting an offering from king Brahmadatta.

Then started his  career as a monk, a very hard course for 12 years,  during which Ajitanatha wandered through dense forestsand beautiful parks, reached mountain summits and passed by charming lakes.  Sometimes he would be crossing dreary deserts bearing with perfect calm the rigours of summer,winter and rains.During these wanderings he practised all sorts of austerities. 

At last he came to the same park where 12 years earlier he had started his spiritual career, sat  down in meditation and attained higher and higher levels till at last he acquired the knowledge of the free.The congregation was duly held with the Lord offering his sermons to the entire gathering. This was followed by the full initiation of his uncle Sumitra who had been living as a BHAVA-JATI in the palace. Ajitanatha then established the forufold order(TIRTHA) named 95 GANDHARAS. When at last the time of his entering liberation drew near, he came to the Sammeta Sikhara and attained  it a after a month's holy fast.


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