|Shruta-kevalin Acharya Shri Bhadrabahu Ji Maharaj|
Inscription of the incoming of Shrutakevali Bhadrabahu swami and Chandragupta Maurya (Shravanabelagola)
|Born||c. 433 BCE|
|Died||c. 357 BCE
|Ascetics initiated||Chandragupta Maurya|
|Initiation||by Govarddhana Mahamuni (Shruta Kevalin)|
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There were five Shruta Kevalis in Jainism - Govarddhana Mahamuni, Vishnu, Nandimitra, Aparajita and Bhadrabahu.
Bhadrabahu was born in Pundravardhana (now in Bangladesh) to a Brahmin family during which time the secondary capital of the Mauryas was Ujjain. When he was seven, Govarddhana Mahamuni predicted that he will be the last Shruta Kevali and took him along for his initial education. He was then initiated as a Digambara Muni and by practicing gyan, dhyan, tap and sanyam got the Acharya pad.
|S. No.||Dream of Chandragupta||Explanation by Bhadrabahu|
|1||The sun setting||All the knowledge will be darkened|
|2||A branch of the Kalpavriksha break off and fall||Decline of Jainism and Chandragupta's successors won't be initiated|
|3||A divine car descending in the sky and returning||The heavenly beings will not visit Bharata Kshetra|
|4||The disk of the moon sundered||Jainism will be split into two sects|
|5||Black elephants fighting||Lesser rains and poorer crops|
|6||Fireflies shining in the twilight||True knowledge will be lost, few sparks will glimmer with feeble light|
|7||A dried up lake||Aryakhanda will be destitute of Jain doctrines and falsehood increase|
|8||Smoke filling all the air||Evil prevail and goodness hidden|
|9||An ape sitting on a throne||Vile, low-born, wicked will acquire power|
|10||A dog eating the payasa out of a golden bowl||Kings, not content with a sixth share, will introduce land-rent and oppress their subjects by increasing it|
|11||Young bulls labouring||Young will form religious purposes, but forsake them when old|
|12||Kshatriya boys riding donkeys||Kings of high descent will associate with the base|
|13||Monkeys scaring away swans||The low will torment the noble and try to reduce them to same level|
|14||Calves jumping over the sea||King will assist in oppressing the people by levying unlawful taxes|
|15||Foxes pursuing old oxen||The low, with hollow compliments, will get rid of the noble, the good and the wise|
|16||A twelve-headed serpent approaching||twelve year of death and famine will come upon this land|
Bhadrabahu decided the famine would make it harder for monks to survive and migrated with a group of twelve thousand disciples to South India, bringing with him Chandragupta, turned Digambara monk.
Bhadrabahu, who was a Digambara Acharya, remains an exemplar of dedication to first principles at any cost. After him, the Sangha split into two separate teacher-student lineages of monks. Digambara monks belong to the lineage of Acharya Vishakha and Svetambara monks follow the tradition of Sthulabhadra.
Regarding the inscriptions describing the relation of Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya, Radha Kumud Mookerji writes
The oldest inscription of about 600 AD associated "the pair (yugma), Bhadrabahu along with Chandragupta Muni." Two inscriptions of about 900 AD on the Kaveri near Seringapatam describe the summit of a hill called Chandragiri as marked by the footprints of Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta munipati. A Shravanabelagola inscription of 1129 mentions Bhadrabahu "Shrutakevali", and Chandragupta who acquired such merit that he was worshipped by the forest deities. Another inscription of 1163 similarly couples and describes them. A third inscription of the year 1432 speaks of Yatindra Bhadrabahu, and his disciple Chandragupta, the fame of whose penance spread into other words.
Bhadrabahu-charitra was written by Ratnanandi of about 1450 AD.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bhadrabahu.|
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