(The hunters, who hunt down and kill animals, which are helpless, innocent, dependent and fear struck, are certainly the worst sinners.) Ujjaini was at that time one of the great cities of Avanti. The KingofUjjaini Shri Brahmadatta indulged very much in hunting. He gave top priority to hunting and did not take much interest in State affairs.
Every day he went to the forests and hunt down helpless innocent animals. He did not consider the lives of those animals to be of any value. He treated his hunting expeditions to be the acts of heroism and there was no place for compassion in his heart.
One day he went to the forest for hunting. Just as he entered the forest he saw a meditating Digamber Muni who appeared to be an image of peace and compassion . That day the King could not get any game ;on the next few days the King similarly went to the same forest where the Muni was meditating and he did not get animals to hunt .
This made the King unhappy and infuriated. He determined that the main cause of non-availability of animals in the jungle for hunting was the presence of the Digamber Muni. He, therefore, decided to take revenge against the saint and teach him a lesson. HUNTING – THE HORRIBLE HIMSA.
One day when the Muni had gone to the city for his “Ahar”(taking food) Brahamadatta caused the rock on which the Muni sat to be heated with burning fire. The rock became red-hot.After his return from the city the Muni as a usual practice sat on the rock for meditation. As a result his body started burning and he suffered unberable pain.
However the Muni continued to sit on that rock and meditated equanimously without feeling any ill- will against the wrong-doers.He died in that state . By the power of his meditation he attained salvation and became a supreme being. The celestial-beings came to know imediately of this. They soon arrived at the spot and celebrated the “Moksha Kalyanak” of the Muni in a grand manner.
They praised the Muni for his extreme forbearance. On the other hand, King Brahmadatta, within a week after this incident became a prey to weeping ieprosy. It developed fast and made the King restless. The pain was so acute and unberable that he committed suicide by throwing himself in burning fire. As he was dying the mind was full of painful thought actions and wicked concentration.
Hence, after his death he went to seventh hell where he experienced untold sufferings .Remember! it is not possible for even for the King of Heaven to describe the agonies of that hell. He died there . After the death he was born on earth as a snake, dog, donkey, lion, hen, cobra etc. and in that pitiable state he was wandering for longtime.
When the burden of his sins became somewhat less he was born as a girl child in the house of a fisherman. Due to the fruitition of bad karmas, she lost her parents at the time of birth. Her family members took her to a forest and left her there. But somehow or other she managed to survive and grew there as a destitute. One day when she was just sitting on the door of her cottage an “Aryika Sangft” (a group of Digambar jaina nuns) came that way .
On seeing the nuns the destitute girl was very happy ; she ran to the nuns and paid due respect to them. She prostrated at the Holy Feet of the Head of the Aryikas named Kalyanamala with folded hands and narrated the story of her life from beginning to end. Aryika Shri Kalyanamala who was compassionate to all living beings, moved by the pathetic tale of this girl. She preached Jina Dharma and advised her to adopt the partial vows which the girl readily accepted.
This fisherman girl felt a great relief from miseries ; she decided to accompany the group of Aryikas which was on the way to the pilgrim centre Rajgriha. But few days later during the journey, the girl was tired; when the Nun sang halted briefly in a cave the girl felt sleepy and slept in that cave; the Aryikas Sangh went ahead with out noticing that the girl was sleeping in the cave.
Soon after a lion came to the cave and killed that girl. As the girl’s thoughts at the time of death were comparatively good, she was born as a daughter of Seth Kuber datta of Rajgraha. But she was an object of great worries to her rich father because her body was foul smelling. No body agreed to marry her.
One day a Digamber Muni named Shrutasagar who had attained clairvoint knowledge (Avadhi jnan) came to the citywhere the Seth Kuberdatta lived. People went to pay obeisance to the saint. Kuberdatta also paid obeisance to the Muni; listened his preachings on Jinadharma; thereafter he prayed and humbly asked him, as to why his daughter had such a offensive and unbearble bad smell.
The Muni replied Kuberdatta in the following manner: ‘0 rich merchant! all mundane souls have to reap the fruits of their good and bad deeds. This girl, in one of her previous lives indulged in hunting; on account of that sin she had to undergo the untold sufferings throughout many of her previous lives. The dirty smell of her body is also due to the resutl of her great sins of the past.
The girl who was listening, started weeping .By ‘Jathi smaran’(recollection of past lives) she could recollect all that had happened in her previous lives; she became more remorseful; with all humility she prayed and requested the Muni to show her the way to get rid of that sin completely and be free of it. The Muni who is full of compassion for all living beings preached Jinadharma and gave some vows to her. She accepted them with determination to folow; she also took the vow of not hunting for ever.
The Muni Shruta Sagar, in response to the further request of the daughter of Kuberdatta gave the vow (“Vrita”) of relinquishing the six delicacies “Shat-rasa-tyaga-vrata”. Explaining the vow, he advised her to give up taking curd, oil, ghee, salt, sweet and milk respectively – one thing for one month. This vow has to be completed within a period of six months.
During this period, one should take the meal either once (or twice) a day. After the completion of “Virta”, one should spend his wealth to a reasonable extent by way of charities e.g. construction of Jina Mandir or installation of idols of Jineswara, propagation of Scriptural knowledge etc.
He or she should conduct “Shanti Vidhan” and on that day also he / she should not take any of the six delicacies / “‘Rasas”. Before taking the meals, he / she should also worship the true God ,true scriptures and true teachers in proper manner.
After taking the voew of “Shat rasa tyaga” the girl came back to her home and observed that vow with devotion and determination. As a result of this vow, the girl after her death was born as Vajrasen -the Prince of Patna and the son of King Shakti Singh.
Incourse of time , Vajrasen succeeded his father Shakthi Singh who had renounced the world and became a Digamber Muni. Vajrasen also followed the foot steps of his father and after reigning for long, he also renounced the world and attained salvation performing hard and difficult penance as a DiagmberMuni. So, Bhavyas!! look here! how bad and painful are the consequences of hunting.
Hence neverresort tohunting;never play with the lives of others on the pretext of getting pleasure.. Think of their good also. They are also as good living beings as you, yourself are; they have as good a right to exist and live as you- yourself have. All mundane souls must respect the basic rights of their fellow mundane souls, including the right to exist.
1. Abandonment of hunting is the best way for the safety of the universe.
2. Hunting is the first step ofcruelity.
3. Hunting is the greatest crime against innocent living beings.
4. Hunting is the extreme limit of violence.
5. What heroism is there in hunting and killing infirm and innocent living beings .
6. One can be called truly brave if he does not hesitate in sacrificing his life in saving or protecting that of others.
7. Why don’t you listen to the call for mercy of those whom you are hunting?
8. Will the animal which you are hunting today leave you in peace tomorrow?
9. Why do you break the interrelations of animals and birds etc. by your hunting excursions?
10. You are mindful ofyour children alone. You do not think of the little ones of those whom you hunt dow’n.
11. Taking the lives of others is not merely a matter of fun and frolics.lt is a matter of acquiring bad karma.
12. Are their lives so cheap so as to be utilised as your game materi als?
13. A hunter can never attain peace of his soul;
14. Hunting others results in the birth of beings hunted by others.
15. The heart of a hunting man can never be the abode of mercy and or compassion.
16. A hunter is always thirsty of other’s blood.
17. Hunting itself is the greatest injustice done to animals and birds.
18. There is no better religion than the protection of life, and there is no greater sin than killing living beings.
19. A hunter is always a begger.
20. If you can not abandon harmful activities in toto at once (i.e. in its entirity) you should, at least abandon hunting.
Non killing in itself is the highest virtue, whereas the taking of life will bring in its wake, all evils.
– Acharya Kunthakuntha – Thirukkural 321