Focusing of one’s mind on the welfare of the self (i.e., the soul) is a part of the “Sadhana ” (crusade) of Jain Saints having supernatural disposition. The tendency/nature of the mind is to remain unsteady. The mind is of fickle nature like a monkey. It is in the routine of a ‘Shraman’ (saint) to concentrate his mind on the abstinence and try hard not to deviate from it.
It is only the mind which creates the world and also prepares the path to ‘Moksha’ (salvation) after having freed from the bonds.
The conqueror of the mind is called the ‘Se//-victorious\ A person attached to the world remains in the control of the mind whereas the saint keeps the mind under his control. Digambar Saints have the power to keep the mind tied up by their conduct of abstinence and not let it become unrestricted. Stumbling of the mind occurs so fast that a normal religious person can’t detect it. Although, those who are mature in these practices, become masters of their mind.
The worldly-person is a servant of his mind but the great monks treat their mind as a servant keeping it under their complete control. They, the conqueror of the self, do not allow the mind to dominate them. And if there is even a small , deviation or error then they immediately refine it by observing penitence.
This incident is of Naslapur when Achharya Shri, known as a Muni and not Achharya, was stationed there. Muni Adi Sagar Ji Shedwal, a house-holder then and better known as Shri Bal Gonda Patil, was very religious and a devoted shravak to Munis.
He, along with his few house-holder friends went from Chikori I (Belgaum) to visit Shanti Sagar Ji Muniraj and requested, “O j master! Kindly allow us to take your photograph so that we, all (he house-holders, may have the privilege of seeing this Digambar posture indirectly”. Muniraj Shanti Sagar Ji accepted this request.
Special in those days. The photographer came to Maharaj and said, “Maharaj! This is not a proper place for a good photograph. There is another good place. Kindly move there.” Given his consent, the Maharaj Shri was bound by his words. He acted as instructed by the photographer. He allowed his photograph to be taken in the posture as requested by the photographer.
But after this, something strange happened. Maharaj Shri had been taking only water, rice and milk in his food for the past many years. Now he gave up milk for a week in order to teach himself a lesson for his inclination to be photographed. Next day he took only rice and water.
Maharaj Shri pointed that his mind had accepted to be photographed that made him experience many kinds of dependence and follow instructions of the photographer. Therefore, he had given up milk in atonement for his mistake so that his mind would not be encouraged again for such things.
When, during Naslapur Chatunnas, the Grihasthas (house holders) inquired during the course of a discussion about the reason for taking only milk and rice, and whether other food grains and food stuff were not fit to be taken, Maharaj Shri replied smilingly, “Whatever food stuff the Grihasth offers I take. You people do not offer other food stuff so the question of not taking them does not arise.”
Next day, as soon as the Shravaks were ready for giving the Dal-Roti and green curry in his “Anjuli” (hands strategically folded by Jain Munis to take food), he closed his hollowed hands. After the food, people again requested him, “Maharaj! You have taken the food as before. You did not take Roti and other stuffs.” Maharaj asked, “When and how did you grind the flour?” It was later known that the flour was ground at night.
Such food should neither be offered to the Saint nor should a ‘Muni’ take it. He explained to the Shravaks for a fortnight the procedure of preparing suitably edible food. It was that then he started taking other pure foodstuffs and stopped his eight to ten years old routine of taking only milk and rice.