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Shelaka Acharya

Shelaka Acharya
King of Manduka Country, Shelak was very much impressed by the sermon of Thavacchaputra and he took 12 vows of Shravak-laymen. Again, when ShukaAcharya came in that country, his sleeping soul awoke and he abandoned the whole kingdom, opted and took diksha. Panthak with five hundred ministers also did the same. Gradually Muni Shelak was made Acharya and Leader of 500 pupils. Once, his body was overpowered by some unknown disease. When he came in Manduka Country, his worldly son King Manduka heartily requested him to stay and be cured by doctors.

With taking Ayurvedic medicines, to avoid any reactions it was suggested to take milk ghee etc in diet. King Manduka was always ready and so was his whole house hold. Medicines did miracle and ShelakAcharya was free from disease. All the docters informed this yet Acharya Shelaka was not ready to believe it. The Acharya swam the ocean and was drowning in a pond. New disease took form…disease of taste i.e the tongue longed for sweets. So he stayed there in his own kingdom.

One by one, four hundred ninety nine pupils abandoned him except Panthak . He was not ashamed of his Guru. He had one sole wish, my benefector Guru, should come on the way. He is missing the line, yet one day he will come back unto the rightpath.’ And one day his dream came true and at last his wish was granted. It happened thus.

Shelak Acharya was snoring. Panthak had no wish to disturb him, but that day was Chaumasi i.e four months Pratikraman. Wishing to beg pardon for any faults, he touched Guru’s feet. That light touch disturbed his sound sleep. His anger knew no bounds. His eyes blazoned with fire. Like a bombshell he exploded,’ Who disturbs me ? With folded hands, Panthak told the truth, tears were wetting his cheeks ‘‘O Gurudev ! Today it was Chaumasi… so doing Pratikraman, it was essenial for me to ask forgiveness. Forgive me O Gurudev !’’ Hearing this, ShelakAcharya became calm as ocean and cold as ice and his soul was full of repentance. ‘‘Oh Panthak ! Becoming an Acharya, I did’nt even follow the rules of a muni ! I abandoned daily routines and rituals of a monk ! Chaumasi Pratikraman has come and I am in darkness.. Oh ! What a dark and dirty soul I am ! Hail to you Panthak ! you served me to this day to uplift my soul. In fact, you are my Guru !’ Shelak Acharya again following strict rules of sainthood became one of the great leaders. His pupils, hearing this, came to him and praised Panthak and his uncomparable service to Gurudev. With five hundred saints, ShelakAcharya went to salvation from here on this very point.

So Oh Chetan ! Say ‘Namo Siddhanam’. Walking just few more steps, we come across Bhukhandas Kund and footprints of Lord Adinath.

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