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Saubhagya Manjari

In the south of Bharatshetra was a state called Karnatak ruled grandly by illustrious King Chakrapani. His wife was queen Priyangumanjari. Time passed by in the lap of luxury and eventually she gave birth to a baby girl. Though healthy in all ways, with all limbs in proportion, the baby was born with a monkey’s face due to some past lives’ sins. The King was shocked by this incident and suspecting some inauspicious events, performed many rituals to pacify many demi-gods and goddesses. With an ugly face but a beautiful destiny, the baby Princess was named Saubhaagyamanjari. She grew up to be well versed in all the 64 skills of a lady.

Once, when Saubhaagyamanjari was sitting on the King’s lap, in palace court, a foreigner entered singing praises of the mountain shrine, Shri Pundarikgiri and the greatness of the pious mountain Girnar, the holy shrine that has saved many from the miseries of world. He said, “Dear King, hail Girnar, the pious mountain shrine, which is the land of accumulation of virtues and destruction of pain and poverty. The pious mountain Girnar, is instrumental in healing the ill; leading to the welfare of many people and relieving one of all fears. The pious steeples, rivers, streams and trees of this mountain provide happiness to all beings. The celestial beings that come to worship Lord Neminath consider the many comforts of heaven to be a speck compared to the bliss experienced here.” Listening to the description of the pious mountain Girnar, Princess Saubhaagyamanjari attained jati-smaran gyaan (the knowledge which helps one recall the previous births) and fell unconscious.

Saubhaagyamanjari regained consciousness, after some cold water was sprinkled on her. She joyfully told her father, King Chakrapani, “Oh father! Today has been the most auspicious day for me. Please listen to me carefully – In my previous birth I was a monkey on the pious mountain Girnar, described by this foreigner. Being a monkey, I was, by nature extremely restless and would indiscretely jump from the steeples of the temples, across the rivers and from tree to tree in the forests. To the west of the mountain is a river called Amalkirti. The water of Amalkirti has many miraculous effects and is considered holy due to the gentle sight of Lord Neminath. One day while jumping around with other monkeys, I came to the bank of this river. As fate would have it, while jumping about, I got stuck in the dense branches of a mango tree and passed away.

Due to the effect of the pious mountain Girnar, in spite of being a monkey in my previous life I was fortunate enough to be born as your daughter in this life. Now let me tell you the reason for me having a beautiful body but a monkey’s face. As time passed, the branches of the tree dried up and my body fell into the holy waters of Amalkirti whereas the face of the monkey – my face of the previous life, is still stuck in the tree and could not come in contact with the holy waters of Amalkirti. Oh father! Please let my face of my previous life be thrown into the Amalkirti so that my face in this life can look like that of a beautiful young girl. Due to the powerful description of the greatness of the pious mountain Girnar, by this foreigner, I have attained jati-smaran gyaan and thus have been able to tell you my past life’s story.”

Thus, by devotionally worshipping the eternally pious mountain Girnar, with utmost amount of faith and admiration, one derives all sorts of materialistic and spiritual wealth and ensures he/she gets a good life in future births, eventually leading him/her to salvation! The worst of the worst sinners can be freed of their sins by assiduously worshipping the unconditionally giving, extremely pious and holy mountain, Girnar. The wonders of Girnar are infinite.

The King was amazed on listening to the words of the Princess! He ordered his soldiers to go to the pious mountain Girnar and throw into the river, the face of a monkey stuck in a mango tree that was situated along the banks of the river. As soon as the monkeys face touched the river, the Princess’s face was transformed to that of a young beautiful girl and she looked very pretty. The King was shocked at this transformation, which was, but a personification of the greatness of the pious mountain Girnar.

King Chakrapani started to look for a suitable groom for Princess Saubhaagyamanjari, since she had attained youth. But due to her understanding of the queerness of karmas, the Princess decided to renounce worldly affairs. Instead of stepping onto the thorny path of marriage she chose to go to the pious mountain, Girnar, in order to attain eternal bliss, through great perseverance and diligence. After expressing her sentiments to her father she left for the pious mountain, Girnar. Living in the soothing proximity of the pious mountain Girnar, she indulged in intense penance and due to this conduct she managed to negate all her inauspicious karmas of her infinite past births. Engrossed in the meditation of the name of Lord Neminath she completed her lifespan and died. As a result of her passion for the holy shrine she became a Goddess (Vyantar Devi) on the pious mountain, Girnar. Due to the extreme austerity of her past life, she was able to reside in the drah (a hollow in a pond or a water reservoir) of the river and destroyed all the obstacles of the fourfold religious order (Chaturvidh Sangh). She became a Goddess, deserving of worship by all other celestial beings.


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Declan Whelan
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