History

 

वंशस्थल बन के ढिग होय, पश्चिम दिशा कुंथलगिरी सोय।
कुलभूषण देशभूषण नाम, तिनके चरणनि करौ प्रणाम ॥

The above lines are from “Nirvana Kanda”, according to which “Kunthalgiri” is the holy land from where Deshbhushan and Kulbhushan attained salvation. It is the southernmost “siddha-kshetra” (a holy land, from where one attains salvation) in India. The “siddha-kshetra” are considered to be of the holiest places on earth according to Jain teachings, and a visit or prayer to such place has been considered more fruitful to the devotee.

The story of Deshbhushan-Kulbhushan is found in “Padma-purana” composed by Acharya Ravishen, in the 39th chapter.

In the ancient India, there was a bountiful and beautiful state of Magadha. The king of Magadha was known as Kshemakar, who used to rule his kingdom from the capital city of Siddharth. His wife’s name was Vimalavati and his sons were Deshbhushan and Kulbhushan. Both were extremely handsome, strong and happy children. They had grown old enough to begin with their education, when an extremely learnt scholar named Sagarghosh arrived to the capital Siddharth. Finding a capable teacher in Sagarghosh for his sons, king Kshemakar requested him to educate his sons. Sagarghosh accepted the request and took both princes along with him to his Guru-kul (which was the Indian educational system in those days). Then both the princes were around 8/10 years old.

The education of Deshbhushan-Kulbhushan began at the Guru-kul, where they started learning about various faculties like Languages, Literature, Grammer, Mathematics, Astro-science, Ayurved, Religion, Philosophy. Being extremely intelligent and sincere students, soon they earned great expertise in various subjects. Being the would-be Kings, they also acquired military skills, knowledge of weapons, warcraft, politics, economics and administration. Thus, twelve long years passed. The young kids were turned into handsome, muscular and radiant youths. They were ready to return to their kingdom.

Here in Siddharth, preparations were going to welcome the princes. The roads were decorated, people were singing and dancing on the paths, hailing their princes. Those standing in the balconies and rooftops of their houses were showering flowers on them. Children and ladies were trying to get a glimpse of them. The procession reached the palace, where the King, Queen and ministers were waiting. They were being ushered in the palace when their eyes fell on someone in the terrace. There was standing an exceptionally beautiful girl of sixteen, watching them both intently. Seeing her, they both were instantly struck by her beauty and started craving for her. They as well realized that they were competitors now! Once again the slogans were shouted, “Hail the King and Queen! Hail thee prince Deshbhushan-Kulbhushan!! Hail their sister princess Kamalotsava, who is waiting in the terrace there!!!”

Learning the truth, that the girl they desired moments ago was none other than their own sister, both brothers were shocked from their roots. The incident hurt them. Although momentarily, they had desired their own sister, and they could not stop despising themselves for this. All their further attachment and affinity to the worldly pleasures around them were dried up then and there, and they turned back from the doorsteps of the palace to the jungles, leaving everything behind. They dropped their clothes, their ornaments and became ascetic saints.

Near to the town of “Vanshasthadyuti” was the mountain of Kunthalgiri (then known as Vanshadhar) - surrounded by dense bamboo forest (Bamboo is known as “Vansha” in Sanskrit, hence the name Vanshadhar). Both monks reached the hilltop and started Tup (Penance) to purify soul from affection, spiritual ignorance and so many ailments and to achieve salvation. They practiced this strenuously thus advancing a great deal in terms of spiritual enlightenment. One day, while they were meditating, a God named Agni-prabha owing to his enmity in the past lives, began hindering them from meditation. He started throwing flamed arrows, bones, flesh, blood, stones at them and started making shrill noises to interrupt them. At the same time, king Ram had arrived in the vicinity, with his brother Laxman and wife Seeta. Upon learning about the monks, Shri Ram reached Kunthalgiri, fought Agni-prabha and defeated him, thus freeing the monk duo from any further barriers. With this last barrier falling, the light of “keval-dnyana” (ultimate knowledge or pure knowledge) dawned upon Deshbhushan-Kulbhushan. They attained the sainthood.

Later on, they went on preaching people about God, religion and duties of a devotee - and finally they attained Nirvana at the place of Kunthalgiri. The place, thus sacred owing to the presence, meditation and nirvana of the two saints, is to date an important place of pilgrimage for the Jains. Around 1.5 Km away from Kunthalgiri, is a place named as Ram-kunda, this is where Ram-Laxman had stayed.

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