When you listen to the stories, how often do you try to analyse them?
No, not the story and its morals but the characters’ personalities present in them.
Let’s climb down one more step – What if it’s a female character in the story? Hardly, right?
Women’s contribution has been exemplary. Sadhu, Sadhavi, Shravak and Shravika, the four pillars that keep the monument of Jainism upright, have an equal role to play in each other’s lives. Each one of them is dependently independent.
- Mata Marudevi, the first human of this Āra got rid of all her attachments and entered the moksha, leading the way to several others (as per Shwetambar Parampara).
- Brahmi and Sundari were not only well versed in language and mathematics, respectively, but also burst the bubble of the ego of their brother Bahubali and helped him attain enlightenment.
- Malli Kumari (the soul of Mallinath) is a Tirthankar. What more to explain?
- Rajimati or Rajul explicated the importance of the path of liberation and the life of renunciation to her then brother-in-law Rathnemi and saved him from committing a dreadful sin. Since she was not married, he was not a brother-in-law! Possibly a “would be brother-in-law”.
Apart from these benevolent personalities, we have 16 satis and instances of Meyanasundari and other rectitudinous women till Lord Mahavir’s regime, whose beneficence cannot be forgotten.