mahattara jain story
Two disciples of Acharya Haribhadrasuriji, namely Hans and Paramhans were killed at the hands of followers of other religion. Acharyashri suffered great mental commotion. The shock of the killing of his loving disciples caused a sense of revenge in him. Acharyashri decided to kill 1444 students and lecturers of Bauddha Vihar by roasting them alive in boiling oil. Anger and revenge leave no place for discretion.
With a view to executing his malicious plan, Acharyashri closed the doors of the upashraya (a place for the stay of Jain monks and nuns) and boiled oil in a huge vessel on a furnace. With the sheer power of incantation, Acharyashri called all the students and lecturers and made them stand in the sky. Actually the infuriated Acharyashri planned and intended to call the students and the lecturers one by one and fry them alive in the boiling oil.
Yakini Mahattara came to know about this malicious plan of the Acharya and soon she came rushing to the upashraya. The doors were closed and Acharya Haribhadrasuri told Yakini Mahattara whom he regarded as his own mother: “I am engaged in some rites. Please come after some time.” In a firm voice she said: “I need you urgently. Kindly open the doors.” The doors were opened and Yakini Mahattara paid her respects to Acharyashri and then she said that she had come for atonement.
Acharya Haribhadrasuri, the learned scholar introduced himself as the son of Yakini Mahattara because previously he had been unable to understand a shloka (verse) of Yakini Mahattara and his pride of scholarship had suffered a great set-back. Having been defeated in learning, he ultimately had accepted initiation from Jindattasuriji. As Yakini Mahattara had led the Acharya to the righteous path, he regarded her as his own mother. Hence Shri Haribhadrasuri became anxious as to what sin such a motherly nun would have done that necessitated atonement.
Yakini Mahattara told that while she had been walking a frog was unknowingly crushed under her feet. Her soul was suffering great torment because of such violence committed by her. She wanted to have atonement because if her life were to end without the sin being duly atoned for, her life would be that of a violator.
Acharya Haribhadrasuri raised his voice and said, “Oh! You couldn’t care about a living being! You must make atonement for it.” Yakini Mahattara very respectfully accepted the atonement but politely added: “I have secured atonement for a sub-human being like a frog unknowingly killed by me. But you are engaged in a deliberate violence by way of killing 1444 human beings. What would be the atonement for this killing?”
These words of Yakini Mahattara dispelled the anger and fury of Acharyashri Haribhadra. The lecturers and students who were called by his sheer power of incantation were sent back. As an atonement for his malicious plan, he composed 1444 books elucidating human virtues like forbearance, tolerance etc. Animosity gave way to learning and scholarship.
Acharya Haribhadrasuri always respected Sadhvi Yakini Mahattara and he used to accept the fact that thanks to Sadhviji, he had found the royal road of Jainism that liberated himself from the cycle of births.