Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The importance of strong parenting

The making of the Buddhist saint Manimegalai, is set against the back drop of a strong willed mother, Madhavi.

Kovalan met Madhavi and fell in love with the dancer. He married her, though he was already married to Kannagi. Kovalan and Madhavi had a daughter by the name Manimegalai. One day, when the duo was spending time at the beach in Kaveripattinam, Madhavi sang a song in praise of the sea. Kovalan misunderstood her, and in a moment of jealousy left her and went back to Kannagi.

After Kovalan left her, Madhavi, brought her daughter up with the purest of values. Though Madhavi herself was a dancer, her strength of character came to the fore in the manner in which she brought up her daughter. 
Manimegalai became a Buddhist nun.

Manimegalai grew up to be a very beautiful woman and the prince of Chola dynasty, Udhayakumaran, fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. But Manimegalai chose to lead life of celibacy. She became a Buddhist nun. She was blessed with the Akshayapatra or the bowl which gave unlimited food. She used this to feed the hungry and the poor and travelled from place to place as a Bhikshuni (Buddhist nun).

Manimegalai converted to Buddhism from Jainism and served the poor. She led a  virtuous life upholding ahimsa. Later she became a disciple of Bhikshu Aravaṇa Aḍigal.
The story of Madhavi on one hand was that of great commitment to motherhood;  instead of seeking revenge on Kovalan, she decided to take up her duty towards her daughter seriously and completed it flawlessly.