In the streets of Polaspur, a six years old child named Aimutta was playing with a few friends. He was the son of King Vijay and Queen Shrimati. While playing around, he saw a monk, Gautam Swami, bare-footed and bald, who was out to get food (alms). Aimutta ran to him, and invited him to come to his house to get food which would make his mother and him happy. Gautam Swami agreed to come to his house, and he went with the little boy to his house. His mother was pleased seeing Gautam coming to her house. She welcomed him with full devotion and uttered, "Maithen Vandami." She introduced Gautam Swami as a staunch disciple of Lord Mahavir to Aimutta. She asked Aimutta to go and get the food which he likes the most so he could offer it to Gautam Swami. He brought ladoos and started pouring them in a pot even though Gautam Swami said he didn’t need this many. He felt so happy that he could offer food to the monk.
As Gautam Swami started going back, Aimutta said, "Your bag is heavy, let me carry it to your place."
Gautam Swami said, "Aimutta, I can not give it to you, because it can be carried only by those who have taken diksha."
Aimutta asked, "What is diksha?"
Gautam Swami explained to him that when someone wants to go on a spiritual path he must give up his house, family and all other social and economical ties, and then he becomes a monk like himself, is called diksha. People take diksha to avoid himsa (violence) involved in social life. Almost every step one has to hurt someone, lie or cheat for something, or become possessive. These all are the cause of accumulating sins, and by becoming a monk one must avoid all of these. There is even a life in earth, air, water, or vegetables beings. In our social life it would be hard to avoid violence towards such things.
Aimutta became curious and asked, "Gurudev, you do not do sins!!! Don’t you need to eat? Don’t you have a place to live? Do not all these cause sins?"
Gautam Swami was pleased with the child’s interest to learn, so he explained, "We take food, but we do not accept food which is made for us. We stay in a place, but we do not own it, and we do not stay for more than a few days. We do not keep money, and we do not take a part in any business or any organizations. This way as a monk, we do not have to do any activities which cause sins.
Aimutta said, "Gurudev, in that case, I want to take diksha, because my mother, also, taught me that in our social life one can not avoids sins."
Aimutta went along with Gautam Swami to Lord Mahavira where he listened to sermons given by him. His desire to get diksha grew even stronger. Aimutta once expressed the desire to give him diksha. Gautam Swami said, "We can not give diksha unless your parents give permission." Aimutta said, "That is easy. I will go home and get their permission and come back." He ran towards home.
Aimutta went home. He told his mother, "Mom, Mom, I want to take diksha. Remember you used to say social life is full of violence, and the cause for more sins. Gautam Swami and Lord Mahavir, also, said the same. So, I want to be free of sins. Therefore, please give me permission to take diksha."
Aimutta’s mother was surprised by his words. She was happy in her mind for his fear for sins, and the desire to take diksha because after all, she was also a religious woman. But she wanted to be sure that Aimutta understood what was meant by taking diksha, so she said, "My son, to take diksha is not a boy’s game. It is a very hard and disciplined life. There is no mother, or father to take care of you. So, how would you be able to take such suffering?"
Aimutta said, "Mother, this social life, also, has a lot of suffering. At least, we know that these sufferings will help to destroy karmas and lead to salvation."
Mother was very happy to hear this. But she wanted to test him more. She said, "Son, why are you in such a hurry. Wait for sometime. You need to take care of us, when we get old and have your family, too."
Aimutta said, "Mother, I learned from Lord Mahavir that no one is small, or no one is big. I, also, learned that no one knows what is going to happen tomorrow. No one knows who will die first, or who would die last. So, why wait and miss the opportunity which has come our way."
Mother felt very happy that her son had understood what diksha was, and what his goal was.
Mother said, "Congratulation my son. I am very proud of you. You will be a good monk. Do not forget what your goal to attain salvation, and be sure to observe ahimsa (nonviolence) throughout your life. We will give you permission to take diksha."
Aimutta said, "Thank you, Mom. I promise I will keep your advice."
Mother blessed the child, and wished him success in his new task. After a few days on an auspicious day, he was given diksha, and he became a young monk.
He became a "Balmuni Aimutta."
Some time went by. One day while coming back from the bathroom, on the way Balmuni Aimutta found some kids playing in a water puddle with a paper boat. He got excited about playing, and he forgot that as a monk he can not play with water. So, he ran towards the kids, and asked them if he play with them. The kids also, got excited for a monk to play with them and they said, "Yes, you can." He took the lid of utensil he had and started sailing it as a boat. He was saying, "Look, my boat is also sailing." Meanwhile, other monks came there, and they saw him playing with the water. They came to him and said, Balmuni, what are you doing? Did you forget that you are not an ordinary child anymore, and you can not play with water. By playing with such water, we cause harm to so many water beings. We have taken a vow not to hurt any living beings. This is bad. You have accumulated sins and you broke your vow…."
Balmuni Aimutta realized his mistake. He started repenting, "Oh!!! What did I do? I promised my mother that I will not do any sinful activity. How sinful I am? How nice these monks were to remind me of my mistake. What would happened to me if these monks would not have noticed me?" He really started repenting for what he did. He went back with the other monks. Every monk has to recite "Iriyavahiyam Sutra" after they come into their place from outside. So, Balmuni was also reciting this sutra. When he came to the part, "Panakkamne, Beeyakkamne, Panag-daga-matti….(if I have hurt any living beings of water, clay…then asking for forgiveness.)", his repentance had no bound. He was very sorry for what he had done. He started repenting, "What did I do? I destroyed so many living beings. How would I be free of these sins? How would I show my face to Lord Mahavir? My Lord forgive me of my sins. I will never commit these sins again." This sincere repentance turned good for him. All of his destructive karmas were destroyed. He became a Kevali. Heavenly angels came and celebrated this event.
After this, Kevali Aimutta muni came to Lord Mahavir’s assembly, and started going towards other kevalis who were sitting there. Some senior munis noticed this, and they started telling him, "Oh, Aimuttaji!! Where are you going? That is the place for kevali to sit. Come on this side where other monks are sitting."
Lord Mahavir interrupted them and said, "Monks, you should not insult Kevali. Aimutta muni is no ordinary monk. While reciting Iriyavahiyam Sutra, he destroyed all the sins, and he has became a kevali."
These monks realized their mistakes and started thinking, "There is no age barrier to be a kevali."
After finishing, the rest of his life Balmuni Aimutta went to salvation.