Goshal's curse

Many years after he had attained enlightenment, Mahavira went to a particular village to spread his message. His former disciple, Goshal, was also in the same village with his own disciples. Mahavira said publicly, "Some people have sincerely realised the Truth, while others have only false realisation. My ex-disciple, Goshal, is one of that type."

Goshal soon came to hear what Mahavira had said concerning him and he became furious. He came with some of his disciples to challenge Mahavira.

"Withdraw what you have said about me!" demanded Goshal.

"No, I cannot do that," replied Mahavira.

"Then tell me why you said 'my ex-disciple Goshal'," said Goshal. "How dare you claim that I was your disciple? I was never your disciple."

Mahavira looked at Goshal. "You were our Goshal," he said. "You stayed with us for six years."

"No," insisted Goshal. "I am not your Goshal. I have changed my name. It is now Udaye Kundiyajan."

"Oh, I was only talking about our Goshal," said Mahavira. "If you were not our Goshal, then why do you have to identify with him? Why do you have to be affected at all? If it is true that Goshal was someone else, then why do you have to worry about what I said?"

But Goshal was not satisfied with Mahavira's reasoning. He began to threaten Mahavira verbally. "You must never again say that I was your disciple," he screamed.

Mahavira remained unmoved. "I know you were my disciple," he said. "You were with me for six years."

Then a heated discussion ensued. Goshal became so enraged that he literally wanted to kill Mahavira. He used a special kind of occult power to attack Mahavira. The name of that occult force is tejoleshya. It is a kind of deadly heat.

When Goshal directed this force towards Mahavira, the destructive force penetrated Mahavira's body and then rebounded back to Goshal. Both of them were in severe pain. Their bodies were burning, burning.

Then Goshal faced Mahavira and said, "I am cursing you! Within six months you will die!"

Mahavira said, "I am sorry, but you will die in seven days and I will live sixteen more years."

Mahavira's disciples and Goshal's disciples all witnessed this scene. They saw that Mahavira was protected by his purity and spiritual height.

It came to pass that on the seventh day after this encounter Goshal died, while Mahavira went on to live for another sixteen years.

Occultly Mahavira knew that Goshal was in the village when he first gave the message about Goshal's false realisation. Goshal had misused his occult power on many occasions and the time had come for him to be exposed to the whole world.