Shalibhadra's mother was Bhadra Shethani and his father was Gobhadra Sheth. His father had left the house when the boy was young and became a monk. Shalibhadra was a born multimillionaire. His life was like being in heaven. It was said that even the heavenly angels were jealous of his lavish lifestyle. He had 32 beautiful wives. His mother never let him out of his palace in a fear that he might become a monk like his father.
One day, some merchants from Nepal came to sell some very expensive sarees. They went to King Shrenik's court where the king told them that he could not afford to use his citizens' money for such expensive sarees. They were going back with disappointment because they had the high hopes about this city. When Bhadra Shethani came to know about this, she sent for those merchants. The merchants were reluctant to go because if the King could not buy, how any resident could buy such expensive thing. But they went there anyway. Bhadra Shethani asked, "What do you have?" They said they had sixteen sarees. She said, "Only sixteen? I need thirty-two saris because I have thirty-two daughter-in-laws." The merchants thought she was joking and would not buy even one. She said, "What are you waiting for. Take out those sarees." They took out those sixteen sarees. The merchants were surprised that without any second thought she bought all sixteen sarees. They were further dazed to see her tearing such precious sarees into two pieces in front of them and giving a piece to each of her daughters-in-laws to wipe their feet. The merchants were stunned but left with joy. The daughters-in-laws used these pieces once and threw them away.
He kept on thinking that he was not free because there was someone over him. He started to think about his father (who had become a monk) and the real meaning of life. He decided at that moment to become a monk and told his family about the decision. His mother and wives tried to convince him to spend some more time with them and maybe later think about it. But he did not listen. At last, he agreed that instead of leaving all thirty-two wives at once, he will leave one wife at a time, and then he would definitely become a monk. He started to do that the very same day.
A few days passed by. One day, his sister Subhadra was giving her husband Dhanna a bath and suddenly tears rolled down from her eyes and fell on him. He looked up, and saw his loving wife crying. He asked her what had happened. She told him that her brother had decided to be a monk and he had been leaving one wife every day. Dhanna laughed and told Subhadra, "Her brother was a coward. If he wanted to leave his wives, why wait?" Subhadra was upset to hear that, and told her husband, "It is easier said than done." This sparked awareness in Dhanna's mind, and he told her, "I am leaving all eight of my wives right now, and I am leaving right now to be a monk." Subhadra was taken by a surprise. She told him that he must be joking. But Dhanna said, "It is too late now. I am determined to be a monk. If you all want to join me you are welcome." Seeing Dhanna determined, Subhadra and the rest of his seven wives, also decided to become nuns.
Now, Dhanna came to his brother-in-law Shalibhadra's place and challenged him, "Hey coward! If you really want to leave the family and become a monk, then what are you waiting for? Join me."
Shalibhadra heard and accepted the challenge. He told his wives, "Sorry, but I am leaving you all today." He went down to join his brother-in-law. His wives joined him too. All of them went to Lord Mahavir and took Diksha.
What an incredible ending to such a luxurious life! After observing the penance as monk, Shalibhadra was born as an angel in Svarthsiddha Viman. From there, he would be born in Mahavideh Kshetra and ultimately attain liberation, Moksh......