Shri Raychandbhai Ravajibhai Mehta was born in 1867 A.D. at Vavania in Saurashtra. His family belonged to a well-known merchant community. His father’s name was Ravjibhai and mother’s name was Devabai. His mother was brought up in Jain religious traditions. As well his grandfather was the great devotee of Lord Krishna.
His Realizations and Early Life:
He was also one of Gandhi’s best friends. They exchanged a series of letters about religion and philosophy with each other.
With a heavy past experience which he had at the age of seven, his mental and spiritual grounds were shaken which led him under an oblivious situation. At that time he witnessed a natural calamity of burning pyre of one of his acquaintance. That was the time when he processed under mental churning and subconscious upheaval. Hence, he devoted himself to Jatismaran jnan (a recollection of several past lives) at the cremation ground itself. This whole experience of past and subconscious tyrants he established a simple continuity with his previously attained state of knowledge, meditation and penance. As a result of this purification of his consciousness, many unusual mnemonic and psychic powers manifested in him, but he chose to ignore them, focusing solely on self-realization. Consequently at very young in age, he was spiritually mature, and remained in a state of heightened awareness.
Having spent nearly a decade of his life as a householder, discharging the responsibilities that had come his way, inwardly he remained completely detached. Hence any of the worldly comforts and pleasures never attracted him in the least and he spent long hours in insightful deliberation and deep meditation.
In 1897 A.D. at the age of 30 years, he wrote his famous poem in which he thanked the day when he realized unique peace.
In 1874 he obtained the Jati Smarana Gnan. In 1875 A.D., he began to advance on the spiritual path from the point he had already reached in his previous life. He was also a prolific writer and is famous for his work, Atma Siddhi, a Gujarati poem on attainment of soul. Ceaselessly immersed in spiritual pursuits, at the age of 23, he attained Shuddha Samyakdarshan (right self-perception).
He salutes the great Tirthankara who realized his soul and described it for the benefit of the world. It is only by the teachings of the Tirthankara that one can easily know his soul.
STRI NITI BODHAKA:
In his book Stri Niti Bodhaka Part 1 on `The nature of ideal moral life for women’, he has advocated the cause of women’s education as essential to national freedom. He advised his brethren to spread education in women, to remove internal quarrels and crippling social customs and thereby expedite the recovery of national independence.
In this book of 50 pages he has analyzed the causes of backwardness in women, such as child-marriage, forced marriage of the unequal in health, age and intelligence and lastly, endless superstitions and ignorance. The matter of the book is divided into four sections:
The first section deals with prayer to God, devotion, transistorizes of the living body, advice given by a mother to her daughter, avoidance of waste of time, diligence in work and the excellent results obtained by diligence.
The second section deals with learning, advantages of education, select reading of good books and acceptance of good and useful lessons.
The third section deals with self-improvement, adoption of virtues, spread of moral and healthy atmosphere, nature of truth and avoidance of profligacy and debauchery.
The fourth and the last section deal with the description of the wise and virtuous people and it includes a composition of hundred verses on words of wisdom for all.
In this book, he has discussed subjects like unity, morality, patience, courage, truthfulness, innocence, devotion, patriotism, social reforms, diligence, avoidance of bad company, learning, avoidance of pride, devotion to own husband, avoidance of skepticism or nihilism, sympathy, love of religion, writing good books, thriftiness, reduction of the household expenditure, forgiveness, merit, humility, modesty, keeping good and virtuous company, avoidance of the company of foolish women, avoidance of betting etc., thinking of death, search for the path of knowledge, doing charity to the deserving persons, love for doing good to others, increased reading etc.
108 golden advices Mokshmala:
Shrimadji wrote a rosary of 108 golden advices for the benefit of the seekers of Self-realization in Vikram Samvat 1940 or 1884 A.D.
He advises the people to think of the Self, not to repent for the life already led but to make the best of the life yet to come. A man should repent for his immoral acts and should determine to be thoroughly moral in his future dealings.
A person should allot his time of the day in the following manner: 3 hours to devotion, 3 hours to doing religious rites, 3 hours to food and bodily nourishment, 3 hours to education and learning, 6 hours to sleep and 6 hours to take care of his family and social life, if he is a householder. One who has renounced the world should be absorbed in thoughts of Self-realization and should control his mind from passions and prejudices.
Though Mokshmala was composed in three days Shrimad found that it would take a long time to publish it. So, he composed a small book of 50 pages called Bhavana Bodh or the instructions to cultivate twelve sentiments necessary for leading the life of non-attachment to the world; and gave this book to his readers in anticipation of the delay in publication of Mokshmala.
The twelve sentiments to be cultivated are briefly as follows:
Everything in the world except the soul is transitory and subject to destruction. The soul alone is, in its nature, eternal.
In the world none can protect a living being from death. Therefore the only shelter one should seek in life is true religion. Religion alone can be man’s savior.
The soul has been passing through a chain of births and deaths and it is high time for it to think of its freedom from Sansar – a cycle of births and deaths. One should consciously realize that the soul’s nature is freedom and so it is but natural to think of its salvation from Sansar.
This soul has always been and, is alone. It will suffer the fruits of its deeds and it is the lone pilgrim.
All souls are independent and none is really related to the other.
This body is unholy; it gives out and absorbs many unholy and impure substances. I, as a soul quite independent of my body which is subject to disease and death.
Attachment, avarice, ignorance, sense of futility, etc. are binding the soul.
One should devote his time to acquiring knowledge and meditation and thereby save oneself from the bondage of fresh actions.
To act with full knowledge of the nature of the Self is the way to cut the knot of binding actions.
To think of the fourteen worlds in which the soul wanders in bondage.
To determine that a man cannot attain the right knowledge of the nature of the Self while living the worldly life. Even if such knowledge may be had, conscious abidance in the true nature of the Self will become difficult. Hence, one should feel intense obligation of the enlightened Guru who explains the true nature of the Self.
Therefore one should appreciate the rare possibility of obtaining the right preceptor of religion and one should lose no time in following his advice, should he be available.
Shrimad Rajchandra’s ardent devotee, Pujyashri Rakeshbhai Jhaveri established ‘Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram’ on the auspicious day of Mahavir Jayanti in the year 2001 on the blessed land of Dharampur. Shrimad Rajchandra Dharampur Ashram , Pujya Shri Atmanandji (formerly Dr. Mukund Soneji) established ‘Shrimad Rajchandra Adhyatmik Sadhana Kendra – Koba’ In 1982 on the blessed land of Koba, Gandhinagar, situated in serene, peaceful and natural environment near Sabarmati river, away from polluted city life.
Shrimad Rajchandra – His Ashrams List:
Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram Sayla
Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, Dharampur
Shrimad Rajchandra Gyan Ashram
The Shrimad Rajchandra Dharampur Ashram
The Shrimad Rajchandra Koba Ashram
At the age of 32, he was at the threshold of complete renunciation when he contracted an illness from which he never recovered. In spite of extreme physical discomfort, he always remained in a blissful state. Despite comprehensive treatment by doctors and meticulous care by devotees and relatives, all efforts to save his body failed. On 9 April, 1901 (Chaitra Vad Pancham V.S. 1957), at Rajkot, he died in a state of complete awareness.
His prayer and Realizations:
He Bhagvan! Hu bohu bhuli gayo,
Meh tamara amulya vachnone lakshma lidha nahi.
Tamara Kahela anupam tatvano meh vichar karyo nahi.
Tamara pranit karela uttam shilne sevvu nahi.
Tamara kahela daya, shanti, kshama ane pavitrata meh olukhya nahi.
He Bhagvan! Hu bhulyo, athdeyo, razlyo, ane anant sansarni vitambana ma padyo chhu.
Hu papi chhu, Hu bahu madonmutt ane karmarujthi karine malin chhu.
He Parmatma! tamara kahela tatva veena maro mokha nathi.
Hu nirantar prapanchma padyo chhu; agnanthi andh theyo chhu;
marama vivekshakti nathi ane hu mudh chhu, hu nirashrit chhu, anath chhu.
Niragi Parmatma! hu havve tamaru, tamara dharmanu ane tamara muninu sharan grahu chhu.
Mara apradh khsye theyi hu te sarva papthi mukte thau eh mari abhilasha chhe.
Agal karela papono hu have pashchatap karu chhu. Jem Jem hu sukshma vicharthi unndo utru chhu, tem tem tamara tatvana chamatkaro mara swarupno prakash kare chhe.
Thame niragi nirvikari, satchidanand-swarup, sahajanandi, anantgnani, anantdarshi ane treilokyaprakashak chho. Hu matra mara hithne arthe tamari sakshieh kshma chahu chhu.
Ek pal pun tamara kahela tatvani shanka nuh thay, tamara kahela rastama ahoratra hu rahu, ej mari akanksha ane vruti thaho!
He sarvagna Bhagvan! Thamne vishesh shu kahu? Tamarathi kai ajanyu nathi.
Matra pashchatapthi hu karma janya papni kshma ichhu chhu.
Ohm shanti! shanti! shanti!
Shrimad Rajchandra created this prayer when he was 17 years old in his book, Mokshmala. This is one of his most famous works.
In this prayer, Shrimad is apologizing to Mahavir Bhagvan for not only what he did wrong in this life but also in the previous countless lives.
Bhagvan! I forgot a lot. I did not pay attention to your sayings. I did not think about important facts you had said. I did not follow the conduct that you described. I did not observe kindness, peace, forgiveness, and purity in my behavior.
Dear God! I feel lost and I am wondering around in endless life cycles aimlessly. I am sinful, egoistic, and dirty due to karma particles attached to my soul. Bhagvan! I realize that unless I think of the facts that you have said, there is no moksha for me. I am always planning worldly activities, I am blinded by the lack of knowledge, I do not have a sense of serenity. I am not very bright, and I do not have anybody to protect and guide me.
Great soul! You have no attachment to anyone. I seek the protection from you, your religion and your monks. Please forgive all my past mistakes and make me free from all my sins because I am truly sorry for all the bad deeds I have done. As I go in deep thoughts, your preaching enlightens my soul. You are not attached to anyone, you have no dirt in your soul. You are always very happy and that happiness has come from you being in your own pure state of soul. You have infinite knowledge, infinite true faith, and you brighten the entire universe.
I am apologizing to you for my own good. Please grant me the wish that not for a moment, I doubt your sayings and I stay in the path shown by you day and night. Dear God! You know everything, so what more can I say? I am regretting all the sins that I did under the influence of my past karma, and I am begging for your forgiveness.
Ohm Peace: Peace: Peace:
This prayer is said by Shreemad’s follower everyday. This prayer describes how Sidha and Arihantha’s souls are in their pure state and we can achieve this, too. It helps to make our soul humble, and strengthens our faith in Mahavira. It also tells us that our soul is eternal and we have to purify our soul in this life to best of our ability and not get deeply involve in worldly matters. Let this prayer of Kshamapana be a true inspiration to all!