A revolutionary saint with extraordinary dynamism, Rashtrasant Pujya Gurudev Shree Namramuniji Maharaj Saheb is an individual whose words, work and thoughts leave an indelible mark on every life that they touch. His visionary thoughts, his immense positivity and his deep connection with the Self; help one experience the glory of Spirituality in his Sanidhya.
26th September, 1970, saw the humble beginnings of Kumar Mahavir Kanhaiyalal Bhayani in the city of Nagpur (Maharashtra), whom seekers across the world fondly revere as Pujya Gurudev today. Having lost his father at the tender age of 2 years and 9 months, life was filled with struggles and hardships; due to which the family then shifted base to their native village Lathi, Gujarat.
The youngest among the 4 siblings, Mahavir had an uncanny curiosity from a very young age. He tried to discover the reason and purpose behind everything, every situation and every object. It was this thirst for knowledge, which made Mahavir experience a connection with himself and Parmatma. His sixth sense awakened at the age of 6 years and he was able to gauge and foresee future happenings. Having an uncommon empathy in his heart, friends and family alike would seek his advice and trust his opinions in matters large and small.
Mahavir would take deep interest in religious activities since childhood. His mother, who was a devout follower of Jainism, played an integral role in nurturing him with the values of the Jain philosophy from a tender age. Mahavir grew up to become an exceptionally compassionate, kind hearted and helpful human being. Having seen hardships since childhood, he knew what it was like to experience sorrow and pain. And the initial rooting in Jain thoughts and beliefs inspired Mahavir to become LIKE Bhagwan Mahavir – exuding love and compassion towards every living being.
Intense Self – Reliance was a principle that Mahavir had nurtured since childhood. He knew the difficulties his mother had to undergo in upbringing the family, and he thus resolved that he shall never be dependent on others for his survival. Since the age of 10 years, Mahavir undertook the mantle of raising money for his own education. He took up part time jobs which helped him become hardworking and taught him how to face the realities of life. His mother supported him in all his endeavours, and Mahavir grew up to become a well grounded, empathetic and responsible individual.
Entwined in the world of the temporary, life took a U – Turn for young Mahavir in the year of 1990. A single dream rejuvenated his consciousness, inspiring him to contemplate upon his life after life! It was as if an entrancing voice reverberated inside his ears, “Your life is short. Do what you have to…” These words pierced Mahavir’s heart and became a turning point in his life. Transcending beyond the ephemeral, his Vision broadened across the horizon of the Eternal, and he adopted the Panch Mahavrat Diksha Vrat at the young age of 21 in 1991 to transform into Pujya Namramuni Maharaj Saheb.
Pujya Gurudev spent his initial five years of ascetic life in research, spiritual practices, and religious disciplines for the attainment of moksha (liberation). He learnt 19 Aagams by-heart and mastered the 32 Aagams (Jain Scriptures) to unveiled their deep secrets and philosophies. His thirst for knowledge coupled with his earnest respect and inner humility towards the elderly saints helped him dive in the depths of Swadhyay. He was able to decipher the scriptures’ in-depth meanings with great ease and discover the secrets of Parmatma Mahavir’s spiritual transcendence.
In the year 1992, Pujya Gurudev contracted a serious infection. The infection was so severe that it caused him to vomit 80% of his blood. Doctors conceded that there was no hope for survival. However, he had a very strong will power. Instead of succumbing to fear in the face of death, Pujya Gurudev was determined to bravely embrace it. He closed his eyes and started chanting the Namaskar Mantra. He suddenly realized that he had begun chanting Shree Uvasaggaharam Stotra, a mantra which he had never heard or read in his life before. He asked the doctors to continue the treatment, whilst he continued with his Jaap. And to the disbelief and awe of all the doctors and specialists, he was soon out of danger. Pujya Gurudev realized that he shared some connection with the Mantra and Parmatma Parshwanath, which had brought him back from the door of death. He practiced deep meditation and immersed himself in intense Sadhna of Shree Uvasaggaharam Stotra, achieving Mantra Siddhi. The Mantra has thus become his breath of faith, reverberating within his soul in every conscious and unconscious moment of his life.
Pujya Gurudev was first acquainted with his revered Guru, Tapsamrat Pujya Gurudev Shree Ratilalji Maharaj Saheb in the year 1997, and this was yet another turning point of his life. All the knowledge he had grasped, all the wisdom he had earned; seemed to him as a living reflection in Tapsamrat Pujya Gurudev’s persona. He realized, that beyond the language of the books, there is a world where the soul speaks and the soul listens, the hidden world of vibrations! He discovered the true essence of SAIYAM in Tapsamrat Gurudev’s venerating Sharan. It made Pujya Gurudev treasure each and every moment of his Saiyam Jeevan. Samarpanta, Swadhyay and Seva became his Sadhna. Blessed in the Sanidhya of his revered Guru, he not only experienced Mahavir, but discovered the Mahavir within himself. Tapsamrat Gurudev’s krupa and grace became his life force and Pujya Gurudev selflessly served him till his very last breath.
Feeling intensely blessed to have attained the venerating Sharan of Tapsamrat Gurudev and Jin Shasan, Pujya Gurudev aspired to touch the hearts of innumerable seekers with the Universal Truth propounded by Parmatma Mahavir. His Chaturmas across cities in Gujarat, Mumbai. Kolkata, Chennai have been a life transforming and invigorating experience for thousands of seekers. His striking humility, profound wisdom and simplicity has touched many. His ability to adapt with the changing times and read the pulse of today’s youth, has helped him serve the tenets of Jainism in a manner which stirs their soul and brings about a life-long transformation in their lives. His unbiased love for all has been instrumental in weaving a fabric of cultural unity and bringing about universal peace. His innumerable missions have helped nurture spirituality with a gentle touch of humanity, elevating the lives of many from all sectors of society.
Driving the youth of today from Distraction to Divinity, Pujya Gurudev inspired the humanitarian mission of Arham Yuva Seva Group in 2005. With 65 centers across the country and abroad, the mission has expanded magnanimously and groomed thousands of youngsters to become socially responsible citizens of tomorrow. Look N Learn Jain Gyan Dham was set up in 2006 with a revolutionary vision to imbibe innocent hearts with not just principles of religion, but with values and ethics to make them responsible and humane citizens of tomorrow. Look N Learn today has spread across the world with 89 centres and thousands of children & Didis who enthusiastically take the mission forward. Visualizing the advancement and progress of various missions, Pujya Gurudev inspired the construction of Parasdham in 2007, as the central point for conducting various Shasan Prabhavana activities. The unprecedented growth and the initiation of several other missions, led to the formation of Pawandham (Mumbai), Parasdham (Kolkata), Pawandham (Baroda) and Pavitradham (Ahmedabad).
Thus, initiating a social transformation with a touch of Humanity, Pujya Gurudev progressively advanced in His mission of Spiritual Upliftment. 2011 saw a marked reform, as Pujya Gurudev spent a chaturmas of solitude and serenity at Santbalji Ashram in Chinchan, where the focus was on Swadhyay and Sadhna. Thousands of seekers who were a part of several Apurva Yog Shibirs during these 4 months, experienced an unprecedented elevation in their Inner Journey. Emanating the truth of ‘Right Identity’ as propounded by Parmatma Mahavir, this Chaturmas was a period of Self Reflection and Self Realization for innumerable seekers in Pujya Gurudev’s Sanidhya. Inspired by this truth, this Chaturmas became a turning point for several blessed youngsters, who resolved to adopt the Sadhak Lifestyle.
With the deep compassion that dwells in his heart, Pujya Gurudev envisions to inspire more than 108 Sadhaks on the revered path of Bhagwati Jain Diksha. And thus, his succeeding Chaturmas at Chennai (2012) and then Parasdham (2013) trained these young Sadhaks and groomed them beautifully for the graceful Saiyam Jeevan. Moulding them in the venerating Sadhna of Seva, Swadhyay and Samarpanta; these blessed Sadhaks became worthy of reaching the altar of worship in Jin Shasan – the Padd of Panch Mahavratdhari Renunciates. The year of 2014 was a historic year as 9 of these young and well-educated Sadhaks adopted Diksha in Pujya Gurudev’s Sanidhya. These blessed Mahasatijis have undergone intense training to elevate their Inner Wisdom and adopt the revered lifestyle of Diksha.
Not only these young Mahasatijis set an example for the world as a whole, but made an everlasting impression on many a young minds who started to take keen interest in Shibirs and many activities that would eventually help them move up the ladder of self realization.
The Diksha was instrumental in sowing the seeds of Vairagya in 2 more souls, and their Diksha was formalized in the end of the same month.
After these 11 Dikshas, Pujya Gurudev once again completely involved himself in the duty of a sculptor, and started finetuning some of the other Sadhaks to make them eligible for Diksha. This intense hardwork resulted in the growth of 8 more souls.
This time around, the Diksha which happened in February 2016, turned another historic page, as it witnessed two Sadhu Dikshas under the same roof, in the Gondal Sampraday after a very long time.
When young souls embark on the tough road towards inner self, it often leaves behind an indelible mark on many a minds, old and young alike. While doctors and lawyers and CA’s gave up the luxuries of their life and embraced the life of a renunciate, there were other young Sadhaks looking at them and learning from them. This Diksha yet again paved way for more enlightening, as another set of Mumukshus, are now awaiting their Diksha in February 2018 at Ahmedabad. These nine souls would also carve their names in golden letters in the History of Jainism, because each brings along a world of wisdom, which is neither learnt nor acquired, but inherited from Sadguru, and the many Sadhu-Sadhvis over the years.
The day is not far, when Pujya Gurudev will see his dream come true and these young shoulders will carry Jin Shasan to newer heights.
Pujya Gurudev feels immensely blessed to receive the vast heritage of Parmatma’s universal wisdom. He constantly aspires to bring this wisdom within the reach of the whole world and build a responsible and respectable society which is free from the prevalent atrocities of violence, terrorism, inequality, economic wars, etc. Transcending the eyes of short-lived perceptions, Pujya Gurudev constantly envisions a dream to dispel the darkness of ignorance and enlighten the world with the light of Wisdom – the Universal Truth! He truly believes, “Wisdom is the greatest service to humanity. Spread the light of Wisdom to burn the torch of compassion and peace!” He has thus been bestowed with the honour of ‘Yug Diwakar’ by Gondal Gachh Shiromani Param Pujya Shree Jayantmuniji Maharaj Saheb and the prestige of ‘Rashtra Sant’ by the World Jain Mission.