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 unveil 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 55 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 100+ 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 (Howrah), Parasdham (Jamnagar), Pawandham (Baroda) and Shree Uvasaggaharam Sadhana Bhavan (Rajkot).
Envisioning a Sadhana Sthal that helps innumerable seekers detach from the world and connect with the Self, Pujya Gurudev has inspired the creation of Paramdham – an Ashram amidst the serene calmness of nature. Away from the hustle bustle of the fast city life, the Ashram is located near Padgha in Thane district, enabling the seekers to advance in their inner journey, just like Parmatma Mahavir.
Jain Darshan upholds the belief that every soul has the potential of becoming pure, of becoming Mahavir, by shedding the layers of ignorance and vices. Diksha is one’s ardent effort to not just worship Mahavir, but to initiate the journey of becoming like Mahavir! Following the footsteps of great souls like Tirthankar Mahavir, several educated youngsters of today’s day and age have given up the sheen of the material world to heed to their inner calling, embracing the vows of Jain Diksha in Pujya Gurudev’s sanidhya.
The year of 2014 was a historic year as 9 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.
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.
Not only these young Mahasatijis set an example for the world as a whole, but made an everlasting impression on many young minds.
As the rays of sunlight dispel the darkness from every corner, Pujya Gurudev’s ever flowing knowledge illuminated the hearts of yet another 8 Sadhaks, dispelling the darkness of ignorance and unveiling the light of inner wisdom in their souls.
Again in February 2016, 8 fortunate Sadhaks embraced the vows of Jain Diksha in Pujya Gurudev’s Sanidhya making their human birth worthwhile. This Diksha turned out to be 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. Another set of 12 Mumukshus made themselves ready to take Jin Shasan to newer heights by adopting the Panch Mahavrat Diksha, at Paramdham Ashram, Padgha on 4th February 2018. The magnificent Diksha event created ripples of euphoria leaving the huge gathering spellbound carving the names of these twelve mumukshus with golden letters in the History of Jainism. Fortumate and deserving are the souls who are getting an opportunity to propogate the preaching of Parmatma Mahavir and carrying his legacy forward.
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.