Mumbai: 2017 marks the 150th birth anniversary of the great Indian saint and spiritual luminary – Shrimad Rajchandraji (1867 – 1901). Hailed as the spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi, Shrimad Rajchandraji had a tremendous and formative influence on the Father of the Nation.
Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur’s aim is to spread Shrimad Rajchandraji’s values of ahimsa and satya, that shaped Mahatma Gandhiji’s beliefs, and to bring his illuminating and spiritually uplifting teachings to the maximum number of people from all walks of life.
The celebration was as though launched from the Red Fort itself by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who in his uplifting speech on the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day said, “The country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandraji, Mahatma Gandhiji’s Guru. In one of His letters to Gandhiji, Shrimadji writes … the principle of non-violence has existed ever since the existence of violence. What is important is which one do we utilise for the welfare of mankind.”
Shrimad Rajchandraji is the epitome of spirituality. He was a perfect blend of pure knowledge, selfless devotion, and complete detachment. Shrimadji attained self-realisation at the age of 23. His preachings have been published in an invaluable volume ‘Shrimad Rajchandra,’ which continues to quench the thirst of true seekers. Through ashrams, temples, and institutions dedicated to Shrimadji around the world, lakhs of devotees are benefiting from his teachings and progressing on the spiritual path.
Elaborating upon Shrimadji’s influence on Gandhiji, Shri Abhay Jasani, President of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur said, “Gandhiji met Shrimadji for the first time in Mumbai, upon his return from England as a barrister in 1891. Shrimadji’s inner equipoise, absorption in spiritual pursuits, enlightening wisdom, knowledge of the scriptures and moral earnestness left a deep-rooted impression on Gandhiji.”
“The more I consider His life and His writings, the more I consider Him to have been the best Indian of His times.”
– Mahatma Gandhi – Letter to HSL Polak, April 26, 1909
“Their relationship blossomed over profound interactions in the two years that Gandhiji spent in Mumbai. Upon moving to South Africa, Gandhiji corresponded with Shrimadji through letters. Shrimadji’s insightful thoughts ignited the fire of spiritual inquisitiveness in Gandhiji. Their close association contributed in moulding Gandhiji’s moral fibre. Shrimadji’s inherent adherence to the principles of satya, ahimsa and dharma later crystallised as the fundamental tenets of Gandhism,” Abhay Jasani said.
“In my moments of spiritual crisis, Shrimadji was my refuge.”
– Mahatma Gandhi -The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ch. Raychandbhai)
As part of Shrimad Rajchandraji’s 150th birth anniversary, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD) has organised a year-long celebration. A part of the celebration is a profound spiritual relationship between Shrimadji and Gandhiji is depicted through an inspiring play titled ‘Yugpurush – Mahatma’s Mahatma’ which premiered on 14th November 2016. The play surpassed all milestones of success, having completed over 600 shows in 216 days, reaching over 425,000 people in 210 cities across the globe. The play is currently being showcased in 5 languages – Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and 2 languages Tamil and English are under production.
Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will be celebrating Shrimad Rajchandraji’s 150th birth anniversary celebration in which various Shrimad Rajchandra organizations from across the country such as Shrimad Rajchandra Adhyatmik Sadhana Kendra – Koba, Shrimad Rajchandra Nijabhyas Mandap and Vihar Bhavan Trust – Ahmedabad, Vadva & Idar, Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram – Sayla, Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram Sadhana Kendra – Kukma, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram – Patan and many more, will be present. Members of these organizations will jointly participate in the grand celebrations taking place in Ahmedabad on the 29th of June, 2017; in the august presence of Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, and other luminaries.
Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, is an ardent devotee of Shrimad Rajchandraji and the torchbearer of Shrimad Rajchandraji’s mission. He is a spiritual visionary and a modern day mystic. He is illuminating thousands of lives globally through enlightening discourses and an array of meditation retreats. His divine benevolence has uplifted a multitude of underprivileged lives through inner augmentation and societal development.
Several initiatives in India and across the world have been launched through His inspiration, some of which are:
- Naming of roads and chowks in the memory of Shrimad Rajchandraji
- Construction of Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital – a new 200-bed multi-specialty charity hospital for the economically underprivileged in South Gujarat. The rural populations of the Valsad district of Gujarat are amongst the poorest in the state, facing poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, and lack of health awareness, resulting in a myriad of health concerns.
- Shrimad Rajchandra Educational Aids Distribution – An initiative through which notebooks and stationery items are distributed at highly subsidised rates to rural children of Gujarat, reaching out to over 1.2 lakh families.
- An engaging and interactive travelling exhibition showcasing Shrimad Rajchandraji’s virtuous life, compositions and teachings.