Prashantmurti Gachchhadhipati Acharya Shri Kailasasagarsurishwarji
Acharya Shri Kailasasagarsurishwarji Maharaj
A great religious head with vast capabilities and a repository of Sanyam and Aradhana,
Acharyashri is an honor to the whole Jain Community.
Birth and Childhood
A child was born to Mrs. Ramarakhidevi, wife of Shri Ramkrishna Das, at Jagraon
village in Ludhiana District of the Punjab, on the sixth day of the second half
of Margshirsha in v.s. 1970. He was named Kashiram. The couple was Sthanakvasi Jain.The
astrologer who cast the horoscope predicted that the combination of the exalted
and auspicious planets at the time of the birth of the child was similar to that
of making an emperor. The child who was born in this prosperous and happy family
was a genius and always achieved first class during his school and college education.
He passed B.A. (Hon.) from the Lahore University and got a teaching job in the Sanatan
Dharma College, which he humbly declined.
Love for spiritualism
Kashiramji was gentle and humble by nature and had inherited good habits from his
parents. As his parents were Sthanakvasi Jain, Kashiramji had a good association
with a Jain Monk called Muni Chhotulalji who strengthened his religious feelings
and spirit of introspection. He soon expressed his desire to take Sanyas (renunciation).
Being against his spiritual inclinations, his parents got him married to a girl
Do Agamas approve idol-worship?
Kashiramji was not at all interested in marital pleasures. He was always engaged
in the study of religious books and contemplation and introspection. He was a voracious
reader. He used to bring books from Jain monks. One day he got a book, which stressed
that Jain scriptures approved idol worship. He was though opposed to idol worship
but after reading this book, he found out many examples from the Agamas of Sthanakvasi
Jain, which advocated that idol worship was not against the Jain tenets. He studied
this book many times and when he was not satisfied, he went to discuss the matter
with Muni Chhotulalji to understand the truth. The Muni first avoided discussion
but on continuous insistance he discussed the entire subject. Muni’s arguments could
not withstand against the sound and logical reasoning of Kashiramji and he accepted
that idol-worship approved by the Agamas and stopped criticizing it.
Search for the truth
However,the problem still haunted Kashiramji and he wanted to dig deep into this
matter. He went to Gujarat to meet the writer of the book who seemed to be a great
supporter of idol worship. When he reached there, he learnt that Yoganistha Acharya
Shri Buddhisagarsurishwarji Maharaj. had already left this word. He grieved deeply.
However he came to know that now Acharya Shri Kirtisagarsurishwarji (Chief disciple
of Yugdrashta Acharya Shri Buddhisagarsurishwarji Maharaj) was the torch bearer
and leading the Sangh. He made up his mind to see and consulted him. Deeply convinced
by his arguments, Kashiramji expressed his sincere regret for his violent criticism
of idol worship and wanted to atone for it. Acharyashri advised him to go on a pilgrimage
to the holy Shatrunjay, which he did, with pure devotion. He formerly was criticizing
the Shatrunjay tirth but after his visit to Dada Bhagwan Adishwar there, he came
clear of all the doubts / wrong notions whatsoever and vowed not to speak against
idol-worship any more.
Shri Kashiramji was an introvert from the beginning and always strived in search
of truth. After his pilgrimage to Shatrunjay, he went to Taranga where Acharya Kirtisagarsuriji
Maharaj Saheb was camping. He bowed to him, touched his feet and expressed his desire
to obtain Deeksha (renunciation) from him. When Acharyashri told him that he could
not give him deeksha unless he obtained permission from his parents, Kashiramji
expressed that he would get himself attired in white clothes and keep sitting at
his feet. Realizing that he was determined, Acharyashri asked Muniratna Jitendrasagarji
Maharaj Saheb to initiate him. He was named Muni Shri Anandasagarji Maharaj Saheb
from that day. On learning about Kashiramji’s journey to Gujarat and Deeksha his
parents went there and took him back with them despites Kashiramji’s resistance.
Now he discussed the whole matter with his wife frankly. He now spent most of his
time studying books and in meditation. He regularly performed Poushadh. Though he
was in the world, yet out of it. Seeing his indifference towards the worldly life,
his excellent daily routine and his love for asceticism, his parents gave their
permission for Deeksha. Consequently, he again became disciple of Muni Shri Jitendrasagarji
Maharaj and left the materialistic life forever on the auspicious 10th day of the
dark half of Paush in the year v.s. 1994. Now he was named Muni Shri Kailasasagarji
Though he was deeply interested in religious matters and inclined towards the achievement
of spiritualism, he was well aware of the material life of this world and its uselessness.
After deeksha, his pursuit for self-development continued unabated. Thanks to his
great intellectual power, he soon became proficient in the Agamas, grammar, philosophy,
Ayurveda, astrology, literature and so on. Whenever he wanted to get knowledge of
a subject, he delved deep into all its aspects. He soon became popular among the
senior monks and other learned men. He surrendered himself absolutely to his Guru
(teacher) and his seniors and obeyed everything as per there wishes. Whatever he
did, he did it with their orders. Blessings were showered on him from all directions.
As time progressed, honour upon honour was showered on him.
Because of his capabilities and achievements, the Jain Sangh conferred on him the
title of Gani at Pune on the 13th day of the bright half of Magh in v.s. 2004; Panyas
title at Godiji in Mumbai on the 10th day of the bright half of Margshirsha in the
year v.s. 2005; Upadhyaya title at Sanand on Magh Sudi 5, v.s. 2011 and the title
of Acharya also in Sanand on Magh Sudi 5 of 2022. In V.S. 2026, he was made Gachchhanayak
and the whole responsibility of the sangh fell on his shoulders. He was bestowed
with the title of Gachchhadhipati at Mahudi tirth on Jyeshtha Sudi 11, v.s. 2039
in a huge gathering of his devotees from all over India. Gachchhadhipati Acharya
Shri Kailassagarsurishwarji Maharaj. had a great love for meditation. He spent long
hours meditating in the caves, temples, fields or along the riverbanks. He had complete
control over his tastebuds. He stopped taking sweets a short time after his deeksha.
He had a great restraint on his look. He always sat with his eyes planted down concentrating
on the earth (Bhoomi).
He was proficient in sculpture and muhurt methodologies (pious moment – Shubh Muhurt)
of astrology. His services as Shasan Prabhavak can never be forgotten. It is a long
list of achievements .
A Great Shasan Prabhavak and an expert in Iconography
He was instrumental in performing 63 Anjan Shalaka, establishment of 80 temples
and renovation of several temples. More than 30 Upadhan penance were performed during
his life as Acharya. The Anjan ceremony of more than 9000 idols were performed by
him. People often visited him to seek his guidance and clarifications regarding
Jain temples and Jain icons.
His Inspiration for the construction of Simandharswami temple
His inspiration for the establishment of a huge and artistic image of Simandharswami
in the Jain Temple of Mehsana has made Acharyashri immortal. No other idol of Simandharswami
as huge as this is installed anywhere in India. Visiting this temple, the pilgrim
feels that he is having darshan at a Derasar of Bhagwan in Mahavideha Kshetra. His
disciples Shri Kalyansagarsurishwarji Mahraj and Shri Padmasagarsurishwarji Maharaj
Saheb played an important role in the establishment of this tirth.
Nation wide tours
During the 47 years of his life as a saint, he undertook tours of Gujarat, Madhya
Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Bengal and so on and ceaselessly strove to make people
free from vices and illuminate their Chitta (i.e. minds and heart), so that they
may lead a spiritual and happy life. His efforts were crowned with great success.
Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Jamnagar, Pali and Ahmedabad, besides many small villages
were fortunate enough to have his Chaturmas (staying at one place for 4 month's
of the rainy season). Illuminated by his inspiring precepts and his holy life, many
great souls vowed to lead a life of Sanyam. Pujyashri had nine disciples who further
spreaded Guru’s teachings.
After completing the morning Pratikramana in the Upashraya of the Ankur Society
of Ahmedabad, on the 2nd day of the bright half of Jyeshtha in V.S. 2041 i.e. 22nd
May 1987, he was about to complete his Kayotsarg but just before that he departed
for final abode. People pray for samadhi when they utter the auspicious word samadhi
va muttamam dintu of Logassa Stotra. In that very Kayotsarg Acharyashri, Kailasasagarsuriji
Maharaj attained his samadhi. The very idea of death frightens the common man but
that very death bowed before him seeking permission. His last rites were performed
on the grounds of Shri Mahavir Jain Aradhana Kendra, Koba. An Artistic Memorial
Temple has been constructed at that spot.
Such great souls (Mahavibhuti) who inspire millions of people and enlighten them
to follow the path of the spiritual achievement in addition to their own well-being
are few and far between. Birth and death are natural phenomena. We are all destined
to die but only a few get samadhi maran (peaceful death) like Acharya Kailasasagarsurishwarji
Maharaj Saheb. Such Mahavibhuti take Avatar on this earth may be in millenium. The
Samadhi Maran of Acharyashri was a great achievement of his pure and impeccable
character. His death was not a cause for sorrow. It was a great celebration. Acharyashri
used to say often “I want to take samadhi. I am not desirous of living any more."
He left us finally when he was fully conscious, tranquil and calm. To make his life
absolutely pure and free from all sins he begged forgiveness from all his disciples
by chanting the words, " Michchhami Dukkadam " and said "If I live, I shall always
say, Soaham Soaham. If I die, I will go to Simandharswami. I am not desirous of
living and I am not afraid of death." These were his last words.
The real worth and greatness of any Acharya cannot be correctly measured by the
number of temples constructed or renovated or Upadhan penance performed through
his inspiration. His internal spiritual life is the true measurement of his greatness.
Acharyashri practiced what he preached. Everybody was equal before him. He was an
incarnation of peace and divine happiness. He had complete faith in god and all
human beings were his friends. He spent most of his time in meditation and prayer
to god. He never wasted a moment and made full use of his life in the pursuit of
truth and religious deeds. His spotless character and high ideals will guide us
always and enlighten our lives forever so that we can make our lives better and
greater. Hundreds and hundreds Vandanas at his holy Padchihna.