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Prashantmurti Gachchhadhipati Acharya Shri Kailasasagarsurishwarji

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.
Details

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 named Shantadevi.

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.

Renunciation

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 Maharaj.

Study

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.

Final Voyage

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.

Rare Personality

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.


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