Great Indian Legend, Father of American Jainism

Jainism is without doubt one of the oldest faith of all identified current religions based billion of billion years in the past on this cycle by Lord Adinath, first tirthankar & Lord Mahavir, twenty fourth Tirthankar really revived Jainism mis-represented as founding father of Jainism.

Great Indian Legend, Father Of American Jainism

The Jain faith, in accordance with the Jain scriptures is everlasting, revealed in each cyclic interval of the universe. The time is split into 2equal half cycles specifically Utsarpini(ascending)Kal & Avasarpini(descending)Kal. Every cycle is once more divided into six divisions often called aras.The aras of Avasarpini are in reverse than in Utsarpini. There are 24 tirthankars in every half cycle. There was infinite variety of half cycles in previous and there shall be infinite variety of half cycles in future. Jainism is predicated on legal guidelines of nature and truths of the universe. Subsequently, Jainism has been in existence for the reason that legal guidelines of nature have been in existence. Subsequently, Jains imagine that the Jain faith has been in existence for the reason that time with out starting and may have no finish.

Great Indian Legend, Father Of American Jainism

Param Pujya Acharya Vijayandsuri (Muni Atmaramji) was worldwide well-known Nice Jain Saint who may see centuries & ages forward of their time. His outlook was very large, his coronary heart was filled with kindness & sympathy, thirst for virtues, deep data of assorted scriptures, nice instinct powers, and unbeatable need to be beneath Jainism and examine its highest literature was the important qualities of his nature.

Great Indian Legend, Father Of American Jainism

Acharya Vijayanadsuri (Atmaramji) was born in 1821 CE in a Kapoor Khatri household. On the age of 16, he was initiated in Sthanakwasi Jain order. Later in VS 1875, he was initiated by Muni Buddhivijaya of tapa gaccha. In 1886, he was conferred the title of Acharya at palitana. Earlier such honour of being conferred the title of an Acharya was virtually 4 centuries in the past. (1)

Great Indian Legend, Father Of American Jainism

Acharya Vijayanandsuriji (Atmaramji Muni), a flexible, far-sighted Jain saint-scholar, creator of a number of discovered treatises was invited to take part in first ever the Parliament of World Religions at Chicago, USA in 1893. The rules of proper conduct for a Jain monk prevented him from going overseas. Since he needed consciousness about Jainism to be re-presented at this Congress, he skilled and deputed 29 year-old, charismatic Virchand Raghavji Gandhi (VRG) (August 25, 1864 – August 7, 1901). VRG then was a younger barrister, nice exponent of Indian culture-religions, a polyglot understanding 14 languages, secretary of Jain Affiliation of India, Mumbai and was well-versed in Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Western philosophies, Yoga, and many others. Its word worthy that at age of 21 VRG grew to become first hon. Secretary of Jain Affiliation of India in 1885 .

Great Indian Legend, Father Of American Jainism

VRG and Swami Vivekananda sailed on the identical time to take part on the Parliament with identical objectives; each personalities sporting conventional turbans, made super look and had claimed equal consideration on the Congress for awakening the western world of the non secular heritage and wealthy previous historical past of India. Shri Virchand Gandhi’s life was filled with incidents and occasions, which had been uncommon, even within the lifetime of nice personages of these instances.

Great Indian Legend, Father Of American Jainism

1893, World Religions parliament was held on the Columbus Corridor of Artwork Institute of Chicago with greater than 3000 delegates of various nations and religions & such convention lasted for 17 days.

VRG, on the Parliament of World Religions conveyed, “You might have heard so many speeches from eloquent members, and I shall converse in a while at some size. I’ll, at current, solely provide on behalf of my neighborhood and their excessive priest, Muni Atmaramji, whom I particularly signify right here, our honest thanks for the type welcome you could have given us. This spectacle of discovered leaders of thought and faith assembly collectively on a standard platform and throwing mild on spiritual issues has been a dream of Muni Atmaramji’s Life. He has commissioned me to say to you that he gives his most cordial congratulations on his personal behalf, and on behalf of the Jaina neighborhood, to your having achieved the consummation of that grand concept, of convening a Parliament of Religions.I want that the obligation of addressing you on the historical past and the tenets of the Jaina religion had fallen on that in a position particular person than on me. The inclemency of the local weather, and the distant voyage which one has to undertake earlier than one can come right here, have prevented that in a position Jaina from attending this grand meeting and personally presenting to you the spiritual convictions of the Jainas. You’ll, subsequently, look upon me as merely the mouthpiece of Muni Atmaramji, the discovered excessive priest of the Jainas in India, who has devoted his complete life to the examine of that historical religion. “.

“I signify Jainism, a religion older than Buddhism, just like it in its ethics, however totally different from it in its psychology, and professed by 1,000,000 and a half of India’s most peaceable and legislation abiding residents”. He expounded to them what this universe is; whether or not there’s God because the creator of this universe; what’s the final goal of life and several other such different issues. He defined to them navatatva , shaddravya , chargati, panchavratha, Moksha , nyayavad , Anekanthavad . He re-presented or corrected the false and perverse impression of India as being the land of maharajahs, tigers and cobras. He narrated an incident from King Akbar’s life and praised him for respecting all different religions. He spoke as an Indian first however stored Jainism at his coronary heart. When one consciously suppresses individuality by correct bodily, psychological, ethical, and non secular growth, one turns into half and parcel of immutable course of nature, atmosphere, and ecology and by no means suffers, mentioned VRG on Jain Yoga Philosophy.

Shri Gandhi mentioned, “It’s an astonishing proven fact that foreigners have been continuously attacking India and within the face of all this aggression the soul of India has stood very important and watchful. Her conduct and faith are secure and the entire world seems to be at India with a gradual gaze.” He added “Cultural distinctions, agriculture, artwork, inventive talent, literature, good conduct, means of information, science, hospitality, feminism, love, and respect – all these are present in India in fairly a special type. If that tradition was purchasable, England would have bought it, adopted it. Nevertheless it has not occurred, it can’t occur.”

As a real patriot, VRG talked about financial and political freedom 5 a long time earlier than India grew to become unbiased. He proclaimed on the parliament that if India grew to become unbiased, she would by no means invade every other nation with violence. At this time this assertion seems as a prophecy that Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) proved in achieving India’s freedom with peaceable means.

VRG’s speeches additionally created a deep good picture that American folks had been magnetically attracted in the direction of him and at their request VRG extended his keep for 2 years and was invited twice later in 1897 and 1899. He delivered as many as 535 lectures primarily in Chicago, Boston, New York, Washington of USA, England, France, Germany and different European nations. In any respect these locations he was nicely listened, felicitated and offered with medals.

VRG defended Hinduism on the Parliament beneath unjust criticism by elaborating its rules. In these days, sea voyage was thought-about as unholy and VRG confronted unjust criticism for a similar. Swami Vivekanand wrote in 1894 from 541, Dearborn Avenue, Chicago, to the Diwan of Junagadh”Now right here is Virchand Gandhi, the Jain whom you knew nicely in Bombay. This man by no means takes something however mere greens even on this terribly chilly local weather and tooth and nail tries to defend his countrymen and faith. The folks of this nation like him very nicely. However what are they doing who despatched him over? They’re attempting to outcast him.”

Swami Vivekanand’s work grew to become well-known however sadly little was identified about VRG’s! One of many U.S. periodicals wrote whereas giving tribute to each of them when VRG and Swamiji died in 1901 and 1902 respectively, “The affect of Vivekanand’s philosophy has been stored alive by his disciples by founding group like Ramkrishna Mission whereas, it’s a matter of nice pity that no try has been made to maintain alive VRG’s reminiscence!”

Herbert Warren, a spiritual fanatic, deserted non-vegetarianism and adopted the Jain faith. He took notes from VRG’s lectures and wrote a e book on Jainism. V. Glasenapp, a Effectively-known German scholar wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Jaina Doctrine of Karma and acknowledged VRG’s affect. Hon. E. B. Sherman Grasp in Chancery of america, Circuit Courtroom, wrote on VRG “It has hardly ever, if ever, been my success to satisfy a person whose studying and tradition have been so large and diversified, and who, withal, has so candy, honest and teachable a spirit as Mr. Gandhi’. E. Allen Richardson in “Strangers in This Land” talked about in regards to the Parliament and VRG’s interview with New York Occasions.

Lion of the season, VRG’s immense success was lined by the next listing of main newspapers, and periodicals of USA: A) New York Occasions, B) St. Joseph Gazette, C) The Jamestown New York, D) Editors Bureau, E) Chicago Day by day Solar, F) Chicago Herald, G) Chicago Suburban Star, H) Gentle of Fact, Cincinnati, I) Buffalo Occasions, J) The Illustrated Buffalo Categorical, Okay) Morning Star, L) Buffalo Night Occasions, M) Buffalo Categorical, N) Buffalo Courier, O) The Evangelist, P) Night Put up, Q) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, R) The Rochester Herald, S) Rev. R. A. White, Chicago, T) Addison Parker Pastor of main Baptist Church.

VRG wrote many articles and books in Gujarati in addition to in English. He wrote on subjects of social and cultural reforms like schooling for ladies and customized of repenting. VRG translated many publications, together with The Unknown Lifetime of Jesus Christ in English from French in 1894 from an historical manuscript present in Tibet. VRG’s chosen speeches titled “Jainism in Western Garb as an answer to the Life’s Nice Issues” and different compilations had been additionally revealed.

In his final days VRG was in England for Shatrunjay-Palitana Tirth matter and succeeded in getting ballot tax on Jain pilgrims abolished, risking his personal life, being threatened by the Ruler. VRG needed to proceed his actions for a very long time and to perform far more however sadly he couldn’t, as this good and promising younger man, filled with hopes and aspirations died at a really younger age of 37 on August 7, 1901, inside two months of his coming back from third journey of the West, leaving unbridgeable void. The Jain neighborhood in mourning his dying stored their enterprise closed for 5 days. His quick life span was filled with nice achievements. He sacrificed his good authorized profession for the reason for Jainism and died in service to humanity.

In 1891, he was accountable in profitable the case often called “Piggery Case” in Calcutta Excessive Courtroom for closing down the slaughterhouse run by an Englishman at Sametshikhar Pilgrimage. For this he had stayed in Calcutta for six months and learnt Bengali language to organize the temporary which was misplaced on the decrease court docket. As a real humanitarian, he despatched Ind.Rs.40, 000 and a shipload of grains from U.S.A. to India throughout worst famine of 1896-97.

As a reformer he established a] Gandhi Philosophical Society, b] Society for the Schooling of Girls in India (SEWI). Below the banner of SEWI, a number of Indian girls got here to U.S.A. for increased research. c] College of Oriental Philosophy, d] Jain Literature Society in London. As a nationwide determine he attended the Indian Nationwide Congress held in Pune because the Consultant of then Bombay province in 1895. He attended the Worldwide Convention of Commerce in London as an All-Asia sole delegate in 1899 the place he advocated reforms of post-parcel system.

Trendy analysis about VRG beneath JAINA banner has revealed that at a number of cases Mahatma (M. Okay.) Gandhi was misunderstood as V. R. Gandhi. VRG and Mahatma Gandhi had been in intimate contacts , whereas VRG was learning for solicitor’s examination. VRG & Mahatma Gandhi had been collectively for his or her experiments in dietetics. VRG used to present authorized help to M. Okay. Gandhi by telling him totally different tales about barrister’s, stalwarts & vakil’s. VRG used to attempt his greatest to get mahatma gandhi briefs. (2)

In a 1931 , June 13 letter, Mahatma Gandhi clarifies to Miss Emelia, Mac Bean of Chicago when she mistook him as VRG that’ Madam,I’ve your letter for which I thanks. You might be giving me credit score of which I’m wholly undeserving. You might be pondering of one other Mr. Gandhi my name-sake however by no means associated to me. He and I had been nonetheless pals and lived collectively for a while. You’ll be sorry to listen to that he died a few years in the past, leaving an solely son.It was he who visited America and made many pals. I’ve by no means had the privilege of visiting your continent’. (Refer (3)

Mark Twain, father of American Literature was too impressed by Virchand Gandhi & his Jain philosophy & his newspaper Buffalo specific had lined immense success of VRG & on Mark Twain’s Go to to India ,VRG displayed his hospitality & accompanied him to jain temples. In MARK TWAIN, on, Biblical & Hindu Miracles – G.B. singh justifies that Virchand Gandhi had met Mark Twain on his go to to India however someway western researcher in Inventing Mark Twain: The Lives of Samuel Langhorne Clemens by Andrew Hoffman mistook Virchand Gandhi as Mahatma Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, at this stage of Mark Twain’s journey, was dwelling in South Africa. (4)

At this time western students on their examine on Swastika do incorporate VRG’s defined particulars about Swastika as per jain philosophy. VRG defined the Jain Swastika as follows: the horizontal and vertical traces crossing one another at proper angles type the Greek cross. They signify spirit and matter. We add 4 different traces by bending to the appropriate every arm of the cross, then three circles and the crescent, and a circle throughout the crescent. The concept thus symbolized is that there are 4 grades of existence of souls within the materials universe. The primary is the bottom state-Archaic or protoplasmic life. The soul evolves from that state to the next-the earth with its plant and animal life. Then follows the third state- the human; then the fourth state – the celestial. The phrase “celestial” is right here held to imply life in different worlds than our personal. All these graduations are mixtures of matter and soul on totally different scales. The non secular plan is that by which the soul is solely free of the bounds of matter. So as to attain that airplane, one should attempt to own the three jewels (represented by the three circles), proper perception, proper data, proper conduct. When an individual has these, he will definitely go increased till he reaches the state of liberation, which is represented by the crescent. The crescent has the type of the rising moon and is at all times rising bigger. The circle within the crescent represents the omniscient state of the soul when it has attained full consciousness, is liberated, and lives aside from matter. (5)

In 1964, then monk, Shri Chitrabhanuji was pioneer in initiating the celebration of VRG’s Start Centenary. This was executed on twenty fifth August, 1964 in Fort, Mumbai the place he and others addressed a big gathering. Shri Vallabh Suri Smarak Nidhi performed a key function in reviving VRG’s contribution in exploring Jainism within the West. In VRG’s birth-town, Mahuva, a statue was erected on the Chowk (Sq.) in 1993 as his Memorial. Jain Heart of Metropolitan Chicago has put in his statue at their temple in 1995. The Ohio Historic Society, Ohio, USA had given a giant bronze plaque to the Jain Heart of Cincinnati/Dayton in 1994 marking 100 years of VRG’s lecture in Cleveland on September 18, 1894 mentioning that VRG introduced Jainism to Ohio State.

JAINA, established VRG Scholarship Committee in 1997 as a homage and in his honor, for advancing, analysis research in Jainism and VRG’s unpublished literature at recognised Universities/Establishments and Pravinji C Shah Chair , JAINA,VRG committee from final 10 years has displayed super Ardour for VRG mission.

Most awaited postal stamp launch in VRG honor, because of joint efforts of JAINA and WJC, by the Division of Put up of Authorities of India has been scheduled [25 August, 2009] . And identical would have been not possible with out contribution of Shri Daulatji Jain (Chennai), Shri Pradipji Jain (Patna) , Shri Maheshji Gandhi (Mumbai) & Shri Pratapbhai Bhogilal (Mumbai) to call few who performed main function for Stamp Launch undertaking. And likewise contribution of Previous Jaina presidents, Fast previous president Shri Kiritji Daftary , JAINA President Shri Dilipji Shah, Shri Pravinji Okay Shah, Shri Kumarpalbhai Desai, Shri Prakashji Mody, Shri Chandrakantji Shah, Smt. Rakashaben Shah, Shri Gunvantji barvalia , Shri Pannalalji Shah , Shri Swamiji Niktleshwaran , Dr. Okay.Okay.Dixitji , Dr. Pandit Shuklaji, Shri Manuji Doshi , Dr. Noel Kingji , Dr. Surendraji Singhvi , Shri Himmatji Gandhi is extremely considerable.

This yr is really the yr of Acharya Atmaramji, for on 21 February, 2009 a commemorative stamp of Acharya Shri Vijayvallabhsuri, his disciple who led the Sangh after him was launched. He carried ahead goals and rules of his Guru by constructing many schooling establishments nationwide. At this time many Jains globally are creating historical past of their fields had their schooling from Atma-Vallabh Basis establishments. JAINA and WJC are planning to transform VRG’s birth-home into his everlasting memorial-museum.

Acharya Atmaramji was from Punjab, however place the place he had dominance is right this moment in Pakistan i.e. Gujranwala and Darkhana . And that point Jains from this space complete heartedly supported VRG’s participation for first religions Parliament. That point there was Atmanand Jain Gurukul in Gujranwala. Acharya Atmaramji’s Samadhi can be in Gujranwala & now at Lahore Museum.

Acharya Vijay Vallabhsuri inherited all qualities of his Guru Acharya Atmaramji & was entrusted accountability by Acharya Atmaramji to guide sangh after him.The pair of Acharya Atmaramji & Acharya Vijay Vallabhsuri , thought the primary want is to not create Jain temples however colleges and examine facilities & therefore constructed nationally many academic institutes.

For deep detailed examine on VRG I like to recommend my private favorite E-book results of blessings & motivation of Pujya Acharya Shri Vijaya-samudrasuri Maharaj, Pujya Agamaprabhakar Shri Punyavijayji Maharaj and Pujya Shri Mragavatishriji i.e Chosen Speeches of Virchand Raghav Gandhi by Shri Abheraj H .Baldota & Shri Hiralal H Dalal, Revealed by Shri Vallabh suri Smarak Nidhi

At this time Pujya Acharya Vijay Nityanandsuriji maharaj & Acharya Shri Vijay Dharam Dhurandhar Suri Ji maharaj are carrying ahead legacy of Shri Atma-vallabh leaded sangh.

Word: *JAINA: Federation of Jain Associations of North America &

WJC: World Jain Confederation

(1), (2) , (3) (4), (5) Trendy Researches of Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh beneath JAINA , VRG banner , Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh has additionally re-discovered 4 information articles about VRG in NY instances in 1890″s


Following Audio system had participated from India in 1893 world religions parliament.

1. Rajah Ram, of the Punjab.

2. Virchand Raghavji Gandhi, Honorary Secretary of the Jain Affiliation, of India, Bombay.

3. Rev. P.C. Mazoomdar, India.

4. H. Dharmapala, India. (Truly he was from Ceylon, which was a part of British India at the moment.)

5. Miss Jeanne Serabji, Bombay.

6. Swami Vivekananda, Bombay.

7. Professor Chakravarti, Bombay.

8. B. B.Nagarkar, Bombay,

9. Jinda Ram, India.

10. The Rev. Morris Phillips, of Madras.

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