Rainy season was going on. We all went for Aacharya Maharaj’s Darshan.
In the afternoon, as always, there was Aacharya Maharaj’s sermon. While
coming out of the entry-door of the Parshvanath temple after the sermon,
everyone saw two snakes sitting inside a hole in the wall. Aacharya
Maharaj saw them too. He stopped there for a moment and said, “Sarpraj!
Move independently in peace. You have got this body because of the
fruition of some bad deeds of the past. Utilize this for the good deeds.
Do your Self-welfare. Keep in mind that no one is harmed.” This was His
extremely Love-filled voice.
Days went on. Many times people saw those two snakes
sitting at the time of sermon. No one was harmed by those snakes.
Seeing/hearing all this, my faith strengthened that really in the
Samavasaran of Tirthankara also, in a very similar manner, every
creature might be coming and getting involved in their Self-welfare,
understanding the holy sermon in their own language. This Nainagiri
Kshetra had also been the
of Lord Parshvanath which, today, is helping people in their
Self-welfare after being brought to life by the holy words of Aacharya
It was the time of Chaturmas. It was a strong desire of Chullak Shri
Sumatisagar Ji to become Muni. He had a lot of practice too, but he was
now too aged. According to his desire, Acharya Maharaj consecrated him
as Muni. Now he was Muni Vairagyasagar. For the next two-three months he
practiced all the vows with extreme caution. Assuming the end of his
life to be near and thinking of old age, he took Sallekhana from Acharya
Maharaj (Sallekhana is a state in which one overcomes all the passions
and abandons all the worldly attachments by observing austerities such
as gradually abstaining from the food and the water and simultaneously
meditating on the true nature of the Self until the soul parts the
Saint-conduct is the best of all conducts. It is performed
very patiently and quietly by the great souls. To follow our duty
quietly in any condition-healthy or unhealthy-is not an easy task. One
day after being brought to a house with proper procedure (as described
in Perfect-Conduct), when he stood for accepting water, it seemed
difficult to accept water with folded hands (Anjuli Mudra). Water fell
down. Acharya Maharaj was standing near by. He said, “You can take Glass
if you want.” All were surprised hearing this, but understood that it is
time of examination. Every moment is the time of examination for the
person following the Sallekhana. Even after being too aged, like a true
follower of vows, Muni Vairagyasagar Ji refused to do so and quietly
accepted the Yama-Sallekhana( fast till the soul leaves the body)
leaving Food-Water till the end of life.
Acharya Maharaj smilingly gave blessings. He seemed to
be saying that one day everyone has to pass this test. One has to
prepare the whole life to sit for and pass this.
Gajarath Mahotsav was to be held in Tada Village. People from there came
to request Acharya Maharaj to come there. Maharaj Ji called three-four
of us (saints) and gave us indication to go there. We accepted the order
by bending on His feet and to go there was finalized. Before the
departure, Acharya Maharaj called all of us and explained, “You have to
go through small villages; even if few people request, tell them a few
words of Dharam compassionately. The religious sermon is for the
self-other welfare. Do not refuse thinking that there are only a few
people. Secondly, those all saints practicing Self-welfare according to
the words of the God come there, respect them accordingly and avoid
aversion and attachment (Rag-Dvesh). Thirdly, do not propose from your
side for the Diksha-Sanskar at the time of Diksha-Kalyanak of the God,
God is Himself consecrated.”
We all kept these three things in our mind like provisions
during the journey and moved on taking blessings from Maharaj Ji. Same
things happened on the way. We passed via small villages. We gave
religious lectures to all and enjoyed so. On the way we met two saint
groups and greeted them accordingly. We faced no problem anywhere.
The day for the Diksha-Kalyanak came. All the saint groups
were present on one stage. Of them, one Maharaj were elder than us in
consecration. Our thought was that Diksha procedure should be performed
by him, but suddenly everyone on the stage requested us to perform the
consecration procedure. The whole environment was purified. Our eyes
filled with tears. On request, when we told the people about the three
instructions given by Maharaj Ji, everyone started singing acclamations
appreciating the far-sightedness of Acharya Maharaj.
There was Idol-establishment and Gajaratha Mahotsav function. Acharya
Maharaj for the first time gave female saint consecration. Eleven
Aryikas (female saints) and twelve Chullak consecrations were done on
one stage. Each particle of this Holy-place bent in Maharaj’s feet. On
this Holy-place itself, in 1978, we saw Acharya Maharaj immersed in
Self-accomplishment along with His four-five students. Today after
eight-nine years, seeing Him equally unattached and involved in
Self-accomplishment between a huge group of 46 Muni, Aryikas, Ailak and
Chullak, my heart was delighted.
At the time of Acharya Vandana in the morning, we appealed in our
strong sentiments, “Maharaj Ji, please give us all some message.” He
looked us for a moment and then said with great affinity, “You all are
virtuous souls. You all are walking together on Holy-path as a result of
fruition of virtues of the past. On the path of salvation, always keep a
balance of Pravritti (action) and Nivratti (solitude, free from
everything). When you are active, always keep in mind that we all are
together and are travelers of salvation, so always helping each other is
our first duty. But at the time of timely prayers (Samayik), free
yourself from all this and consider yourself as alone and experience
that Self-accomplishment is our principal duty. This is My message to
you all in brief.”
All heard the message and were delighted. That day we felt
that what Acharya Maharaj lived and experienced Himself, He gave only
that to us. He did not keep any short fall/deficiency in that.
the Chaturmas at Ahar Ji Siddha Kshetra (Place where someone had
attained Nirvana), Acharya Maharaj came to Nainagiri Siddha Kshetra. The
whole winter passed here itself. One day suddenly in the afternoon
Acharya Maharaj called us. Muni Shri Yogsagarji also came. I too reached
there. Acharya Maharaj said, “I have thought that you two-three saints
together leave for Sagar. There you will gain health and the
holy-message will also be spread. Now you all have to live outside and
learn slowly all the things.”
This responsibility came to us for the first time in Sangh,
so we all were puzzled because we had never thought about it. We all
were concentrating freely in Self-welfare surrendering our lives in
Acharya Maharaj’s feet. We can’t understand anything. Teacher’s order is
non-violable, but how to convince the mind? The mind was disturbed. We
said, “Maharaj Ji! What will we do living away from you? How will we
Acharya Maharaj became serious. Said, “Will you go away
from mind too?” We immediately replied, “This is never possible. Not
even in dreams”. He smiled. Said, “Go. My blessings are with you. Do not
fear. Concentrate in spiritual practice. One who follows My order is
always very close to Me even being physically far from Me and one who
does not follow My order is very far from Me, even being physically
close to Me.”
Today also, we all find Him very close to us even being
physically far from Him. We never feel that distance. Really, being
close to Self is the real proximity.
Acharya Maharaj proceeded towards Muktagiri from Jabalpur. One day, on
the way, near Multai, it rained heavily. It rained for sometime, and
then stopped. Maharaj smiled and said while moving forward, “Brother,
tired and stopped so soon? We are still not tired.” His indication was
towards clouds. Everyone laughed.
This way, while walking, Acharya Maharaj gave a
message that how heavily it rains, how hot it is or how cold it is,
travelers of salvation shall continuously move ahead quietly and
tirelessly on the path of salvation.
How small the incident…How big the message!!
religious function was arranged. Acharya Maharaj’s sermon was to be
held. Suddenly there was a bit agitation in the crowd and an old woman
reached the stage. Volunteers ran, tried to stop her, meanwhile she
offered Pranam (salutation by bending the head) and cast off some of her
Gold ornaments and offered them in the feet of Acharya Maharaj. All saw
that happening wonder-struck.
We came to know that that old Mother is not a Jain by
birth, but she is a Jain by practice. She, for the first time saw
Acharya Maharaj today and had surrendered her everything, being
impressed by His attachment-less ness, renunciation and austerity. That
moment, seeing her in deep devoted feelings, I felt that dharma is of
everyone. Anyone can accept it. Only one which gives the Right Vision,
Right Knowledge and shows the Right Path is the True Religion and He is
only the True teacher.
The sun is going to set in a short while. I am seeing Him going up
toward the hill. I hear that He goes to some clean hill surface for the
evening meditation. Today I want to see Him in perfect loneliness in the
wonderful posture of meditation. So I walk behind Him some distance and
stop there, seeing Him sitting on the hill surface, so that even the
sign of my presence does not disturb Him. I see that there is silence
everywhere. Such a deep silence that even though staying far from Him,
the rhythm between the mild words of meditation and the palpitation of
breath could be observed.
There is a deep modesty on His face in these moments.
He seems to be curious to surrender Himself to God. In a moment, He,
after humbly bending, is filled up with deep pain in compassion towards
all-being and the very next moment, being filled up with the feeling of
forgiveness, He goes on penetrating deep within Himself. Sometimes He
becomes so concentrated in Kayotsarga (Total relaxation-first step of
meditation); it seems as if for a moment, He is lost in the
“Nothingness”, leaving behind the attachment with the body. It seems as
if He has come out of the custody of His mind and the senses. He is lost
Today, for the first time, this evening reminded me
of returning back home. It looks as if the Sun, tired of the journey
throughout the day, is returning back home in the twilight. Birds are
also returning back to their nests. Every Sadhak is returning back to
the inside-journey, turning away from the outside-journey. All are
How nice it would have been if all had returned back on time.
Returning from the hill, I am observing the
attachment-less ness and the pleasure of coming back shining on His
face. Hundreds of times I have seen the mild smile of the setting Sun
behind the hill, but today, I am blessed, seeing a great saint-taking
leaving from everyone and smiling-before concentrating in Self-nature.
Even the pain of leave from such a saint is so pleasant that the mind
wants to be alone-in the Self. I am returning. I too am returning alone.
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