Shrimad Rajchandra, born Raichandbhai Ravajibhai Mehta, was a prominent Jain poet, philosopher, and scholar. He is best known for his teachings on Jainism and as a spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi.
Shrimad Rajchandra was born on November 9, 1867, in Vavania Bandar, morbi
. His mother was Jain
and his father was Vaishnava Hindu
. He started speaking in public at age of 10 and writing articles at 11. He performed Shatavdhan
(a difficult memory test of memorizing 100 different thing at a time) at Faramji Kasavji Institute, Mumbai when he was 16. At the age of 20, he married to Zalakbai and then engaged in the pearls and diamond business. At the age of 32, he contracted an illness from which he never recovered. He died in Rajkot
on April 9, 1901, at the age of 34. During his life, he served as a spiritual guide and mentor for many people.
He summarized his interpretation of Jainism in Atma Siddhi
Shastra, a Gujarati short verse poem written when he was 16 years old. In addition, throughout his life, he wrote 800 letters charting his spiritual journey. In his letters, he mentioned having the memory of several past lives at the age of seven, and in a letter written in 1890, he mentions having achieved self-realization.
Relationship with Mahatma Gandhi
He is well known as a spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi
. They were introduced in Mumbai
in 1891 and had various conversations through letters while Gandhi was in South Africa. Gandhi noted his impression of Shrimad Rajchandra in his autobiography, calling Raichandbhai his "guide and helper" and his "refuge… in moments of spiritual crisis".
Stri Niti Bodhaka
He also translated several books and wrote some commentaries.