Inspiration for creation comes to a select few and Param Shraddheya Sant Shri Atmanandji is a specially selected one. Coming from a Vaishnavite background, he came in contact with the works of Shrimad Rajchandra and Acharya Shri Kunda Kunda Dev. Both these self-realised personalities attracted him to the extent that he abandoned his medical practice, his family life and all social ties to study the Jain philosophy and to follow the path of self-realisation. His name was Dr. Mukund Soneji.
After deep study of the works of the two authors here afore mentioned, he decided to renounce all worldly possessions and to abandon all ties with his past. He took limited vows of Jainism from HH Sahajanand Varniji and Acharya Samantbhadra Maharaj, a Digamabar monk of the highest ilk and was given a new name: ATMANAND. He is fondly known as Pujyashri or Sahebji to all those who are involved with the society he established.
Pujyashri started his spiritual life by giving discourses in Ahmedabad at various locations in early seventies. Eventually his efforts were recognised and Shri Rasiklal Acharatlal Shah donated a piece of land in Koba where the present Ashram is established. Pujyashri with the help of his supporters, started building a small property on this land and had limited facilities which were available from 29 April 1982.
Since then, the facility has been growing from strength to strength and currently has the following facilities which can be viewed directly by clicking on the links provided.
Pujyashri had an exceptional broad vision in that he wanted to pursue a spiritual path as well as to offer services to the underprivileged families who attended his discourses. However, he also saw the danger of losing balance as many a charitable trusts have done in declining in their spiritual path and getting deeply involved in social work.
As a safety net, he guided the members of the Kendra to undertake charitable work such as medical camps, blood donation camps and the establishment of a modern Gurukul for children from underprivileged families of the region. Pujyashri never gets involved in the management of these social activities or in the administration functions which are left entirely to a young and dynamic team of Executive Committee and Trustees.
Self-realisation comes to those who have unwavering faith in the Self and its path of purity. Sahebji got his reward on 14th February, 1969 in midnight hours around 2 am when he was meditating at his home in Maninagar, Ahmedabad. His perception and knowledge are at very high level of purity and he can recite from most of the works of Shrimad Rajchandra and Acharya Shri Kunda Kunda Dev with contextual information related to the subject of his discourse. He also has vast knowledge of the Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagvad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharat, many Puranas and lives and works of many medieval saints. He is well read on scriptures of other faiths too.
Pujyashri is adored by scores of people in India, Kenya, UK and USA and over the past few decades he has traversed many countries throughout the world. Many individuals have studied under the care of Pujyashri and are now delivering discourses in their own right.
Pujyashri has been a true teacher and a guide to many many people who have gained spirituality in their lives and are now living the life of true Shravaks of Jainism.