After the first glimpse of Shri Kundkundacharya's teachings in 1952, Pujyashri Atmanandji continued deep study of Shri Kundkundacharya's scriptures. In 1957, he came across a book titled 'Shrimad Rajchandra' - which is well known as 'Vachanamrutji', a collection of Shrimad Rajchandra's letters and writings.
While Kundkundacharya's teachings are mainly meant for ascetic life, Shrimad's writings has practical approach to spirituality relevant to modern times and immensely helpful to a householder in achieving spiritual heights. This made a profound impact on the inner personality of Pujyashri Atmanandji His intense sadhana resulted in self-realization (આત્મસાક્ષાત્કાર). Thus Shrimadji's writings were also greatly instrumental in transforming his life from a medical practitioner to a Saint.
The impact was so significant that, Ashram founded by him, was named after Shrimad Rajchandra. It is therefore our privilege to give some glimpse on the life and work of Shrimadji as follows:
Shrimad Rajchandra was born in AD 1867 on the auspicious day of Kartiki Purnima (full moon day of the Indian lunar calendar's first month Kartik). Many great people were born on this day (though different year), e.g., Bhagwan Sambhavnath, Hemchandracharya, Guru Nanak Dev, Lonkasha, et al. He was born in a small town Vavania (near Morbi in Gujarat). He had very little formal education, but he had exceptional memory and great ability to learn complex scriptures by himself in a very short time. Unfortunately, his life span was very short, little over 33 years. He passed away in AD 1901.
He was a prolific writer. Even in this short life, he wrote many classic spiritual poems, daily diaries and almost 1000 letters to his associates. These letters are a spiritual treasure. He was also a born poet with quick witty mind to make poems on any subject at any time instantly. He had many super human abilities, e.g. unusual memory, poetic ability, astrological predictions, highly developed sixth sense, recognition of any book by simple blind touch, scriptural understanding, spiritual inclination from early childhood, knowledge of hundreds of his previous lives and extra sensory perception (ESP). At the request of the-then British Government High Court Judge and other top officers, he publicly demonstrated his exceptional abilities by attending, answering, creating, 100 different questions, issues, games and poems (શતાવધાન) in Mumbai (then Bombay). All national newspapers and major media hailed him as Goddess of Knowledge in persona (સાક્ષાત સરસ્વતી), etc. In spite of this great publicity and the offers to visit England and Europe to demonstrate his super human abilities with big financial gain and fame, he gave up everything at the tender age of 20 to concentrate on his spiritual progress. He was above the name, fame and wealth.
Shrimadji's teachings widely emphasizes the absolute need of following factors on the path of salvation:
Shrimadji wrote many famous great spiritual poems:
His top creations were the scripture:
He is considered the great spiritual enlightened person of the 20th century. Mahatma Gandhi had come in touch with Shirmadji many times and it was Shrimadji who greatly influenced Gandhiji's non-violence movement. Gandhiji has mentioned a lot about Shrimadji's enlightened personality in his autobiography.
Even though Shrimadji was doing jewelry business in Mumbai, he would frequently go to Ider and Charotar's small villages (in Gujarat) for his spiritual Sadhana in lone places. He inspired many people including Sadhus, saints, Sadhaks and householders.
Shrimad Rajchandra Adhyatmik Sadhana Kendra, Koba Ashram established by Pujyashree Atmanandji is a living example of how Shrimad has inspired Pujyashree. Thousands of aspirants are still inspired and benefit from Shrimad's writings. There are more than 50 institutions (Ashrams) established in his name for aspirants to study and live there for spiritual pursuit. The main is Agas Ahsram, established by Pujya Laghuraj Swami (Prabhu Shri), the heir of Shrimad Rajchandra.
Lovingly, aspirants call him as "Param Krupalu Dev", meaning the ever compassionate spiritual guru. Shrimad minimized the minor differences between the various factions and subdivisions of Jainism and explained Bhagwan Mahavir's preaching in its true perspective.