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Raaychandbhaai Ravajibhaai Mehtaa, popularly known as Shreemad Raajchandraji by his followers, was a prominent Jain philosopher. He was born on November 11, 1867 in Vavaaniaa Bandar, India, and left His body on April 9, 1901 in Rajkot, India. He is especially notable for being "a guide and helper" to Mahaatmaa Gaandhee. Shreemad was also one of Gandhi's best friends, and they exchanged a series of letters about religion and philosophy until the end of Shrimad's life.
At the age of seven, on witnessing the burning pyre of an recently deceased acquaintance, He underwent unprecedented mental churning and reportedly attained 'Jaatismaran gyaan' (a recollection of several past lives) at the cremation ground itself. This vivid recollection of the past reportedly established continuity with His previously attained state of knowledge, meditation and penance. As a result of this purification of his consciousness, many unusual mnemonic and psychic powers reportedly manifested in him, but he chose to ignore them, focusing solely on self-realization.
Although young in age, Shreemad was spiritually mature and remained in a state of heightened awareness. Despite a powerful intrinsic attitude of detachment and a burning desire for total renunciation, at the age of 20, he married and began to engage in the family business.
11th November, 1867 9th April,1901
Having spent nearly a decade of his life as a householder, ably discharging the responsibilities that had come his way, inwardly he remained completely detached. Worldly pleasures reportedly failed to attract him in the least and he spent long hours in profound contemplation and deep meditation. He was also a prolific writer and is famous for his work, Aatma Siddhi, a Gujarati poem on attainment of soul.
Ceaselessly immersed in spiritual pursuits, at the age of 23, he reportedly attained Shuddh Samyakdarshan (right self-perception). After the age of 28, His responsibilities decreased and he began to spend 4 to 6 months of the year in seclusion at various places in Gujarat, where he lived the life of an ascetic, taking very little food only once a day.
At the age of 32, he reportedly was at the threshold of complete renunciation when he contracted an illness from which he never recovered. In spite of extreme physical discomfort, he always remained in a blissful state. Despite comprehensive treatment by doctors and meticulous care by devotees and relatives, all efforts to save him failed. On 9 April 1901 (Chaitra Vad Paancham V.S. 1957) at Rajkot, according to his followers, Shreemad left His body in a state of complete awareness.