Je Swarupa Samajya Vina, Pamyo Dukha Anant,
Samajavyu Te Pada Namu, Shree Sadguru Bhagawant. 1
Param Purusha Prabhu Sadguru Param Jnana Sukhadhama,
Jene Aapyun Bhana Nija, Tene Sada Pranama. 2
Deha Chhatan Jeni Dasha, Varte Dehatita,
Te Jnanina Charanaman Ho! Vandana Aganita. 3
- Shrimad Rajchandra
His full name was ShriRaichandbhai Ravjibhai Mehta. He was born in 1867 A.D. at Vavania in Saurashtra. His family belonged to a well-known merchant community. His father's name was Ravjibhai and mother's name was Devabai. His mother was brought up in Jain religious traditions. His grand father was a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna.
In Vachanamrut Shrimadji writes: "I was born on Sunday, Kartik Sud Purnima (15th day of Kartik), Vikram Samvat 1924. Therefore today, I have completed 22 years. In this apparently short span of life, I have experienced much about the soul, the nature and mutations of mind, the integrity of speech, the physical body, the wealth, various impressions of the variegated or multicolored wonderful world formations of various orders, many worldly ups and downs and the causes of interminable misery and unhappiness. All these have been experienced by me in many ways.
In my short life I have entertained all the thought-forms which were thought over by all the powerful saints and philosophers and by the formidable skeptics. I have thought of the universe of desires and aspirations which were discussed by the great rulers. I have also thought of the disinterestedness par excellence, an attitude of serene indifference. I have much meditated on the acquisition of immortality and of minute temporariness or transitoriness. Many similar great thoughts I have traversed in very few years of my life.
I look at all of them as a seer, and I realize the unfathomable gap between my present state of knowledge and experience and the state of my being when I cherished or entertained these great and multifarious thought-systems.
All these minute and big differences and gradual development of my Self have been only recorded in my memory. I have never made any effort to publicize these thoughts. I felt that giving these thoughts to a wider public or sharing my experiences with them might bring good spiritual dividends but my memory refused to do so and I was helpless. By cooperative understanding if my memory could be persuaded to open its treasures to the world by putting them in writing, I shall surely do it in future. I give below a very brief recollection of my early years:
For the first seven years I played alone. I still remember to have cherished a wonderful imagination in my mind. Even in play I had strong desire to be victorious and to be the lord of everything. I aspired to be a great man of a resigned nature. I had no attachment to wearing clean clothes, selection of good food, good bed, etc. Still my heart was extremely soft. I still recollect that side of my nature at an early age. Had I had, at that time, the discriminative knowledge which I now possess, I would not have cared more for liberation. It was a life of such spotless innocence that I love to recollect it very often.
For four years, from seven to eleven, I devoted myself to study. At that time I remembered all what I once saw or read. My recollection was faultless, as my mind was sinless. As a child, I had no idea of fame, hence the bugbear of publicity never bothered me. I had unique retentive memory which
Still, I was indifferent to my studies. I was given much to talking, play and merrymaking. Because of good memory, my teacher was pleased with me as I used to recite all what I once read in front of the teacher. At that time I was full of affection and natural sympathy towards all around me. I learnt that a spirit of affectionate brotherhood was the key to family and social happiness. If I found a separatist feeling or behavior in anybody, it used to pain me very much and my heart used to cry. In my eighth year I composed
I studied so well that I could explain the book to my teacher who started teaching it to me. I cultivated very wide reading.I had much faith in man kind and I loved the natural world order.
My great grand father was a Vaishnava, a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna. I heard from him many devotional songs about Radha and Krishna, also the mysterious stories of the wonder-works of Lord Krishna and other incarnations of God.I took religious initiation at the hand of a Sadhu named Ramadasji. I daily went for the Darshana of Lord Krishna and attended lectures and devotional congregations. I believed the incarnation of God as real God and I cherished a strong desire to see His residence. I dreamt to be a great spiritual follower of Lord Krishna and a powerful preacher of His faith. I considered it to be the pride of my life if I could become a great Sanyasi performing Hari Kirtana in the public and leading an upright ascetic life.
I was so much saturated with such thoughts that I hated the Jains who did not accept God as the creator of the world. I believed that nothing could be created without a creator that the world was a masterful creation and such a uniquely supreme creation could only be the work of God and none else.
The Jain Banias in my native place praised me as the most intelligent student of the village. But they ridiculed my initiation in Vaishnavism and they argued with me to dislodge me from my faith. I did not succumb but I gradually read the Jain sacred books such as Pratikramana Sutra. The fundamental idea of the Jain works was the advocacy of non-violence and love to all high and low in the world. I liked this idea of universal love and non-violence very much.
Occasionally I visited the residence of the ruler of Kutch as a writer since my hand-writings were praised as best.
After the age of thirteen, I started attending to my father's shop. While sitting in the shop I have composed many poems on the heroic and spiritual life of Rama and Krishna. But in my dealings with the customers of the shop I have never weighed less or more."