By Lalit Garg
Certain Personalities have emerged on the world forum, whose contributions have obliged the whole human society. In the contiguity of such great men, Jain religious leaders and seekers, our traditions have become spirituality rich and powerful. One of them is the revolutionary Jain Saint – Acharya Shreemad Vijay Vallabh Surishwar Ji. He was the peak spiritual man of the twentieth century. His personality has been multidimensional, who created a new history by undertaking the sacrifice, penance, literature-creation, Jain-culture-salvation. As a successful literature, spokesperson, seeker, social reformer and Chaitanya Rashmi, he has earned fame not only in Jain society but in the entire spiritual world. At the nationwide level, his 150th birth anniversary year was held, concluding on 16 November 2020 in connection with the present Gachadhipati Acharya Srimad Nityananda Surishwarji. On this occasion, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the morning at Jaitpura (District Pali), Rajasthan, will unveil 151 inch Statue of Peace in memory of Guru Vallabh.
Guru Vallabh’s fame and work is classical. He tried to build a new society. The sacred and inspiring lines that he inscribed as a Canonist, their usefulness, relevance and sound will continue to guide society for ages. He was a great sage, who has established many pilgrimages with his efforts. His efforts are legendary.. He was rich in great talent. Jainism did not find such a great man in the last two centuries. His era was a new awakening in the history of India. He was born among the educated people. It was here that the modern era began and it was during this period that Guru Vallabh started an innovative revolution by establishing Saraswati temples. His life was powered by unfathomable energy, inspiration and livelihood and spontaneity. He was a lighthouse of energy, emanating radiance in the deepest darkness of humanity.
Acharya Shreemad Vijay Vallabh Surishwarji was a miraculous and influential saint. Inspiring the establishment of ‘Hemachandracharya Jain Gyan Bhandar’ for ancient and modern literature in the historic city of Patan in Gujarat, he drew such an impressive and poignant picture that women took away the jewelry and piled it. The queen was so impressed by Vijay Vallabh’s discourse in Bikaner in Rajasthan that she named her garden “Vijay Vallabh Bagh”. Guru Vallabh was a great revolutionary and social reformer. His social outlook was reformist. He rejected the religion or the society stereotypes whose practice does not benefit in any way. It was that time that every Indian tried his best to bring forward his religion, society and country.
India was working hard to get freedom from the slavery of the British. New social institutions were coming into existence with the flag of reform. Vijay Vallabh was naturally affected by this type of massive change happening in the country and society. Those who are concerned for the benefit of society, religion and country, and those who are scholars of matter, region, time and emotion, they would naturally be affected by such a deep and wide environment. The light of Mahatma Gandhi’s freedom was burning. The use of indigenous goods and opposition to foreign things was in full swing. At that time Vijay Vallabh took off the clothes of muslin and started wearing coarse clothes of rough khadi. Needless to say that thousands of people started wearing Khadi with the inspiration of Vijay Vallabh.
There was a close relationship between Madan Mohan Malaviya and Acharya Vijay Vallabh. At that time communal riots were taking place. Vijay Vallabh wrote in a letter to Malaviya ji that there is a corrupt politics behind the Hindu-Muslim riots that are happening these days. Vijay Vallabh rose from narrow communalism and preached affection and harmony. In his discourse, people of different religions like Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh etc. used to come equally. Hindu-Muslim riots broke out on the very first day when he was about to enter Lahore. Preparations of riots were being done in full swing in both the groups. But as soon as the city of Vijay Vallabh entered and public discourse took place, the riots surprisingly disappeared. Those who were thirsty for each other’s blood yesterday appeared to be hugging after Vijay Vallabh’s discourse. Many Muslims became his devotees; many Muslim societies presented him with letters of acclamation.
Vijay Vallabh’s social outlook was reformist. He believed in walking with a changing society. Guru Vallabh was such a great man of his time, who is counted in the cadre of Ramana Maharishi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Dayanand, Vivekananda, and Mahatma Gandhi etc. The secret of his miracles was that he was confident, had a strong power of restraint and character. When he heard the description of Vijay Vallabh’s miracles, our head turned towards hearing his victory glory. Under the inspiration of Guru Vallabh, many construction works were done in the country. But the special thing is that along with the construction of temples, Dharamshalas, Pathshalas, hostels, hospitals, halls and pillars, they should also make a good construction of Shravaks, sometimes through camps or sometimes through their discourses. He gave a beautiful teaching to the students, pundits, scholars, doctors, engineers, academics, legal experts, scientists etc. He was the saintless saint of that category, in addition to the Jainacharyas, the great poet and saint Kabir Dasji was also defined that – Saints are like a winnowing fan, they keep the grain and let the chaff float away.
Acharya Srimad Vijay Vallabh Surishwarji was a pious saint, he was Jagatguru, right-thinker, he was a penetrator of discourse. He was absorbed in self-sufficiency, the champion of public welfare. He was a sage, a saint, a scholar. According to him, literature-making was an excellent meditation and holy ritual. He had equal authority over subjects like philosophy, religion, spirituality, justice, mathematics, geography, astronomy, policy, history, rituals, etc. He had no attachment to the artificial craft; he used to write on the sign of the natural language-dialect arising from the soul. The discussion of his scholarly affection was everywhere, but scholars, especially the youth, got to hear their easy desire and desire for knowledge. Hearing his supernatural, exuberant personality discussion, it was felt that in the perspective of this saint-consciousness, the source of life-energy was moving; life was not desired and defeated.
Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao‘ to strengthen women’s education; Guru Vallabh had awakened the society by announcing such innovative revolution for women education and women’s development a century ago. . Guru Vallabh had a lively personality and a special type of concentration. They had a sensitivity to the environment and sensitivity to other individuals and communities. Such a long sobriety life, the creation of so many personalities, so much spiritual development, so much literature-making, so many creative-creative activities, and so many people – it was all amazing, unique, surprising. Truly his life story is an epigraph, illuminated with the alphabet of wonders. There is so much diversity in the trends driven by his inspiration that along with public welfare, many dimensions of culture salvation, education, service, talent-respect, and literature-creation have been revealed. He played an important role in non-violence, vegetarianism, de-addiction, female awakening, and eradication of stereotypes and promotion of moral values in the country. He was connecting spirituality to the present life, because in his eyes, spirituality is not only the path of liberation, it is the path of peace. Life is the art of living, it is the direction of awakening and life is the process of transformation. His whole life can be said to be a classic example of spiritual practice, samadhi, revolution in education and social upliftment and moral awakening of man.
(Lalit Garg is a Journalist, columnist, writer and member of Rajbhasa samiti, Ministry of Home Affairs. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at email@example.com)