Many are born, but while the birth of a majority of people is merely an addition to their cycle of birth and death, the birth of some exceptional people is instrumental in reducing their cycle of birth and death. One such person was:-
Suvishal Gachchadhipati Acharya Shri Jayghosh Suri Maharaja
A mischievous little child frequently visiting the upashraya of Lalbaug, Mumbai caught the attention of Acharya Shri Bhuvanbhanu Surishwarjee Maharaja. He saw immense maturity, deep understanding and the necessary strength of character in that mischievous lad to become a Gachchadhipati. The boy was called Jawahar.
When Jawahar was thirteen, on the auspicious day of Vaishakh Vada 6, Vikram Samvat (V.S), 2006,
he and his father Mafatbhai renounced the material world and accepted the life
of a Jain ascetic at Byculla, Mumbai. Along with his attire and lifestyle,
Jawahar’s name also changed. The pious name that was going to echo in the skies
of Jinshasan with respect, glory and dignity was Muni Jayghosh Vijay.
The Grace of His Great Gurus
In the holy presence of Dada Gurudev Acharya Shri Prem Surishwarjee Maharaja, Bal Muni Jayghosh Vijay increased his penance and ascetic practices. Meanwhile, an incident occurred which was instrumental in increasing his knowledge, virtues and punya manifold.
In the year V.S. 2011, Acharya Shri Prem Surishwarjee Maharaja was travelling from Ahmednagar to Mumbai. One day, they halted at a village named Khadki, near Pune. The evening vihar (journey carried on foot) was scheduled towards Dahanu. Muni Jayghosh Vijay was down with 104° fever and was sleeping.
Dada Gurudev commenced the vihar at 4 pm and instructed other saints, “Bring Muni Jayghosh Vijay when he wakes up.”
When Muni Jayghosh Vijay woke up, he learnt that his Dada Gurudev had left.
Ignoring his fever and body pain, he immediately started the vihar and soon met Dada Gurudev on the way.
Seeing Muni Jayghosh Vijay’s dedication and devotion towards Guru, Dada Gurudev blessed him wholeheartedly. This unconditional shower of grace now became Muni Jayghosh Vijay’s driving force.
In each vihar thereafter, Muni Jayghosh Vijay had his mud pot in one hand and the hand of his modular (Dada gurudev) in the other.
A New Creation in Sanskrit
In V.S. 2017, Dada Gurudev expressed his desire for the creation of new Sanskrit literature on the topic “Karmagrantha”. To fulfil this task, he made a team of 11 young saints which was led by Muni Jayghosh Vijay.
Along with the huge responsibility of compiling and minutely proof reading the vast matter, Muni Jayghosh Vijay created Sanskrit commentaries amounting to 40,000 verses.
In the year V.S. 2020, Dada Gurudev made a ‘will’ for his group of ascetics wherein he mentioned Muni Jayghosh Vijay’s name in 2 clauses and gave him certain rights combined with great responsibility.
(1) Take the advice of Muni Jayghosh Vijay in matters of scriptural discussions or questions.
(2) Hand over the leadership of Panyas Shri Bhanu Vijay’s (later known as Acharya Bhuvanbhanu Suri) samudaya (sect) to Muni Jayghosh Vijay.
When the “will” was penned down, Muni Jayghosh Vijay’s span of ascetic life was only fourteen years and he was merely twenty-eight years old!!
In Jalgaon, Maharashtra, Pujya Gurudev Acharya Shri Bhuvanbhanu Surishwarjee decided to bestow Muni Jayghosh Vijay with the title of “Acharya”, certifying his caliber as an ascetic, a scholar and a thinker.
On the auspicious day of Maha Shukla 13, V.S. 2040, along with the rank of Acharya, Gurudevshri bestowed him with the title ‘Siddhant Divakar’ to honour and felicitate his incomparable mastery of the scriptures.
Siddhant = Scriptures; Divakar = Sun
Ask him any question related to the scriptures and the answer quoting that verse of the text would be on the tip of his tongue. Hence, Acharya Jayghosh Suri acquired fame as the ‘Mobile Aagam Library’ of Jinshasan.
Such was the power and depth of his knowledge that Acharya Jayghosh Suri Maharaja had answers not only to questions related to scriptures, but also to contemporary issues. Hence, the entire Sangh accepted Acharya Jayghosh Suri’s decision as being the best possible solution.
After Param Pujya Acharya Shri Bhuvanbhanu Suri Maharaja’s Kaaldharma (passed away) on Chaitra Vad 13, V.S. 2048 (5 December 1991), Acharya Jayghosh Suri Maharaja became the Gachchadhipati of a group of 250 saints. On the basis of his profound virtues of deep knowledge, detachment, affection, punya and effectiveness, he glorified the ‘Prem-Bhuvanbhanu Suri Samuday’ with more than 600 ascetics. Acharya Jayghosh Suri Maharaja adorned the position of Gachchadhipati for 27 years and bestowed his blessings on each segment the Sangh.
In the entire Jain Sangh, the world ‘Gachchadhipati’ became a synonym for Gachchadhipati Acharya Jayghosh Suri Maharaja.
To maintain unity in Jain Sanghs, Gachchadhipati gurudev Shri Jayghosh Suri Maharaja carried out a unique experiment. Whenever he spent his chaturmas, he would mingle with the nearby sanghs and ensure a collective chaturmas of all the sanghs.
Tapa proved to be a thread uniting all
the pearls (Sanghs).
Gachchadhipati Acharya Jayghosh Suri Maharaja’s pachakhan (permission-cum-blessing to practise a specific penance) was so powerful that those who had not even managed to practise a single Navakarshi (smallest of Tapa) in their life could easily accomplish the most arduous Siddhi Tapa!
In each chaturmas, not hundreds but thousands of people have successfully completed this great tapa with the help of Gachchadhipati Acharya Jayghosh Suri Maharaja’s Pachakhan and Vasakshepa. In the world of tapa, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call Gachchadhipati Acharya Jayghosh Suri as the brand ambassador of “Siddhi Tapa!”
On the gloomy day of Kartik Vad 1, 2076 (13 November 2019) in Ahmedabad, at the age of 84 and after observing a pure ascetic life for as long as 70 years, Acharya Jayghosh Suri Maharaja passed away. His life inspired lakhs of people to practise Jain dharma.
Great men live forever in the hearts of those they influenced. The glory and impact of Gachchadhipati Acharya Shri Jayghosh Suri Maharaja, even in the form of his name, photographs, idols etc is equivalent to the glory and impact of him alive. He is still here, among us!