The third Dadaguru, Jin Kushal Suri, was born in samvat 1337 in the Marwari village of Garh Sivana. His name was Karman and his clan was Chajer. His father, Jaisal Chajer was a minister, and his mother’s name was Jayantshri.
Kalikal Kewali Jin Chandra Surishwarji, disciple of Jin Prabodh Suri, was the leader of the Khartar Gach sect. Karman Kumar was inspired by his discourses and went on to tell his parents that he wanted to take diksha.
His parents were shocked by their ten-year-old son’s desire to renounce the worldly affairs. It is natural to think and object to such thinking of a young boy as at the age of ten, they have hardly experienced life and don’t know much about the hardships of a jain monk’s life.
Karman Kumar understood that in this world, no one can make another happy or sad. Every body feels joy and sorrow according to one’s own deeds. In fact, in this world, one has connections with many but none which are permanent. Each living entity has to bear the consequences of one’s own karma in this life and those to come.
His parents were pacified by the understanding of their son at such a young age and allowed him to tread this road of enlightenment.
Karman Kumar was initiated into monkhood by Acharya Jin Chandra Surishwarji in samvat 1347 and acquired the name Muni Kushal Kirti.
Along with him, Dev Vallabh, Charitra Tilak and Ratanshri were also initiated into monkhood.
In those days, Upadhyaya Vivek Samudra was an outstanding scholar, well versed in classical religious books. He was well known for his skill in teaching and imparting knowledge.
The preceptor of Muni Kushal Kirti had learnt from Upadhyaya Vivek Samudra. Others like Rajendra Suriji, Divakar Acharya, Rajesh Acharya, etc. had also studied subjects like Hem Vyakaran (grammar), Brihad Vritti, Nayaya (Logic), Manaha Tark, Lakshan, Sahitya, Alankar, Jyotish and Darshan from him.
Kushal Kirti, too, was sent to him for higher studies. In a short span of time, he mastered various subjects and became a scholar.
When Jin Chandra Surishwarji realised that Muni Kushal Kirti had the merit and ability, he endowed on him the designation of Vachan-Acharya in samvat 1375 in Nagaur.
At that time, jain congregations from many towns and cities gathered there; and many people were initiated into Jain monkhood. Many followers took the 12 vows and fasts like Athai and others were celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm.
In the auspicious company of Jin Chandra Surishwarji, Muni Kushal Kirti took many pilgrimages and stayed for the four months of chaumasa at Khand Sarai.
After chaumasa, Jin Chandra Surishwarji fell ill with a disease. When he realized that his end was near, he designated Kusal Kirti as his successor. Kushal Kirti achieved the status of Aharya and acquired the name Jin Kushal Suri in Patan.
Vachan Acharya Kushal Kirti was endowed with the status of Acharya in the presence of Rajendra Acharya, Mahapadhyaya Vivek Samudra Gani, Pravartak Jai Vallabh Gani, and many other sadhu sadhvi, and the congregations from different places, at the Shanti Nath temple in Patan in samvat 1377. From thereon, Vachan Acharya Kushal Kirti came to be known as Jin Kushal Suri.
This ceremony was organized by Tej Pal and his brother Rudra Pal. The whole town was decorated with beautiful gates, banners and flags. The beggars were given charity in the form of gold, silver, elephants, horses, clothes, etc. Sadharmi Vatsaly (Social gathering and luncheon) was arranged for the people of Patan and all those who had come to attend this grand function. The brothers had invited many Acharyas, sadhu and sadhvi from all across India. Tej Pal and Rudra Pal earned great merit for using their money for religious purposes.
Acharya Jin Kushal Suri toured many villages, towns and cities to impart Jain teachings to jain and non-jain communities.
While on tour, Acharya Shri foresaw that Vivek Samudra Upadhyaya’s life would end soon and immediately he returned to Patan. On reaching, he found that Vivek Samudra Upadhyaya was in good health and there were no traces of any disease.
Despite seeing Vivek Samudra Upadhyaya in good health, on the 14th day of the hindu month of Jyeshth, Acharyashri requested him to vow to fast unto death.
Vivek Samudra Upadhyaya took to fasting, he met his end peacefully after three days. Many followers and others were surprised by the prediction of Acharyashri Jin Kushal Suri.
His life consisted of the usual travels to spread jainism, rainy season sojourns (chaumasa), temple consecrations, and initiations. Most accounts of his life give special emphasis to two great pilgrimages (sanghs) of which he was the spiritual leader.
The first sangh was organized by a Srimal businessman of Delhi named Raipati. He had obtained a farmaan from the emperor Ghiyasuddin Tughluq saying that all necessary assistance should be given to the pilgrimage party, which would be under the leadership of Jin Kushal Suri and would be travelling to Palitana and Girnar. Having obtained the farmaan , and also Jin Kushal Suri’s approval, Raipati brought his party from Delhi to Patan. There Jin Kushal Suri joined with his group of monks. It is reported that the expedition included seventeen monks, nineteen nuns, 500 carts, and 100 horses. En route he performed various image consecrations, and when they arrived at Satrunjaya he consecrated images of Jinpatisuri, Jineshvarsuri, and other gurus of the past. After proceeding on to Girnar, the pilgrimage was completed. Jin Kushal Suri then returned to Patan, and the pilgrimage party returned to Delhi. Later a rich layman from Bhimpalli obtained a farman from the emperor for a similar pilgrimage party which he took from Bhimpalli to Satrunjaya under Jinkusalsuri’s leadership.
There were serious problems of backsliding among the Jains of Sindh at the time of Jin Kushal Suri’s life. In those days, there was a wide spread of wrong beliefs and violence, and people were losing faith in religion. He was invited to go there by the Jains in Sindh, and noticing the state of affairs, he agreed to visit that region in order to revive people’s faith in religion and curb violence; and apparently he succeeded in bringing about a major revival.
He spread the message of non violence, charity, mercy, and true religion in the region of Sindh. It is said that because of his extraordinary charisma he was able to convert 50,000 new Jains.
He was also able to bring White and Black Bhairav, two somewhat sinister Hindu deities, under his control. These are often pictured with him—White Bhairav on his right hand, Black Bhairav on his left—each with his mascot dog and each with hands folded in the standard gesture of supplication and homage. This again reflects the theme of competition with Saiva or Sakta traditions.
In samvat 1381, Guru Dev had gone to Deraur (Devrajpur) for chaumasa. There he realized that his life was going to end soon, and he retreated to dhyan for the upliftment of his soul.
He named a fifteen-year-old disciple, Padam Murtias his successor, and then vowed to fast unto death. He died on the fifth day of the dark fortnight of the lunar month of Phalgun (February/March).
Since then he has been particularly prone to appearances in visions. The most celebrated of these occurred in Sindh when a certain Samaysundarji and some companions tried to cross the “five rivers” in a boat. A great storm blew up and the boat was on the verge of sinking. Samaysundarji meditated on Jin Kushal Suri and immediately the monk’s devatma (soul in its current deity status) appeared and saved the boat. This episode is a staple of the hagiographies and is frequently portrayed in the illustrations of the Dadagurus’ deeds that adorn temples. It reflects an abiding metaphor in South Asian religions, namely that of a devotee’s “rescue” from the “ocean of existence” (samsar sagar ).
Var Singhji, minister of Bikaner, was eager to visit Deraur where Dada Jin Kushal Suri had breathed his last but occasional obstacles obstructed him from getting there.
He had immense faith in Gurudev, and one day Dada Guru appeared to him at Nal, eight miles away from Bikaner. He told him that he could go to Deraur and no obstacle would stop him.
Var Singh was much delighted at having seen Dada Guru, and he got a big temple built there. Even today, that place has miraculous powers and many devotees have seen Gurudev there, especially on Mondays and punam.
The dadabari at Malpura was supposedly founded as a result of a vision that Jin Kushal Suri gave just fifteen days after his death.
After hearing the sad news of the demise of Gurudev, one of his followers in Malpura couldn’t believe the news and he sat on ground with a three days fast, praying that he wants Gurudev to give him his sight.
After three days of his wait Kushal Guru appeared to him and told him that now he is no more. The stone on which he give the man his sight still have the footmarks of Gurudev and is largely followed by the peoples including non-jains too. The Dadabari in Malpura comprises a big Dadabari with a huge temple.