Manidhari Shri Jinchandra Suriji- the mere name inspires faith and reverence. There are few parallels in history where a person accomplished so much encompassing various facets of life in such a short span of time. He had a gem (Mani) in his forehead and was therefore known as ‘Manidhari’. A preacher of ‘Sarva Dharma Sadbhavna’, he is worshipped and respected by Jains, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs alike.
At Dadabari, any person, irrespective of his religion, caste, creed, sex or nationality, who comes with faith, can find peace of mind and tranquility. One’s prayers never go unanswered and all can feel the inner happiness, bliss and the blessing. One can also sense the vibrations of benevolent dispositions of Dada Gurudev here. Many miracles have happened here, to which many living men are witnesses.
MANIDHARI SHRI JIN CHANDRA SURIJI
Born Vikram Samvat 1197 in the hindu month of bhadva in Vikrampur (Jaisalmer-Rajasthan) to Seth Rasal and Delhan Devi, the boy Surya Kumar was a child prodigy. His inquisitiveness and brilliance was manifest to be visible to even laymen.
His brilliant, logical mind, at tender age of six, came to the grips of the causes of eternal turmoil and griefs of mankind. He contemplated the life of a monk and a layman, the pleasures of a worldly life and the renunciation of the world. Realising the causes and resultant pain, he searched for the panacea for eternal peace and bliss.
He renounced the world, at the age of six, after getting permission from his parents and was initiated to saint life in Samvat 1203 in the hindu month of Phalgun by Yugpradhan Acharya Jindutt Suriji – himself a great propagator of Jain religion and crusader for social reforms, after initiation (Diksha), he was named Shri Jinchandra Suri.
During his stay with Gurudev Jindutt Suriji, he studied Jain texts and scriptures and texts connected with other philosophical schools and religions, astrology, Mantra Vidya, Cosmology, metaphysics, theology etc.
It appeared as if Goddess Sarsawati, the goddess of knowledge, had bestowed him with great knowledge and ability to learn quickly. With his extraordinary merits, the little monk deeply impressed everybody.
Having mastered all these subjects in a short span of two years, he was appointed Acharya in Samvat 1205 in the hindu month of vaishakh in Vikrampur at the age of eight. From there on, he came to be known as Acharyashri Jin Chandra Suri.
Soon after, Dada Jin Dutt Suri passed away in Ajmer. At the young age o f 13, the onerous responsibility of managing the affairs and directing the Jain Sangha fell on his young shoulders, which he bore with distinction.
Dada Jin Chandra Suri got a pillar built in Ajmer in the memory of his preceptor Dada Shri Jin Dutt Suri.
A great scholar, Dada Jin Chandra Suri authored many books and by his logic and pragmatism, he was able to clear many misconceptions and superstitions prevalent in the society at his time. He fought relentless for the social and religious reforms and was instrumental in giving a place of honour and dignity to every oppressed and unprivileged.
He propogated the ideals of non violence, religious tolerance, equality and universal brotherhood. Soon, his magnanimity and universal appeal of ideals endeared him not only to Jains, but even Hindus and Muslims became his disciples and followers and was popularly known among them as ‘Dada Gurudev’. The fact that he was respected by Hindus and Muslims alike in those turbulent years speaks volumes of the love and respect he commanded.
A book named ‘Vavystha Kulak’ was written by him and is still extant. Many Jain temples were made under his influence and many followers were initiated into Jain monkhood.
While in Narpalpur, Dada Jin Chandra Suri had many discussions with the learned astrologers, and highly impressed them with his knowledge.
In Rudrapalli, he had a debate with the Padamcharya of the temple in the King’s court. Many scholars were present in the court at the time. Padamcharya finally gave in to the wisdom of this jain monk.
Every one praised the young leader of the jain congregation and his erudition as well as oratorical skill. The King awarded him with a merit certificate and the Shri Sangh organized a grand function in his honour.
As did Acharya shri Jin dutt suri, Dada Jin Chandra Suri possessed formidable magical powers, which—as is the case with all the Dadagurus—he employed for the benefit of Jains and Jainism. His most famous miracle occurred when he was traveling towards Delhi with his group and followers. They stopped over at night near a village named Borsidan. A little after they had settled, they heard about some dacoits coming towards Borsidan. Everyone was agitated, and Acharyashri told them not to worry and to gather at one place.
He recited a mantra and with a stick drew a line around which positioned everyone inside the line. The dacoits soon arrived but rode past them as they couldn’t see anyone. Such was the miracle of Dada Shri Jin Chandra Suri that the line he drew around them had built an invisible castle that kept the dacoits from seeing them
A man named Kulchandra was deeply moved by the sermons of Acharyashri and became his devotee. Kulchandra was very poor, and with not enough food to eat, he became weaker day by day.
When Acharyashri got to know about his pitiful condition, he wrote a mantra with ‘kumkum’ and ‘kasturi’ on a wooden plank, and gave it to Kulchandra. He told him to worship it daily with ‘Vakshkshaip’ (sacred powder).
Kulchandra daily worshipped the wooden board and went to work. In a short span of time he became a rich man. Such were the miracles and blessings of Gurudev for all his followers and devotees.
In Samvat 1223, at the age of 26 years, after travelling many parts of India, he came to Yojinipur (Mehrauli-New Delhi), which was ruled by Raja Madanpal. Having heard about his selfless nature, exceptional Mantra Shakti and pure saintly life, Raja Madanpal invited him to do his chaumasa in Yoginipur to give spiritual knowledge and guidance as well as solace to his people.
Even though he foresaw his end, yet he acceded to the request in the interests of peace and harmony and espoused the cause of religious tolerance, ahimsa, brotherhood and truthfulness.
He forewarned his disciples that in the event of his death, his funeral procession should not stop at any place on way to cemetary and to keep a bowl of milk ready to receive the Mani (gem), which would come out from his forehead at the time of lighting of pyre.
The costly jewel in the head of Dada Jin Chandra Suri gleamed since he was a child. This is the reason why Dada Jin Chandra Suri is also called Manidhari Jin Chandra Suri. The word ‘Manidhari’ means the holder of jewels.
In samvat 1223 in the hindu month of Bhadava, his disciples and people of Yoginipur, grieved by his untimely and unexpected death at the young age of 26 years, forgot about all these warnings. His funeral procession, on way to burning ghat, stopped at Manik Chowk for Bichlawasa (rest).
When they tried to lift his body for onward journey, the attempt failed. Thereafter four elephants were put to shift his body. Having failed in all their efforts, his last rites were performed with the permission of Raja Madanpal at Manik chowk. Manak Chowk is now known as Mehrauli, and a temple and a Dadabari now exists in the place where Gurudev was cremated.
At the time of lighting of pyre, a Mani (gem) came out from his forehead and was received in a bowl of milk by one of his followers a Muslim Fakir, who had overheard the conversation. Thus, Mehrauli Dadabari has great emotional attachment and religious importance for his followers and disciples.