युगप्रधान दादा श्री जिन दत्त सूरी जैन आचार्यो की महान परंपरा के ज्वाज्वल्यमान नक्षत्र हैं. जिनशासन की एक महान परंपरा खरतरगच्छ के आप युगपुरुष हैं. जिनेश्वर सूरी से प्रारम्भ हुई इस परंपरा में नवांगी टीकाकार आचार्य अभय देव सूरी के पटटधर शिष्य वल्लभ सूरी आपके गुरु थे. संवत ११३२ में आपका जन्म हुआ एवं ९ वर्ष की अल्प आयु में ही आपने देीक्षा ग्रहण कर वैराग्य का जीवंत उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया। आप चमत्कारिक बुद्धि के धनी थे एवं अपनी प्रतिभा से सबको चमत्कृत करते हुए अल्प समय में ही समस्त शास्त्रों में पारंगत बने. आपकी प्रतिभा, शास्त्र अभ्यास, ,प्रवचन कला एवं सर्वोपरि वैराग्य व जिन शासन निष्ठां को देखते हुए अनेक वरिष्ठ साधुओं के रहते हुए भी आपको आचार्य पद प्रदान कर श्री जिन वल्लभ सूरी का पट्टधर नियुक्त किया गया. आपने शासन प्रभावना के अनगिनत कार्य किये एवं अपनी तपसाधना से जिन शासन का विस्तार किया। १३०,००० (एक लाख तीस हज़ार) लोगों को प्रतिवुद्ध कर उन्हें जिन धर्म का अनुयायी बनाया एवं अनेक नवीन गोत्रों की स्थापना की. । श्री नेमिनाथ स्वामी की अधिष्ठायीका अम्बिका देवी ने आपको युगप्रधान पद से अलंकृत किया। आप अपभ्रंश भाषा के महान कवि थे एवं चर्चरी प्रकरण, चैत्यवंदन कुलक आदि अनेक विशिष्ट ग्रंथों की रचना की. जिन शासन को आपके महान योगदान के कारण आप प्रथम दादा गुरुदेव के नाम से विस्वा विख्यात हैं एवं हज़ारों दादावाडीयां आपके यशोगाथा का गान आज भी गा रही है. संवत १२११, आषाढ़ सुदी इग्यारस को अजमेर में आपका स्वर्गवास हुआ, मणिधारी जिन चन्द्र सूरी को आपने अपना पटटधर नियुक्य लिया जो की कालान्तर में द्वितीय दादागुरु के नाम से प्रसिद्द हुए
DADA SHRI JIN DUTT SURI
Life and personality of great men and their character have always been an inspiration to the people in their quest for excellence. Books merely indicate the path but great men treading that path leave their footprints and act as an ideal example for all those who wish to follow them.
Even after centuries or decades, the life and work of such great personalities continue to inspire many. Among such great men was Dada Shri Jin Dutt Suri, the first guru (preceptor) of Khartar Gach. He was a spiritual leader, and is worshipped worldwide by jains and non-jains even today.
Dada Shri Jin Dutt was born in samvat 1132 in Dholka village of Gujarat. His clan was Humbad and his parents Vachag and Bahar Devi named him Somchandra.
Even as a child, Somchandra reflected brilliance and bravery, and was greatly impressed by the religious and devout personalities of his parents.
When he was a small boy he once accompanied his mother to discourses being given by Khartar Gacch sadhviji. Sadhviji was astounded by the brilliance of his personality at such a young age. They noticed auspicious marks on the boy, realized that if he gets initiated into the Jain order of monkhood, he certainly would prove of great service to Jainism, and will spread the message of non-violence and truth far and wide in and outside the country.
Sadhviji called for Somchandra’s mother Bahar devi and appealed to her that if Somchandra was ever inclined towards renunciation of worldly affairs, she must allow him to do so. She told his mother that Somchandra was destined to greatness.
Bahar Devi had deep faith in Jain preachings and believed that being able to attain monkhood is a result of great karma, and if her son was destined for it, she must not be of hindrance to such great deed.
As destiny would have it, after some time, the disciple of Jineshwar Dev Suri, Dharam Dev Upadhyaya sojourned at Dholka. Somchandra and his parents attended his sermons daily. Dharam Dev was very impressed by the humility and intelligence of Somchandra. The daily discourses about soul, karma, the materialist characteristic of the world given by Dharam Dev had a deep impression on Somchandra.
The huge property of his father failed to entice him. He soon expressed his will to his parents to leave behind the worldly affairs and tread the path of monkhood.
His mother having understood that this path is indeed the righteous one for a human, she considered it a matter of great luck that her son was destined for it. Any jain considers himself of great honor if his or her descendant is inclined towards and accepted into jain monkhood. A Jain sadhu life demands great reverence, patience, sacrifice and meditation.
Parental permission was given, and he gave up all luxuries and wedded himself to the life of abnegation and self discipline.
In samvat 1141, at the tender age of nine years, Somchandra took religious vows and was initiated in jain monkhood. He became the disciple of Dharam Dev Upadhyaya, and was given the name Somchandra Muni.
Somcandra Muni demonstrated cleverness and great independence of mind from the start. His education was put in the hands of an ascetic named Sarvadevgani.
Even at the age on nine, Somchandra Muni was able to bear and practice strong spiritual self-discipline. In a short span of time, he learnt various subjects and languages, and mastered the art of yoga and the knowledge of “mantra tantra”. He had recited the “Beej Mantra” three and a half crore times. Acharyashri had recited the Maya mantra three and a half crore times.
As time passed his reputation grew to such an extent that, when Jinvallabhsuri—the leader of the Khartar Gacch at that time—passed away, Somcandra was his logical successor. In samvat 1169, in the presence Chittor Shri Sangh, Acharya Dev Bhadra bestowed him with the status of Acharya. From thereon he came to be known as Acharya Shri Jin Dutt Suri.
There are many miraculous incidents connected with the life of Acharyashri which continue to revive faith in people even today.
Once in Ujjain, Dada Jin Dutt Suri had a public discourse, With his powers of knowledge and intuition, Acharyashri could foresee that sixty-four yoginis were coming in order to create a disturbance. He told his listeners about them and that they should spread sixty-four mats and seat the yoginis on them.
The sixty-four yoginis arrived disguised as women, and were directed toward the sitting arrangement specially done for them. With his mystical powers, Acharyashri glued them to the mats and resumed his discourse.
When the discourse was over, the Yoginis tried to get up from their seats but they could not do so. Witnessing this power of Dada Gurudev, they confessed that although they had come to deceive him they had in fact been deceived themselves.
The Yoginis asked for his forgiveness and promised that they would assist him in propagating Jainism. The Yoginis granted him seven wishes.
His knowledge, his self discipline, his compassion and kindness gained him much respect and followers all over the world.
5 pirs (Muslim priests), 52 Vir (brave men), 64 Yoginis, and many angels were always there at his beck and call to serve him.
It seems that a legendary ascetic from centuries earlier, had written a book of ancient knowledge but because he lacked any disciple who could make proper use of this knowledge, he secreted the book in a pillar in the fort in Chittor. Others had tried and failed to obtain this book, but by means of his own yogic power (yogbal ) Dada Jin Dutt Suri was able to acquire it.
In Ujjain, there is a temple known as Maha Kal. There, too, in one of the stone pillars, were some sacred books veiled by earlier scholars. Once again, Gurudev got those books out of the pillar.
These books are great reservoirs of jain scriptures.
Once, in Ajmer, a fearsome stroke of lightning in the evening threatened the
fellow monks and followers of Dada Jin Dutt Suri while doing pratikraman with him. Dada Jin Dutt Suri caught the lightning under his alms bowl and told everyone to carry on with the pratikraman without fear.
In that instant, the Goddess of Lightering appeared and bowed down to Gurudev for his mystical powers and told him that in future lightening would never strike anybody who chants his name.
Even today Khartargach jains have faith in these miracles of Gurudev and often visit the Dada Shri Jin Dutt Suri Dadabari in Ajmer to pay their respect and to pray to Gurudev to protect them if troubles surround their lives.
Once at a place called Badnagar some Brahmans tried to disgrace Jindattsuri and the Jain community by having a dead cow placed in front of a Jain temple. The temple authorities and the jain people visiting the temple were very troubled by this incidence. They went to Gurudev to ask for help and narrated the whole incidence to him.
Gurudev sent Vyantra Dev (a spirit) in the dead body of the cow. He moved the cow from outside the Jain temple and put it in front of the Brahman temple.
The Brahmans tried to get rid of the cow from outside their temple but they couldn’t move it. Gurudev’s magic spell had glued the cow to the ground in a way that they couldn’t even budge an inch of it.
Ashamed and sorry for what they had done, these people went to Gurudev to seek forgiveness and plead him to move the dead cow from outside their temple. Accepting their apology, Gurudev called upon Vyantra Dev to leave the body of the cow and move it from outside the temple.
This incidence led a lot of non-jains to becoming devoted followers of Gurudev and hold faith in Jainism.
Even today, many non-jains visit Dadabari’s across India and learn about Jainism.
Gurudev’s arrival in Uch Nagar was organized with great pomp and show by the people of the city. This welcoming event was glorified by the arrival of the son of the Moghul king.
All of a sudden the horse he was seated on stopped with a jerk and the king’s son fell and died. An atmosphere of sadness and worry spread through the entire city. The jain people were especially worried as he died whilst attending a jain social function.
Gurudev had already arrived when this happened, and the entire community went to him to save the King’s son.
Gurudev called on the “Vyantra dev” to enter the dead body of King’s son and make him alive. Everyone was overwhelmed with this miracle, and the atmosphere once again lit up when the King’s son came back to life.
The King’s son asked Gurudev if there was anything he could do for saving his life. Gurudev told him that he should never consume non-vegetarian food and if he does, his life will end.
The Moghul prince promised never to eat non-vegetarian food. Sadly, the family of the Moghul prince fed him meat after six months and he died.
This incidence instigated many people to switch to vegetarianism, and deepened people’s faith in Gurudev and his teachings.
Jindattsuri is said to have had the title of yugpradhan (spiritual leader of the age) bestowed upon him in a miraculous manner. It seems that in order to find out who was the yugpradhan (leader of Khartar Gach sect), a layman named Nagdev went up to the summit of Girnar and fasted for three days.
Pleased by his austerities, the goddess Ambika Devi appeared and wrote the yugpradhan’s name on his hand, saying, “He who can read these letters, know him to be the yugpradhan .
Nagdev traveled far and wide and showed his hand to many learned acharyas , but nobody could read the letters. In the end he went to Patan, where he showed his hand to Jin Dutt Suri.
The monk sprinkled vakshkshaip powder on the letters and they became clear. It was a couplet that read as follows: “He at whose lotus feet all of the gods fall in complete humility, and who is an oasis-like kalptaru (wish-fulfilling tree), may that yugpradhan who is Sri Jindattsuri be ever-victorious.”
The title “Dada” was given to him by Goddess Ambika and he came to be known as Dada Gurudev.
This one time, Dada Guru was giving a religious discourse when he heard the prayers of his followers who were on a ship in another part of the world.
The ship they were on was sinking and they kept praying to Gurudev to come to their rescue. Even though Gurudev was in another city and could not see them, he could hear the prayers of his followers. Such was the knowledge and power vested in Gurudev.
Anyhow, Gurudev brought the ship to the shore and saved the lives of all those who were on it.
While Gurudev continued his discourse, he also saved the ship from drowning.
Once when Dada Gurudev was being given a grand reception at his arrival in Multan, Ambud, who was also in the city for business, thought of testing Gurudev’s power. He said to Gurudev that if only he came to Patan and received the same welcome, he would then consider him to be a true saint. He spoke much to the disgrace of Dada Guru but Gurudev only smiled and said that pride does lead to prosperity; and when he arrives in Patan, Ambud would already be in a state of a pauper.
Gurudev could well foresee the future and hence knew the dire condition of Ambud in future.
After some years, when Gurudev reached Patan, he was welcomed with a grand reception. He went to see Ambud when he reached Patan, who was by then penniless. Gurudev asked him if he remembered his prediction about the future.
Ambud pretended to be ashamed of his behavior in the past and pleaded for Gurudev’s forgiveness and acceptance as his follower. In his heart though, he carried bitter feeling for Gurudev and much anger for Gurudev’s prediction to have come true.
A while later, Ambud mixed poison in Gurudev’s food. One of his followers, Abhu Shah Seth informed Gurudev of the poison mixed in his food by Ambud. Gurudev soon called for a ring from Palanpur which was known for de-posioning.
(Jain monks are bound by their vow to consume all food taken in alms and cannot be thrown away even if it is poisonous.)
On account of attempting murder, Ambud was given death sentence.
In his next birth, Ambud became “Vyantra dev” who tried to disrupt and cause many hindrances in Gurudev’s work.
Gurudev’s devotee Abhu Shah was very troubled by the obstacles created by Vyantra Dev in Gurudev’s work. He requested Vyantra Dev to stop disturbing Gurudev’s life and work.
Vyantra Dev agreed on grounds that Abhu Shah will give up his family in return for not obstructing Gurudev’s life. Abhu Shah was a devotee of Gurudev and agreed to surrender his family to Vyantra Dev.
As agreed, Vyatra Dev stopped troubling Gurudev.
Even today, people look up to the faith and devotion of Abhu Shah towards Gurudev.
Even though Abhu Shah had given up his family, he couldn’t help feeling guilty of having put them through worry and pain. Gurudev soon got to know of Abhu Shah’s sacrifice, and saved his family and brought them back.
Vyantra dev’s power was bound by ill intentions and deemed powerless in front of Gurudev.
Once upon a time, a severe epidemic spread throught the city of Vikrampur. The followers of Dada Gurudev went to stop this epidemic from spreading.
Driven by their pleas, Dada Guru composed “Sapt Samaran” (seven hymns) to stop the epidemic from spreading and causing more havoc to the lives of people.
When followers of other religious sects saw this miracle, they requested Gurudev to save them too from the epidemic.
Enchanted and thankful to Gurudev for saving so many lives, many Brahmins and others coverted to Jainism.
Even today, many Muslims, Sikhs, and others worship Gurudev and visit Dadabari’s around the world, along with following their own sects.
The son of a wealthy man in Surat lost his eyesight. His father visited many doctors and tried various remedies to cure his son’s blindness but nothing worked.
When he visited Gurudev, he told him about his son’s blindness and prayed that his son be blessed with eyesight.
This incidence speaks of one more miracle of Gurudev which was the gift of eyesight to the blind boy.
The father of the boy and his family became devout followers of Gurudev and contributed in spreading Jainism across the country.
This one time, a snake bit the prince of Bharuch Sultan, and he became unconscious. All the remedies were tried but none cured the prince. The poisoned had spread through his body and soon everyone thought that the prince had died.
Death of the prince was announced and he was taken to the cemetery. Dada Gurudev heard about the prince and his death, and quickly went to see him.
Gurudev removed the poison from the body and brought the prince back to life.
Everyone was surprised and enthralled by the miracle of Gurudev.
Acaryashri Jin Dutt Suri converted 1,30,000 people belonging to various castes like Brahmins, Vaishya, Maheshwari, Kshatriya, Kayasth into Oswal sub castes of Bhansali, Bafna, Bothra, Savansukha, Chordia, Malu, Parekh, Golchha.
Besides these, other sub castes were also established by Dada Gurudev. Among them 58 sub castes are still prevalent.
The Chauhan king of Ajmer Arnoraj, Sihoji Somji, Kumar pal, King Yadeav and many other Kings became followers of Jainism by the inspiration of Acaryashri Jin Dutt Suri.
The whole life of Dada Gurudev was spent in the service of Jainism and the propagation of the teachings of Lord Mahavira.
He wrote many books in various languages like Gujarati, Hindi, Sanskrit and Prakrit. Many of his books are still prevalent.
At the age of 79, in vikram samvat 1211 the hindu month of Asarh, he breathed his last in Ajmer.
At the time of his cremation, his clothing and Mukh Patti (mouth-cloth) did not burn. They are preserved to this day in the Gyan Bhandar library of Jaisalmer.
His successor, Jincandrasuri” Manidhari,” established a memorial on the spot on which his body was burned, and this was later made into a proper temple.
This too is a miraculous episode in the life story of Dada Gurudev. Thousands of devotees come to worship these clothes at Jaisalmer.
In many books written on Dada Gurudev as well as in many stotras, it is clearly mentioned that he was a liberated soul.
After death Jin dutt suri became a god. According to one account, Simandhar Svami (a Tirthankar currently active and teaching in the continent of Mahavideh) was once asked by his guardian goddess (shashan devi ) where Jindattsuri had been reborn. The omniscient Simandhar replied that at the present time he was in devlok (heaven), and that after a sojourn there he would take birth in Mahavideh and achieve liberation.
Another author also states that Jindattsuri became a god in the Saudharma Devlok and will ultimately return to the region of Mahavideh, whence he will attain liberation.