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Param Krupalu Dev: As a Devotee of Bhagwan Mahavira

Param Krupalu Dev, an epitome of spirituality, is leading numerous souls on the path of spirituality as propounded by Tirthankars. Param Krupalu Dev’s devotion for Jainism and the teachings of Lord Mahavira flows through His writings and discourses over the period of His existence.
At the age of 7 years, looking at the burning pyre of a family friend, Shri Amichandbhai, produced a deep churning in Param Krupalu Dev’s mind and led to the attainment of jatismaranjnan, or knowledge of His past lives. As the veil lifted, He realised that He had been ordained as a monk by Bhagwan Mahivara Himself, and had spent time in His close proximity. He had therefore drunk deeply from the nectar of Bhagwan’s teachings. Secondly, with His extraordinary memory in this life, He could remember all of the teachings. His deep devotion towards Bhagwan and the human suffering around Him resulted in an intense desire to spread Bhagwan’s message throughout the world.

In V.S.1954 (1898 A.D.), as Param Krupalu Dev was walking with His disciples in Idar, they came across a huge boulder. He sat on the boulder facing east and remarked that scriptures describe Bhagwan Mahavira sitting on ‘Pudhvishila’. This was the same Pudhvishila. He then proceeded to recite almost one half of the text of ‘Bruhad Dravyasangrah’.

Expression of Devotion

In all His teachings, Param Krupalu Dev has unveiled the true essence of religion as propounded by Bhagwan Mahavira and thus lead mundane souls to the state of Liberation.

As noted by Mansukhbhai Kiratchand, Param Krupalu Dev had mentioned in Morbi that Mokshmala, which was written by Him at the age of 16 years and 5 months, He has attempted to expound the true essence of Jainism so that young and old alike can benefit from the teachings of the Lord. In the first lesson of ‘Mokshmala’ He writes, “The books that you have read so far, and continue to read, relate only to the world; but this book will benefit you in this life as well as your future lives. Some of Bhagwan’s teachings are included in it.”

At the age of seventeen, Param Krupalu Dev writes,

“Contemplate on the teachings of Mahavira.”
“Do not entertain doubts in the path of Mahavira.”
“Do not disregard Mahivara’s path.”

At twenty one He writes, “Do not forget that everything taught by Veerswami with respect to substance, space, time and modifications is exactly according to reality. If His teachings have been slighted in any way, repent for that. Considering the present times, with awareness, surrender your mind, speech and body to Him, this alone is the path to liberation.” (Patrank 37)

In Patrank 105, Param Krupalu Dev writes in the header “Who is worthy of teachings of Bhagwan Mahavira” and then lists down 10 qualities that a seeker needs to develop to be worthy of Bhagwan’s teachings.

In V.S.1952 (A.D.1896), while in Uttarsanda (Gujarat), Param Krupalu Dev and Motilalbhai Bhavsar, a seeker, were walking one evening. As they walked, He asked Motilalbhai to give up his indolence and lack of passion for liberation. He then revealed that when He was the last disciple of Bhagwan Mahavirswami, indolence in the form of a slight lapse in awareness regarding answering nature’s call had resulted in all these transmigrations.

In the same year, extolling the virtues of Bhagwan, Param Krupalu Dev writes, “Bhagwan Mahavirswami, even in the state of a householder, lived like a renunciate. His dispassion was such that it could not be matched even by someone practising restraint for a thousand years! Singing praises of His virtues results in the elimination of infinite karmas.”

Thus, the sole purpose of Param Krupalu Dev’s teachings was to help seekers understand and progress on path shown by Bhagwan Mahavira.

Walking the Talk

Not just in words, but Param Krupalu Dev also showed in His own way of life that He had absorbed the values propounded by Bhagwan Mahavira. Bhagwan has named 3 basic tenets as the foundation of Jainism viz: Ahimsa (non-violence), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) and Anekantvada (non-absolutism). Param Krupalu Dev’s life shows these tenets in action.

Ahimsa: In incidences like tears flowing out of His eyes while cutting vegetables at a very young age or letting go of a big profit in business by cancelling the deal done with an Arab trader just to alleviate his sorrow shows that Param Krupalu Dev’s heart overflowed with compassion for one and all – the true practice of Ahimsa.

Aparigraha: Param Krupalu Dev stopped the experiments of Avdhaans which otherwise could have brought Him lots of fame and wealth. Also He had noted in His personal diary the limits of the wealth that He aims to achieve and with a fixed deadline to do it, beyond which He aims to retire and spend time in His spiritual pursuit. These facts highlight the inculcation of non-possessiveness in Param Krupalu Dev’s life.

Anekantvada: In a letter to Mansukhram Suryaram, Param Krupalu Dev writes that His soul has long forgotten the belief that liberation can be attained by insistence of Jainism alone! (Patrank 120) This shows Param Krupalu Dev’s broad mindset and non-absolute attitude, as propounded by Bhagwan Mahavira.

Thus, Param Krupalu Dev’s life is like a magnificent, beautiful and wondrous painting with its intricate colours of devotion and love towards Bhagwan Mahavira. Let us feast our eyes on it, get inspired and strive to emulate it.

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