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Param Krupalu Dev: As a Social Reformer

Param Krupalu Dev’s Divine Life is a mine of exemplary qualities. Digging deeper and deeper into His life, we unearth the hidden jewels, marvel at His unmatched virtues and draw inspiration to walk on His footsteps.

As a Social Reformer

It is often alleged that religious people are negligent towards their social duties. However, the truth is exactly in contrast to this for the one who is truly religious. A person who dives deep within his Self unearths his inner virtues, compassion being one of them. And this compassion drives him to extend himself to alleviate the sorrows of souls around and guide them to happiness. Thus, it is indeed a spiritual person who serves the society in the truest sense. Param Krupalu Dev’s life was a glorious testimony to this fact. While He soared in His inner skies of spirituality, He also strived to reach out to the society to relieve them of their grief. Let us acquaint ourselves with the social reformer hidden within the spiritual revolutionary Param Krupalu Dev.

Strengthening the Pillars of Morality

A happy and prosperous society is built on the foundation stone of morality. Without ethics, happiness and prosperity in society is bound to head southwards. Stressing on the importance of this fundamental parameter, Param Krupalu Dev writes in Patrank – 496, “The aspirants who are involved in householders activities, they must first establish the root of unbreakable morality in their souls. Otherwise, the preaching, etc. go in vain. Adhering completely to the ethics in creating wealth etc. is called morality.”

Once someone asked Param Krupalu Dev that what should the honesty of a Jain be like. Showing the dome of the High Court, He replied that it should be like the honesty of the Judge sitting inside the High Court. It should be so well-known that if someone calls him dishonest, then the listener would not believe it.

Uplifting the Society

Param Krupalu Dev lived in an era where India was plagued with social evils like gender inequality, lack of proper education, adherence to caste system etc. Through His writings, Param Krupalu Dev dispelled the darkness of such thoughts and played an instrumental role in revolutionising the then thought process of the society.

Param Krupalu Dev penned His thoughts on empowering women in His book ‘Strinitibodhak’ published in V.S. 1940 when He was only 16 years old. In the book through simple poems, He analysed the causes of backwardness in women, such as child-marriage, forced marriage of the unequal, endless superstitions and ignorance. He also advocated the cause of women’s education. In a time where narrow-minded perception of women was the norm, Param Krupalu Dev advanced the cause for their equal treatment. Param Krupalu Dev stressed the importance of education by showing that right education leads to development of virtues and hence it is imperative to ensure children are given right education. Instead of spending excess money on extravagant marriage ceremonies or functions, Param Krupalu Dev advised individuals to rather spend for causes that would benefit the society like building hospitals, schools etc.

In times of inhumane behaviour towards the lower class, Param Krupalu Dev had loving approach towards them. Lallu, a domestic helper who had been working at Param Krupalu Dev’s residence in Mumbai since many years, contracted a tumour. Param Krupalu Dev personally looked after him, and at the time of his passing, Param Krupalu Dev placed his head in His lap and took care of him. Param Krupalu Dev expressed, that if an employer has the attitude of extracting more from a worker than the given salary, he is even poorer than the employee. If the employer wishes that the worker too becomes like the employer, and offers him as much help as possible, then he is an ideal employer.

In Kavitha, Param Krupalu Dev was seated under a tree engaged in spiritual discussion. Babradeva, a criminal passed by. He called Babradeva and asked him to sit. When he bowed at Param Krupalu Dev’s Lotus Feet and requested Him several times to bless him with some teachings, Param Krupalu Dev advised him to take care of mothers, sisters and daughters and not to loot or steal from anyone. Babradeva adhered to this and spent the rest of his life serving others.

Extending Himself to the Mute Lives

Param Krupalu Dev’s compassion reached out to help and uplift all forms of life, be it human or animal life. He was a strong and active proponent of the compassionate treatment of animals.

When Param Krupalu Dev was in Mumbai, He received the news that 108 buffaloes were slaughtered in Dharampur on the day of Dusshera. He sent Shri Maneklalbhai Ghelabhai to Dharampur and organised a gathering there. He Himself spoke to scholars of Mumbai regarding references of the Vedas and explained that the meaning of the Vedas had been misinterpreted. He spent day and night in this regard and played a pivotal role to bring an end to this cruel practice of violence on innocent lives.

In an unpublished letter written by Param Krupalu Dev, He wrote at length to arrange for fodder for a large number of animals to help them survive a drought. The action would not just sustain the animals, but their survival would mean a great deal of relief for the farmers, as well. Every minute detail relating to the purchase, storage and transport of the necessary fodder to even the quantity which should be given away for free and that which should be charged at minimal rates, was all carefully planned and relayed in this letter by Param Krupalu Dev.

Innumerable salutations to our Social Reformer Yugpurush Param Krupalu Dev!

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