Life Journey of a Spiritual Master
Karma and Its Realization
Dr. Vasanth Vijay Maharaj was born to Sri Kevalchandji Chajjed and Smt. Ugmabai Chajjed on 5th March 1970 in Krishnagiri (Tamilnadu). At a tender age of 8, he became desperate to discover the truths of life, he wanted to know why somebody is subject to suffering and misery while someone else has access to all the comforts and luxuries in life? Then a little boy, Vasanthji saw his sister suffering, his brother dying and his mother grieving and he was anxious to know the root of all suffering. He wanted to know why people are conditioned by ignorance, delusion, deprivation and suffering. The voice cried in wilderness and searched answers in the service of enlightened masters and devotion. He understood that every man is in search of happiness. But only few are fortunate in having that happiness in life. Every person has dreams but only few achieve their dreams. He understood that this unhappiness is due to Karma (once action or deeds). Hence he believed in Karma theory and Jain dharma –a religion that believes in Karma (deeds). It means "As you sow so shall you reap " meaning whatever good or bad deeds a human does in his previous life accordingly he gets in return. On realizing this concept of karma Maharaj aspired to create a good society which will develop into a better world tomorrow.
A Meet with Divinity
Maharaj was once travelling towards Chennai via Kancheepuram when his car broke down in front of Kanchi Shankaracharya Mutt/Ashram. The then Shankaracharya of Kanchee Mutt used to be in silence during that time and gave darshan exactly at 5 o clock. Coincidently Maharaj’s vehicle broke down exactly the same time. As the vehicle was being repaired Maharaj visited Kanchee Ashram Shankaracharya Swami’s darshan. As Maharaj took his darshan he felt there is some extraordinary power in Shankaracharya Swami. Maharaj felt that he lacked happiness even though he had all the wealth. Maharaj in his mind asked for blessings from Swami. Even though Swamiji was silent, Maharaj felt as if Swami is blessing him again and again. On third day after this incident Swamiji came in Maharaj’s dream and blessed him again. In the dream Swamiji told Maharaj that he was born to do good to this world and inspired him to follow the tradition in which he was born. From that day onwards, Maharaj started giving away lot of charity and conducted social work for the wellbeing of the society.
Miracles and Mother
Subsequently Jainacharya Sri. Bhuvanbhanusuriji Maharaj blessed him with a beautiful and precious picture of Sri. Shankheshwara Parshwanatha which the Acharya used to keep with him always. When the Maharaj got the same he remained engrossed in deep contemplation and devotion. So many miracles started happening at his home and then began the journey of an inspiring devotee of Parshwanatha. When he spent his time in the devotion of the omniscient Vitaraga Lord Parshwa, his joy knew no bounds. He experienced that the attendant deities of the Lord rejoiced with him in his devotion and at times helped him to continue with his devotional practices in a mysterious way.
Whatever little sleep he could get in that he would dream and and in the dreams too he would see that he is dancing with joy while singing the glory of the Lord. Once he saw a pair of serpents on a heap of kumkum in his dream. Then a Jain saint interpreted the dream and he was inspired by the latter to take up the aradhana of Goddess Padmavathi. Thus began the devotion of Goddess Padmavathi and along with it miracles began to happen at the place where the bhakti of the Goddess took place. People began tohrong the place and join the young boy (Maharaj) in the devotion of the Lord. His mother looked after the devotees and served them food (prasadam) and other things with devotion. The boy too began to donate whatever he had. Maharaj till date remembers the loving kindness of his mother and says that he owes her everything. He felt blessed to serve the Lord and his people along with his kind and generous mother. The place was just not enough for the multitudes of devotees increasing day by day. The devotees pleaded the Goddess to show them a place where everybody could come and sing the glory of the Lord and to everybody’s surprise by divine grace they found such a place.
The divine mother Goddess Padmavathi revealed to them to acquire the land which was 5 km away from Krishnagiri village, where there were two date trees with fourteen fruits. People followed the divine instructions and thus the land of Shaktipeetha was acquired and slowly and steadily the constructions converted it to a holy land i.e., Tirthakshetra.
The beautiful idol of mother Padmavathi was installed and it began to attract scores of devotees. Then a little boy Vasanth rejoiced danced and served the Goddess day and night and remained absorbed in meditation and devotion for hours together. Just as a mother looks after her child with selfless love and affection, Vasanth too shared everything with the divine Mother be it a making Makke ki roti or applying Mehendi. The childlike innocence of the young lad did not know the way of bhakti, rather he did not know the scholarly way of praying and pleasing the Lord, but complete steadfast surrender to the supreme made him worthy. One day Vasanth became curious to know the art of bhakti. He found a book written by Jaina Acharya Rajyashsurishwarji on Maa Padmavathi but could not read it as it was in Sanskrit and Gujarati. He knew neither of the languages, nor was his Hindi so good. He felt helpless and wept before the Goddess and pleaded her to teach him everything. Later the mother appeared in his dream and blessed him to read and the very next moment he could read and interpret everything rightly. The sadhana of svadhyaya that began that day continues religiously till date enriching self and all other who come in its contact.
Why Red Robes?
Jain saints wear white-coloured clothes but this unique saint-devotee wears red-coloured clothes (parshwa parampara). This is quite unusual for a Jain leader but there is a reason for this devotee to take up red-coloured clothes in place of white. Although Vasanth Maharaj has not formally initiated himself in any order, it is the sheer power of unconditional surrender and steadfast devotion that has elevated him to the status of a saint-devotee. Although he is married with two children, a girl and a boy, he observes complete celibacy after the Goddess instructed him to do so. After his daughter was born, her color would change to red and then to white again. He felt that the Mother herself was born in his family and so from that day he chose to wear the red robes as a mark of his devotion to the supreme Mother.
Miracles seem to take place every day in the darbar of Lord Parshwanatha, Goddess Padmavathi and in the presence of Vasanth Maharaj. He became literal eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. The divine grace of the Lord Parshwanatha and Mother Padmavathi is felt by one and all, be it the rich or the poor, the sick or the healthy, young or the old. Obstacles come in the way of developing the Krishnagiri Tirthakshetra, but the mother herself removes all the hurdles and shows the way and enables him to develop it with great zeal and enthusiasm. People of South India look upto this great Maharaj in times of joy as well as sorrow, and come to him at times with heavy hearts but are instantly relieved of their pains and sufferings. Devotion of the divine works miracles in the lives of the devotees, be it for cancer patients or the poor and the deprived.
Self-realization, power of concentration, steadfast devotion, child-like innocence, simplicity, loving kindness, compassion, these are some of the traits that go to make simple people great and great people greatest. These virtues make the Atma a Mahatma and eventually the Mahatma becomes a Paramatma. God wants his children to be prophetic and spread the message of peace and non-violence and live in harmony with nature and all others. Shaktipithadhipati Sri Vasanth Maharaj toils day and night to inspire people to conquer their animosity which is the biggest enemy of humanity that manifests in the form of anger, conceit, deceit, greed, egotism, delusion, violence, terrorism, corruption, etc. He simultaneously, silently and compassionately motivates them to be virtuous and nurture humanitarian qualities like compassion, selflessness etc., in order to enable them to realize their latent divine potential and manifest it. This is the supreme grace which he wants everybody to experience and rejoice in. He wants everybody to be duty conscious and spiritually aware so that they may transcend the ocean of births and deaths. Just as people overcome their material shortcomings, people realize their spiritual destination and feel blessed when they come in contact with this saint-devotee of
Sri Parshwa Padmavathi.
Hear that Silence
JSri Vasanth Maharaj is not only an ardent devotee of Sri Parshwa Padmavathi but a spiritual aspirant who takes to rigorous practices like a tapasvi, scriptural study like a swadhyayi, meditation like a dhyani and devotion like a true bhakta. He is a social reformer and a visionary par excellence who believes in the power of noble silence. He says that a true aspirant should observe noble silence for eight out of twelve months. Silence is stillness of the mind and spirituality. He lays great stress on inner purification, because self-purification is the greatest tirtha. He says that Jinashasan is for the spiritual welfare of all and was revealed by the Tirthankar Paramatmas so that not only human beings but all living beings strive for spiritual excellence and perfection and ultimately become liberated.
He believes that all modern-evils like violence, terrorism, violation of human rights, degradation of human dignity, environmental degradation, etc. are because of the spiritual crisis that man is going through and says that nurturing friendliness with all life-forms can enable us to overcome the challenges of modern times.He wants all humans to be empowered with the power of universal love and dignity and simultaneously work for self-realization, self-purification and self-conquer.
He says that one can reach the Paramatma by mastering control over the body through yoga and the asanas, control over the speech by mauna vrata (noble silence), control over the mind by bhav shuddi (inner purification) and prayaschitt (expiation). Just as love, bhakti too is blind; there should be complete surrender in bhakti. The gopis of Brindavan loved Lord Krishna unconditionally and could realize him easily whereas the same was difficult for the rishis who took to rigorous austerities for many years. He says that ignorance, materialism, egotism and the feeling of I, mine and mineness have created rifts between people, families, communities and nations at large.
Truly a “Maharaj”
The tirtha of Krishnagiri is made holy by the sadhana and taparadhana of Maharaj. The spiritual and religious practices of this unique saint-devotee of India have been instrumental in transforming this part of India into a tirtha-kshetra. This tirtha-ksetra has been developed for the spiritual and social welfare of one and all. It is not for the Jains alone but for all beings. This is the only temple in the world where people who have just eaten underground roots and stems (kandmool) are prohibited from entering the temple.
Those who chant the Namaskar Mantra on the rosary 11 times in a week alone can do the aarti in the temple. Inspiration of Maharaj is instrumental in promoting the chanting of Namaskar mantra in millions of households today. Maharaj has never collected money for the development of the tirha, money flows in whenever required and the construction of the various temples, prayer halls, conference halls, guest houses, dining-halls etc. takes place in a smooth way. The commitment of Maharaj to the various projects that he undertakes and his unshakeable faith in mother Padmavathi are incredible.
The self-confidence of the Maharaj and his determination are exemplary and noteworthy. He accomplishes great tasks with so much ease and devotion. Although he appears to be an ordinary mortal, the divine grace he radiates can be felt by all those who come in his contact. He nurtures the divinity in him and inspires all others to do the same and experience the grace of the divine. His mother used to call him ‘Raja’ and he is indeed a ‘Raja’ in the devotional realm too. One can observe Saraswati in his voice, Parshwa Padmavathi in his mind, Arihantas in his heart and the sacred scriptures in his hand.
A Great Visionary
Maharaj’s eyes glitter with devotion and compassion and he wants to inspire one and all to be devotional and compassionate. He is filled with equanimity and is indifferent to friends and foes. Truth is his soul and liberation is his destination. One can see in him a combination of both Yoga and Sadhana as he imbibes the lofty ideals of the Namaskar Mahamantra in his day to day life.
He preaches and teaches the art of right living through devotion and renunciation. He is a great visionary and a missionary whose charm mesmerizes devotees worldwide. God always works with the people who abide by truth and thus when we meet true devotees like Vasanth Maharaj we too are inspired to be devoted and truthful and then we too can experience the positive change happen which will enable us to experience inner joy, peace and bliss here and now.
“May mother Padmavathi shower her choicest blessings on all, may her humble devotee and our master Sri Vasanth Maharaj spread the light worldwide and inspire people to live in harmony and spread peace. May the seeds of violence and terrorism transform into those of non-violence and harmony thus bringing the paradise on earth.”