In Memoriam Muni Dulheraj

Published: 06.05.2012
Updated: 30.11.2012

In Memoriam Muni Dulheraj

In January 2012 I was in Amet, Mewar district of Rajasthan, to participate in 148th Maryada Mahotsav. There I again met with Muni Jitendra Kumar who had been in the group of Muni Dulheraj. It was my first encounter with the young monk after the passing away of his first group leader. I expressed my deeply felt condolences to him, imagining the gap the loss of his mentor had left in the Sangh. Muni Jitendra Kumar asked me to write some lines about our encounters with Muni Dulheraj, the great senior monk, and I voluntarily agreed.

Our first encounter with Muni Dulheraj was in 2001 when both of us visited Maryada Mahotsav at Gangashahar in Rajasthan. Acharya Mahapragya ji had suggested to us to follow some basic thoughts on Jain philosophy by Muni Dulheraj.

Muni Dulheraj was the editor of many books authored by the Acharya. In the midst of most crowded public sessions, both of them started their discussions on the abstracts of Acharyashree’s speeches compiled by Muni Dulheraj. Every version of the text was subject of profound consideration between the two ascetics, who were on a par with each other. There was no hierarchy in their working process. Both of them were serving a higher course, to spread the teachings of their Mahaguru Mahavira. This atmosphere is present in the many books they together had worked for and makes them a pleasure to study.

Muni Dulheraj got any of his Acharya’s thoughts in the speeches and condensed them into a clear and precise text, which he then presented to the author. Only after this process approval for print was given. To be precise, this process not only occurred in a breath-taking mental speed, but also snowballed. The rapid understanding and the goal-oriented cooperation between the Acharya and his senior disciple were exemplary.

Knowing this, Acharya Mahapragya entrusted us to Muni Dulheraj’s wisdom. To us, this was not known. We only had a promotion of the mount of wisdom behind Munishree’s discourses on Jain philosophy. His lessons were very easy to understand, as he had the rare talent to express in simple words the most complex subjects of Mahavira’s teachings. He really was the prototype of a human being, having his head in the sky and his feet down to earth.

For the duration of our stay near the Sangh, we had the pleasure to be guided into the depth of Jain philosophy. The teachings were on the Jain strategy of mastering life and how to live peaceful and happy. Mainly they were based on the five Mahavratas of the Jain monks:

  • Ahimsa (Non-violence)
  • Satya (Truth)
  • Achaurya (Non-stealing)
  • Aparigraha (Non-possession, non-attachment)
  • Brahmacharya (Chastity, celibacy)

Muni Dulheraj explained the principles and their impact on the life of a lay follower to us. After every lesson he encouraged us to ask about the subject according to our understanding. The last lesson was a recapitulation of all precedent. It was then, when both of us had the impression that the material ground on which we were sitting was drifting away to give way to the reality that we all are freewheeling individual souls, on their way to liberation through evolution. This experience was a key to our understanding of the Jain way of living and the starting point of following it. Muni Dulheraj had conveyed so much insight to us when he explained the art of a non-violent lifestyle, that we immediately adopted it. From then on we follow a vegetarian and less harming as possible lifestyle.

Our great mentors, HH Acharya Mahapragya, and his senior disciple Muni Dulheraj had convinced us by their own example. They only had to tell us how they lived and why they did so. This was the turning point of our life.

My next encounter with Muni Dulheraj was in 2003, when I participated in 2nd International Preksha Meditation Camp in Surat, Gujarat. After the camp I stayed some more weeks near the saints. Muni Dulheraj asked me if we had profited from his teachings, if we had changed our names into those given and confirmed by HH to us, and if we had changed our lives. I was happy to report the change in our lifestyle to Munishree as a result of his teachings. After my return to Germany, this encounter was the initial for us to use in public our Jain names, Aparigraha & Karuna, and to adopt the surname Jain.

HH had encouraged me to address any request or philosophical discussion to Muni Dulheraj during my stay in Surat. When I came into his room, he was in a busy discussion with Muni Jitendra Kumar who was in Muni Dulheraj’s group since his Diksha. Muni Jitendra Kumar was reporting to his group leader on the subject he had studied.

When I asked Munishree about a gap in his dense time table, he smiled and suggested to me to come every day at 10:00 am for one question. This was a wonderful suggestion. Every day I got the opportunity to get an answer. I only had the task to get aware of the question. Munishree gave a response in depth to every subject I brought up. We started with Ahimsa and what Ahimsa lifestyle would be like. He explained the movements of the mind in their most subtle form, thoughts, their less subtle, words, and their gross, actions. I understood that control of the most subtle movements of the mind is the most promising for Ahimsa lifestyle. The tool providing the concentration needed is Preksha Meditation.

Another subject was the difference between Jiva, the sentient, living substance, the consciousness of the embodied soul, and Ajiva, the non-sentient, non-living substance, non-soul, devoid of consciousness.

Since then, we never missed to meet Muni Dulheraj and to talk to him. In the course of time, he lost more and more mobility, but was admirably supported by the junior member of his group, Muni Jitendra Kumar. Muni Jitendra Kumar pushed the chariot in which Muni Dulheraj was obliged to sit due to his old age. But despite his bodily invalidity, his mind was as active and mobile as it always had been.

Our last encounter with him was in 2010 at Sri Dungargarh, Rajasthan. He was staying in a building in front of Terapanth Bhawan in a small room with the monks of his group. He already seemed to prepare for leaving his body. He passed away eight month after Acharya Mahapragya, on 19.01.2011 in Sri Dungargarh. At the end of 2010 he had presented his newly edited Agam Uvasagdasao to Acharya Mahashraman.

Jaipur, June 2008:

Muni Dulheraj talking to a younger monk in his group.

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          Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
          1. Acharya
          2. Acharya Mahapragya
          3. Acharya Mahashraman
          4. Achaurya
          5. Agam
          6. Ahimsa
          7. Ajiva
          8. Amet
          9. Aparigraha
          10. Bhawan
          11. Body
          12. Brahmacharya
          13. Celibacy
          14. Concentration
          15. Consciousness
          16. Cooperation
          17. Diksha
          18. Gangashahar
          19. Gujarat
          20. International Preksha Meditation Camp
          21. Jain Philosophy
          22. Jaipur
          23. Jiva
          24. Karuna
          25. Mahapragya
          26. Mahashraman
          27. Mahavira
          28. Mahavratas
          29. Maryada
          30. Maryada Mahotsav
          31. Meditation
          32. Mewar
          33. Muni
          34. Muni Jitendra Kumar
          35. Non-violence
          36. Preksha
          37. Preksha Meditation
          38. Preksha Meditation Camp
          39. Rajasthan
          40. Sangh
          41. Satya
          42. Soul
          43. Sri Dungargarh
          44. Surat
          45. Terapanth
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