Great Souls>Pujya Lalchandbhai Amarchand Modi
Why is Lalchandbhai special enough to pay attention to?
- Because Lalchandbhai was a premier student of Pujya GurudevShree KanjiSwami and
- Because Lalchandbhai had remarkable abilities, such as:-
- a uniquely sharp focus on the end goal which is self-experience
- the ability to distill any material into its essential points
- comprehend huge quantities of information from Jain literature and lectures,
- understand the deepest of concepts,
- organise the knowledge,
- extract the essential points and
- explain these using everyday language in an easy to understand manner that kept the listener enthralled!
- the ability to convey the essence in an easy to understand manner without too many words - This simplicity was achieved without compromising accuracy - the material was explained in an undistorted manner.
- By listening to these lectures we can understand the core principles of Jainism and their application with minimum effort on our part.
Lalchand - The young boyThe baby Lalchand was born in Vikram Sanvat 1967 on Jyest Sud 9 (June 1910) to mother Fulba in Limbuda (Gujarat). Father Amarchandbhai was a keen student of Jain tattva. They were Jains following the Sthanakvasi sect. Lalchand had three brothers and one sister. The boy Lalchand was very clever and handsome yet kind. Unfortunately, his mother passed away just as he entered his teens. The boy and then the young man Lalchand was honest and gentle in his conduct but always questioning of the reasons behind religious activities.
Lalchandbhai-the youth and meeting GurudevAt the age of 21, he obtained the book “Shreemad Rajchandraji” which he studied extensively. The first meeting with Pujya Gurudev KanjiSwami took place at the age of 29 in Jetpur. Even though it was the first time that the two met, Gurudev said that there are some deep thoughts that I will share with you when you come to Songadh. Lalchandbhai moved to Rajkot and at the age of 32 where he heard Pujya Gurudev's pravachan for the first time. The lecture fired up an even stronger desire to understand Jain tattva.
Structured Study and Choosing GuruAt the age of 40, Lalchandbhai started a structured study of Jain tattva with a Pundit. The Pundit who was going to help Lalchandbhai study Jain Siddhant Praveshika said that the only time available was in early morning at 4am. So despite suffering from mild fever, Lalchandbhai started studying and as word got out, other friends such as Dr Chandubhai, etc. joined in. After completing the structured studies, Lalchandbhai had two people who could be his Guru, Pujya KanjiSwami and Ganeshprad Varniji. To make the decision, he asked each of them a number of questions and then Lalchandbhai went alone at the age of 43 to stay in Girnar for 8 days. There he studied Shree Samaysaarji in depth and objectively considered the two people (and their answers to his questions). Lalchandbhai firmly decided that Pujya Gurudev KanjiSwami was the right person to be his Guru and from then onwards studied intensively in accordance with Pujya Gurudev's teachings.
Leading swadhyay in Rajkot Mandir, move to SongadhIn 1956 (when Lalchandbhai was 45) Gurudev said “Lalbhai, from now on you have to read (in the Rajkot Mandir)”. Lalchandbhai pleaded that he was newly joined and had lots to learn yet. At which Ramjibhai said “Time is not important”. From 1956, for many years, Lalchandbhai led the swadhyay in Rajkot Mandir. Later on, Lalchandbhai moved to a rented house in Songadh to benefit from Gurudev's swadhyay daily. Just before Lalchandbhai moved to Songadh, swadhyay of Samaysaarji had just finished and another shastra had been started. When Gurudev heard that Lalchandbhai has moved to Songadh, he started swadhyay of Samaysaarji again with Lalchandbhai in mind.
Samyakt Darshan (Self Experience), Friends with Nihalchandbhai SoganiIn 1960, at the age of 50, Lalchandbhai was studying Gatha 6 of Shree Samysaarji. There was a towel drying on a line outside and Lalchandbhai had an intense rejection arise from deep within him “This towel is not being known, the knower is being known”. His knowledge dived deep into his core and self-experience occurred. In 1964 on Falgun Shuddh 3 VS2020, Lalchandbhai's father, Amarchandbhai attained self-experience as well.
Friendship with Nihalchandbhai SoganiLalchandbhai had contact with Nihalchandbhai Sogani over a period of 3 years which turned into a strong friendship. Later Nihalchandbhai's quotes were collated by Lalchandbhai, Amarchandbhai and Shashibhai Sheth. When Gurudev heard that Lalchandbhai was leading the effort, Gurudev gave the green light for publication of DravyaDashti Prakash.
Swadhyay in MumbaiAt the age of 62 (1972), financial difficulties forced Pujya Lalchandbhai to go to Mumbai to earn money. Lalchandbhai had set a target for how much money he needed and that as soon as that figure was reached he would return to Rajkot. He reached the target in 5 years and returned to Rajkot. While Lalchandbhai was in Mumbai, this is what Gurudev said about him:- “Lalchandbhai is leading swadhyay in Mumbai. Temni bahu j nirmal dashti chhe (He has a very pure faith)” (Shree Samysaar, Gatha 85, 3 August 1976).
Nairobi, Kenya and London, UKIn 1977, the foundations of a new Mandir in Nairobi were to be laid. Lalchandbhai and Babubhai from Fatehpur were asked to go to Nairobi to carry out the foundation ceremonies. They were there for a number of months during which Lalchandbhai lectured regularly. Referring to this event Gurudev said Lalchandbhaini bahu nirmal dashti chhe (Lalchandbhai has a very pure faith)” (Bahenshreena Vachanamrut, Bol 231 to 235, Pravachan 91, 11 September 1978). Lachandbhai's Nairobi Lectures are now available online In 1982, Pujya Lalchandbhai lectured in UK for a period of 6 weeks. These lectures are remarkable because in very simple language, they take a novice with little or no knowledge of Jainism to becoming knowledgeable in the essentials. The London series of lectures are also online.
More detailed life story
There are many other events which have been captured in the book “Dravya Svabhhav, Priyaay Svabhaav” which are not listed here.
Lalchandbhai's Summary of Key conceptsLalchandbhai was well known for summarising, without distortion, key concepts such as:-
- ૧. હું જાણનાર છું; હું કરનાર નથી, જાણનારો જણાય છે; ખરેખર પર જણાતું નથી.
- 1. I am a knower, I am not a doer. The knower is being known; in reality non-self is not being known.
- ૨. પ્રમાણની બહાર જવું નહીં; પ્રમાણમાં અટકવું નહીં
- 2. Do not go outside your boundary. Do not stop at your boundary
- ૩. થવા યોગ્ય થાય છે, જાણનારો જણાય છે.
- 3. That which is appropriate to happen is happening. The knower is being known.
- ૪. પર્યાયની અસ્તિ, પણ મારામાં તેની નાસ્તિ; એવી મારી અસ્તિ - એ અસ્તિની મસ્તી તેનું નામ અનુભવ.
- 4. State exists, but not in me; that is how I exist - that existence's enjoyment is experience.
- ૫. પરિણામ મારા કર્યા વિના થયા કરે છે. અને જાણનારો જણાયા કરે છે.
- 5. States are continuously happening without my doing them. And knower continues to be known.
- ૬. અકર્તા+કર્તાકર્મનુ અનન્યપણું = અનુભૂતિ.
- 6. Non Doer + Doer & Deed's oneness = experience
- 6. Non Doer plus Doer & Deed's oneness is equal to experience.
- ૮. સ્વપર પકાશક અને સ્વપર પ્રતિભાસમાં તફાવત.
- 8. Difference between self-nonSelf illuminator (knower) and self-nonSelf reflector
- ૧૦. અજ્ઞાની પ્રથમ પ્રમાણપૂર્વક નયમાં આવે છે. જ્યારે જ્ઞાનીને નયપુર્વક સમ્યક્ પ્રમાણ થાય છે.
- 10. The one who doesn't know initially comes into “nai” via “praman”. Whereas for the knowledgeable one true “praman” knowledge occurs inclusive of “nai”.
- 10. ignorants (Not-Self-experienced) understanding of their their own realm i.e. self substance and state preceeds understanding of points of view of knowledge. Whereas Self-experienced one's knowledge of points of view preceeds automatic knowledge of own realm.
- ૧૧. પ્રતિભાસ (સ્વપર) બેનો; લક્ષ એકનું.
- 11. Refection of both (self and nonSelf); attention (decision of what is being known) of one.
- ૧૨. જેમ જગતમાં કોઈ નિમિત નથી, તેમ જગતમાં તારા જ્ઞાનનું કોઈ જ્ઞેય નથી.
- 12. Just as there is no “nimit” at all in the universe, in the same way your knowledge has no subject at all in the universe.
Tattvik (Essential) Legacy continuesLalchandbhai passed away in February 1998, leaving behind a rich legacy of undistorted propagation of Gurudev KanjiSwami's preachings. We are poorer for having lost him but the essence of Jainism lives on in his lectures. Lalchandbhai's lectures are available in video, audio and text formats on this AtmaDharma.
Lecture ContentIn every lecture you will find discussion of:-
Pujya Shree Lalchandbhai's New lecturesA new video, audio or PDF text transcript of one of Lalchandbhai's lectures is circulated regularly on our:
- Telegram channel - To join, please click on Pujya Lalchandbhai Adhyatmik Jinvani Channel and then click Join.
- Whatsapp Group. To join, please click on Pujya Lalchandbhai Adhyatmik Jinvani Group and then click Join Chat.
- Also Tattvik discussions and quizzes are regularly run on Telegram: Dhyey Purvak Gyey group. To join, please click on Dhyey Purvak Gyey and then click Join.
Lalchandbhai's video lecturesLalchandbhai's video pravachans are also now available on YouTube besides being available on AtmaDharma.com and AtmaDharma.org We hope you will find these video lectures helpful in your journey to self-realisation.
Shree Kundkund KahanAmrut Prabhavna Mandir Trust, Rajkot