Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi commemorated the birthday of Shrimad Rajchandra – the spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi – by launching two commemorative coins of Rs. 150 and Rs. 10 on June 29 at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.
The prime minister also released a special Rs. 5 postage stamp, a first day cover, and a first day cancelled cover issued by the Department of Post.
Along with bearing Rajchandra’s portrait, the commemorative coins are inscribed ‘Shrimad Rajchandra,’ ‘150th Birth Anniversary,’ and the years ‘1867’ and ‘1901.’
The Rs. 10 coin and the stamp will be in normal trade circulation across the country, while the Rs. 150 coin serves as a souvenir to the general public.
At the unveiling of the memorabilia, Modi called for spreading Rajchandra’s philosophy of truth, non-violence and equality throughout the world, and said that Rajchandra was as an extraordinary man who believed in simple living.
He lavishly praised Gandhi, stating: “Had we established Mahatma Gandhi as the messiah of peace in the world, the secretary-generals of the United Nations would perhaps have paid tributes to him first and then assumed office to preach non-violence to the world.”
Elaborating upon Rajchandra’s influence on Gandhi, Abhay Jasani, president of the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, said: “Gandhiji met Shrimadji for the first time in Mumbai, upon his return from England as a barrister in 1891.”
“Shrimadji’s inner equipoise, absorption in spiritual pursuits, enlightening wisdom, knowledge of the scriptures and moral earnestness left a deep-rooted impression on Gandhiji.”
“Their relationship blossomed over profound interactions in the two years that Gandhiji spent in Mumbai. Upon moving to South Africa, Gandhiji corresponded with Shrimadji through letters. Shrimadji’s insightful thoughts ignited the fire of spiritual inquisitiveness in Gandhiji,” said Jasani.
“Their close association contributed in molding Gandhiji’s moral fiber. Shrimadji’s inherent adherence to the principles of satya, ahimsa and dharma later crystallized as the fundamental tenets of Gandhism,” said Jasani.
“Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur aims to spread Shrimad Rajchandraji's values to bring his illuminating and spiritually uplifting teachings to maximum people from all walks of life,” said the organization in a press release.
Rajchandra attained self-realization at the young age of 23. His preachings have been published in an invaluable volume, “Shrimad Rajchandra.” Through ashrams, temples, and institutions dedicated to Rajchandra around the world, thousands of devotees are progressing on the spiritual path, today, noted the organization.
Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai is an ardent devotee of Rajchandra and the torchbearer of Rajchandra’s mission.
As part of Shrimad Rajchandraji’s 150th birth anniversary, SRMD has organized a year-long celebration with several initiatives in India and across the world, including:
- The world premiere of the inspiring, award winning play, “Yugpurush - Mahatma’s Mahatma,” depicting the profound relationship between Rajchandra and Gandhi. The play has completed over 630 shows in 225 days, reaching over 4,30,000 people in 220 cities, across the globe. Currently being staged in five languages - Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, and Bengali - two additional languages of Tamil and English are under way.
- Construction of Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital – a new 200-bed multi-specialty charity hospital for the economically underprivileged in South Gujarat – the rural populations of the Valsad district are amongst the poorest in the state.
- Shrimad Rajchandra Educational Aids Distribution – an initiative that distributes notebooks and stationery items at highly subsidized rates to over 1.2 lakh rural families in Gujarat.
- Installation of a 34 feet tall Pratimaji of Rajchandra made in bronze, the biggest in the world.
- Naming of roads and chowks in the memory of Rajchandra.
- An engaging and interactive travelling exhibition showcasing Rajchandra’s virtuous life, literary compositions, and teachings.
SRMD is a global movement that endeavors to enhance the spiritual growth of seekers and benefit society. With its international headquarters at Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, Dharampur, the mission has over 102 satsang centers, 39 youth groups and 227 “Children Value” education centers across the globe in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care is a social initiative of SRMD to offer service and bring joy to the lives of the underserved sections of society. It has touched over 2.3 million lives, across 50 cities worldwide, through a holistic portfolio of over 50 charitable initiatives.