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Mokṣamāla and the Movement of Śrīmad Rājcandra: Part 1

Course Number: 2007
Śrīmad Rājcandra (1867-1901) was an important Jain Saint of
the late 19th and early 20th centuries who founded a distinct and modern, yet also in
many ways quite orthodox, movement of Jainism. While Śrīmad and his followers
followed many mainstream Jain teachings and practices, his teachings and the
tradition that grew from them are distinct with regards to their emphasis on nonsectarianism,
the ability to attain self-realization as a profound experience of one’s
spiritual essence in this life or shortly thereafter, understanding of liberation as an
attainable goal within 15 lifetimes, a critique of contemporary institutions of
mendicancy, and the uniqueness of a bourgeoning lay movement where lay
practitioners are the primary source of spiritual authority—a feature that has been
widely appealing to Jain lay practitioners. The first half of this two-part course will
examine how the events of Śrīmad’s life gave shape to this movement and will look at
the philosophical underpinnings of Śrīmad’s tradition based on the Mokṣa-māḷā, a
Gujarati text that he composed in 1887, at the age of 20, the same year that he was
married, and several years before he attained self-realization and renounced worldly
life. In the first half of this course, we will focus primarily on how Śrīmad’s philosophy
was informed by notable events in his life, and how in turn these events and this
philosophy have influenced the development of the Raj Bhakta Marg, the tradition
that has developed from this important modern Jain guru.
Learning Objectives:
• Learn the basic biographical outline of the life of Śrīmad Rajcandra.
• Understand the social and biographical events that led to the development of

the Raj Bhakta Marga
• Examine key features of the Raj Bhakta Marga that make it a unique modern Jain movement

Learning Area

Jain Philosophy, History and Anthropology

Course Length

10 hours Self-Study (Professor available by appointment in office hours)