Pujya Aryika Shri Ratnamati Mataji was the mother of Pujya Ganini Pramukh Aryika Shiromani Shri Gyanmati Mataji, one of the topmost & widely-known personalities of Digambar Jain tradition of the present-times.
She was born as the daughter ‘Mohini’ on Magsir Krishna Panchmi in 1914 at Mahmudabad (Distt.-Sitapur) U.P. to the parents- Shri Sukhpaldas & Smt. Matto devi. She was given a unique dowry in the form of the Jain Granth-Padmanandi panchvinshatika in her marriage with Shri Chhotelal Jain of Tikaitnagar (Distt.Barabanki, U.P.) in 1932.
She had the vow of reading this granth everyday in her swadhyaya. In 1934, she gave birth to her first child-daughter Maina, who was also fascinated towards the swadhyaya of ‘Padmanandipanchvinshatika’ granth by mother Mohini since her childhood.
Gradually, Maina developed the true feeling of asceticism and renounced the family-life at the tender age of 18 years in 1952 accepting the vow of celibacy for whole life. At that time, mother Mohini played a pivotal role by giving her consent in written to Acharya Shri Deshbhushanji Maharaj for the adoption of religious vows by Maina.
She also took a promise from Maina that-‘As I have helped you to come out of the vicious circle of the worldly life today, you will also help me in progressing on the religious path in future.’ Maina agreed happily.
The time passed. Mohini Devi gave birth to 12 children after Maina along with performing her religious rites and swadhyaya. Till then, daughter Maina had become ‘Pujya Aryika Shri Gyanmati Mataji’, always indulged in reading & teaching Jain Scriptures.
In 1971, when mother Mohini went for the darshan of ‘Pujya Gyanmati Mataji’ to Ajmer, Mataji remembered the promise made to her in 1952 and accordingly she persuaded her to take Jaineshwari Deeksha. Mohini Devi being 57 years old at that time, still prepared herself for taking Aryika Deeksha at once because of her feelings of renunciation of the world since long.
Thus, she was initiated as ‘Aryika Ratnamati’ on Magsir Krishna Teej in 1971 by the holy hands of Acharya Shri Dharmasagar Ji Maharaj, the 3rd Pattadheesh of Charitra Chakravarti Acharya Shri Shantisagar Ji Maharaj. Acharya Maharaj gave her the name ‘Ratnamati’ because of being the mother of jewels like Aryikaratna Shri Gyanmati Mataji & Aryika Shri Abhaymati Mataji etc.
Later her 12th Child-Km. Madhuri also became Aryika Shri Chandnamati Mataji and son Ravindra Kumar became Peethadheesh Swasti Shri Ravindrakeerti Swamiji, establishing the truth of her name. Aryika Shri Ratnamati Mataji was very simple-hearted, fully-detached from worldly affairs, humble & down-to-earth personality.
She lived under the patronage of her daughter-Aryikaratna Shri Gyanmati Mataji with full reverence for her. She never even called her by the name of ‘Gyanmati Mataji’, but she only used to say ‘Mataji’ for her. For 13 years, she practised the vows of Aryika with full devotion. Ultimately on 15th Jan. 1985, Magh Krishna Navmi, she did a very peaceful Samadhi-Maran under the guidance of Pujya Gyanmati Mataji.
As a matter of fact, she was a real mother, who not only gave us jewel like Ganini Shri Gyanmati Mataji but also made her own life meaningful in the real sense. On the completion of 100 years of her life in 2014, we pay sincere Reverence & Namans in her holy feet. May her soul be salvated soon from the worldly transmigration.