Happiness of the Jain community of Delhi, the capital of India, knew no bounds when Achharya Shri’s congregation arrived. The residents of Delhi rendered a magnificent welcome to the congregation of Achharya Shri in the form of a historic procession with utmost devotion. The glorious ballad of the penance of Achharya Shri became the talk of the town.
Not only the intellectuals but even high officials used to visit him. People had visited such a great saint for the first time. The waves of curiosity and doubts began to rise in their minds. The daily routine of Achharya Shri was the subject of their curiosity-One day a gracious English man came to visit him.
He asked Achharya Shri “Maharaj! Why have you given up the world? Can we not get peace while living in the world?” Maharaj explained to him that attachment to materials is the world.
More the attachment in our mind more is the accumulation/ “parigraha” (mass of material) around us. It is due to this accumulation that the feeling of temptation and attachment-and-aversion arise in our mind. Just as the flame of a lamp flickers in the wind so does the mind by the waves of attachment and aversion. The mind can rest in peace only by abandoning them.
And a peaceful mind makes the soul assuaged. This mental peace is achieved through a pure and pious life. The attachments smear the mind which accumulates sins. Attainment of the self can not be achieved unobstructed while having the worldly parigraha. Abandonment of sensual lures and enjoyments is necessary for this.
Hearing this experienced and touching speech of Achharya Shri, the Englishman was pleased and bowed his head in devotion. Delhi being a capital city, several senior judges, barristers, professors and politicians used to come and sit near the feet of (iurudev to obtain clarifications on their doubts and problems.
Congregation of Achharya Shri had become a great source of unprecedented popularity (for Jainism). Persons of every sect One day he told the Muslim brothers who came to visit him, “Brother! A man is happy by showing pity and compassion towards living beings (Jeevas) and extremely aggrieved by slaughtering and eating them.
Hearing these compassionate words, many Muslims abandoned meat- eating. A number of people belonging to scheduled caste gave up consuming alcohol and meat hearing the impressive speech of Achharya Shri.
Similarly, in Alwar, a Brahmmin Professor expressed his doubt devotedly, “Maharaj! Is drinking milk not equal to drinking urine?”
Maharaj Shri replied very calmly, “There are separate storages for the milk and the excretions/urine in the body of the cow. There is no connection between blood or meat and the milk. Maharaj Shri asked the Professor a counter question.
“Do you drink the water of holy Ganga?” Professor replied in affirmative. Maharaj Shri said, ‘There are crocodiles, fishes and other aquatic animals in the river whose excretions and urine are mixed with that water, and even then you drink that water considering it as sacred whereas there being separate storages for milk and urine you consider both of them as similar. How is it justified?”
Hearing this, the intellectual visitor became silent and the thorn of the doubt was thrown out of his mind.
Achharya Shri further said, “The cow or buffalo has extra milk than required for its Calf. Therefore, the misconception that the calf has an exclusive right on the cow’s milk should be erased.
One person doubted “Maharaj Shri! Is there no experience of pain in the body while carrying out “Kesh-lounch ” (pulling out the hair with the hand)?” Maharaj Shri replied, “Yes, there is pain as long as body has “akatva ’’-wisdom (that the body and the soul are not two different entities).
“Well, does this pain, then, disappear when one learns the science of discrimination (Vigyan)T Maharaj Shri told, “Yes! Does your body burn while burning the wood in the hearth?” The skeptic told, “No, it does not.”
“In the same way the soul is not affected even when the body is in pain. The saint also feels cold or hot in the respective seasons, but he is not grieved. He acquires the capability of enduring it through his spiritual strength.”
Thus, the answers given by Achharya Shri used to be very authentic and convincing.