Article: Rājacandra

Contributed by Jérôme Petit

Rājacandra and the Jain diaspora

The life and teachings of the 19th-century writer Śrīmad Rājacandra have inspired the foundation of many temples, ashrams and organisations. The Shrimad Rajchandra Mission, based in Dharampur, where Rājacandra died, has nearly 30 branches overseas

Shrimad Rajchandra Mission
Image by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission © Shrimad Rajchandra Mission

Rājacandra’s teachings have found a special resonance in the Jain diaspora communities, mostly in East Africa, the United Kingdom and North America.

This may be partly because these groups are far from India and thus frequently do not have a mendicant element to create the fourfold community of Jain tradition. Rājacandra’s lay status and the fact that his teaching focuses on a method of self-realisation that lay people can follow in a secular, non-Jain environment also explain his appeal to Jains outside India. Finally, that his teachings are beyond any sectarian claims may also be a reason his work attracts Jains in the diaspora.

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