Travel Gujrat: Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram Agas, A spiritual place
Outside the Ashram
Entering Agas Ashram
Inner Gate of the Ashram
Shrimad Rajchandra, Guru of Mahatma Gandhi
Are you traveling Gujrat, India? Agas is a sacred place and pilgrimage center for Shrimad Rajchandra, spiritual Guru of Mahatma Gandhi.
Shrimad Rajchandra was a spiritual Guru who lived on this earth for only 33 years between 1868 and 1901. He was an enlightened person and contemporary to Swami Vivekanand. Mahatma Gandhi accepted him as his spiritual Guru. Mahatma Gandhi followed the path of Ahimsa (Non-violence) and Satya (Truth) throughout his life inspired by Shrimad Rajchandra.
Shrimad Rajchandra was born in Porbandar in Gujrat. He started his career as a businessman and was in Gemstones and Jewelry trade. However, he was not much indulged in mundane life. He had a quest for thyself. He studied various religions and found Jainism as his way to spiritual life. He meditated for years to obtain inner wisdom. Being enlightened, he taught people eternal peace and love, as a way to salvation.
He declined to obey mere rituals in the name of religion and spirituality. He did not believe in the role of cast and creed in spirituality. He told that spiritual path is open for all who wants to join the same. He was a true follower of Jainism as preached by the Arihant Parameshthi. He wrote several books and scripts in easy language understandable to common people.
He was able to convey the message of Jainism and spirituality through these books. Atma Siddhi Shastra is the most famous of his scriptures. Besides Jain, Large numbers of non-Jain people also followed his path, especially Patel community of that region .
He did not become a Jain ascetic and lived as a layman. However, his spiritual level was much higher than many of the so-called Monks and Nuns. Some of the Jain ascetics of his era understood the fact about his spiritual level and started following him.
Shree Laghuraj Swami alias Lallu shree Ji was one of them. He was a great devotee of Shrimad Rajchandra.
Shrimad Rajchandra Life video
Atma Siddhi Shastra by Shrimad Rajchandra
Laghuraj Swami established Agas Ashram
Once Shrimad Rajchandra visited Agas and told his followers that the land of Agas is very sacred and has the ability to be converted into a spiritual place. Shree Laghuraj Swami (Lallu shree Ji) remembered his words even after his death and established a shrine (Ashram) Later on. He did it in Agas under a Public trust.
Agas is situated near Anand, famous as Amul city. Anand is very near to Baroda (Vadodara) in Gujrat, India. There are direct train routes from Mumbai and Delhi to Baroda and Anand. One can reach Anand from Ahmadabad, the capital of Gujrat. There are bus routes from different other cities including Jaipur in Rajasthan.
Shree Laghuraj Swami, one of the main followers of Srimad Rajchandra, made rules and regulations including daily routine of prayer for the Ashram. Devotees still follow the same routine. Nothing in routine prayer is changed during last sixty or seventy years. Prayer starts early in the morning and continues till nine o'clock in the night. There are short breaks for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. Eating in the night is not allowed inside the Ashram and one has to finish his or her dinner before the sun set.
Ashram authorities do not allow Radio, Television, News Papers etc inside the Ashram to maintain strict discipline and a peaceful spiritual environment. It is a holy place and even mobile phones are not allowed in the inner parts of the Ashram campus.
The Ashram administration provides facilities of a comfortable stay and marvelous food (Lunch, dinner, and tea) at a highly subsidized rate. One has to spend almost nothing for food and lodging. Devotees of Shrimad Rajchandra pays a huge amount of money as charity to maintain these expenses.
Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, Agas
Natural environment inside the campus
The ashram (Shrine) is built on a huge campus with a green belt. There are thousands of Banyan, Margosa, Ashoka, Gulmohar, Mango and other varieties of trees in the campus. This provides Agas ashram with a peaceful, healthy and natural environment. Jainism is environment-friendly religion. Large numbers of Jain canons including Acharanga Sutra speak of environment, ecology and species conservation. This shrine is an example of natural beauty and following those instructions.
This Ashram provides unique opportunity live retired life for spiritual persons. Some devotee families live there permanently. Hundreds of thousands of devotees come there round the year and live for some time. They follow rules, regulation and routine religiously.
There are Shwetambar and Digambar Jain temples depicting Jain unity, In addition, there are Shrimad Rajchandra Guru Mandir, Laghuraj Swami Samadhi Mandir and huge prayer halls in the Ashram campus. The ashram administration also runs a library and a publication center that prints and distributes Jain holy books at a subsidized rate.
Agas is situated near Anand (Amul fame) in Gujrat. India. It is well connected by train, bus and other moods of transportation. Ahmedabad and Baroda are nearest airports. I had been there recently and taken some photographs of the Ashram. Please view the picture gallery.
(This hub is published on 8 May 2009)
Agas near Anand, Gujrat
Srimad Rajchandra Ashram, Agas is situated near Amul fame city Anand in Gujrat. Agas is 30 minute journey from Anand.
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