Pujya Shree Nihalchandji Sogani

Personality And Deed

NIHALCHCHANDRA SOGANI popularly known as SHRI SOGANIJI was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan.

Shri Soganiji's father Shri Namichandraji was a religious, calm and a peaceful person. He had three brothers. In the middle class family, he worked on inserting braids in clothes. His first wife Surajbai died in her childhood. He then married Kishanbai of Kaslival family. She gave birth to 4 boys and 1 girl of which Nihalchandraji was the second child.

Shri Soganiji's Life-path

In year 1912, V.S 1969 Nihalchandra Sogani was born. His attractive body and calm face would please everyone naturally. Shri Soganiji from birth was of unusual intellect, he was wise and clever and attained complete worldly education in a very short time. He was bright, enthusiastic, hardworking, fearless and of curious mind. After commencing any work, he could not rest without completing it.

He accepted work in a shop in Ajmer for the livelihood. Impressed with Soganiji's management-skill, his ability to respectfully interact with people and handling responsibility, the shop-owner offered him the ownership.

From childhood, Soganiji had a peculiar nature. As soon as the work was finished, he used to sit alone and think. His sharp eyes remained still in meditation, showing his curious nature. This astonished elder people in the house.

His Family

In the year 1934 at the age of 22 he was married to a Anopkuvar, daughter of Baklival family from Ajmer. In course of time 5 boys and 3 girls were born of from his marriage.

Thoughtful Time

Though the earnings from the shop was not sufficient, Soganiji never had mental pressure.

The curiosity to know about the Soul v/s World, Life v/s Death etc. increased day by day. This wouldn’t give him peace either in the shop or at home. He used to think about the complex truth of life. What is the truth? Who am I? Where is the indivisible peace? Where do I find answers to these burning questions?

On one side there was increasing responsibility of the family and on the other side there was constant struggle to know oneself. The conflict was increasing day-by-day.

In the silent night, he would wander on the terrace. In the dark unhappy sky he would search for some lighted soul star. Would wish to tie wings on the feet and fly away from this uneasy and useless fence to the other side where continuous peace of indivisible kingdom is situated.

Every worldly act now was like poison to him. In the crowded world, he was alone and solitary person. He built a cabin in the terrace to create space for meditation.

Activities

Meeting saints & ascetic people, worshiping in Jain temples, reading Jain scriptures et al became his rituals. He made comparative studies of various religions. His interest in reading increased so much that in the shop whenever he could find time off, he used to get engrossed in reading the scriptures. Wandering in the dark lane of thinking - remembering - churning he went on searching for a ray of light. Once to be away from family-bondage, he left home for nearly two months and engaged a learned scholar and stayed in a Dharmshala. He stayed awake at nights and devotedly read many Jain books and scriptures. But he was still restless as the prime truth was still evading him.

Road map

'When there is a will, there is a way' then why someone so determined to search his own soul be deprived of it?' How long can truth be far away?

In the year 1946, on an auspicious day Shri Namichandji Patni presented a monthly magazine 'AtamDharm’, a publication from Songadh covering lectures of Pujya Shri Kanjiswami- a renowned jain saint to Soganiji. That time Shri Soganiji was sitting in a temple. On the cover page of the magazine, there was a phrase "Shat avashyk nahi, lakin ek hee aavshyk hai" (worshiping, reading etc… are not the real essentials but there is only one essential and that is the Soul). This shook his conscious with lasting impression. He was now unburdened. He had found answer to innumerable questions. He also found his Guru. He placed the 'AtamDharm' in front of him and chanted :

"Udaak-chandan-tandul-pushpakai
charu-sudeep-sudhupa-faal-ardhaykai;
Dhaval mangal ganarvakulai
jingrahai jinnath mahanYaja"

Published from Ascetic Pujya Gurudev's speech well-mixed 'AtamDharm's' every word expulsion were of divine knowledge, each page bringing near to innate happiness substance. As as he turned its pages and got immersed in reading his Mithyatv and power of ignorance started to decline. The concealed knowledge started opening. Course of soul's infinite world's journey started becoming clear.

Although his minds coarse error became unarmed, yet a difficult problem was standing as to how to reach the prime truth? For that many efforts were made, but answer to the problem was not solved;

He was unable to get any solution-procedure from own self, so then what should be done? - Like this one new strange problem arosed. Suddenly Gurudev's image manifested in the mind and then his mind agitated for his feet-nearness and to see him, Enough! Now how can he get rest? His want of putting his head in that saints pure feet became intense day by day.

Meeting His SadGuru

Consequently: that long wait ended and the auspicious time came. Shri Soganiji in year 1946 for the first time to meet his idol Shi Guru came to heavens place - Songadh.

The minute Shri Soganiji placed his forehead in his idol's pure feet, he felt as if his mithyatv fire of infinite time are becoming loose. Shri Soganiji continuously kept looking at his wise face and felt as if from Shri Guru's sharp lustrous face his remaining Mithyatv has also vaporized. Such changing state gave Shri Soganiji internal agitation a passage to stay inside, because of which his knowledge now had the ability to decide about self's -nature-capability; On the other hand well-mixed with Soul juice came Shri Guru's divine speech and for the first time he got a visible moment to listen the truth.

Nature-Decision

Just like a Chatak(A Bird looking like a Cuckoo) bird for the first drop of rain repeatedly says 'Pe where..Pe where', same way Shri Soganiji from long time had repeatedly called 'Truth…Truth' from inside. And just like Chatak's thirst gets over from the first drop of rain only, same way his burning flames from inside- flames for lack of truth and restless - would get satisfied only from Shri Gurus sweet speech of cool fountain. And just like the drop of rain becomes pearl on going inside Chatak's mouth, same way in a great auspicious time an awakening voice from Shri Gurus mouth 'Gyan ana Raag Judaa Che'(knowledge and attachment are different) was transformed into a rare form of Chatanya Gem as Shri Soganiji dranked it in his mind.

Although Shri Soganiji had no knowledge about Gujarati language, still he had no difficulty with Pujya Gurudev's Gujarati language. And substance-state also says that to a motive-chief person no language can be a barrier.

For Shri Soganiji, Pujya Gurudev's religious assembly as if turned out to become a laboratory and there only he started his experiment. Consequently he handled the rope of words 'Gyan ane Raag Juda Chee' and with its support he started going inside the dept of these words; He did a minute examination of attachment which was being experienced, then he felt the opposite-thoughts to be dirty, opposite to his nature, of sadness form and full of doubted form. And there only coming in experience

Senseless Nature's- SELF EXPERIENCE

For Shri Soganiji Guru's (bhavantkari) Auspicious lecture of blessing form lighted an ineligible glory for his internal prime substance. Because of which started remembrance and unique taste of his prime Chaitanya substance (soul). Fast asleep for an infinite time his personal effort (purusharth) became attentive and his Chaitanya strength got stimulation. From then his propensity/mania for undoubted substance started on going with a high velocity. When morning came, when night spreaded its black sheet, nothing inclined to him; every rise thing-occasion became forgotten; enough! Continuously one only mania was going on.

When inhabitants of the world were penetrating in the silent night, he sitting peacefully in the corner of his room (Samiti) was absorbed in his risen flow of Chatanya. His nature-facing natural effort was moving vigorously - Like this every inside outside obstacle automatically became concealed. At the same time instantly rising effort-flow with amazing power faced inside and Shri Soganiji's soul, living in his own self-entity, experienced his senseless nature. And immediately from every part of his Soul came flood of senseless happiness-nature. From infinite time his thirsty State became content by drinking happiness self-nature.

God-speech pure nectar-flow shaked breaking his infinite stone mountain, like the roaring-shouting of doubt-sea has automatically become peaceful and stopped. He became still in such thought-meditation where there was neither determination nor doubt, neither activity nor retirement; where there was neither 'I' nor 'you'. Only remained eternal kingdom of peace.

On the first day of meeting, Shri Guru rise of knowledge light from this silent nights such undoubted condition of such an amazing effortful person became over. Having groundless favor from Shri Gurus, soul of Shri Soganiji also became exhaled (Nihal) By drinking such extraordinary and amazing nectar-juice its joy made him addicted. Continuously such feelings would come that I in future till endless time swim in this knowledge-happiness intoxication and forever continuously drink this happiness-nectar.

During his stay in Songadh he would take nectar-knowledge from Pujya Gurudev's self-experience and in the night sitting in the room would make an effort to drink insides Soul juice and his aim would always be on the highest mountain of the Soul. Continuously remembrance of owns nature would be there. He would become absorbed in soul-mania.

This way one-one time slided and he became unaware how 10-12 days went by. He was so emotional in meeting his Shri Guru that he had not given any news of his departure of Songadh to his family members. Family members thought that he had gone regarding some business and would come back after 2-4 days. But when week-ten days after also there was no news of him they became tense. After much investigation they got an inclination of his going to Songadh. His tense family also posted one letter to Songadh. The message from that letter brought a break in his religious nap and he forcefully had to leave his liberator Shri Guru's feet and return back to Ajmer.

Natural Sadness

Shri Soganiji in the past also had no interest in worldly activities. He had no taste, proclivity or fondness' toward worldly Occasions. His children's study in which-which school and in which class? What arrangements are there for their protection-maintenance, education-ascetism and for their development? What planning is there for fulfilling the household requirement? Etc… like this many question and problems that would distress and trouble an ordinary person, there such question never revolutionized or fickle his inside-faced mind condition.

After returning from Songadh there was a unique type of sadness rounded him in his thoughts/state and with unattached mind souls remembrance continuously was experienced. Every rise due to paste fate, worldly activities and problems, even to his concentration unstably going outside, he would feel burdensome and experience like burning in furnace. Still to every opposite thoughts arising due to past fate, he would experience it helplessly. Simplicity, natural equality and natural sadness are every knowledgeable persons morality.

Migrating at Calcutta

Shri Soganiji had immense attraction and wantness to stay in Shri Gurus feet nearness and meditate own form in solitude; still tied to net of fate helplessly in year 1950 he had to leave Ajmer; and had to come to a place unfavorable from his desire - rounded with un-virtuous people and filled with uproar- such an illusionary place- 'Calcutta'. He had to come here for some work related with one agency of a famous cloth industry. In year 1958 his family also came and resided here. And in this same cloth activity his outside remaining life passed in Calcutta.

In between this with the thought of having truth-virtuous-group in year 1953 he started the tendency/activity of scripture reading.

In the last year {year 1964} also he had done scripture reading for about 40 days. In year 1956 when his life-savior Pujya Gurudev Shree Kanji Swami on occasion of pilgrimage before coming to Calcutta, for his divine welcome when Mumuksh Club was founded then at that time Shri Soganiji was appointed as its Prime leader.

Inside Ascetism

When in the beginning Shri Soganiji came to Calcutta then from this fast-running life of 60-70 lakhs population he neither had a permanent place to stay nor a proper facility for food-water; Still in such unfavorable condition he would feel as if in this whole human-community 'I one alone am only happy".

World was uninterestable to him, still he was getting entrapped in the mud of this world. Originating due to past fate in this worldly mud, even after giving a contribution to the activities of body his soul continuously would stay in its own remembrance. When-when fate risen outside world pull him on his side, or family- trouble attract him on their side then then he would say: 'Are, do not expect anything from me, thinking of me as a lame give me food twice for the support of the body'.

Because of Shri Soganiji's intelligence, workmanship and virtueness, when-then he would get many offers of new business, but to restrict the dignity he would defer/postpone such offers; although he had knowledge of the increasing requirements of his family.

Loving solitude

Shri Soganiji liked solitude very much. He till where it was possible would not like to meet or get known with anyone and would search for isolation. Generally he would desire to stay in his closed room as in crowd and shouting climate he would feel exhausted.

Before his family came to Calcutta, whenever for 3-4 days market was closed for holidays, he wouldn't feel necessary to go outside. Then at that time he would call for his food from a near by Dhaaba and at one time would eat whatever food comes in the plate and move the plate out of the room. This way in such occasions for 3-3 4-4 days he would not go out from his room. He stayed in Calcutta for a long time, yet apart from some famous direction he was unaware of any other roads.

When in year 1953 on the time of Bhaubali - great bath occasion, when there was a problem of loneliness he alone in the night would climb the mountain and pass his time whole night in meditation of his nature, and only in the morning would come down to his room.

At the time of religious discussion one time he said that 'if I do not get time for loneliness I become restless'… 'After all in the end we have to live in solitude for ever. That's why from the beginning only practice of 2-4-5 hours is required'.

Politeness

Every worldly people wherever possible - in home; family, society everywhere have a deep desire for attainment of pride-respect-honor. At the same time a true soul searcher has a natural tendency to stay away from such occasions. Even if he has special capability then that also he wants to keep it secrete. He does not have any desire for his fame. Shri Soganiji was experiencing his soul in an astonishing form but he did not wanted to make it famous. Still one person requested him in different way that: From Pujya Gurudev Shrees nimit you have had soul-realization, knowing this he would naturally become happy, therefore: there is a thought of telling your knowledge condition to Gurudevshree! He replied: 'someone knows it or does not know, in it there is no advantage to the soul. Infinite(living being) have become God (but) today no one even knows their name! Infinite Samyak Drasti{animals} are outside of Dai deep, who knows them?' this answer of his is similar to the desire which he expressed one time that :

"Flower is there in a Garden or in a Jungle, someone smells it or does not smells it, its value is by its own. Its value does not increases if someone smells it or it does not fades if no one smells it. Same way someone know us or does not know us, our value is not because of that! Our value is because of our own self. Someone gives us pride-respect, or does not gives - Everything is mud (useless), nothing is there in it"

Free from Desire

Owner of Agency of cloth industries, in which Shri Soganiji was working with, once came to know about Shri Soganiji's religious-love and capabilities. So he by curiosity asked him when then to come to his house and explain him religion. But he (Shri Soganiji) saw an absence of genuine/real/true religious-curiosity, so by giving him the reason of less-time he rejected his said offer. Shri Soganiji had such a thought in his mind that: this is to helplessly go there for fulfilling worldly desire; otherwise where is the time for a soul searcher for such activity? Where in such circumstances ordinary people have a desire for their money-benefit and so they change themselves according to them; at the same time the above said circumstances lights his free-from-desire nature.

Principle-Love

Shri Soganiji had so much compassion for principle-love curious people that even in middle of work and self's activity considering time, place … all things secondary would remove their doubts - their curiosity. He would do religious-discussion many a time standing for a long time in the corner of the road with curious people.

He also had business relation with one mumuksh; finishing the work with him he would have religious discussion with him.

In his last years on religious occasions he was rounded with mumuksh, but finding time without any distraction and weariness would answer their question With interested virtuous person till late night he was seen busy doing religious - discussion.

Coming home tired from business work if some mumuksh came home brining principle-doubt, then at the same time he would solve his doubt.

Spiritual-Condition

Although doubted condition can be naturally speculated, but measurement of undoubted condition cannot be done from outside. That is the subject of self's experience. And it is impossible to describe experience in writing, yet Shri Soganiji has lighted his experiencing spiritual condition in a unique way.

His Soul thoughts would powerfully stay in his nature. Continuously nature-taste becomes strong and its mania without stoppage goes on. Similarly his mind-speech-appearance was so controlled because of which in people-population also he can be naturally known by some sharp eyesight.

Example : One time in Bombay he went to have his Lunch in one Mumuksh's house, other people were also invited over there; When everyone went away after eating their food, then his cook asked with curiosity that there was one new person, who was he? When the mumuksh tried to know the reason for this question then the cook said "In my whole life time I have served thousands of people with my hand but today for the first time I have served an statue. That statue was 'Shri Soganiji'.

Although from outside he was seen in the activity of eating-drinking-speaking-walking etc… yet his acquainted people would have a clear feeling that his soul thought has struck amazingly in his inside… Even in his home, he had no attention towards his bodily requirement. He would not know anything about his cloth etc… what is there in the house, what is not there, he had no inclination about it. Whatever income he would get he would hand it to his wife.

He was experiencing prime-ness of nature-meditation-remembrance and rest all was secondary; then may it be food or work or anything else. When he would come out from his room or when would he go to his room or when he would go out for business activities, nothing was fixed.

He had no likeness for foodstuff; what he ate and how was it, nothing he would remember. Sometime such a thing also happen that he comes out from his room for eating food and eating 1-1/2 roti would again: go back to his room and shut the door.

Getting tired from sitting in meditation for a long time, he would sleep but by keeping the crossed leg position intact. From this it is clear that for bodily requirement he would change his position; but effort of in-facing concentration would always stay. Shri Soganiji's sleep-time also naturally became very less which lights his inside condition and intense effort. From his own words: "I {when sleeping} for 2 hours would not get any sleep, and if some sleep comes then on waking up would feel that did I had a sleep!! Then sleep would fly away and this only (nature-remembrance) would keep on going."

Scripture-Love

Shri Soganiji in his soul-search duration would get absorbed in reading scriptures. He would buy new books regularly, because of which its collection started becoming bigger and bigger. In his spiritual cell there was a big cluster of religious books. Although after realization of soul his inclination towards reading became feeble; still lighting Pujya Gurudev's speech such publication would regularly come to him. This way for continuously increasing books, making a place in his rented small house his wife would find it very inconvenient. Still in such occasion he becoming very emotional would say: "This only is my wealth. This only I would leave as an heritage for my children's"…."From this scriptures only happiness, drop by drop falls of Acharyas." In listening time his eyes would remain still on Pujya Gurudev Shree's face and would listen Shree Guru's speech with such great concentration that who is sitting on his sides he would have no remembrance.

Occasion For Intense Effort

Year 1961 was filled with many disasters for Shri Soganiji. In this same year his farther expired; and few months later his uncle Shri Hemchandraji, who had a special interest toward his education-ascetism also expired; and in this same year he got a jerk from this cruel world because of which his body became prone to leave this world. But for religious people such occasions are like party to them.

Shri Soganiji one evening was coming back to his home. He had a bag in his hand. Believing the bag contains money, some in-society principles inserted a 9inch Knife in his stomach. He felled down at the same instant. Because of huge blood loss his condition became serious. In the hospital doctors were not able to get his pulse easily. At once operation was done. Although operation was successful, still it was because of care-precaution from many doctors through which his health care was possible. From this incident no effect or smell of doubt in his thoughts was seen in him. Just like previous time he was natural, healthy and peaceful. As if in his whole, solution was there and natural effort in such difficult time have became victorious. As a result: Past bounded fate accepting their defeat has lighted the path to Nirvana for that un-moved effortful person.

The above incident specifically made him soul-concentrated. Now he soon wanted to be free from responsibility and get immersed in Nirvan-meditation. His this past thought now became more intense on subject of True nature from Jain Religion his experience-knowledge started becoming from intense to very intense. To peek outside from natural-happiness now to him became sadness like fire-bur. In last stop of his journey, shadow of soul-peace started living near him. Every sec… increasing his soul feeling now felt burdensome having outside-feelings. He reached that border of materialistic world where it is possible to jump on the other side. Every door of soul was now open. Knock was going on in Nirvana's great door. Countries boarder were getting broken and he each sec… was going with speed. But all this was happening inside him. There was no disorder/disturbance in outside activities. States work was getting over by the state.

Last Visit of Nirvan Giver

Shri Soganiji as if before getting free from his destructible body came to deliver faith-flower against his freedom- savior and compassionate and There he last visited his freedom-giver and accepting Shri Gurus greatness placed his obligation. And returning from there he dropped his wife at Ajmer and on 6th June 1964 came to Calcutta. That day he was seen very peaceful and natural, healthy and happy.

LONG HEARTED DEPATURE

Next day on 7th June 1964 Shri Soganiji experienced the climate unnaturally hot and of uneasiness. He shifted his bed under the fan. Light pain started happening in his heart but he did not give any major attention to it. Whole day fasted. Composition of "Shrimad Rajchandra' which remained the fundamental the previous year - its reading. Soul remembrance and peaceful face. Evening at 5'o clock more pain was felt; still he took a bath; As if it is a preparation to clean the atom body before leaving this world. Accidentally in his house at that time his younger daughter Kumudlata was only there. For meritious Soul, body is an unnecessary burden. As if time is always welcomed. In fact: For meritious Soul, death is one big great festival. Peaceful Body stayed in the bed and he became absorbed in his own self. The heart stopped beating and freed him from this unnecessary burden of the body and opened the real path. Doctor came but there was not much for him to do.

Like a lightening this news went everywhere. No one even imagined that this way a light would go away. With faith-respect earthen body by sandalwood-camphor was gifted to the fire. Then gone was meritious souls famous body.

SHRIGURU'S FEELING

When news of Shri Soganiji's sudden expiry came to Pujya Gurudev Shree Kanji Swami, he by ascetism with natural thought opening his feelings said: "Are! A Soul-Searcher had made successful his human life. He has gone to heaven and soon would attain Nirvana" In his lectures he would continuously praise Shri Soganiji's religious achievements, his uncommon effort and style. Sometime getting very emotional he would also say that :

" Shri Sogani has gone to Vaimanik dev, from there, attaining human life he would spring; and he would attain Nirvana before me. And when I, in Tirthankar life (4th life) at the time of Monkhood would bow to all god then he would also get my bow".

"Great are such Masters…Great are such Students"