Rājacandra, Śrīmad

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Rājacandra, Śrīmad (1867–1901). Jain spiritual reformer. He was born Raichandbhai Mehta, his later name being a title bestowed on him by his followers. In his youth, he reviewed all religions and came to the conclusion that Jainism was the truest, given that all religions contain corruptions and imperfections. He continued to study texts more closely, especially those of the Digambaras, and came to believe that his vocation was to found a new religion as a reformed version of Jainism. In Atmasiddhi (Self-Realization, 1896), he maintained that true religion consists of six principles: (i) the soul exists; (ii) the soul is eternal; (iii) the soul is the agent of its own acts; (iv) the soul experiences what it enacts; (v) the state of deliverance exists; and (vi) the means to attain deliverance exists.

Rājacandra is well-known for the influence he had on Gāndhī, not least for his emphasis on ahiṃsā and for persuading him not to go any further on the path toward Christianity.