में हम इतनी धर्म आराधना करे की धर्म अंग - संग बन जाये |
Dr. Shiv Kumar, popularly known and reverentially addressed by the Jain followers as the Acharya Samrat Dr. Shiv Muni Ji Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Jains, is pious soul whose inner piety and goodness gets reflected in the divine resplendence on his face. Detachment, austerity, enlightenment and meditation are the four pillars of his pious life lived in equanimity. His mind is ever in quest of knowledge and engrossed in meditation. He carries out the responsibilities of the Sraman Sangh which he heads. He made an overall development of his personality by moving on the path of spiritual progression and working for the welfare of mankind. Shiv Muni Ji was born on 18th September 1942 in a very affluent and respectable Oswal family of Malout, in the Malwa region of Punjab. He did his Master’s in Philosophy from Punjab University, Chandigarh and Master’s in English Literature from J V Jain College, Saharanpur. His education in the college and university could not satiate his hunger for truth. Rather the acquisition of higher academic knowledge further intensified his desire for high spiritual knowledge.
He nurtured an intense desire to know and realize truth since his childhood. Although in his student life, he visited various countries including America, Canada, England, Geneva, Toronto and several others, but the material comforts and the wealth failed to tempt and bind him. After coming back to India, he made a thorough study of the life and teachings of Lord Mahavira. This stirred his inner self and he made a firm resolve to renounce this worldly life and take to the life of an ascetic. He entered into the Sraman Sangh on 17th May 1972, as a disciple of Gyan Muni Ji, a well known Jain Scholar and himself a disciple of Achary Atma Ram Ji Maharaj – a great saint of the era. He began his career with a intensive study of Jain philosophy and theology. He completed his Ph. D. on the topic ‘Doctrine of Liberation in Indian Religions, with special reference of Jainism’. Later he did his D. Litt. on ‘Concept And Practice of Meditation among Indian Religions especially Jainism’. After a few years of his initiation into the Sraman Sangh, he started delivering sermons to the Jain tenets throughout India. He was welcomed and liked by the people for his personal piety and simplicity.
It was during this sojourn that the Sraman Sangh selected him as its first Yuva Acharya on 13th May, 1987 at a conclave at Pune (Maharastra). On 9th June 1999, he was declared The Acharya, the spiritual head of the Sraman Sangh and a leader of more than 1200 sadhus and sadhavis and millions of his followers. He is also Patron of the World Organisation for Peace. On the physical plane, he could apparently be seen traveling from village to village in different parts of the country, spreading the message of love and peace. At the same time he was constantly on the move towards his spiritual enlightenment and perfection. Through meditation he went deeper and deeper into his inner self. He spent nearly three decades on researching the various methods of meditation. He had wonderful experiences of truth and meditation. He has learnt to live with the Science of Non-attachment, the only way to liberate yourself from the cycle of life and death and attain ‘Moksha’ – the ultimate goal of every soul. This path has been followed by the Jain Tirthankaras. Lord Mahavir in his preachings has also emphasized on ‘Know yourself’. Shiv Muni Ji is spreading his entire knowledge on meditation to the people of all castes and creeds. He organizes camps and gives practical knowledge and training to the meditators about meditation. He has trained Meditation Instructors to provide training on meditation to the interested people.
Millions of people have transformed their lives through meditation. Meditation awakens the inner potential of the people for fulfillment, brings for the effortless, joyous and ecstatic life. His simplicity, his way of expression, his kindheartedness and his desire to give maximum to the people has made him quite popular among the masses. The Jain world considers itself fortunate to have the spiritual head, a person who is so enlightened, so austere and simple and so committed to make human life happy and meaningful. He is making all efforts for setting world peace through non-violence.