Shrimad Rajchandra, born Raichandbhai Ravajibhai Mehta, was a prominent Jain poet, philosopher, and scholar. He is best known for his teachings on Jainism and as a spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi.
Shrimad Rajchandra was born on November 9, 1867, in Vavania Bandar, Morbi, Gujarat. His mother was Jain and his father was Vaishnava Hindu. He started speaking in public at age of 10 and writing articles at 11. He performed Shatavdhan (a difficult memory test of memorizing 100 different things at a time) at Sir Framji Cowasji Institute in Mumbai in 1887. The same year, he married to Jhabakben and then engaged in the pearls and diamond business. At the age of 32, he contracted an illness from which he never recovered. He died on April 9, 1901 in Rajkot, Gujarat. During his life, he served as a spiritual guide and mentor for many people.
He summarized his interpretation of Jainism in Atma Siddhi, a Gujarati short verse poem written when he was 28 years old. In addition, throughout his life, he wrote 800 letters charting his spiritual journey. In his letters, he mentioned having the memory of several past lives at the age of seven, and in a letter written in 1890, he mentions having achieved self-realization.
He is well known as a spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi. They were introduced in Mumbai in 1891 and had various conversations through letters while Gandhi was in South Africa. Gandhi noted his impression of Shrimad Rajchandra in his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, calling Raichandbhai his "guide and helper" and his "refuge… in moments of spiritual crisis".