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Devchandraji Maharaj

(1581 - 1655 A.D.)


devchandraShri Devchandra was born on the 11th of October 1581 (Vikram Samvat 1638) in the house of Matu Mehta and Kunwar Bai. Matu Mehta was a big merchant in the town of Umarkot, Sindh (now in Pakistan).


Even at the tender age of five, Devchandra used to get lost in contemplation. He would always wonder - "Who am I?", "What is this world?", "Where have I come from?", "Who is the creator of this world?", "Why is there so much sorrow and misery in this world?". He was very fond of the company of saints and would ask them these questions, but no one could satisfy him.


At the age of sixteen, Shri Devchandra left his home and went to Bhojnagar, a town in Gujarat, where he met many saints. Each one suggested a different form of worship. Shri Devchandra followed each one's suggestion. He strained a lot but the queries in his mind were still disturbing him. The prevalent rituals and unnecessary pretentions and superstitions always disturbed him. He was in search of a true form of religion and the easiest way to reach the Lord.


Shri Devchandra did not believe in blindly following the rituals in the name of any religion. His confirm conviction was to live a noble life, this was far more important than doing mechanically pooja and chanting of prayers. When Devchandra explained this to others, everyone realized that he understood the true form of religion. Shri Devchandra told them that he believed in nourshing the soul. "A glimpse of God and listening to the tales of His glory are as important for the spirit as is food for the body."


After undergoing a rigorous self-discipline, Shri Devchandra got a glimpse of the Lord and he felt His internal bliss. Shri Krishna, the Lord Supreme, appeared before him and asked him the same questions which were already disturbing him - "Who are you?" - the Lord asked - "Why have you come into this world?". "My Lord!" replied Shri Devchandra - "You are asking me the same questions which have been disturbing me since childhood. I am conscious of your presence and know that you are my savior but I am confused by the happenings in the world and misconceptions about life and religion. Please clear my doubts and show me the right path."


Lord krishna gave him the "Tartam Mantra" which dispelled all his doubts. Tartam is a Sanskrit word which is the combination of two words - "Tar" and "Tam". It indicates the knowledge of the above and beyond this universe. Tartam is the integral knowledge which shows the difference between the perishable world and the imperishable entity of Akshar Brahman and the Lord Supreme. It also shows the relationship between the three types of creations and its souls.


The Lord revealed His name as Shri Krishna and explained about His eternal Abode. He enlightened Devchandra about the fact that he was His consort Shyama - the bliss-part of Sachidanand Brahman, who with other divine souls, have come to this world to experience pain and sorrow, so that they can ultimately have the feeling of their blissful state. "Unfortunately, those enlightened souls," stated Lord Krishna, "are engrossed in the mirage of the world. I am giving you the Mantra and power to awaken these souls. Bring them back to their original true home, Paramdham." This movement of awakening of the souls was known as "Jagni". With the help of this integral knowledge - "Tartam", Shri Devchandra started the work assigned to him by the Lord. Many souls were awakened to their true original state and they experienced the eternal bliss.


Shri Devchandra became so popular that within a short amount of time he had large crowds at his congregations. His preachings contained the essence of all the Hindu Scriptures. He explained "Satchidanand" - the God symbolized Truth, eternal Bliss and Consciousness Supreme. He clarified that this illusory sorrowful world was created for the eternal souls, so that they can appreciate their "Satchidanand" state better. Shri Devchandra told that, after having these experiences, they have to go back to their eternal home, Paramdham.


Shri Devchandra explained that the Supreme Lord, in human form, comes to this universe whenever required and stays here as long as it is needed. That is why so many "Avatars", prophets, great souls; keep coming into this world from time to time. They bring the Supreme Knowledge to improve this world but as nothing happens in a dream, so also the condition of this world remains the same. Few souls, the divine ones, rise from their dreamy state and go back to their eternal abode. All the scriptures are meant for them and only they can understand their true meaning.


With regard to creation of the universe; views of Shri Devchandra were the same as those in Bhagvat. The process of creation takes place with the Lord's two powers. Kalmaya creates the perishable dark world of the type in which Lord Krishna's Braj or childhood play was enacted. Yogmaya which created the luminous world (Brindavana), where Ras Lila was enacted. For creation; first the Moh - attachment and ego were created. Then the three qualities or gunas (sat, raj, tam) and then five elements (earth, water, air, fire, the sky) were created. With these, the whole world with 8.4 million species, comes into existence and the Jiv evolves from the lowest to the highest form as a human being. The Brahami souls descended in human form and experienced the play of the world in Brij Lila, Ras Lila. Now they have come for the third act Jagni Lila, which is supposed to awaken them to their original blissful state.


When Shri Devchandra gave discourses, people became deeply engrossed. Many a time, they would hear the sounds of the plays of Braj and Ras Lila like the churning of the curd and the cosmic vibrations of music and dance. The ecstasy of these experiences brought many people into the Pranami fold. Shri Mehraj Thakur, later known as Shri Prannath, was one of them.


Shri Devchandra established Shri Nautampuri Dham (Khijada Mandir) in Jamnagar, Gujarat, the first of the three big centers of the Krishna Pranami faith. In Samvat 1712, on the fourteenth day of the dark half of Bhadon - the sixth month of the Hindu year, Devchandra handed all responsibilities of Dharma spiritual awakening to his principal pupil Mehraj Thakur later known as Mahamati Prannath, and departed to dwell in the Highest Abode "Paramdham".


Shri Krishna Pranami Dharma On-Line Dictionary


Mehta, V. (1994). Kirantan - The Divine Symphony of Mahamati Prannath.

Dr. Arora Raj Kumar (ed.). Shri Prannath Mission, New Delhi,    India.