Award of Charitra Chakravarti
While maintaining his vows very strictly, he moved towards the south
and expanded religion at all places through which he passed. He advised people to shun evil practices.
By time, he became famous. He granted Dixa and vows to several Shravaks (Jain family-holders). In 1834, he regularly established Shraman Sangh at the time of Mooni
Dixa of Shri Nemisagarji. The Jain community gave him the title of Acharya at his age of 52; and after 26 years in 1951 at the holy celebrations of Panch Kalyanak
Pratishtha Mahotsava at Gajpantha in Maharashtra, Acharya Shri ShantiSagarji was given further award of Charitra Chakravarti.
In 1928, Acharya Shri Shantisagar ji started for the pilgrimage of SamedShikhar
along with his disciples and followers. This was the first occasion after many centuries that a large
group of possession less mendicants was moving in north India and there was a sharp wave of religious fervor in this region. He was honored at all places and Panch.
Kalyanak Celebrations were also held at SamedShikhar. Lacs of devotees arrived there for this celebration from the
whole of India. Acharya Shri walked about 35,000 miles in seven years and lacs of devotees had taken advantage of his spiritual knowledge.Maharaj Shri had cleared the way of Mooni-Vihar (movement of
mendicants). The number of Acharyas, Moonis, small persons, women and celibates who had taken Dixa at the hands of AcharyaShri was about 3 to 400.
Once AcharyaShri came to know that a big volume of religious
teachings collected from the preaching heard from time to time and completed by Swamy BhootBali was written an one thousand years old
leaves and trees. It was then very old and was about to be destroyed by insects. He felt importance of preserving it and hence he proposed to
get the whole book re-written on copper sheets so that it can remain totally secured for thousands of years.
He requested the rich Jains to bear the costs and expenses for this task. Thus,Acharya Shri ShantiSagarji got these Agam books re-written on copper sheets and
this was his most important work of his life. It will be noted by golden writings in the history of
Shrutoddhar of invaluable books of Jainism i.e.. Re-writing of books, which were written, on leaves of trees by hearing the preaching of
Jain saints & mendicants. Acharya had to face many difficulties in his life and he faced all the adverse circumstances with
fearlessness, patience and tolerance.He has, thus, established his highest character and we are
confirmed of his greatness. AcharyaShri was famous as charitra-chakravarti only because of his achievements and accomplishments for the up-life of Jainism.
Once Acharya Shri was performing Samayik (religious rite) in a cave. At this time, thousands and crores of red ants came up on his
body and began to suck his blood by severely painful biting. AcharyaShri did not move for about two hours and went on
suffering this pain. Afterwards, some Shravakas saw this and they removed the ants by throwing sugar nearby. Maharaj Shri opened his lips only after all the ants were gone away from him.
AcharyaShri was performing noon-Samayik in the cave named Kagnoli. At this time a dangerous black snake came over his body and wrapped
him. The snake was for more than 20 minutes in this position pressing the body of Acharyaji.Acharyaji, however, maintained Mauna- (non-speaking) and
meditation. There have been many such instances in the life of Acharyaji wherein he has been proved to be victorious over rigorous physical pains and mental worries.
AcharyaShri had created deep impressions on common people by religious preaching and restrained life.
Rulers of Sangli, Faltan, Kolhapur, Pratapgadh, Idar, Dholpur and other states used to come to see him. Even several European officers were also attracted towards
Acharyaji. His preaching were highly philosophical; his thinking was of the highest level. He considered people of all religious equally. His disciples had also created very good impressions on the people.
Acharya Shri ShantiSagarji adopted ultimate vow of Yam-Sannllekhana fast unto death at the closing years of his
life. His welcome death was as good as putting up a golden pot on the top of temples. He had adopted 12 year vow of Sannllekhana in the presence
of Lord Jinendra in the Gajpantha region and he had stopped taking food since then.
When his eye sight began to weaken in 1955 AD, he thought that it was then different for him to observe several
vows like kindness to animals and several rules of daily routine life.He had, therefore, started preparations to adopt Sannllekhana
Vow-fast unto death. In the first eight days, he took only two bits of food everyday. Then after he took only juice from black grapes for another
eight days and after that he used to take water only. He took water at an interval of four days and sometimes after
five and six days. This continued for about two months. When he was absolutely weak and unable even to stand without
help from someone, he adopted Yama-Sannllekhana and stopped taking water till the end of his life. He did not take services from others even in his total
weakness and continued to be in meditation of soul-salvation and muttering religion phrases and hymns.
In these days he was at Kunthalgiri holy place in Sangli District of Maharashtra. More than one lac of people took his Darshan within two
months. People considered them to have been purified with his Darshan and held that their lives were fulfilled.
Acharya Shri ShantiSagarji Maharaj breathed his last.It was September 18, 1955 AD. He had touched Jinendra Murti with his hand just before five minutes of his
passing away and had moved his head towards his feet. He was muttering "Namah Siddhebhya: -"- respects to the Absolute when he breathed last.
Acharya Shri ShantiSagarji Maharaj was an ideal digambar jain saint who observed rigorous vows and restrained life with total
celibacy for about forty years. He had won over his senses and had captured anger, greed, attachments, sensuality, pride desires with six enemies.
His life was a lamppost for all mendicants, disciples and followers. He re-incarnated the Digambar traditions.