Upadhyay Shri Rishi Praveenji : Life and Achievements

Among the charismatic and influential Jain monks of today, Upadhyay Shri Rishi Praveenji is held in high regard and esteem. A multifaceted person! A thinker, a scientist, a psychologist, a philosopher, a religious teacher and yet if there is one word that describes him the best, it is that he is a Hermeneutician – the one who offers beautiful and practical re-interpretation of simply everything!

Upadhyay Shri was born to pious mother Smt. Champabai Desarda and devout father Shri Dagdulalji Desarda on 7th October 1957 in Ghodegaon (Ahmednagar, Maharashtra). A prime example of how great men are formed not just through formal schooling, Shri Rishi Praveenji studied upto class X and had always been inclined towards deeper religious philosophies. Over time, his interest for Dharma grew manifold and changed into detachment from matters of the world. At only 16 years of age, he accepted the vows of a Jain Monk (Diksha) at the lotus feet of Acharya Shri Anandrishiji of the Shraman Sangh on 24th March 1974 at Bhusaval (Khandesh, Maharashtra).

As he started treading on this noble path (Sanyam), he set most of his time towards Gurubhakti and study of the Aagams. He spent 18 years under the mentorship of Acharya Shri Anand Rishiji studying the Jain Aagams in great detail. He served his Guru as the epitome of dedication and devotion. His inquisitive nature shaped him into a multifaceted personality. This is perhaps why his sermons attract listeners from all walks of life. Pravin Rishiji is known to hit the orthodox and superstitious mindset of society with his logical observations. A person only has to listen to one of his sermons to become an ardent follower.

In order to solidify the clay of knowledge in the kiln of meditation, Shri Pravin Rishiji practiced Divine Sadhana in the solitude of the forests near Indore (Madhya Pradesh). Taking note of his vast knowledge and Sadhana, Acharya Shri Dr. Shivmuniji (4th Patdhar of the Shraman Sangh) bestowed him with the title of Upadhyay in 2004. Through his wise words, he has motivated people in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and virtually he has connected with people all over the world. He traverses over 2500 km a year on foot in order to propagate the words of Tirthankar Mahaveer.

Through his unique narrative style, Upadhyay Shri Rishi Praveenji is perhaps the only monk to bring alive the life-story and messages of Tirthankar Mahaveer in the form of the Mahaveer Gatha. He guides us along the journey of the Trithankar’s life with such deep intensity that listeners feel as if transported to the same timeline. Along the same lines, the Uttaradhyayan Sutra – Mahaveer’s last sermons – are narrated by him with much enchantment making the experience one-of-its-kind. Through such endeavours, he has ignited a feeling of divine faith in countless hearts.

Though based on scripture and tradition, all his programs cater to the needs of, and seek to positively transform the modern society. To this end, he has struck a balance between tradition and modernity, between religion and science, between theory and practice. His initiatives- Navkar Kalash and Gautam Nidhi- are continuously changing the face of society. His sermons on Karma Siddhanth (Secret of Karma) highlight the depth of his knowledge. Similarly, he has presented a new approach to the traditional Samayik, Pratikraman, Tapasya and Dhyaan.

Upadhyay Shri’s roster of endeavours to inspire spiritual change are increasing by the year. Wherever he notices darkness, superstition, confusion or deficiency in the familial, societal or dharmic spheres – he brings brightness through the flashlight of a workshop or programme.

Guided by Guru Rishi Praveenji, Arham Vijja is an organization, which offers solutions for various problems that surround our lives. Having the Aagam scriptures and Bhagwan Mahaveer’s teachings as his guiding lights, Gurudev’s immense efforts have been to reach out to the masses with solutions for their problems. To fulfill that, Arham Vijja conducts workshops & training programs based on meditation, knowledge enhancement, character & relation building.
The workshops (Shivirs) are offered in residential, non- residential & virtual forms with the sole motive of awakening the inner powers.

Gurudev has touched the lives of people in unconventional ways challenging the orthodox ideologies from all strata of society regardless of age, interest, caste, religion or gender. These include Arham Discover Yourself, Blissful Couple, Family, Garbh Sadhana, Arham Dharna, Parenting, Rasoi Ghar ko Mandir Banayein, Purushakar, Ashtamangal Dhyan Sadhana, Yog, Kalyanmitra and Mrityunjay among others. Each and every program provides for holistic growth of the learner for every stage and in any given situation in life there is an opportunity to unleash your inner powers.

His thought provoking story-telling style & life-hacks given by him has attracted the young minds the most amongst the others. He walks with a vision to uplift as many lives as possible with the research based preachings of Tirthankar Mahaveer in a simplified, practical & impactful manner.

The master is a living example of how to live life based on Tirthankar’s philosophies based on something as simple as confession, atonement & forgiveness which each of us should imbibe in our lives because.