--> Skip to main content

Santbal Muni Maharaj – Jain Saint

Santbal Muni Maharaj (1904 -82) was a Jain saint, before he took diksha, was known as Shivlal. Since his childhood, he did not have much interest in worldly affairs. He was initiated by Jain Muni Shri Nanchandraji of the Sthanakvasi Jain Sampradaya. He was known as Shubh, Saubhagya and Santbal. He was a truth seeker in the real sense of the term. He had his own ideals of social service, which sometimes came in conflict with the established canons of the Jaina Shastras.

Santbal Muni Maharaj had respect towards all religions of the world. For him, there was no distinction of caste, creed or gender so far as social service was concerned. In his pursuit of serving society, he sometimes came in conflict with the propagators of established religions, particularly of Jainism. His guru, Shri Nanchandraji Maharaj, though sympathetic to his social and religious principles, had to leave him.

Santbal Muni Maharaj continued to serve the backward and the downtrodden, at the cost of social and religious criticism from his own brethren. Gandhiji’s ideas and ideology had a great effect upon Muni Santhalji, as result of which he selected a particular territory of Saurashtra Gujarat – Bhalnalakantha and started Gram Seva, doing his best to put into practice the principles of Sarvodaya (equal distribution and compassion for all). He made a deep study of the principal religions of the world. He advocated Sarva Dharma Sambhava – a sense of equality towards all religions. He made no discrimination against women in social service.