The Current Living Tirthankara Shree Simandhar Swami
The followers of Akram Vignan worship Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami as a Supreme Being, the highest state of Self-Realization that the soul can achieve. Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami is a fully realized, and enlightened being, a living God, the Lord of all celestial Lords who resides on Mahavideh Kshetra, a land within the Jain mythological universe. The followers of Akram Vignan believe that Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami, has an obligation to bring about the salvation of the world and that they will attain the ultimate goal of liberation (moksha) through the grace, guidance and worship of Tithankar Lord Simandhar Swami.
They also believe that when the Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami’s images reside in every home and when these images are worshipped with deep reverence and his temples constructed all over the world, there will be heaven on earth. The Gnani Purush is the living representative of the Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami and has the spiritual power to connect a follower with the Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami. The followers of Akram Vignan also worship other Hindu celestial gods such as Vishnu and Krishna.
Dada Bhagwan did not equate himself to God or the Lord. When he explained to others who Dada Bhagwan is he would say “What you see here is not Dada Bhagwan. What you see is A.M. Patel. I am a Gnani Purush and He that is manifested within me is Dada Bhagwan. He is the Lord (Soul) within. He is within you and everyone else. He has not manifested within you, whereas within me he is fully manifested. I myself am not a Bhagwan. I too bow down to Dada Bhagwan within me.”
Followers of Akram Vignan have a deeply rooted prayer life which involves daily prayers and worship of Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami at home and in communal prayers at their places of worship. Chanting is integral to the ritual of worship.
According to Akram Vignan, each day that one does Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami’s ‘Aarti’ (a religious ritual of worship whereby lights are offered to the Lord along with songs sung in praise of the Lord) and pays obeisance to him forty times, one binds karma to be graced by the Lord’s ultimate presence, fulfilling one’s goal of attaining final liberation.
Prakshal is a ritual cleansing ceremony of Tirthankara Lord Simandhar Swami’s image. It is done at home daily and at the places of worship during Satsangs. From fully bathing and cleansing him and his shrines, to completing seva puja (a sandlewood paste ritual), and finally clothing and placing beautiful rose garlands on him, the entire process of Prakshal is a wonderful spiritual experience. The ceremony starts with singing praises to Lord Simandhar Swami and chanting Simandhar Swami na asim jai jai kar ho (Glory be to Lord Simandhar Swami). Everyone recites the Charan Vidhi, loudly and with utter devotion, while preparing to do Lord Simandhar Swami’s Prakshal. As they complete Prakshal and bow down to the Omniscient Lord, they ask for nothing but liberation.