Acharya Shri Chandanaji

Simply clad in a white sari, always accompanied by a smile on her face, Acharya Shri Chandanaji is the vision of peace. She unrestrictedly showers her blessings and kindness. A ray of sunshine in the sorrow-struck lives of millions, Acharya Shriji is regarded as one of the rarest, most precious souls in the history of Jain spirituality. Fondly called Tai Maharaj, she is truly an exceptional jewel.

You may spot her on the dusty ground of Bihar, surrounded by the poor and sick, and you’ll see how she warms the cockles of their hearts. Or you may see her walking confidently on the delicate rubble of earthquake-shattered Kutch, her arm around an orphan, pain in her eyes, as she swiftly facilitates shelter for those who lost their families and hope to Mother Nature.

Such is the soul of Tai Maharaj.

She strongly believes that religion is not about finding Moksha but about striving to resolve the everyday challenges of people and bring peace to their lives. Most importantly, she vehemently focuses on serving people rather than preaching about compassion.

Manglik Paath

“Religion accepts life in its entirety. To work towards getting rid of any physical or mental suffering is true religion. Service is no different from spirituality, service is spirituality.”

But as all beginnings go, the inception of Veerayatan was riddled with challenges for its founder. Acharya Shriji had to alter mindsets, and gain the confidence, trust, and belief of people to justify her hands-on work for the greater good.

She embraced diksha (renunciation of the material world) at the tender age of 14. As a Sadhvi, she also took a vow of silence, one that lasted 12 years. When the seed for a cause such as Veerayatan was sowed in her heart and mind, she first questioned why Sadhus and Sadhvis could not physically contribute in making a difference to society.

A clairvoyant and thinking leader, Tai Maharaj then decided to add onto the traditional Jain school of thought. She began her journey to tangibly uplift and impact those facing everyday challenges of survival. For her, the unconditional teachings of love by Tirthankar Mahavir and Gurudev were not just ritualistic. They had to be spread, shared, and sown; Veerayatan was born.

For several worldwide, Acharya Shriji is so much more than a religious leader. She is the inextinguishable force behind the revolution in Jain religious history by introducing the concept of compassion in action to the renounced community. Leading by example, she inspired these people to actively engage in social work for the betterment of humanity.

A receiver of many firsts such as the title of Acharya, she went on to establish this additional branch of Jainism for the first time in its history.


“Why are we expected to preach the sentiment of actionable compassion and kindness instead of practicing it ourselves?”