ABOUT SIDHH KSHETRA CHAURASI
The Antim (last) kevali Shri Jamboo Swami, Digamber Jain holy Shrine (Siddha kshetra) Chaurasi & Temple
Registration No 42. , Mathura , is situated approximately 4 Kms. away from Mathura Railway station on Delhi-Agra National Highway No 2 closed to Mathura-Goverdhan Road crossing. Previously this place was like a heath surrounded by dense forest. Due course of time jungles disappeared and gradually habitats developed. Shri Jamboo Swami who was the successor of Sudharmacharya, the disciple of Lord Mahavira and the last anubaddh kaiwali in the tradition of Lord Mahavira got salvation at the age of 84 at this beautiful place that is why this holy place is known as Chaurasi (Hindi of 84) and it being a place of Salvation became a “Siddha Peeth” forever. According to legendary tales Shatrughan Ji, the youner brother of Raghuwansi Raja Ram founded a Puri named “Madhura”, which later on became famous as Mathura and is located on the western bank of the Yamuna River. Mathura of today is 55 Kms. away from Agra and 142 Kms. from Delhi and abounds in place of religious and historical importance.
The Characteristic of Mathura has been that since first century B.C. it has been the meeting place of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism and the followers of these religions saw the glimpess of their own architecture, though it was greatly iuflueunced by Greek culture a long time ago. Mathura had been a place of pride & prestige during the reign of Kanishka and his successors. Nagaraj dynasty was established after the downfall of Kushan kingdom but with the rise of Gupta Empire in 4th century A.D independent identity of Mathura gradually got lost. Undoubtedly Mathura has been a place of religious importance since time immemorial for the followers of Jainism, though historians have failed to relate the exact time of the advent of Jainism here. In holy Jain Scriptures Mathura has been regarded as the seat of most ancient sites of Jain religion and has been associated with many Tirthankaras.
According to the opinion of Jina Prabhu Suri, there was a golden and diamond studded Stupa in Mathura which Devi Kuvera got constructed in honour of Suparshvanath, the seventh Tirthankar. After the visit of Parshvanath, the twenty third Tirthankar to Mathura, this Stupa was covered with bricks by the order of Devi and a stone idol of Shri Parshvanath was consecrated there. This stupa has been declared a place of paramount significance. Mathura has also been regarded as the birth place of Neminath, the twenty second Tirthankar but according to Uttar Puran, his birth place is Mithila. Neminath the twenty second Tirthankar had close connections with Mathura bacause he was the cousin of Vasudev Krishna-Balram. Tirthankar Neminath’s father, Samudra Vijay who was the brother of Vasudev, was the ruler of Shauryapur. This Tirthankar has been depicted along with Krishna and Balram in many statues of Kushan and post- Kushan period. It is a known fact that Bhagwan Mahavira visited Mathura and preached here. He also stayed here in Bhandeer garden which was the pious land of a Yaksha named Sudarshan. Engarved stone statues, Pillar, crests, canopies and many architectural artistic pieces were found in the excavation of Kankali mound, but not a single memorial of this period is available now. Not only the names of many rulers are mentioned in the inscriptions engraved on numerous slab stones and statues but a lot of focus has been drawn on the organization of Jain Sanghs which were organised in the form of many acharyas various ganas of medicants (Munis) kulas (dynastics) and branches (sects). Time to time many Jain Shrines were constructed near Chaurasi and its environs, but all these symbols of veneration and art were destroyed number of times due to fanatic and zealous display of strength and religion in the history of Mathura. It is probable that the temple of Shri Jamboo Swami also existed there which might have been destroyed by these begots and fanatics and the foot-print of Shri Jamboo Swami might have been enshrined in a canopy by the devotees. But this canopy also could not withstand nature’s fury. The canopy got shattered and foot- prints were gradually buried under the soil and shrubs like plum etc. grew there. It is believed that a devout follower of Jainism Shri Jodharaj (Deeg) dreamt that “the foot-prints of Shri Jambuswami are laying buried under earth at a place in Mathura city. Go and dig them out and install them by constructing a temple. Showing faith in the truism of the dream, he along with many followers of Jainism reached there where the foot- prints of Shri Jambuswami were believed to be buried. With great devotion they excavated that place and found the foot- prints of Shri Jambuswami there. By constructing a hut those foot- prints were installed under it. Later on he requested Seth Maniram ji Jain and other followers of the faith, dwelling near by Mathura to help in constructing a temple. Seth Maniramji put forth this suggestion before Seth Radha Mohanji Parikh (whose property was later on inherited by Seth Maniram ji’s son Seth Lakshmi Chand Ji). Sentimental, Seth Parikh ji gave permisson to Seth Maniramji to construct the temple. The construction of the temple started nearly 200 years ago i.e. in the year 1800. It was essential that a large statue of Jain Tirthankar of the size of a human being be consecrated. At the same time an exceedingly handsome idol of Tirthankara Shri 1008 Ajitnath ji was found during excavation in Gwalior state. Seth Maniram ji got this information and he requested Seth Parikhji to seek permission make arrangement for transporting this statue to Mathura. Seth Parikhji took permission from the King of Gwalior to carry this Digamber Jain statue to Mathura. But Maniramji was worried about how to transport this very huge statue to Mathura. After sometime Maniramji heard some one asking him in his dream why do you worry? Listen this statue can easily reach Mathura if any devout follower, desirous of salavation puts this statue all alone in a bullock cart. All of a sudden, he woke up from his dream. He narrated this dream to the members of his family. Hearing this Seth Raghu Nathji (son of Seth Lakshmi Chand ji) who had firm and staunch faith in Digamber Jain religion and who was also physically strong and handsome took lead in this pious work, taking blessings from his venerable teachers, after bathing and wearing sacred clothes he first worshipped lord Ajitnath, God of gods, and continuously chanted Namokara Mantra, after hailing the name of Shri Ajitnath Swami ji, and lifting with his hands all alone he installed the huge jina image on the bullock- cart and enshrined it among festivities in this temple with the consent of the “Sarva Sangh” This statue, being the lead idol is still beautifying the temple of Chaurasi. According to the documents, its first consecration took place on Wednesday, Baishakh sudi 1 Samvat 1514. The saintly pleasing smile of this idol is highly attractive.