Do You Have a Good Memory? This Monk Repeats 500 Questions Back to Audience
History has been made by Jain Munishri Ajitchandra Sagarji as the first 500 Avdhan in 500 years is successfully completed in an amazing feat of human memory.
5,500 people gathered in the stadium in Mumbai, India, while thousands more watched on live TV, as the young man who achieved “Maha-shatavdhani” status in 2012 gets on stage to break his own record. He is attempting a Jain practice of covering multiple activities in a single act of attention. Over a span of 7 hours, Munishri Ajitchandra Sagarji had to recall 500 questions posed by onlookers, and repeat them in both ascending and descending orders. On November 16, Sagarji received the “Ardha-SahastrAvdhani” status for his successfully completing the 500 Avdhan.
The Saraswati Sadhana Research Foundation invited people of all faiths to attend, completely free of charge. Guests were each given a pen and some paper to keep track of the questions, and their order, to see his skill for themselves. However, the skill is not inherent genius. It is an outcome of the Jain traditions in penance, renunciation, self-control, meditation and complete devotion to Saraswati.
The 24-year-old Jain monk underwent huge transitions and traditions before he was capable of attempting the Avdhan. At the age of 12, he renounced the world, leaving his religion of Oonja-Gujarat and becoming Jain Sadhu. He spent 12 years learning, meditating and undertaking Maun (silence) and other Sadhana. He spent 9 years in silence.
“It takes years of meditation to hone this skill,” Sagarji says. “As soon as a question is posed to me, it permeates from the conscious to the subconscious, and then it enters the soul. When it’s time to recount the answer, I draw it out by reversing the process.”
The Avdhan practice is considered a mastery of Jainism. It takes years to master, intense concentration, meditation and other Sadhana practices that can prove difficult for others to undertake. Jain Munishri Ajitchandra Sagarji showed great skill and concentration.