Raychandbhai, popularly known as Shrimad Rajachandra, was born on 11th November 1867 at Vavania, a small town of Saurashtra, situated in the state of Morvi. He belonged to Dasa Shrimali, a vanik caste. His father’s name was Ravjibhai and mother’s name was Devabai.
He had unusual powers of intelligence and of memory since his childhood. He was sent to school when he was only seven years old. When he was eight years old, he was reputed to have composed five thousand line of verse.
In 1887-88, he moved to Bombay. Here at the Faramji Kawasji Institute, he performed Shatavadhani, hundred activities in a single act of attention.
He was a highly companionable person and was deeply in love with the creation of God, and he placed trust in man.
At the age of twenty one he was married to Zakabai. He was a businessman, but above all a spiritual man living in the world making a balance between these two spheres of life successfully.
Gandhiji met Shrimad at Dr. Pranjivan Mehta’s place in Bombay in the month of July 1891. Gandhiji saw in him a man of great character and learning. Gandhiji kept himself in close touch with Shrimad through correspondence. And on his influence, Gandhiji took the vow of celibacy in South Africa, in 1906.
Shrimad’s earthly life came to an end in April 1901, at that time Gandhiji was evolving his technique of Satyagraha to fight against colour prejudice.
Gandhiji wrote under the title, ‘Some Reminiscences of Raychandbhai’ (on 5th Nov., 1926): “Three persons have influenced me deeply, Tolstoy, Ruskin and Raychandbhai: . . . Raychandbhai through his intimate personal contact.” And, “During the two years I remained in close contact with him I felt in him every moment the spirit of vairagya . . .. . . . Rajchandra showed through his life that, if a man is devoted to Dharma, this devotion should be evident in very action of his.”