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SETH LAKSHMI CHANDRA AND RAJA LAKSHMANDAS

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SETH LAKSHMI CHANDRA AND RAJA LAKSHMANDAS

Seth Lakshmi Chandra of Mathura has been a very illustrious person of his time. He was the eldest son of Seth Mani Ram. Shri Jindas, father of Fateh Chand and Mani Ram, was Khandelwal Jain of ordinary means living in village Malpura of Jaipur State. Fateh Chand and Mani Ram had gone

to Jaipur for better livelihood. Mani Ram left also Jaipur for trying his luck in business elsewhere. On way in a Dharamshala he served and saved the life of a simple looking sick man. He was none else than the rich Gujarati Seth Radha Mohan Parikh of Gwalior State, upon whom its ruler had special favour. His selfish servants had deserted him in the Dharamshala after taking away all his valuables and belongings. Highly obliged and pleased with his services Seth Radha Mohan took Mani Ram with him to Gwalior and fixed him up in cloth business.

Maharani Baija Bai wife of the ruler of Gwalior had great regard and trust in Seth Parikh. She asked him to construct a big temple at Mathura. Alongwith Mani Ram, Seth Parikh settled there and started banking business. He entrusted the business affairs to Mani Ram and himself led a religious life. As desired by the Maharani, Seth Mani Ram, constructed the famous Dwarkadhish Temple at Mathura. Being a Jain he also constructed the famous Jambooswami Jain Temple at Chaurasi near Mathura. In 1825 he invited Pt. Daulat Ram, who had composed Chhai- dhala, to live with him.

Having no issue, Seth Radha Mohan adopted Laxmi Chandra Jain, the eldest son of Seth Mani Ram, as his son. Seth Lakshmi Chandra earned great name as a big businessman, and religious minded influential person. During his time the name and prestige of the family were at its height. His Hundis had credit at distant places. Even the senior English officers of the East India Co. had great regard for him. He was courageous, bold and of independent nature. In the War of Independence of 1857 whereas on the one hand he helped the English on the other hand he saved the people of Mathura from the tyranny and injustice of the English and rebelling armies. He practically controlled Mathura and its near by areas for some time. After 1857 he became more popular both among the English and the people of Mathura.

Seth Lakshmi Chandra Jain had deep faith in his religion. His brothers Radha Krishan and Govind Das were the devotees of Vaishnawa saints. When Seth Lakshmi Chandra led a big Sangh to visit Jain pilgrim places, his brothers started construction of the famous Rangji Temple at Vrindavan in his absence. On returning back religiously tolerant Seth Lakshmi Chandra helped his brothers and completed the construction of the temple under his supervision. He had granted jagirs for the maintenance of this temple and Dwarkadhish Temple at Mathura.

His son Seth Raghunath Das was a religious minded prominent businessman. He had established a grand statue of Bhagwan Ajitnath brought from Gawalior in the Jambooswami Temple at Chaurasi. He also started there the 8 day Kartiki Fair and Chariot procession.

Issueless, Seth Raghunath Das had adopted Lakshmi Das, born in 1853, who was son of his uncle Radha Krishna. He was a prominent leader of the Jain society of his time. He established All India Dig. Jain Maha Sabha in 1884. He held several of its sessions at Mathura and was a generous host at those conferences and Kartiki Fair. With his active efforts Maha Sabha had established Jain Mahavidyalaya at Chaurasi.

The English Govt, had honoured him with the title of Raja and C.I.E. The then Viceroy Lord Curzon had been his personal guest at Mathura. He had intimate relations with the rulers of Jaipur, Bharatpur, Gawalior, Dholpur and Rampur States etc, For his generous and helping nature and a kind heart for the needy and poor he was very popular among the people. He lived a very gracious life.

Later he got a severe setback in business for the unwise steps of his accountant at Calcutta Kothi and the underhand policy of the English officers. He had expired in 1900 at the age of 47 years.