Acharyashri Dharmaghoshsuri ji’s life is full of miracles. Previously he was known as Virdhaval. He was son of Sheth Jinchandra Pallival. Virdhaval was very busy with worldly life. One day some external cause inspired him to go for renunciation. Just at the moment when Virdhaval was getting married, he adopted white dress as a token of renunciation. With his brother Bhimdev, Virdhaval accepted initiation from Devendrasuriji in A.D. 1246 in Vijapur in North Gujarat.
At the time of granting the status of a preceptor (Acharya), there was kesarvrushti (showering of blessings from heaven). He later came to be known as Acharyashri Dharmaghoshsuri. His memory was extraordinary. He could memorise 500 shlokas within six seconds. All the rulers honored Acharyashri as their ‘Gurudev’.
On Shrisangha’s request Acharya Dharmaghoshsuri composed Samudra stotra. Once he recited it at the seashore in Saurashtra and a miracle took place. Suddenly a huge tide brought a huge heap of jewels ashore at the feet of Acharya Dharmaghoshsuri and then receded.
At that time Kapardi yaksha (demigod) had become a nuisance. When he heard Acharya Dharmaghoshsuri’s sermon, the darkness of his ignorance disappeared and the light of understanding changed his course of life. Thus, Acharya Dharmaghoshsuri achieved victory over the wicked and the vicious.
Once in his home town of Vijapur, some of the women had used some conjuration against him so as to destroy the impact of his religious discourse. But with the power of his incantation, Acharyashri made those women motionless; only when those women confessed and apologized were they set free by the Acharyashri.
One yogi in Ujjain was engaged in harassment. He was so envious of Jain monks that he would always block the entry of Jain monks in the city. If by chance any Jain monk happened to enter the city, the yogi would so harass him using some charm that the latter would have to run away from the city.
Once when Acharya Dharmaghoshsuri arrived in Ujjain, the yogi invoked the fury of thousands of serpents, scorpions and ants in the upashraya at night. Acharyashri took an earthen pot covered with cloth and putting his hand over it, began to recite prayers. Soon the yogi felt burning pain of stings of a lakh of scorpions. He rushed to the upashraya and apologized to the Acharya.
Acharya Dharmaghoshsuri ji composed many volumes and established libraries as storehouses of knowledge. He imparted sermons to different castes like Brahmins, Maheshvari Vaishya and Kshatriyas and propagated non-violence amongst them and thereby made them the followers of the Jain religion. Acharyashri had a penetrating knowledge of grammar, and also had a mastery of the philosophical system of Nyay (logic). He could competently speak on Sutra-artha (meaning of canonical texts).
Vigrahraj (Vishaldev), the king of Ajmer heard about Acharya Dharmaghoshsuri and went to see him. Impressed by his preaching he became a follower of the Jain religion. He had banned animal killing in his state on the eleventh day (agiyaras) and some other specific days of the month. He also set free all the caged animals and birds. He was the guru of Pethadsha, a gem amongst the Jains.