Acharya Vidyasagar

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Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108
Vidyasagar
Ji Maharaj
Vidyasagar
Acharya Vidyasagar, a prominent Digambara monk
Religion Jainism
Sect Digambara
Personal
Born Vidyadhar
(1946-10-10) 10 October 1946 (age 71)
Sadalga, Belgaum district, Karnataka
Parents
  • Mallappa (Mallinath) (father)
  • Shrimanti (mother)
Religious career
Predecessor Acharya Gyansagar
Disciple(s) Pramansagar, Sudhasagar, Kshamasagar, Guptisagar
Works Mukamati (silent soil)
Initiation 30 June 1968
Ajmer
by Acharya Gyansagar
Website vidyasagar.guru

Acharya Shri Vidyasagarji Maharaj (born 10 October 1946) is one of the best known modern Digambara Jain Acharya (philosopher monk). He is known both for his scholarship and tapasya (austerity). He is known for his long hours in meditation.

Life[edit]

Early Life[edit]

Birth

Vidyasagar was born on 10 October 1946 on Sharad Purnima (full moon) in Sadalga, Belgaum district, Karnataka.

Childhood

His childhood name was ‘Vidyadhar’.[1] He was the second of four sons, eldest son being Mahavira Ashtage.[2] As a child, he was fond of eating fresh butter which was used to make ghee (clarified butter).[3] He wasn’t a demanding child and accepted what was given to him.[4] Vidyadhar used to visit temples and teach his younger siblings the principles of religion.[5] He called both her younger sisters Akka (elder sister).[6] He was attentive and submissive towards studies. In spare time, he also used to paint.[6]

Initiation[edit]

He was initiated as a Digambara monk at the age of 22 by Acharya Gyansagar, who belonged to the lineage of Acharya Shantisagar, at Ajmer in 1968.[7] Except the elder brother all his family members joined the sangha. His father Mallappa, mother Shrimati, and two sisters took diksha and joined the sangh of Acharya Dharmasagar.[8] Of the three brothers, Anantanath and Shantinath followed him and were initiated by Acharya Vidyasagar as Muni Yogasagar and Muni Samaysagar respectively.[9] The elder brother married and continued the blood line.[10]

He was elevated to the Acharya status in 1972.[11] The Acharya does not eat salt, sugar, fruits, milk, in addition to what is traditionally prohibited (like onions). He goes out for meal at about 10 AM from Śrāvakas (lay votaries). He takes food once in a day in the palms of his hand, one morsel at a time.[12]

Inscription on Parshvanath idol at Orchha mentioning the lineage of Acharya Vidyasagar from Acharya Shantisagar. He is termed anasakta yogi, jyeshtha, shreshtha, sant shiromani

Acharya Vidyasagar Chaturmas (four month stay) for 2016 was in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh,[13] where he was accompanied by 38 munis.[14] He gave his Pravachana in Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly on special invitation from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 28 July 2016.[15][16]

In 2016, during a trip to Bhopal, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited him.[17] He was also visited by former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from the opposing Congress Party[18]

Works[edit]

Acharya Vidyasagara is a scholar of Sanskrit and Prakrit and knows several languages such as Hindi and Kannada.[19] He has written in languages like Prakrit, Sanskrit, Hindi. His works include Niranjana Shataka, Bhavana Shataka, Parishah Jaya Shataka, Suniti Shataka and Shramana Shataka.[20] He also authored nearly 700 Haiku poems which are unpublished.[relevant? ] He authored the Hindi epic poem Mukamati.[11][21] This has been also included in the syllabus of MA Hindi in various institutions.[which?][22] This epic poem has also been translated into English by Lal Chandra Jain and was presented to President of India.[21][23][24] Several researchers have studied his works for masters and doctoral degrees.[21]

His tradition[edit]

He belongs to the tradition established by Acharya Shantisagar.[25] Acharya Shantisagar initiated Acharya Virasagar, who was then succeeded by Acharya Shivsagar, Acharya Gyansagar[26]and finally Acharya Vidyasagar.

Some of his disciples are well known scholars of their own right. As of 2001, about 21% of all the Digambar monks were under Acharya Vidyasagara.[27][28] One of his best known disciples, Muni Kshamasagar ji, obtained samadhi in 2015[29] Muni Sudhasagar and Upadhyaya Guptisagar are also his disciples.

Acharya Vidyasagar has been a source of inspiration to the people for starting institutions for the welfare of living beings at different places.[11] Since the number of monks (munis) and nuns (āryikas) initiated by him and are directed by him exceeds two hundred (117 Digambar Muni, 172 Aryikas), they stay in more than 60 locations in India during chaturmas, ranging from Gujarat to Jharkhand, and Haryana to Karnataka.[30] This ensures that only a few monks or nuns are staying in a place.

His wanderings (Vihara)[edit]

As a traditional Digambara Jain monk, he never stays in a single place for more than a few days, except for the four months of the rainy season (chaturmas). He never declares which place he will be in next, although people attempt to estimate his next move.[31][32] Since his initiation in 1968 he has had 7 chaturmas in Rajasthan (1968–74), one in UP (1974), 7 in MP (1976–1982), one in Bihar (1983), 9 in MP again (1984–1992), two in Maharashtra (1993–94), one in MP (1995), one in Gujarat (1996), 11 in MP again (1997–2007), one in Maharashtra again (2008), 8 in MP again (2009–2016).[citation needed]

Biography[edit]

His disciple Muni Kshamasagar wrote his biographical account Ātmānveśhī (hi:आत्मान्वेषी) which was translated in English as 'In Quest of the Self' and was published by Bhartiya Jnanpith.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 23, 35.
  2. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 34-35.
  3. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 37.
  4. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 40.
  5. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 41-42.
  6. ^ a b Kshamasagar 2007, p. 42.
  7. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 28.
  8. ^ Gita Jain 1978, pp. 8-14.
  9. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 73.
  10. ^ "जब छिपकर विनोबा भावे को सुनने गए थे आचार्यश्री विद्यासागर", Patrika, 8 June 2016 
  11. ^ a b c Natubhai Shah 1998, pp. 56–57.
  12. ^ आचार्यश्री के आहारचर्या के लिए सजती हैं चौकियां, जानें किन चीजों को देख छोड़ देते हैं खाना, Patrika, 2016-06-05
  13. ^ "आचार्य विद्यासागर महाराज के प्रोग्राम में चार महिला चोर गिरफ्तार, सात सोने की चैन जप्त", Nai Duniya, 27 July 2016 
  14. ^ Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj Sangh Parichaya book 2016.pdf
  15. ^ "देश के इतिहास को बनाए रखने के लिए पक्ष-विपक्ष साथ काम करें: आचार्यश्री", Rajasthan Patrika, 28 July 2016 
  16. ^ "When Another Jain Monk Addressed A State Legislative Assembly And There Was No Controversy", The Huffington Post, 29 August 2016 
  17. ^ Ranjan (14 October 2016), Why is Modi keen to meet Acharya Vidyasagar?, Bhopal 
  18. ^ Scindia makes up his mind to lead Congress in state, Sep 29, 2016
  19. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 26.
  20. ^ Ek Tapahput kavi ki kavya Sadhna, Asha Malaiya, Tirthankar, Nov-Dec 78, p. 21-24
  21. ^ a b c "Acharya Vidyasagar's book "Silent Earth" presented to President", Web India 123, 15 June 2011 
  22. ^ "बीयू के सिलेबस में जैन ग्रंथ 'मूकमाटी' को किया शामिल", Dainik Bhaskar, 24 May 2013 
  23. ^ "Acharya Vidyasagar's Book "Silent Earth" Presented To President", jainworld.com 
  24. ^ Vidyasagar 2010.
  25. ^ Kshamasagar 2006, p. 51.
  26. ^ "इस संत के जीवत रहते स्टूडेंट कर रहे हैं इन पर PHD, जानें क्या है इनकी खूबी", Dainik Bhaskar, 17 October 2016 
  27. ^ Flügel 2006, p. 356.
  28. ^ "Jain Muni Pramansagar ji Maharaj disciple of Acharya Vidyasagar ji", The Times of India, 27 October 2010 
  29. ^ [वर्णीभवन मोराजी में मुनिश्री क्षमासागर महाराज का समाधिमरण, Patrika, 2015-03-13]
  30. ^ शिष्य गण – चातुर्मास 2009
  31. ^ दयोदय गौशाला पहुंचे आचार्यश्री, होली पर दिया यह संदेश, Patrika, 3/13/2017
  32. ^ आचार्य विद्यासागर जी का ससंघ प्रवेश आज, Bhaskar News Network, Jul 15, 2016
  33. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 4.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Mācave, Prabhākara; Rāmamūrti, Tripāṭhī, Mūkamāṭī-Mīmāṃsā (in Hindi), 1, 2 & 3, Bhartiya Jnanpith 

External links[edit]