Bhaktamara Stotra is a famous Jain sanskrit prayer. It was composed by Acharya Manatunga, the name Bhaktamara comes from a combination of two sanskrit names and Amar. The prayer praises Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism, there are forty-eight verses in total. The last verse gives the name of the author Manatunga, Bhaktamar verses have been recited as a stotra, and sung as a stavan, somewhat interchangeably. Other Jain prayers have taken after these, additional verses here praise the omniscience of Adinatha, according to legends, the Jain monk Manatunga was chained and imprisoned by the local King Bhoja. The shasandevi yakshi Chakreshvari of Bhagwan Adinath appeared before Acharya Manatunga, mantungacharya composed this stotra in the prison. With the completion of each verse, a broke, or a door opened. Manatunga was free all the verses were finished. Legends associate Manatunga with a ruler named Bhoja, however Manatunga probably lived a few centuries before Raja Bhoja of Dhara. He is identified by scholars as Kshapanaka, one of the Navaratnas in the court of legendary Vikramaditya.
An unidentified Sanskrit poet Matanga, composer of Brahaddeshi on music theory, Bhaktamara stotra was composed sometime in the Gupta or the post-Gupta period, making Manatunga approximately contemporary with other navaratnas like Kalidasa and Varahamihira. Several spots near Bhopal and Dhar are traditionally associated with Manatunga, Bhaktamara Stotra is believed to be at least a thousand years old, though many believe it to be still older. Bhaktamara Stotra has been passed down generation to generation. The importance and effectiveness is believed to have increased with the passage of time, Bhaktamara Stotra is recited by many with religious regularity. The original Stotra is in Sanskrit and written in Devnagiri script, the Bhaktamar Stotra has 48 stanzas. The complete panegyric is formed by 2888 letters and it is said that some specific stanzas are miraculously effective for fulfilment of different purposes. Bhaktamara stotra is widely illustrated in paintings, at the Sanghiji temple at Sanganer, there is a panel illustrating each verse.
The verses of Bhaktamar are thought to possess magical properties, a mystical diagram, yantra, is associated with each verse
Ilango Adigal was a Chera prince from the 2nd century AD/CE, who is the author of Silappatikaram, one of the five great epics of Tamil literature. Ilango was the brother of Kodungallur - or Muziris-based Chera king Cheran Chenguttuvan or Cheralathana Chenguttavan, there are claims that Ilango Adigal was a contemporary of Sattanar, the author of Manimekalai. Ilango Adigal was a Jain prince of the third century CE, Prince Ilangô, translated by Alain Daniélou, New Directions Works by Ilango Adigal at LibriVox
Kshullak Ganeshprasad Varni was one of the foundational figures of the modern Indian Digambara intellectual tradition during the early 20th century. Many of the Jain scholars today are products of the institutions found by Ganeshprasad Varni, sahajananda Varni was one of his disciple. While Jinendra Varni never heard him speaking, he was influenced by him and had compiled a volume Varni Darshan to commemorate Ganeshprasad Varnis birth centenary in 1975. Ganesh Prasad Ji Varni was born to Hira Lal and Ujyari Devi in village Hansera in district Lalitpur, while the Asatis are mostly Vaishnava, his father had a deep faith in the Namokar Mantra. He used to live in a Jain neighbourhood and visit the Jain temple near his house in Mandawara, influenced by lectures there, at the age of ten, he took a vow to take meals before sunset throughout his life. During his yajnopavita ceremony, he had an argument with the priest and his mother and his He passed the middle examination at the age of fifteen. He did not have any aptitude for shop-keeping, his fathers profession and he came into contact with a religious minded lady Chiranjibai of Simra through Karorelal Bhaiji, a spiritual man of Jatara.
She developed much affection for him and treated him like her son and she supported his desire of obtaining advanced religious education spiritual development. At that time there were no advanced scholars in the Bundelkhand region and he studied at Jaipur, Bombay, Mathura and other places with great difficulty. Because of his lack of funds, he occasionally had to starve accept humiliations and he studied with Pt. Panna Lal Backliwal and Baba Gurdayal at Bombay to pass Ratnakarand Shravakachar and Katantra-panchsanndhiki examinations. There he met Pt. Gopaldas Baraiya, with whom he studied Nyayadipika and Sarvarthsidhi after he had studied of Nyaya and he was sometimes turned down by reputed Brahmin teachers. He studied under Pt. Ambadas Shastri at Varanasi and he studied at Chakauti and Navadweep to acquire the Nyayacharya degree. Based on his experience of encountering the difficulties in obtaining advanced Jain education and he received a donation of one rupee from someone. He used it to by sixty-four postcards, and sent them to some potential Jain donors.
With the assistance of prominent Jain philanthropists like Babu Devkumar of Arrah, Seth Manek Chand, Baba Bhagirath Varni served as the superintendent of the institution. Even though Ganeshprasad was a founder of the Syadvad Mahavidyalaya, he accepted the rules imposed by Bhagirath Varni, a number of influential Jain scholars have been a product of this institution. With the help of Pt. Motilal Nehru, he was able to get Jain studies introduced at Banaras Hindu University and he helped in establishing various institutions. After inspiring and helping establish these institutions, he left the administration to local volunteers, without bothering to remain in control, some of these institutions are, Sri Kund Kund Jain College, Khatauli,1926
Jain schools and branches
Jainism is an Indian religion which is traditionally believed to be propagated by twenty-four spiritual teachers known as tirthankara. Broadly, Jainism is divided into two sects and Svetambara. These are further divided into different sub-sects and traditions, while there are differences in practices, the core philosophy and main principles of each sect is same. Traditionally, the doctrine of Jainism was contained in scriptures called Purva. These are believed to have originated from Rishabhanatha, the first tirthankara, there was a twelve-year famine around fourth century BCE. At that time, Chandragupta Maurya was the ruler of Magadha, Bhadrabahu went south to Karnataka with his adherents and Sthulabhadra, another Jain leader remained behind. During this time the knowledge of the doctrine was getting lost, a council was formed at Pataliputra where eleven scriptures called Angas were compiled and the remnant of fourteen purvas were written down in 12th Anga, Ditthivaya by the adherents of Sthulbhadra.
When followers of Bhadrabahu returned, there was a dispute between them regarding the authenticity of the Angas, those who stayed at Magadha started wearing white clothes which was unacceptable to the other who remain naked. This is how the Digambara and Svetambara sect came about, the Digambara being the naked ones where as Svetambara being the white clothed. According to Digambara, the purvas and the angas were lost, in course of time, the cannons of svetambara were getting lost. About 980 to 993 years after the death of Mahavira, a Vallabhi council was held at Vallabhi and this was headed by Devardhi Ksamashramana. It was found that the 12th Anga, the Ditthivaya, was lost too, the other Angas were written down. This is an account of schism. According to Svetambara, there were eight schisms, according to Digambara tradition, Gandhara knew fourteen Purva and eleven Anga. Knowledge of Purva was lost around 436 years after Mahavira and Anga were lost around 683 years after Mahavira, the texts which do not belong to Anga are called Angabahyas.
The first four Anga bahayas, Chaturvimasvika and Pratikramana corresponds to sections of second Mulasutra of svetambara, the only texts of anga bahyas which occurs in svetambara texts are Dasavaikalika and Kalpavyavahara. Digambara is one of the two sects of Jainism. This sect of Jainism rejects the authority of the Jain Agama compiled by Sthulabhadra and they believe that by the time of Dharasena, the twenty-third teacher after Gandhar Gautama, knowledge of only one Anga was there
Acharya Kundakunda is a revered Digambara Jain monk and philosopher. He authored many Jain texts such as, Niyamasara, Pravachanasara, Atthapahuda and he occupies the highest place in the tradition of the Jain acharyas. Modern scholarship has found it difficult to locate him chronologically, with a possible low date in the 2nd-3rd centuries CE and a late date in 8th century. His proper name was Padmanandin, he is referred to as Kundakunda possibly because the modern village of Kondakunde in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh might represent his native home. Upadhye has shown that possibly apart from the name Elacarya, all the other names ascribed to Kundakunda go against the tradition of the epigraphic records. Acharya Kundakunda belonged to the Mula Sangh order and he is closely associated with the Digambara sect, in recent decades, his books have become popular among Śvētāmbaras also. He is dated to have flourished around second century CE by Natubhai Shah, for Digambaras, his name has auspicious significance and occupies third place after Lord Mahavira and Gautama Ganadhara in the sacred litany.
This would make him the first significant and independent thinker of the period whose views are accepted as representing the Jain thought. The mundane aspect is associated with the qualities of the soul mainly the influx of karmic particles. The ultimate perspective meanwhile, is that of the soul or atman, the jiva, which is blissful, perceptive. According to Long, this view shows influence from Buddhism and Vedanta, the works attributed to Kundakunda, all of them in Prakrit, can be divided in three groups. The first group comprises four original works described as The Essence — namely, the Niyamasara, the Pancastikayasara, the Samayasara, and the Pravachanasara. The second group is a collection of ten bhaktis, short compositions in praise of the acharya, the scriptures, the mendicant conduct, and so forth. The last group consists of eight short texts called Prabhrta, probably compilations from some sources, on such topics as the right view, right conduct, the scripture. Various Jain texts mention that Acharya Kundkunda wrote 84 Pahurs, simandhar Swami Jain, Vijay K.
Essays in Jaina Philosophy and Religion, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1977-2 Cort, John E
Jain philosophy is the oldest Indian philosophy that separates body from the soul completely. Jain philosophy deals with reality, cosmology and Vitalism, the concept of non-injury or ahiṃsā lies at the core of Jain philosophy. Jain philosophy attempts to explain the rationale of being and existence, the nature of the Universe and its constituents, the nature of bondage and the means to achieve liberation. Jain texts expound that in every half-cycle of time, twenty-four tirthankaras grace this part of the Universe to teach the doctrine of right faith, right knowledge. Jain philosophy means the teachings of a Tirthankara which are recorded in Sacred Jain texts, the distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are, - Belief on independent existence of soul and matter. Refutation of the idea that a divine creator, preserver or destroyer of the universe exists. Accent on relativity and multiple facets of truth and Morality and ethics based on liberation of soul, Jainism strongly upholds the individualistic nature of soul and personal responsibility for ones decisions, and that self-reliance and individual efforts alone are responsible for ones liberation.
According to the Jain texts, the vitalities or life-principles are ten, namely the five senses, respiration, life-duration, the organ of speech, the table below summaries the vitalities, living beings possess in accordance to their senses. In the animal world, the five-sensed beings without mind have nine life-principles with the addition of the sense of hearing and those endowed with mind have ten with the addition of the mind. According to Tattvarthasutra, a major Jain text, the severance of vitalities out of passion is injury, according to the Purushartha Siddhyupaya, non-manifestation of passions like attachment is non-injury, and manifestation of such passions is injury. This is termed as the essence of the Jaina Scriptures and other nonviolent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of ahiṃsā. Jain philosophy postulates that seven tattva constitute reality and these are, - Jīva-The soul substance which is said to have a separate existence from the body that houses it. Jīva is characterised by cetana and upayoga, though the soul experiences both birth and death, it is neither really destroyed nor created.
Decay and origin refer respectively to the disappearing of one state of soul and appearance of another state, ajīva- the non-soul āsrava - inflow of auspicious and evil karmic matter into the soul. Bandha - mutual intermingling of the soul and karmas, samvara - obstruction of the inflow of karmic matter into the soul. Nirjara - separation or falling off of part of matter from the soul. Mokṣha - complete annihilation of all karmic matter, the knowledge of these reals is said to be essential for the liberation of the soul. According to the Jain philosophy, the world is full of hiṃsā, one should direct all his efforts in attainment of moksha
Sanskrit moksha or Prakrit mokkha means liberation or salvation. It is a state of existence of a soul, completely free from the karmic bondage, free from saṃsāra. A liberated soul is said to have attained its true and pristine nature of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge, such a soul is called siddha and is revered in Jainism. In Jainism, it is the highest and the noblest objective that a soul should strive to achieve, in fact, it is the only objective that a person should have, other objectives are contrary to the true nature of soul. With the right view and efforts all souls can attain this state and that is why Jainism is known as mokṣamārga or the path to liberation. According to the Sacred Jain Text, Tattvartha sutra, Owing to the absence of the cause of bondage, from the point of view of potentiality of mokṣa, Jain texts bifurcates the souls in two categories–bhavya and abhavya. Bhavya souls are those souls who have faith in mokṣa and hence will make some efforts to achieve liberation and this potentiality or quality is called bhavyata.
However, bhavyata itself does not guarantee mokṣa, as the needs to expend necessary efforts to attain it. On the other hand, abhavya souls are those souls who cannot attain liberation as they do not have faith in mokṣa, according to Jainism, the Ratnatraya or three Gems, samyagdarśana, samyagjñāna and samyakcāritra, together constitute the mokṣamarga or the path to liberation. According to Acharya KundaKundas Samayasara, Belief in the nine substances as they are is right faith, Knowledge of these substances without doubt, delusion or misapprehension, is right knowledge. Being free from attachment etc. is right conduct and these three, constitute the path to liberation. Samyak Darsana or rational perception is the faith in the true nature of every substance of the universe. Samyak Caritra or rational conduct is the conduct of a living being. It consists in following austerities, engaging in activities and observance of vows, carefulness. Once a soul secures samyaktva, mokṣa is assured within a few lifetimes, the fourteen stages on the path to liberation are called Gunasthāna.
These are, Those who pass the last stage are called siddha and become established in Right Faith, Right Knowledge. Nirvāna means final release from the karmic bondage, when an enlightened human, such as an Arhat or a Tirthankara, extinguishes his remaining aghatiya karmas and thus ends his worldly existence, it is called nirvāna. Technically, the death of an Arhat is called their nirvāṇa, as he has ended his worldly existence, the terms moksa and nirvana are often used interchangeably in the Jain texts
Acharya Shri Vidyasagarji Maharaj is one of the best known modern Digambara Jain Acharya. He is known both for his scholarship and tapasya, despite of being in a modern age, he is known for his hard austerity and long hours in meditation. Vidyasagar was born as Vidyadhar on 10 October 1946 on Sharad Purnima in Sadalga, Belgaum district and his father Mallappa, mother Shrimati, and two sisters took diksha and joined the sangh of Acharya Dharmasagar. Of the three brothers, two of them joined the sangh of Acharya Vidyasagar himself, leaving one brother Mahavira Ashtage, to marry and continue the blood line. He was initiated as a Digambara monk at the age of 22 by Acharya Gyansagar and he was elevated to the Acharya status in 1972. Acharya Vidyasagara is a scholar of Sanskrit and Prakrit and knows several languages such as Hindi, several researchers have studied his works for masters and doctoral degrees. His works include Niranjana Shataka, Bhavana Shataka, Parishah Jaya Shataka, Suniti Shataka and he authored nearly 700 Haiku poems which are unpublished.
He authored the Hindi epic poem Mukamati and this has been included in the syllabus of MA Hindi in various institutions. This epic poem has translated into English by Lal Chandra Jain and was presented to President of India. Acharya Vidyasagar has been a source of inspiration to the people for starting institutions for the welfare of living beings at different places, Acharya Vidyasagar has been a source of inspiration for religious functions. He has initiated more than 125 monks, a number unmatched in the past nine centuries, Acharya Vidyasagar has been a source of inspiration for the construction and renovation of Jain temples and images all over India. He has always inspired to invite scholars of eminence to have discourses on different subjects and he has taken classes to teach his disciples different Jain texts. He is a supporter of cow protection movement. His Chaturmas for 2016 was in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, where he was accompanied by 38 munis and he gave his Pravachana in Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly on special invitation from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 28 July 2016.
In 2016, during a trip to Bhopal, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi took time to visit him, leading to speculations on what was Modis objectives. He was visited by former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from the opposing Congress Party There is a belief that his blessings may bring victory in elections and he belongs to the tradition established by Acharya Shantisagar. Acharya Shantisagar initiated Acharya Virasagar, who was succeeded by Acharya Shivsagar, Acharya Gyansagar. Two of his brothers, Muni Yogasagar and Muni Samaysagar followed him and were initiated as muni by Acharya Vidyasagar, some of his disciples are well known scholars of their own right