Terapanth Acharya History

History of our Terapanth Acharya


Terapanth is a religious sect under Swetembar Jain. The terapanthi sub-sect is derived from the Sthanakvasi; section. The Terapanthi sub-sect was founded by Swami Bhikkanaji Maharaj. Swami Bhikkanaji was formerly a Sthanakvasi saint and had initiation from hisGuru, by name Acharya Raghunatha. Swami Bhikkanaji had differences with his Guru on several aspects of religious practices of Sthanakvasi ascetics  It was Founded by Acharya Bhikshu in Vikram Sambat 1817 i.e. June 28th of 1760 ( Saturday ) at KELWA (a small town in Udaipur District of Rajasthan State ).This sect is entirely based upon the Ideology  of Jain .

As Acharya Bh1kkanaji laid stress on the 13 religious principles, namely, (i) five Mahavratas (great vows), (ii) five samitis (regulations) and (iii) three Guptis (controls or restraints), his sub-sect was known as the Tera (meaning thirteen)-pantha sub-sect. In this connection it is interesting to note that two other interpretations have been given for the use of the term Terapantha for the sub-sect. According to one account, it is mentioned that as there were only 13 monks and 13 laymen in the pantha when it was founded, it was called as Tera (meaning thirteen) -pantha. Sometimes another interpretation of the term Terapantha is given by its followers. Terameans yours and pantha means path; in other words, it means,

“Oh! Lord Mahavira! it is Your path ( Panth )”.

HAI PRABHOO YEH TERA_PANTH

This practice of regulating the entire Pantha by one Acharya only has become a characteristic feature of the Terapantha and an example for emulation by other Panthas. It is noteworthy that all monks and nuns of the Terapantha scrupulously follow the orders of their Acharya, preach under his guidance and carry out all religious activities in accordance with his instructions. Further, the Terapantha regularly observes a remarkable festival known as Maryada Mahotasava. This distinctive festival is celebrated every year on the 7th day of the bright half of the month of Magha when all ascetics and lay disciples,

Sädhus (monks) and Sädhvis (nuns) are people who have voluntarily given up their household lives and worldly affairs and have accepted the five major vows to uplift their souls on the spiritual path. They strictly follow the rules laid down for them. Shrävaks and shrävikas, on the other hand, continue to lead worldly lives. They may observe in full or to a limited extent, twelve minor vows laid down for them.

Terapanth is  non-idolatrous and are very finely organized under the complete direction of one Acharya, that is, religious Supreme . In its history of little more than 200 years, the Terapantha had a succession of only 10 Acharyas from the founder Acharya Bhikkanaji as the First Acharya to the present  At present Acharya Mahaprajna is the supreme head . He is the Tenth Acharya of Terapanth religious sect comprising more than 850 monks , nuns, samans and samanis( a new rank between the ascetic and the lay – followers ) following critical codes of disciplines, and millions of followers all over the world.

Apart From founder Acharya Bikshu Swami & other Acharya’s , Acharya Jeetmal  popular name ” Jayacharya ”  ( the 4th Acharya ) &Gandipathi Acharya Shree Tulsi  (the ninth Acharya) was a missionary in the history of Terapanth. The were  a adorable torch – bearers of great spiritualistic tradition of India . People designated him a “lord of Humanity” His strenuous efforts are well known to the common people.

::- Tradition of Acharya -::

The head of religion sect is Acharya; current Acharya only nominates his successor in Terapanth. The various Acharayas of Terapanth are as follows.
1.   Acharya Shri Bhikhanji
2.   Acharya Shri Bharimalji
3.   Acharya Shri Rayachandji
4.   Acharya Shri Jeetmalji
5.   Acharya Shri Maghrajji
6.   Acharya Shri Manaklalji
7.   Acharya Shri Dalachandji
8.   Acharya Shri Kaluramji
9.   Acharya Shri Tulsiji
10. Acharya Shri Mahapragyaji
11. Acharya Shri  Mahashramanji

Tradition Of Sadhvi Pramukha

  1. Sadhvi Sardara ji
  2. Sadhvi Gulaba ji
  3. Sadhvi Navala ji
  4. Sadhvi Jetha ji
  5. Sadhvi Kankanwar ji
  6. Sadhvi Jhamaku ji
  7. Sadhvi Lada ji
  8. Sadhvi Kanakprabha ji (current head)

Terapanth is non-idolatrous, does not worship Mahavira and are very finely organized under the complete direction of one Acharya, that is, religious Supreme. In its history of little more than 200 years, the Terapantha had a succession of only 11 Acharyas from the founder Acharya Bhikanaji as the First Acharya to the present.

::- QUESTION-ANSWERS -::

Q. 1 : What is Jain Religion ?

Ans : The Religion preached by jins or Arihants in the Jain Religion.

Q. 2 : Who are called Jin ?

Ans : Those who have conquered attachment (Rage) and hatred (Dvesha) are called “Jin:;

Q.3 : Who first prorogated Jainism?

Ans : The first propagator of Jainism was Bhagwan Rishabh Deva.

Q 4 : Who was the last propagator of Jain religion?

Ans : Bhagwan Mahavira.

Q.5 : How many Tirthankaras are there in Jainism ?

Ans. : 24 Tirthankaras.

Q.6 : Which is the main epics of Jain Religion ?

Ans : Agamas.

Q7 : Who was the founder of Terapanth ?

Ans : Acharya Bhikshu.

Q.8 : Who are our deities ?

Ans. : Arhant Bhagwan Mahariv our deity.

Q. 9 : Who is our Guru ?

Ans. : Yugapradhan Acharya shree Mahapragya.

Q.10: Name our Religion.

Ans. : Jain Shwetambar Terapanth.

Q11: Who is our Yuvacharya ?

Ans : Yuvacharya Shree Mahasraman.

Q. 12 Who is our Mahasramani ?

Ans. : Sadhvi Pramukha Kanak Prabhaji

Q.13: Which moral movement was stated by Acharya shree Tulsi ?

Ans. : Anuvrat Movement.

Q.14 : Which technique of Meditation was started by Acharya Shree Mhapragya

Ans. : Preksha Dhyan

All Acharayas of Terapanth (All Dates according to the respective Acharyaships)

Acharya Bhikshu (1760-1803) Acharya Bharmal (1803-1821)
Acharya Raichand (1821-1851) Acharya Jeetmal (1851-1881)
Acharya Maghraj (1881-1892) Acharya Manaklal (1892-1897)
Acharya Dalchand (1897-1909) Acharya Kaluram (1909-1936)
Acharya Tulsi   (1936-1996) Acharya Mahaprajna  (1996-9th May 2010)
Acharya Shri Mahashraman (May 2010 – Till Date)
Presentley Sadhi Parmukha is : Mahasamani Sadhvi Kanak Prabhajee

At the time terapanth foundation there was only 13 monks and no nuns. In V.S. 1821 three women approach to Acharya Bikshu for Diksha and qualified. Since there was no nuns before and as per rules minimum three   nuns required to stay . In case one nuns change her mind how to face such situation. Hence Acharya bikshu asked all three women in case such think take place then remain two need to go for fasting till death known as Santhara – Salekhana. All three women taken diksha  V.S. 1821 and these are namely Sadhivi Kusalanjee , Sadhivi Matatujee, Sadhivi Ajabujee. Credit go to Sadhiv’s for 1st Women diksha after the 13 terapanth founder monks. Monks further added in V.S. 1822.

Sadhivi Kusalanjee was leader of remain two nuns as like Monk Thirpaljee was leader for 11 monks and all are under umbrella of Acharya Bikshu. From V.S. 1821 to Till Administration of Acharya Tulsee total 1597 women become true terapanthi nuns.

Table of becoming nuns in  each Acharya’s are as under.

Acharya Bhikshu (1760-1803) – 56 Nuns Acharya Bharmal  (1803-1821) -44 Nuns
Acharya Raichand (1821-1851) – 168 Nuns Acharya Jeetmal   (1851-1881) -224 Nuns
Acharya Maghraj (1881-1892) – 83 Nuns Acharya Manaklal  (1892-1897)-25 Nuns
Acharya Dalchand  (1897-1909)  -125 Nuns Acharya Kaluram  (1909-1936)-255 Nuns
Acharya Tulsi   (1936-1996) – 617 Nuns Acharya Mahapragya (1996-2010)-   Nuns
Acharya Mahashraman ( 2010 – Till Date)

Till the third Acharya Raichandjee there was no Custom for appointing a leader for the nuns. This responsibility were carried out by Acharya’s preferred nuns. Sadhvi Barjujee were looking this job during Acharya Bikshu administration, Sadhvi Hiranjee were during Acharya Bharimaljee , Sadhvi Dipanjee during Acharya Raichandjee.

4th Acharya Shree Jeetmaljee has set-up a custom for Leadership for nuns called as “Sadhvi Parmukha”. As nuns were increasing hence it was required to maintain deiscpline . The 1st Sadhvi Parmukha Sardarajee appointed by Acharya Shree Jeetmaljee in V. S. 1910. Then after  total seven Sadhvi Parmukha including present Parmukha Sadhvi Kanak Prbhajee. The table are as under.

Sadhvi Parmukha Sardaranjee V.S. 1910-1927 Sadhvi Parmukha Gulabajee V.S. 1927-1942
Sadhvi Parmukha Navlajee V.S. 1942 – 1954 Sadhvi Parmukha Jethanjee V.S. 1954 – 1981
Sadhvi Parmukha Kankuvarjee V.S. 1981 – 1993 Sadhvi Parmukha Jamkujee V.S. 1993 – 2003
Sadhvi Parmukha Ladanjee V.S. 2003 – 2027 Sadhvi Parmukha Kanakprbhajee V.S. 2028- till date

Guru Dev Tulsi who is now no more was magnanimous in life and glorious in death. He lives for ever in the hearts and minds of millions of people for whose mental, emotional, and spiritual upliftment he worked all through his life. He was borned in 1914 at Ladnun (a small town in Nagaur District of Rajasthan). Right from his early childhood he exhibited brilliant qualities of head and heart giving indications of his greatness to be and his spiritual inclinations.  He renounced the material world and became a recluse at the tender age of 11years and showed promise to this difficult path with remarkable dedication . He thus rose in the saintly order to the highest seat in Terapanthi order of saints .The young saint Tulsi surpassed all estimates being made about him by the keen observers of the society . This young talent through his dynamism and sense of purpose , captured the attention of his Guru Shri Kalugani who nominated him to be his successor and he actually succeeded to his seat at the young age of 22 years . He thus had the credit to be the youngest of the eight Acharya’s who preceded him.

Acharya Shri. Tulsi was a great visionary and conceived many innovative programmes and schemes to uplift the mental, moral and emotional status of his disciples and the entire population at large . He had the unique quality to translate his vision into actual practice . Rastrapita Mahatma Gandhi is the only other name which captures our imagination in this context . Acharya Tulsi showed great dynamism in conceiving and forth-rightly implementing the Anuvrat Movement for moral regeneration of the nation. The five principles of Anuvrat (brief resolves for leading an upright life) i.e. Satya, Ahimsa, Aparigraha, Achaurya and Brahmacharya became the five pillars of this movement for adoption in real life by individuals. This movement made a good headway through the teaching of his disciple saints , the foremost among them being Acharya Mahaprajna , the present head of the Terapanth sect This awakened the nation to a new moral code and cleansed the personal life of a large multitudes of the people giving them a sense of confidence and a direction for a purposeful upright living.

Gurudev Tulsi took up another gigantic task of editing the age old Jain ‘Agamas’- (shastras) which constitute the canonical literature of the Jain’s. In this trend he and his chosen disciples undertook research in depth on this ‘Shastras’ and discovered the ancient Jaina Technique of Meditation which he named as ‘Preksha dhyana’ This system of Jain Meditation was so well developed under his and Acharya Mahaprajna’s spiritual guidance that it completely revolutionised the Meditation techniques so far practised by the Jain Saints.

Besides controlling and administering a saintly order of nearly 800 monks,nuns, samans andsamanis. Acharya Tulsi was seriously absorbed in thinking about the future of the nation . His main concern in this regard was the education of our children and young men -the real citizen of tomorrow. After a deep probe into the contents and methodology of present day educational system Gurudev and Acharya Shri Mahaprajna discovered some serious loopholes which needed to be plugged to make it really effective and useful.

Acharya Shri.noticed that in the current system though it was advancing in technical and intellectual field but it cared little for the emotional development of the students. This lacuna leads to many evils in the society & proves an impediment in the balanced and harmonious development of a youth’s personality. Gurudev Tulsi along with Acharya Mahaprajna worked out a wonderful innovation of ‘JEEVAN VIGYAN’ (Science of Living) as his latest contribution to our educational system to engineer a balanced growth of mental and emotional faculties among the Youth.

A remarkable and historical event of Gurudev’s immaculate life history is his willing and voluntary abdication of his ‘Acharya Pad’ (headship of Terapanthi saintly order) in favour of  Acharya Shri Mahaprajna Ji. His is a landmark in Indian Saintly tradition unprecedented & unheard so far. This speaks Volumes of his ‘Tyag Vriti’ (non-attachment to mundane glory). The world will remember him for many many years to come.

Acharya Shri Bhikshu

Acharya Shri Bhikshu *
    Name : Acharya Shri Bhikshu
    Date of Birth : 01/07/1726
    Place of Birth : Kantaliya (Rajasthan)
    Initiation- Date : 03/11/1751
    Place : Bagdi (Rajasthan)
   Designated   Acharya
    Date : 23rd March 1760
    Place : Bagdi (Rajasthan)
    Name : Acharya Shri Bhikshu

 

Acharya Shree Bikshuji was the first of the ‘Terapanthi’ ascetic. The various beliefs and teachings of the religious orders of those times greatly influenced his thinking and he chose to follow the way of the search for truth and to understand it. He studied and analyzed the various disciplines of the Jain religion thoroughly and on this basis he compiled his own ideologies and principles of the Jain way of life. Based on the doctrines he propagated, A. S. Bikhshuji rigorously followed the principles and thus set an example for all to follow. He showed the way for a life of discipline, purity and self-control. It was this way of life that was demonstrated by A. S. Bikshuji which came to known as Terapanth.
Though gold is invaluable by itself it yet needs to be tested and molded by fire to win the admiration and appreciation of the masses. Similarly the life of A. S. Bikshuji was a prodigy of ups and downs that tested and molded him to become a supreme individual. While the first half of the life of A. S. Bikshuji relates to us how he faced ordeals and difficulties, the second half reveals (unfolds) the success and accomplishments. It is this narration of the life and times of A. S. Bikshuji which has been complied and presented in the Rajasthani language and serves as a fountain of knowledge of those traditions and times.
In ancient times A. S. Bikshuji has been referred to as ‘Bhikhanji’, ‘Bhikhamji’, ‘Bhikhu’ etc. His followers piously referred to the great monk as ‘Swamiji’. This biography of Swamiji has been presented here at www. terapanthonline.com/Bikshu. A.S. Bikshuji was a monk who was far ahead of his times. He rose above the present conditions of the society and strived to present and example to the people of all times of a life of discipline and truth. In pursuit of this objective he sacrificed material goals, honor and luxuries. By adhering strictly to the doctrines he laid down, he overcame the weaknesses of the body and human character and led the way of to a celestial life. He revolutionized the various principles which had become meaningless with the passing of time and gave conception and birth to these tenements. He visualized a systematic, well established and orderly religious sect and saw it taking shape through ‘Terapanth’. To organize and stabilize this religious order he propagated the ideology of one guru and brought to an end the concept of self discipleship. In this way his ideology of one Acharya, one principle, one thought and similar thinking became the ideal for other religious sects.
Swamiji was an ideal of tolerance, non-violence, generosity and equality and at every instance of his life he strived to stand against what was immoral and wrong in society fearlessly. The life of A. S. Bikhshuji sets out an example for human to follow of a life of the positive human traits. We hope that this presentation of the life of Swamiji will be an inspiration to all to lead a life of simplicity and self discipline.

 

Acharya Shri Bharimal

Acharya Shri Bharimal *
    Name : Acharya Shri Bharimal
    Date of Birth : 1747
    Place of Birth : Bada (Rajasthan)
    Initiation- Date : 1756
    Place : Mrugsar Bagor (Rajasthan)
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 30th August 1803
    Place : Siriyari (Rajasthan)
    Name : Acharya Shri Bharimal

 

 

ACHARYA SHRI BHARIMAL

Acharya Shri Bharimalji, the second Acharya of terapanth was born in vikram samvat 1803 in Muham village of mewada. He belonged to a lodha family of Oswals. His father and mother were known by Kishnoji and Dharini. He was consecrated in sthanakwasi. But at the age of ten by swamiji. He was a simple and straight forward of humble disportion, he always upheld the truth. He also parted his ways from sthanakwasi alongwith Acharya Bhikanji in view of their holding different opinions.

Muni Bharimalji was a hard stead fast working intellectual ascetic of very high order. He received his education and was consecrated by Swamiji. He showed his unique potentiality by committing to memory thousand of verses. He had deep interest in the study of scriptures. Often he used to reckon two thousand verses of Uttardhyana sutra in standing posture in one prahara during night hours completing the evening Pratikramana’. He was extremely admit in scriptural art. This littering work was beautiful almost all the scriptures written by swamiji were rewritten by him. These copies of his work are still considered as authentic work of swamiji. He used to consolidate whatever swamiji used to admonish either through his teaching which could be of in any form as essays, writeup or new guidelines. He wrote around five lakhs poems in his life time. Perhaps no one has hither to attempt so much of write up in Terapanth Sect.

Swamiji used to first apply all the new codes of conduct on Acharya Shri Bharimal with the result that all the other monks in the order used to take cue from him easily. Once, while applying an acid on Bharimalji Swamiji said If someone finds a fault you will have to undertake three days of continuous fasting . In reply Bharimalji replied I have to undergo this penance on the veracity of mistake or also if someone makes the false allegations against me . In reply Swamiji said You shall have to undergo the penance on any count. May it be a repentance of the mistake made or it may be taken on emergence of Karmas . Bharimalji gracefully accepted the solemn words of swamiji. He was contentious towards each and every code of conduct. Infact he never gave any chance to any one to pinpoint any fault in his entire life.

Muni Bharimalji was installed as Yuvacharya on the seventh day of Krishnapaksh 1832 Vikram Samvat and he became Acharya on the 13 th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrava vikram samvat 1860, he was extremely courageous and maintained poise at all times.

Once some of the opponents said to the then ruler of Udaipur that revered Bharimalji is against chanting and companion. He should not be allowed to live here for chaturmas otherwise the misery may befall on people. The ruler of Udaipur believed and ordered swamiji to leave the place, following the code of asceticism he left Udaipur and came to Rajanagara Shri Kesaraji Bhandari the then resident of that place on a opportunate time said to the ruler in confidence that My Lord you have turned a saint out of our city who does not even entertain to kill an ant is being driven out of Mevada. Not withstanding, you should bear in mind that nature would never pardon a person who troubles saints. Many unaccepted events have taken place in this region and then indication of nature’s wrath after saints have been driven out. The ruler took note of whatever was informed to him by Shri Kesharaji. Thereupon he repented on mistakes, he immediately wrote a letter to Bharimalji wherein he has repented for his folly. The ruler has at once decided to hand over a letter to Bharimalji wherein he has stated as Please have your mercy upon me & my public he prayed Bharimalji to return at once. In view of his old age Muni Bharimalji did not came back to Udaipur . The ruler thereupon sent a second messenger and prayed him to visit Udaipur . This time Bharimalji has sent his thirteen saints along with Muni Hemrajji, Raichandji, Muni Jeetmalji to Udaipur along with other saints.

There are numerous incidents in the life of Acharya Shri Bharimalji which reflect his grace. Thirty eight male and fortyfour female ascetics were consecrated into asceticism during his Acharyaship. He expired on the eight day of dark fortnight of Magha Vikram samvat 1878 after observing sagari fast of six prahars and chaovihara of three praharas.

 

 

Acharya Shri Raichand

Acharya Shri Raichand *
    Name : Acharya Shri Raichand
    Date of Birth : 1790
    Place of Birth : Badi Rawaliya (Rajasthan)
    Initiation- Date : 30th Mar 1801
    Place : Badi Rawaliya (Rajasthan)
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 16th January 1822
    Place : Rajnagar (Rajasthan)
    Name : Acharya Shri Raichand


ACHARYA SHRI RAI CHAND

Acharya Shri Raichand was the third Acharya of Terapanth Sect. He was born in Vikram Samvat 1847 in a village named Badaravalia in Udaipur division. His father’s name was Chantraji and mother’s name Kushalaji respectively. He got himself consecrated into asceticism, along with his mother, at the age of eleven years, on the full moon of chaitra Vikram Samvat 1857.
He acquired a fairly good knowledge of agamas within a short time he learnt by heart numerous verses of agams. He was expert in giving religious sermons. His voice was sweet and pitch rather high with and melodeous ascent. It is said that his voice could be heard in nearby village when he used to deliver his sermons.
Muni Shri Raichand was a most trusted disciple of Acharya Shri Bhikshu, unfortunately he could get Swamiji association only for three years. From Acharya Bharimalji also he could get equal trust. He emerged as a promising figure. This opinion was always sought and valued in the internal matters too. He was installed as Yuvacharya at Kelwa in Vikram Samvat 1878 of Vishakha. He was coroneted as Acharya on the ninth day of dark Lunar month of magh, Vikram Samvat 1878 at Rajnagar. This long station and brilliant personality was very influence, in his time. He was interested in undertaking long distance Journeys through the various parts of countries. He was the first Acharya to have visited Gujarat , Saurashtra and Kutch .
He was fearless personality, the way of convening others is worth appreciating. Once while traversing through Mewad some saints were going far ahead of him. Those days robbers was in prominence. Those who were going ahead were encountered with robbers on the horse back. The robbers inherited the saints to laydown all their belongings on the ground. Saints have replied that they have got only the necessary clothing’s & eatables. In the meantime one of the robbers tried to snatch the blanket of one of the ascetic. Thereupon , the ascetic spread the blanket and sat down on it. The dacoit came down of the horse and started pulling the blanket from beneath the saint. Rishiraj saw this from a distance and shouted is it that all of you have assembled here are or some one of you is a rajput. His voice has reverberated to a long distance The chief of the dacoit had rushed to the spot so also Rishiraj arrived at the spot. The Thakur wanted to know as why he needed a rajput.
Rishiraj replied we don’t require any rajput. I simply wanted to know if there is any Rajput, he would not have dared to loot a saint. The Thakur paid abissana to Rishiraj and accepted his misdeeds. He has also dispatched two of his colleagues to accompany the saints to avoid the reoccurrence of such events. Rishi Raj has served as Acharya for 30 years of his life. His Last Chaturmas was at Udaipur in Vikram Samvat 1908. He died due to respiratory trouble while he was out on nature’s call on the fourteenth day of dark lunar month of vikram samvat 1908. He has initiated a total of 77 males and 168 females ascetics during his tenure of Acharyaship.

 

Acharya Shri Jeetmal

Acharya Shri Jeetmal
    Name : Acharya Shri Jeetmal
    Original Name : Jayacharya
    Date of Birth : 29th September 1803
    Place of Birth : Royat (Rajasthan)
    Initiation- Date : 22nd January 1813
    Place : Jaipur (Rajasthan)
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 5th February 1852
    Place : Bidasar (Rajasthan)
    Name : Acharya Shri Jeetmal

 

ACHARYA SHRI JEETMAL

Acharya Shri Jeetmalji the fourth Acharya of the Terapanth Sect was a genius in the Jain tradition. In all his creative work he will end with his nick name Jaya. He was born on the fourteenth day of the bright Lunar month of asvin Vikram Samvat 1860 His father & mother were named Adinaji and Kalliji respectively. He was by subcaste Golcha Oswal. He decided to get himself initiated into the asceticism as an early of seven years.

He was consecrated on the seventh day of the dark lunar month of Vikram Samvat 1869 by Yuvacharya Raichandji under the orders of Acharya Bharimalji. At that time he was running in the tenth year of his age, his elder brother Swarupchandji swami too was consecrated on the ninth day of the bright Lunar month of posa in the same year. His mother Kaluji and the second elder brother Bhamarajaji were initiated just after one month of the initiation of Jayacharya, Thus his entire family became dedicated to Terapanth.

Jayacharya has received his early education under Muni Hemaraja ji. He was very fortunate to share a dip at the confluence of three sacred rivers namely the fountain of intellect in Bharimalji consecration by Rishiraj and Muni Hemaraja ji, who is renowned for the knowledge of Agamas.

Jayacharyaji was from the way beginning a stead fast ascetic and a brilliant saint. One of his opponents, seeing his intellect at his tender age of fourteen once for at least one hundred years. Rishiraj knowing the potentialities of Jayacharya he was installed as Yuvacharya in Vikram Samvat 1894, and later on he became Acharya of the Terapanth Sect on the full moon day in the month of Magha Vikram Samvat 1908.

During the Acharyaship of Jayacharyas Terapanth dharma Sangha was stepping in the second century of his existence. That was a period when we were undergoing a change. The setup of Terapanth required a reform Jayacharya introduced several new set of administrative reforms. Socialism is much talked about these days but Jayacharya had given a socialistic outlook to the sect a century ago by establishment the norm of equal distribution. He not only distributed the books, materials or labour equally but also divided the groups of male and female ascetics equitable. In those days the number of supporting monks & nuns were not equally distributed. Jayacharya has psychologically prepared each one to accept the new norms and gave a practical shape.

This setup in today’s language is called Jayacharyas revolution’. He set up new ambits for Sangh to prosperous and remain united. Acharya was not only an able administrator, constitutional authority a psychologist, he was a renowned literary figure. He was borne poet. He created a piece of Santagunamala just at the age of eleven years and translated a serious work i.e. Pannavana in Rajasthani Language at the age of nineteen, thereafter he created a fountain of literature. His entitled Bhagavati ki Jod a Rajasthani translation of the fifth part of bharati considered to be the voliminious piece of work in Rasthan literature. He has not only written the comments of agams in veds but has made numerous independent comments at various places on the basis of his experiences. He wrote on the various topics of philosophy, meditation, stanzas, grammer, law observance and talk of his experiences accompanying over three Lac verses.

A major part of Jayacharya’s literature was directed on the ideas of Acharya Bhikshu. He was totally dedicated to the philosophy of Acharya Bhikshu. He can be called a great exegeties of Acharya Bhikshu. He was absorbed so much so that philosophy of Acharya’s Bhikshu’s life that he began to be recognized as second Bhikshu.

Jayacharya was a veracious reader of scriptures. He had committed to memory thousands of verses of agamas he used to fully concentrate and devote his time in the studies of scriptures, meditation, reflections of self and service to literature. He was deeply conversant with agams so much so that he used to relate any topic with a large number of references from Agams.

Jayacharya’s had great personalities emboded several potentialities at the same time. He had served as Acharya for thirty years. During his period he provided a solid foundation to the tradition of Acharya Shri Bhikshu. He has initiated a total of 105 males and 224 females ascetics during his tenure of Acharyaship. On the twelth dark lunar month of Bhadrapada Vikram Samvat 1938 he attained to an auspicious death.

 

Acharya Shri Maghraj

Acharya Shri Maghraj *
    Name : Acharya Shri Maghraj
    Date of Birth : 12th April 1840
    Place of Birth : Bidasar (Rajasthan)
    Initiation- Date : 20th Nov 1851
    Place : Ladnun (Rajasthan)
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 26th August 1881
    Place : Jaipur (Rajasthan)
    Name : Acharya Shri Maghraj

 

 

ACHARYA SHRI MAGHRAJ

He was the fifth Acharya of Terapanth Sect. He was born on the eleventh day of bright lunar month of Chaitra Vikram Samvat 1897 in Bengani family of Bidasar. His father’s name was Puranmalji and mother’s name was Gulaba. Both the brother and sister were beautiful and intelligent. Those days, Yuvacharya Jeetmalji happened to have stayed at Bidasar for chaturmas . The seed of initiation into asceticism sprouted in the minds of mother, son and the sister. All the three were anxious to get consecrated simultaneously but Gulaba had not yet reached the prescribed age for initiation into asceticism. This became a hurdle and the mother had to pacify her passions-but the child Magharaja was in a haste to become a Muni. Any kind of delay was unbearable for him. He therefore got permission of his mother and presented himself before Yuvacharya Jeetmalji, he told about his anxiety and started learning the essentials of religion, Jayacharya realized within the child unprecedential ability of grasping on the twelth day of dark lunar month Vikram Samvat 1980 the child was consecrated by Yuvacharya Jeetmalji at Ladnun. Acharya Raichand ji at that time was staying at Rawalia in Mewad. Some one sneezed thrice at the time when news of Muni Magharaja ji consecration reached him. It was considered auspicious. He said at the time of first sneeze that the Muni shall be intelligent, at the time of the second sneeze said that this Muni shall wander as leader of the group and at the time of third sneeze he said this muni shall be the successor of Muni Jeetmalji.

Words of great men do not go as waste. The words uttered by Raichandji proved to be correct. He became a successor of Jayacharya ji. While in the auspicious company of Jayacharyaji Muni Maghraj ji made multifaced studies in development. He was born with the natural instincts of humblity forbearance, and fear from sins. He had an amazing devotion for his acharya and the acharya in turn had profoundly based on mutual devotion and affection towards him. This is a unique example of harmony between Guru and the disciple based on mutual devotion & affection.

Muni Shri Maghrajji was possessed of profound personality. He was an awakened, consentient steadfast ascetic. His memory was very sharp. He never forgot the scriptures once memorized. He was also dear and reliable of all the ascetics. Once a Muni made some mistakes. The matter was then referred to five arbitrators who were appointed by the Acharya. H4e said to Jayacharyaji that he did not expect justice in this case when the decision was ready to be delivered. Jayacharyaji asked as whom did he have faith and if he had faith in Maghrajji. The ascetic gave consent immediately. On the same day Maghrajji was appointed as head of the five arbitrators. Maghrajji was then only fourteen years at that time.

Considering his extraordinary ability Majjacharya stalled Muni Maghrajji his Yuvacharya in Vikram Samvat 1920. He was then twenty four. He remained Yuvacharya for eighteen years. He relieved his acharya of his work load by taking over the responsibilities of numerous important works of his Acharya. He became Acharya in Vikram Samvat 1938 after Jayacharya’s death. After the demise of Jayacharya he shouldered the responsibilities of Terapanth Sect in Jaipur. Amongst all the Acharya’s of Terapanth Sect, he was the most tender hearted. He never gave a strong reproach to any body. Even at some body’s error he used to say, I have to say when you make mistakes. His very polite attitude in disciplining of the sect was a unique experiment of non-violence. During his period he provided a solid foundation to the tradition of Acharya Shri Bhikshu. He has initiated a total of 36 males and 83 females ascetics during his tenure of Acharyaship. He died on the fifth of dark lunar month of chaitra 1948 in Sardarsahar.

 

 

Acharya Shri Manak Lal

Acharya Shri Manak Lal *
    Name : Acharya Shri Manak Lal
    Original Name : Manak Lal
    Date of Birth : 31st August 1855
    Place of Birth : Jaipur (Rajasthan)
    Initiation- Date : 20th March 1872
    Place : Ladnun (Rajasthan)
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 11th Mar 1893
    Place : Sardar Shahar (Rajasthan)

 

 

ACHARYA SHRI MANAK LAL

Acharya Shri Manak Lalji was the sixth Acharya of Terapanth. He was born on the fourth day of the dark lunar month of Bhadrapada of Vikram Samvat 1912 at Jaipur in a Jeweller s house. His gotra was kharada and subcaste srimala. His father’s name was Lichaman Das ji . He could not get his parents affections for long as they died while he was a young child. His father Lala Lichmanadasji brought up the child affectionately and embellished him with religious instructs. The child Manaka too was very polite towards his grand father and regards for him.

In 1928 Jayacharya was at Jaipur for his chaturmas. During the chaturmas child Manaka developed vairagya. The child had learnt tattvajnana. He was initiated into asceticism on the eleventh day of the bright lunar month of Phalguna of Vikram Samvat 1928 at Ladnun. He was then sixteen and a half years. Manakgani was very polite by nature. He had very sharp’s intellect and could grasp everything very quickly. He was enlightened with knowledge of agams within a few years of his consecration. He was made a leader of the group by Jayacharyaji just after three years of his consecration.

He has made a lot of progress in spiritual guidance of his life under Maghraj ji after the demise of Jayacharyaji. Acharya Shri Maghrajji installed him as his deputy on the second of the dark Lunar month of Chaitra of Vikram Sanvat 1949. He remained as Yuvacharya only for four days, He was throned as Acharya on the eighth of dark Lunar month of Chaitra Vikram Samvat 1949. He was fair skinned, tall, fragile and accomplished by loud and sweet voice. He preferred long journeys and was the first acharya to have visited Haryana. With a view to expand the sect, he spend most of his time at places where his predecessors had either not gone or visited rarely.

As his views were not clog mated and traditional a new enlightenment was expected in the sect but this could not provoke as services were available for long time. He breathed his last on the third of the lunar month of Kartika, Vikram Samvat 1945 at Sujangarh. He was then only of 42 years. As he dies at an early age he could not nominate his successor for Terapanth Sangha. When Acharya died there was no Yuvacharya nominated as this was a cause of concern. However, the sect set up of solidarity, because of exemplary record of Dalganji was elected unanimously as Acharya of the Terapanth Sect. He has initiated a total of 15 males and 25 females ascetics during his tenure of Acharyaship

 

 

Acharya Shri Dalchand

Acharya Shri Dalchand *
    Name : Acharya Shri Dalchand
    Date of Birth : 21st June 1852
    Place of Birth : Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
    Initiation- Date : 6th Sep 1866
    Place : Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 9th January 1898
    Place : Ladnun (Rajasthan)
    Name : Acharya Shri Dalchand
    Journey by Foot : Bela, Kutch areas

 

ACHARYA DALCHAND

Sri Dalchandji was seventh Acharya of Terapanth. He lost his father at very young age and his mother accepted sainthood when Sri Dalchandji was just 11 years old. He had developed much matured personality at such young age. After three years he also took sainthood under Munishri Hiralalji at Indore, MP, India. He has developed well rounded personality and became very effective speaker of his time. Due to his exceptional qualities, fourth Acharya Sri Jeetmalji appointed him as team leader (Aggrani) within seven years of his sainthood, at the age of just twenty one years. His well rounded personality, logical, straight thinking has made a place for himself in the Sangh. He fearless attitude helped to solve many challenging situation confronted Sangh. As a team leader, under Acharya’s guidance, he undertook padyatras in many areas like Bela, Kutch etc.

In Terapanth, Acharya is appointed by previous Acahrya only. But for the first time in the history of Terapanth, sixth Acharya achieved Nirvana at Sujangarh without appointing his successor. Also, at that point of time there was no process to deal with such situation. Whole Terapanth Samaj was challenged by such unexpected development. Leading Saints at Sujangarh got together and decided to call all Saints at Ladnun after Chaturmas to decide on next Acharya and made plans to manage the Sangh effectively till then. Seniormost saint Kaluji after completing wider consultation and assessing various situations announced the name of Dalchandji as seventh Acharya of Terapanth at Ladnun, Rajasthan, India.

He steered Terapanth Samaj as Acharya for approximately twelve years very effectively and took it o new heights. He had to face many challenges during his leadership.

His health deteriorated rapidly at Bidasar. He appointed Saint Kalugani as his successor. He achieved Nirvana at very young age of 59 years at Bidasar.

 

Acharya Shri Kalugani

Acharya Shri Kalugani *
    Name : Acharya Shri Kalugani
    Date of Birth : 15th February 1877
    Place of Birth : Chhapar (Rajasthan)
    Name of Parents : Sri Mulchand Chopra & Smt. Choga
    Initiation- Date : 20th September 1887
    Place : Bidasar (Rajasthan)
    Initiated by : Acharya Maghraj
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 29th September 1909
    Place : Ladnun (Rajasthan)
    Name : Acharya Shri Kaluram

ACHARYA SHRI KALUGANI

Sri Kalugani was eight Acharya of Terapanth. He was appointed by Acharya Dalchandji at Bidasar in V.S. 1966. He was born on Friday, 15 th February, 1877 at Chhapar, Rajasthan. His father’s name was Sri Mulchandji Chopra and mother’s name was Smt. Chogaji. At the time of Kalugani’s birth Jayacharya, fourth Acharya of Terapanth and Yuvacharya Maghraj was at Bidasar just twelve kilometer away from Chhapar. His birth was so auspicious that Shri Nagrajji Bengani of Bidasar got the premonition of arrival of great soul on the earth and announced during Acharya’s sermon that some one has born in near vicinity who will become very effective Acharya of Terapanth. At very young age of one year Sri Kalugani lost his father. This unexpected event changed the family forever. Whole family moved very close to Sangh. At the age of ten years Sri Kalugani along with mother Smt. Chogaji and his cousin Smt. Kankanwarji embraced sainthood from Acharya Maghraj, fifth Acharya of Terapanth, on Wednesday, 20 th September 1887 at Bidasar, Rajasthan.


Acharya Shri Tulsi

Acharya Shri Tulsi *
    Name : Acharya Shri Tulsi
    Date of Birth : 20th October 1914
    Place of Birth : Ladnun (Rajasthan)
    Name of Parents : Jhoomarmal, Vandana
    Initiation- Date : 5th December 1925
    Place : Ladnun (Rajasthan)
    Guru : Shri Kalugani
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 26th August 1936
    Place : Gangapur (Rajasthan)
    Name : Acharya Shri Tulsi
    Designated Yugpradhan
(Pradhan of the Era)
    Date : 2nd February 1971
    Place : Bidasar (Rajasthan)
    Name : Yugpradhan Acharya Shri Tulsi
    Journey by Foot : 62,000 miles
    Writings : more than 100 books

 

 

ACHARYA SHRI GANADHIPATI TULSI

Acharya Tulsiji’s passage of 84 years and 62,000 miles on foot, came to an end on 23rd June 1997. Acharya Tulsi was born in Sam. 1971 in Ladnun (Rajasthan), he became a monk in Sam.1982 and an Acharya of the Terapanth sect in Sam. 1993. He initiated more than 776 monks/nuns. He has been an accomplished poet, author of over a 100 books, as well as a distinguished religious leader.

He started his Anuvrata movement in Sam. 2005. He has been a proponent of Jain unity regardless of the sectarian differences. His message was not just for the jains but for the entire humanity. In Sam. 2037 he created a new rank of apprentice monks “samanas/ samanis” who are allowed to travel overseas. He created a “Jain Vishva Bharati” institute in Ladnun.

Dr. Radhakrishnan in his “Living with Purpose” included him in the world’s 15 great persons. He was given the title “Yuga-Pradhan” in a function officiated by President V.V. Giri in 1971.During his tenure he was greatly aided by Muni Nathmal, later called “Yuvacharya Mahaprajna”. Tulsi relinquished the leadership to Mahaprajna in 1995. Mahaprajna is the originator of “Preksha-Dhyana”.

Acharya Shree Tulsi expired ( Devlok ) on 23rd June’ 1997 at Gangasahar ( Rajasthan State ). Religious teacher and late ninth Acharya of Terapanth Swhetambar Jain and predecessor of Acharya Mahapragya. He initiated Anuvrat into Terapanth sect and introduced many other reforms together with now Acharya Mahapragya who was his proxy person for many years. They had a classical and very profound Indian Guru-disciple relation for sixty years.

 

 

Acharya Shri Mahapragya

Acharya Shri Mahapragya *
    Name : Acharya Shri Mahapragya
    Original Name : Nath Mal
    Date of Birth : 14th June 1920
    Place of Birth : Tamkor (Rajasthan)
    Name of Parents : Shri Tola Ram Choradia & Smt Balu
    Initiation- Date : 29th January 1931
    Place : Sardarshahar (Rajasthan)
    Name : Muni Nath Mal
    Initiated by : Acharya Shrimad Kalu Gani
    Guru : Acharya Shri Tulsi
    Designated Acharya
    Date : 5th February 1995
    Place : Delhi
    Name : Acharya Mahapragya
    Designated Yugpradhan
(Pradhan of the Era)
    Date : 19th September 1999
    Place : Delhi
    Name : Yugpradhan Acharya Shri Mahapragya.
    Anushasta : Jain Vishwa Bharathi Institute
    Journey by Foot : Above 1,00,000 km
    Writings : More than 150 books on various subjects.

 

 

Acharya Mahapragya


A man with Intuitive Sight and Effective Non-Voilent Actions, Striving for Universal and Amity. The Meaning of Mahaprajna (spoken: Mahapragya) is “Highly knowledgeable”. Acharya Mahapragyaji – often described as “A Living Legend” is not merely a person but also a purpose, not just a being but also a belief. He is that perception that cannot be bound by time or territory. Thought s churned out from the depths of his meditation are lasting and effective. He dispelled many myths about the religion and its rites and rituals. He said, “The religion which does not bring about a change in man s life, which does not impart peace to him, deserves to be thrown in the river Ganges rather than carried on as a burden on one s shoulders. Rituals or idol worship alone are not enough unless one s conduct also gets transformed. Unless one is righteous and honest, both to himself and others, and leads a value oriented life, he is not religious despite his proclamation”. He is an erudite scholar of Jain Agamas , a reputed critic of Indian and western philosophy, a coordinator of science and spiritualism and a sincere disciple of Acharya Tulsiji.His outstanding intelligence is a matter of surprise even for the intelligentsia. He is a treasure house of infinite knowledge . This is why he is popularly known as a mobile encyclopaedia . The eminent poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar used to designate him as the second Vivekananda of India . While adding lustre, prestige and glow to the Terapanth sect he has also served as a beacon of human mind engulfed in countless problems. His experiments on Preksha Dhyana (Perceptive meditation) and Jeevan Vigyan (Science of Living) have succeeded in bringing people of different religions sect or castes on one platform and to integrate the west with the east. Besides being a philosopher-thinker lost in philosophy he is also a sensitive poet. His verses both in Hindi and Sanskrit , reveal his subtle delicate feelings. As a poet , it is difficult to categorise him into a type. Is he a poet of torrential waves of ecstasy or renunciation , a singer of the nature s beauty or its monstrosity or of the man in clutches of machine, mechanization or machinations nobody can tell. Sambodhi, Ashruvina, Mukulam (in Sanskrit) and Rishabhayana (in Hindi) are some of the literary jewels contributed by him to the world of literature. This noble soul and great thinker was born in 1921 at Tamkor , a small village in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan (India) . At the tender age of 10 years he became a monk . Under the able guidance of Acharay Shree Tulsi , he got his education and proved himself as an ardent disciple. A study of History , Philosophy , Logic, Grammar etc. made the foundations of his knowledge strong and secure. He also made an in-depth study of Modern Physics and Bio-Ssciences, Ayurved ( Indian system of medicine) Politics, Economics, and Sociology with the modern trends of communism, socialism and capitalism. He became a leader of all the senior and talented saints of Jainism. On several occasions he was honored in recognition of his extraordinary scholarship and outstanding contribution in organizational affairs. At the age of 59 he was appointed the successor – designated by Acharya Shree Tulsi.


Epithetis And Awards

1. Nikaya Sachiva (Chief Secretary of Terapanth). Acharya Shri Tulsi nominated him (Muni Nath Mal) as the Nikaya Sachiva of Terapanth in 1965 at Hissar, (Haryana).

2. Mahaprajna ( A Great Seer). Acharya Shri Tulsi conferred on him the epithet of “Mahaprajna ” (A Great Seer) in recognition of his outstanding wisdom and erudition in 1978 at Gangasahar, (Rajasthan).

3. Nomination as ” Successor-designate”(Yuvacharya). Acharya Shri Tulsi nominated him (Muni Nath Mal) as his successor- designate (Yuvacharya) on 4th February 1979, at Rajaldesar, (Rajasthan) and changed his name to “Mahaprajna” .Then onwards he became known as “Yuvacharya Mahaprajna”


4. Jain-Yoga-Punruddharak (Resurrector of Jain Yoga). Acharya Shri Tulsi conferred on him the epithet of “Jain-Yoga- Punaruddharaka” in recognition of his unique researches in the field of Jain Meditation and Yoga.

 

 

Acharya Shri Mahashraman

Acharya Shri Mahashraman *
    Name : Acharya Shri Mahashraman
    Original Name : Mohan Dugar
    Date of Birth : 13 May 1962
    Place of Birth : Sardarsahar (Rajasthan)
    Initiation- Date : 5th May 1974
    Place : Sardarsahar (Rajasthan)
    Name : Muni Mudit
    Initiated by : Muni Shri Sumermalji (Ladnun)
    Guru : Acharya Shri Tulsi

 

 

ACHARYA MAHASHRAMAN


Glorious in Peace, Sharp in silence, humble in learning and speciality in simplicity is the brief introduction of 36 years old Yuvacharya Shree Mahashraman previously known as Mahashraman Muni Mudit. He possesses an extraordinary genius and minute insight and intuition. Extreme gentleness and complete dedication are the important features of his singular personality. Due to extraordinary characteristics Muni Mudit leaded many old monks in the Terapanth sect and became Mahashraman at the age of 28 years. He is like a gem with broad scientific and rational outlook. In 1997 at the age of 35 years he became the “Yuvacharya” successor designate to the present Acharya, the second highest position after the Acharya himself.

This noble soul and great thinker was borned in 1962 at Sardarsahar, a small town in Rajasthan. At the age of 12 years he became a monk. Under the able guidance of Acharya Tulsi and Acharya Shri Mahapragya, he got his education and proved himself as an ardent disciple. He possesses the qualities of a Scholar, writer, brilliant speaker, meditator and impressionable personality. He also guides the Youth wings of Terapanth morally and emotionally.

 


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