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Acharya Shri Vidyasagarji Maharaj (born 10 October 1946) is one of the best-known modern Digambara Jain Acharya (Digambar Jain Monk). He is recognized both for his scholarship and tapasya (austerity). He is known for his long hours in meditation. While he was born in Karnataka and took diksha (undertook spiritual discipline) in Rajasthan, he generally spends much of his time in the Bundelkhand region where he is credited with having brought about a revival in educational and religious activities.[1] He has written Haiku poems and the epic Hindi poem "Mukamati". His life is the subject of the 2018 documentary film Vidyoday released by Landmark Films.

Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108

Vidyasagar

Ji Maharaj
VIDHYADHAR
Acharya Vidyasagar, a prominent Digambara monk
Personal
Born
Vidyadhar

(1946-10-10) 10 October 1946 (age 72)
ReligionJainism
Parents
  • Mallappa (name after diksha-Mallinath ji) (father)
  • Shrimanti(name after diksha-Samaymati Ji) (mother)
SectDigambara
Notable work(s)Mukamati (silent soil)
Religious career
PredecessorAcharya Gyansagar
Initiation30 June 1968
Ajmer
by Acharya Gyansagar
Websitevidyasagar.guru

Contents

LifeEdit

Early LifeEdit

Vidyasagar was born on 10 October 1946 during the full moon festival (Sharad Purnima} in Sadalga, in the Belgaum district, of Karnataka.

His childhood name was Vidyadhar.[2] He was the second of four sons, the eldest son being Mahavira Ashtage.[3] As a child, he was fond of eating fresh butter which was used to make ghee (clarified butter).[4] He was not a demanding child and accepted what was given to him.[5] Vidyadhar used to visit temples and teach his younger siblings the principles of religion.[6] He called both younger sisters "Akka" (elder sister). He was attentive and was eager to undertake his studies. In his spare time he used to paint.[7]

InitiationEdit

He was initiated as a Digambara monk in 1968 at the age of 22 by Acharya Gyansagar, who belonged to the lineage of Acharya Shantisagar, at Ajmer.[8] His father Mallappa, his mother Shrimati, and two sisters took diksha and joined the sangha (community of the pious) of Acharya Dharmasagar.[9] Except for his eldest brother, his remaining brothers, Anantanath and Shantinath, followed him and were initiated by Acharya Vidyasagar as Muni Yogasagar and Muni Samaysagar respectively.[10] His elder brother married and continued the blood line.[11]

He was elevated to the Acharya status in 1972.[12] An Acharya does not eat salt, sugar, fruits, milk, in addition to what is traditionally prohibited (like onions). He goes out for a meal at about 9:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m. from Śrāvakas (lay votaries). He takes food once a day in the palm of his hand, one morsel at a time.[13]

In 1999, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee paid a visit to Acharya Ji during his visit to Gomatgiri Indore.[14]

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

Acharya Vidyasagar's Chaturmas (four month stay) in 2016 was in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh,[15] where he was accompanied by 38 munis.[16] He gave his Pravachana (reading) in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly by special invitation from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 28 July 2016.[17][18] In 2016, during a trip to Bhopal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited him.[19] He was also visited by former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from the opposing Congress Party.[20]

Congress State President Kamal Nath paid a visit to Acharya Ji during his visit to Jabalpur.[21][22]

Union Minister Uma Bharati paid a visit to Acharya Ji at the completion of 50 years of initiation at the Samyama Swarna Mahotsav festival.[23] During the Guru Purnima Celebration in 2018, Digvijay Singh receieved the blessings of Acharya Vidyasagar Ji in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh.[24] In 2018, American ambassador Kenneth Juster paid a visit to Acharya Vidyasagar Ji and assured him he would follow a full vegetarian diet for one day a week.[25] French Diplomat Alexandre Ziegler visited Khajuraho with his family in 2018 and felt "peaceful and blessed" after meeting Acharya Vidyasagar Ji. He vowed to become a vegetarian.[26]

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has declared the State Guest Honor to Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj. In this regard, the UP Government also issued a protocol.[27]

Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh Ji has taken the blessings of Acharya Vidyasagar Ji in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.[28]

WorksEdit

  • Acharya Vidyasagara is a scholar of Sanskrit and Prakrit and knows several languages including Hindi and Kannada.[29] He has written in languages such as Prakrit, Sanskrit, Hindi. His works include Niranjana Shataka, Bhavana Shataka, Parishah Jaya Shataka, Suniti Shataka and Shramana Shataka.[30]
  • He has composed nearly 700 haiku poems which are unpublished.[31][32] [33]
  • He wrote the Hindi epic poem "Mukamati".[12][34] This has been included in the syllabus of Hindi MA programmes at various institutions.[35] This has been translated into English by Lal Chandra Jain] and was presented to the President of India.[34][36][37] Several researchers have studied his works for masters and doctoral degrees.[34]


His traditionEdit

Acharya Vidyasagar belongs to the tradition established by Acharya Shantisagar.[38] Acharya Shantisagar initiated Acharya Virasagar, who was then succeeded by Acharya Shivsagar, Acharya Gyansagar[39]and finally Acharya Vidyasagar.

Some of his disciples are well-known scholars in their own right. As of 2001, about 21% of all the Digambar monks were under Acharya Vidyasagara.[40] Muni Sudhasagar and Muni Pramansagar are also his disciples.[41] One of his best known disciples, Muni Kshamasagar ji, obtained samadhi in 2015.[42]

Acharya Pushadantasagar, the guru of Tarun Sagar was initiated as a kshullak (junior monk) by Acharya Vidyasagar, although he took muni diksha from Acharya Vimal Sagar. Upadhyaya Guptisagar took muni diksha in 1982 from Acharya Vidyasagar although he later joined the sangha (community) of Acharya Vidyanand.[43]

Acharya Vidyasagar has been a source of inspiration to the people for founding institutions for their welfare at different locations.[12] Since the number of monks (munis) and nuns (āryikas) initiated and 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.[44] This insures that only a few monks or nuns are staying in one place.

His wanderings (Vihara)Edit

 
Acharya Vidyasagar leading his sangha during his vihara, passers-by kneel in reverence

As a traditional Digambara Jain monk, Acharya Vidyasagar never stays in a single location for more than a few days, except for the four months of the rainy season (Chaturmas). He never declares where he will be next, although people try to guess his next destination.[45][46] Since his initiation in 1968 he has had: seven Chaturmas in Rajasthan (1968–74), one in Uttar Pradesh (1974), seven in Madhya Pradesh (1976–1982), one in Bihar (1983), nine in Madhya Pradeshagain (1984–1992), two in Maharashtra (1993–94), one in Madhya Pradesh (1995), one in Gujarat (1996), 11 again in Madhya Pradesh (1997–2007), one again in Maharashtra (2008), eight again in Madhya Pradesh (2009–2016).[47]

The fiftieth anniversary of his diksha was celebrated in many cities in India with parades and festivities in July 2018.[48] On this occasion, commemorative columns (Swarna Kirti Stambha) were erected in Ajmer[49][50], Rewa,[51] Sravanbelgola and other locations.[52]

BiographyEdit

His disciple Muni Kshamasagar wrote his biography Ātmānveśhī (hi:आत्मान्वेषी) which was translated into English as In Quest of the Self and was published by Bhartiya Jnanpith.[53]

In popular cultureEdit

A documentary titled Vidyoday was released on 25 November 2018 by Landmark Films.[54] A trailer was also released. The film is directed by Vidhi Kasliwal.[55] Vidyoday had its first international screening at the Harrow Safari Cinema in London.[56]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Mishra, Neeraj (25 November 2002), "Aggressive movement to revive Jainism sweeps central India", India Today, archived from the original on 25 September 2018, retrieved 24 September 2018
  2. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 23, 35.
  3. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 34-35.
  4. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 37.
  5. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 40.
  6. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 41-42.
  7. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 42.
  8. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 28.
  9. ^ Gita Jain 1978, pp. 8-14.
  10. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 73.
  11. ^ "जब छिपकर विनोबा भावे को सुनने गए थे आचार्यश्री विद्यासागर", Patrika, 8 June 2016, archived from the original on 14 May 2018, retrieved 18 October 2016
  12. ^ a b c Natubhai Shah 1998, pp. 56–57.
  13. ^ "आचार्यश्री के आहारचर्या के लिए सजती हैं चौकियां, जानें किन चीजों को देख छोड़ देते हैं खाना, Patrika, 2016-06-05". Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Video : सन् 1999 में श्री अटल बिहारी वायपेयी जी ने गोम्मटगिरि इंदौर में आचार्यश्री के दर्शन किए थे". Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj | Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj Pravachan | Jain Religion In Hindi. Archived from the original on 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  15. ^ "आचार्य विद्यासागर महाराज के प्रोग्राम में चार महिला चोर गिरफ्तार, सात सोने की चैन जप्त", Nai Duniya, 27 July 2016, archived from the original on 28 July 2016, retrieved 31 July 2016
  16. ^ "Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj Sangh Parichaya book 2016.pdf". Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  17. ^ "देश के इतिहास को बनाए रखने के लिए पक्ष-विपक्ष साथ काम करें: आचार्यश्री", Rajasthan Patrika, 28 July 2016, archived from the original on 3 August 2016, retrieved 31 July 2016
  18. ^ "When Another Jain Monk Addressed A State Legislative Assembly And There Was No Controversy", The Huffington Post, 29 August 2016, archived from the original on 30 August 2016, retrieved 31 August 2016
  19. ^ Ranjan (14 October 2016), Why is Modi keen to meet Acharya Vidyasagar?, Bhopal, archived from the original on 17 October 2016, retrieved 17 October 2016
  20. ^ "Scindia makes up his mind to lead Congress in state, Sep 29, 2016". Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  21. ^ "खजुराहो में आचार्य विद्यासागर महाराज से आर्शीवाद लेने पहुंचे कमलनाथ, जबलपुर पहुंचे कांग्रेसजन news in hindi". palpalindia (in Hindi). Archived from the original on 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  22. ^ "प्रदेश कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष कमलनाथ करेंगे आचार्यश्री के दर्शन". Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj | Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj Pravachan | Jain Religion In Hindi. Archived from the original on 11 October 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  23. ^ "केंद्रीय मंत्री उमाभारती ने आचार्य विद्यासागर महाराज से खजुराहो में चातुर्मास करने का आग्रह किया". Dainik Bhaskar (in Hindi). Archived from the original on 4 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  24. ^ "दिग्विजय सिंह ने गुरुपूर्णिमा पर आचार्य विद्यासागर जी से लिया आशीर्वाद". www.patrika.com (in Hindi). Archived from the original on 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  25. ^ "आचार्य विद्यासागर से प्रभावित हुए अमेरिकी राजदूत जस्टर; कहा- हफ्ते में एक दिन रहूंगा शाकाहारी". Dainik Bhaskar (in Hindi). Archived from the original on 4 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  26. ^ "French diplomat vows to turn vegetarian after meeting Jain muni - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  27. ^ "आचार्य विद्यासागर जी महाराज को राजकीय अतिथि सम्मान, मुख्यमंत्री ने की घोषणा". www.patrika.com (in Hindi). Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  28. ^ Singh, Chowkidar Rajnath (21 April 2019). "मध्य प्रदेश के चुनावी दौरे की व्यस्तताओं के बीच मुझे आज जैन मुनि, आचार्यश्री विद्यासागरजी महाराज के दर्शन का सौभाग्य मिला। आचार्यश्री के चरणों में कोटिश: नमन!pic.twitter.com/j4c5wPTn4N". @rajnathsingh (in Hindi). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  29. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 26.
  30. ^ Ek Tapahput kavi ki kavya Sadhna, Asha Malaiya, Tirthankar, Nov-Dec 78, p. 21-24
  31. ^ "Haiku Poems by Acharya Vidyasagar Ji". Pinterest. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  32. ^ "हायकू". Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj | Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj Pravachan | Jain Religion In Hindi. Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
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  34. ^ a b c "Acharya Vidyasagar's book "Silent Earth" presented to President", Web India 123, 15 June 2011, archived from the original on 14 July 2014, retrieved 12 December 2012
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  36. ^ "Acharya Vidyasagar's Book "Silent Earth" Presented To President", jainworld.com, archived from the original on 16 March 2015, retrieved 10 March 2015
  37. ^ Vidyasagar 2010.
  38. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 51.
  39. ^ "इस संत के जीवत रहते स्टूडेंट कर रहे हैं इन पर PHD, जानें क्या है इनकी खूबी", Dainik Bhaskar, 17 October 2016, archived from the original on 28 October 2016, retrieved 28 October 2016
  40. ^ Flügel 2006, p. 356.
  41. ^ "Jain Muni Pramansagar ji Maharaj disciple of Acharya Vidyasagar ji", The Times of India, 27 October 2010, archived from the original on 13 April 2019, retrieved 12 December 2012
  42. ^ [वर्णीभवन मोराजी में मुनिश्री क्षमासागर महाराज का समाधिमरण, Patrika, 2015-03-13]
  43. ^ "The Invincible Ascetic Aacharya Shri Vidyasagar". मेरे गुरुवर... आचार्य श्री विद्यासागर जी महाराज. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  44. ^ "शिष्य गण – चातुर्मास 2009". Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
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  46. ^ "आचार्य विद्यासागर जी का ससंघ प्रवेश आज, Bhaskar News Network, Jul 15, 2016". Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
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  48. ^ Vidyasagar Maharaj showed us the right path, say Jain devotees, TNN Jun 29, 2017
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  50. ^ संयम स्वर्ण कीर्ति स्तम्भ : Amazing Architecture : Jain Temple In Ajmer, Rajasthan India, Jun 28, 2018
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  53. ^ Kshamasagar 2007, p. 4.
  54. ^ LandmarcFilms (22 September 2018), Vidyoday | Acharya Vidyasagar | Teaser 04 | Documentary | Landmarc Films, retrieved 1 November 2018
  55. ^ Vidyoday, retrieved 1 November 2018
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SourcesEdit

Further readingEdit

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

External linksEdit