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Renowned Jain Monk Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj Passed Away At 77

Renowned Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj, aged 77, breathed his last on Sunday, February 18 at Chandragiri Teerth in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district. The revered spiritual leader undertook ‘sallekhna,’ a Jain religious practice involving voluntary fasting unto death for spiritual purification.

Sallekhna: A Jain Religious Practice

‘Sallekhna’ is a profound Jain practice wherein individuals voluntarily abstain from food and liquids, fasting unto death, as a means of spiritual purification. Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj observed ‘sallekhna’ for the last three days, culminating in his Samadhi at Chandragiri Teerth.

Early Life and Spiritual Journey

Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj was born on October 10, 1946, in Sadalga, Karnataka. His early life was marked by a profound inclination towards spirituality, setting the stage for his remarkable journey.

Initiation into Monastic Order

At the tender age of 22, in 1968, Acharya Shri Vidyasagar Maharaj embarked on a pivotal chapter of his life by receiving initiation into the revered order of Digambara monks. His spiritual journey was guided by the esteemed Acharya Gyansagar Ji Maharaj.

Attainment of Acharya Status

Within four years of his initiation, Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj attained the revered status of Acharya in 1972, a testament to his dedication, discipline, and spiritual prowess.

Mastery of Jain Scriptures and Languages

Throughout his lifetime, Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj delved deep into the study and practical application of Jain scriptures and philosophy. His mastery extended to languages such as Sanskrit, Prakrit, and others, enabling him to decipher and expound upon intricate spiritual concepts with clarity and depth.

Literary Contributions

Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj’s literary legacy remains an enduring testament to his profound spiritual insight and scholarly acumen. He authored numerous insightful commentaries, poems, and spiritual treatises, including seminal works like Niranjana Shataka, Bhavana Shataka, Parishah Jaya Shataka, Suniti Shataka, and Shramana Shataka. These works continue to inspire and enlighten spiritual seekers across generations.

Advocacy and Leadership

Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj emerged as a stalwart advocate for linguistic and judicial reform. He spearheaded campaigns aimed at promoting the usage of Hindi and advocated for its adoption as the official language in the justice delivery system across states, leaving an indelible mark on social and cultural spheres.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Condolences

On November 5 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Dongargarh and sought the blessings of Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj ahead of the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls. PM Modi expressed his condolences describing the monk’s demise as an “irreparable loss.” He praised Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj’s efforts for spiritual awakening, poverty alleviation, and contributions to health and education.

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