Philosophy of soul and Karma: Every living being is a soul , existing in the world from infinite time, passing through the cycles of birth and death. It is bound by Karma (a fine form of matter) through its own action of passion - attachment and aversion. Soul itself is the master of its own fate, responsible for all its action - good or otherwise . Jainism does not accept creationism.
Freedom from passion leading to Emancipation: Soul in the worldly existence undergoes suffering caused by Karma. It also possesses the potentiality of attaining Emancipation. First by getting rid of passions (such as anger, pride, deceit, and greed ) and attaining omniscience through right knowledge, right faith, right conduct and right penance one can finally get emancipated.
Non-Violence and Non-possessiveness: The practice of religion consist in the renunciation of two deadly sins of humanity - the aggressive urge and the possessive urge - through Non- violence and Non- possessiveness respectively. The basic principles leading to this two are -
(1) all souls are equal to one’s own soul
(2) limitless desires and possessions vitiate one’s attitude and behavior.
Non-absolutism (Anekantvada): It asserts that infinite twin qualities of opposite nature such as, permanence and change , identity and difference exist in each and every substance. Therefore Truth is multifaceted . All statements contain relative truth. To comprehend the complete truth , one has to take into consideration the different aspects of a thing /even from different points of view.
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 Bhikanaji Maharaj. Swami Bhikanaji was formerly a Sthanakvasi saint and had initiation from his Guru, by name Acharya Raghunatha. Swami Bhikanaji 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 Bhikanaji laid stress on the 13 religious principles, namely,
(i) five Mahavratas (great vows),
(ii) five samitis (regulations)
(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. Tera means yours and pantha means path; in other words, it means,
"Oh! Lord Mahavira! it is Your path ( Panth )". हे प्रभू यह तेरापंथ
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 Bhikanaji as the First Acharya to the present At present Acharya Mahapragya 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 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.