15 May 2010

गुरू के विरह को सहना कठिन

सरदारशहर। श्रीसमवसरण में स्मृति सभा के दूसरे दिन बुधवार को आचार्य महाश्रमण ने कहा कि आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ के अधूरे कामों को पूरा करने के लिए अपने आप को तैयार करना ही उन्हे श्रद्धांजलि होगी। उन्होंने कहा कि तेरापंथ धर्मसंघ के सामने कठिन परिस्थितियां हैं। जहां गुरू शिष्य का आत्मिक संबंध होता है वहां समता न रख पाना कोई बडी बात नहीं है। गुरू के विरह को सहन करना कठिन होता है।

भगवान महावीर के निर्वाण होने पर गणधर गोतम भी विचलित हो गए थे। महाश्रमण ने कहा कि जितनी समता की साधना बढेगी उतनी ही वीतरागता नजदीक आएगी। आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ के पास बचपन से रहने वाले ज्येष्ठ मुनि सुमेरमल सुदर्शन ने कहा कि उनकी कृपा नहीं होती तो वे जीवन में आने वाले संघर्षों में कहां खो जाते कुछ पता नहीं। उन्होंने कहा कि आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ ने तेरापंथ के सभी आचार्यो के कीर्तिमान को स्थान दिया है।

मुनि महेन्द्र कुमार ने कहा कि आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ अमर थे, अमर हैं और अमर रहेंगे। मुनि किशनलाल ने श्रद्धांजलि व्यक्त की तथा मुनि श्रवण ने देश-विदेश के प्रतिष्ठित लोगों की ओर से भेजी गई संवेदनाओं का वाचन किया। मुनि योगेश कुमार, मुनि जितेन्द्र कुमार, बाल मुनि मृदुकुमार, साध्वी जिन प्रज्ञा, साध्वी पीयूष प्रभा, जैन विश्व भारती विश्वविद्यालय के कुलपति समणी डा. मंगल प्रज्ञा, समणी नियोजिका, समणी मधुरप्रज्ञा, समणी प्रतिभा प्रज्ञा ने भावांजलियां प्रस्तुत की।

14 May 2010

Acharya Mahapragya

Sun can feel proud of it self if it pierces the dense layer of clouds and provides light to the earth. An artist is satisfied if he engraves and creates a lively statue from a huge unshaped rock. Acharya Mahapragya was one such personality who was gifted with both the virtues. A difficult job is encouraging for those who are transparent towards their goal and their commitment to serve mankind is evident. Nourishment amid darkness is meaningful only if it has ability to converge into light. “Nathu” as he was called in his childhood encouraged himself and got the nourishment to become Mahatma “Mahapragya”. Acharya Mahapragya born to Tolaramji Choraria and Baludevi Choraria at Tamkore (a small village in Jhunjhunun district of Rajasthan, India) in Choraria family was famous for his simple undeveloped image. But once he was admitted to monk hood by Acharya Kalugani, the 8th Acharya of Terapanth Order, he began his steps of the long journey of about 80 years under able guidance of Acharya Shri Tulsi. His determination, devotion, effort, politeness, sense of gratitude and his journey around soul enabled him to make great contribution to the society and world at large by discovery of modern meditation techniques named – ‘Preksha Meditation’ and ‘Science of Living ‘ to teach people the art of living purposeful life.
His enlightened spirituality has offered great solution to the modern world problem of terrorism, nonviolence and economic imbalances. His philosophy of relative economics offers amazing solution to the modern economic recession and related problems. His way of presentation of the teachings of Lord Mahavira i.e. principles of truth, non-stealing, non-violence, practice of chastity and non possessiveness have made Lord Mahavira more meaningful in the present scenario.

He has in the young age of about 80 years commenced the Ahimsa Yatra and studied the root causes of violence and has been regularly preaching people to remove those evils to eradicate terrorism and violence from the earth. Besides the Study of the modern problems he never ignored the smallest unit of the institution named family. He always preached to develop Equanimity, amity, assurance, compassion, affection, tolerance, endurance, encouragement of others to have peaceful co existence. He was a world renowned philosopher, writer of hundreds of books and commentaries. Even though he did not complete formal primary education, he has created such literary works that many research scholars have completed their Phd. on his literature.

Being a member of the Choraria Family of Tamkore, I too feel proud of the contributions made by His Holiness. His glorified effort has made the tiny village of Tamkore more prominent on the World Map.

The news of his untimely demise came as a great shock to our family. We are deeply saddened. a large vacuum has been created. I pray for his spiritual journey abode. May his soul get liberation from the bondage of karma and attain Moksha soon. I pray for myself to apply his teachings and experiments for spiritual development of my own soul.
I bow with folded hands –


Acharya Mahapragya cremated Raj Sadosh

Sriganganagar/Abohar, May 10
Acharya Mahapragya, the 10th Acharya and supreme head of the Jain Swetambar Terapanth community was cremated today evening in Sardarshehar — the place where he gained monkhood and where he was staying for the past few days to conduct Chaturmaas.

Former President Abdul Kalam, who had co-authored a book with the Mahapragya, too turned up and said “I have come here for ‘antim darshan’ of the great saint and philosopher".
Special emissaries of President Pratibha Patil, AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi visited the town to deliver condolence messages. Modi was expected to attend the funeral procession but the programme was changed.
Baikunthi (procession carrying body of the deceased saint) was taken out from Shree Samvasaran complex where tens of thousands of devotees had made a beeline to have ‘antim darshan.’ People stood on both sides with folded hands, most of them bowing heads in reverence as the procession proceeded to the cremation ground through main roads of the historic town.
Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil said in his message, “The Acharya was a great sage and philosopher who gave a new direction to Anuvrat movement and spread the message of non-violence through his Ahimsa Yatra.”
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his cabinet colleagues and other prominent people, attended the funeral along with Rajasthan Pradesh Congress president and Central minister CP Joshi. “He was a guru to all, including followers of other communities,” said state home minister Shanti Dhariwal. Gehlot said, “The country has lost a great guru and a social reformer.” Former CM Vasundhara Raje and Rajasthan BJP president Arun Chaturvedi too condoled the demise.
Notably, late Indian President S Radhakrishnan had termed Acharya Mahapragya (then known as Muni Nathmal) as one of the two finest philosophers of modern India along with Swami Vivekananda. Acharya Mahapragya is credited with the formulation of the ‘preksha’ meditation system in 1970s. He was also the supreme head of Jain Vishva Bharati University and played a key role in its establishment. He also took forward the Anuvrat movement launched by Acharya Tulsi.
- Lalit Garg

A brilliant mind – a beloved teacher — Sudhamahi Regunathan—

It is a struggle to find the right words to describe Acharya Mahaprajna. Either idolatry adjectives describe him best, like ‘the greatest saint’, “an apostle of peace”, ‘a supermind’ and so on. Or they fall wide off the mark and are tame semblances to the perfect picture. Acharya Mahaprajna referred to himself as an ascetic or a student of philosophy. So be it.

On Sunday the 9th of May 2010, Acharya Mahaprajna, the tenth spiritual head of the Terapanth Jain community left his bodily abode. The world lost a brilliant mind and the most twinkling pairs of eyes of his generation. Many people lost their precious teacher. He was ninety.

Nathmal, as his parents had named him, was the only son of businessman Tolaram and his wife Baluji. He was born on 14 th June 1920 in the village of Tamkor , Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan. Even as Nathmal was playing with his friends, a sage passing through the village prophesied that this young boy would one day be a leader among men.

The little boy adjusted his pride possession, the gold watch and ran home, unaware of importance of what the saint had said. A few years later destiny saw Nathmal initiated into monk hood on 18th February 1930.

In today’s world of wondering and whimsical morals, Acharya Mahaprajna’s challenge was to be still relevant as a custodian of high principles and purity of heart. If he was equal to it, it was not just because of his erudition but also because of his alert mind which was in step with the ever-changing world with clarity and curiosity, not to mention humour.

Acharya Mahaprajna combined in his detachment, the best of enlightenment with an almost naive romanticism. And yet as a leader of a community he could take all kinds of people in his stride.

While Acharyaji practiced a religion that is seen as severe and dry ...he was anything but that. A sensitive writer, he wrote in every genre ranging from poetry to philosophy imbuing his writings with a sensitivity that was polished and subtle. Using his strength of self restraint like a musician uses a moment’s pause in his choreography Acharyaji wove layers of meaning into his writings.

Acharya Mahaprajna wrote in Hindi, Sanskrit and Prakrit. Elegance and logic are central to his writing be it in their clarity of thought, choosing the right word, not to mention writing with an element of suggestion and not with aggressive assertiveness.

Nonviolence was his religion. He saw it as the only solution to the problems of today and has written many books explaining its role in creating a peaceful society. He has also unfurled the idea of nonviolence in many aspects: as the other name for diplomacy, as respect for fellow beings and so on.

Walking across the length and breadth of the country became Acharya Mahaprajna’s method of seeking the truth. His interaction with people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs made him further develop the Jaina philosophical principle of anekanta which says everything is relative; even truth. Extending this idea as his basis for peaceful co-existence, this social artist - a communicator; a private, often enigmatic person was nonetheless keen to be widely and clearly understood, so as to draw more and more people towards a harmonious way of life.

Acharya Mahaprajna’s urge to communicate was not born of self aggrandizement for it spun far beyond his writings. He developed a system of meditation to nurture and protect the spirit of human kind. The problem of the present generation which would be bequeathed to the future, Acharya Mahaprajna said would be one of emotional imbalances. To keep control over emotions was a contemporary interpretation of the Jaina dictum for detachment. How to manage life and your mind without needing to become an ascetic?

In answer to this question he developed a system of meditation called Preksha dhyan which though eventually led you to moral edification, ans could in shorter spells calm the mind to attend to day to day matters without stress.

That which makes a lasting impact on everyone’s mind after a meeting with Acharya Mahaprajna is his affability. He was deeply revered and respected by not just the disciples in his fold and community members but also by intellectuals and influential people from all over the country. Under his patronage, urged by Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, former President of India, Acharya Mahaprajna founded an organization for unity of religions and enlightened citizenship. The spiritual leaders from nine different religions who came together on the occasion had no hesitation in accepting Acharya Mahaprajna’s leadership.

When someone precious and deeply revered is no more, the happiest memories get recollected with regret bordering on sorrow. With Acharyaji there is a compulsive urge to fight such an expression. He gave so much so many people; he touched so many lives that one must be resolute, as perhaps he would have too, on treasure his influence beyond mourning.

So Acharya Mahaprajna lives on in many ways: first and foremost in the memories he leaves for those lucky enough to have known him or heard him speak, secondly in the system of meditation, preksha dhyan and thirdly in one of the most impressive and important bodies of work on philosophy and Jainism.

Lalit Garg

10 May 2010

आचार्य महाश्रमण उनके अगले उत्तराधिकारी

सरदारशहर(चूरू.) आचार्य महाश्रमण उनके अगले उत्तराधिकारी होंगे। उन्होंने अपने संदेश में कहा है कि तेरापंथ का दशम सूर्य अदृश्य हो गया। गुरुदेव का हम सब पर महान उपकार है। अब हम उनकी स्मृति कर सकते हैं, कृतज्ञता का भाव प्रकट कर सकते हैं। महाश्रमण ने कहा कि गुरुदेव ने मानव जाति, जैन शासन और तेरापंथ धर्मसंघ की महान सेवा की ।
मैं मेरे धर्मसंघ के सभी साधु-साध्वियों और समण श्रेणी की चित्त-समाधि के लिए प्रत्यन करता रहूंगा, यह मेरा संकल्प है। तेरापंथ धर्मसंघ के श्रावक समाज को भी आध्यात्मिक पोषण प्रदान करते रहने का संकल्प करता हूं। इसके अतिरिक्त जैन शासन और मानव जाति की यथासंभव और यथोचित सेवा करने का संकल्प करता हूं। इस कठिन परिस्थिति में हम सब मनोबल रखने का प्रयास करें और धर्मशासन की प्रभावना का प्रयास करते रहें।


Stand on religion

Mahapragya says
"The religion which does not bring about a change in a man’s life, which does not impart peace to him, deserves to be thrown into the river Ganges rather than carried on as burden on one’s shoulders. Rituals or idol worship alone are not enough unless one’s conduct also gets transformed. Religion is not confined only to temples, mosques or churches, but extends to the man’s day-to-day living as well."[50]
"I believe in that religion which has moral values at its foundation and spirituality at its peak. I don't believe in that religion that doesn't have moral values and spirituality. I accepted that religion which made me physically, mentally, emotionally healthy. Religion is beyond rituals. Religion has the ability to solve our problems if you believe in pure religion."[51]
Rashtrakavi (National poet) Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar said “Mahapragya is a Modern Vivekananda. We have not seen Vivekananda, only heard and read about him. But now we can see Vivekananda through his Vision”[36].
Ex Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has often said in mass meetings “I am a lover of Mahapragya’s literature”. The Eminent Scholar of Philosophy, Dr. Daya Krishna has recognized Acharya Shri Mahapragya as the most knowledgeable person on the subject of Jain Logic.
The famous Bangla writer Shri Bimal Mitra used to say, “I find new truth in Mahapragya’s work. When I read his books, I feel as if I write for the masses and he writes for me. If only I could have met him in the initial stages of my career, my literature would have had a new path to follow”.
Dr. A.L. Bashim says "While meeting Acharya Mahapragya, one gets the thrill of meeting the ‘Spiritual Ideal’ or the ‘Wonder that India was’".

Awards and Honours
  • Mother Teresa National award of peace by Inter faith Harmony foundation of India in 2005
  • Communal harmony award i.e. Sampradayika Sadbhavana Puraskar by Govt. of India in 2004[52]
  • Ambassador of Peace (London) by Inter Religions and international federation in 2003
  • Lokmaharshi by New Mumbai Municipal corporation in 2003
  • Indira Gandhi National Integration award in 2002
  • D.Litt by Netherland Inter Cultural Open University in 1999
Acharya Mahapragya died on 9th May 2010 at 2:52 PM in Sardar Sahar, the place where he gained monkhood


Acharya Mahapragya Ji's Writing

Mahapragya started writing when he was 22 and since then has never stopped[45]. Mahapragya has written more than two hundred books in Hindi, Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Rajasthani languages. Contents include intense and in-depth treatments of meditations, mind, human psyche and its traits, root of emotions, manifestation of emotions through human behaviour, Mantra saadhana, Yog saadhna, Anekaant, Non violence, and Jain history.

In his book Art of Thinking Positive, he explores the root causes of negative thoughts, and provided methodology towards its transformation[46]. Other book titles include Towards Inner Harmony, I and Mine, Mind beyond Mind, Mysteries of Mind, New Man New World, Mirror of Self. He has provided a great detailed analysis on hidden causes of the emotions, functioning of human psyche, manifestation of psyche through one's behaviour.

He also wrote many books on Preksha Meditation. In these books he as described various techniques of meditations and their effects, human psyche, human physiology, hormonal influences, endocrine system, nervous system[47].

He has done extensive work on Anekaantvad - the philosophy of nonabsolutism. He himself is a great follower of this philosophy propounded by Lord Mahaveer and affirms that there is no problem that can't be resolved with the application of Anekaantvad. He has explained how can it be useful in our daily life. He has shown the ways how one can improve his thought process towards Anekaant and use it for a peaceful life and co-existence[48]. His book Anekanta The Third Eye discusses the details of the philosophy.

His writings on economics provide a detail model of economic structure which works for the benefit of each and every individual. He has given vision for a peaceful society free from evils. He has suggested conduct for people to lead a happy individual as well as a social life.

He has written many big books on Jain Philosophy providing a serious material on Jain beliefs and vision. Jain darshan: manan and mimaansha is one of those important creation and a research work in which he has brought out numerous deep facets of Jain belief system with detail interpretation. Another precise work is Philosophical Foundations Of Jainism. Shraman Mahaveer is biographical work on Mahaveer. Mahapragya has tried to depict Mahaveer through his experience and achievements in meditation. Sambodhi is a rhymic conservation between Lord Mahaveer and the prince-monk Megha Kumar, in which Mahaveer enlightens the later. Mahapragya has extensively written on lives and philosophies of Acharya Bhiksu and Acharya Tulsi

Mahapragya has made great contribution to Sanskrit through his poetry. Has also written poems and bhajans in Hindi. Ashruvina, Mukulam in Sanskrit and Rishabhayana in Hindi are some of his poetic creations.

Acharya Mahapragya writes in with great clarity. His sentences are short and his style direct. He only suggests, he never forces his view. He may assert his belief, but his language is conscious of relativity even in expression. He often resorts to passive voice. Between one full stop and the next sentence, a kingdom can be built. [49]


Acharya Mahapragya Spiritual Practices


Mahapragya himself is a great practitioner of meditation, spirituality, Mantras, Anekaant, and nonviolence. He has written extensively on these topics. He is practicing meditation since his twenties. He also has high regards for Mantra chanting (recitation of special letters and words) and practice it daily. He says from his experiences that Mantra can help people in awaking his hidden powers.

Mahapragya observes silence (Mauna) for more than three hours during the evening hours.

Disciplines of Monkhood

Mahapragya took five major vows as a part of initiation to monkhood at the age of ten. These Mahavrata are Non-violence (Ahimsa), Truth (Satya), Non-stealing (Asteya), Chastity/Celibacy (Brahmacharya), and Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha). As a Jain Muni (monk), he has to travel only on foot and can't use vehicle unless and until he is incapable of walking. He does not eat after sunset and before sunrise. He does not cook food but has to go out for alms. He accepts only vegetarian food. He does not own a house. He cannot stay in a single place for long periods. He constantly has to change places and can only move in to a house with the owner's permission.


Ahimsa Yatra (2001 - 2009)

Worldwide terrorist attacks, communal and ethnic clashes, conflicts arising from globalization, poverty, exploitation and the increasing lust for power and wealth among people have made social life insecure and vulnerable. This pathetic situation touched Acharya Mahapragya deeply[36]. In response, he came up with the solution of Ahimsa Yatra, a journey on foot to advance the cause of non violence, was launched by Mahapragya 5 December 2001 at Sujangarh in Rajasthan[36]. With Ahimsa Yatra, Acharyaji's mission is to train and spread nonviolence and its broad perspective to people. It is an endeavor to awaken a new faith in the infinite power of nonviolence. It aims at bringing the problems of all forms of violence into sharp focus[37]. Its mission is to provide training for transforming the negative thoughts/emotions into positive direction. The spiritual aspect of non-violence training is to ignite the consciousness of non-violence and to cultivate the values of non-violence. And its practical aspect is the employment training for livelihood[38].
They eschewed violence and pledged to refrain from killing innocent creatures. Political leaders, social workers and spiritual leaders came to him for advice[39]. He took his Yatra from Gujarat to Maharashtra, Daman, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, some parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh[40]. He passed through 87 districts of the country, and covered more than 2400 villages, towns and cities, where he held meetings with many spiritual and political leaders and appealed for communal harmony. 40,000 voluntary hands were associated with the various responsibilities in their local areas.
This Yatra allowed him to come in direct contact with farmers, common and poor people of villages. He stopped at the every small villages that came on route and held open mass meeting. Through this public speaking, Acharyaji created awareness on the broad perspective of nonviolence, unemployment eradication, leading a life free from drug addiction, bad habits, communal harmony, living healthy and harmonious social and personal life. Side by side volunteers spread into different directions and establish personal contact with the families afflicted with drug addictions, unemployment and stressful life. They stay behind and solve their problems. Verily the villages and towns trekked by the Acharya become centres of training in ahimsa.
The Yatra concluded 4 January 2009 at Sujangarh, the same place where it started[41].


President of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's vision for a fully developed beautiful India with prosperous and harmonious life for its citizens, especially the youth, motivated enlightened spiritual and religious leaders who organized a Conclave under the aegis of Acharya Mahapragya at Surat on 15th October 2003, also the birthday of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam[42]. The Action Plan discussed during the Conclave was documented and is known as 'Surat Spiritual Declaration' (SSD).

The SSD Action Plan envisages Five Garland Projects. The emphasis of four projects was on celebration of inter religious festivals, multi religious projects, healthcare and employment, imbibing value based education in schools and encouraging interfaith dialogue among religious/spiritual heads[43]. In order to pursue these in sustained manner and to coordinate all activities, a national level independent and autonomous organization managed by religious/ spiritual leaders as well as scholars and Enlightened Citizens was set up. This organization was named "Foundation for Unity of Religious and Enlightened Citizenship' (FUREC). FUREC was launched by the President Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam on the birthday of Acharya Mahaprajna, the 15th June 2004 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi[44].

FUREC combines the objectives of the Surat Spiritual Declaration and President Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's Vision 2020 and is a Non-profit organization set up by 15 spiritual leaders


Successor-designate to Acharya Tulsi

Acharya Tulsi impressed with Muni Nathmal's (later Mahapragya) vision, intellect and genius honored him with the qualitative epithet of Mahapragya (highly knowledged) on 12th November 1978[30]. On 4th February 1979, his appellation ‘Mahapragya’ was converted into his new name by Acharya Tulsi and he was also made ‘Yuvacharya’, successor designate to the present Acharya[31], the second highest position after the Acharya himself. With this event, he was now referred as Yuvacharya Mahapragya. As a Yuvacharya , Mahapragya became a close associate of Acharya Tulsi in all the major decisions and activities related to the sect.
In a mammoth public meeting on 18th February 1994, Acharya Tulsi declared that Mahapragya would now have the title of ‘Acharya’ also and that the former was renouncing this position forthwith. Subsequently, on 5th February 1995, Mahapragya was formally consecrated as the 10th Acharya – the supreme head – of Terapanth religious order in a big public meeting in Delhi[32]. Mahapragya having taken over the reins of Terapanth, is now endowed with many responsibilities. Further intensification of the movements of Anuvrat, Preksha dhyan and Jeevan Vigyan now became his primary concern. A Vikash Parishad – development council – has been constituted by Mahapragya to give further fillip to all these movements and underline their importance[33]. The forum of Terapanth is now actively involved in propagating these movements.

Jain Vishva Bharati UniversityJain Vishva Bharati University

Acharya Mahapragya is the mastermind behind the conception of Jain Vishva Bharati University, Ladnun, Rajasthan. It was established under the spiritual patronage of Acharya Tulsi in 1991[34]. Acharya Mahapragya is the Anushashta of this deemed University since 1995. The Anushasta is a statutory post of the Institute, empowered to discipline the Institute spiritually and morally. University's objective is to revive truths and values hidden in the ancient Indian traditions in general and in the Jain tradition in particular. It provides platforms and infrastructures for doing the research in various subjects and pursuing for Doctorate Degrees. One of the prime objectives of this University is to spread the literacy in subjects like Non-Violence and Peace, Jainology, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Yoga, Meditation, Literature, etc. Regular Degree Courses leading to Bachelors and Masters Degrees are being conducted[35].


Agam research and editing

Acharya Tulsi after consulting Mahapragya decided to start research, translation and annotation of the Jain Agamas[19]. The work started in 1955 in Ujjain under the leadership of Acharya Tulsi with Mahapragya being the editorial director[20]. Joint activity of Acharya Tulsi, Mahapragya and other intellectual monk and nuns began to facilitate the permanent preservation of many thousand years old canonical scriptures and embellished them with a scientific outlook acceptable to the people. Mahapragya edited and critically annotated the agamas. This old literature is in Prakrit language and its commentaries are either available in Prakrit or Prakrit mixed with Sanskrit[21]. Mahapragya first undertook their deep, sustained study and started editing them and provided their new meanings and interpretations. Through strenuous work day and night for many years continuously, the original text of the thirty-two Agam scriptures was determined and their Hindi translation also completed[22]. Detailed commentaries thereon made them more interesting and comprehensible. This task carried out in accordance with the verbal renderings by Acharya Tulsi was guided by an entirely non-sectarian and open mind and is therefore viewed with respect by the heads of other sects as well as intellectual and oriental scholars of the East and the West. Acharang Bhasyam is Mahapragya's commentary for Acharang in sanskrit. He uncovered many Agam mysteries, presented root philosophies and Mahavir's philosophy and vision in this commentary[23].

Anuvrat movement Spiritual endeavor (1945 - 1978)

Mahapragya played an instrumental role in the Anuvrat movement launched 2 March 1949 by his guru and then head of Jain Shwetambra Terapanth, Acharya Tulsi. The ultimate aim of the movement was and remains to create a nonviolent socio-political world order with the help of a worldwide network of self-transformed people. Since its inception it has inspired millions of people to practice purity and self-discipline in personal life[16]. Mahapragya helped Acharya Tulsi in the preparation of the contents of Anuvrat and worked as a core member in the movement, many times playing the role of Acharya Tulsi's representative in explaining the principles of Anuvrat to society[17].
Acharya Shri Tulsi nominated Muni Nathmal as the Secretary (Nikaya Sachiv) of Terapanth in 1965 at Hissar Harayana after being Group leader (Agraganya) for almost 21 years[18].

Acharya Mahapragya Early life

Mahapragya(14 June 1920-09 May 2010)was born to Tola Ram Choraria and Baluji in the small village of Tamkor in the Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan[6]. It was a Jain Shwetambar Terapanthi family. He was called Nathmal by his family. He lost his father when he was just two and half months old[7]. It was a joint family and the child had support from all the family members. Nathmal's mother was very affectionate for the child and took utmost care in the upbringing[8]. There was no formal school in Tamkor village in those days and he didn't get any formal education. Nathmal took some lessons on letters and mathematics tables from local teacher[9]. Mahapragya's mother was a religious lady. She preferred to devote all spare time in spiritual exertion. She also used to recite religious songs which made imprints on young child's heart. Her indulgence towards spirituality inspired the young child[10].
The family and child Nathmal used to be in regular touch with Jain monks. He got lessons on Jain philosophy from monks who visited the village. Regular contact with monks nourished the spiritual seed in the child. Nathmal then conveyed his wishes of getting initiated into monkhood to his mother[11]. On 29 January 1931, he became a monk at the age of ten. Acharya Kalugani, eighth Acharya of Jain Swetambar Terapanth, initiated Nathmal to monkhood in the town of Sardarsahar (Rajasthan). With this, Nathmal became Muni Nathmal[12]. Acharya Kalugani arranged for Muni Nathmal's studies under Muni Tulsi's classes, who later became Ninth Acharya. Nathmal started getting lessons in the monastery on various subjects of Jain philosophy[13].
Nathmal had a great learning capacity and a good memory. With Muni Tulsi, the child’s intellectual development got accelerated and he memorised thousands of sermons and verses in Hindi, Sanskrit, Prakrit and Rajasthani. His education at the monastery included history, philosophy, logic, grammar[14]. He made an in-depth study of Jain scriptures became a scholar of Jain Agamas and a critic of Indian and western philosophy. By age 22, he was competent in Hindi, Sanskrit, Prakrit and Rajasthani languages and literature. In Sanskrit, he is also an expert impromptu or extempore poet and has demonstrated this skill in many gatherings of intellectuals. Thrust for knowledge made him also study physics, biology, ayurved, politics, economics, and sociology[15].

Acharya Mahapragya

Acharya Shri Mahapragya (14 June 1920 - 9 May 2010) was the tenth Acharya, supreme head of Jain Swetembar Terapanth group.[1] He promotes nonviolence and leads the Ahimsa Yatra movement.[2][3] Followers refer to him as Gurudev, the Godly Teacher. He has traversed more than 100,000 km on foot covering more than 10,000 villages reaching out to the masses spreading the message of harmony and peace. Walked across the length and breadth of India From Kachchh in Gujarat to Kolkata and from Punjab to Kanyakumari, Mahapragya undertook travel on foot earlier under the leadership of Acharya Tulsi and later himself being the leader. During these travels, he addressed thousands of public meetings.
Acharya Mahapragya formulated Preksha meditation system in 1970s[4].
He is the supreme head of Jain Vishva Bharati University and also played a key role in its establishment[5]. The University draws its spiritual strength and direction from Acharya Mahaprajna,who is above any sectarian bias. Anuvrat movement is also functioning under his leadership.
His discourses are telecast daily on Indian television.

09 May 2010

आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ ने देह त्यागी

जैन समाज के ख्यात संत आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ का रविवार को राजस्थान के चुरु शहर के सरदार शहर में दोपहर 2.52 बजे निधन हो गया। वे इनदिनों में चातुर्मास पर थे। आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ ने दोपहर दो बजे तक श्रद्वालुओं को दर्शन दिया। उसके बाद अचानक उनकी तबीयत बिगड़ गई। डॉक्टरों को बुलाया गया, लेकिन उन्होंने शरीर त्याग दिया। उनके निधन की खबर से देश-विदेश में शोक की लहर दौड़ गई है।

जन्म : आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ का जन्म विक्रम संवत 1977 (1920) में आषाढ़ कृष्ण त्रयोदशी को राजस्थान के झुंझुनू के टमकोर के चोरड़िया परिवार में हुआ था। पिता का नाम तोलारामजी एवं माता का नाम बालूजी था। आपका जन्म नाम नथमल था। बचपन में ही पिताश्री का देहांत हो जाने के कारण माताजी ने ही पालन-पोषण किया। माता धार्मिक प्रवृत्ति की महिला थीं इसी कारण उनमें धार्मिक चेतना का उदय हुआ।

दीक्षा : आपने 29 जनवरी 1929 अर्थात विक्रम संवत 1987 के माघ शुक्ल की दशमी को सरदार शहर में नथमल ने अपनी माता के साथ संत श्रीमद कालूगणी से दस वर्ष की आयु में दीक्षा ग्रहण की। इसके पश्चात्य उनकी पहचान धीरे-धीरे मुनि नथमल के रूप में होने लगी।

आचार्य तुलसी : आपने श्रीमद कालूगणी की आज्ञा के चलते मुनि आचार्य तुलसी को गुरु बनाया और उन्हीं के सानिध्य में रहकर विद्या अध्ययन किया। दर्शन, न्याय, व्याकरण, कोष, मनोविज्ञान, ज्योतिष, आयुर्वेद आदि शायद ही कोई ऐसा विषय हो जिस पर प्रज्ञासागरजी की पकड़ न हो।

गहन अध्ययन : जैनागमों के अध्ययन के साथ आपने भारतीय एवं भारतीयेत्तर सभी दर्शनों का अध्ययन किया है। संस्कृत, प्राकृत एवं हिन्दी भाषा पर आपका पूर्ण अधिकार है। वे संस्कृत भाषा के सफल आशु कवि भी है। आपने संस्कृत भाषा के सर्वाधिक कठिन छंद 'रत्रग्धरा' में 'घटिका यंत्र' विषय पर आशु कविता के रूप में श्लोक बनाकर प्रस्तुत किए।संस्कृत भाषा में संबोधि, अश्रुवीणा, मुकुलम्, अतुला-तुला आदि तथा हिन्दी भाषा में 'ऋषभायण' कविता को आपके प्रमुख ग्रंथ माने जाते हैं। आपने जैन आगम, बौद्ध ग्रंथों, वैदिक ग्रंथों तथा प्राचीन शास्त्रों का गहन अध्ययन किया है। जैनों के सबसे प्राचीन एवं अबोधगम्य 'आचारांग सूत्र' पर संस्कृत भाषा में भाष्य लिखकर आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ ने प्राचीन परंपरा को पुनरुज्जीवित किया है। आपके विभिन्न विषयों पर लगभग 150 ग्रंथ है।

महाप्रज्ञ की उपाधि : आचार्यश्री तुलसी ने महाप्रज्ञ जी को 1144 में अग्रगण्य एवं ईस्वी सन् 1965 विक्रम संवत 2022 माद्य शुक्ला सप्तमी को हिंसार (हरियाणा) में निकाय सचिव नियुक्त किया। उनकी अंतः प्रज्ञा व गहन ज्ञान से प्रभावित होकर गंगाशहर में आचार्यश्री तुलसी ने उन्हें महाप्रज्ञ की उपाधि से अंलकृत किया।

आचार्य पद : विक्रम संवत 2035 राजलदेसर (राजस्थान) मर्यादा महोत्सव के अवसर पर आचार्यश्री तुलसी ने अपने उत्तराधिकारी के रूप में उनकी घोषणा की। विक्रम संवत 2050 सुजानगढ़ मर्यादा महोत्सव के ऐतिहासिक समारोह के मध्य आचार्यश्री तुलसी ने अपनी उपस्थिति में अपने आचार्य पद का विर्सजन कर युवाचार्य महाप्रज्ञ को आचार्य पद पर प्रतिष्ठित कर दिया।

अन्य उपलब्धियाँ : 23 अक्टूबर 1999 को नीदरलैड इंटर कल्चरल ओपन युनिवर्सिटी ने साहित्य के लिए डी.लिट् उपाधि से सम्मानित किया। मानवता के क्षेत्र में महाप्रज्ञ की अनगिनत एवं उल्लेखनीय सेवाओं एवं योगदानों के संदर्भ में उन्हें युगप्राधान पद से सम्मानित किया गया। यह पद उन्हें 1995 में दिया गया।

Acharya Mahapragya passes away

Jaipur: The tenth Acharya of Jain Swetembar Terapanth Samaj Shree Acharya Mahapragya passed away here on Sunday. He was 90.
The supreme head of Jain Swetembar Terapanth group breathed his last at Sardar Shar of rajashthan, sources said.
Acharya Mahapragya is known for promoting nonviolence. He also took out Ahimsa Yatra (Nonviolence movement).
Popular as Gurudev, Acharya Mahapragya, traveled over 10, 000 km on feet to spread the message of peace and harmony.
His sudden demise is a major lose for the country and his followers as well.
Post your comment here below to pay last respect to Shree Acharya Mahapragya.
Born on June 14, 1920 at Tamkor in Rajasthan was predecessor of Acharya Tulsi.