Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (4) ► Upakeśa Gaccha

Posted: 05.09.2016

The history [origin, ācāryas etc.] of Upakeśa gaccha is available from 'Upakeśa gaccha Paṭṭāvalī' and 'Bhagavān Pārśvanātha kī Paramparā kā Itihāsa'[1] (Vol 1 & 2) [History of Lord Pārśvanātha's tradition]. These bulky texts provide the history of this gaccha from the 1st ācārya of this gaccha to Ācārya Devagupta Sūri, i.e. up to the end of the Vikram 20th century, in an elaborate manner.

It was clearly mentioned in Uttarādhyayana Sūtra, that after the establishment of Dharma Tīrtha by Lord Mahāvīra, ascetics like Ācārya Keśī, et al of Pārśvanātha lineage abandoning the Cāturyāma dharma (the four-fold teaching of abstinence from violence, theft, falsehood and avarice), accepted and joined the monkhood with the five major vows, promulgated by Mahāvīra. Even then, author of Paṭṭāvalī mentioned that Upakeśa gaccha is the main branch (Aṃga) of uninterrupted tradition of Lord Pārśvanātha, the 23rd Tīrthaṃkara and tried to prove this to be a separate independent religious congregation. Verily, it is such a super fiction effort that none would believe it even after thorough contemplation and analysis.

Nowhere in the scriptures is it mentioned that religious orders were established by both preceding and succeeding Tīrthaṃkaras and ran in parallel. The mutual hostility developed among different gacchas and the extreme jealousy clubbed with a feeling to prove them and their gaccha as superior to others might have instigated a certain ācāryas of Upakeśa gaccha to prove it to be more ancient and veracious than that of Lord Mahāvīra. It is sheer fiction and a brain child of a delusive ācārya. However with a genuine object not to hurt the feelings of any gaccha, we are herewith presenting complete information about Upakeśa gaccha.

The life history of four successor pontiffs of Lord Pārśvanātha's tradition after his Nirvāṇa was discussed in the form volume. The lives of Gaṇadhara Śubhadatta, Ācārya Haridatta, Ācārya Samudra Sūri and Ācārya Keśī Śramaṇa, the first, second, third and fourth pontiffs respectively were elucidated in the first volume[2] of this series and the life of the sixth Ācārya Ratna Prabha Sūri was elaborated in the second volume[3].

And now the particulars of fifth Ācārya Svayaṃprabha and the Paṭṭāvalī of this gaccha from 6th to 72nd ācāryas, is given below in a chronological order, on the basis of available data:

5th

Ācārya Svayaṃprabha Sūri was born in a Vidyādhara lineage and ordained into monkhood by Ācārya Keśi Kumāra. During his pontificate he wandered through many distant lands and influenced non-Jains to follow Jainism. It is believed that he lived during the time of the first pontiff Sudharmā Swāmī and second pontiff Jambū Swāmī. According to Upakeśa gaccha Paṭṭāvalī, he left for heavenly abode 52 years after V.N.

6th

Ācārya Ratnaprabha Sūri - As mentioned earlier, rescued the son-in-law of Osiyā King, by neutralizing the poisonous effect which otherwise almost killed him. Impressed by this phenomenal resurrection, the inhabitants of Osiyā, 125000 Kṣatriyas joined Jain religion. Probably to commemorate this miraculous incident Pārśvanātha tradition was renamed after the name of city Upakeśa Nagara (Osiyā) and came to be known as Upakeśa gaccha thereafter. He ordained his disciple Kanakaprabha as ācārya in Koraṃṭaka and also the established Koraṃṭaka gaccha.

7th

Ācārya Yakṣadeva Sūri: Yakṣadeva Sūri succeeded Ratnaprabha Sūri the great influential 6th ācārya of Upakeśa gaccha, as the 7th Pontiff, 84 years after V.N.

8th

Ācārya Kakka Sūri

9th

Ācārya Devagupta

10th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri

11th

Ācārya Ratnaprabha (II)

12th

Ācārya Ratnaprabha (III)

13th

Yakṣadeva Sūri (II)

14th

Ācārya Devagupta Sūri (II)

15th

Ācārya Siddha (II)

16th

Ācārya Ratnaprabha (IV)

17th

Ācārya Yakṣadeva (III): While plundering Mahuā, the mlecchas made him captive along with 500 other monks and large number of laity. A certain lay devotee, who converted into mleccha dharma, by some means helped ācārya to escape. With an apprehension that the gaccha may extinct due to the scarcity of monks, the lay devotees gave away their eleven sons to ācārya, to make them ascetics. He initiated them and sent them to Āhaḍa Nagara. This incident dates back to 100 years after V.N. They set up four gacchas called Nāgendra, Candra, Nirvṛtti and Vidyādhara gacchas.

18th

Ācārya Karka Sūri (II)

19th

Ācārya Devagupta (III)

20th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri (III) He did not appoint any of his disciples as ācārya, instead gave them the rank Mahattarā.

21st

Mahattara Ratnaprabha Sūri (V)

22nd

Mahattara Yakṣadeva Sūri (IV): He made Nānā Monk of Samantabhadra lineage as the ācārya of Koraṃṭaka gaccha. After Nannācārya, one of his monk Yakṣadeva Sūri ordained Kṛṣṇācārya as 'Sūri' and declared him as the successor of his gaccha, which was a coalition of many traditions and had no rank like 'Sūri' till then.

23rd

Ācārya Kakka (III), the same Ācārya Kṛṣṇa mentioned above became famous as Ācārya Kakka III.

24th

Ācārya Devagupta (IV)

25th

Ācārya Jaya Siṃha

26th

Ācārya Vīradeva

27th

Ācārya Kakka Sūri (IV)

28th

Ācārya Kakka Sūri (V)

29th

Devagupta Sūri (V)

30th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri (V)

31st

Ācārya Ratnaprabha Sūri (VII), one of  his disciples, Udayavarddhana merged this gaccha with 'Dvivandanīka gaccha' and Tapā gaccha, and named it as Tapāratna branch (śākhā)

32nd

Ācārya Yakṣadeva (VI)

33rd

Ācārya Kakka Sūri (VI): He was a very efficient ācārya. He made new arrangements for his gaccha. He contemplated that celebrated ācāryas like Ratnaprabha and Yakṣadeva might not exist in the future. So, no ācārya should be called as Ratnaprabha or Yakṣadeva in future, instead they should be called with any one of the three names - Kakka Sūri, Devagupta Sūri and Siddha Sūri. He also introduced reforms in Nāgendra and Candra gacchas. During his pontificate, saints of Pārśvanātha lineage merged into Candra gaccha. Followers of Ācārya Udayavardhana believed that as both Lord Pārśvanātha and Lord Mahāvīra were of ascetic tradition and it came to be known as 'Dvivandanīka gaccha' and finally merged with Tapā gaccha and altogether were called as Tapāratna gaccha. They set up 22 branches of Upakeśa gaccha namely - Sundara, Prabha, Kanaka, Meru, Sāra, Candra, Sāgara, Haṃsa, Tilaka, etc.

34th

Ācārya Devagupta (VI)

35th

Ācārya Siddha (VI)

36th

Ācārya Kakka (VII)

37th

Ācārya Devagupta (VII)

38th

Siddha Sūri (VII)

39th

Ācārya Kakka (VIII)

40th

Ācārya Devagupta (VIII): He was born in Vikram 995 in Kṣatriya caste. He was fond of playing the musical instrument 'Vīṇā'. He could not give up this habit. So, under the pressure of Congregation, he appointed some other Monk as ācārya and migrated to Lat region. In view of his laxity in the performance of the Congregation activities, the Congregation firmly resolved that only a Monk whose parents belong to Jain religion should be appointed as the leader of Congregation, in future.

41st

Ācārya Siddha (VIII)

42nd

Ācārya Kakka (IX)

43rd

Ācārya Devagupta Sūri (IX)

44th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri (IX)

45th

Ācārya Kakka Sūri (X)

46th

Ācārya Devagupta Sūri (X)

47th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri (X) His disciple Jambūnāga foretold the King of Lodravā that Yavana Mumuci (Muhammad Gajanavī) would attack his kingdom and inflict defeat upon him. During his pontificate, Ācārya Nanna of Koraṃṭa gaccha contributed towards the assimilation of many lineages into Jainism.

48th

Ācārya Kakka Sūri (XI)

49th

Ācārya Devagupta Sūri (XI)

50th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri (XI)

51st

Ācārya Kakka: He was a very ardent practitioner of penance. He became ācārya in Vikram 1155 and lifelong observed 'ekāntara upavāsa'. For breaking his fast, he used to take Āyambila (tasteless single item food). Ācārya Hemacandra had great veneration for him. To obliterate frivolous, degenerated and slackened austerities, he disqualified many monks and femalemonks, and relaunched reform movement. Then onwards this gaccha was called 'Kakudācārya gaccha'. He breathed his last in Vikram 1212

52nd

Ācārya Devagupta Sūri (XII): Subsequent to the reformation movement by Kakka Sūri, the 51st ācārya of Upakeśa gaccha and after it came to be known as Kakadācārya gaccha, Devagupta Sūri took up the rank of ācārya. His pontificate lasted for nearly 67 years, from Vikram 1165 to 1232.

53rd

Ācārya Siddha Sūri: During his times, Yaśodeva-Dhanadeva wrote Navapada-Ṭīkā in Aṇahillapura Paṭṭaṇa (Granthāgrantha Pramāṇa).

54th

Ācārya Kakka.

55th

Ācārya Devagupta Sūri. He held the rank in Vikram 1252.

56th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri

57th

Ācārya KakkaSūri

58th

Ācārya Devagupta Sūri

59th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri. During his times, Śāhabuddīna Gaurī invaded Osiyā in Vikram 1252.

60th

Ācārya Kakka

61st

Ācārya Devagupta: He was a great scholar

62nd

Ācārya Siddha

63rd

Ācārya Kakka

64th

Ācārya Devagupta Sūri

65th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri. His tenure was inferred as Vikram 1330.

66th

Ācārya Kakka Sūri. Sultāna Śahajāgara celebrated his coronation ceremony in Vikram 1371.

67th

Ācārya Devagupta

68th

Ācārya Siddha Sūri

69th

Ācārya Kakka

70th

Ācārya Devagupta

71st

Ācārya Siddha: He was a Siddha. The Minister Līlāgara celebrated the 'Pada Mahotsava' in Vikram 1565. His Upādhyāya called Deva Kallola authored 'Kālikācārya Kathā' in Vikram 1566.

72nd

Ācārya Kakka: He was ordained as ācārya in Vikram 1599 in Jodhapur. During his tenure both Koraṃṭa gaccha and Tapāgaccha merged together and 'Koraṃtā?

73rd

Tapāgaccha' came into being.

 

Footnotes:
[1]
[2]
[3]
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