Acharya Mahapragyaji Passes Away - Jainism’s Legendary Era Ends

Posted: 10.05.2010
Updated on: 30.11.2012

 

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Jain community’s senior most Acharya and most versatile, learned Terapanth Acharya Shree Mahapragyaji passed away on Sunday, 09th May 2010 afternoon 2.55pm at Sardarshahar in Rajasthan. Born on 14th June 1920 at Tamkor in Rajasthan, he took his Jain monkhood on 29th January 1931 at Sardarshahar and has been continuously serving humanity with his broader learning, understanding and enhancing approach on humanity, spreading peace and global harmony.

Sound technical understanding of various Jain and Vedic literature and philosophy and nicely derived linkage with human life well being led him in most sacred and holy place in spirituality. Ahimsa Yatra was one of most precious means derived by him to enhance human relationships, peace and prosperity. The great philosophical icon also wrote hundreds of books on Jainism, Happy Family, Spirituality, Happy Living, and alike lively subjects with descriptive and clear concepts presentation and application of basis of philosophy and values led down in Jainism on these aspects. He took Terapanth community and followers to all new global heights and was conferred with many international, national awards for spreading peace and harmony. This approach and presentation method associated and attracted many international and national philosophers, leaders and spirituality heads associating with him on presenting, resolving and taking spirituality ahead in global arena.

 

A MAN OF ERA

 

Acharya Mahapragya was given the title of ‘Yug Pradhan’ in 1999 as a mark of the highest honour of this era for his countless services to humanity in this Yug.

For his exceptional and sustained contribution to the cause of ‘Jain Yoga’ the epithet of ‘Jain Yoga Punruddharak’ Resurrector of Jain Yoga) was also conferred on him. He has been regarded as the ‘Modern Vivekananda’ of India by many intellectuals including ‘Rashtrakavi Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar’. To quote “Mahapragya was a Modern Vivekananda but we have not seen Vivekananda, only heard and read about him. But now we can see Vivekananda through his Vision”. Acharya Mahapragya has been called the “Columbus of Jain Meditation” by many intellectual commentators for his contribution in reviving Preksha Dhyan by which innumerable people have been benefited. On 23 Oct 1999, Netherland Inter Cultural Open University adorned him with the title of D.Litt. (Doctor of Literature) at Netherland for his incomparable command on literature. More over, this great saint has also been conferred and adorned with the well known and prestigious award ‘Indira Gandhi National Integration Award’ for his contributions and services to the mankind.

Besides all these he was regularly bestowed with the different titles and awards of National and International level by various organizations such as Ambassador of Peace, Lokmanya Maharishi, Brahmashri, Dharm Chakravarthi etc.

Acharya Mahapragya has indeed provided new dimensions to the religious and intellectual fields and has emerged as a highly venerable saint. His name is the Symbolism of Spirituality of the Twentieth Century. He was known for his style for tracing the beginning of a thought process and then finding solutions for it. His extraordinary talent has presented Science and Spiritualism as synonymous to each other. This completely New Theory in the religious field has provided many new dimensions to the field of Religion. Humility, kindness, wisdom, courtesy, patience and universal friendship are only some of his noble virtues. Acharya Mahapragya was that source of knowledge and wisdom, which quenches everyone’s thirst for knowledge by providing fresh ideas everyday. He was that gem who has spread the values of Indian Culture and tradition through out the whole world. While meeting Acharya Mahapragya, one gets the thrill of meeting the ‘Spiritual Ideal’ or the ‘Wonder that India was’ to borrow the words of Dr. A.L. Bashim. Acharya Mahapragya always practices what he preaches. His perceptions are concerned with concrete remedies for various current problems. He has never restricted his thoughts only at the thinking level but has consummated them into actual conduct.Acharya Mahapragya was an expert mantra-sadhak and was possessed with paranormal powers that can be achieved only with perfection in mantra sadhana.

He had been adorned with the following Titles: The 10th Acharya of Terapanth Sect, Anuvrat Anushasta, Yugpradhan, Lokmanya Maharishi, Ambassador of Peace, Indra Gandhi National Unity Award, Brahmarishi, Mahatma, Dharma Chakravarti, National Communal Harmony Award, Mother Teresa Peace Award, Doctor of Literature.

Acharya Mahapragya was not only a spiritual leader of exceptionally high caliber but also an outstanding Philosopher Practitioner Thinker. His principles on various topics like Non-Violence, Peace, Morality, Socio-Religious Harmony, Spirituality, Science of Living, Preksha Meditation, Ecology and Social Economics have inspired both the intellectuals and the common men alike. His thoughts have inspired many categories of people and have yielded Positive Thinking in all walks of life. The rare ability of analyzing anything that comes before him gives Acharya Mahapragya a vision to see beyond time. It is well foreseen by him as to what will be the expectations of the coming Centuries. He never gets carried away by problems, but rather works forward on the way to finding out their solutions. In the field of Science, Newton’s theory has been accepted for Centuries. Marx is still remembered for his Theory on Socialism. Acharya Mahapragya stands among all these and many other Philosophers who presented their unique ideas and unveiled a lot of mysteries of the Self.

Personalities like Swami Vivekananda and Acharya Vinoba Bhave both knew the importance of Science and Spiritualism. The similar views were also endorsed by our former President and diligent Philosopher Sarvapalli Dr. Radha Krishnan. Acharya Shri’s extraordinary talent has presented Science and Spiritualism as supplementary to each other in all his works. His view is that Science has not destroyed Religion but has rather given it a new birth, is a completely New Theory, which has provided many new dimensions to the field of religion. He has not only given theories and ideas but also experimented upon them in a practical manner and thus brought Science and Religion together.

 

 

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SENSITIVE POET & DISTINGUISHED ORATOR

 

Acharya Mahapragya was a fully blossomed rose of inner refinement whose fragrance pervades not only through his verses and literary works but also his spoken word. The people who regularly throng around him, are enthralled and get peace in his presence as he was always in peace with himself. Acharya Mahapragya was a poet by nature. He has a spontaneous capacity to compose verses in different languages like Sanskrit and Prakrit and many more languages. His poems are full of feelings. The scholars of Sanskrit in Poona, Banares and else where, Dr. Norman Brown (Pennsylvania, U.S.A) were very much impressed by hearing Acharya Mahapragya’s shlokas on various given topics including ‘Ghatika Yantra’ and ‘Sragadhara Chhanda’.His compositions like Sambodhi, Ashruvina, Mukulam, Atulatula etc in Sanskrit and ‘Rishabayana’ (a Mahakavya) in Hindi are monumental masterpieces in the World of Poems.Apart from being a poet, Acharya Mahapragya was a very powerful orator. He was a highly distinguished scholar having a profound knowledge of Jain Scriptures (Agamas), Buddhist Scriptures (Tripitakas) and Vedic Scriptures (Vedas and Upanishads) and all other ancient and modern scriptures.

 

 

A LAUREATE

 

Acharya Mahapragya revived a very old tradition of enabling the understanding of the holy literature by writing a Sanskrit Commentary (Bhashya) on Acharang Sutra, which is one the oldest and most incomprehensible Jain Scripture. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has often said in mass meetings “I am a lover of Mahapragya’s literature”. He has been given the name addressed as “Walking Encyclopedia of Religion and Philosophy”, for his contribution to the field of 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. Acharya Mahapragya was known for his a enlightening discourses. In 1975, he was specially invited to deliver a series of nine lectures on Jain Logic at the University of Rajasthan at Jaipur. The University published these lectures in the form of a book entitled ‘Jain Nyay Ka Vikas’. His books on the subjects mainly include ‘Jain Darshan-Mannan aur Mimansa’, ‘Jain Dharma Aur Sanskriti’, ‘Jain Darshan and Anekantvad’, ‘Jain Dharma aur Darshan’, and many more. His books have a very unique combination of simplicity in expression and originality.

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”.

Acharya Mahapragya’s brain-storming penmanship has attracted countless readers and intellectuals throughout the length and breadth of the whole Earth. Admirers of his writings range from the common man to Literary Personalities, Psychologists, Sociologists, Journalists and Political Leaders. His deliberations and preaching’s are affective, relevant and practical that they attract not only the scholars but also the masses. These lectures are now being transmitted through media on television and also made available to the public through audio and video cassettes and books.

 

 

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ANUSHASHTA

 

Acharya Shri Mahapragya was the mastermind behind the conception of the Jain Vishwa Bharti Institute, Deemed University at Ladnum, Rajasthan. It was established under the spiritual patronage of Acharya Shri Tulsi. Its objective was to revive truths and values hidden in the ancient Indian traditions in general and in the Jain tradition in particular.

Acharya Mahapragya has formulated the old Jain ideas into new modern perspectives. This particular talent has preserved the huge and precious knowledge of Jain Culture and has forced the present generation to look and think about their past traditions and their significance. This University provides one of the best platforms and infrastructures for doing the research in various subjects and pursuing for Doctorate Degrees.

One of the prime objectives of this University was to spread the literacy in subjects like Ahimsa, Jainology, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Yoga, Literature, Non-Violence and Peace etc. Regular Degree Courses leading to Bachelors and Masters Degrees like BSc/BA/BBA/ MA/MSc and so on are being conducted.

Moreover, a number of Diploma and Certificate Courses are also being offered by this University in the regular mode and also in the correspondence mode in multiple subjects of different disciplines.

These are open to public at large and apart from general students even hundreds of saints, monks, nuns from different sects of Jainism and other Religions are being benefited by these courses by pursuing them.

 

 

TRAINING ON DEVELOPMENT OF AHIMSA

 

Non-Violence as a basic need for very individual Acharya Mahapragya was a perfect blend of Mahatma Gandhi and Vivekananda. Physically, he resembles Gandhi and to some extent even in thoughts. They are both symbols of Non-Violence and Truth. Vivekanand made his great contribution in re-establishing the Indian tradition and its values. Even Acharya Shri was heading towards a similar direction.

Acharya Mahapragya has advocated meaningful changes in peoples lives and it was his firm conviction that for a non-violent society, a simultaneous regeneration of the people and society are required. International seminars have been organized on Ahimsa training to give non-violence a global perspective. Peace lovers from India and abroad took active part in all these seminars.

An international dialogue on education and training for non-violence was organized by Acharya Mahapragya’s initiative. The Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama, Robin Ludwig and Glen D. Paige were among the few who gave their contributions in this seminar.

A well structured and thoughtfully designed curriculum has been proposed by Acharya Shri for the needed education and training on Ahimsa for different segments of people. The basic aspects to be covered are Kayotsarg, Mahaprana Dhwani, Swas Preksha, Sankalp, Anupreksha, Vyasan Mukti (Free from Addiction) Consciousness for Antipollution, Feeling of Fraternity, Consciousness for Physical and Mental Health, solutions for rural problems and their requirements.