Acharya Mahaprajna - A Life Dedicated To Ahimsa

Published: 14.08.2007
Updated: 02.07.2015


Sant Tarunsagar


tarunawakening.org "Let's Carry Jainism to Generation Next".....

Acharya Mahaprajna - an Introduction

A Guru who starts your day:

If you tune into Sanskar Channel at 8:20 AM everyday, you can see an old man aged more than 85 years, with body covered by a white cloth, mouth being covered by another small piece of cloth, wearing big glasses over eyes, speaking intensively on Ahimsa with preaching of Mahaveera creeping in between.

He never fails to put his attendance everyday on "Sanskar" and more surprisingly what he speaks today will not be repeated on any other day. Everyday he preaches something unique and on every opportunity he throws something special out of his unending repository of thoughts.

Yes, he is the one and the only Acharya Mahaprajna, the current religious pontiff of Swethambar Terapanth community.

He has spent more than 75 years as a monk!! This is probably the longest time span by any Jain monk after the Nirvana of Mahaveera. His legs might have lost the required energy to walk, his body might not be function at its best. But all those factors have not made any damage to his willingness to walk (part of Jain monk's life).

He is still leading a huge bunch of Monks & Nuns, covering every distance by walk though a mission called "Ahimsa Yatra". According to him, every drop of sweat that comes out of his body in this process of walking is his weapon to protect Non Violence in the current age.

A deviation in the flow of my article:

For the very first time in the last 1-year of this business of reaching Jainism, I am presenting a complete article which is of Non Digambar origin. In spite of being too close to the Digambara School throughout my life, I have kept my ears open to this great seer.

It gives me an immense pleasure to present this article as I carry a great sense of attachment to the teachings of Acharya Mahaprajna. His Knowledge and approach to Ahimsa is undoubtedly beyond any comparison.

I consider him as one among the top most leaders this Jain community has ever witnessed after Achraya Shanthisagara in 21st Century.

I am really desperate to see this great leader at least once in my lifetime.

Acharya Mahaprajna - a quick overview

Acharya Mahapragya (born 1920) is a Jainist religious leader. He is the tenth and the current Acharya of Terapanth. He succeeded Acharya Tulsi as the Acharya of Terapanth in 1994. He had been called as "Modern Vivekanand" by great Indian poet Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'. He is well known for rediscovering Preksha Meditation process, which is an integration of science & spirituality, Ahimsa Yatra (The Chariot of Non-Violence) (2001-2007) which is termed as a revolution for peace & attempt to bring awareness towards Non-Violence way of living & for Surat Spiritual Declaration.

Birth and Early Life:

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 about one boy playing with him that he will die in a week and said about him that this young boy would one day be a leader among men. Within a week that boy actually dies. And A few years later destiny saw Nathmal initiated into monk hood on 18 th February 1930. Words of Sage become true.

On the eve of his sister's marriage, he was playing hide & seek game in house by closing eyes with pieces of cloth. While searching friends, his forehead strucked with pillar. He started weaping. Then her mother Baluji console him saying, why are you weeping, now your third eye has opened.

Today, it seems that this event has really opened the third eye of Nathmal and transform his personality into Acharya Mahapragya

Acharya Mahaprajna - Journey as a Monk:


**Acharya Tulsi Nominating Acharya Pragjna as 10th Acharya of Terapanth community**

  • On 18th Feb 1930, Nathmal initiated his new spiritual life as a monk. He was renamed as Mahapragya. For the very first time in the Jaina History, monk hood was initiated at a tender age of 10 year to a boy after Acharya Kundakunda (8 years) in 2500 years of the Nirvana of Mahaveera.
  • Emerging from years of spiritual penance Acharya Mahaprajna enunciated a technique of meditation and contemplation for bio-chemical and bio-electrical changes in the body called Preksha Dhyan.
  • On 4th February 1979 Acharya Tulsi nominated him as the Yuvacharya or his successor.
  • On 5th of February 1995 he was formally consecrated as the tenth Acharya of the Terapanth Community.
  • He is the probably the only Jain Monk to spend more than 75 years in monk hood.
Acharya Mahaprajna - as a writer, as a poet.

More than 40 books (including popular Anekanta: The Third Eye, Abstract Thinking, The call of dawn, Economics of Mahavira) were authored by this great monk.

Acharya Mahaprajna critically edited the 32 basic Jain Aagamas for the first time, from Ardhamagadhi-Prakrit. Nearly half of these canonical texts have also been translated with critical annotations by him into Hindi.

Awards and Honour:

Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration 2002 - The Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration 2002 was awarded to Acharya Mahaprajna on 31. October 2003 at Jawahar Bhawan, New Delhi.

Communal Harmony Award 2004 - Acharya Mahaprajna, has been selected for the National Communal Harmony Award, 2004 by the Government of India in April 2005.

Acharya Mahaprajna and Abdul Kalam:

The year 2004's republic day speech from the president of India contains a reference to this great seer. Dr Kalam in his note to the nation thanked Acharya Mahaprajna for representing the spiritual India.

Dr Abdul Kalam has maintained a very close relationship with Acharya Mahaprajna. Kalam was deeply influenced by the preaching of Mahaprajna.

Both Kalam and Mahaprajna are going to author a book, which emphasizes the need of spiritual inclination. This book is supposed to contain 6 chapters with 3 chapters from Acharya Mahaprajna and the rest 3 written by Kalam.

Acharya Mahaprajna - Chaturmas Location for the year 2007:

Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Aagamas
  2. Abstract Thinking
  3. Acharya
  4. Acharya Kundakunda
  5. Acharya Mahapragya
  6. Acharya Mahaprajna
  7. Acharya Tulsi
  8. Ahimsa
  9. Ahimsa Yatra
  10. Anekanta
  11. Bhawan
  12. Body
  13. Chaturmas
  14. Communal Harmony
  15. Contemplation
  16. Delhi
  17. Dhyan
  18. Digambar
  19. Digambara
  20. Economics Of Mahavira
  21. Guru
  22. Indira Gandhi Award
  23. JAINA
  24. Jaina
  25. Jainism
  26. Kundakunda
  27. Mahapragya
  28. Mahavira
  29. Meditation
  30. New Delhi
  31. Nirvana
  32. Non violence
  33. Non-violence
  34. Preksha
  35. Preksha Dhyan
  36. Preksha Meditation
  37. Rajasthan
  38. Sanskar
  39. Sant
  40. Science
  41. Surat
  42. Surat Spiritual Declaration
  43. Tamkor
  44. Terapanth
  45. The Call of Dawn
  46. Third Eye
  47. Tulsi
  48. Udaipur
  49. Violence
  50. Vivekanand
  51. Yuvacharya
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