Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (4) ► Branch of Kharatara Gaccha

Posted: 04.09.2016

The tradition of Varddhamāna Sūri propagated and aggrandised Jina Order up to its 7th successor pontiff (1 Varddhamāna Sūri, 2 Jineśwara Sūri, 3. Abhayadeva Sūri, 4 Jinavallabha Sūri, 5 Jinadatta Sūri, 6 Jinacandra Sūri and 7 Jinapati Sūri) and also remained unified as a single unit. This tradition later came to be known as Kharatara gaccha.

Jineśwara Sūri II, the disciple and pontiff successor of Jinapati Sūri, had appointed two different ācāryas which led to its division into two branches in Vikram 1280.

Jineśwara Sūri II had two chief disciples - one was Jinasiṃha Sūri who belonged to Śrīmāla caste by birth and the other was Jinaprabodha Sūri who belonged to Osawāla lineage. The preceptor ordaining both of them as ācāryas and divided the gaccha into two. Earlier in Vikram 1204, 1205 and Vikram 1222, the three sub-branches did not meet with any significant success. But after these two gacchas branched out in Vikram 1280, under the able guidance and control of their respective ācāryas kept busy in purification of self and others through the preaching of Lord Mahāvīra.

Jinaprabha Sūri, a great propagator of Jina Order and a prodigious author during Vikram 14th Century, belonged to the tradition of Jinasiṃha Sūri. Preaching the sermons of Lord Mahāvīra to Emperor Tugalaka Mohammada Śāha, he influenced him to decree many ordinances prohibiting animal slaughter in any form, etc. Tugalaka honoured him by offering a prominent place in his court.

Śrī Jinaprabha Sūri started his literary works in Vikram 1352 which continued even after Vikram 1390. He wrote 27 texts and 73 stotras.  He wrote Vidhi Prapā in Vikram 1363 and Vividha Tīrtha Kalpa in 1390, which is a significant work. He wrote a text called Tapomata - Kuṭṭana with which he silenced his opponents.

Sub branches of Kharatara gaccha

The branches and sub branches that came into existence from time to time are as follows:

  1. In Vikram 1204 Rudrapallīya Kharatara gaccha was founded by Śrī Jinaśekharācārya.
  2. In Vikram 1205 Madhukara Kharatara gaccha came into vogue during the last days of Jinadatta Sūri.
  3. In Vikram 1222 during the tenure of Jineśwara Sūri, Begaḍa Kharatara gaccha came into being.
  4. In Vikram 1280 two branches were created by Jineśwara Sūri II Vṛhat Kharatara gaṇa and Laghu Kharatara gaṇa headed by pontiff successors Jina Prabodha and Jina Siṃha respectively.
  5. In Vikram 1461 Śrī Varddhamāna Sūri established Pippaliyā Kharatara gaccha. According to the Paṭṭāvalī written by Samayasundara, it was formed by Śrī Jinavarddhana Sūri in Vikram 1461.
  6. In Vikram 1560 Śrī ŚāntiSāgara ācārya initiated 'Ācāryā' - a new branch of Kharatara gaccha.
  7. In Vikram 1612 Bhava Harṣagaṇi originated Bhāvaharṣīyā branch after his name.
  8. In Vikram 1675 Raṃga Vijaya Sūri launched Raṃga Vijayā branch after his name.
  9. In Vikram 1675 Śrī Sārajī set up Śrī Sāra gaccha branch.
  10. In Vikram 1687 Śrī Jinasāgara Sūri instituted a branch called Laghu ācāryā Branch.

As time passed, instead of considering just Jinavāṇī scriptures as authentic, even Niryuktis, Vṛttis, Bhāṣyas and Cūrṇis were also considered as equal to scriptures. As a result, all the degenerated and perverted rituals, heretical doctrines and conduct that were rooted deeply in Temple dweller tradition slowly sneaked into Kharatara gaccha. Ācāryas of Kharatara gaccha initially known as Bhaṭṭārakas, and in course of time as Śrī Pūjyas, started using royal luxuries like canopy, yak tail whisks (Cāmara), sceptre, palanquin etc and also started hoarding money.

This did not limit just to Kharatara gaccha. Even other traditions that proclaimed themselves as Suvihita tradition also followed suit. Such examples are found in abundance in the Paṭṭāvalīs of these traditions. For example, Ācārya Jinacandra Sūri and his disciple Jina Kuśala Sūrijī, who were described in Kharatara gaccha Vṛhad Gurvāvalī, wandered even during rainy season halts against the tradition of sojourning those four months at a fixed place.

Paṭṭāvalīs of Kharatara gaccha

From the Paṭṭāvalīs written during the pontificate of 70th Ācārya Jinamaheśvara Sūri, i.e. during the transition period of Vikram 19th and 20th centuries, only the names of those pontiffs which will be useful for research scholars are given below in chronological order and with some elicitations. The names of Pontiffs from V.N. 1 to 1892 that is to say up to 70th Pontiff JinamaheśvaraSūri are as follows:

  1. Śrī  SudharmāSwāmī
  2. Śrī  JambūSwāmī
  3. Śrī  Prabhava Swāmī
  4. Śrī Śayyaṃbhava Sūri
  5. Śrī  Yaśobhadra Sūri
  6. Śrī  Saṃbhūta Vijaya
  7. Śrī  Bhadrabāhu Swāmī
  8. Śrī  Sthūlabhadra
  9. Ārya Mahāgiri
  10. Ārya Suhastī
  11. Śrī Susthita Sūri: He originated Koṭika gaccha.
  12. Śrī  Indradinna Sūri
  13. Śrī  Dinna Sūri
  14. Śrī  Siṃha Giri
  15. Śrī  VajraSwāmī
  16. Śrī Vraja Senācārya (Four sub gacchas have emerged from his four disciples namely, Nāgendra, Candra, Nirvṛtti and Vidyādhara)
  17. Śrī  Candra Sūri
  18. Śrī  Samantabhadra Sūri (Forest dweller)
  19. Śrī  Vṛddhadeva Sūri
  20. Śrī  Pradyotana Sūri
  21. Śrī  Mānadeva Sūri
  22. Śrī  Mānatuṃga Sūri (the author of  Bhaktāmara Stotra)
  23. Śrī Vīra Sūri (During his period Devarddhigaṇi Kṣamāśramaṇa had initiated writing of the Āgamas in V.N. 980. In V.N. 993, the festival of Paryuṣaṇa was celebrated on Bhadrapada Sukla Caturthī instead of Paṃcamī).
  24. Śrī  Jayadeva Sūri
  25. Śrī  Devānanda Sūri
  26. Śrī  Vikrama Sūri
  27. Śrī  Nara Siṃha Sūri
  28. Śrī  Samudra Sūri
  29. Śrī  Mānadeva Sūri
  30. Śrī  Vibudhaprabha Sūri
  31. Śrī  Jayānanda Sūri
  32. Śrī  Raviprabha Sūri
  33. Śrī  Yaśoprabha Sūri
  34. Śrī  Vimalacandra Sūri
  35. Śrī  Deva Sūri (As he strictly followed the virtuous code of conduct Kharatara gaccha became popular as Suvidhi gaccha)
  36. Śrī  Nemicandra Sūri
  37. Śrī  Udyotana Sūri (he originated 84 gacchas)
  38. Śrī  Varddhamāna Sūri
  39. Śrī  Jineśwara Sūri Śrī BuddhisāgaraSūri
  40. Śrī  Jinacandra Sūri
  41. Śrī Abhayadeva Sūri
  42. Śrī  Jinavallabha Sūri
  43. Śrī Jinadatta Sūri (during his period, Jinaśekharācārya set up Rudrapallīya branch. After elucidating about Jinadatta Sūri, the following six lines were written in Anuṣṭup Chanda:
    Śrī Jinadattasūrīṇāṃ, guruṇāṃ guṇavarṇanam| Mayā kṣamādikalyāṇa, muninā leśatah ̣kṛtam|| Suvistareṇa tatkartuṃ, surācāryoa pi na kṣamah ̣||1||
    From the above one and a half verse, the earlier inference becomes a fact that the author of the list of Pontiffs had written this list referring to the other lists with him)
  44. Śrī  Jinacandra Sūri
  45. Śrī  Jinapati Sūri
  46. Śrī  Jineśwara Sūri (II)
  47. Śrī  Jinaprabodha Sūri
  48. Śrī Jinacandra Sūri (During his period, Kharatara gaccha became popular by the name Rājagaccha)
  49. Śrī  Jinakuśala Sūri
  50. Śrī  Jinapadma Sūri
  51. Śrī  Jinalabdhi Sūri
  52. Śrī  Jinacandra Sūri
  53. Śrī Jinodaya Sūri (Begaḍa Kharatara section emerged during his time, in Vikram 1422)
  54. Śrī  Jinarāja Sūri
  55. Śrī Jinabhadra Sūri (Sāgara Candrācārya of this gaccha ordained Jinavarddhana Sūri in Vikram 1461. Jinavarddhana Sūri was accused of breaking the fourth vow and so replacing him Jinabhadra Sūri was made the pontiff. During his time, Jinavarddhana Sūri founded a new sect by name Pippalaka from the Kharatara gaccha)
  56. Śrī Jinacandra Sūri (he had exalted many scholarly monks to the post of ācārya. During his period, in Vikram 1508 a writer by name Lauṃkā had opposed idol worship and in Vikram 1524 a doctrine came into existence by the name Lauṃkā)
  57. Śrī  Jinasamudra Sūri
  58. Śrī  Jinahaṃsa Sūri (during his time, a new branch by name Ācāryā was sprang up in Kharatara gaccha by Ācārya Śānti Sāgara)
  59. Śrī Jina Māṇikya Sūri [during his time, lax conduct and perverted rituals were predominant in Kharatara gaccha. With a firm resolution to start the ball of reformation rolling, he decided to travel towards Ajmer but while returning from Derāula to Jaisalamera on the fifth day of first fortnight of Āṣāḍha month of Vikram 1612, he left for heaven and hence his desire for 'reformation' (Kriyoddhāra) was left unfulfilled].
  60. Śrī Jinacandra Sūri (he commenced reformation movement in Vikram 1612. In his tenure as ācārya, in Vikram 1621, Bhāva Harṣopādhyāya set up a new Harśīiyā Kharatara branch. He performed many miracles. Jinacandra Sūri left for heavenly abode in Vikram 1670)
  61. Śrī  Jinasiṃha Sūri
  62. Śrī Jinarāja Sūri (in Vikram 1686 his disciple Jina Sāgara Sūri laid foundation for Laghvācārya Kharatara sect. He wrote a commentary named Jainarājīya on Naiṣadha epic. After he left for heavenly abode in Vikram 1699, within a short time in 1700, a new branch Raṃga Vijayā was actualised by Raṃga Vijaya gaṇi and after a short span Śrī Sāra Upādhyāya started Śrī Sārīya branch of Kharatara gacch).
  63. Śrī  Jinaratna Sūri
  64. Śrī  Jinacandra Sūri
  65. Śrī  Jinasukha Sūri
  66. Śrī  Jinabhakti Sūri
  67. Śrī  Jinalābha Sūri
  68. Śrī  Jinacandra Sūri
  69. Śrī  JinaHarṣaSūri
  70. Śrī JinamaheśvaraSūri
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