Acharya Mahapragya Cremated

Posted: 10.05.2010
Updated on: 15.05.2010

The Tribune


by 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. 


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