Mula Sangh

Posted: 14.07.2011
Updated on: 17.12.2012

Mula Sangh

Mula Sangh (Sanskrit: मूलसंघ mūla saṅgha) is an ancient Jain monastic order. Mula Sangh literally means the "root assembly " or the original order.

Mula Sangh has been the main Digambar Jain order. Today the Digambar Jain tradition is synonymous with Mula Sangh. The great Acharya Kundakunda is associated with Mula Sangh. The oldest known mention of Mula Sangh is from 430 AD.

Mula Sangh was divided into a few branches. According to an inscription from Shravanabelgola, Acharya Ardhabali, fearing the various dissensions which might arise as a result of the influence of the corrupt world age, split up the Mula Sangh into four sections (gana). A more extended version of this story is given by Indranandi in his work Shritavatara (16th century CE). The four major groups were:

  • Nandi Gana, which had two major lineages:
    • Balatkara Gana or Balatkara Gana Saraswat.i Gaccha (oldest known mention 1071 AD).
    • Deshiya Gana or Deshiya Gana Pustaka Gaccha (oldest known mention 860 AD).
  • Sena Gana, the lineage of Jinasena it was formerly called Panchastupa or Surastha. (oldest known mention 821 AD).
  • Deva Gana, the lineage of Akalanka deva.
  • Simha Gana.

The Bhattarakas of Shravanabelagola and Mudabidri belong to Deshiya Gana, the Bhattaraka of Humbaj belongs to the Balatkara Gana.

References

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