Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (2): Kālakācārya (SECOND)

Published: 17.05.2016

Nearly a century after the first Kālakācārya, in the 5th century V.N., the second Kālakācārya presided over the congregation. His introduction is as follows:

Vairasiṃha, the King of Dhārāvāsa and his Queen Surasundarī had a son by name Kālaka and a daughter named Sarasvatī. The brother and sister were so fond of each other that they spent most of their time together. Once a Jain monk was giving discourses in a garden at the outskirts of the city. Kālaka and Sarasvatī listened to the sermon; feeling averse towards the world, they took the permission of their parents and got initiated into ascetic life.

Within a very short time, Ārya Kālaka learnt all the scriptures from his teacher and took over the charge of the congregation as ācārya in 453V.N. Kālakācārya was a renowned scholar-ācārya with occult powers, of his times. But it is said that the disciples who take initiation from him, would not remain with him for long. He thought that it was due to his miscalculation of the auspicious time. So in order to learn perfect calculations of auspicious times, he approached Ājīvakas ascetics and learnt occult science

Thus Ācārya Kālaka, apart from being proficient in the Jain Āgamas, also became a distinguished scholar in astrology and occult knowledge. Once, Ācārya Kālaka came to Ujjaini along with his disciples. Many female ascetics came to the garden outside the city where he stayed, to seek his blessings; among them was female monk Sarasvatī. King Gardabhilla, who saw her on the way, was completely taken over by her exquisite beauty. He ordered his soldiers to abduct her and brought her to his palace.

Being aware of the sinful incident, Ācārya Kālaka and the congregation in Ujjaini tried to persuade Gardabhilla. But blinded by lust, he refused to let go off female monk Sarasvatī. Enraged thereby, Ācārya Kālaka swore an oath that he would dethrone King Gardabhilla.

Apprehending that Gardabhilla might become cautious about the impending danger, the foresighted Ācārya Kālaka prattling incoherently and pretending to be a mad person, started roaming on the streets and crossed of Ujjaini. When Ācārya Kālaka was confident that Gardabhilla was convinced about his madness, he left Ujjaini.

Brothers Balamitra and Bhānumitra were his contemporary kings ruling over Bharoṃca. They were the nephews of Sarasvatī and Ārya Kālaka. In order to free his sister from the clutches of Gardabhilla and to dethrone him, Ārya Kālaka received help from his nephews Balamitra & Bhānumitra and the Śaka kings as well. They, with their combined armies attacked Ujjaini, defeated and overthrew Gardibhila and freed female monk Sarasvatī.

The Śaka king, who provided shelter to Ārya Kālaka, was anointed as the king of Ujjaini. From then the reputation of the Śaka dynasty spread far and wide. Thus in V.N. 466, the Śaka dynasty established its authority over Ujjaini, though for a very short time.

Ārya Kālaka underwent the vows of self-reproach and sanctified him for the high-violence sin that he had committed, to safeguard the congregation. He once again initiated his sister Sarasvatī and brought her onto the holy path of self-restraint.

Observing penance, temperance and spiritual-exertion, Ārya Kālaka involved in the progress and spiritual development of himself and of the congregation. He propagated and expanded Jain religion and uplifted many souls.

Because of internal Strīfe and rivalry, gradually the Śaka kingdom became so weak that within four years, it fell prey in the hands of Vikramāditya who with a huge army invaded in V.N. 470, subjugated and conquered the throne. As soon as he ascended the throne of Ujjaini in V.N. 470, he initiated the calendar year with his name.

Annual Saṃvatsarī celebration on Caturthī instead of Paṃcamī

Ārya Kālaka made it customary to start observing Paryūṣaṇa Parva (festival celebrated annually for self-purification) on Caturthī i.e. 4th day of the fortnight instead of Paṃcamī i.e. fifth day of the fortnight. The details pertaining to this change, as described in Niśītha cūrṇi are as follows:

Wandering through many places, he reached Bharoṃca and camped there for the monsoon. At that time Balamitra was the king and his younger brother Bhānumitra was the crown prince.

Balamitra and Bhānumitra had a sister named Bhānuśrī. Her son Balabhānu was very simple and humble by nature; he had great faith and devotion towards ascetics. He happened to listen to the sermon of Kālakācārya and got enlightened. Averted from worldly life, took initiation from him. This enraged Balamitra and Bhanumitra, who compelled Kālakācārya to leave Bharoṃca during monsoon itself. Because of the unfavourable reaction from the king, Kālakācārya left Bharoṃca for Pratiṣṭhānpura with his entourage. He sent a message to the Śramaṇa congregation in Pratiṣṭhānpura that he would reach the place before the festival of Paryūṣaṇa and that only after his arrival the related festive - programme must be finalised.

Sātavāhana, the king of Pratiṣṭhānpura was a follower of Jain Dharma and a great devotee of Śramaṇa monks. In order to welcome the ācārya, he took with him the local congregation, the ruling clan, kinsmen, attendants, servants and citizens; Kālakācārya thus entered the city amidst exhilaration and welcoming cheers of veneration.

After entering the city, in front of the congregation, Kālakācārya announced the collective celebration of Paryūūṣaṇa festival on Bhādrapada Śukla Paṃcamī. The commonkty accepted the proposition. But at the same moment King Sātavāhana said, "Lord! Following the customs and conventions of the society, I have to participate in the Indra Mahotsava on the day of Paṃcamī (5th) and so I will be deprived of offering salutations to the monks, listening to the discourses and the very occasion itself. Hence it will be optimum to celebrate the festival on Ṣaṣṭi (6th)".

The ācāryasaid, "However, the date of the festival cannot be postponed".

The King enquired, "In such a situation, of what harm would it be if we advance the date to Caturthī (4th)?"

Giving his consent, Kālakācārya said, "Yes, it can be done that way".

Thus Kālakācārya as he was an impressive propagator, taking into consideration the ongoing times, and as the situation demanded, started the annual celebration of Paryūṣaṇaon Bhādrapada Śukla Caturthī (4th).

Kālakācārya (Second) in Swarṇabhūmi

During the last phase of his life Ācārya Kālaka (Second) with his large family of disciples was wandering in Ujjaini. In spite of his old age, he was always engaged in imparting the knowledge of canonical scriptures to his disciples. During those days, Ārya Sāgara, the exponent of Sūtras and the disciple of Ārya Kālaka, was wandering in Swarṇabhūmi.

Ācārya Kālaka was grieved noticing the disinterest and lack of concentration towards the study of scriptures among his students. He thought, "These disciples of mine are not putting their heart and soul in listening to and studying the expositions. Then what is the use of staying with them? I should stay at such a place where there is inclination towards & practice of expositions. It is possible that following my departure to another place, my disciples, may feel ashamed of themselves and regain interest towards learning the expositions". So thinking, Ārya Kālaka said to Śayyātara, "I am proceeding towards Swarṇabhūmi. Do not readily disclose this information to my disciples. If they persistently insist, only then inform them that I have gone to Ārya Sāgara in Swarṇabhūmi."

Thus apprising Śayyātara, Ācārya Kālaka set out for Swarṇabhūmi at night much before his disciples awoke from their sleep and reaching Swarṇabhūmi, he entered the group (gaccha) of Ārya Sāgara. Ārya Sāgara thinking that "he is only a peasant", did not show any regard, etc to Kālakācārya.

Analysing the scriptures during the time of their study, Ācārya Sāgara asked the newly-arrived elderly monk, (Kālakācārya), "Peasant! Do you understand these?"

The ācāryareplied, "Yes!"

Sāgara with an egoistic tone said, "In that case, listen to these," so saying, he started explaining the expositions. Elsewhere in Ujjaini, when the disciples noticed that their teacher was nowhere to be seen, they searched for him and not finding him, finally asked Śayyātara. Śayyātara said, "When your teacher did not even inform you, then why would he inform me?" When the disciples, worried by the sudden disappearance of their teacher, kept on asking Śayyātara, then he said, "The ācārya was highly distressed seeing your disinterest and tardiness in learning the canons. So he went to Ārya Sāgara in Swarṇabhūmi". He reprimanded them in harsh words for their lack of interest in learning.

That very instant the conscious-Stricken disciples set out for Swarṇabhūmi. On the way when the passers-by would query them, as to the name of the revered ācārya who is going, they would reply 'Ācārya Kālaka'. Thus the intimation spread like wild fire all over Swarṇabhūmi. The people there told Ārya Sāgar, "Ārya Kālaka who is well-versed in all the scriptures and who has a large family of disciples is arriving here". Ācārya Sāgara became very delightful and he said to his disciples, "My revered Grand Guru (Guru's Guru) is coming. I will ask some questions that are worth knowing".

Ārya Sāgar along with his disciples went to receive Kālakācārya, his - Grand Guru the great ācārya of that era. The visitor disciples asked Ārya Sāgara, "Did our ācārya come here?" They replied "No, however an old saint has been here".

Reaching the lodging, when the host of monks from Ujjaini, swayed by emotion, fell on the feet of the ācārya with great reverence, then Ārya Sāgar realised that the old Saint himself was his Grand Guru, Ācārya Kālaka. Crushed with shame, he felt as if he was swallowed by the earth. He uttered with remorse, "Alas! I prattled a lot and even made the Kṣamāśramaṇa (one who endures suffering with equanimity) offer salutations to me". Later to sanctify again his violation of the codes of conduct, he in the midday observed the vow of Mithyā Duṣkŗta (guilty of doing a wrong act). He then prostrated on the feet of ācārya and humbly asked, "O Kṣamāśramaṇa! How do I explain the expositions?"

Ācārya Kālaka replied, "Good, but do not ever try to be proud or arrogant". Then Ārya Kālaka took a fistful of sand from a mound and placed in a small heap. He again lifted that fistful of sand and kept it nearby, repeating the exercise three times. Then he explained to the congregation that just as the mound of soil reduced in size after taking away some amount from it and placing it in some other place, similarly, the meaning of the scriptures is carried forward from the Tīrthaṃkaras to Gaṇadharas, and from the Gaṇadharas to our preceding Ācāryas Upādhyāyas, so on and so forth like hereditary wealth. Thus in the course of its journey from one place to another, it is difficult to comprehend how this wealth becomes less and less, getting lost in some practices.. Hence, it is not right to have pride or arrogance regarding knowledge". Thus Ācārya Kālaka enlightened Ārya Sāgara, his disciple's disciple.

According to one belief, Śāṃdilya Gaccha sect emerged from the lineage of Kālakācārya.


Title: Jain Legend: Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (2)
Acharya Hasti Mala
Shugan C. Jain
Publisher: Samyakjnana Pracaraka Mandala, Jaipur
Edition: 2011
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Concentration
  2. Cūrṇi
  3. Dharma
  4. Equanimity
  5. Gaccha
  6. Guru
  7. Indra
  8. Jain Dharma
  9. Kālaka
  10. Niśītha
  11. Parva
  12. Pride
  13. Sarasvatī
  14. Science
  15. Soul
  16. Upādhyāyas
  17. Ācārya
  18. Ācāryas
  19. Āgamas
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