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Jain Legend : Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (4): 60th, 61st, 62nd & 63rd Pontiffs Of Lord Mahāvīra Tradition

Published: 15.09.2016
60th Pontiff
Ācārya Lālajī Swāmī
61st Pontiff
Ācārya Jňānaŗişi
Birth V.N.1900 V.N.1927
Initiation into monkhood V.N.1938 V.N.1943
Became ācārya V.N.1957 V.N.1987
Heavenly Abode V.N.1987 V.N.2007
Household life duration 38 years 16 years
Ordinary monk tenure 19 years 44 years
Period of ācārya status 30 years 20 years
Complete monkhood 49 years 64 years
Total life spain 87 years 80 years

42nd epochal - ācārya Sumiṇa Mitra

62nd Pontiff
Ācārya Nānagajī Swāmī
63rd Pontiff
Ācārya Rūpajī Swāmī
Birth V.N.1944 V.N.1972
Initiation into monkhood V.N.1970 V.N.2004
Attained ācārya status V.N.2007 V.N.2032
Heavenly Abode V.N.2032 V.N.2052
Household life duration 26 years 32 years
Ordinary monk tenure 37 years 28 years
Period of ācārya status 25 years 20 years
Complete monkhood 62 years 48 years
Total life spain 88 years 80 years

Deeply hurt by the degenerated state of religious congregation, the great intellect and indomitable valiant monk Varddhamāna Sūri first set in motion the reformation movement to uproot the perverted rituals, laxity in the conduct of monks, etc. In the succeeding period of Varddhamāna Sūri, the reformation movement was continued by great ācāryas, but they could bring a partial reformation only. Because of these haphazard reforms, the religious congregation had gone through lot of upheavals and many gacchas had mushroomed, disintegrating the religious congregation into many small units without unity and solidarity. The difference in beliefs, doctrines and austerities of different gacchas led to petty jealousies, hatred, unhealthy competitions etc. among each other, ultimately leaving the once mighty and reputed religious congregation in a feeble and dilapidated form.

The leaders and pioneers of Temple dweller tradition openly proclaimed ten rules for Temple dweller monks, completely discarding the scriptures promulgated by the omniscient. Those regulations, the off springs of their brain were tailor-made just to achieve their ends. Though all the 10 rules were against the scriptures, particularly the ninth one is an open attack or revolt against the scriptures. It is as follows:

"A monk has to observe all these activities and has to preach and propagate the methods of these rituals and see that the people observe and follow them as they conduce to salvation. If such activities, explanations, rites and rituals and their methods are not mentioned in the scriptures, then just discard the scriptures. If scriptures prohibit such activities, ignore scriptural rules and continue to perform such activities and encourage others to do so, because the tenets of the Lord are of manifold predications. No such categorical instructions are found in Jain scriptures claiming that some works should be carried out alone in seclusion while some works should not be accomplished in solitude. Scriptures are abundant with such examples wherein the works which should not be carried out are being performed and the activities which should be performed had not been performed at all."

With this rule the Temple dwellers got an open license to perform lax austerities, lead an ascetic life, propagate beliefs, frame methods of rites and rituals which are totally against the scriptures, and moreover follow and encourage others to follow the perverted methods to popularise their congregation.

Exactly in the same way, the first reformer Ācārya Varddhamāna Sūri told firmly in clear words that we consider nothing else other than those scriptures compiled by Gaṇadharas and Knowers of 14 prior canons as authentic. But in course of time, not only the ascetic traditions founded by Varddhamāna Sūri, but the so-called Suvihita tradition also started considering the 5 aṃgas, i.e. scriptures and even Niryuktis, Bhāṣyas, Cūrṇis and Ṭīkās as authentic. Thus, the royal gate of the Pure Spiritual congregation was opened wide forever for the royal entry of false doctrines, pseudo rituals and perverted methods.


Title: Jain Legend: Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (4)
Acharya Hasti Mala
Shugan C. Jain
Publisher: Samyakjnana Pracaraka Mandala, Jaipur
Edition: 2011
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