Kashtha Sangh

Published: 14.07.2011
Updated: 02.07.2015

Kashtha Sangh

Kashtha Sangha (Sanskrit: काष्ठा संघ kāṣṭhā saṅgha) was a Digambar Jain monastic order which was once dominant in several regions of North and Western India. It is considered to be a branch of Mula Sangh itself and it is said to have originated from a town named Kashtha.

The origin of Kashtha Sangha is attributed to Lohacharya in several texts and inscriptions from Delhi region. The Kashtasangh Gurvavali identifies Lohacharya as the last person who knew Acharanga in the Digambara tradition and lived until the 683th year of the nirvana of Lord Mahavira. The Darshanasara of Devasena (Vikram Samat 990, i.e. 933 CE) attributes the origin of Kashtha Sangh to Kumarasena in Vikram Samvat 753 (696 CE).

Several of the Jain communities were affiliated with the Kashtha Sangh, so the Agrawals were the major supporters of Kashtha Sangh and it is said that they have been initiated by Lohacharya in ancient times.

Kashtha Sangh included several orders:

  • Nanditat Gaccha, which is associated with the city of Nanded. It is also called Ramasenanvaya, after Acharya Ramasena, the founder of the Narsingpura community.
  • Mathura Sangh; the Agrawals were associated with this order. It was founded by Ramasena according to Darshanasar. The oldest known inscription is of 1170 CE.
  • Bagada Gaccha, which is associated with Vagad region of Rajasthan.
  • Lata-bagada Gaccha, which is associated with Vagad and Lata region of Gujarat. The 1145 CE inscription of Dubkunda mentions Lata-bagada Gaccha. The acharyas of this order formerly used to reside in the Punnata region of Karnataka.

Kashta Sangh eventually merged into Mula Sangh. The celebrated poet and pratishthacharya Raighu was a disciple of the Kashtha Sangh Bhattarakas of Gwalior.

The rock carved Jain statues in the Gwalior Fort were mostly consecreted by the Kashtha Sangh Bhattarakas, as stated in the inscriptions dated between 1441 and 1474.

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharanga
  2. Acharya
  3. Acharyas
  4. Bagada Gaccha
  5. Bhattarakas
  6. Delhi
  7. Digambar
  8. Digambara
  9. Gaccha
  10. Gujarat
  11. Gwalior
  12. Gwalior Fort
  13. Karnataka
  14. Lata-bagada Gaccha
  15. Mahavira
  16. Mathura
  17. Mathura Sangh
  18. Mula Sangh
  19. Nanditat Gaccha
  20. Nirvana
  21. Rajasthan
  22. Ramasenanvaya
  23. Sangh
  24. Sangha
  25. Sanskrit
  26. Saṅgha
  27. Vikram Samvat
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