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Glory of Jainism: Shri Kalakacharya

Published: 03.08.2012
Updated: 02.07.2015


Shri Kalakacharya

In the history of Jain religion Acharya Kalaksuri (Kalaka Suri) had a remarkable insight with regard to the religious scriptures. He had a revolutionary outlook and approach. One thing that strikes most in his life is his constant insistence on performance of duty. Without expecting any assistance from any quarters, he incessantly struggled to achieve his goal.

Acharya Shri Kalaksuri-ji was born to the king Virsinha of Dharavas. His mother’s name was Sursundari and sister’s name was Saraswati. True to her name, Saraswati was the treasure-house of learning and beauty par excellence. Both of them, the brother and the sister, loved each other immensely. Once they had gone for a horse-ride, during which they happened to listen to the religious discourse of Acharya Gunakar. As they listened to the sermons of the Acharya, both of them felt intense feelings of renunciation and with their parents’ consent both accepted initiation. After a long spell of time, Kalak Muni, meanwhile appointed to Acharya, was on a visit to Ujjayini city. Sadhvi Saraswati, his sister of the pre-initiation life, had come to Ujjayini to pay respect to her brother. Because of her unparalleled charm and beauty, the lustful king Gardabhilla of Ujjayini arranged to abduct Saraswati.

Despite the cries of: “O brother! Please help me”, Saraswati was abducted. Subsequently Shreesangh (congregation), leading intelligentsia and neighbouring kings went to the king to persuade him but he paid heed to nobody. At last Acharya Kalak, the incarnation of strength and power, came out to oppose the king but he could not change the king's mind.

Acharya Kalak went out of the town and became avyaktalingi. He reached Persia via Punjab and marched from there with a massive army of ‘shaks’ together with 97 ‘shak’ chieftains. King Gardabhilla created many hurdles in their way but Acharya Kalak defeated all his manoeuvres. The king was very proud of his Gardabhi vidya (a form of black magic). With the power of this Gardabhi black magic he could make such a loud sound that all those that would hear it would die instantly. In the front row of the battlefield, Acharya Kalak positioned a troup of very accurate and unfailing marksmen. As soon as the mouth of Gardabhi opened, these marksmen filled his mouth with thousands of arrows with the result that no sound could come out and ultimately king Gardabhilla was defeated. Saraswati was freed from the palace and was restored to her previous status of Sadhvi (nun) with honour and dignity. Thus Acharya Kalak earned immortal fame in the history as a promoter of a superior religion - saddharma.

Shri Kalkacharya had a wide following of disciples but was not attached to them. Sometimes he felt that living together with impolite disciples might enhance the karmic bondage; consequently he used to make vihar alone. Such was his unique detachment. When he had been to Iran, he had impressed the kings there with the power of his knowledge and learning and had brought them to Saurashtra. The story of his life is full of many astonishing incidents. Because of his strong will-power and very impressive personality, he could initiate a change in the political situation. He was a serious thinker and a philosopher.

For a purely spiritual attitude, he enumerated eight virtues to be essential; viz. non- violence, truth, refusal to steal, celibacy, non-possession, abstaining from love and hatred, religious meditation and the purest meditation. Whenever one thinks of brotherly love or of justice, the revered name of Arya Kalak comes to mind.

Title: Glory Of Jainism

Ashok Saha and Prathana Saha


Shri Anilbhai Gandhi (Trustee),
Palitana - 364270 (India)

Edition: 1998

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Celibacy
  3. Kalaka Suri
  4. Meditation
  5. Muni
  6. Punjab
  7. Sadhvi
  8. Sadhvi Saraswati
  9. Saraswati
  10. Vidya
  11. Vihar
  12. Violence
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