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Acharya Shree Tulsi - A Legend Of Humanity: Stepping Away from Acharyahood

Published: 24.01.2014

Acharya Tulsi's life can be said to be series of historical events. He never ceased to amaze, as throughout his life, he constantly brought forward innovative ideas and works. He would always visualize creative and unique projects and his inner determination and untiring efforts would make the vision come true. The milestones he achieved were numerous. One illustration of his exceptional abilities took place on February 18,1994, witnessed by the scores of people in attendance at Sujangarh in Rajasthan.

The anniversary of the 130th historical Maryada Mahotsava was being celebrated there. Acharya Shree Tulsi on this occasion thought to make the startling announcement that he was going to relinquish his position of Acharya. This announcement was totally unforesee and took everyone in the audience completely by surprise. He furthe declared that from that moment, Yuvacharya Mahapragya woul assume the mantle and title of Acharya Mahapragya, the tent Acharya of the Terapanth sect.

The manner in which Acharya set about making this historic proclamation had no precedent. What made the announcement even more astonishing was that Acharya Shree Tulsi was in good health and each member of the Terapanth order was completely devoted and dedicated to him.

In order to further clarify his intentions, Acharya Shree explained the two objectives behind his decision. He elaborated, "I want to involve myself more into spiritual practice and I want to work more for the uplifting of human race."

Apart from these objectives, Acharya Shree also delineated other reasons for renouncing his post.

  • I have the responsibility for the Terapanth order as an Acharya for the past fifty eight years which has exceeded the time served in this esteemed position by all preceding Acharyas. I would now like to deepen my devotion in my personal spiritual practice.
  • What inspired me the most in making this decision is I want to see Yuvacharya Mahapragya as Acharya Mahapragya in my lifetime. By stepping away at this time, I want to do something that is in the best interest of the Terapanth order that has never been done before.
  • I also realize that my health is deteriorating a bit and the responsibility of Acharya demands hard work. I accept that I should entrust all of my obligations to Yuvacharya and take more time to rest.
  • I wanted to prove the truth in Agam-'Anantanaano-Vagavovisanto', which conveys the meaning that a disciple, even after attaining more knowledge than his Guru, should continue to respect his Guru. I want to show the world, where respect and humbleness are declining for elders and Gurus, that a disciple, even after being appointed as an Acharya, is not dismissive of his guru, but starts respecting him more.
  • I feel strongly that stepping down will inspire others to realize that at a certain point in time, one must release oneself of the duties and responsibilities of a high post. It will make one's life free and demonstrate a selflessness that others can emulate.
  • Another realization came to me - I established Anuvrat ideology, free from any religion or sect so why should I - as founder of this Anuvrat movement - also move beyond any religious boundaries. The name 'Tulsi' is now in the hearts of the people. I concluded - what is the need of the adjective 'Acharya' before my name?
  • I wanted to show that such an esteemed position such as "Acharya" is not necessary to fulfill your goals and work towards the benefit and in the best interest of a society. This may also inspire people not to indulge in a selfish quest of becoming an Acharya.
  • A man with administrative responsibilities and authority must necessarily think twice before he speaks and then, he must speak with the utmost discretion. On the contrary, a man free from these responsibilities can be more candid in expressing his ideas.
  • Moreover, the number of Acharyas in Jain sects is becoming disproportionate to what is actually needed. A day might come when there would be a few monks and sadhvis and too many Acharyas. Sadhus or disciples should be attracted more towards spiritual practice rather than the desire of being an Acharya.

Such thoughtful insights helped in clarifying the questions of many people, but many others still could not come to terms with the fact that Acharya Tulsi voluntarily renounced the post of Acharya.

After entrusting the responsibility of the organization to Mahapragya, Gurudev Tulsi addressed the assembly, "It is the duty of all the members of the organization to pay the same respect to Acharya Mahapragya, as you have given to me. You must have the same faith in him. We will work closely together as all of my work going forward will be handled by him. There is no need of giving him any guidance because his intuition power has already been awakened. I am very fortunate to have such a great disciple."
Acharya Tulsi Continued, "I have voluntarily relinquished my post. I request Mahapragya to accept the responsibility of the entire organization".

Acharya Tulsi said to Mahapragya, "You must devote your work in the interest of a bright future for the Terapanth organization. I am now free from all kind of duties and responsibilities of the order. I will be utilizing the rest of my time in spreading the message of non-violence and spirituality throughout the world."

Acharya Shree Tulsi - A Legend Of Humanity

First Edition:

Acharya Tulsi Janam Shatabdi Samaroh Samiti, Anurvat Bhawan, New Delhi HN4U Online Edition:

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahapragya
  3. Acharya Shree Tulsi
  4. Acharya Tulsi
  5. Acharyas
  6. Anuvrat
  7. Anuvrat Movement
  8. Guru
  9. Gurudev
  10. Mahapragya
  11. Maryada
  12. Maryada Mahotsava
  13. Non-violence
  14. Rajasthan
  15. Sadhus
  16. Sadhvis
  17. Sujangarh
  18. Terapanth
  19. Tulsi
  20. Yuvacharya
  21. Yuvacharya Mahapragya
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