Jain spiritual leader Acharya Vidhyasagar Maharaj dies at 77

| Updated: 18 February, 2024 1:42 pm IST

NEW DELHI : Prominent Jain seer Acharya Vidhyasagar Maharaj passed away on Sunday, aged 77, at Chandragiri Teerth in Chhattisgarh’s Dongargarh, leaving behind a legacy of profound spiritual wisdom. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on the demise of Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Maharaj.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the countless devotees of Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji. He will be remembered by the coming generations for his invaluable contributions to society, especially his efforts towards spiritual awakening among people, his work towards poverty alleviation, healthcare, education and more,” Modi wrote.

Last year, PM Modi visited Dongargarh, a popular pilgrimage spot in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, and had the honour of meeting Acharya Vidhyasagar Maharaj. Modi had also offered prayers at Maa Bamleshwari Temple, located at the foot of a hill in Dongargarh.

“I had the honour of receiving his blessings for years. I can never forget my visit to the Chandragiri Jain Mandir in Dongargarh, Chhattisgarh late last year. That time, I had spent time with Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji and also received his blessings,” Modi said on Sunday sharing some images of their interaction.

View His Tweet Here: 

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda also expressed “shock” over the seer’s death in a post in Hindi on X.

“I am shocked to receive the news of the demise of the most revered Saint Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj. He has given new dimensions to the invaluable spiritual heritage of Jainism. His teachings, full of knowledge, compassion and goodwill, will always provide us guidance for the progress of society and culture. I bow down profusely at the feet of Samadhistha Acharya Shri,” Nadda wrote.

Who was Jain seer Acharya Vidhyasagar Maharaj?

Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj was the most renowned saint in the Digambar Jain community.

He was widely recognised for his outstanding scholarly pursuits and profound spiritual wisdom.

Born on October 10, 1946, in Karnataka’s Sadalga, Acharya Vidhyasagar Maharaj embraced spirituality from a young age.

At the age of 22 in 1968, Acharya Vidhyasagar Maharaj was initiated as a Digambara monk by Acharya Gyansagar Ji Maharaj. In 1972, he was elevated to the Acharya status.

Throughout his life, Acharya Vidhyasagar Maharaj remained profoundly engaged in the study and application of Jain scriptures and philosophy.

He was also known for his command over Sanskrit, Prakrit, and other languages. He authored several insightful commentaries, poems, and spiritual treatises.

Some of his widely recognised work within the Jain community includes Niranjana Shataka, Bhavana Shataka, Parishah Jaya Shataka, Suniti Shataka, and Shramana Shataka.

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