Swetembar Terapanth

Swetembar Terapanth

name=Acharya Bhikshu

caption= Acharya Bhiksu-1st Acharya of Terapanth
birth_date= 01 July 1726
birth_place= Kantaliya, Rajasthan, India
death_date= August 1803
death_place= Siryari Rajasthan

Terapanth is a religious sect under Swetembar Jain. The terapanthi sub-sect was founded by Swami Bhikanji Maharaj. Swami Bhikanji was formerly a Sthanakvasi saint and had initiation by Acharya Raghunatha. But he had differences with his Guru on several aspects of religious practices of Sthanakvasi ascetics. Hence he left the Sthanakvasi sect with the motto of correct practise of Jain saint.In Vikram Sambat 1817 i.e. June 28th of 1760 ( Saturday ) at KELWA (a small town in Udaipur District of Rajasthan State ),Terapanth was Founded by Acharya Bhikshu. This sect is entirely based upon the Ideology of Jain .

As Acharya Bhikanaji laid stress on the 13 religious principles, namely, (i) five Mahavratas (great vows), (ii) five samitis (regulations) and (iii) three Guptis (controls or restraints), his sub-sect was known as the Tera (meaning thirteen)-pantha sub-sect. In this connection it is interesting to note that two other interpretations have been given for the use of the term Terapantha for the sub-sect. According to one account, it is mentioned that as there were only 13 monks and 13 laymen in the pantha when it was founded, it was called as Tera (meaning thirteen) -pantha. Sometimes another interpretation of the term Terapantha is given by its followers. Tera means yours and pantha means path; in other words, it means,

"Oh! Lord Mahavira! it is Your path ( Panth )".HAI PRABHOO YEH TERA PANTH

This practice of regulating the entire Pantha by one Acharya only has become a characteristic feature of the Terapantha and an example for emulation by other Panthas. Further, the Terapantha regularly observes a remarkable festival known as Maryada Mahotasava. This distinctive festival is celebrated every year on the 7th day of the bright half of the month of Magha when all ascetics and lay disciples. He had written letter of Conduct in Rajasthani language which is still being followed after 250 years with some modification as per time entacting the main base. The picture of original Letter is as below

Terapanth is non-idolatrous and are very finely organized under the complete direction of one Acharya, that is, religious Supreme . In its history of little more than 200 years, the Terapantha had a succession of only 10 Acharyas from the founder Acharya Bhikanaji as the First Acharya to the present At present Acharya Mahapragya is the supreme head . He is the Tenth Acharya of Terapanth religious sect comprising more than 850 monks , nuns, samans and samanis( a new rank between the ascetic and the lay - followers ) following critical codes of disciplines, and millions of followers all over the world.

List of Acharyas cronologically

1. Acharya Shri Bhikshu

2. Acharya Shri Bharimal

3. Acharya Shri Raichand

4. Acharya Shri Jeetmal

5. Acharya Shri Maghraj

6. Acharya Shri Manak Lal

7. Acharya Shri Dalchand

8. Acharya Shri Kalu Ram

9. Acharya Shri Tulsi

10.Acharya Shri Mahapragya (Current Supreme Head)

Yuvacharya Shri Mahashraman (Current Vice Head)

ee also

* Terapanth for other use of the term
* Acharya Bhikshu
* Acharya Tulsi
* Acharya Mahapragya
* Svetambara

Links & References



The Jains by P Dundas


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