Tapa Gaccha

Tapa Gaccha is the largest Gaccha (monastic order) of Svetambara Jainism.

Tapa Gaccha is the largest of the Śvētāmbara sects. A gaccha is a monastic order or sub-group within Jainism. Gacchas emerged in medieval times among the Śvētāmbaras. The formation of a gaccha is usually based on localities or through following a Jain holy man. Tapa Gaccha was founded by Acharya Jagat Chandra Suri in Vikram Samvat 1285 (1228 AD). Acharya Jagat Chandra Suri was given the title of "Tapa" (i.e., the meditative one) by the ruler of Mewar. This title was applied to the group.[1]

Today, the majority of its followers live in states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madras, West Bengal, Punjab and Rajasthan.[2]


Under Acharya Vijayanand Suri's (Known as Aatmaramji) leadership and other monks, Shwetambara Murtipujak Conference was established in 1893 which reformed mendicant as well as lay religious practices. As a result of this reform, most Shwetambara Jain monks today belong to Tapa Gaccha.[1]


Tapa Gachha is divided in different 21 samuday or orders. The sects follow different rituals but they do not have differences about scriptures.[1]

Some of these differences include Tithi (calendar date), veneration of gurus, pilgrimage of Palitana during monsoon and Santikaram chanting on chaturdasi.[1][3][4]

Ramchandrasuri of Premsuri order opposed two senior ascetic leaders, Sagaranand and Nemisuri, who held the view that religious ritual dates should not be omitted or held twice in the calendar. In 1935, on Samvatsari, the last day of Paryushan, Ramchandrasuri order observed it on a different day.[4] This became a sectarian issue: Ek tithi paksh or 'one day fraction' separated from Tithi paksh or 'two days fraction'. Ek tithi is followed by seventeen orders while Be tithi is followed by three orders.[1] Anandji Kalyanji Trust, which manages 1200 Jain temples, unsuccessfully attempted several times to resolve the issue. In 1986, Ramchandrasuri order formally separated from Premsuri order.[4]

Other distinguishing factors include veneration of gurus using Vasshkep (a sandalwood powder used for worship) between these two fractions. Be tithi fraction believe that Guru or Acharya should be venerated by Navangi Guru Poojan, spreading powder on nine points of body while Ek tithi fraction believe that it should be spread on one point of body, Akangi Guru Poojan.[4]

Both fractions differ on pilgrimage of Palitana temples on mount Shatrunjay by lay persons during rainy season.[4]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 John E. Cort (22 March 2001). Jains in the World : Religious Values and Ideology in India: Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford University Press. pp. 42–46. ISBN 978-0-19-803037-9. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  2. von Glasenapp, Helmnuth. Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation. p. 389.
  3. "HC order on Jains' worship". The Hindu. Mumbai. PTI. July 30, 2000.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Peter Berger (2010). The Anthropology of Values: Essays in Honour of Georg Pfeffer. Pearson Education India. pp. 336–337. ISBN 978-81-317-2820-8. Retrieved 9 August 2014.


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