Vidyasagar (Jain monk)

Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj


Acharya Vidyasagar, a prominent Digambara monk
Religion Jainism
Sect Digambara
Born Vidyadhar
(1946-10-10) 10 October 1946
Sadalga, Belgaum district, Karnataka
  • Mallappa (Mallinath) (father)
  • Shrimanti (mother)
Senior posting
Predecessor Acharya Gyansagar
Religious career
Disciple(s) Pramansagar, Sudhasagar, Kshamasagar
Works Mukamati
Initiation 30 June 1968
by Acharya Gyansagar

Acharya Shri Vidyasagarji Maharaj (Kannada:ಆಚಾರ್ಯ ವಿದ್ಯಾಸಾಗರ, Nagari:आचार्यश्री विद्यासागरजी महाराज) is one of the best known modern Digambara Jain Acharya (philosopher monk). He is known both for his scholarship and tapasya. Despite of being in a modern age, he is known for his hard austerity and long hours in meditation.


Vidyasagar was born as Vidyadhar on 10 October 1946 on Sharad Purnima (full moon) in Sadalga, Belgaum district, Karnataka. His father Mallappa, mother Shrimati, and two sisters took diksha and joined the sangh of Acharya Dharmasagar.[1] Of the three brothers, two of them joined the sangh of Acharya Vidyasagar himself, leaving one brother Mahavira Ashtage, to marry and continue the blood line.[2][3]

He was initiated as a Digambara monk at the age of 22 by Acharya Gyansagar, who belonged to the lineage of Acharya Shantisagar, at Ajmer in 1968.[4] He was elevated to the Acharya status in 1972.[5]

Acharya Vidyasagara is a scholar of Sanskrit and Prakrit and knows several languages such as Hindi and Kannada.[6] Several researchers have studied his works for masters and doctoral degrees.[7] His works include Niranjana Shataka, Bhavana Shataka, Parishah Jaya Shataka, Suniti Shataka and Shramana Shataka. He also authored nearly 700 Haiku poems which are unpublished. He authored the Hindi epic poem Mukamati.[5][7] This has been also included in the syllabus of MA Hindi in various institutions.[8] This epic poem has also been translated into English by Lal Chandra Jain and was presented to President of India.[7][9][10]

Acharya Vidyasagar has been a source of inspiration to the people for starting institutions for the welfare of living beings at different places.[5]

Acharya Vidyasagar has been a source of inspiration for religious functions. He has initiated more than 125 monks,[11][12] a number unmatched in the past nine centuries.

Acharya Vidyasagar has been a source of inspiration for the construction, development and renovation of Jain temples and images all over India.[5] He has always inspired to invite scholars of eminence to have discourses on different subjects. He has also taken classes to teach his disciples different Jain texts. He is a strong supporter of cow protection movement.[13]

He gave his Pravachana in Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly on special invitation from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on 28 July 2016.[14][15]

His Chaturmas for 2016 was in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.[16]

Inscription on Parshvanath idol at Orchha mentioning the lineage of Acharya Vidyasagar from Acharya Shantisagar. He is termed anasakta yogi, jyeshtha, shreshtha, sant shiromani

During a busy trip to Bhopal, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi took time to visit him,[17] leading to speculations on what was Modi's objectives and what they discussed.[18] He was also visited by former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from the opposing Congress Party[19] There is a belief that his blessings may bring victory in elections.[20]

His tradition

He belongs to the tradition established by Acharya Shantisagar.[21] Acharya Shantisagar initiated Acharya Virasagar, who was then succeeded by Acharya Shivsagar, Acharya Gyansagar[22] and finally Acharya Vidyasagara. Two of his brothers, Muni Yogasagar and Muni Samaysagar also followed him and were initiated as muni (monks) by Acharya Vidyasagar.

Some of his disciples are well known scholars of their own right. As of 2001, about 21% of all the Digambar monks were under Acharya Vidyasagara.[11][23] One of his best known disciples, Muni Kshamasagar ji, obtained samadhi in 2015[24]


His disciple Muni Kshamasagar wrote his biographical account which was titled 'In Quest of the Self' and was published by Bhartiya Jnanpith.[25]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vidyasagar (Jain monk).


  1. Gita Jain 1978, pp. 8-14.
  2. "जब छिपकर विनोबा भावे को सुनने गए थे आचार्यश्री विद्यासागर", Patrika, 8 June 2016
  3. "अपने ज्ञान को दर्शन बनाएं", Bhaskar News Network, 25 September 2016
  4. Kshamasagar 2007, p. 28.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Natubhai Shah 1998, pp. 56–57.
  6. Kshamasagar 2007, p. 26.
  7. 1 2 3 "Acharya Vidyasagar's book "Silent Earth" presented to President", Web India 123, 15 June 2011
  8. "बीयू के सिलेबस में जैन ग्रंथ 'मूकमाटी' को किया शामिल", Dainik Bhaskar, 24 May 2013
  9. "Acharya Vidyasagar's Book "Silent Earth" Presented To President",
  10. Vidyasagar 2010.
  11. 1 2 Flügel 2006, p. 356.
  12. "Religious intolerance, terror attacks threat for country: Acharya", One India, 5 October 2008
  13. Flügel 2006, p. 353.
  14. "देश के इतिहास को बनाए रखने के लिए पक्ष-विपक्ष साथ काम करें: आचार्यश्री", Rajasthan Patrika, 28 July 2016
  15. "When Another Jain Monk Addressed A State Legislative Assembly And There Was No Controversy", The Huffington Post, 29 August 2016
  16. "आचार्य विद्यासागर महाराज के प्रोग्राम में चार महिला चोर गिरफ्तार, सात सोने की चैन जप्त", Nai Duniya, 27 July 2016
  17. Ranjan (14 October 2016), Why is Modi keen to meet Acharya Vidyasagar?, Bhopal
  18. Sharma, Rajendra (15 October 2016), Modi holds close-door meet with Jain seer, TNN
  19. Scindia makes up his mind to lead Congress in state, Sep 29, 2016
  20. Blessings of seers behind BJP’s victory in 2014 Lok Sabha polls: Amit Shah, Indian Express, June 18, 2016
  21. In Quest of The Self (The Life Story of Acharya Shri Vidyasagar), Muni Kshamasagar, 2006, Bharatiya Jnanpith
  22. "इस संत के जीवत रहते स्टूडेंट कर रहे हैं इन पर PHD, जानें क्या है इनकी खूबी", Dainik Bhaskar, 17 October 2016
  23. "Jain Muni Pramansagar ji Maharaj disciple of Acharya Vidyasagar ji Maharaj would discourse on Ramayana and Geeta at the local Zila school ground from November 7 to 11. The four day programme being organised by Vishwa Dharma Jagaran Manch is expected to garner huge crowd in wake of the popularity that Maharaj has gained while giving similar discourse in other cities of the country.", The Times of India, 27 October 2010
  24. [वर्णीभवन मोराजी में मुनिश्री क्षमासागर महाराज का समाधिमरण, Patrika, 2015-03-13]
  25. Kshamasagar 2007, p. 4.


Further reading

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