Bhopal: Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj’s Demise Shocks Jain Community

Bhopal: Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj’s Demise Shocks Jain Community

Devotees recite Namokar Mantra at temple, take food after last rites, shops remain closed

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, February 18, 2024, 10:57 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): People belonging to Jain community in the city were shocked by the sudden demise of Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj who attained samadhi at Chandragiri Teerth in Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh at 2.30 am on Sunday. Most shops in the city remained closed as devotees recited Namokar Mantra in temples since morning. Most devotees took food after his last rites were performed.

According to members of Jain community, Acharya visited Bhopal in 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2016. In 2016, he stayed for chaturmas in the newly constructed Jinalaya Kamalapati. It was the his first chaturmas in any city in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Ramnath Kovind, politicians, judges and IAS officials had attended the event. Jain Samaj spokesperson Anshul Jain said thousands of devotees from Bhopal left for Chandragiri to have his last darshan. Some devotees didn’t take food for 24 hours, he said. Muni Sanskar Sagar Maharaj, Muni Vishwasurya Sagar Maharaj, Muni Suhit Sagar Maharaj, disciples of Acharya Vishuddh Sagar Maharaj, living in Bhopal, paid tributes to Acharya Shri and called him the rising sun of Jain philosophy. They said his demise was the biggest loss to Indian culture and values.

All India Digambar Jain Mahila Parishad Maina Sundari Bhopal division president Sangeeta Pranav Chaudhary said she was shocked to hear news of his demise. “I knew that he was unwell but I never thought he would pass away so early,” she said, adding, “My daughter who studies in the UK cried after hearing the news. My family members including me took food after the last rites of the saint and also didn’t take sweets. 99% Jain families in the city took food after his last rites.” She recalled her family’s association with the monk.

“My father-in-law Dr Babu Lal Jain took his treatment. When I was young, my younger brother and I gave Aahar and did Pargahan to Vidyasagar Maharaj at my parental home in Gondia,” said 59-year-old Sangeeta. “We had his darshan in August last year and took his blessings. He was walking God for us,” she added. Homemaker Rajni Jain said her 75-year-old mother Saroj Jain took food after his last rites. “We are feeling very bad. We could not go to Dongargarh, so we watched live telecast of his last rites on TV,” she said.

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