Mumbai: Jain Sadhu to be bestowed with 'Acharya' title

Mumbai: Jain Sadhu to be bestowed with 'Acharya' title

CMs of Maharashtra, Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan likely to participate in the event

Ashutosh M ShuklaUpdated: Monday, February 27, 2023, 10:32 PM IST
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Mumbai: Grand celebrations are afoot among a section of Jains to celebrate 'Acharya' title to be bestowed upon an influential Jain Sadhu Naypadmasagar Maharajsaheb. The monk will become Acharya from Ganivarya on March 11 for which grand celebrations will be held at Mahalakshmi Racecourse and then at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) dome.

"The celebrations will be held at over one lakh sq ft space in Mahalakshmi Race Course in the morning. After the title is bestowed, there will be lunch and then Maharajsaheb will be at NSCI dome where Mahapuja will be conducted. Around 1,008 sadhus and sadhvis will be attending the event and 50,000 people. Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are expected to attend besides several judges, ministers, IAS, IPS and IRS officers," informed Secretary of Jain International Organisation, one of the persons overseeing the celebrations, Dr Bharat Parmar.

Unity of Jains

Maharajsaheb is founder and promoter of Jain International Organisation (JIO) and Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) that promote the unity of Jains across denominations and their welfare. They promote economic empowerment, B2B, knowledge and education, medical insurance schemes for Jains, matrimonial meets, seminars and conferences and promoting business. Besides, Maharajsaheb is known for lobbying for the political representation of Jains.

In the past, he had asked community members to vote only to those who promise to close slaughterhouses on certain days of the year. Recently he was in the news for lobbying against attacks on Jain Shrines and Sadhus in Gujarat and the ecotourism tag for Hills in Jharkhand considered sacred by the community. 

'Acharya' second most important title

“Maharajsaheb is now in his 50s. He took Diksha (renouncing worldly life) when he was 15 years of age,” said Parmar. Acharya is the second most important title within the Sadhu family after the head Gachadipati. Sadhus have a family of their own after they take diksha under a Guru.

“After taking diksha, a person lives a monk's life and studies. Once that is over, there is badi diksha after which they become Sadhu. After becoming Sadhu, there is further learning, service and depending on the legacy of the family they go on to Ganivarya. Thereafter as they move on, there are different titles and Sadhus move up from one title to another," said a Jain who visited Naypadmasar for Darshan, Pareshbhai Shah.

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