Digambara (//; Sanskrit: दिगंबर, "sky-clad") is a sect of Jainism with nudist adherents that distinguished itself from the white-clad Śvētāmbara in about the 3rd century AD. The Digambar sect of Jainism rejects the authority of the Jain Agama compiled by Sthulabhadra. They believe that by the time of Dharasena, the twenty-third teacher after Gandhar Gautama, knowledge of only one Anga was there. This was about 683 years after the Nirvāṇa of Mahavir. After Dharasena's pupils Puspadant and Bhutabali, even that was lost.
According to Digambar tradition, Mahavir, the last jain tirthankara, never married. He renounced the world at the age of thirty after taking permission of his parents. The Digambara believe that after attaining enlightenment, Mahavira was free from human activities like hunger, thirst, and sleep. Monks in the Digambar tradition do not wear any clothes. They carry only a broom made up of fallen peacock feathers and a water gourd. One of the most important scholar-monks of Digambara tradition was Acharya Kundakunda. He authored Prakrit texts such as Samayasar and Pravachansar. Samantabhadra and Siddhasena Divakara were other important monks of this tradition.
In the 10th century, Digambar tradition was divided into two main orders.
- Mula Sangh, which includes Sena gana, Deshiya gana and Balatkara gana traditions
- Kashtha Sangh, which includes the Mathura gana and Lat-vagad gana traditions
Shantisagar, belonged to the tradition of Sena gana. Practically all the Digambara monks today belong to his tradition, either directly or indirectly. The Bhattarakas of Shravanabelagola and Mudbidri belong to Deshiya gana and the Bhattaraka of Humbaj belongs to the Balatkara gana.
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- Singh 2008, p. 524
- Dundas 2002, p. 63-64.
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