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Kashtha Sangha (काष्ठा संघ) was a Digambar Jain monastic order once dominant in several regions of North and Western India. It is considered to be a branch of Mula Sangh itself. It is said to have originated from a town named Kashtha.
The origin of Kashtha Sangha is often attributed to Lohacharya in several texts and inscriptions from Delhi region. The Kashtasangh Gurvavali identifies Lohacharya as the last person who knew Acharanga in the Digambara tradition, who lived until the 683rd year of the nirvana of Lord Mahavira. the The Darshanasara of Devasena (VS 990) attributes the origin to Kumarasena in Vikram Samvat 753.
Several of the Jain communities were affiliated with the Kashtha Sangha. The Agrawal Jains were the major supporters of Kashtha Sangha. They are said to have been initiated by Lohacharya in antiquity. Muni Sabha Singh writes in his Padma Purana (VS 1711)
काष्ठा संघी माथुर गच्छ, पहुकर गण में निरमल पछ||
महा निर्ग्रन्थ आचारज लोह, छांड्या सकल जाति का मोह||
अग्रोहे निकट प्रभु ठाढे जोग, करैं वन्दना सब ही लोग||
अग्रवाल श्रावक प्रतिबोध, त्रेपन क्रिया बताई सोध||
Kashta Sangha included several orders:
- Nanditat gachchha: associated with Nanded. It is also called Ramasenanvaya, after Acharya Ramasena, the founder of the Narsingpura community.
- Mathura Sangha: The Agrawals were associated with this order. It was founded by Ramasena according to Darshanasar. The oldest known inscription is of 1170 AD.
- Bagada gachha: associated with Vagad region of Rajasthan
- Lata-bagada gachha: associated with Vagad and Lata region of Gujarat. The 1145 AD inscription of Dubkunda mentions this order. The acharyas of this order formerly used to reside in the Punnata region of Karnataka. Jinasena, the author Harivansh Purana in shaka 705 belonged to this order.
- Gopachal ke Jinamandir
- "Muni Sabhachandra Avam Unka Padmapuran" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- "(International Digamber Jain Organization)". IDJO.org. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- Muni Sabhachandra Avam Unka Padmapuran, Kasturchanda Kasliwal, 1984
- काष्ठासंघ तथा इससे संबद्ध संघ एवं गण-गच्छ, शांतिलाल जैन जांगड़ा, अर्हत वचन जुलाई सितम्बर २००६, पृ १७-२२
- http://ndjains.org Narsingpura Digambar Jain Samaj
- गोपचल के जिन मंदिर एवं प्रतिमायें http://hindi.webdunia.com/religion/religion/jainism/0708/11/1070811047_1.htm
- Jain Dharma, Kailash Chandra Siddhanta Shastri, 1985.
- Bhattarak Sampradaya, Introduction to Jain History, by Dr. K. C. Jain