Tapa Gaccha

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Tapa Gaccha is the largest Gaccha of Svetambara Jainism.


Jagatchandrasuri established Tapa Gaccha in Vikram Samvat 1285 (1229 CE) against these lax conducts in Brihad Gaccha founded by Udyotan Suri but fell itself victim to lax conducts. He was given the title of "Tapa" (i.e., the meditative one) by the ruler of Mewar which was applied to the group.[1] In the next generation, the Tapa Gaccha split between lax Vadi Posal Tapa Gachha and Samvegi Lodhi Posal Tapa Gaccha. The former was led by Vijaychandrasuri while the latter was led by Devendrasuri. Lodhi Posal Tapa Gachha also became lax but later reformed by Anandvimalsuri in 1526 and Panyas Satyavijaygani in 1655. Vijaydevsuri (1600–1657 AD) is considered[by whom?] one of the major leader of lineage. Till the mid-nineteenth century, the state of the monks was much different. They were domesticated and were strictly following celibacy of five Mahavratas while other fours were followed in lesser forms. These monks were known as Yati or Gorji. They possessed properties, resided in one place and traveled by vehicles. Their conduct was considered lax by other monks, called Samvegi Sadhus, who strictly followed all five Mahavratas. Yatis were dependent on the Jain lay community as they received many things from them. The Jain lay community purchased children from poor Jain or Hindu communities and donated to Yatis who were trained into Jain traditions and later succeeded themselves. As patronage of Jain lay community to Yati vanished due to rise of Samvegi monks, they became nearly extinct by the end of the 20th century. The majprity of contemporary Tapa Gaccha monks trace their linage to Panyas Munivijaygani (1796-1879), also known as Dada. One of his three disciples was Buddhivijay (1807-1882). He was initially Sthanakvasi monk named Buterayji, which is still popular, who later converted to Murtipujaka Samvegi monk. His disciple, Atmaramji, who was initially Sthanakvasi monk, initiated into Murtipujaka monkhood as Anandvijayji in 1876 at Ahmedabad. In 1887, he was promoted to Acharya rank by lay community. This was important as until then only Yatis were promoted to that rank. Under his leadership and other monks, SVetambara Murtipujak Conference was established in 1902 which reformed medicant as well as lay religious practices. As a result of this reform, most Svetambara Jain monks today belong to Tapa Gaccha.[1]


Tapa Gachha is divided in different 21 samuday or orders. There are some differences between them in relation to rituals but they do not have differences about scriptures.[1]

Some of these differences include Tithi (calendar date), veneration of gurus, pilgrimage of Palitana during monsoon and Santikaram chanting on chaturdasi.[1][2][3]

Ramchandrasuri of Premsuri order opposed two senior ascetic leaders, Sagaranand and Nemisuri, who held the view that religious ritual date should not be omitted or held twice in calendar. In 1935, on Samvatsari, the last day of Paryushan, Ramchandrasuri order observed it on different day.[3] So two schools of thought in relation to date issue of Jain calendar was erupted, Ek tithi paksh or 'one day fraction' and be tithi paksh or 'two days fraction'. Ek tithi is followed by seventeen orders while be tithi is followed by three orders. Shantichandra order is divided into both these schools of thought.[1] Anandji Kalyanji Trust which manages 1200 Jain temples, attempted several times to resolve the issue but did not succeed. In 1986, Ramchandrasuri order was formally separated from Premsuri order.[3]

Atam Vallabh Samudai has persisted with the progressive stance enunciated by Guru Atam and followed and expanded by Guru Vallabh. Major changes brought about have been in respect of progressive and broad outlook, embracing Lok - Kalyan work of setting up education and health care and other institutions for social needs, removal of orthodoxy and simplicity in the rituals and customs. Gachhadhipati Acharya Shri Vijay Dharm Dhurandhar Suri Ji is carrying forward the Atam Vallabh Mission with Sewa (service), Sangathan (Organisation), Shiksha (Education), Swawlamban (Self Reliance) and Saitya Prakashan (publishing and dissemination of Jain literature) as the focal issues.

There is also an issue regarding veneration of gurus using Vasshkep, a powder of sandalwood used for worship, between these two fractions. Be tithi fraction believe that Guru or Acharya should be venerated by Navangi Guru Poojan, spreading powder on nine points of body while Ek tithi fraction believe that it should be spread on one point of body, Akangi Guru Poojan.[3]

Both fractions differ on pilgrimage of Palitana temples on mount Shatrunjay by lay persons during rainy season.[3]

Orders of Tapa Gaccha[edit]

Atma-Vallabh order

In Samvat 1942 (1886 CE), Vijayanandsuri, also known as Atmararamji, was initiated as Acharya at Palitana after a gap of 262 years. He was responsible for reviving the wandering orders among the Shvetambara monks.

His disciple Vallabhsuri stressed on education in Jains and focused on establishment of social and religious institutions and preservation and publication of Jain literature. After Vallabhsuri, Samudrasuri was appointed as the leader of order, Pattadhar, followed by Indradinsuri. Indradinsuri appointed Ratnakarsuri, who recently died in a road accident on 23rd December 2014.Currently Vijay Dharm Dhurandhar Suri Ji is the leader of Atma-Vallabh order.

Premsuri order

Another disciple of Atmaramji, Premsuri was also prominent leader. Premsuri order is the largest order of all having nearly 2200 monks and nuns. His disciples Ramchandrasuri and Bhuvanbhanusuri were major leaders of this lineage.

Ramchandrasuri differed on date issue in Jain calendar, Be Tithi. His order has around 1400 monks and nuns. Hembhushansuri headed this order until recently.

Bhuvanbhanu order have around 900 monks and nuns. Jayghoshsuri is the current leader of Bhuvanbhanu order.


Other major orders are Sagar Samuday and Nemisuri Samuday.


  • Atam - Vallabh Samuday (presently led by Acharya Vijay Dharm Dhurandhar Suri Ji)
  • Prem-Ramchandrasuri (total monks and nuns 1401)
  • Prem-Bhuvanbhanu suri (total monks and nuns 972)
  • Anandsagarsuri (Sagar Samuday) (total monks and nuns 847)
  • Nemisuri (Shasan Samrat) (total monks and nuns 581)
  • Kanaksuri (Vagad Samuday) (total monks and nuns 634)
  • Nitisuri (total monks and nuns 465)
  • Siddhisuri (Bapji Maharaj Samuday) (total monks and nuns 446)
  • Dharmasuri-Ramsuri Dahelavala (total monks and nuns 331)
  • Bhaktisuri (total monks and nuns 325)
  • Labdhisuri (total monks and nuns 292)
  • Kesharsuri (total monks and nuns 228)
  • Dharmasuri-Kanakratna Suri (total monks and nuns 247)
  • Himachal Suri (total monks and nuns 136)
  • Buddhisagarsuri (total monks and nuns 120)
  • Shantichandra Suri (total monks and nuns 225) Be tithi order
  • Shantichandta Suri (total monks and nuns 207) Ek tithi order
  • Mohanlalaji (total monks and nuns 41)
  • Amratsuri (total monks and nuns 29)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e John E. Cort (22 March 2001). Jains in the World : Religious Values and Ideology in India: Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford University Press. pp. 42–46. ISBN 978-0-19-803037-9. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "HC order on Jains' worship". The Hindu (Mumbai). PTI. July 30, 2000. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Peter Berger (2010). The Anthropology of Values: Essays in Honour of Georg Pfeffer. Pearson Education India. pp. 336–337. ISBN 978-81-317-2820-8. Retrieved 9 August 2014.