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|Charitra Chakravarti Acharya Shri Shantisagar Ji Maharaj|
|Died||18 September 1955(aged 82–83)|
|Cremation place||Kunthalgiri, Maharashtra|
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Acharya Shri Shantisagar (1872-1955) was the first Digambara Jain Acharya of the 20th century, and the first Digambara monk to wander in North India after several centuries, credited with reviving the tradition of Digambara monks. Most Digambara Jain monks today belong to his lineage. He was given the title Charitra Chakravarti (literally, Emperor of character) by his followers.
Shantisagara was born in 1872 or 1873 in north Karnataka. His father was either a farmer or employed in the cloth business. By the age of eighteen, having read religious texts and undergone pilgrimages, he desired to become initiated into a religious order. After his parents had died in 1912, he visited Shravanabelagola and was initiated into a holy order in 1918. He took the ailaka vow, the preliminary stage to full Digambara initiation, in front of an image of the Tirthankara Neminatha. He was initiated as a Digambara monk at the age of 47 or 48 at the village of Yarnal in 1922 and got his name Shanti Sagara (meaning Ocean of Peace).
He preached principles of Jainism in various parts of the country and was given the title of Acharya due to his knowledge and wisdom. His disciples gave him the title of Charitra Chakravarti (Emperor of Good Character) along with various other titles like muniraj (king among ascetics) and silasindhu (ocean of observances).
A cobra is said to have once stood in front of him when he was in a cave as if paying respect to him. He fasted to oppose the restrictions imposed on Digambara monks by British Raj and prompted their discontinuance.
Regarding the observance of sallekhana vow by Acharya Shantisagar, Padmanabh Jain writes:
|“||It is August, 1955. On the holy mount of Kunthalagiri, in the state of Maharashtra in India, an old man called Santisagara (Ocean of peace) is ritually fasting to death. He is the Acharya (spiritual leader) of the Digambara Jain community; now, after thirty-five years as a mendicant, he is attaining his mortal end in the holy manner prescribed by the great saint Mahavira almost 2,500 years earlier. Santisagara has owned nothing, not even a loincloth, since 1920. He has wandered on foot over the length and breadth of India, receiving food offerings but once a day. and then with only his bare hands for a bowl; he has spoken little during daylight hours and not at all after sunset. From August 14 until September 7 he takes only water; then, unable to drink without help, he ceases even that. At last, fully conscious and chanting the Jain a litany, he dies in the early morning of September 18. The holiness and propriety of his life and of the manner of his death are widely known and admired by Jainas throughout India.||”|
Based on the account given by Sumeruchandra Diwakar and Dharmachanda Shastri, Shantisagar was born in 1872 to Bhimagauda Patil and Satyavati at Yelagula (Bhoj), Karnataka. His birth name was Satgauda. As a child, he was inspired by Muni Adisagar. He was married at the age of nine. His wife, however, died after six months. In 1905, he made a Pilgrimage to Sammet Shikhar with his sister.
- 1925 Ch Kumbhoj
- Present at Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanbelgola (Kanrataka)
- 1926 Ch Nanded
- 1927 Ch Bahubali (Maha.)
- Nagpur (Maha., then capital of Central Provinces)
Eastern India wanderings
- Panchakalyanaka at Samet Shikhar (Bihar)
Central India wanderings
- 1928 Ch Katni (Madhya Pradesh)
- Jabalpur, Sleemanabad
- Dronagir, encounter with tiger
- 1929 Ch Lalitpur
- Sonagir: 4 Ailaks initiated
Northern India wanderings
- Rajakheda (UP): attacked by a violent crowd
- 1930 Ch Mathura, Digambar Jain Mahasabha blessed
- Delhi (marked by a memorial at Lal Mandir)
- 1931 Ch Delhi
Western India wanderings
- Mahavirji (Raj.)
- 1932 Ch Jaipur
- 1933 Ch Byavar
- 1934 Ch Udaipur
- 1935 Ch Goral(Guj)
- 1936 Ch Pratapgarh
- 1937 Ch Gajpantha (Maha.)
- Sanskrit "Shri Shantisagar Charitra" written by Muni Kunthusagar
- Gajpantha: Given title "Charitra Chakravarti"
- 1938 Ch Baramati
- Indore (MP)
- 1939 Ch Pratapgarh (Raj)
- 1940 Ch Goral(Guj)
- 1941 Ch Akluj
- 1942 Ch Korochi
- 1943 Ch Digraj
- 1944 Ch Kunthalgiri
- 1945 Ch Phaltan
- 1946 Ch Kavalana
- 1947 Ch. Sholapur, India's independence
- A mute young man starts speaking
- 1948 Ch Phaltan
- 1949 Ch Kavlana
- 1950 Ch Gajpantha
- 1951 Ch Baramati
- 1952 Ch Lonand
- 1953 Ch Kunthalgiri
- 1953 Book "Charitra Chakravarti" by Sumeruchandra Diwakar published
- 1954 Preservation of Dhavala books
- 1955 Ch Kunthalgiri
- Determination for Sallekhana
- Sumeruchandra Diwakar arrived
- Acharya pada awarded to Muni Virasagar
- Bhattarakas Lakshmisen and Jinasen arrive
- Sept 18, 1955 Kunthalgiri: Samadhimarana
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shantisagar.|
- Natubhai Shah 2004, p. 55.
- Dundas 2002, p. 185.
- Natubhai Shah 2004, p. 56.
- Desjarlais & Eisenberg 1996, p. 82.
- Jaini 1998, p. 1.
- Natubhai Shah 2004, p. 55-56.
- Diwakar, Sumaruchandra (2006), Hemant Kala, ed., Charitra Chakravarti (8th ed.), Shri Bharatvarshiye Digambar Jain Mahasabha
- Br. Dharmachanda Shastri, Ed., Charitra Chakravarti, 1989
- Desjarlais, Robert R.; Eisenberg, Leon (1996) , World Mental Health: Problems and Priorities in Low-income Countries, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-977219-3
- Dundas, Paul (2002) , The Jains (Second ed.), Routledge, ISBN 0-415-26605-X
- Jaini, Padmanabh S. (1998) , The Jaina Path of Purification, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1578-5
- Shah, Natubhai (2004) , Jainism: The World of Conquerors, I, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1938-1