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Sudharma Swami.jpg
Sudharma Swami

Sudharmaswami (Sanskrit: Sudharmāsvāmī or Sudharman; 607 BC – 507 BC) was the fifth ganadhara of Mahavira. All the current Jain acharyas and monks follow his rule.


Sudharmāsvāmī gained omniscience in 515 BC and attained nirvana in 507 BC at the age of 100. He is said to be the last to have achieved the state of omniscience.[1] After gaining omniscience, the religious order was entrusted to his principal pupil, Jambuswami. During the period of his stewardship, Sudharmāsvāmī composed the Lord's teachings in twelve parts, which are known as the twelve Jain Agamas. Many of the agamas are composed in the form of questions asked by the disciple Jambuswami and the replies given by Sudharmāsvāmī.[citation needed]

For Jains, their scriptures represent the literal words of Mahāvīra and the other tirthankaras only to the extent that the agama is a series of beginning-less, endless and fixed truths, a tradition without any origin, human or divine, which in this world age has been channelled through Sudharmāsvāmī, the last of Mahavira's disciples to survive.[2]

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  1. ^ George 2008, p. 319.
  2. ^ Dundas 2002, p. 61.


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