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Acharya Vijayanandsuri
Vijayanandsuri Muni Atmaramji Jain monk.jpg
Official name Acharya Vijayanand Suri
Religion Jainism
Born (1837-04-06)April 6, 1837
Lehara, Punjab
Died May 20, 1896(1896-05-20) (aged 59)
Gujranwala, Punjab
Senior posting
Successor Acharya Vijay Vallabh Suriji
Religious career
Works Tattva-darshan, Agyana Timira Bhaskara, and Tattva Nirnaya Prāsād
Initiation Ānandavijaya (earlier Sant Atmaram)
by Muni Buddhivijay

Acharya Vijayanand Suri (1837–1896), also known as Atmaramji of Gujranwala, was the first Swetambar Murtipujaka Jain monk in modern times to receive the title of Acharya.[1][2] He was given the title of Navyug Nirmata (Builder of a new era) by his disciple Vallabhsuri.

Early life[edit]

Vijayanandsuri with his disciples in Ajmer in VS 1946

He was born on 6 April 1837 CE in Lehara, Punjab. He was born in a Hindu family. His father was an army official of Ranjit Singh. During his time, there was a public dispute between the two groups of Śvētāmbara Jainism, Sthānakavāsī and Murtipujaka. A couple of influential Sthanakavasi monks initiated him in 1853.[2][3]

Ascetic life and legacy[edit]

Memorial shrine in Gujranwala
Modern Wall Painting, sign "Thana Sabzi Mandi, Guzaranwala". It is now a police station.

He was initiated at the age of sixteen and was given the name of Atmaramji. Jivanram, his teacher, was an uneducated person. Atmaram began the study of Jain scriptures along with his fellow ascetics. He was later joined by a Yati of Tapa Gaccha lineage. After several years of study, he was convinced that the Sthanakavasi position of opposition of Idol-worshiping contradicted the scriptures.[2] Later in 1876, he was initiated again as a Murtipujaka monk in Ahmedabad by Muni Buddhivijay, also known as Buterayji, of Tapa Gaccha. He was given a new name, Anandvijayji. In 1886, he was conferred the title of Acharya. This was a notable event because since four centuries, there wasn't an ascetic who was conferred with the title of Acharya. He was the first Acharya of contemporary Jain history as till then only Yatis were conferred with the title.[3] In 1893 he was invited to participate in the first ever World religions Parliament at Chicago and since Jain monks do not travel overseas he sent Virchand Gandhi to United States to participate in the World Parliament of Religions. He won silver medal in 1893 at Chicago and was covered by many USA periodicals.[4] He used to give more importance to education. Later Vallabhsuri, his disciple successfully built many schools, hospitals and educational institutes. He died in Gujranwala (now in Pakistan) on 20 May 1896.[3] A memorial shrine dedicated to him was built there.

His monkhood lineage has large number of monks and nuns. Major streams are - Atma-Vallabh Samuday, an ascetic grouping, Prem -Ramchandra Suri and Prem-Bhuvanbhanu Suri Samuday.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mangilal Bhutoria, Itihas ki Amar Bel- Oswal, Priyadarshi Prakashan, Calcutta, 1988
  2. ^ a b c John Cort (November 16, 2009). Framing the Jina : Narratives of Icons and Idols in Jain History: Narratives of Icons and Idols in Jain History. Oxford University Press. pp. 5–8. ISBN 978-0-19-973957-8. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c 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. 
  4. ^ Jainism: The World of Conquerors By Natubhai Shah, 1998 Sussex Academic Press

External links[edit]