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Digamber Jain

Digambara monasticism

The prominent Acharyas of the Digambar tradition were: * Acharya Kundakunda: author of Samayasar, etc. * Acharya Virasena: author of Dhavala * Acharya Aryanandi (monk) In around 10th century Digambar tradition was divided into two main orders. * Mula Sangh: includes Sena gana, Deshiya gana, Balatkara gana etc. * Kashtha Sangh: includes Mathura gana, Lat-vagad gana, etc. Acharya Shantisagar, the first Acharya of the 20th century, belonged to the tradition of Sena gana. Practically all the Digambara monks today, belong to the tradition of Acharya Shantisagar directly or indirectly. The Bhattarakas of Shravanabelagola and Mudbidri belong to Deshiya gana and Bhattara of Humbaj belongs to Balatkara gana. Among the prominent Digambara Acharyas today are Acharya Vidyasagar, Acharya Vidyanand, Acharya Pushpadant and Acharya Devanandji and Acharya Abhinandan Sagar Ji. Acharya Abhinandan Sagar Ji is the current pattacharya of Acharya Shantisagar Ji.

Digambara Jain communities in India

The native Jain communities of Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh, Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Southern Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu are all Digambaras. In north India, the Saravagis and the Agrawals are also Digambaras. In Gujarat the majority of Jains follow the Svetambara tradition, although some Jain communities of these regions, like the Humad, narsinghpura are also Digambaras. Digambara also has different communities under it such as Padmavati Porwal,Saitwal, Lad, Khandelwal, Bagherwal, Aggarwal, Visa Mewada etc. Chatutath, Pancham, Bogar, Kasar, Patni ,Sethi ,Tongia, Kasliwal, Badjatiya, Patwa etc belonging to Khandelwal (Jain) sub-community are maily from Rajasthan. Their ancestries have been engaged in business and have attain great riches. Lot of jain temples and havelis made in jaislmer, udaipur, jodhpur region have been built by them. Parwars mainly come from Bundelkhand. They are one of the most learned amongst Jains. Most Pandits and Scholars of tirthakshetras are Parwars.

Distinctives of Digambar

Digambara is one of the two main sects of Jainism, the other being Svetambar. The Gomatheswara at Shravanabelagola 978-993 AD. Until the leadership of Acharya Bhadrabahu, there was no significant division. After that some divisions gradually arose. Generally Digambar monks wear no clothes (dig ambar = sky clad) whereas Svetambar (svet ambar = white clad) monks usually wear white clothes. Although Senior Digambar monks wear no clothes, following the practice of Lord Mahavira, they do not consider themselves to be nude. Rather, they are wearing the environment, that is the quintessential, akasha or space. Digambaras believe that this practice represents a refusal to give in to the demands of the body for comfort and private property. Only Digambara ascetics are required to forsake clothing and not the laity. Digambara ascetics have only two possessions: a peacock feather broom and a water gourd. Conversely, Svetambara monks usually wear white maintaining that nudism is no longer practicable. While there are some differences in some practices, the main principles of each sect such as Mahavratas, Anuvratas and so forth are the same.


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