Acharya Vidyasagar Age, Death, Family, Biography & More

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Death Cause: Sallekhana
Death Date: 18/02/2024
Age: 77 Years

Acharya Vidyasagar

Other nameVidyadhar [1]Vidyasagar
Nickname(s)Sukumal, Peelu, Gini (Tota), and Mari [2]Vidyasagar
ProfessionDigambar Jain Monk
Physical Stats & More
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourGray (semi-bald)
Religious Career
Diksha (Initiation)30 June 1968
TeacherAcharya Gyansagar
Personal Life
Date of Birth10 October 1946 (Thursday)
BirthplaceSadalga, Belgaum district, Karnataka, India
Date of Death18 February 2024
Place of DeathChandragiri, Rajnandgaon district, Chhattisgarh, India
Age (at the time of death)77 Years
Death CauseSallekhna [3]The Times of India
Zodiac signLibra
HometownSadalga, Belgaum district, Karnataka
SchoolHe studied till 9th class in a Kannada medium school. [4]Vidyasagar
Food HabitVegetarian [5]Dainik Bhaskar
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Unmarried
ParentsFather- Mallappa Jain
Mother- Shrimanti
Acharya Vidyasagar's family
• Mahaveer (elder)
• Anantanath (younger)
• Shantinath (younger)
Sister- 2
• Shanta (younger)
• Suvarna (younger)

Acharya Vidyasagar

Some Lesser Known Facts About Acharya Vidyasagar

  • Acharya Vidyasagar was famous for his scholarship and spending a long time in meditation.
  • Vidyadhar liked going to temples and teaching his younger siblings about religion. In his leisure time, he enjoyed painting.
  • When he was young, he loved eating fresh butter, which was later turned into clarified butter called ghee.
  • In 1968, at 22 years old, he became a Digambara monk under Acharya Gyansagar in Ajmer. Acharya Gyansagar was part of the lineage of Acharya Shantisagar.
  • In 1972, Vidyasagar became an Acharya. He is seen as a role model for establishing institutions that help people in different places.
  • As a traditional Digambara Jain monk, Acharya Vidyasagar avoided staying in one place for too long, except during the four rainy months (Chaturmas). He kept his next destination secret, even though people tried to guess where he would go next. [6]Patrika[7]Dainik Bhaskar

    Acharya Vidyasagar leading his sangha during his vihara

    Acharya Vidyasagar leading his sangha during his vihara

  • More than two hundred monks (munis) and nuns (āryikas) were initiated and guided by him, including 117 Digambar Munis and 172 Āryikas. They live in over 60 places across India during Chaturmas, from Gujarat to Jharkhand and from Haryana to Karnataka.
  • He was the only Acharya in India who had given 505 initiations, including Muni, Āryika, Ailak, and Kshulak initiations, before his demise. [8]Dainik Bhaskar
  • Acharya Vidyasagar followed strict rules in his ascetic life. He didn’t eat milk, yoghurt, green veggies, or dry fruits. He only drank water once a day, measuring it with his finger. His diet was mainly plain lentils and bread in small amounts. He travelled a lot around the country by walking. [9]Dainik Bhaskar
  • Though born in Karnataka and undertaking spiritual discipline in Rajasthan, he mostly spent his time in the Bundelkhand region. Here, he is recognized for revitalizing educational and religious activities. [10]India Today
  • In 2006, his follower Muni Kshamasagar wrote a biography about Acharya Vidyasagar called ‘Ātmānveśhī,’ which was later translated into English as ‘In Quest of the Self.’

    Cover of the book 'In Quest of the Self'

    Cover of the book ‘In Quest of the Self’

  • Some of Acharya Vidyasagar’s followers have become well-known scholars themselves. By 2001, about 21% of all Digambar monks were following his teachings. Among his disciples are Muni Sudhasagar and Muni Pramansagar. One of his most famous followers, Muni Kshamasagar, passed away in 2015.
  • In 2016, Acharya Vidyasagar spent his Chaturmas in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, accompanied by 38 monks. During this period, he was invited by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to deliver a reading (Pravachana) in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly on 28th July 2016.
  • In 2018, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath honoured Vidyasagar with the State Guest Honor. Later, the UP Government issued a protocol recognizing this honour.
  • In July 2018, the fiftieth anniversary of his diksha was celebrated in many cities across India with parades and festivities. To mark this important event, commemorative columns called Swarna Kirti Stambha were erected in Ajmer, Rewa, Sravanbelgola, and other places.
  • Acharya Vidyasagar was skilled in Sanskrit and Prakrit, along with other languages like Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, and English.
  • He wrote a lot in languages like Prakrit, Sanskrit, and Hindi, creating important works such as Niranjana Shataka, Bhavana Shataka, Parishah Jaya Shataka, Suniti Shataka, and Shramana Shataka. He had composed nearly 700 haiku poems, though they haven’t been published. [11]Vidyasagar
  • In November 2018, a documentary film called ‘Vidyoday’ about Acharya Vidyasagar’s life was released. The film had its first international screening at the Harrow Safari Cinema in London.

    Poster of the 2018 documentary film 'Vidyoday'

    Poster of the 2018 documentary film ‘Vidyoday’

  • One of his notable contributions is the Hindi epic poem ‘Mukamati,’ which is part of the syllabus for Hindi MA programs in different institutions. This poem has also been translated into English by Lal Chandra Jain and presented to Pratibha Patil, the President of India. Many researchers have studied his works for their master’s and doctoral theses.
  • His favourite game was chess.
  • The house in which he was born was later turned into a temple and a museum. [12]Dainik Bhaskar
  • The Acharya renounced his Acharyahood and began Sallekhna on 14 February 2024, at Chandragiri Tirth in Dongargarh. He passed on the Acharya title to Niryapak Muni Samaysagar Maharaj on 6 February 2024. [13]Dainik Bhaskar

    Acharya Vidyasagar after obtaining samadhi

    Acharya Vidyasagar after obtaining samadhi

  • After the passing of Acharya Vidyasagar on 18 February 2024, the governments of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh declared a half-day state mourning. [14]Telangana Today The Governor and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh also offered their condolences on his death. [15]The Week
  • In 2024, at the BJP’s National Convention in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states, and other BJP leaders observed a one-minute silence to honour the Acharya’s passing and express their condolences. [16]The Times of India