Rajendrasuri

Acharya Rajendrasuri was a Svetambara Jain monk and reformer of monk traditions of the 19th century. He wrote many books on Jainism including Abhidhānarājaindrakōśa, a dictionary of Prakrit defining 60000 terms used in Jain works.

Acharya Rajendrasuri was born to businessman Rishabhadas Parakh and Keshardevi. His birth name was Ratna Raj. He was born on 3 December 1827[better source needed] at Bharatpur, Rajasthan.[1][2][3]

He was initiated as a Jain yati (a Jain monk who stays in the same place) by Hemavijay at Udaipur on Vaishakh Shukla 5 Vikram Samvat 1904 (in 1848 CE) and given a new name, Ratnavijay. He was the first yati initiated in the 19th century.[2] Later his name was changed to Rajendrasuri upon his elevation to acharya rank.[3]

He studied under Pramodsuri and Jain yati monk Sagarchand. Dharanendrasuri, impressed by his scholarship, appointed him as his daftari. Ratnavijay was disappointed with the luxurious life of Dharanendrasuri and left him in 1864 AD. Later he became the leader of Tapa Gaccha.[3][4]

He led a movement in 1880 to reform yati tradition at Jaora, resulting in near extinction of it. He opposed the luxurious life of the Jain yatis, contradictory to Jain principles of non-possession and non-violence. He issued a nine-point manifesto known as Nav-kalama. He explained nine principles to reform Jain yati tradition. His manifesto was accepted after some initial opposition. Many leading yati and monks gave up their luxurious life and started following Jain principles. He established Agama or Samakit Gaccha, later known as Tristutik Gaccha.[2][3][4]

He restored and reconstructed some Jain temples and consecrated 1023 icons of Tirthankaras.[2] He visited Rajasthan and Malwa where he delivered religious discourses in Malwi, Marwari languages. He also opposed worship of other gods and goddesses over the worship of Tirthankars.[3]

Rajendrasuri died on 21 December 1906[2] (Vikram Samvat 1963 Pous Shukla Saptami) at Mohankheda, Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. Later, Mohankheda became a centre for learning and a tirtha around 1940.[1][4]

Rajendrasuri wrote, collected and edited some Jain works. He compiled the Prakrit dictionary, Abhidhānarājaindrakōśa, in seven volumes with 9200 pages describing 60000 terms.[2][3]

The original copy of these books are stored in libraries of Ahor, Rajasthan; Jaora; Mohankheda, Madhya Pradesh; Tharad and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

Shrines dedicated to him were erected at several places in India including Mohankheda, Bhinmal,Dhanera, Jalore, Bangalore, Bijapur, Ahemdabad, Tharad, Bharatpur, Indore, Ratlam, and Santhu etc. His death centenary was celebrated in 2006 at Mohankheda.[citation needed]