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Jain pontiff Charukeerthi Bhattaraka swami passes away

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Bengaluru: Jain community’s Shravanabelagola mutt seer and erudite scholar Swastishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka swami passed away here on Thursday. The seer was being treated at Adichunchanagiri Hospital in Nagamangala and on Thursday, he failed to respond to the treatment and breathed his last. He was 74.

A renowned Jain philosopher, Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami was the present pontiff of Shravanabelagola Mutt. Born on May 3 in 1949 at Varang in Udupi district, he studied Jain Philosophy in Prakrit, Sanskrit and Kannada. He has also obtained an MA in History (University of Mysore) and an MA in Philosophy (Bangalore University).

A prominent seer of the Jain community, he ascended the Jain peetha at Shravanabelagola in 1970 and had successfully performed seven Mahamastakabhishekas (1981, 1993, 2006 and 2018), that’s conducted once in 12 years.

 

It was Hoysala King Ballalaraya who conferred the title ‘Charukeerthi’ upon Acharya Muni Shubhachandra for guiding the king during the troubled times. Since then, the succeeding Acharyas have continued to take over the title.

As the mutt pontiff, he has constantly strived to spread the message of Jain philosophy.

It is a well known fact that Swamiji was a dedicated task master. In appreciation of his selfless service, he was honoured with the title ‘Karmayogi’ by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. His active role in organising the highly successful holy journey of the ‘Dharmachakra’ across the length and breadth of Southern India in commemoration of the ‘2,500th anniversary of Bhagwan Mahaveer’s Nirvana’ is a record of sorts. He had also organised ‘1000th year consecration and performed seven Mahamastakabhishekas. Besides, at a free eye camp organised at Shravanabelagola where over a 1000 people had the benefit of it, speaks volumes about the seer’s acumen for organizing the event.

He has immensely contributed towards education by establishing pre-primary, primary and high schools, a college of pharmacy, PU college (Science), an Engineering College, a Polytechnic and a National Institute for Prakrit Studies and Research Centre. Gommateshwar Vidyapeetha is instrumental in producing scholars in religious studies.

With an intention to take the treasures of Prakrit knowledge to common man, he set up ‘Prakrit Jnanabharathi Education Trust’ at Bengaluru. Under the auspices of this trust, National Prakrit Conferences are also held once in two years. ‘Prakrit Jnanabharathi Awards’ are also presented every year, to ten scholars selected for their notable contribution in the field of Prakrit.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah condoled the seer’s demise.

Seer who successfully organized the Mahamastakabhisheka to lord Bahubali in 1981, 1993, 2006 and 2018.

-Team Mysoorunews

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