Shwetambar Jain meet to name Acharya’s successor


Indore: The Vrihad Sadhu-Sadhvi Sammelan of Shwetambar Jain community is being held in the city. Besides naming a successor to current Acharya Samrat Dr Shimuni and electing a young acharya to represent younger Sadhu-Sadhvis, some revolutionary changes in the lifestyle of saints would be proposed.

The Sammelan acquires importance in many ways, one of which is that it is being held in the city after a gap of 28 years. Secondly the saints are expected to name successor of Acharya Samrat Dr Shimuni. The seers are also expected to elect a young acharya to represent younger seers.

Three revolutionary changes in the lifestyle of the saints are also being proposed. First the saints walk from one place to another barefoot. This becomes difficult during summer and feet develop blisters. It is being proposed that saints be allowed to wear footwear made of cloth to avoid such inconvenience. Secondly, saints are expected to go to a particular household and beg for food. The food is served in hands and the saints are expected to eat from hand itself. The practice is becoming inconvenient as food could be hot or liquid to hold in the hand and eat. It is therefore being suggested that the saints carry tiffin carrier and collect food and then consume at the place of their stay. Finally, the saints are allowed to use modern flushing toilets to answer the call of nature. Rather they collect the waste and dispose it off in adjoining forest areas themselves. However, with forests fast receding due to urbanisation, this practice too is becoming outdated, particularly for Sadhvis. Therefore, it is being suggested that the saints be allowed to use modern toilets now.

Meanwhile, the sammelan was kicked off on Friday with mangalpath by Dr Shimuni. The first day, comprising of two sessions, was dedicated to discussion during which over 500 Sadhus-Sadhavis made suggestions and changes. These suggestions would be helpful to formulate code of conduct for the saints.

As per the agenda, the sammelan will last until March 28. Every day will begin with mangalpath by Dr Shimuni, to be followed by suggestion session. The sammelan will conclude with kumbh on March 28 and 29 and more than 25000 people are expected to participat

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