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Renowned Jain seer Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj chooses ‘Sallekhna’ to embrace death

Renowned Jain seer Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj passed away on Sunday at Chandragiri Teerth in Dongargarh, located in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, after undertaking the spiritual practice of ‘sallekhna’. Sallekhna is a Jain tradition involving voluntary fasting unto death for spiritual purification, as confirmed by a statement from the teerth. Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj attained Samadhi through this practice at Chandragiri teerth at 2:35 am, following a period of declining health.

The statement further explained that Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj had been residing at the teerth in Dongargarh for the past six months and had been unwell for several days. Over the last three days, he had been observing sallekhna, abstaining from food and liquids as part of this religious practice for spiritual purification, in accordance with Jainism’s teachings. A procession is scheduled for 1 pm on Sunday to allow people to pay their respects to the departed seer, with final rites to be conducted at Chandragiri teerth.

In a gesture of respect and remembrance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Dongargarh, a renowned pilgrimage site, ahead of the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections last year, where he sought blessings from Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj on November 5. In a condolence message, Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai expressed sorrow over the passing of Acharya Shri Vidyasagar Mahamuniraj ji, highlighting his significant contributions to society and his enduring legacy of knowledge, sacrifice, and penance.


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