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Digambar Jain Acharya Sri Manatunga

  

  Acharya Sri Manatunga

 Acharya Sri Manatunga, the author of Bhaktamara stotra was a great digambar scholar, eminent missionary and prodigious ascetic. Each and every word of  Bhaktamara stotra reveals his enlightening devotion and infinite faith in the first Ford Founder Lord Adinatha. Bhaktamara stotra is an unparalleled lustrous gem of devotional literature. Any devote, who sing the chants along with devotion and faith carrying a wish or desire not only attains the desired object but also the bliss of paradise and freedom.

 Bhaktamara stotra is an ageless panegyric. Its resonant and poetic word selection abounds in sentiments of devotions also  the spiritual and cultural grandeur of Jain philosophy reflects in every couplet. The inherent melody in its rhyme  has a hypnotising quality that instantaneously inspires a transcendental rapport with the Lord. Even today, millions of devotees recites this panegyric poetry with religious regularity and derive satisfaction of fulfillment of desires. 

 In the 11th Century There was a great king Bhoja in the Ujjain city of Malva. King Bhoja was a learned king and was the author himself of sanskrit poetry. Great poet  Kalidas, the author of Megdoot  was also  one of the members of his Royal Court. One Jain poet ‘Dhananjaya’ was also becoming famous those days in the city. One day King Bhoj called Dhananjaya in his royal court and get introduced with him and praised him for his poems and wisdom. Shri Dhananjaya told the king very politely that his all wisdom and knowledge was due to his teacher Acharya Manatunga  a great digambar Jain Muni. He  said that all the knowledge is due to the blessings of Acharya Mantunga. After knowing about the praise worth Acharya Mantunga, King Bhoj desired to meet with Acharya.

        Acharya Mantunga

        Acharya Sri Manatunga

 King Bhoja ordered his servants to bring Acharya Mantunga to his royal court with honor. When the messengers of King Bhoja approached Acharya Manatunga and requested to  Acharya  to go with them to meet their King Bhoja. But ascetic saints have no purpose in meeting with King or any other persons. So Acharya gave no reply to messengers and engrossed in deep meditation. Servants returned to King and told about their failure. 

  King Bhoja became angry and he ordered to bring the Acharya forcefully in his royal court. Thus Acharya were brought forcefully before King Bhoja. The king praised Acharya and requested to give some religious precepts to the audience present there. But up to that time looking unfavorable situations, Acharya decided to remain silent during such conditions. As all the  requests of King were all in vain, so King became angry and he ordered to his soldiers to place the Acharya in prison. Thus Acharya were placed in prison the King put him into prison of 48 cells and chained him with 48 locks.

  In the prison Acharya Mantunga started the prayer of Bhagwan Adinath , In prison  he wrote in Sanskrit language a great poem – the ‘Bhaktamar Stotra’ having 48 Verse. Due to the effect of Bhaktamar Stotra, Acharya Mantunga automatically came out of prison. The guards saw this miracle, but thinking about the self-ignorance, he again closed Acharya in prison and checked the locks firmly. But after sometime locks of prison again opened and Acharya were free again. Seeing this the guards hurried to the king and told him about the event. King came there and he ordered the soldiers to tie Acharya firmly with strong chains and kept in the prison having 48 locks. 
  Acharya again recited Bhaktamar Stotra and all the 48 locks with chains broken. Acharya automatically came out of prison. Looking this miracle, King Bhoja felt down in the feet of Acharya, he pardoned for his mistake again and again. The King had to realize the power of Janism and he completely surrendered to Acharya Mantunga greatness. He prayed, "O Execellence !  your greatness is greater than that of the sun, I bow to you. 

  Although the devotee is always absorbed in the devotion of his lord, whenever he is in some trouble he is surrounded by chaotic conditions. His hearts sinks into the virtous depths of his lord. And he gets emancipation through his devotion. This happened when the preceptor Manatunga was kept in prison under 48 locls by the king Bhoja.  But he entered the heavenly relams of Lord Adinatha and he came out of the prison.

  The Bhaktamar Stotra has been translated in many Indian languages. It has also been translated into English , German and French. While its first English translation appeared in 1632, its German translation was done by Dr. Hermann Jacobi in 1976. Many Europeon writers like Maxmuller, Keith, Webber,Winternitz and Chalott Krause have eulogised the mystical verses of “Bhaktamar”. Each   verse of Bhaktamar Stotra is connected with a yantra which contains the prescription guiding the devotee how to chant a mantra, how to prepare a mystical diagram, the method of self preparation for recitation of the syllables of the riddhi. In the end it informs the devotees about the advantages which will accrue after proper performance of the mantra.

        Bhaktambar Strota

Bhaktammara Stotra (भक्तामर स्त्रोत )

 

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