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Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj attains samadhi after 'sallekhana' at Chandragiri Teerth

DONGARGARH (Chhattisgarh), Feb 19: Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj embraced death at the age of 77 on Sunday morning after undertaking 'sallekhana', a religious practice involving voluntary fasting unto death.

According to a statement issued by the teerth, the Acharya attained Samadhi through 'sallekhana' at Chandragiri Teerth at 2:35 am. 'Sallekhna' is a Jain religious practice involving voluntary fasting unto death for spiritual purification.

The rites were being held at Chandragiri Teerth in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon.

"Maharaj was staying on the teerth in Dongargarh for the last six months and was unwell for the past few days. For the last three days, he was observing 'sallekhana', a religious practice of voluntarily fasting to death, and had quit intake of food and liquids. According to Jainism, it is a vow taken for spiritual purification," the statement said.

The State Government declared a half-day State mourning on Sunday.

Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj was born on October 10, 1946, in Karnataka's Sadalga. He became a renowned saint among the Digambar Jain community. He was a Sanskrit scholar and writer and promoted Hindi.

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