Acharya Vidyasagar Wiki, Age, Death, Family, Biography & More

Acharya Vidyasagar


Acharya Vidyasagar (1946-2024) was an Indian Digambara Jain Acharya, also known as a Digambar Jain Monk. He was famous for being very knowledgeable, practising austerity (tapasya), and spending long periods in meditation. He died at the age of 77 on 18 February 2024 after following Sallekhana.


Acharya Shri Vidyasagarji Maharaj was born on Thursday, 10 October 1946 (age 77 years; at the time of death) in Sadalga, Belgaum district, Karnataka, India. His zodiac sign is Libra.

A childhood image of Acharya Vidyasagar

Vidyasagar liked going to temples and teaching his younger siblings about religious principles. He studied till 9th class in a Kannada medium school.

Physical Appearance

Hair Colour: Gray (semi-bald)

Eye Colour: Black


He was born in a Kannada-speaking Jain family.

Parents & Siblings

His father’s name is Mallappa, and his mother’s name is Shrimanti. He had three brothers; an elder brother, Mahavira Ashtage, and two younger brothers named Anantanath and Shantinath. He had two younger sisters named Shanta and Suvarna. He referred to both of his younger sisters as ‘Akka’ (elder sister).

Acharya Vidyasagar’s family

Religious Journey

In 1968, Vidyasagar became a Digambara monk at the age of 22 under Acharya Gyansagar, who belonged to the lineage of Acharya Shantisagar, in Ajmer.

A young-age photo of Acharya Vidyasagar


In 1972, Vidyasagar received the status of Acharya. The number of monks (munis) and nuns (āryikas) initiated and guided by him exceeds two hundred (117 Digambar Muni, 172 Āryikas). He was the only Acharya in the country to have bestowed 505 Muni, Āryika, Ailak, and Kshulak initiations thus far. As a traditional Digambara Jain monk, Acharya Vidyasagar tried not to stay at a single location for more than a few days, except during the four months of the rainy season (Chaturmas). He never disclosed his next destination, although people attempted to guess where he would be next.

Acharya Vidyasagar leading his sangha during his vihara

In 2016, he delivered his Pravachana (reading) in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly by special invitation from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 28 July 2016. In 2018, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath honoured Vidyasagar with the State Guest Honor upon Vidyasagar. The fiftieth anniversary of his diksha was celebrated in many cities across India with parades and festivities in July 2018.


Acharya Vidyasagar was proficient in many languages including Sanskrit, Prakrit, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, and English and wrote extensively in these languages. Some of his notable works include Niranjana Shataka, Bhavana Shataka, Parishah Jaya Shataka, Suniti Shataka, and Shramana Shataka. He also composed around 700 haiku poems, although they remain unpublished. One of his significant contributions is the Hindi epic poem ‘Mukamati,’ which has been incorporated into the syllabus of Hindi MA programs in various institutions. Many researchers have explored his works for their master’s and doctoral theses. He established a school for girls called Pratibhasthali Gyanodaya Vidhyapeeth, to teach them important life lessons besides their studies.


On 18 February 2024, Vidyasagar passed away through Sallekhana at the age of 77 at Chandragiri Teerth in Dongargarh, Chhattisgarh. Following his demise, the governments of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh declared a half-day state mourning. The Governor and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh offered their condolences on his death.


Acharya renounced his Acharyahood and commenced sallekhana on 16 February 2024, at Chandragiri Tirth in Dongargarh. He took his last breath (Samadhi) on 18 February 2024, at 02:35 AM at the same location. He passed on the Acharya title to Niryapak Muni Samaysagar Maharaj on 6 February 2024.

Acharya Vidyasagar after obtaining samadhi

In 2024, at the BJP’s National Convention in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders observed a one-minute silence to honour the Acharya’s passing and offered their condolences.


  • Acharya Vidyasagar’s childhood name was Vidyadhar.
  • In childhood, he was often referred to as Sukumal, Peelu, Gini (Tota), and Mari.
  • His favourite board game was chess. He also loved playing carrom.
  • The house where he was born was later transformed.
  • Acharya Vidyasagar followed very strict rules in his ascetic life. He avoided consuming milk, curd, green vegetables, and dry fruits. He also limited his water intake to once a day, using his finger to measure. His diet mainly consisted of plain dal and roti in small quantities. He mostly travelled across the country on foot.
  • In childhood, he loved eating fresh butter, which was used for making ghee (clarified butter).
  • In 2006, his disciple Muni Kshamasagar wrote his biography, titled Ātmānveśhī, which was translated into English as ‘In Quest of the Self.’

    Cover of the book ‘In Quest of the Self’

  • In November 2018, a documentary film titled ‘Vidyoday’ based on Acharya Vidyasagar’s life was released. The first international screening of the film was at the Harrow Safari Cinema in London.

    Poster of the 2018 documentary film ‘Vidyoday’