Photo: Acharya Shri Mahapragya (Hindi: आचार्य महाप्रज्ञ Ācārya Mahāprajña)(14 June 1920 – 9 May 2010) was the tenth head of the Svetambar Terapanth order of Jainism. Mahapragya was a saint, yogi, spiritual leader, philosopher, author, orator, and poet. He began his life of religious reflection and development as a Jain monk at the age of ten. Mahapragya played a major role in Anuvrat movement launched by his Guru Acharya Tulsi in 1949, and became the acknowledged leader of the movement in 1995. Acharya Mahapragya formulated the well organized Preksha meditation system in the 1970s, and developed the "Science of Living" education system which is a practical approach for the balanced development of a student and his character building. He traversed more than 100,000 km on foot covering more than 10,000 villages reaching out to the masses spreading the message of harmony and peace. He walked across the length and breadth of India From Kutch District in Gujarat to Kolkata and from Punjab to Kanyakumari. Mahapragya undertook this travel under the leadership of Acharya Tulsi and later with himself being the leader. During these travels, he addressed thousands of public meetings. Mahapragya, an apostle of nonviolence, launched the Ahimsa Yatra movement in 2001 which continued until 2009 to promote non-violence and harmony.
'The sequential relationship between Right Faith and Right Conduct does not mean that the former automatically generates the latter. Right Conduct is acquired only when the soul becomes concentrated on itself - when self-knowledge is acquired. If [every soul] concentrated in itself, [assuming] self-knowledge and self-love...yield the same result, everyone concentrating on himself would have become free from all ignorance and passions. But this is not the case. Even after acquiring Right Faith, passions are not enfeebled and in the presence of passions Right Knowledge does not manifest itself. If one could acquire all having acquired Right Faith, the period of penance and spirituality would have become redundant. But this is not true of real life. The need for long spiritual practice remains even after attaining Right Faith.
Even after acquiring perfection of Right Faith perfection of Right Knowledge is not achieved. Even after acquiring perfection of Right Knowledge perfect stoppage of karmic influx is not attained, and liberation is not possible without perfect cessation of karmic influx. There is no principle that perfection of Right Knowledge and perfect cessation of Karmik influx are ensured by perfection of Right Faith. The principle is that perfection of Right Knowledge is impossible without perfection of Right Faith and perfect cessation of Karmik influx is impossible without perfection of Right Knowledge.'
Quote Source & Recommended Reading:
'Light from the East: Eastern Wisdom for the Modern West'
By Harry Oldmeadow (Author)
This is a collection of writings about the spiritual meeting of East and West in the modern world including articles by the Dalai Lama, Huston Smith, Thomas Merton, Titus Burckhardt, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Diana Eck, Gary Snyder and Aldous Huxley. Highlighting aspects of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism that have proved most attractive to Western seekers, it explores the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western traditions while emphasizing respect amongst the adherents of different faiths.