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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

146) Commemorating the Birth Centenary of Acharya Tulsi (20.10.1914 – 23.06.1997) of Jainism by issuing Rs.20/- & Rs.5/- coins by the Reserve Bank of India:

146) Commemorating the Birth Centenary of Acharya Tulsi (20.10.1914 – 23.06.1997) of Jainism  by issuing  Rs.20/- & Rs.5/- coins by the Reserve Bank of India:

Acharya Tulsi (20.10.1914-23.06.1997) was a prominent Jain religious leader. He was born on V.S. (Vikram Samvat) 1971 Kartik Shukla Dwitiya (1914 AD) at Ladnun Marwad, Zila Nagaur, Rajasthan, India.

He was a religious teacher and late ninth Acharya of “Terapanth Dharm Sangh” (a Svetambara Jain order) and predecessor of Acharya Mahapragya. He initiated the “Anuvrat” concept into the Terapanth sect and introduced many reforms.

He got his “Deeksha” (initiation – for becoming a monk) on V.S. 1982 (1925 AD) “Paush Krishna Panchmi”, at the age of 11, through his Guru Acharya Kalugani at Ladnun. He was nominated as a “yuvacharya” (successor Acharya) to Guru Kalugani on V.S. 1993 (1936 AD), Bhadravshukla Tritiya at Gangapur. He was an Acharya for 57 years, before leaving for “Devlok” (meaning “Abode of the Gods” or “heavens”) on 23.06.1997.

Acharya Tulsi & the Anuvrat Movement:

Acharya Tulsi shot into international prominence after he launched his Anuvrat (“small vows”) Movement in V.S. 2005 (02.03.1949).

The Concept:
Since ordinary persons find the Five Big Vows (non-violence, non-stealing, celibacy, non-acquisition/possession and speaking the truth) which are common to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism too intimidating, Acharya Tulsi developed a “minimum moral code” which was more in the nature of concepts to be kept in mind by the adherents while approaching/performing their tasks/functions as individuals and in their conduct in social interactions. Anuvrats are the limited version of the Mahavratsfor the monks, based on these five Principles.

Anuvrat means “atomic or small vows” renouncing individual moral lapses and shortcomings. The philosophy of Anuvrat focuses on a rigorous commitment to and an unhindered practice of Anuvrat which will cleanse all the moral degradation and make this world a healthy and happy place to live in.

Corrupt practices, narrow mindedness and lack of proper education vitiate human psychology, which in turn defies and debases human character. Universal observance of Anuvrat will bring about moral regeneration by creating a climate of peace, non-violence and amity.

Two other major contributions made by Acharya Tulsi and his nominated successor Yuvacharya Mahapragya were – “Jeevan Vigyan” (meaning “The science of living”) and “Preksha Dhyan” (meaning “A scientific technique of meditation”).

Preksha” literally means “looking into deeply” and is a technique which involves engaging the mind fully in the perception of the subtle internal and innate phenomena of consciousness to control the practitioner’s passions and to purify emotions.

Jeevan Vigyan” aims at the all-round physical, mental, emotional and moral development of the practitioner.

The former is a philosophy of education and the latter is a scientifically tested technique of overcoming stress, tension and other maladies of modern civilization.

Acharya Tulsi’s message & philosophy was not just for Jains but for the entire humanity.

The Mechanism:
The 12 vows which an Anuvrati is required to take:

A) (include the following 5 Main Vows of limited nature):

Ahimsa Anuvrat (Non-violence vow) (Sthula Pranatipat Viraman)

Satya Anuvrat (Truthfulness vow) (Sthula Mrisavada Viraman)

Achaurya Anuvrat (Non-stealing vow) (Sthula Adattadana Viraman)

Bhramacharya Anuvrat (Celibacy/Chastity vow) (Sthula Maithuna Viraman)

Aparigraha Anuvrat (Non-attachment & non-possessiveness vow) (Sthula Parigraha Viraman)

B) (include the following 3 Merit Vows (Guna Vrat):
Dik Vrat (Limited area of activity vow)

Bhoga-Upbhoga Vrat (Limited use of consumable and non-consumable items/limiting objects of daily use vows) 
Anartha-danda Vrat (Avoidance of purposeless sins/refraining from negative activities like gambling etc. vow)

C) include the following 4 Disciplinary Vows (Shiksha Vrat):
Samayik Vrat (Meditation vow of limited duration/Obtaining equanimity)

Desavakasika Vrat (Activity vow of limiting space/Keeping limits on consumables & non-consumable goods for certain durations)

Pausadhopavasa Vrat (Ascetic’s life Vow of limited duration/Fasting, praying & temporarily living like a monk or nun in a spiritual place at least for 24 hours)

Atithi Samvibhaga or Dana Vrat (Limited charity vow/ offering food & shelter to monks & nuns, helping others).

How these vows translate into action for a lay-person:

A)  The Aims of Anuvrat:

1)   To inspire people to observe self-restraint, irrespective of their caste, colour, creed, country or language.

2)   To establish the values of friendship, unity, peace and morality.

3)   To create a society free from all kinds of exploitation.

The Anuvrat Code of Conduct calls upon all human beings to live a good and righteous life by committing themselves to the observance of Anuvrat vows.

 The Anuvrat adherents are self-transformed people who lead a lifestyle rooted in ethical conduct conducive to environmental and ecological harmony.
A person accepting to conduct his life by adhering to these vows becomes a member of the Movement, irrespective of his caste, creed, religion and nationality.

An Anuvrat adherent, on a personal level, is expected to take the following vows over a period of time (Personal Code of conduct):

-      I will not commit suicide, foeticide or kill an innocent creature.

-      I will not attack anybody or support aggression in any form. My endeavour would be to bring about world peace and disarmament.

-       I will not take part in violent agitations or in any destructive activities.

-      I will believe in human unity and not discriminate on the basis of caste, colour, creed, language etc. nor will I treat anyone as an untouchable.

-      I will practice religious tolerance and not rouse sectarian frenzy.

-      I will observe rectitude in my dealings with other people and not harm anyone in order to serve any ends or practice deceit.

-      I will set limits to the practice of continence and acquisition.

-      I will not resort to unethical practices in elections.

-      I will not encourage socially evil customs.

-      I will lead a life free from addictions and not use intoxicants like alcohol, hemp, heroin, tobacco etc.

-      I will do my best to refrain from such acts which are likely to cause pollution and harm the environment, for eg: I will not cut down trees or waste water.

Countries on an International level are expected to follow the following Code of conduct:

No country should:

-       Commit aggression against another country.

-      Try to occupy the territory or grab the property of another country.

-      Interfere in the internal affairs of another country.

-      Try to impose its form of government or ideology on another country.

-      Adopt a policy of reconciliation, should there be differences of opinion with other countries.

-      Act as a barrier against disarmament.

The Anuvrat Sadhna (or “meditation”):

By the Adherent:

The Anuvrat adherent should:

-      Practice Preksha Sadhna or Meditation.

-      Have a reconciliatory attitude for the sake of peaceful domestic life.

-      Practice restraint in individual possession and consumption.

-      Exercise control over eating.

-      Practice diligence, self-reliance and simplicity.
Anuvrat does not interfere in a person’s individual religious beliefs.

Anuvrat believes in:
A minimal ethical code of conduct.

It tries to reorient the adherent’s value system.

It tries to elevate the adherent’s level to a stage where there is no gap between words and deeds.

It stands for human solidarity.

It endeavours to reduce the gap between knowledge and conduct.

It stands for character building & is a technique of self-introspection.

The movement encouraged people to apply the Anuvrats in their personal lives, even when dealing with non-religious aspects of the society. The movement also held that Dharma is not for ensuring happiness in the future lives but also for achieving happiness in the present life.

The Movement aimed at inspiring human beings to develop a strong sense of self-discipline. It was directed at the people of the world, irrespective of their caste, creed, colour, language, sex or religion.

The implementation of his Anuvrat philosophy by Acharya Tulsi:
Having become Independent shortly before Acharya Tulsi propounded his Anuvrat Movement, India was going through a phase of nation-building and eradicating social evils. The Acharya’s philosophy of Anuvrat became an instant success and was hugely successful during the 1960s and 1970s. Acharya Tulsi led many nationwide padyatras (journeys performed on foot) covering over 70000 km. administering the Anuvrat oath.

Acharya Tulsi walked barefoot throughout the sub-continent and never used any transport or wore shoes, in the finest traditions of Jain “munis” (saints).

In his long walks and meetings with people, he gathered that mere preaching was not enough to bring about the desired goals. He therefore, added “Preksha Sadhana” (Meditation) and “Jivan Vigyan” (Science of Living) to his mission for inner transformation of individuals and younger generations.

Traditionally Jain monks were prohibited from travelling overseas. Acharya Tulsi created a new class of apprentice monks “samanas/samanis” in a new order called the  “Saman” Order in V.S.2037 (around 1980), in an effort to spread the preachings/concepts of his Anuvrat movement, worldwide. This order follows the lifestyle of Sadhus (monks) and Sadhvis (nuns) with two exceptions: They are granted permission to use means of transportation and are allowed to take food prepared for them. This order functions as a link/bridge between normal households and the Jain monks and nuns.

In 1948, Acharya Tulsi established the “Parmarthik Shikshan Sanstha” (spiritual training centre) for female aspirants who wanted to lead the Jain monastic lifestyle. He also, set up “Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute” to realize his dream of mass psychological transformation. He stood for equal education of the “Sadhvis” (nuns) who were traditionally denied the benefit of education. For carrying out scientific experiments and research into meditation, ahimsa, science of living and Jainology, an institute of higher education with a status of a university the “Jain Vishwa Bharti” was set up at Ladnun which is a leading institute in Behavioral Sciences Research and Attitudinal changes.

 He promoted reconciliation among various faiths by initiating a series of inter-religious dialogues. To promote communal and inter-faith harmony he visited churches, temples and mosques and invited representatives of other faiths to come to his place and speak about the principles of their religious traditions.
 He encouraged his disciples to serve the depressed classes and work towards their upliftment. A new Organization called “Bhartiya Sanskar Nirman Samiti” was created exclusively for the welfare of the depressed classes.

Three successful International Conferences on peace and non-violence were held under him at Ladnun, Rajasamund and again at Ladnun in 1988, 1991 and 1995 respectively. The first Ladnun Declaration – a concrete action plan for the creation of a non-violent socio-political world order and the Rajasamund declaration for Training in Non-violence as an instrument for individual transformation are stepping stones to a global ethic. The second Ladnun Declaration in 1995 called for a non-violent World and Ecological Harmony through Spiritual Transformation and set forth 21 conditions for the realization of this goal.

During general elections, he launched a drive to persuade political parties to observe the Anuvrat code of conduct and was hugely successful.

On 18.02.1994, he elevated his successor the Yuvacharya Mahapragya to take over the reins of Acharyaship of the “Terapanth Dharm Sangh” from him.

He left for his heavenly abode on 23.06.1997 peacefully, spreading his message to the very end.

Awards & Honours:

In 1971, he was awarded the title of “Yug Pradhan” (Leader of this Age) by the President of India.

In 1985, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth (University/Seat of Learning), Udaipur conferred upon the Acharya their highest honour – “Bharat Jyoti” (Light of India) for his significant contribution to India’s cultural heritage.

In 1989, the Government of India nominated him as a member of the National Integration Council (NIC).

In 1992, an honorary degree of “Vakpati” was conferred upon him by the Institute of higher Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Varanasi, in recognition of his efforts to preserve and promote the ethical tenets enshrined in the two streams of the Shramic Tradition – Buddhism and Jainism.

In 1995, he was honoured by the Mewar Foundation with an Award for his contribution to National Integration.

In 1998, Acharya Tulsi was also honoured with a 300 paise or Rs.3.00 commemorative stamp released on 20.10.1998 issued by Indiapost.

A memorial named “Mahashila Abhilekh” has been erected in his memory in the village of Todgarh.

Acharya Tulsi’s legacy:
Acharya Tulsi’s Anuvrat Movement has since grown manifold with thousands of adherents taking the Anuvrat vows. The Acharya believed that human excellence lies in a person’s ability to judge what is right. Every human being is imbued with discretion which enables the person to exercise self-control.

He was a prolific poet and writer and authored more than 100 books apart from being a distinguished spiritual leader.

He lived a life of austerity, stoicism and renunciation and had no fixed home, property or wealth. He was constantly on the march trying to spread his message to the people, for he believed that an ascetic must always be on the move reaching out to more & more people. He always bubbled with energy and was a constant fountain of wisdom, erudition & compassion.

The Acharya dedicated his entire life to the cause of peace and non-violence. He inspired millions of persons to refrain from violence, hatred, exploitation, concentration of wealth and addiction to intoxicants.

He worked towards eradicating social evils & formulated a plan for universal peace. His three-dimensional philosophy of human regeneration – “Anuvrat”, “Preksha Sadhna” and “Jivan Vigyan” has received tremendous support all over the World.

An iconoclast, he stood against all practices which he considered to be obstacles to spreading his concept of Anuvrat, even within his order. His message was shorn of narrow sectarian considerations and formed on firm commitment and adherence to the principles of universal brotherhood, peace and non-violence.

Today, Acharya Tulsi is synonymous with Jainism, even though his Terapanth is the smallest and newest Jain Sect/Order. He coined a phrase “Jain bano na bano, good man bano” (meaning “it does not matter if you become a good Jain, aspire to become a good man, a moral man”).

His message to humanity and his contribution to human happiness live on through his disciples, various institutions that he set up and through his philosophy.

Note on the “Svetambara Terapanth” & the “Digambar Terapanth”:

The “Svetambara Terapanth” was founded in V.S. 1817 (1760 A.D.) by Sthanakavasi (resident) monk Bhikanji, the first Acharya of the Terapanth sect. Acharya Tulsi was the ninth Acharya of this sect. This Order is led by one Acharya at a time.

The “Digambar Terapanth” was a reform movement started by some individuals including Pandit Banarsi Das of Agra. This order can have many Acharyas, with each Acharya being the Head of his group of monks/nuns.

Terapanth” stands for “the ways/paths associated with the thirteen”. Terapanth stresses upon thirteen religious principles - five "Mahavrats" (great vows), five "Samitis" (regulations) and three "guptis" (controls or restraints). There are millions of Terapanthis across the World.

The two “Terapanths” are unrelated to each other.

Acharya Tulsi was a proponent of unity among different Jainism sects. He tried to unite the fractious Jain community by opening lines of communication among the sub-sects of the Digambars and Shwetambars. As a result of his endeavours, “Samana Suttam” came to be compiled and accepted by all sects. 

Commemorative coin:
Reserve Bank of India has issued a five rupee commemorative coin to commemorate the birth centenary of Acharya Tulsi. The coin has been put into general circulation during April 2014.

The reverse of the coin shows a portrait of Acharya Tulsi. Below his portrait are mentioned the centenary years “1914 – 2013”. On the upper periphery of the coin is mentioned the legend “Acharya Tulsi Janam Shatabdi” (in Hindi) and on the lower periphery is mentioned the legend “Acharya Tulsi Birth Centenary” (in English).

 The prominent “diamond” mint mark of the Mumbai mint is at the extreme bottom of this face of the coin, mentioned below the “I” in the word “BIRTH”.  

 The obverse of the coin shows the Lion Capitol of the Ashoka Pillar in the centre of the coin, with the legend “Satyameva Jayate” inscribed below it in Hindi. On the left periphery is written “Bharat” in Hindi and on the right periphery “India” is written. On the bottom of the coin, the denomination of the coin “5” is mentioned preceded by the “rupee symbol”.

The specifications of the coin are:
Shape: Circular; Diameter: 23 mm; Weight: 6.0 gms; No. of serrations: 100; Metal Composition: Nickel Brass (Copper – 75%; Zinc – 20% and Nickel 5%).
In addition, a Commemorative Rupees Twenty circular coin has also been released which is made of Quaternary alloy having 180 serrations on the edge.

Posted on 09.06.2015:

Commemorative coins for Numismatists/Collectors have been issued by the India Government Mint, Mumbai to commemorate the Centenary of Acharya Tulsi’s birth (1914-2013).

Both Proof and Uncirculated coins sets in the denomination of Rs.20/- and Rs.5/- have been issued. Twenty rupee Commemorative coins have been issued for the first time by an India Government Mint in both categories – Proof and Uncirculated.

I have received a Proof Coin set from the Mumbai Mint yesterday. The Postman delivered it to me in pouring rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning. Indeed, it seemed to be a very apt way of Nature’s forces “to greet/celebrate” my receiving this first Rs.20/- coin for my collection. 

 The details are as under:

   The above is an image of the cover of the album of the Proof coins.

The Obverse of the two coins Rs.20/- and Rs.5/- as they appear on the Coin album.

                            The Obverse of the Rs. 20/- coin. 
 On the top centre is the Lion Capitol of Emperor Ashoka which is the emblem of the Government of India. The words “Satyameva Jayate” (coined by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya – meaning “Truth Always Prevails”). On the left periphery is mentioned “Bharat” in Hindi and on the right periphery is mentioned “India” in English. Below the Lion Capitol, on the bottom of the coin is mentioned the denomination of the coin “20”, preceded by the rupee symbol. 

                               The Reverse of the Rs. 20/- coin. 
On the upper periphery is mentioned “Acharya Tulsi Janm Shatabdi” in Hindi. On the lower periphery is mentioned “Acharya Tulsi Birth Centenary” in English. The portrait of Acharya Tulsi is placed in the centre below the inscription in Hindi. Further below are mentioned the commemorative/Centenary years “1914-2013”. Notice the "M" mint mark below the inscription on the bottom periphery, which is reserved for Proof Coins, as against the usual Diamond mint mark of the Mumbai Mint.

The specifications of this coin are:

Shape: Circular; Diameter: 39 mm (This is a smaller coin as against the regular commemorative coin issues of 44 mm); No. of serrations: 180 (as against 200 serrations on Commemorative coin issues of 44 mm); Weight: 30.0 gms; Metal Composition: Quaternary Alloy (Silver 50%, Copper 40%, Nickel 5% and Zinc 5%).

The Obverse of the Rs. 5/- coin.  On the top centre is the Lion Capitol of Emperor Ashoka which is the emblem of the Government of India. The words “Satyameva Jayate” (coined by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya – meaning “Truth Always Prevails”). On the left periphery is mentioned “Bharat” in Hindi and on the right periphery is mentioned “India” in English. Below the Lion Capitol, on the bottom of the coin is mentioned the denomination of the coin “5”, preceded by the rupee symbol. 

 The Reverse of the Rs. 5/- coin. On the upper periphery is mentioned    “Acharya Tulsi Janm Shatabdi” in Hindi. On the lower periphery is mentioned “Acharya Tulsi Birth Centenary” in English. The portrait of Acharya Tulsi is placed in the centre below the inscription in Hindi. Further below are mentioned the commemorative/Centenary years “1914-2013”. Notice the "M" mint mark below the inscription on the bottom periphery, which is reserved for Proof Coins, as against the usual Diamond mint mark of the Mumbai Mint.

The specifications of this coin are:

Shape: Circular; Diameter: 23 mm; No. of serrations: 100; Weight: 6.0 gms; Metal Composition: Nickel Brass (Copper 75%, Zinc 20% and Nickel 5%).

Posted on 18.09.2015:
I have yesterday received a Rs.5/- Commemorative Coin album from the Hyderabad Mint after a wait of almost six months from the date of booking. The details are as under:

The Cover of the Commemorative coin album received from the Hyderabad Mint celebrating the Birth Centenary of Acharya Tulsi (1914-2013). The cover shows Acharya Tulsi in the foreground and a stylised   impression of Lord Mahavir, the last Tirthankar of Jainism in the background

The inner pages of the Commemorative coin Album received from the Hyderabad Mint. On the left page is seen an image of Acharya Tulsi with a stylised image of Lord Mahavir in the background.
Mentioned on this page is – “Acharya Tulsi was born on 20.10.1914 in Ladnun, present day Nagaur district of Rajasthan. He was a Jain religious leader. Acharya Kalugani, then the leader of the terapanth Sangh, greatly influenced Tulsi. Tulsi took his monk’s vows at the age of 11.
In 1936, Acharya Kalugani nominated Tulsi to be his successor, making him head of the Terapanth Sangh. He was founder of the Anuvrata movement and Jain Visva Bharti Institute, Ladnun. He has written over 0ne hundred books.
In 1949, he launched the Anuvrat Movement (Anu – “small” vrat – “vow”).Anuvrats are the limited version of the Mahavrats  for the monks based on the Jain Principles of Truth, Non-violence, Non-possession , Non-stealing.
The Movement encouraged people to apply the Anuvrats in their personal lives, even when dealing with non-religious aspects of the society. The Movement also believed that the Dharma is not for ensuring happiness in the future lives but also achieving happiness in the present life”.
On this Page  is also shown the Obverse of the Coin.
The partial specifications of this coin are mentioned as under:
Denomination: Rs.5/-
Alloy: Nickel-Brass (Copper: 75%, Zinc : 20%, Nickel: 5%).

The Obverse of the Coin shows the Lion Capitol of Emperor Ashok, presently the Emblem of the Government of India in the centre with the words “Satyameva Jayate” (below the Lion Capitol), meaning “Truth Always Prevails”. Below the Lion Capitol is the denomination of the coin “Rs.5/-”. The name of the issuing country “Bharat” (in Hindi/Devnagri) is on the left periphery of this coin face and “India” (in English) is on the right periphery of this coin face.

The Reverse of the Coin is shown on the left upper side. More specifications of the coin are shown on this page:
Diameter: 23 mm; Weight: 6.00 gms; No. of serrations: 100
Also shown on this page is a Rs.3/- stamp of Acharya Tulsi issued in 1998. 

On the left page, the Jain Philosophy is depicted.

 The “Swastik” is the holiest symbol of the Jains. It is normally represented along with three dots and a crest on top of the dots, with a single dot on top of the crest.
 The crest represents the “Sidha Shila” above which the “infinite Sidhas” (realized souls) which have achieved freedom from the cycle of reincarnation reside, while the dots below the Sidha Shila represent the souls which are nearing the “Siddha” status.

The hand with the wheel on the palm symbolizes the 5 Jain vows, with the word “Ahimsa” mentioned in the middle of the palm in Devanagri . A wheel on the palm represents the “Dharma-chakra” (The path of Righteousness) all of which , if followed will halt the cycle of birth and rebirth and the person will achieve “Moksha”.

The palm symbol and the Siddha Shila are encompassed by an 8-sided polygon symbolizing the structure of the Universe as envisaged by Jain Philosophy. Jains believe that the supreme abode is above the Sidha shila, below which is the “Dev Lok” (Heaven) where all “devas” (powerful souls with positive karmic effects reside in sixteen different levels depending on their levels of positive karmic energies.  

In the middle section of the diagram (the narrow section which is like the waist in the diagram) , all other living beings reside and below the waist are the seven levels of “Narak” (Hell) where the degree of suffering and light changes at various levels, with the intensity of suffering being the highest in the seventh hell  which has no light.

The entities  residing in Heaven take rebirth once their  positive karmic effects  is exhausted and similarly, the ones residing in Hell take rebirth when their negative karmic effects are exhausted.

This process continues, till, by following the path of Dharma, the souls cross the Sidha Shila.

The words “Parasparopagraho Jivanam “ meaning “All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence” are mentioned below the Central design.

The Reverse of the Coin shows an image of Acharya Tulsi with the upper peripheral inscription “Acharya Tulsi Janm Shatabdi” (in Hindi/Devnagri). Mentioned on the lower periphery is “Acharya Tulsi Birth Centenary”. Below his portrait is mentioned the centenary years 1914-2013. Below this inscription is the “Star” mint mark of the Hyderabad Mint.


1)Lord Mahavir: The 24th & last Tirthankar of Jainism 599 - 527 BCE (Honouring prominent religious teachers with Commemorative coins).

Links to other articles on coins issued on Prominent saints and temples of India: 

1) 25 Years of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board


  1. Jayashree Mukherjee has commented on my receiving the coin from Hyderabad Mint on 17.09.2015 & adding it to my collection:
    "Wow .Congratulations" .