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Gunabhadra – Teacher In Jain Religion

Gunabhadra, revered as Sri Gunabhadrasuri, is an important teacher (acharya) in Jain religion. He wrote voluminously in Sanskrit. Only scanty material is available about his personal life. He claimed to be a disciple of the great Jain Acharya, Jinasena. According to Prasasti of Uttara Purana, Gunabhadra completed the unfinished task of his guru. It is certain that he flourished only after Jinasena. According to Pancastupa Gurvavali, the time of Gunabhadra was 803-95 CE.

Among his independent works, Atmanusasana is considered the most important and spiritual. His exposition of the psychic state of humankind and causes of suffering in human life is lucid.

Second important work of Gunabhadra is the Uttara Purana, is considered to be the remaining part of Maha Purana of Jinasena (which describes the life of the fifth Tirthankara (Rishabha). Uttara Purana, composed in Sanskrit, contains around 8,000 verses. It describes the life stories of 23 Tirthankaras. It is full of descriptions of the social and religious life of that period. It also contains valuable historical facts about the Digambara tradition. Since it is an epic work, it has the features of the epic literary style.