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Vidyananda – Digambara Jain Monk

 Vidyananda is a prominent Digambara Jain monk of the 9th century CE. He was a profound scholar, orator, philosopher, grammarian, poet and, above all, a great Jaina saint. There have been more than one acharya of the name Vidyananda. He is the author of Tattvartha-Shloka-Vartika and Aptapariksha. He was initiated in the Nandi Sanga. Very little is known about his family lineage, parents, birthplace, etc. Scholars are of the opinion that he was born in Mysore in a Brahmin family and remained unmarried. His austere lifestyle, disciplined daily routine, and self-control helped his intellectual explorations.

He was well versed in literature of Jaina religion and his work reveals his mastery of Mimamsa and Buddhist philosophy. He wrote three commentaries and authored six independent works. Tattvartha-Shloka-Vartika is the first of the three commentaries on the famous Tattvartha Sutra in poetic form with prose explanations, divided into ten chapters containing 18,000 shlokas.

Ashtasahasri is a commentary on Apta Mimamsa of Samantabhadra that includes Ashtasati of Akalanka in 8000 shlokas. It not only reveals the philosophical tenets of Apta-Mimamsa and Ashtasati, but is a concise dictionary of philosophy and logic. Yuktyanusasanalankriti is a commentary on Samantabhadra’s Yuktyanusasana and serves as a handbook of logic. Apta Pariksha, Pramana Pariksha, Satyasana pariksha and Sripurasva Stotra are his remarkable works on logic, epistemology and Jainism philosophy.