Jain Muni (monk) Tarun Sagar died in Delhi on Saturday after prolonged illness. Tarun Sagar, 51, breathed his last at Radhapuri Jain temple situated in Krishna Nagar area of east Delhi.
The Digambar Jain monk was diagnosed with jaundice a few days ago after which he was admitted to a private hospital. However, when his health didn't improve he asked his followers to take him to the temple where he opted 'Santhara' - the Jain ritual of fast unto death.
Jain Muni Tarun Sagar, who was known for his 'kadwe pravachan', had quite a few controversies to his name. He appeared on India TV's Aap Ki Adalat on 18 March, 2017 and responded to Rajat Sharma's queries on the controversies associated with him.
On giving lectures in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh Assemblies
Tarun Sagar had once said that there are "thieves and robbers" in assemblies and Parliament. However, despite such a notion, he agreed to address law makers at Haryana and Madhya Pradesh Assemblies. Here's what he said:
"They need to be addressed. Temples are there for sinners, not for saints. Sinners should first visit temples to pray to God. As far as my "chor, lutera" (thieves, looters) remark is concerned, I feel that while those who commit petty thefts live inside jails, those committing big thefts are sitting in Lok Sabha and vidhan sabhas. Every third Indian national is corrupt, that is, 30 per cent people are corrupt. 50 to 60 per cent people are on the verge of becoming corrupt. Only 10 per cent people are such, about whom you can say they are honest".
On whether he wanted to join politics
"I am a Digambar Muni, which is an exalted status. We do comment on political issues, because saints are 'gurus' of society. To speak about the ills in society is not a crime," Tarun Sagar had said.
"What will I do in politics? Suppose, I become the Prime Minister. Presently I am a person whom the PM reveres. One who accepts a throne given by the people becomes Rashtrapati (President), but the person who refuses to accept the throne becomes Rashtrapita (Father of the Nation)," he added.
On Triple Talaq
"I believe it (triple talaq) is atyachar, zulm (atrocity) on women. The other day a man gave 'triple talaq' to his wife on WhatsApp. This is unacceptable. What sort of tradition (parampara) is this?"
On why he didn't oppose Santhara
"One should understand the difference between Sati and Santhara tradition. In Sati tradition, there is attachment, while in Santhara, there is non-attachment. In Sati tradition, the woman believes she would reunite with her husband in the next life, but in Santhara tradition, there is non-attachment (viraag) meaning a feeling of non-attachment towards life and salvation from the bonds of life and death," the Jain Muni had said.
"The Santhara tradition is not limited to a few hours, the process extends to 12 years. If one is young and wants Santhara, our religion does not permit this. But when somebody reaches a certain stage in life, when he or she finds death is near, he can opt. It was Lord Mahavira who told us if you want to celebrate life, read the Gita, and if you want to celebrate death, come to me. Santhara is, thus, the art of celebrating death," he added.
On Rahul Gandhi's criticism of demonetisation
"Whatever he (Rahul) is saying is his party line, he is not speaking for himself nor is he speaking his mind. He is speaking in the interest of his party...you cannot imagine the amount of black money in the country. There are nearly 10 lakh astrologers in India, but none could predict that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 would cease to be legal tender. The saints of this great country always considered currency as coloured pieces of paper, but none understood that. On Nov 8 at 8 pm, Modiji in one stroke made them understand that these were only pieces of paper."
On JNU anti-national slogan incident
"Such people should no more be tolerated. Some people are supporting them. I think this is not a good sign for the country. It should be opposed in the strongest terms. Such people should be punished," Jain Muni Tarun Sagar had said.
On his controversial remark in Haryana assembly that "it was the religious duty of every woman to follow the discipline of her husband"
"I was speaking in the context of religion and politics, wherein I said religion is a husband and politics is a wife. I was speaking about their relationship. I do not know in what manner the media portrayed it. It was not my intention to potray women in a poor light," Tarun Sagar added.
On the issue of gender inequality
"I am not saying this. It is nature which says this. I do not consider women's power (naari shakti) to be less. A woman is important in her own place, but one has to obey the law of nature," Tarun Sagar said.
On why does Jain religion not allow women to become Digambar Muni
"Look, this is how it has been ordained (Dekhiye, ye vyavastha hai). In Jain shastras, it has been said, that women, in whichever posts they are, should be attired in clothes. There is no permission (aagya) for women being in the nude. This is not only prevalent in Jain religion, but in all religions. Not even among Naga sadhus, who remain naked," the Jain monk told Rajat Sharma.
On his remark that jean-attired mothers cannot provide 'aanchal' to their kids
"For a newborn child, her mother's aanchal is the safest place, better than heaven, but newborns nowadays do not get the joy of the same 'aanchal'. How can a mother wearing jeans provide aanchal? Wearing jeans may be her preference, her decision, I will not interfere nor will force her not to wear. Let the women decide what they want to wear," Jain Muni Tarun Sagar had said.
WATCH FULL VIDEO OF JAIN MUNI TARUN SAGAR IN AAP KI ADALAT