Jain monk Tarun Sagar passed away Saturday in New Delhi after a prolonged illness. He was 51. He was reportedly admited to hospital 20 days ago but later his health improved. He had stopped taking medicines a few days back. His funeral rites will be conducted at Saturday 3 pm on Saturday at Tarundagaram in Uttar Praesh's Muradnagar.
Born Pawan Kumar Jain on June 26, 1967 to Pratap Chandra Jain and Shanti Bai Jain in a small village Guhanchi in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, India, Tarun Sagar was initiated as Kshullak at the age of 13 and as a Digambara monk by Acharya Pushpdant Sagar on 20 July 1988 in Bagidora, Rajasthan at the age of 20.
He rose to prominence with his series of lectures called 'Kadve Pravachan' (bitter discourses) due to their nature of being candid and critical. His lectures have been compiled and published in book series also titled Kadve Pravachan. Excerpts from his discourses are often published by newspapers. Unlike most other Digambar jain monks, his audience often includes a majority of non-Jains. His discourses often address family or society issues, topics generally avoided by other Jain monks.
Tarun Sagar also made national headlines through his controversial remarks. He evoked controversial remarks one after the other in India TV show 'Aap ki Adalat'. During his conversation with India TV Editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma he said; "every third Indian national is corrupt, and only 10 per cent Indians seem to be honest". The remaining 50 to 60 per cent Indians, he says, are "on the verge" of becoming corrupt".
When asked whether he intended to join politics, Tarun Sagar flatly refused, saying he had no interest in 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."
"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)."
Tarun Sagar hit the headlines in August 2016 when he was invited to Haryana Assembly to give a lecture. However, it quickly turned controversial after music composer Vishal Dadlani protested against the move. Dadlani later apologised to him on Twitter and said he did not mean any offence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh condoled his death and expressed grief on his passing away. Modi in a statement on Twitter said he is deeply pained by the untimely death of the monk. "Deeply pained by the untimely demise of Muni Tarun Sagar Ji Maharaj. We will always remember him for his rich ideals, compassion and contribution to society. His noble teachings will continue inspiring people. My thoughts are with the Jain community and his countless disciples," Modi wrote on Twitter.
Deeply pained by the untimely demise of Muni Tarun Sagar Ji Maharaj. We will always remember him for his rich ideals, compassion and contribution to society. His noble teachings will continue inspiring people. My thoughts are with the Jain community and his countless disciples. pic.twitter.com/lodXhHNpVK— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 1, 2018
Rajnath Singh said the Jain monk was a source of inspiration for him and he is shocked by Tarun Sagar's untimely death. Union Minister Suresh Prabhu also condoled his death saying it was a personal loss to him as he was very close to the monk.