Muni Jambuvijaya Ji
Jambuvijaya (1923–2009), also known as Muni Jambuvijayji Maharajsaheb, was a monk belonging to the Tapa Gaccha order of the Svetambara sect of Jainism. He was known for his pioneering work in research, cataloguing, and translations of Jain Agamas and ancient texts. He was responsible for discovering and publishing many ancient Jains texts lying in different forgotten Jain jnana Bhandara (ancient Jain libraries). He was a disciple of Muni Punyavijay. Both Muni Punyavijay and Jambuvijay worked all their life in the compilation and publication of ancient Jain Agama literature and cataloging ancient Jain jnana Bhandara. Muni Jambuvijay was a scholar who devoted his entire life to critically editing Jain scriptures.
Early life and family
Jambuvijaya was born as Chunilal Bhogilal Joitram in 1923 in the town of Mandal, Gujarat. His father's name was Bhogilal Mohanlal Joitram (1895–1959) and his mother's name was Aniben Popatlal (1894–1995). He was born in a deeply religious family. His father took a vow of lifelong celibacy in 1925 and was initiated as a Jain monk Muni Bhuvanvijaya in 1932. His mother took initiation as Sadhavi Manoharashriji in 1939 under her own sister Sadhavi Labhashriji. All of Jambuvijayaji's aunts were initiated as Madhavi's and there were a number of initiations in his mother's family.
In Ratlam in 1937, at the age of 14, he took initiation as a Jain monk under his father, Acarya Bhuvanvijaya, who became his teacher. Later on, he studied under Acarya Punyavijaya and assisted him in cataloging various Jain manuscripts. After the death of Muni Punyavijaya, he became the chief editor of the Jain Agama series. Muni Jambuvijayji was a polyglot and knew 16 languages. Among them were Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, Apabhramsha, Gujarati, Hindi, Tibetan, and some others.
Revival of ancient scriptures
Prof. Dr. John Cort mentions the difficulties faced and the persistence shown by Muni Jambuvijay in ensuring that ancient manuscripts which were under lock and key were brought to light. Many Bhandara like the one at Patan were unopened for decades or centuries and Muni Jambuvijay had to often use his mendicant charisma to convince the trustee to open up the libraries.
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