FOUNDER OF TERAPANTH

Muni Bhikanji was fully dedicated to the truth. He had left the order and the high status he enjoyed there, for the sake of truth. He had no intention at all to start a new sect. Instead, his intensive desire for self-purification inspired him to transcend the prevailing tradition which was not in conformity with the truth. Although many people opposed him, there were a few people who appreciated his new reformation and started to follow him. Thus, a new path was initiated and that eventually became a royal road to tread on to attain the summum bonum.
He re-initiated himself and his fellow monks in the true asceticism in the new order at Kelva in V.S. 1817 Asadha Sukla Purnima. This day represents the first day of Terapantha   
 
Nomenclature of "Terapantha" One day, thirteen Shravakas (lay followers) were performing samayika 13 in a spacious shop in the middle of the market at Jodhpur. Fatechandji, the Divan (the chief minster of Jodhpur-state), passing by the market, saw this strange scene — people performing religious rites in a shop!
 
Greatly surprised, he asked the lay followers, "Why are you performing your samayika here in a shop, instead of in a sthanaka?" The Shravakas narrated the whole event of how Muni Bhikhanji had separated from Acharya Raghunathaji and explained the causes of the difference of ideology between Muni Bhikanji and his guru. Having heard the explanation and the cause of events, the Divana appreciated Bhikanji's stand. He asked, "How many followers of his new path are there? They replied—"Sir! we are thirteen in number." The Divan further inquired about the number of monks supporting Bhikanji. The followers replied, "Monks are also thirteen in number!" The Divan said, "It is a wonderful coincidence that the number of both the monks and the lay followers is thirteen!"
 
At that time, a poet, belonging to the sevaka caste, was standing nearby. He instantly composed a verse— Sadha sadha ro gilo karai, te to apa aparo mania, Sunajyo re shahar ra loka, ai terapanthi tanta.
In this way, the new group became popular as 'Terapantha' literally meaning—a sect of 13 (monks). When Acharya Bhikshu came to know about this couplet, he interpreted it in a different way. At once, he descended from his seat, sat down in the posture of obeisance, and paying his obeisance to Lord Mahavira, he proclaimed with joy. "O Lord! It is thy (tera) path (panth). I am only a follower of it. Thus Acharya Bhikshu interpreted the Terapantha to mean "the Lord's path" and also bestowed it with deeper religious significance: (In vernacular language, tera stands for "your" as well as "thirteen"). "Tera" also means thirteen (13), and those monks who faithfully observe the 13 fundamental rules for the Jain ascetics, viz., five mahavratas, u five samities 15 and three gup ties 16 belong to the order of Terapantha.