Gaccha

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Gaccha (Skt., gacchati, ‘goes’). Name of breakaway Śvetāmbara Jain sects. Originally, ascetic communities were known as kula (‘family’) or guna (‘throng’). The two major gacchas are Kharatara Gaccha (see DĀDĀ GURŪS) and Tapa Gaccha, derived from Jagaccandra Suri (1228), but owing its strength to Dharmasagara, a fierce controversialist—not least against the Kharatara. The latter are now a small remnant, but the Tapa Gaccha has about 4,000 monks and nuns.