Prem Ni Parab - Nishtha Vruddhi Chintan Shibir

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With the noble intent of further improving the education conditions in Sayla taluka (block consisting of 75 villages) and enhancing the devotion and dedication of the teachers towards education, Prem ni Parab which entered it’s glorious 15th year (started in 2005), organised "Nishtha Vruddhi Chintan Shibir” on 20th July in the Raj Mandir of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram, Sayla. 

It was the third event that took place since the past year and marked presence of 850 teachers, which is a big feat to gather from a Government school. The shibir was held in the presence of Param Pujya Bhaishree, Prem Ni Parab Committee members Brahmnishts Minalben and Vikrambhai and District Primary Education Officer H. H. Chaudhary. Two very distinguished speakers of the event were Professor Deepak Taraiya and Dr. Bhadrayu Vachharajya.

Introducing the event, Prem Ni Parab Project Director Mr Chandrakant Vyas emphasised upon the importance of being dedicated and committed (nishtha) to a purpose. He said the shibir was organised with the aim to bring about a shift in the thought process of the teachers.

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Bhaishree's address to the teachers

"પોતાનું કામ શ્રેષ્ઠ રીતે કરવું એના જેવો બીજો ધર્મ નથી."
- પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રી

Warmly welcoming teachers and principals, Param Pujya Bhaishree said:

Teachers form the basis of intrinsic strength of any nation, and when teachers impart education with full devotion and dedication, their service to the cause of a strong nation increases manifold. He narrated contextual incidences which further explained the importance of values.

He explained that commitment and single-mindedness brings discipline to life and makes us value time. There are many ways to achieve success in life, but there is only one way to give meaning to life and that is through purposefulness and wholehearted commitment. Lord Krishna had also established the importance of "Karma Yog" in Bhagavad Gita. Be it worldly or spiritual endeavours, dedicated sustained efforts is the key to progress. 

Bhaishree highlighted the quality of reverence as essential for the spiritual path and reverence towards True God, Enlightened Master and True Religion is the very core of spiritual progress. Doing one’s daily agna (spiritual duties) with sincerity will ensure progress on this path.

A teacher is also called 'Guru' because s/he bears the responsibility of uplifting humankind. Hence a teacher needs to be skilled and able to adapt to the changing needs of the world. Being experimental and creative are two important qualities of being a great teacher. Such qualities can be developed by inculcating high values and observing a disciplined life.

Concluding his address, Bhaishree said, “The upliftment of education in this entire area rests on your shoulders. You are the carrier of Prem Ni Parab and I experience pride in this.”


Professor Deepak Taraiya's Address

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An expert in Child Psychology and a resource person of UNICEF (Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh), Professor Deepak Teraiya has 21 years of experience in the field of Training, Education and Development. 

In his unique style, and sharing from his experience of being a student as well as a teacher, he said: 

Teaching is ASK: 

A - Attitude

S - Skill Set

K - Knowledge 

Teachers should take 4 values while going to teach and they are PHUL (meaning flower in gujarati):

P - Purity

H - Honesty

U - Unselfishness 

L - (Unconditional) Love.  

Sharing memories from his childhood, Deepakbhai gave real examples of how the attitude of teachers have a very significant, lifelong impact on all of their students. He shared, “When I was a child, I drew a caricature of my teacher in my notebook. On finding out the teacher hit me. This incident forever killed the caricaturist within me. Another incident from my childhood that I recall was how once I was mimicking teachers and other students in class. When the teacher entered the class, rather than admonishing me, she encouraged me to hone my skills. As a result, today I am acknowledged by everyone as an exceptional orator. Such is the profound impact a teacher has on a child."

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Taking the audience through his motivating and adventurous teaching journey, he said that the profession demands 'Unitive Approach' and 'Guidance Approach' in order to communicate well with the students and becoming their inspiration and go-to people during troubled times. He expressed his concerns over the fact that we have departed from our roots and thus degraded the quality of life. A teacher should love, acknowledge and encourage his students. In his closing remarks, he motivated the teachers to instil the qualities of honesty and right attitude in life and perform their professional duties selflessly.


Dr. Bhadrayu Vachharaja's Address

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Armed with 36-years' teaching experience, and decorated with the "Kalam ane kaya thi ganpati" award by Morari Bapu, Dr. Bhadrayu Vachharajani, gave up his comfortable permanent job at Bank of Baroda to follow his passion - teaching. 

An impressive orator and writer, Dr. Bhadrayu emphasised on the three domains of education: 

  1. Cognitive 

  2. Psychomotor

  3. Affective

He highlighted the importance for teachers to be well read, because, one who does not read, does not think, and one who does not think, cannot change his/her thought process. He stated the 3 aspects that should be kept in mind by teachers in today’s scenario:

  1. Teachers should be upright and have good etiquette (there are some teachers in government schools that do not dress properly; some chew tobacco even in the classroom and some who put their legs on the table while teaching). 

  2. They should be knowledgeable, health-conscious and prompt in answering questions and doubts.

  3. Teachers should have self esteem.

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Testimonial of a Teacher

Post the shibir, one of the teachers of Bhaduka Primary School, Ms. Geentanjali Dave, shared her satisfying experience on Facebook. 

Screenshot of the teacher's facebook post:

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An extract from the teacher's sharing (English translation): 

“Ever since I heard that senior educationists, Dr. Bhadrayu and Deepakbhai were going to address all of our teaching faculty, including 800 teachers, BRC’s (Block Resource Coordinators), CRC’s (Cluster Resource Coordinators –officers from the department who are assigned the tasks of providing education and other support to teachers apart from monitoring their activities), BRP’s (Block Resource Person) and TPEO’s (Taluka Primary Education Officers), I was really looking forward to learning and gaining the much needed knowledge for professional growth and development. Their speeches highlighted the importance of dedication to the teaching profession in moulding young minds, personal hygiene and inculcating humane qualities as a teacher and a member of society.

…Deepakbhai's childhood incidents moved me and made me reflect upon my own actions. I realised the powerful impact teachers have on each student. His words still echo in my heart,” concludes Ms. Geentanjali Dave

In news

The shibir got featured in the newspaper, Divya Bhaskar dated 21-07-2019

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યુવા સ્વાધ્યાય - મોંઘી મહત્વાકાંક્ષા - The Cost of Ambition - Yuva Swadhyay

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યુવા મુમુક્ષુઓ પ્રેરિત અને પ્રોત્સાહિત થાય અને તેમનું વ્યાવહારિક જીવન સંપૂર્ણપણે આધ્યાત્મિક બને, એ હેતુથી દર યુવા સ્વાધ્યાયમાં, પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રી વિશેષ પ્રકારનો ઉત્તમ બોધ આપતા હોય છે.

શનિવાર તારીખ ૧૦મી ઓગસ્ટના રોજ, ડોક્ટર સુહાસિનીબેન તેમજ ડોક્ટર જીતુભાઈના ઘરે રાત્રે ૦૮.૩૦ થી ૧૦.૦૦ ના સ્વાધ્યાયમાં, પ્રજ્ઞાશીલ ભાઇશ્રીએ "મોંઘી મહત્વાકાંક્ષા" વિષય ઉપર બોધ આપ્યો હતો.    

મહત્વાકાંક્ષા એટલે અસાધારણ ઈચ્છા, એવી ઈચ્છા, અભિલાષા કે મનોરથ, જેનું માહાત્મ્ય આપણા મનમાં ખૂબ વેદાતું હોય. તે પ્રાપ્ત કરવાની એવી અદમ્ય ઈચ્છા જાગે કે, એ આપણા જીવનનું મુખ્ય લક્ષ્ય બની જાય. એ લક્ષ્ય માટે સમગ્ર જીવન સમર્પિત કરી દઈયે.

સુખી થવું એ મનુષ્યની તમામ ઈચ્છાઓ પાછળનો હેતુ છે. મોટા ભાગના મનુષ્યો સંસારી સુખને જ ઇચ્છતા હોય છે, જેવા કે લૌકિક સમૃધ્ધિ, યુવાન અને દેખાવડા રહેવું, નિરોગી શરીર, સુંદર અને યોગ્ય જીવનસાથી, બાળકોનું ઉચ્ચતર શિક્ષણ અને ભૌતિક કમાણી. મુમુક્ષુઓના કલ્યાણમિત્ર છે એવા ભાઈશ્રીએ ગંભીરતા સાથે યુવાનોને ચેતવતા કહ્યું કે આ મનુષ્યભવમાં માત્ર મોક્ષની ઈચ્છા રાખી, કર્મોથી મુક્ત થવાની ભાવના ભાવી પવિત્ર જીવન જીવવાનું છે. સ્વાધ્યાય દરમ્યાન અનેક દાખલા અને પ્રસંગોની વાત કરતા, સ્વાધ્યાયનો સાર જેમાં સમાઈ જાય એવા મુખ્ય મુદ્દાઓ નીચે  બતાવ્યા પ્રમાણે તેમણે જણાવ્યા:

૧) જીવ, જગત અને જીવનનો વિચાર કરી મુક્ત થવાની પ્રબળ ભાવના કરવી. 

૨) યાદ રાખવું કે ઈચ્છા એ વરદાન અથવા તો અભિશાપ બંને બની શકે એમ છે માટે દરેક ઈચ્છા અને મહત્વકાંક્ષાને તપાસી જવી. મહત્વકાંક્ષા શુદ્ધ હોવી જોઈએ.     

૩) આપણી શક્તિઓને માપીને સાહસ કરવું.

૪) મહત્વકાંક્ષા એ મોંઘી છે,  સસ્તી નથી માટે અનેક બલિદાનો આપવા પડશે અને ખૂબ મહેનત કરવી પડશે.

૫) એક વાર લક્ષ્ય નક્કી કર્યા પછી આપણી તમામ શક્તિઓને તેમાં જોડી દેવી. 

૬) સમયનો સદુપયોગ કરી જીવન નિયમિત બનાવવું, સમયને શ્રમથી ભરી દેવું.

૭) પરવસ્તુ મેળવવામાં જીવનનું સાફલ્ય નથી, પુદ્દગલનું, જડવસ્તુઓનું મમત્વ છોડી, આત્મકેંદ્રિત જીવન જીવવામાં સાચી સફળતા રહી છે.      

૮) મનની તાલીમ એ ખુબ અગત્યનો મુદ્દો છે, કારણ કેળવાયેલું મન જ મહત્વાકાંક્ષાને આંબી શકે છે.

૯) મનુષ્ય ભવમાં પ્રાપ્ત થયેલી અમૂલ્ય તકોનો સદુપયોગ કરી લેવો.

૧૦) ઓછી રુચિ તેમજ આળસ અને પ્રમાદને કારણે આપણે યોગ્ય પુરુષાર્થ નથી કરી શકતા.

૧૧) ચાર કષાયોમાં, માયાએ આખા જગતને કેદ કરેલ છે. સારા દેખાવા માટે નહીં પણ અંતરથી સારા થવા પુરુષાર્થ કરવો અને યાદ રાખવું કે કીર્તિ અને કાર્યમાં ભેળસેળ ન થાય.  

૧૨)  સંસ્કાર વર્ધક અને લોકોના દુઃખ દૂર કરવાના ધ્યેયે જીવન જીવવું.

૧૩) જીવન સ્વયં તપશ્ચર્યા છે, સમર્પણ નિષ્ઠા અને સાધના દ્વારા આત્મસાક્ષાત્કાર સિદ્ધ થઇ શકે છે.

સ્વાધ્યાય પછી મીનળબહેન તેમજ સુહાસિનીબહેને પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રી તેમજ વિક્રમભાઈને, ભક્તિ અને પ્રેમના પ્રતીક સ્વરૂપે રાખડી બાંધી હતી. 

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જોગાનુજોગ, આવતી ૧૫ ઓગસ્ટ ૨૦૧૯  એ ભારતનો સ્વાતંત્ર્ય દિન તો છે પણ સાથોસાથ તે જ દિવસે નારીયેળી પૂર્ણિમા એટલેકે રક્ષા બંધનનો દિવસ પણ છે. તે દિવસને ધ્યાનમાં રાખી મીનળબહેને સ્વરચિત અંગ્રેજી કવિતા વાંચી હતી. જેનો સાર એ હતો કે એક બંધન એવું છે જે મુક્તિ અપાવે છે ― તે છે સદ્દગુરૂ સાથેનો શિષ્યનો સંબંધ.  

મોંઘી મહત્વાકાંક્ષાનો અર્થપૂર્ણ બોધનો  પ્રકાશ, આપણા જીવનમાં અજવાળા પાથરે એજ પ્રભુ પ્રાથના.

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LMV College - Unveiling of Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Study Centre

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A giant leap forward:

Sayla and its surrounding villages will now have their own girl graduates.

During the Guru Purnima celebrations in Sayla, on 15th of July, the historic collaboration between L.M.Vora College of Arts and Commerce and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (affiliated to Government of Gujarat offering distance learning diploma and degree programs) was announced by Pujya Bhaishree and project director Chandrakantbhai Vyas by lighting the ceremonial lamp in the Raj Mandir.

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In a village like Sayla, where a mere 20 years ago, educating the girl child beyond primary school and sending her to high school was unimaginable; slowly but surely a tectonic shift is taking place, due to the Prem ni Parab project launched by Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram under the guidance of Param Pujya Bhaishree, over 15 years ago.  Now, girls would be able to spread their wings and become university graduates without opposition from family members and society. All this has been achieved due to the tireless efforts and vision of Bhaishree.

The available degree courses would be M.A (Master of Arts), B. Com (Bachelor of Commerce), BPP (Bachelor Preparatory Programme) and CCC Computer course. L.M.Vora College will now be one of the study centres for Dr. Ambedkar Open University.

Project director Chandrakantbhai Vyas said: “I have always explained to my girl students, that education is the main reason for all progress – intellectual, economic and social progress. The L M Vora girls students are making their place in the whole district. To all those who support educating the girl child, I say that this is superior to all other donations. When we started the Arts and Commerce college, there were 7 enrolments in the first year. Today, over 500 girls are studying in this college. In the same way, we have 11 admission applications for the graduation course, and I can foresee that this number will grow to hundreds and thousands. The ceremonial lamp that has just been lighted will drive away the darkness of illiteracy. I thank Pujya Bhaishree again and again for his unflinching support and vision.”

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 Addressing over 200 college students and over a thousand other mumukshus present at the occasion, Bhaishree said: “On the spiritual path, the heart of a seeker must carry feelings of benevolence for the self and others.  It is with these very feelings that spirituality begins, for our very being is connected with every being and every element in this universe. Our upliftment resides in the upliftment of all. When our own upliftment is connected to the upliftment of all, only then will our devotion be meaningful.  Param Pujya Bapuji has graced us with this noble legacy. It is for this reason that this ashram has become not only a centre for the spiritual striving of seekers, but also a centre for empathy and empowerment for the whole extended community”.  

Adding perspective Pujya Bhaishree said: “The level of education in this entire area was traditionally, very low.  With the establishment of the high school and girls’ college in Sayla, the standard of education has improved dramatically, such that we now have over 500 girls studying in college. The situation will be further enhanced when this region will witness over a 100-girl students graduating from the University every year. To those who are familiar with the ground realities, this is amazing progress in the field of education. An educated girl is the foundation of a developed society, community and family. We are about to witness this revolution in a very short period of time.”

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Param Pujya Bhaishree’s Ashirvachan

Param Pujya Atmanandji visits Rajmandir

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સંત પરમ હિતકારી, પરમ પૂજ્ય આત્માનંદજીનું રાજમંદિરમાં આગમન  

જેમની નિશ્રામાં દેહકેન્દ્રિત જીવન આત્મકેન્દ્રિત બને, કષાયો ઉપશમિત થાય, ઇન્દ્રિયો સંયમિત વર્તે અને મન પવિત્ર તેમજ સ્થિર રહે એવા મહાપુરુષોનું પવિત્ર આગમન જ્યારે સાયલાના આશ્રમમાં થાય ત્યારે મુમુક્ષુઓ ઉત્કૃષ્ટ ભક્તિભાવથી તેમને આવકારતા હોય છે. 

છેલ્લા એક વર્ષથી પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રી તેમજ સર્વે મુમુક્ષુઓ જેમની આતુરતાપૂર્વક રાહ જોઈ રહ્યા હતા એવા પરમ શ્રદ્ધેય, પરમ પૂજ્ય શ્રી આત્માનંદજી સાહેબ ગુરુવાર, તારીખ ૧૮ જુલાઈ ૨૦૧૯ની સવારે ૧૦:૪૦ કલાકે સાયલા આશ્રમમાં પધાર્યા હતા. તેઓની સાથે શાંતમૂર્તિ પૂજ્ય શર્મિષ્ઠાબેન, પરમ આદરણીય, બાળ બ્રહ્મચારી શ્રી સુરેશજી તેમજ કોબા આશ્રમના અગ્રગણ્ય મુમુક્ષુઓ પણ પધાર્યા હતા.

તેમની ગાડી મુખ્ય દ્વારમાંથી દાખલ થઇ અને હર્ષવિભોર મુમુક્ષુઓએ ગરબા રમી ચહેરા પર આનંદના ભાવો સાથે તેમનું સ્વાગત કર્યું. પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઇશ્રીએ આંટી પહેરાવી અને નાદુરસ્ત તબિયત અને સફરનો થાક હોવા છતાં પૂજ્ય આત્માનંદજી સીધા રાજમંદિરમાં પધાર્યા.

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પરમ આદરણિય મીનળબેન તેમજ બ્રહ્મનિષ્ઠ વિક્રમભાઈએ તેમનું ભાવઊર્મિઓથી શાબ્દિક સ્વાગત કર્યું અને ત્યારબાદ ૧૦૮ ઇંચ ઊંચી, પરમ કૃપાળુ દેવની દિવ્ય પ્રતિમાજીની આગળ રહેલા પડદાને શ્રી આત્માનંદજી સાહેબના હાથે બટન દબાવી ઉપર લેવડાવ્યો. ૮ મિનિટ સુધી તે પ્રતિમાના સ્વરૂપસ્થ ભાવોમાં સર્વે ખોવાઇ ગયાં! તેમના જ્ઞાન નેત્રો પ્રત્યે સહુ એવા સ્થિર થયા કે દેહભાવ ભૂલાતો ગયો. પવિત્ર ચેતના સાથે વૃત્તિઓ એકાકાર થઇ અને સર્વે ધન્ય થયાં. 

ત્યારબાદ આ સજીવન સમી પ્રતિમાજીને વર્ણવતું એક પદ વિક્રમભાઈએ ગાયું અને સમતાધારી ભાઈશ્રીએ તેમજ મીનળબેને સાથે મળી આત્માનંદજી સાહેબ તેમજ સતી સીતા સમા શર્મિષ્ઠાબેનનું શાલ ઓઢાડી બહુમાન કર્યું.

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સંતશ્રી આત્માનંદજી સાહેબને વિનંતિ કરતાં તેઓ એક નમસ્કાર મંત્ર બોલ્યા અને ત્યાર બાદ જે સૂત્ર તેમના ભાવચારિત્રની ઓળખ બન્યું છે તે તેઓએ ત્રણ વાર સહુને બોલાવડાવ્યું. “હું આત્મા છું, આપનો સેવક છું, સૌનો મિત્ર છું.” શારીરિક પ્રતિકૂળતા હોવા છતાં તેમના ચહેરા ઉપર સતત અંતરઆનંદની છાયા ઊભરાતી હતી. સંતનું સંતપણું દૈદીપ્યમાન થતું હતું. 

ત્યારબાદ સ્વાધ્યાયમાં પ્રજ્ઞાશીલ ભાઇશ્રીએ પૂજ્ય છોટાબાપુજીનો પુષ્પાબેન ઉપર લખેલ પત્ર નંબર ૨૧ લીધો હતો. મૃત્યુની ભય પ્રકૃતિનો પ્રશ્ન પુષ્પાબેનનો હતો. જવાબમાં છોટાબાપુજી કહે છે કે “મૃત્યુ વિષે મનમાં જેટલા ઘોડાઓ ઊઠે છે તેના તમે સાક્ષી રહી શકો છો. પહેલા ભળેલા રહેતા તે હવે ક્રમે કરી છૂટાં રહેવાય છે તો તે ભય પ્રકૃતિ ઊછળી ઊછળી સામે આવતી તેના તમે સાક્ષી ખરા કે નહિ? સાક્ષી આત્મા હંમેશા નિર્લેપ, અપરિણામી તથા અક્રિય છે. તેમાંથી ઉપયોગનો કે જ્ઞાનનો પ્રવાહ ચાલ્યો આવે છે. આપણા જ્ઞાનનો પ્રવાહ કે ઉપયોગનો પ્રવાહ, તે નિર્લેપ આત્માની સમય સમય જ્ઞાન અવસ્થા, તે દેહના ધર્મો, સુખ દુઃખ કે જ્ઞાન ઇંદ્રિયોની સાથે બંધાયેલા છે. એટલે દરેક ઉદય વખતે આપણે જાગૃતિ રાખવાની છે કે આપણે નિર્લેપ ચેતન છીએ, સાક્ષી છીએ.” 

શાંતભાવે ભાઇશ્રીએ સમજાવ્યું કે ઇન્દ્રિઓની પાછળ મન છે અને મનની પાછળ આત્મા રહ્યો છે. જો આત્મા મનને પ્રેમથી નિયંત્રિત કરે તો ઈન્દ્રીઓ સંયમિત રહે. સાક્ષીભાવે આ જગતમાં અકરતૃત્વબુદ્ધિએ કાર્યો કરવાનાં છે. ઉપયોગને પરવસ્તુઓથી પાછો વાળી સ્વકેન્દ્રિત કરીને બહિરાત્મભાવને ત્યજી અંતરાત્મભાવમાં સ્થિર થવાનું છે. તેમ કરતા આપણે અસંગ, નિર્લેપ અને નિ:સ્પૃહ રહી શકીશું. ભય કે આંતરિક ચંચળતા નહિ રહે. ચિત્ત પ્રશાંત થતા આપણે આત્માનંદને અનુભવીશું. 

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ત્યારબાદ પ્રેમમૂર્તિ શર્મિષ્ઠાબેને બાપુજીની સાથેની પ્રથમ મુલાકાત યાદ કરી હતી અને કહ્યું હતું કે મને બાપુજી મારા પિતાતુલ્ય લાગતા હતા અને સાયલા આવી છું તો એવું લાગે છે કે હું મારા પિયરે આવી છું. આત્મસિદ્ધિની એક મહત્વની કડીનો ઉલ્લેખ કરીને કહ્યું કે,  

“સ્વચ્છંદ મત આગ્રહ તજી, વર્તે સદગુરુ લક્ષ;

સમકિત તેને ભાખિયું, કારણ ગણી પ્રત્યક્ષ.”

આપણા સમર્પણભાવમાં ક્યાંય કચાશ ન રહી જાય અને આજ્ઞાઓનું પાલન અપૂર્વ રુચિ તેમજ પૂર્ણ શ્રદ્ધાન સાથે થાય તે બહુ જરૂરી છે. પ્રત્યક્ષ નિશ્રામાં આમ વર્તાશે તો જીવ સમ્યગદર્શન અવશ્ય પામશે.

છેલ્લે વિક્રમભાઈએ રાજમંદિર વિષે થોડી માહિતી આપી અને સૌ બેઝમેન્ટમાં રહેલી પરમ કૃપાળુ દેવની ખડગાસન મુદ્રાની પ્રતિમાજીનાં દર્શન કરવા ગયા, જ્યાં સ્તુતિ કર્યા બાદ કૃપાનિધાન આત્માનંદજી સાહેબે એક ભજનની પંક્તિ ગાઈ હતી. 

અન્નપૂર્ણામાં સૌએ સાથે ભોજન લીધા બાદ થોડો આરામ કરી બપોરના ૩:૧૫ આસપાસ તેઓ કોબા જવા માટે રવાના થયા. બે સંતો અને મુમુક્ષુઓનું આનંદસભર મિલન તેમજ પારમાર્થિક પ્રેમની પવિત્રતાનો દિવ્ય અનુભવ જીવનભર આપણે માણતા રહીશું.

Monthly Food grain and Clothes Distribution and Buttermilk Centres - July 2019

Monthly food/clothes distribution

The only source of survival for over 274 families in 35 villages (Vakhatpar, Gosal, Kesarpar, Samatpar, Aya, Kanpar, Chorvira, Rampara, Siddhsar, Muli, Kukda, Jasapar, Hematpar, Fulgram, Madhad, Tikar, Velala, Gadhda, Dudhai, Khaatdi) food grains and clothes have been distributed every month to families below the poverty line, since many years.

Volunteers from Raj Saubhag Ashram have been going to all the above villages personally, to distribute approximately 2,980 kilos of foodgrains and clothes to help these poor people (God’s angels) survive.  

Buttermilk Distribution

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A total of 20 centers (Sayla (3 centers), Chotila, Dhandhalpur, Sudamada, Vakhatpur, P

Fulgram, Aya, Gosar, Kesharpur, Shapar, Dudhai, Siddhsar, Jasapar, Naliya, Dhajara and Rampara) to distribute free buttermilk in the hot summer months were opened on 20thApril and continued daily distribution until 20th June. More than 1,945 families, amounting to 7,595 individuals availed of this humane service, which has been going on unfailingly every year since the last 38 years or so.

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Cancer diagnostic camp for women - Sayla Community Health Centre

Early detection is the key to the cure.
— Kate Jackson
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 A Cancer diagnostic camp was organised in Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram managed Community Health Centre on 21st July 2019 where 32 women patients were administered a complete check up, 10 patients underwent a mammography and 1 patient suspected of having cancer was sent to Ahmedabad for further checkup.  Other services that were made available at the camp were the pap smear test for cervical cancer, examination of the mouth (since most of these women chew tobacco) and an exhibition to raise awareness about cancer.

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A team of 11 fully-equipped doctors and nurses from the Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, Ahmedabad arrived at the Community Health Centre in Sayla, to offer their expertise to the patients on their day off, a Sunday.  All the check ups and treatments were given free of charge, and were sponsored by the late Mrs Madhuben Kirtibhai Mehta. 

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Mrs Madhuben's story is an inspiring one that needs to be told.

Madhuben was a quiet and pious lady by nature. She always wore a sweet smile on her face. Unfortunately in the later years of her life she developed breast cancer.

After consulting her benefactor Param Pujya Bhaishree and seeking his constant support and strength she chose not to undergo surgery and deal with this painful illness with patience and equanimity. She took this illness as a blessing and used it as a platform to practice sambhaav (rising above the duality of likes and dislikes) and detachment from her own body.

Bhaishree says that rural women have a lot of tolerance and are brought up in a way wherein they are conditioned to neglect themselves and hence tend to push their health on a backburner. To add to this many of them also face a money crunch. They therefore always have a delayed detection of this dreaded disease. 

Madhuben's affectionate heart went out to those women who were suffering from this disease but did not have the resources to afford the treatment. Feeling their pain, she often wondered 'how would they be able to endure this trauma without the shelter of an enlightened master'.

She then resolved to donate 10 lakhs as cancer welfare fund for these women. She then communicated this desire to her daughter Tejalben, who rose to the occasion and generously donated this amount after her mother's demise. Inspite of living in Los Angeles, USA, Tejalben pursued her mother's wish and was the key force behind this cancer diagnostic camp.  

Madhuben's story serves as an inspiration to many, as she had not spent a single penny on her own illness but had donated 10 lakhs towards those who suffered from the same.

Such is the magic of an enlightened saint, complaints eventually change to gratitude and compassion, enabling those in his shelter to lead a selfless life.

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Gurupurnima 2019

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Faith & Surrender

Gurupurnima 2019

This shloka from the ancient Vedic Scriptures explains the supreme place a teacher or Guru holds in the hearts of his disciples:

Gururbrahmā Gururviṣhṇu Gururdēvōh Mahēśhvaraḥ...I

Guru Sākṣhāta Paraṁ Brahmah Tasmai Shrī Guravē Namaḥ...II

Meaning: Oh teacher, you are akin to the Gods. You are Lord Vishnu and you are Lord Shiva – the God of the Gods. Oh teacher, you are the supreme being, and you are Lord Brahma for me. Thus, oh revered teacher, I bow in front of you.

The Full Moon day in Shukla Paksha during the Lunar month Ashad is celebrated as Guru Purnima. In the word Guru - Gu means darkness, ignorance and Ru implies elimination or removal. So, Guru is literally the one who removes the darkness of ignorance from our lives, and extricates us from the potentially eternal cycle of births and deaths.

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Day 1: 15th July

The 3-day celebration began with waking up in the Brahma-mahurat and doing meditation followed by the morning regime of love (Agna Bhakti) and Chaityavandan.

Eye Camp in Matushree Kashiben Harjivandas Sanghrajka Eye Hospital, Sayla

Mumukshus participated in an Eye Camp sponsored by UK-based Deepakbhai Kamdar.  A total of 100 cataract surgeries were performed free of cost, at this camp (which is part of multiple camps organised throughout the year, since many years). 

After lighting the inaugural lamp, trustee Shri Vinubhai Shah said: “In the very initial years, eye operations were performed by Raj Saubhag Ashram in collaboration with Virpur Ashram.  In the secondary stage, operations were performed in the ashram complex itself. Government regulations and increasing number of patients required enhanced facilities, and therefore this eye hospital was built and later expanded in Sayla village itself.  A lot of people advised against establishing a hospital in a centre as small as Sayla, since larger centres were unable to attract large numbers of patients and not more than 10 surgeries are performed every month. However, due to Pujya Bhaishree’s characteristic long term vision, and with his selfless efforts and grace, the hospital in Sayla was established and expanded some years later.  Today, over 700 surgeries are performed every month in Sayla.”

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Unveiling of Dr. Ambedkar Open University Study Centre

The morning special session in the newly opened, architectural masterpiece Raj Mandir, witnessed a historic unveiling of a collaboration between L.M.Vora College of Arts and Commerce and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (affiliated to Government of Gujarat offering distance learning diploma and degree programs). The available degree courses would be M.A (Master of Arts), B. Com (Bachelor of Commerce), BPP (Bachelor Preparatory Programme) and CCC Computer course. L.M.Vora College has been chosen as one of the study centres for Dr. Ambedkar Open University.

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In a village like Sayla, where a mere 20 years ago, educating the girl child beyond primary school and sending her to high school was unimaginable; slowly but surely a tectonic shift is taking place.  Now, girls would be able to spread their wings and become university graduates without opposition from family members and society. All this has been achieved due to the tireless efforts and vision of Pujya Bhaishree.

Project director Chandrakantbhai Vyas said: “I have always explained to my girl students, that education is the main reason for all progress – intellectual, economic and social progress. The L. M. Vora College girls students are making their place in the whole zilla district. To all those who support educating the girl child, I say that, this is superior to all other donations. When we started the Arts and Commerce college, there were 7 enrolments in the first year. Today, over 500 girls are studying in the college. In the same way, we have 11 admission applications for the graduation course, and I can foresee that this number will grow to hundreds and thousands. The ceremonial lamp that has just been lighted will drive away the darkness of illiteracy. I thank Pujya Bhaishree again and again for his unflinching support and vision.”

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Morning Discourse

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During the morning param satsang on Gnansaar, written by the venerable, eminent Upadhyay Shri Yashovijayji Maharaj Saheb, Pujya Bhaishree said: “A majority of the people are immersed in sansaaric activities, searching for happiness in transient objects like wealth, indulgence of the senses, worldly comforts, or fame; while an Atma gnaani has found happiness within himself, just like the Mansarovar swan. Merely memorizing verses from the scriptures is not enlightenment. For a sadhak aiming to reach his spiritual goal – he would need to focus on qualities to purify his soul, and not be blinded and weighed down by knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Atma Gnaan or Granthi Bhed should be every seeker’s goal and that is the highest, greatest, ultimate goal of this human birth.”

Emphasising the wisdom of the above words with narratives from the lives of Adi Shankracharya, Manjhibhai Patel among others, Bhaishree explained in great detail how the quality of Sambhaav (equanimity - not getting swayed by likes or dislikes) contributes greatly on the path of spiritual progress.  Bhaishree ended his discourse with: “I send good wishes and prayers to every mumukshu to progress on this spiritual path with great speed.”

Visit to Chorvira & Evening Celebrations

In the afternoon session, the mumukshus participated in a Jatra to Chorvira, (birthplace and school of their benefactor Pujya Bapuji) and Panch Kalyanak Puja with great enthusiasm.  After dinner, was the daily Arti, Mangal Divo and evening Dev Vandan; followed by Bruhad Alochana (a deeply meaningful prayer in which devotees recount their misdeeds and ask forgiveness with great humility).  Since it was the auspicious day of chaudas, everyone recited the Bruhad Alochana together.

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A cultural programme by mumukshus from different parts of the world and different parts of India, brought this eventful day to an end.

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Day 2: Guru Purnima – 16th July

After the morning meditation and agna bhakti, mumukshus lined up from Pujya Bhaishree’s kutir to the Raj Mandir to welcome their benefactor with soaring devotion in their hearts. At the first glimpse of Pujya Bhaishree coming out from Pujya Bapuji’s kutir, after bowing before his Guru (P Bapuji), warmed every heart beholding him. Each and every mumukshu bowed at his lotus feet as he passed them, while Pujya Bhaishree remained in his perfect balanced, unmoved inner state – a witness, full of humility and kindness in the midst of so much veneration and adoration.

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The mid-morning session began with distribution of aids and appliances to individuals with motor impairment; and a dance performance by children with special needs from Ashirvad Trust for the Disabled. This centre has been doing exemplary work by empowering individuals with impairments via access, equal opportunities and love.

The morning Guru Purnima session also witnessed divine bhakti, messages and cards from mumukshus around the world were read and presented to Pujya Bhaishree by Minalben. Dubai mumukshu group presented their Guru Purnima card themselves with a 5-minute group performance.

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In his param satsang, Pujya Bhaishree said: “An ever increasing faith in the True Deity, True Guru and True Path, with complete devotion will surely lead to spiritual progress. Such a sincere devotee will achieve salvation within 15 births, say Tirthankars. Having said that, the qualities of Upsham (calming the passions) and Vairaagya (detachment) need to be cultivated and nurtured constantly and consistently. As Param Krupalu Dev says: “ભક્તિ પ્રધાન દશાથી વર્તવાથી, જીવના સ્વચ્છંદ આદિ દોષ સુગમપણે વિલય થાય છે”. Just like the Gopis, who though living in sansaar, remained detached from sansaari relations, objects and situations. They were only connected to the Divine. In the same way mumukshus must remain detached from worldly objects and situations and be connected only to the Satdev, Satguru and Satdharma.  This supreme devotion of the disciple towards his Guru, will elevate the disciple to the spiritual level of his enlightened Master. This is Para-Bhakti.”

The afternoon session continued with selected mumukshus sharing with the audience their divine experiences with Pujya Bhaishree, giving everyone a glimpse into the divinity that personifies our benevolent Guru.

Evening session consisted of Arti, Mangal Divo, Dev Vandan and Atma Siddhi.  A 30-minute film on the UK Dharma Yatra and bhajans and bhakti immersed every person in the audience in devotion and bhakti bhaav.


Day 3: 17th July

Day 3 arose with meditation, agna bhakti and veneration to all our Guruvaryas.  

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Mumukshus also participated in another eye camp, sponsored by the Parekh family based in Baroda and UK. 

Two more mumukshus shared their experiences and Bhaishree gave a discourse on purusharth (spiritual striving). During the Param Satsang in the mid-morning, Pujya Bhaishree questioned: “If you want to progress on the spiritual path, can you do so while giving in To Anger? To Egotism? To Malice? To Greed? Each and every mumukshu must master the art of suppressing his negative qualities and trying sincerely to overcome them. The reins of likes and dislikes (raag and dvesh) must be firmly held within our own hands, and we must not allow any of these to supersede us, overwhelm us.”

Pujya Atmanandji and his disciples from Koba Ashram arrived in the Ashram on the 18th July, to an extremely warm welcome by Pujya Bhaishree, Vikrambhai, Minalben and all the mumukshus of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram.

The three days celebrations ended with Bhaishree’s key message urging seekers to strengthen their spiritual foundation by cultivating inner faith and complete surrender. These two foundational virtues will help us remove vices, increase our focus and become one with our enlightened mentor.

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Swadhyays - video recordings

Day 1 - Morning Swadhyay

 

Day 2 - Morning swadhyay

Day 2 - Afternoon Swadhyay

Day 3 - Morning Swadhyay

Day 3 - Afternoon Swadhyay

Dr. Ambedkar Open University - LMV College Study Center - Param Pujya Bhaishree’s Aashirvachan

 

Gurupurnima Dedications