Mahavir Janma Kalyanak 2019 | Shrimad Rajchandra’s Love For Veer

Shrimad Rajchandra’s Love For Veer

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Its the 13th day of rising moon in the month of Chaitra and yet again mumukshus have gathered at Bhalani residence to celebrate the Janma Kalyanak of Lord Mahavir. Bhalani residence can confidently boast about one of the most beautiful Ghar Derasars in the world, if not the most beautiful one.

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Lord Mahavir was born in the royal Kshatriya family to King Siddharth and Queen Trishladevi. Named as Vardhman (ever-growing) by the parents, Lord Mahavir was destined to become the last Tirthankar of this Avasarpini Kaal (regressive cycle). Tirthankars (the absolutely enlightened Lords who can liberate others) are born due to the intent from their previous birth to perpetuate the path of liberation for all living beings. Bhagwan Mahavir preached the principles of non-violence, equanimity, pluralism to name a few. Saadhaks of the current time owe everything to him as He was the Arihant dev who showed us the path to become a Siddh Bhagwan.   

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On this day it is only befitting that we understand how seamless is the amalgamation of Lord Mahavir’s teachings and Shrimad Rajchandra’s life. The living embodiment of Self-realisation, the ever-so-compassionate Param Pujya Bhaishree announces to do a swadhyay on how Param Krupalu Dev Shrimad Rajchandra worshipped Lord Mahavir, how deeply etched Lord Mahavir was in Shrimad’s heart. Bhaishree begins by establishing the connect between Shrimad Rajchandra and Lord Mahavir.

Bhagvan Mahavir and Shrimad Rajchandra

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Shrimad in his own words had been a seeker for many a lifetime. The inner revolution in his life began at the young age of seven when he recollected his past lives (jaati smaran gnaan) whilst enraptured in deep contemplation.

Bhaishree quotes Param Krupalu Dev where Shrimad cautions us all by saying that, “When I was Lord Mahavir’s last disciple, a tiny bit of distraction from the atma-bhaav (pramaad) has resulted in births and deaths for 2400 years!” That soul which had the greatest fortune of all, to be under the tutelage of Lord Mahavir in person, to hear Lord Mahavir from close quarters has taken the form of Shrimad Rajchandra in our time. There is little doubt that this great soul must have further elevated its spiritual heritage from the time of Lord Mahavir. It is certain that Shrimad’s birth in this era is to spread the pious message of Lord Mahavir to the world. Through Shrimadji several souls should find the necessary acceleration in their spiritual journey.

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Bhaishree describes an exchange of Param Krupalu Dev with the king of Idar. Krupalu Dev when in the jungles of Idar, speaking to king explains his deja-vu that the last Tirthankar and his disciples (Gautamswami and more) have been here. All his disciples have attained salvation leaving one behind which has been born in this time. It is possible that, that soul (the last disciple of Bhagvan Mahavir) is responsible for upliftment of a lot of other souls. Param Krupalu Dev could not have been more direct yet subtle about giving out this truth to us common masses for our own spiritual liberation. Bhaishree explains that for a soul like Shrimad’s, who has seen Bhagwan Mahavir in physical form, who has walked the earth with Him and His disciples, the certitude of Bhagwan Mahavir’s path can only be imagined.

Shrimad’s steadfast belief, love and devotion in Bhagwan Mahavir’s mul moksh marg

Bhaishree cites Shrimad from across his works wherever Shrimad has talked about Bhagwan Mahavir.

The religion conceived by unfettered (Nirgranth) Gods cannot be justly described by any adjectives. Bhaishree urges the mumukshus to give an adjective to the religion. He adds, the best that thoughtful souls can come up with is that giving an adjective is not possible.

Soul has aimlessly wandered since time immemorial only due to lack of such religion.

Bhaishree explains that all of us are still here in human form is because we have not understood this incomparable religion in its true sense or we are still trying to make sense of it. Due to lack of or inaccurate understanding of the original path, the efforts that we have put all this while has not helped us reach our goal of liberation.  

Bhaishree proceeds with citations as,

‘I love justice. Veer(Bhagwan Mahavir)’s style is that of justice. Developing an understanding is very rare.’

‘Uttaradhyayan sutra should be read and understood again and again.’
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‘Understand even one sentence of Bhagwan Mahavir.’

‘We should firmly accept that the extraordinary path that brings peace to the soul as it drinks the ambrosia (પરમ શાંત રસમય ધર્મ) described by the equanimously detached Lord is totally true. Due to the soul’s unworthiness and the absence of a personification of truth (Satpurush), it cannot be understood. Yet there is no other totally uplifting cure for the disease of embodiment. Contemplate over this.’

Shraddha (Faith) versus Aagrah (dogmatism)

There is a big difference between believing in something and being conservative about it. Shrimad, despite being an ardent, truthful follower of Bhagwan Mahavir's path is definitely not a fanatic.

Shrimad in one of his letters (letter no. 64) writes

पक्षपातो न मे वीरे न द्वेषः कपिलादिशु !

युक्तिमद वचनं यस्य, तस्य कार्य: परिग्रह: !!

- श्री हरिभद्राचार्य

What I preach or believe is not because of the bias for Mahavir or out of hatred for any other preacher but I do have a liking for, immense love for, anything that helps me realise true Self, helps me discover my Soul.

In another instance Shrimad writes, ‘On careful scrutiny of other religions I find the religion preached by the equanimously detached souls the best’.

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Shrimad’s rock solid devotion for Bhagwan Mahavir's principle of Pluralism

Shrimad was also a firm believer in multiplicity of viewpoints (સ્યાદવાદ). The truth is always multidimensional. At any time, the truth can never be realized by means of a single-point of view.

He writes, “એકાંતવાદ એ જ જ્ઞાનની અપૂર્ણતાની નિશાની.”

Ekantvaad (one sided point of view or one sided truth) is the sign of incomplete knowledge.

He writes a quatrain expressing his views on pluralism as

“જિન સોહી હૈ આતમા, અન્ય હોઈ સો કર્મ;

કર્મ કટે સો જિનબચન, તત્વગ્યાનીકો મર્મ

રચના જિન ઉપદેશકી, પરમોત્તમ તીનું કાલ;

ઇનમેં સબ મત રહત હૈ, કરતેં નિજ સંભાલ.”

Shrimad's intention to revive the exquisite path of liberation

“દિન પ્રતિદિન જૈનદર્શન ક્ષીણ થતું જોવામાં આવે છે, અને વર્ધમાનસ્વામી થયા પછી થોડાં એક વર્ષમાં તેમાં નાના પ્રકારના ભેદ થયા દેખાય છે તે આદિના શાં કારણો?”

- પત્ર 713

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It was Shrimad’s immense love for Bhagwan Mahavir and his mul moksh marg (the original path to liberation) that moved him to spread the path further. An extraordinary, almost unfettered, great personality like Shrimad wanted masses at large to benefit from the path of liberation like he himself had experienced and benefitted. He constantly harbored feelings of ‘સવિ જીવ કરું શાશન રસી' (May all the souls be interested and persevere in this path) out of his fathomless compassion for every soul in the universe. Detailed plans were in place to take up the mission but only once his own state is elevated to a level where he can do justice to his followers. He was on his way to elevate his soul at the highest level, free himself of all his worldly commitments and renounce his worldly relationships.     

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Shrimad turns down the feelings of reviving the moksh marg

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As seen, Shrimad had strong feelings of reviving the path during the early years (Age 19-20) but Shrimad later surrendered to karmic fruition (પ્રારબ્ધ)  and focussed on dwelling exclusively within the realm of his soul (આત્મધ્યાનમાં નિમગ્ન).

Shrimad had picked up this thumb rule from his idol Bhagwan Mahavir to not propound the path until and unless you elevate your soul to highest possible level and construct your readiness for the same. Shrimad has written about the state of his soul in very direct and frank words to his soulmate Saubhagbhai in several letter exchanges. In one of such letters Saubhagbhai requests Param Krupalu Dev to reveal his true self so that common masses may benefit from the person of Param Krupalu Dev. In response to that letter Param Krupalu Dev writes,

“જગતના કલ્યાણને અર્થે પુરુષાર્થ કરવા વિષે લખ્યું તો તે પુરુષાર્થ કરવાની ઈચ્છા કોઈ પ્રકારે રહે પણ છે. તથાપિ ઉદયને અનુસરીને ચાલવું એ આત્માની સહજ દશા થઇ છે, અને તેવો ઉદયકાળ હાલ સમીપમાં જણાતો નથી; તો તે ઉદેરી આણવાનું બને એવી દશા અમારી નથી.”

Feelings of spreading the path do exist somewhere inside but currently abiding by the karmic fruition has become the default way of life and such time (time for spreading the path) I don’t see it in the near future. In yet another letter (no. 621) he writes,

“એક વિનંતિ અત્રે કરવા યોગ્ય છે કે… બહાર આ આત્મા સંબંધી હાલ કંઈ પ્રસંગ ચર્ચિત થવા દેવા યોગ્ય નથી; કેમકે અવિરતિરૂપ ઉદય હોવાથી ગુણવક્તવ્ય હોય તોપણ લોકોને ભાસ્યમાન થવું કઠણ પડે; અને તેથી વિરાધના થવાનો કંઈ પણ હેતુ થાય; તેમ જ પૂર્વ મહાપુરુષના અનુક્રમનું ખંડન કરવા જેવું પ્રવર્તન આ આત્માથી કંઈ પણ થયું ગણાય.”

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There is a request worth doing here. No discussion about this (Param Krupalu Dev’s) soul should yet happen outside of the close circle of people. As the common masses believe what they see, the current circumstances (no external renunciation) are such that people would not believe inspite of the virtues of this soul and as a result it would do more harm than good for the common people. Shrimad turning down the feelings of spreading the path in hindsight, also is a sign of his infinite compassion for the souls of this universe. It is worth mentioning here that Shrimad wanted to renounce all worldly possessions (take diksha) at a very young age but his mother did not agree and emulating Bhagwan Mahavir he too chose to be in sansaar and persevered to be equanimously detached (વીતરાગ).

Adulation (પ્રમોદ) for Bhagwan Mahavir’s virtues

“જેના એક રોમમાં કિંચિત પણ અજ્ઞાન, મોહ કે, અસમાધિ રહી નથી તે સત્પુરુષનાં વચન અને બોધ માટે કંઈ પણ નહીં કહી શકતાં, તેનાં જ વચનમાં પ્રશસ્ત ભાવે પુન: પુન: પ્રસક્ત થવું એ પણ આપણું સર્વોત્તમ શ્રેય છે.”

- Letter 52

Souls who have not an ounce of ignorance or attachment left, is equanimous, and about whose teachings nothing can be further said, it is of ultimate upliftment that we bind ourselves with words and teachings of such souls.  

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At this point Bhaishree said, “When we think of virtues of Bhagwan Mahavir it amazes us so much. Even thoughts of virtues of such souls are the reason of shedding so many karmas from our soul. Adulation for such souls and hence such virtues helps us progress on our path rapidly. Such immense appreciation should arise from within.” Bhaishree urges the mumkshus to sustain this state of continuous and innate adulation for Bhagwan Mahavir’s virtues for 24 hours and to see the benefits for themselves.

Bhaishree concludes his swadhyay at this point and thereafter mumkshus put Bhaishree's words in action by remembering Bhagvan Mahavir's life incidents, his virtues and singing his glory wholeheartedly.  Brahmnisht Vikrambhai took over for Bhakti. In his moving and soul-touching voice he starts the bhakti with a pad ‘ઝહેર અમારાં ઉતારો’. The tempo is then lifted by jaap of ‘Aum Shree Mahaviray Namo Namah’.

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The evening could not have had a better conclusion than the pad Veer haank’ - a call to the Veer in each of us. Mumukshus could feel the power singing the words of

‘વારસ અહો! મહાવીરના, શૂરવીરતા રેલાવજો,

કાયર બનો ના કોઈ દી, કષ્ટો સદા કંપાવજો,

રે! સિંહના સંતાનને શિયાળ શું કરનાર છે?

મરણાંત સંકટમાં ટકે, તે ટેકના ધરનાર છે.’   

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Raj Mandir & Shrimad Rajchandraji Pratishtha Mahotsav

Pratishtha Ceremony of 108 inch Pratimaji of Param Krupaludev Shrimad Rajchandra in Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram Sayla*

4 - 10th March 2019

Quick Links

Event Write-up and photos

Video recordings of Pratishtha Events


The most mesmerizing Pratistha

Only an ardent disciple can truly understand what it means to consecrate the Lord, the Guru and the faith in the innermost realms of his heart. The most holy days of March 2019 witnessed the Pratistha Mahotsav of the simply awesome, jaw-droppingly majestic Raj Mandir and breathtakingly divine pratimaji of Shrimad Rajchandra in Sayla.  This much awaited program spanned over 7 days, was presided over by eminent heads of various ashrams, and infused thousands of disciples with overwhelming devotion.

On the beautiful morning of 4th March, after morning meditation and nityakram, mumukshus participated in soulful bhakti and swadhyay. Pujya Bhaishree gave an insightful discourse on Updesh Chhaya 9. He made special mention of the devotion of the gopis for Shri Krishna. Even while going about their daily chores, their whole being was immersed in devotion for the Lord. Similar should be the devotion of every mumukshu aiming to reach their ultimate goal – enlightenment or samkit. The Panch Kalyanak Pujan in the afternoon and audio-visual film – ‘Divya Jyoti no Amar Prakash’ in the evening, brought in the first devotion filled day of the 7-Day Pratistha Mahotsav.

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On the 5th of March, among the special programs were Atma Siddhi Pujan and transformation message delivered through comedy by well-known performer Shahbuddin Rathod. By some divine co-incidence Pujya Fulchandbhai Shastri, founder of Adhyatmik Sadhana Kendra in Umrala arrived in Sayla on the very day and time when the Atma Siddhi Pujan was being conducted. He graced the occasion with his presence, arriving in ashram in the morning hours, accompanied by other mumukshus. During the afternoon swadhyay, Pujya Bhaishree gave a discourse on Vachnamrutji letter 569.  

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On the 6th of March, the entire day was filled with swadhyay, agna bhakti, meditation, collective recitation of the Atma Siddhi shastra and ultimately devotional bhakti by Shri Ashokji Pandey and his immensely talented troupe from Varanasi, which filled the Raj Mandir hall with melodious bhajans and lingering notes of musical instruments.

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The triple day special fest 7th-8th-9th March saw a flurry of celebrations – from the ceremonial procession of the Pratimaji, along with visiting dignitaries, all seated in magnificent chariots. The whole parade of devotees leading and following the chariots brought to memory, the holy rath-yatra of Bhagwan Mahavir’s diksha ceremony as described in the Kalpa Sutra. So divine was the entire occasion, that it drew a candid comment from Pujya Gokulbhai: “The entire event is reminiscent of Mahavideh Kshetra. So palpable is your devotion, O mumukshus, that I suggest all of you extend your stay in Sayla.  Follow up your sadhna. Strike while the iron is hot just now. You will surely reach your goal of Samkit, and make this human birth successful.”

Parshwa Padmavati Pujan was conducted by the well known pujakaar – Shri Hiteshbhai, who explained the meaning of many shlokas which helped in fully engaging the participants during the entire 4-hour ceremony. With every consequent event matching up to the excellence of its predecessor; there remained one more cherry on the cake: a 35-minute dance performance by trained classical dancer-mumukshus from London, Nilpa and Naitika. So emotively was the message conveyed in their performance on Shrimadji’s composition – ‘Bahu Punya Kera Punj Thi’, that the audience was held spell bound. The entire moksh marg, the pitfalls on the way, the shelter provided by an enlightened master and value of this priceless human birth were explained through dance, drama, dialogue, music and emotions. Their perfectly coordinated steps along with the hand and eye movements were a delight to watch.

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On the auspicious day of 8th March (Fagun sud 2, birthday of Param Pujya Bapuji), after the ceremonial procession, was the Pratistha ceremony of Bhagwan Mahavir and the inauguration of 3-D images of the lineage of enlightened masters of Sayla.  All the visiting dignitaries from different ashrams in India then gave their discourses and sent good wishes and blessings.

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Below are excerpts from the discourses of visiting heads of ashrams:

After the Pratistha, Pujya Ben Prabhu said the bhaavs of all the the mumukshus were extremely elevating. “I am sure that the planning for this 7-day occasion was backed by 7-year vision, consolidated by numerous years of sadhna of an enlightened master – Pujya Bhaishree.  And all of us were able to participate, witness and experience this divinity due to the compounded punyas of 7-births. The whole event was complete. When a combination of bhakti and satsang lead to an inner stillness, an inner silence – the entire journey radiates completeness.  I have never witnessed such a Pratistha before.”

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Pujya Gokulbhai said: “This Atma is the knower of all pleasure and pain, it does not feel the hurt, sting or discomfort of pain and neither does it experience any excitement or thrill from worldly pleasures. The great Atma is completely unmoved and a witness of external events. This is the path of total non-attachment.”

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Pujya Gangjibhai said: “Always remain aware that you are the powerful soul. Every activity, every action must be done with awareness. The bhakti bhaav of every mumukshu that we have witnessed during this Pratistha reminded me of the incidence in Shrimadji’s life when mentioned to Laghuraj swami that in the entire day he was reminded of the satsang he partook in when he was the disciple of Bhagwan Mahavir.  In the same way, all of you mumukshus must have inculcated this bhakti bhaav in your previous births, such that in this birth too, all of you are drenched with devotion.

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Pujya Chandanaji said: “So beautiful and divine was the collective bhakti bhaav that I was unable to remember anything else, or feel anything else. I felt that I was present in the Samvasaran. I have experienced such magnanimity, inclusiveness and large-heartedness in Pujya Bhaishree that he is able to unite so many different people and different streams of thoughts within him, that I shall pray to the Lord that he is able to connect people in all four corners of the earth and unite them through love and compassion. This bhakti marg will surely overcome all the hatred and jealousy that is released into societies at the behest of religion. Thank you Bhaishree, for inviting me to experience this divinely uplifting occasion. Thank you again and again, and I also send my love to all the mumukshus.”  

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Pujya Ben Prabhu said: “There is always an objective or goal in every event conceived by an Enlightened Master.  So when a colossal sized pratimaji of Shrimadji is planned to be consecrated in this equally large Raj Mandir, there is surely a divine message that accompanies this occasion. When I attempted to connect to Pujya Bhaishree’s vision, four points came to my mind as significant factors:

  1. Make your vision large; reach for the sky, reach for enlightenment, rather than groping for insignificant things like wealth, power, family ties etc.

  2. Expand your thoughts and discussions to ‘Who am I? Where have I come from? Whence forth my journey?’; rather than narrow, lowly thoughts about politics, food, women or government.  

  3. Become large-hearted; inculcate qualities of brotherhood, forgiveness, understand the perspective of the other person.

  4. See the big picture in every incidence of your lives.  Auto-suggest to yourselves ‘this too shall pass’

The ashram trustees and mumukshus expressed heartfelt gratitude and felicitated architect and interior designer Shri Devenbhai and civil engineer Shri Chandrantbhai Jasani and their entire team for their selfless service in the construction of the spectacular Raj Mandir.

Shri Ashishbhai and his group immersed the audience in devotional bhakti towards the end of the evening.

9th March – Fagun Sud 3 (also inauguration day of the Ashram and Jinalay (temple) in Sayla)

The Sattar Bhedi Puja was conducted from 6.45 am on the artificial turf outside the Raj Mandir.  Mumukshus gathered for participating in the puja as well as changing the Dhaja (Jain flag over the temple). This ceremony is a veneration of the 5 holiest beings – Arihants, Siddhas, Acharyas, Upadhyays and Sadhus in the entire universe.

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At 10. 45 am, was the climax of the entire occasion – Pratistha of Shrimad Rajchandra’s pratimaji in the new Raj Mandir. To the uplifting music of bhajans and chants, disciples danced in gay abandon, deeply grateful to be part of this most holy event.  So breathtakingly beautiful and mesmerizing was the inauguration of the Pratimaji, that every eye turned moist and every heart overflowed with pure devotion. The nectar-clad image of Shrimadji seemed like the very replica of Bhagwan Mahavir in the Samvasaran. A deep silence descended in the auditorium filled with 2000 people and every soul was overwhelmed.

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10th March - Shanti Pujan

To bless the new hall, to expel negative energy and to fill with pure energy a shanti pujan was conducted in the new Raj Mandir in the final day of the Mahotsav.

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Video Recordings

Day 1 - Mon 4th March

Day 1 - Swadhyay & Bhakti - Shrimad Rajchandra Vachanamrut Updesh Chayya 9.

Day 1 - Panch Kalyanak Pujan

Day 2 - Tues 5th March

Day 2 - Atma Siddhi Shastra Pujan

Day 2: Swadhyay - Shrimad Rajchandra Vachanamrut Letter 569.

Day 2 - Bhakti, Video of November Amrutotsav and Shahbuddinbhai Rathod’s Pravachan

 

Day 3 - Wed 6th March

Day 3 - Morning Swadhyay

Day 4 - Afternoon Swadhyay

Day 3 - Bhakti Programme with Ashokbhai Pande and Group

 

Day 4 - Thurs 7th March

Day 4 - Morning Swadhyay - Shrimad Rajchandra Vachanamrut Letter 469 explained by Param Pujya Bhaishree. Following swadhyay was the changing of the garlands ceremony in Kalyan Hall.

Day 4 - Parshvapadmavati Pujan

 
 

Day 5 - Friday 8th March

Shobha Yatra

Unveiling of outside front plaque, opening of Raj Mandir doors, Unveiling of Guruvariyo Plaques and Bhagwan Mahavir idol Pratishtha Ceremony

Sant Sabha and Swadhyay

Day 5 - Dance & Bhakti with Shree Ashishbhai and group

Day 6 - Sat 9th March

Day 6 - Satarbhedi Pujan and changing of the Deraser Flag ceremony

Day 6 - Pratishtha ceremony of Param Krupaludev Shrimad Rajchandra’s 108 inch Murti in Sayla Ashram

 

Day 7 - Sunday 10th March

Day 7 - Shanti Puja

 

Uttar Pradesh - The Land of 48 Jin Kalyanak - Jatra 2019

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January 2019 Jatra (pilgrimage), took participating Raj Saubhag mumukshus to the Northern State of Uttar Pradesh, to the cities of Allahabad, Kaushambi, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Ratnapuri, Shravasthi and Lucknow, janma bhumi of 12 Tirthankars of current chovisi and their 48 Jin Kalyanak Tirths.

Uttar Pradesh, the land of Tirthankars

A land mass that holds utmost importance to Jain Mythology, where non-violence, peace and truth have been understood and practiced for thousands of years, where 17 of the 24 Tirthankars of current chovisi, were born and is home of 67 Jin Kalyanak Tirths. The innumerable Jain Shrines that dot the state of Uttar Pradesh speak of a myriad of intimate associations with the lives of Jain Tirthankars. A power-house of spiritual energy that has attracted and moulded sentiments of millions of people across the nation and around the world.

Tirthankara, (Sanskrit: “Ford-maker”) also called Jina (“Victor”), in Jainism, a saviour who has succeeded in crossing over life’s stream of rebirths and has made a path for others to follow.

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There are 5 kalyanaks (auspicious events) in life of a Tirthankar:

1. Chyavana Kalyanak: When the soul of Tirthankara enters mother's womb.
2. Janma Kalyanak: Birth of the Tirthankara.
3. Diksha Kalyanak: When a Tirthankara renounces all worldly possessions and becomes an ascetic.  
4. Kevalgnan Kalyanak: The event when a Tirthankara attains Kevalgnan, absolute knowledge. A divine samavasarana (preaching hall) appears, from where the Tirthankara delivers sermons.  
5. Nirvana Kalyanak: When a Tirthankara leaves their mortal body, it is known as Nirvana, the final liberation, Moksha.

48 Kalyanak Tirths:  

Kaushambhi Tirth:  Padmaprabhu Swami 4 kalyanaks
Purimtal:             Adinath Bhagwan 1 kalyanak
Bhelupur:        Parshwanath Bhagwan 4 kalyanaks
Bhadani:      Suparshwanath Bhagwan 4 kalyanaks
Chandrapuri:     Chandraprabhu Bhagwan’s 4 kalyanaks
Sinhapuri:       Shreyansnath Bhagwan’s 4 kalyanaks
Ayodhya:               19 Jin kalyanaks- Adinath Bhagwan (3), Ajitnath Bhagwan(4), Abhinandannath Bhagwan (4), Ananthanath Bhagwan (4), Sumatinath (4)   

Ratnapuri:    Dharmanath Bhagwan’s 4 kalyanak
Shravasthi:     Sambhavnath Bhagwan 4 kalyanak

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“બધાનાં અંત:કરણની અંદર ભગવાન પ્રત્યેનો ખૂબ ખૂબ ભક્તિભાવ જાગવો જોઈએ કારણ કે જે તીર્થભૂમિ પર જઈએ છીએ, તે તીર્થભૂમિ અને ભગવાનના જે કલ્યાણકો થયાં હોય એની જે સ્પર્શના છે એ આપણા શરીરની અંદર નવી ઊર્જા ઉત્પન્ન કરે અને અપૂર્વ ઉત્સાહ અંદરથી જગાડે કે જેમ ભગવાને આ ભૂમિ પર આત્મકલ્યાણ સાધી લીધું તેમ હું પણ મારું આત્મકલ્યાણ સાધી લઉં.”
— Param Pujya Bhaishree

Day 3: 02.01.19 - Allahabad

Visit to Triveni Sangam
Early morning start, 6:00AM, to visit Triveni Sangam. As mumukshus made way to the boats to reach holy Sangam, heavy fog obscured view of Kumbh Mela 2019 setup. Millions of tourists arrive annually for a sacred dip in the confluence of two physical rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the subterranean mystical river, Saraswati. In Hindu mythology taking a bath in the holy Triveni Sangam is said to cleanse the soul of its sins, setting it free from the cycle of rebirth. The sight of the confluence of water of River Ganga (brownish) with Yamuna (slightly greenish), along with the flocks of chirping migrating Siberian birds flying over the boats, jostling for space for a holy dip, along with the pilgrims, is truly a mesmerising sight. Bhaishree likened the confluence of rivers to the sadhna he has blessed the mumuxus with.

The origin of Kumbh Mela was transcribed by the 8th-century philosopher Shankara. The founding myth of the Kumbh Mela points to the Puranas (compilation of ancient Hindu legends). It recounts how heavenly angels and demons fought over the sacred pitcher, the Kumbh of Amrit, the nectar of immortality called the Ratna of Samudra Manthan. It is widely believed that Lord Vishnu, disguised as the enchantress ‘Mohini’ whisked the Kumbh out of the grasp of the covetous demons who had tried to claim it. As he took it heavenwards, a few drops of the precious nectar fell on the four sacred sites which are now known as Haridwar, Ujjain, Nasik and Prayag. The fight and the following pursuit is said to have lasted twelve divine days which is equivalent to twelve human years and therefore, the Mela is celebrated every twelve years, staggered at each of the four sacred sites in this cycle. The corresponding rivers are believed to have turned into Amrit at the cosmic moment, giving pilgrims the chance to bathe in the essence of purity, auspiciousness and immortality.

Once again, we can liken the fight of devas and asuras as that of Arhat conquering the four inner enemies to attain the inner nectar or the eternal bliss.

Kaushambi

Visit to Jain Shwetambar Tirth
Post breakfast, Yatris departed for Kaushambi Tirth, home of Padmaprabhu Swami’s 4 kalyanaks (chyavan, janma, diksha and kevalgnan). Immersed in bhakti bhaav, mumukshus had opportunity to do puja and chaityavandan with Pujya Bhaishree.

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Visit to Shri Prabhash Giri Tirth Kshetra Pabhosa, Ancient Gardens of Kaushambi

Next, the Sangh headed to Prabhashgiri tirth - Pabhosa, for darshan at Digambar Derasar built in 1834 with mulnayak, Padmaprabhu Swami. Digambars believe Padmaprabhu attained diksha & Kevalgnan here.

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Mahavir Bhagvan accepts food (boiled unsplit black beans) from Chandanbala and breaks 5 months & 25 days fast

Mahavir Bhagvan accepts food (boiled unsplit black beans) from Chandanbala and breaks 5 months & 25 days fast

There is also a life size idol of Chandanbala giving alms to Bhagwan Mahavir. Chandanbala was enslaved and taken to Kaushambhi. After facing several trials and tribulations with equanimity and forgiveness, she was freed when Mahavir Bhagwan accepted alms from her.

Prabhash giri, small hill, near the Digambar temple has a cave (9ft by 7ft) and a small Derasar. Padmaprabhu is said to have spent large part of his life in the cave.

Prabhash Giri

Prabhash Giri

Bhagwan Mahavir had also visited Kaushambi many times, His samavarsan was also setup here. Legend also has it, Shri Krishna and Balram visited gardens of Kaushambi (Pabhosh) after the burning of Dwarka. It was here Lord Krishna, resting beneath a tree was mistaken as a deer and fatally wounded by the arrow of his brother Jarakumar.

Day 4: 03.01.19

Varanasi (Kashi, Benares) - 16 Jin Kalyanak  
Sprawling city along the banks of River Ganges, Varanasi dates back to 11th century B.C., one of world's oldest inhabited cities with a maze of narrow alleys leading to its 88 ghats. A unique symbiotic relation exists between its diverse culture & heritage, spirituality and rituals, new and classical, all coexisting in sublime harmony.

For Hindus, Kashi is ultimate pilgrimage point, to wash away sins in the sacred waters of Ganga, to cremate loved ones, or to simply die here, in order to fast track journey to moksha. Along with Hinduism, this city of lights, is a magnet for Jains and Buddhists.

For Jains, Varanasi is a home for 16 Jin Kalyanak, 4 kalyanak each (Chyavan, Janma, Diksha & Kevalgnan) for Bhagwan Parshvanath, Suparshvnath, Chandraprabhu and Shreyansnath, respectively.

Varanasi : Chintamani Parshvanath Temple, Ramghat
Ancient temple of Chintamani Parshwanath, over 2,500 years old temple, built over three floors. Mumukhsus had opportunity to do seva puja and darshan of the several prachin murtis before settling down for Parshva Padmavati pujan.

Mulnayak Shri Chintamani Parshwanath Bhagwan

Mulnayak Shri Chintamani Parshwanath Bhagwan

Shree Shantinath Bhagvan - Shree Parshwanath Bhagvan - Shree Ajitnath Bhagvan

Shree Shantinath Bhagvan - Shree Parshwanath Bhagvan - Shree Ajitnath Bhagvan

Ancient murtis

Ancient murtis

On the ground floor of the temple, a beautiful idol of Lord Parshwanath atop Padmavati Devi has been installed, at the Kamath Yagna Sthal, the very spot where the first interaction between Kamath and Bhagwan Parshwanath occurred.

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Legend goes, once Prince Parshva, passing by this area, witnessed a mendicant named Kamath conducting yagna outside the city. Coming closer to yagna sthal, the Lord noticed some logs of wood burning around the mendicant. Inside one of these logs was a pair of serpents, writhing in pain from the intense heat of the flames. Overcome by compassion the prince requested the mendicant to remove the log, "Burning a five sensed being in fire, what sort of self improvement do you strive for?" To that the mendicant replied angrily, "Prince! You are a child; go and enjoy your princely games. It is mendicants like me who know about religion not you."

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When all efforts to persuade him were in vain, Parshva ordered his attendants to pull out the particular log from fire and split it open. As soon as the attendants did that, a pair of partially scorched serpents, fell on the ground writhing in pain. Realising that they were about to die, Prince Parshva asked them to remain equanimous during the last moments of their lives and not to have hatred towards the ignorant mendicant. He then recited the Namokar Mantra. With equanimous bhaav and hearing the Namokar Mantra in their final moment, the pair of serpents, after death were born in heaven as the king and queen of the Nag Kumar clan (Dharanendra and Padmavati - yaksh & yakshini of Prabhu Parshvanath).

Parshva Padmavati Pujan
Mumukhsus settled for an uplifting Parshva Padmavati pujan lasting about 3 hours.

The pujan was led by Bhaishree, comprising of mantras, stuti & prayers officiated by Hiteshbhai, and augmented by soulful bhakti rendered by Deepbhai. The power of the mantras with mind gripping bhakti and aatma bhav of the devotees, the entire temple reverberated with pure, divine energy. A truly profound experience.

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Visit to Trailinga Swami Math
After pujan, mumukshus headed to the nearby Trailinga Swami Math (Ashram).

Trailinga Swami, was a Hindu Saint from Benares recognised as an Avadhuta, a great Saint, by Ramakrishna, Yogananda, and other Saints of his time. Referred to as the “The walking Lord Shiva of Varanasi”, he was believed to live for around 280 years, 150 of which residing in Varanasi. Ramakrishna had said that Trailinga Swami had exalted state of knowledge, and no body-consciousness, a real paramahansa ("Supreme swan") illuminating Benares.

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Day 5: 04.01.19

Visit to Shwetambar Parshavanath Bhagwan Tirth, Bhelupur

The day started with visit to Shankeshwar Parshavanath Shwetambar Tirth in Bhelupur. Located in south of Varanasi town, Bhelupur Jain Tirth is dedicated to Lord Parshwanath where 4 kalyanaks are located.

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A charan paduka (a sacred rock having the foot impressions) of Bhagwan have been installed to mark the sacred spot. Mumukshus had opportunity for seva puja, darshan and chaityavandan with Bhaishree.

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Kashi Vishwanath Temple Visit
In the afternoon, yatris visited the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple, also known as the Golden Temple, due to the massive gold plated dome on 15.5 meter high spires, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Revered Hindu pilgrimage site, the Temple enshrines one of the 12 jyotirlingams of Lord Shiva. Shiv devotees believe one who prays and worships Vishweshwar, the “Lord of All”, with devotion will attain liberation.

Evening Ganga Aarti Cruise
An amazing Ganga Aarti cruise was organised for the evening. Mumukshus boarded the boat from Assi Ghat, the southernmost Ghat in Varanasi. Hindus believe that it was at Assi Ghat that saint Tulsidas left for his heavenly abode.

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The cruise enabled a beautiful view of the sunset, with its hues adding a delicate tint to the river, as well as the opportunity to witness, from the boat, the Ganga Aarti  – a daily ritual of offering devotion to the holy river Ganga – held at several ghats almost simultaneously. The entire experience was simply divine, just magical.

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View of Aarti from the boat

View of Aarti from the boat

Pujya Bhaishree’s inspiring message after the aarti,
“Ganges gives nourishment and life to all beings from one sensed to five sensed. We are indebted to the Ganges for inspiring spirituality to so many people and we see them doing aarti with so much ‘bhaav’. This devout aarti looks much more stunning from the river than from the ghat. The Ganges is such that it takes peoples’ dirt and sinks it into the ground and in return gives them it’s pure water. We should take inspiration from Mother Ganga, it is our duty to strive hard to progress on our spiritual path and for inner purity. We should have unshakable faith and devotion for the path given to us.

Every house in Varanasi has a temple, be it small or big! There must be some reason behind it. We must take inspiration from this.”

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Mumukshus returned to the hotel feeling exhilarated.  

Day 6: 05.01.19

Bhadaini Tirth

Morning visit to Bhadaini Tirth, also known as Jain Ghat, home of Suparshwanath Bhagwan’s 4 kalyanaks. After puja and chaityavandan mumukshus settled down on the terrace for Bhaishree’s swadhyay.

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Bhaishree reminded mumukshus of their good fortune, to be able able to be present on bhumi of 4 kalyanaks of Tirthankar Bhagwan. He then explained the Suparshvanath Bhagwan stavan by Devchandraji Maharajsaheb. Devchandraji described Suparshavnath Bhagwan as ‘Avyabadh sukh na Swami’ (Master of unimpeded happiness). For a striving sadhak,  observation of such “sukh”, would trigger within him, a desire to awaken the same sukh (eternal bliss) that is dormant within him.

Sarnath

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Sarnath is a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Jain devotees alike.

It is an immensely important Buddhist pilgrimage site. It is also referred to as Isipatana, a city mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit. After enlightenment in Bodh Gaya (528 BCE), Buddha traveled to Sarnath. Delivered his first sermon to his 5 disciples teaching the “four noble truths” and setting in motion “The Wheel of Dharma”. Emperor Ashoka had also erected magnificent stupas and monasteries and engraved pillar here, in 3rd century BC.

Visit to Wat Thai Sarnath Temple
Referred to as Thai Temple, the Hinayana Buddha temple built in 1933, is located amid lush and manicured gardens. There is a statue of a laughing Buddha just before the main Thai temple and on the right side is an enactment of Buddha delivering a sermon to his disciples. There are other statues of Buddha in various mudras.

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Visit to Sinhpuri Tirth
Birthplace of Shreyasnath Bhagwan and home for 4 kalyanak (Chyavan, Janma, Diksha and Kevalgnan). A beautiful temple complex with a Samavasaran with paduka of Bhagwan at the top.

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Visit to Chandrapuri Tirth
Onwards to Chandrapuri Tirth, birthplace of Shree Chandraprabhu Swami and home for his 4 kalyanak (Chyavan, Janma, Diksha and Kevalgnan).

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Day 7: 06.01.19

Ayodhya Tirth Kshetra -19 Jin Kalyanak Bhumi
Day spent travelling from Varanasi to Ayodhya. Important pilgrimage center for Hindus, Jains & Buddhists, alike. Name derived from Sanskrit ‘A’ and ‘Yudha’, meaning place of no conflict; the invincible, “one which cannot be conquered by vices”.

River Saryu, that flows through Ayodhya, has been a silent witness to great personalities that once walked the earth here.  

Besides association with Hindu mythology, Ayodhya has also nurtured spiritual values from Jainism. It is place where five Tirthankars, were born and preached the profound Jain values and is home for 19 kalyanaks.

Bhagwan Mahavir and Gautam Buddha too had visited this pious city many times.

Shree Ajitnath Shwetambar Jain Tirth, Ayodhya
Early evening arrival for a night stop at the Dharamshala within Derasar campus. Derasar is located in Katara mohalla near banks of Sarayu & Ghaghara rivers.

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Evening spent with aarti and mangal divo at the temple, presiding deity Ajitnath Bhagwan in copper colour, and visits to Shri Digamber Jain Derasar and to Kanak Bhavan.

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Day 8: 07.01.19

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Ratnapuri Tirth
The Derasar has a beautiful chaumukhi (idol facing in all 4 directions) within shikharbandi stupa. The 4 Kalnayaks of Bhagwan Dharamnath (Chyavan, Janma, Diksha and Keval Gnan) took place here.

Four corners of the temple compound are anchored by Shree Dharmanath Bhagwan’s 4 Kalyanak Mandirs.

Four corners of the temple compound are anchored by Shree Dharmanath Bhagwan’s 4 Kalyanak Mandirs.

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The temple is mentioned in Acharya Shri Jinprabhusurishwarji’s book, " Vivid teerth Kalp" written in fourteenth century of Vikram Samvat. The ancient temple is associated with number of miraculous stories. Temple pujari talked about sound of temple bells ringing in the night and of saffron rain falls. Stains, dried droplets of a recent rainfall were visible on temple campus paving.

After seva puja & darshan, yatris settled down, mumuksus at the ground level, and Bhaishree, Brahmnishts Minalben and Vikrambhai up above near mandir doorway, to revere the Lord with bhaav pujan (chaityavandan), stavans and garbas.  

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Sravasti Tirth, Shravasthi   
After lunch at Ratnapuri, the sangh proceeded towards Shravasthi, to Sravasti Tirth. A sacred historic place celebrating 4 Kalyanak of Bhagwan Sambhavnath, (Chyavan, Janm, Diksha and Keval Gnan). A beautiful Derasar of white marble, with a white pratimaji of Sambhavnath in padmasan posture.

Shantinath Prabhu had also visited Shravasti and Mahavir Swami had spent several chaturmas here with Samosaran erected for Him on number of occasions. First meeting between Keshi Muni and Gautam Swamiji occurred here. Goshala had struck Mahavir here with tejoleshya (lightening ray produced out of his body).  

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After aarti and mangal divo mumukshus retired for evening at the hotel.

Day 9: 08.01.19 - Shravasthi

In the morning mumukshus gathered at the Derasar for final seva, puja, darshan and chaityavandan.  

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And thus ends, a spiritually divine jatra. 9 days spent in presence of Param Pujya Bhaishree on the revered bhumi of the Tirthankars, enabling a unique opportunity for spiritual development, steadiness of mind, meditation and eternal peace.

Dubai Celebrates Param Pujya Bhaishree's Amrutotsav

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The community in Dubai, UAE, came together to celebrate Param Pujya Bhaishree’s Amrutotsav with the Tejovalay play on Friday 5th October 2018, hosted in the Indian Consulate and with the esteemed presence of Consul General Vipulbhai and many leaders of the Jain and Indian community.

The Tejovalay play was met with rapturous applause, emotional tears and an inner awakening in many of the audience. For a seeker of truth, happiness and spiritual enlightenment, the practical questions being asked and explored in the play really connected within.

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Paryushan Mahaparva 2018

6 - 13th September 2018



Latest Paryushan Swadhyay

Day 6 - 11th Sept - Afternoon - Verse 111

 

Previous Days:

Day 1 - 6th Sept - Morning - Verse 105

Day 1 - 6th Sept - Afternoon - 105

Day 2 - 7th Sept - Morning - Verse 106

Day 2 - 7th Sept - Afternoon - Verse 107

Day 3 - 8th Sept - Morning - Verse 108

Day 3 - 8th Sept - Afternoon - Verse 109

Day 4 - 9th Sept - Afternoon - Verse 110

Day 5 - 10th Sept - Afternoon - Verse 110


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During the holy festival of Paryushan, we are inspired to reflect, seek forgiveness for transgressions and spend 8 days in quiet inner stillness.

Dushkrut Garha - sincere repentance for ones transgressions. The Jain religion summarises the desire of seeking forgiveness in two beautiful words, "Michami Dukkadam". Param Pujya Bahishree often descirbes these words when explaining the 'Panch Sutra nu Pehlu Sutra' sacred Jain text - 

MICHAMI DUKKADAM

MI : Stands for gentle at heart. One should cultivate a tender and humble heart.

CHA : Stands for giving up of transgressions

MI : Stands for always remaining within the boundaries of dharma

DU : Stands for cursing one's soul for all the offenses that it has committed in the past.

KKA : Stands for renouncing all the four passions (anger, ego, deceit and greed)

DAM : Stands for adopting equanimity and tranquility and thereby overcoming worldly existence.

મિચ્છા મિ દુક્કડં

મિ :  મૃદુમાર્દવપણા ના અર્થમાં છે, હૃદય કોમળ અને અહંભાવ વિનાનું કરવું 

ચ્છા : દોષનું છેદન 

મિ : મર્યાદામાં રેહવું, ધર્મની મર્યાદામાં રેહવું 

દુ : દુગંછા કરું છું, દુષ્કૃત્યો કરનાર મારા આત્માની દુગંછા, ઘૃણા કરું છું 

ક્ક : મરાથી કરાયેલા તે પાપ કષાયનો ત્યાગ કરી 

ડં : ઉપશમભાવથી આ સંસારને ઉલંઘી જઉં છું 

Gurupurnima Celebrations 2018

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|| Akhand-mandalakaaram vyaptam yena characharam

Tatpadam darshitam yena tasmay shree gurave namah ||

Guru Poonam is the exhilarating celebration of the divine presence of an enlightened Guru in our lives. Just as the full moon embellishes the night, Guru’s gracious refuge has bought meaningful luster into this worldly darkness. He removes the endemic ignorance that is prevalent and gives us the light of knowledge. Surrounded by ephemeral things, the blessing of having an unbroken lifeline must not go without being paid homage to.

This year (2018), this purest festival of mentor-protégé lineage, was celebrated for 3 days in Ashram, 26th of July to 28th of July.

From the outset, the ambience in the ashram had a seraphic overtone. Day one was scheduled to have swadhyaay and bhakti in the morning, darshan at P.P Bapuji’s birthplace (Chorvira) & visit to L.M.V school in the afternoon and cultural program in the evening.

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If for seekers like us, Bhaishree’s significance on this inward journey is immeasurable, we can only imagine what importance Bhaishree’s heart would hold for P.P. Bapuji who not only showed him the path but also whose grace helped him reach great heights of spirituality. Such is the glory of an enlightened Guru and it is a privilege to worship this pure soul. So, with buses and cars occupying around 100 mumukshus, P.P. Bhaishree and brahmanisths, all left for chorvira. On reaching Bapuji’s home, P.P. Bhaishree lit a candle in front of Bapuji’s portrait and bhakti songs were sung.

Then the next stop was LMV School where 3 girls dedicated bhajan ‘Tu mane Bhagwan ek vardan aapi de’ to the Almighty, in Bhaishree’s presence and the humble Principal expressed gratitude towards Pujya Bapuji and Raj Saubhag Ashram and how their love for humanity feeds the hungry for knowledge minds and supports many vehement students.

While the afternoon was filled with reverential feelings, the evening was as devotional as cultural. The very first presentation was that of a 30 minutes film made on P.P. Bhaishree’s UK Dharmayatra (20th May to 7th June, 2018). With pictures and videos capturing candid euphoria and devotion of London mumukshus, to background music providing lyrical form to their raw emotions, each frame of the film gave a glimpse of how overjoyed mumukshus were to welcome P.P. Bhaishree, the eagerness to hear his golden-wisdom filled words and being able to spend quality time in his divine presence and connect with him so closely, be it through swadhyaay or spiritual retreats or talks or insightful games.

After the film, were beautiful solo and group dance performances, bhajan glorifying the importance of a true Guru and insightful play on Sulsa Sati and her virtues, through which mumukshus expressed their gratitude and vowed to completely and unconditionally surrender at guru’s lotus feet.

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Day two, the day of Guru Poonam, began early with Guru Welcome and Guru Ashirvachan, right after aagna-bhakti. Little later that morning, like every year was special dance performance by the students of Viklang Centre, card presentation by Dubai mumukshus and reading of gratitude filled messages from mumukshus from various parts of the globe. All requesting our Sadguru to help them get rid of the darkness and fill their lives with divine light.

Later that evening was Bhakti by professionals who reflected the devotion of mumukshu’s heart through their songs and brought all gopis from tapping their feet to dancing in ecstasy with the devotion–filled heart.

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Another key feature of this festivity was 9 mumukshus, over the course of 2 days, sharing their close encounters with P.P Bhaishree. Each and every story shared, illuminated the raw depth of Bhaishree’s virtues, his modesty, humbleness, perception, sagacity, his unconditional love & care, precious grace and his profound understanding. How cannot one fall in love with such pristine true self? 

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The next day, mumukshus had the privilege to hear Bhaishree’s swadhyaay in the morning as later that afternoon, P.P.Bhaishree and many other mumukshus departed for Amrutotsav celebration (Talk/Dance/Film/Play – Tejovalay) in Ahmedabad.

Over these three days, Bhaishree relentlessly elaborated on verse 98 of Aatmasiddhi and fervently focused on three pillars of spirituality all mumukshus must work on – Faith, Surrender and Devotion. Stronger the faith, deeper is one’s understanding; more pure your surrender, more humble you become and more devoted you will be, more virtues you shall develop. The biggest obstacle on this spiritual path is our ignorance. Thus, practice stillness, be more focused and observe peace. Actions and feelings go hand in hand. One ignites the other. Hence, re-direct your karma bhaav towards Moksh Bhaav. Do not hurry but do not be sluggish as well. Deepen your understanding and work single-mindedly towards your goal, Bhaishree says.

Bhaishree’s Ashirvachan on Guru Poonam complemented the same ardor as his swadhayas. Even then, he reminded us of our blessings and made only one entreaty – The shortest road to liberation is ‘Ashray’ and ‘Bhakti’. Be reminded of your blessings and make sure you strengthen your enthusiasm, firmness and passion for this path and uncompromisingly stay devoted to the true enlightened master.

Contemplate his compassion and unconditional universal love for each and every soul.

|| Manasa bhajore guru charanam, Dustara bhavasagara taranam ||

Do not just sing the glory of HIS divine grace but ensure that you never forget this matchless shelter that we have acquired. By all means, bow and surrender at HIS lotus feet and completely engulf yourself with HIS purity and divinity. This is the best way to celebrate not only Guru Poonam but also each and every day of this otherwise misused life. There is no cause for spiritual welfare as powerful as association with an enlightened master (Vachnamrut, letter 375). As, it is only through HIS refuge are we going to overcome birth-death cycle and its sufferings. While most vaporize in the blink of an eye, bowing at HIS lotus feet with gratitude & Faith and holding onto that with steadfast devotion is our only escape from the fear of being caught up in this worldly mess. O soul! Awaken! Make the most of what you have received.

IVY Swadhyay - July 2018

 “A truly awakened soul is not attached to anything” says Brahmnisht Minalben.

‘When we step into the outside world, we realise that we are different from a lot of people in many ways. The lessons that we are taught, the perspective with which we observe our surrounding and the ways in which we learn to deal with situations, makes IVY mumukshus realize that we are extra-ordinary. With the help of the teachings of an enlightened Master like Krupalu Dev,  we learn to be able to maintain a balance between the society as well as our spiritual life, so that we can also attain such spiritual peaks like Him.’

What does it mean to be living a spiritual life?

1.         When we do the agnas given to us by our satguru

2.         Not giving upon anything, but centering our lives around the satguru and his agna

3.         Not to get entangled in the seen but to seek the unseen

“Happiness in materialistic things is going to be temporary,” Minalben reminded all of us. “So at a certain age, we might like something but after a few years we might not like it at all. This shows that happiness is ephemeral and transient when attached to an object, place or a person.”

All of us were encouraged to read at least one page from the book – ‘The pinnacle of spirituality’ everyday, to better understand Krupalu Dev‘s life. With the help of this book we get to know how Shrimad perceived Jainism and also helped us realise its importance and depth.

Minalben also helped us understand the qualities of our soul and drew our attention to our individual strengths. While discussing the outstanding talents of Krupalu Dev and especially his phenomenal memory, she pointed out that our soul is as beautiful and powerful as that of Krupalu Dev and Tirthankars. The degree to which we clean the karmas maligning our soul is the degree to which we would be able to experience its virtues and purity.

This swadhyay was unique for the basket full of topics that were discussed and also because  the IVY group was fortunate to hear insightful stories of Pujya Bapuji’s life from Brahmnisht Vinubhai. He stated that just like Krupalu Dev, Bapuji too had great memory. He would concentrate well in the class. And because he would stay focused on his task, even with few hours of study, he could score great marks in his examination.

Next Vinubhai talked about an inspiring story from the life of Albert Schweitzer, a French-German theologian, humanitarian and physician. Schweitzer often said that ‘the purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. “True compassion means not only feeling about others’ pain but also being moved to help relieve it ”. With this thought, Albert served and treated many people in South Africa. He was so dedicated to his work that he didn’t even go to receive the Noble Peace Prize award. Vinubhai urged all of us: ‘just like his soul, we all have a soul that is filled with Daya and Karuna Bhaav, awaken it and dedicate it for serving others’.

Vinubhai reminded us of how extremely fortunate we all were to have got this human birth. We need to do such work that our cycle birth and death gets diminished and eventually break and we can reach moksh.

- Vidhi Boradia

Welcoming the marble that will gift us the idol of Param Krupaludev

ગુરુ કારીગર સરીખા, ટાંકે વચન વિચાર
પથ્થર સે પ્રતિમા કરે, પૂજા લહે અપાર
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“રાજમંદિર” એ પ.પૂ ભાઈશ્રીના હૃદયમાં રહેલો પરમ કૃપાળુ દેવ પ્રત્યેનો ઉત્કૃષ્ટ ભક્તિભાવ છે. મુમુક્ષુઓનાં કલ્યાણ અર્થે જે દાયકાઓ સુધી મદદરૂપ થવાનું છે તે અતિ સુંદર “રાજમંદિર” પૂર્ણ થવાના આરે છે. પરમ કૃપાળુ દેવની અત્યંત જીવંત પ્રતિમાજી ઘડાય અને તેનું અવલંબન પામી મુમુક્ષુઓ મોક્ષના માર્ગે વીતરાગ બનતા જાય એ ભાઈશ્રીનો પરમાર્થ મનોરથ છે. આપણે ભાગ્યશાળી છીએ કે બે વર્ષના અંતે દૂધ જેવો સફેદ આરસનો પથ્થર વિયેટનામની ખાણમાંથી મળી આવ્યો છે જેને તારીખ ૧૪-૬-૨૦૧૮ ના રોજ બહુમાનપૂર્વક, આનંદ ઉલ્હાસ સાથે વધાવી, આશ્રમના પ્રાંગણમાં સ્થાપવામાં આવ્યો છે.

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જોગાનુજોગ તે સમયે પ.પૂ. છોટાબાપુજી તેમજ પ.પૂ. બાપુજી સાથે જેમનો ઘનિષ્ઠ આધ્યાત્મિક સંબંધ હતો, તેવા ગચ્છાધિપતિ આચાર્ય માણેકસાગર સુરી મહારાજ સાહેબની પરંપરાના સાધુ ભગવંતો ગચ્છાધિપતિ પૂ. શ્રી ચન્દ્રસાગર મ.સા. (પૂ. આગમોધ્ધારક સૂરિ) વિહાર કરતા આશ્રમમાં પધાર્યા હતા.

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તેમણે અર્થપૂર્ણ પ્રવચન દ્વારા ઉત્તમ સમજણ આપી અને મંત્રોચ્ચાર દ્વારા તે એકેન્દ્રિય જીવોને ભાવપૂર્વક વિનંતી કરી કે, તેઓ કૃપા કરી મૂર્તિ કંડારવા માટે અનુમતિ આપે.

આપણી ઉપર તે એકેન્દ્રિય જીવો અનુગ્રહ કરે તે માટે આપણે નાનો પણ સંકલ્પ કરવો જોઈએ એવી પ્રેરણા સાધુભગવંતોએ કરતાં ત્યાં ઉપસ્થિત મુમુક્ષુઓએ મૂર્તિ પૂર્ણપણે ઘડાય અને તેની પ્રતિષ્ઠા થાય ત્યાં સુધી પોતાની ઈચ્છા અનુસાર પ્રતિજ્ઞા લીધી હતી.

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ભલે આપણે ત્યાં હાજર ન હતાં પણ આપણે પણ આ વાંચી આપણી શક્તિ અનુસાર સંકલ્પ લેવો જોઈએ. ઓછામાં ઓછું રોજ, ૫ માળા સહજાત્મસ્વરૂપ પરમગુરુ અથવા તો નમસ્કાર મહામંત્રની ગણવી એવી ભલામણ આ પુણ્યાત્મક પ્રસંગે ભાઇશ્રીએ કરી છે.    

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