Dubai Seva Activity

Dubai seva activity

December 2016

When one admires beautiful buildings, one scarcely gives even a passing thought to the sweat, toil, tears and sheer hard work put in by labourers who have given their all in constructing these imposing structures.

Mumukshus of Raj Saubhag Dubai group organized a Seva activity at 2 labour camps in Mankhool and Al Jadaf area by giving away goody bags – filled with essentials like rice, dal, sugar, tea, biscuits, almonds and t-shirts – trying in their own small way to bring a smile on their tired faces.

Queueing up excitedly the labourers were happy to receive their gift, cheerfully exclaiming, "Hey, there are almonds in my bag!",  and " I got dal as well".

Mumukshus too departed resolving to do more for these poor people and hoping they were able to restore faith in human values in the hearts of these labourers.

IVY Swadhyay - December 2016

Year 2016 marks as the 150th birth anniversary of Param Krupalu Dev. As all the followers of Shrimadji across the globe unite in celebrating his birth, IVY mumukshus too would be joining the celebrations.

The December swadhyay gave insights on devotion, faith, the joy of giving and overcoming the obstacles of the spiritual path in 5 simple ways.

Brahmnisht Minalben began her discourse with recitation and then reflection upon the meaning of the powerful stuti ‘Mahadevya kukshi ratnam, મહાદેવ્યા કુક્ષિ રત્નમ’ and the verse ‘Hey Param Krupalu Dev, janma jara maran aadi, હે પરમ કૃપાળુ દેવ, જન્મ જરા મરણ આદિ’.  The verses encourage disciples to give up bad qualities like anger, ego, greed and deceit, and remain under the shelter of an enlightened Master.  The benevolent soul does not expect anything in return for his endless love and leads the disciple on the path of complete destruction of sorrows and sufferings and therefore, we are forever in his debt.

Faith and Principles are two pillars that keep mumukshus strong during hardships. The results may not be immediate but not giving up on them pays handsomely. A story of a shopkeeper gave inspiration. Posted in the Himalayas for 3 months, a troop of tired army men where on the lookout for something to keep them warm. En route to the peak, they came across a shop. The army men keenly desired a hot cup of tea. However, the shop was locked. The officers looked at their leader silently pleading to allow them to break the lock. Against his own better judgment and caving in to the need of the hour, officer permitted his men to break the lock. With the materials available, army men made themselves a good hot cup of tea and ate some biscuits. The leader, not happy with his decision, slid a 1000/- rupee note under the box of sugar to assure the shopkeeper that no theft has been done. Three months later, their posting was revoked and while coming down from their post the officer saw that the same shop was now open. The officer still reliving his guilt interacted with the shopkeeper and curiously asks him about his opinion on the existence of God in such a mountainous terrain. Answering his question, shopkeeper narrated his reasons for having faith in God. His son had suffered several injuries and had to be operated, which required huge amount of money that he didn’t have. Feeling low and powerless, he came to his shop and prayed. He had his head resting on the table but when he looked up from there, he found a 1000-rupee note under the box of sugar. That was more than he required and knew that was God taking care of him. After seeing how the events turned unexpectedly, how could he doubt His presence and God’s love for him?

God walks in our life when we need Him to. Till then, He teaches us the art of walking: exercise that keeps our body and soul both in good health. Whenever we face an undesirable or distressing situation, walk away.

Walking now possible in 4 simple ways:

  1. Walk away from arguments that lead nowhere but towards anger.
  2. Walk away from people who deliberately put you down. Never feel you are anything less.  We have our Guru to take care of us.
  3. Walk away from failures and fears that stifle your dream. Often we allow our minds to underestimate ourselves; Dream big, be passionate about it, trust yourself and have patience.
  4. Walk away from people who do not care.

Walking away from the unnecessary is the walk towards Happiness!!

Things, people and situations that cause stress and pain can be avoided. If cannot be avoided, ignore them. When even that’s not possible, rise above the situation, become a witness. Keep calm and let the karma pass.

That is how Krupalu Dev sailed the worldly boat, other elevated souls are sailing and we have to do the same. If nothing else, SMILE! It’s the curve that makes everything straight.

So, as a tribute to Param Krupalu Dev, Ivy mumukshus have pledged to -

  1. Sing stuti - Mahadevya kukshi ratnam – everyday.
  2. Begin reading ‘Pinnacle of spirituality’ – from January swadhaya.
  3. Smile always –It costs nothing, but gives much radiance. It’s the antidote to our troubles. Pujya Bapuji would always remind everyone: ‘સાધના કરો છો આનંદ લેવા માટે, તો આનંદ લેતા સીખો!’
  4. Exercise- gift ourselves a walk towards happiness.
  5. Respect our parents; they are our best well- wishers.
  6. Dream high and be passionate about them.

IVY Swadhyay - November 2016

The IVY swadhyay for November was special since it was held on Gyan Panchami.

Starting his discourse, Brahmnisht Vikrambhai asked several questions to the young mumukshus present.

  • Why do some people have a stronger sense of understanding than others?
  • Why do we not have complete knowledge
  • Why is it that even when we read books we do not understand the true meaning of it?
  • Why are some good at studies while others at sports? 

Explaining the prime reason for this differential understanding, Vikrambhai said it was due to our Gyanavarniya Karma. When we disrespect gyan or knowledge in thoughts, words or deeds like stepping on paper, eating while reading or writing, we build gyanavarniya karma. This accumulated karma determines our understanding and perception of knowledge for our next life.

 Highlighting this principle with a story, Vikrambhai said: 

A king named Ajit Singh ruled over the town of Pasmapur. He sent his young son to a pundit for an education. Since the young student was the king’s son, the teacher took extra care while teaching his young ward, but unfortunately the prince could not remember a single thing. Along with this difficulty, he contracted leukemia and his whole body was covered in white spots. This made the prince sad and depressed.

In another near by town lived a merchant named Singh Das, who owned gold worth crores of rupees. He had a daughter who was unable to speak and suffered from several diseases. She was always sad, as no one was ready to marry her and her entire family was worried about her future. 

An enlightened and respected Guru once visited Pasmapur and the king with his family as well as Singh Das came to seek the Guru’s blessings.

The guru started his discourse: “O Bhavya people, if you want moksh you must respect and worship knowledge. Those who disrespect knowledge by thought will not be able to discriminate between right and wrong; those that show disrespect by word will not be able to speak and those that disrespect knowledge by action will contract several diseases like leukemia. "

Listening to this, Singh Das was quick to ask why his daughter was the way she was?

The guru replied, "Hey Singh Das. Listen to this story about your daughter’s previous birth. In Khetak was a rich man with 5 sons and 4 daughters.  When they were older, all the boys were sent to a Guru. But instead of studying, they would play and disrespect the teacher and if they were reprimanded, they would complain to their mother. Their mother, in turn would be angry with the teacher instead of her children.

Once in a fit of rage, she burnt all the children’s books. When her husband asked his wife, about the future of uneducated children or who would marry them? How would they earn a living? The wife replied that since he was a smart man he should teach his own kids.

In due course of time, the children grew up and were good-for-nothing.  No one was willing to marry any of them because they were uneducated. The man and his wife blamed each other. In his anger, the man hit his wife with a stone on her head and she died. The same lady is reborn as your daughter in this birth.”

Listening to this narration the daughter recalled her previous birth and agreed with the Guru about the sequence of events. Singh Das now asked for a cure for his daughter. The Guru said that doing aradhna of Gyan Panchmi would cure her. 

Now the king also asked about his son.

The Guru replied: "In Shripur, there was a man named Vasudev with two sons. Both of them were riding horses in a jungle when they saw a monk and paid their respects. The monk taught them about death and mortality of human life. The sons were so touched by his teachings that they took diksha. The younger brother happened to be smarter and thus became an Acharya with 500 disciples.

Once he was sleeping and many sadhus came to ask him their doubts. He started answering but in his heart he wanted to go back to sleep. He looked at his elder brother sleeping peacefully and envied him. At this moment he decided never to learn anything new nor teach anyone anything so that he could live and sleep peacefully. He took the vow of silence (Maun) for 12 years.  After his death, he was reborn as the King’s son."

The prince too recalled his past birth, and affirmed the sequence of events and asked for a cure. The guru advised that doing penance on Gyan Panchami would have the desired effect.

Gyan Panchmi is the day people undertake different penances (tap) to gain gyan, crush gyanavarniya karma and respect gnan to get all the five types of gyan. 


Following the gurus advice both the girl and the prince overcame their problems, took diksha and were reborn as celestial beings (in Devlok), eventually finding their way to moksh. This story shows us the importance of Gyan Panchami.

What is Gyan?

True knowledge or the knowledge of one’s self is Gyan. When the mind becomes still, while meditating the body recedes from importance and only the pure soul gains sole, supreme significance. Remaining in this state is true knowledge. Any knowledge that doesn't help us reach self-realization is not true knowledge.

Vikrambhai ended his discourse with the profound verse:

જો હોય પૂર્વ ભણેલ નવ પણ, જીવને જાણ્યો નહિ;
તોહ સર્વ તેહ અજ્ઞાન ભાખીયું, સખશી છે અગમ અહીં;
એ પૂર્વ સર્વ કાહિયા વિશેષ, જીવ કરવા નિર્મળો;
જિનવર કહે છે જ્ઞાન તેને, સર્વ ભાવ્યો સાંભળો।

These lines highlight what Jain scriptures say - that even if we are educated with worldly knowledge but know not our soul, we do not have Gnan. Only that which teaches us about our soul and makes us peaceful is true knowledge. 

Shree Bhaktamar Stotra Mahapujan

Shree Bhaktamar Stotra Mahapujan

28th October 2016

The ashram was resplendent as ever, its magical aura enhanced by the tasteful decoration of lights and diyas all round for Diwali. On Dhanteras, a Mahapoojan (ceremonial veneration) of the holy Shree Bhaktamar Stotra was held at the new swadhyay hall. Two mumukshus, Rupaben and Himanshubhai Jain, sponsored it in the memory of Himanshubhai’s father, Late Shri Madhukantbhai Jain.

The arrangements were meticulous – each family had a dedicated ornate stool and a Bhaktamar Yantra to themselves, along with a bowl of vaskep (powder made of sandalwood, saffron and camphor). At the end of the recital of each gatha (verse of four lines) of Shree Bhaktamar Stotra, one was to sprinkle vaskep on a square on the Yantra as a symbol of offering and devotion. Three types of pujan – coconut, fruit and lamp - were offered by three persons for each gatha.

Thanks to the splendid arrangements, each one of us could participate fully in this empowering ceremony. The vidhikaar Panditji Hiteshbha, who had arrived from Baroda especially for the Mahapujan, conducted it with a great deal of precision. He explained the meaning and significance of every word before reciting the gatha, and enjoined us to say “Swaha” aloud each time as ‘swaha’ implies an earnest offering from our heart.

After every four verses (gathas), Brahmanisht Vikrambhai and Yashika would render a stirng bhakti song in the praise of our rthankars. We were asked to chant “Om Hrim Shree Adinathay Namah” in our minds throughout.

Shree Bhaktamara Stotra is composed by Acharya Mantung Maharaj Saheb. It is said that when he was shackled by the king, he composed the Stotra, and as he recited every verse of the Stotra, each chain broke open. When an unconvinced king tested the power of the Stotra by imprisoning another devotee of the Stotra, Hemraj Sheth, the power of the Stotra was proved by Sheth in the same manner.

Bhaktamar literally means that which makes the disciple immortal. These verses describe the fine qualities of Jineshwar Bhagwan. When recited with commitment, sincerity and devotion, this magnificent composition has the latent power to lighten our karmic load and connect us with the Jineshwar Bhagwan or the divinity within.

Verses 1 to 9 depict the poet’s humility in his endeavour to describe the grandeur of Jineshwar Bhagwan – a task that can be accomplished not through the use of one’s intelligence or ability but by sheer devotion.

Verses 10 to 33 sing the glory of Jineshwar Bhagwan, whose one darshan changes you so much that you cannot ever be satisfied with anything worldly again. No sansaric thought or flaw ever remotely comes near Him, centred as He remains in His state of bliss. Anyone who worships this transcendental state of being with all his heart is released from the ills of worldly life and achieves identical equanimity.

Verses 34 to 44 relate to the spiritual and worldly benefits of Paramatma bhakti. Reciting Verse 41, for instance, has the potential to cure an ailing person, or give him peace. The Panditiji mentioned that using the water used for abhishek of the Bhaktamar Yantra along with the recital of this verse can work wonders for the ill. Verse 43 and 44 tell us how, like beads on a necklace, each verse in the glory of Jineshwar Bhagwan is entwined around His divine attributes. 

The dogmatic richness of Shree Bhaktamar Stotra is sufficient to transport you to the world ofthe holy; when coupled with a flawless rendition of each gatha,  with attentive participation of each and every mumukshu under the guidance and ever-flowing grace of P.P. Bhaishree, it acquired a life all its own. The gathas reverberated in the atmosphere, touched each one of us vibrantly and left each one of us aglow with an inner radiance we did not know we had.

We felt cleansed and ready to soak in the spiritual fest that awaited us.

IVY Swadhyay - October 2016

Happiness = Love = Self-realised Soul

The quest for Happiness is inherent in every living being – whether a newborn baby, or a person on his death bed – each one is forever seeking happiness.

Evaluating the pattern of our ‘happiness-seeking’ behavior – like receiving a gift makes us happy, new clothes brings joy, winning a lottery would make us ecstatic, receiving an appraisal can bring pleasure, a new friend can be amusing.  However, this is not true happiness.  We mistake comforts for eternal happiness.  The happiness that is dependent on external objects, people or situations is not true happiness.  Happiness is an eternal joy, coming from within. It is not dependent on people, objects or situations. We are consumed by the overwhelming need for gratification and feeling of pleasure, we thus overlook the ephemeral nature of conditional comfort and we mistake comfort for happiness.

     ‘Happiness is not a destination, it is a journey’.

Young mumukshus have heard these words of wisdom many a times. Pujya Vikrambhai adds that ‘everlasting happiness’ should be our ultimate destination. To reach the desired stage, we must set immediate goals that will lead us to our final destination. Presence of an enlightened Guru in our lives has given us an assurance that there is ‘Happy Forever’ goal for all of us as well. ‘True happiness’ is not only realistic but also achievable. We are blessed to have all the rightful ways and means to be happy in spite any negative karmas coming our way.

The question is ‘are we going to make the best of what we have got?’ or ‘are we going to be ungrateful and lose on the most wonderful opportunity?’

If we choose to make the best of the opportunity we have got, all we have to do is whole-heartedly follow the road our Guru has followed and compassionately shown us as well.

So what are these cardinal rules of happiness that makes our Guru unperturbed in difficult times and happy each waking moment?

  1. Set ‘True Happiness’ as your ultimate and immediate goal. True happiness comes and never leaves, but multiplies every single day and is not followed by any discontent.
  2. Offer unconditional surrender at enlightened Guru’s lotus feet. Divine fruits can be gained only by increasing devotion towards him.
  3. Be optimistic. Optimism is a happiness magnet. Staying positive draws good results.
  4. Minimalism is the way! The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t want.
  5.  Stay contented. Happiness isn’t getting all you want. It’s enjoying all you have.
  6. Be relaxed and enjoy doing even the things that you dislike. This is the cornerstone to the art of being happy.
  7. Be in the ‘Now’. Remembering the past brings tears and anticipating the future brings fears.
  8. Appreciate and admire the other person’s beauty and virtues, avoid comparison, be grateful and importantly accept yourself.
  9. Rejoice in giving to others. Sharing is caring.
  10. Free yourself from I, me and mine.

Once we have programmed these rules in our system, we shall be more humble, enthusiastic, compassionate and fearless. We will be passionate, hard working, determined in devoting ourselves at His Lotus feet and be efficient practitioners of love, harmony and truth.

The quality of our thoughts will enhance, our thoughts will be channelized, our perspective will be goal-orientated, our actions righteousness, our attitude – positive.