Acharya Shriji has given a wonderful message to One Jains, an umbrella body representing all Jains in the UK and also to all the Jains throughout the world. Acharya Shriji talks about the 8 days of Paryushan being the time to spend within ourselves and identify and remove all the negativities and purify ourselves. And cultivate the value of friendship with all.
The current unprecedented times brings many challenges but, whatever the circumstances, the beautiful Jain festival of forgiveness, Paryushan, is the focal point for spiritual reflection and progress for Jains. This year we are all fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate Paryushan in the divine presence of Acharya Shri Chandanaji Maharaj., You are all invited to participate - ‘Virtual’, yes but a rare and splendid occasion to learn from the learned sadhvi sangha of Veerayatan. Do not miss this unique Paryushan!
For more information see the poster. Zoom joining details are as follows:
Meeting ID: 986 0810 9267
No Password Required
Mere Devdoot (My Angels) is a book written by Acharya Shriji in which she remembers and reflects on everyone who has shaped her life. Over the past year we have been publishing these stories in the newsletter.
Here is one such story in which we learn how important the underlying feelings and emotions are rather then the strength and volume of the words you speak!
Acharya Shri Chandanaji believes that knowledge is extremely important. She believes that it is only through increasing our knowledge that one can attain contentment, achieve stillness of mind, find clarity on one’s goal in life and discriminate between right and wrong. Swadhyaya, or self-study, is important in laying a strong foundation to allow you to meditate and experience the fruits of this knowledge.
With the blessings of Acharyashriji, Veerayatan has initiated a number of swadhyaya sessions using modern technology.
The first study session with Upadhyaya Sadhvi Shri Yashaji, based on the text Sukti Triveni, centres on the teaching and discussion of the messages of Bhagwan Mahavir. Sukti Triveni is a text written by Pujya Gurudev Shri Amar Muniji Maharaj in which Gurudev has compiled the verses from the various Jain, Vedic and Buddhist scriptures. Yashaji Maharaj eloquently explains each verse and then expands on these giving numerous examples and reciting stories to enhance understanding.
The second study session with Upadhyaya Sadhvi Shri Yashaji is based on Chapter 29 of Uttaradhyayan Sutra, the final sermon of Bhagwan Mahavir. In Chapter 29, Bhagwan Mahavir answers many questions posed to him by Gautam Swami on the benefits of faith, samayik, pratikraman, swadhyaya, forgiveness, discipline etc. which together address and show the path to follow if we want to make spiritual progress during this rare gift of a human birth.
The third virtual study session is with Sadhvi Shri Sanghamitraji who is explaining Bhagwan Mahavir's last sermon, the Uttaradhyayan Sutra, predominantly in Hindi and Gujarati with some English. These classes are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, India time 7-8pm. For those interested in joining these classes, please contact Sadhvi Shri Sanghamitraji on +91 9004321402.
Anya Shah, now 18 yrs of age, embarked on the Veerayatan volunteering programme two years ago visiting the Veerayatan centres in Kutch and Palitana. She was so inspired by what she saw and experienced and Acharya Shriji’s vision that she was left at the end of her trip with a burning desire to do something positive for the disadvantaged children of Kutch and Palitana. This she turned into reality upon returning back to UK and now, two years later, has done something phenomenal.
With humbleness we are pleased to announce that Sadhvi Shri Rohiniji, with the blessings of Acharya Shriji, completed her ONE month long fast on 3 August 2020 in Tirthankar Mahavir’s pious land of Rajgir. Sadhvi Shri Rohiniji is in good health with immense energy and has been showered with good wishes from every corner of the world!
With the blessings of Acharya Shriji, two of her disciples, Manojbhai Daga and Dhwiti Vijaj Gandhi, are also undertaking an awe-inspiring fast. As at 9 August, Manojbhai was on 18th day and Dhwiti, 16 years of age, was on 34th day of fasting (both with no food, just water) and both are motivated to continue their fasts for longer. We all pray for their good health and humbly bow down for their immense energy.
Acharya Shriji firmly believes that penance performed with selflessness, deep prayers and meditative practices invokes divine powers. May this all-auspicious Tapsya (discipline) by Sadhvi Shri Rohiniji bring relief, solace and peace to the world as these are much needed particularly in the current difficult times!
To honour the auspicious penance and discipline of Sadhvi Shri Rohiniji Veerayatan is initiating a relief fundraising scheme to support desperate and disadvantaged people affected by Covid 19. The donation will be used to support people who cannot afford to buy food, provide education to children of demised parents, provide medical support and help in other ways to ease the pain and suffering. View the efforts which have occurred already:
To obtain further information or to donate towards or support this initiative please contact:
Prakash Patalia: +44 7956243352
Dinesh Shah: +44 7739976169
Veerayatan International, driven by the inspiration and support of Mukeshbhai Turakhia and his family, have organised a community wide contactless food drive in Houston, Texas to provide much needed food for hundreds of deprived families affected by Covid 19. To date 300 families have each been supplied with 16 kilos of nutritious vegetarian food. The Houston based company, Allied Alloys, are supporting this initiative and have organised the food deliveries in the current challenging circumstances. This initiative is already making a lasting impact on local communities with one lady recently phoning, in tears, to express her thanks. And this is just the beginning of this selfless Seva......
by Amar Shah
“Imagine there's no heaven.... It's easy if you try......
No hell below us.... Above us, only sky....
Imagine all the people living for today....
Ah, Imagine there's no countries.... It isn't hard to do....
Nothing to kill or die for.... And no religion too....
Imagine all the people living life in peace....”
– lyrics from Imagine by John Lennon
This song’s inspirational message resonates in my soul as the world endures the coronavirus pandemic in a way that is truly having a global impact on all of us. This crisis shows how people across the planet are in this moment together. John Lennon and The Beatles travelled to India for inspiration so many years ago, and as I self-quarantine, I find myself reflecting on my own enlightening journey to India where I connected as a teacher to incredible students at Veerayatan. I hope sharing my memories with the Veerayatan community resonates a message that being interconnected is how all of us can thrive and survive in this world.
COVID 19 has affected the economic, social and educational structure in every web of society. The impact on psychological health is also so pronounced. The prolonged closure of educational institutions has caused major disturbance in managing the academic curriculum. In rural areas like Kutch, the impact is huge as students have limited access to the internet and broadband connectivity is quite low.
In the presence of Pujya Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, Sadhvi Manasviji and Sadhvi Sumedhaji on the Kutch campus, and with continuous blessings of Acharya Shriji, there is unparalleled support for those impacted by the pandemic bringing hope and courage to those who are facing unimaginable challenges. It is so fulfilling to see how everyone is working together as one big family and supporting each other during this crisis!
With the blessings of Acharya Shriji, Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth North and South London have embraced online technology wholeheartedly and have continued with teaching activities for both children and adults throughout the lockdown in UK. Meer Shah, 9 years of age, learnt about the 5 senses and wrote this poem:
The beautiful flowers we smell,
To the dog we pat,
Not to forget that skyscraper you saw,
Or the mango you shared,
The ice-cream truck you hear,
For all of these you use senses!
And one more from Saaran Shah, 8 years of age:
I can see a great big oak,
I can hear a robin singing,
I can feel fluffy animal fur,
I can smell the fresh,
crisp air and I can taste scrumptious food!
There are 5 senses, all of them very different and they are see, hear, feel, smell and taste.
And the youngest class sang a beautiful song appreciating Bhagwan Mahavir:……..
The highlight has been the ‘virtual’ Samayik which was organised by SCVP North London. Children aged between 7-13 years recited all the Samayik prayers and the 100 or so participants of the Samayik learnt about the unparalleled compassion of Shantinath Bhagwan! It was humbling to see children not just reciting the prayers so beautifully and clearly but also explaining the meanings of the various prayers.
To have a glimpse of the Samayik, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5XFM9ZUmPk
After our last update we are pleased to announce a bigger Zoom schedule with our classes and number of participants increasing dramatically! The children’s crash course has achieved global participation and we now have three age-based classes running concurrently. Well done to all the teachers for their dedication and commitment!
The President of Kenya, on Sunday 15th of March 2020 made an announcement to have all schools in Kenya closed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Cerebral Palsy (CP) Unit closed immediately forcing all the children to remain at home with their parents.
Most of the children come from very poor backgrounds where their parents struggle to even get one meal in a day. While in the school, Veerayatan Kenya together with Young Jains, Kenya ensured that these children were given two meals in a day. We were worried how the children will sustain themselves and with this in mind a decision was made to distribute essential things and food items to the CP children. In no time and despite the hard economic period caused by COVID-19, sponsors came forward like the wish fulfilling trees to ensure the wellbeing of CP Unit children while at home.
With Acharya Shriji’s blessings, one hundred and thirty five parents and CP Unit staff members received their packs, an exercise that took two days! While receiving the gifts, some parents were in tears of joy, some so overwhelmed with gratitude that they could not express their heartfelt thanks! An immense thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers without whose help this would not have been possible.
The following items were distributed to each child:
2 anti-bacterial soap, 1 20 litre bucket with tap for hand washing, 2 packets of noodles, 4 toilet rolls, 500ml oil, 4kgs of maize flour, 1kg of rice, 4pkts of 500ml long milk, 1 big multipurpose bar soap and 10 lollipops
We are pleased to announce that Veerayatan Kenya in conjunction with Young Jains have planned children's virtual learning classes for all 8 days for children aged 9-12 years.
See poster for detail on the children's classes. Also see poster for other paryushan activities.