We are pleased to announce that this year Pujya Tai Ma’s 86th birthday celebrations will take place in Palitana. You are cordially invited to the birthday celebrations taking place from 25 to 27 January 2022 at Veerayatan Palitana.
The details of the programme are :
My only goal in life is to spread Tirthankar Mahavir’s message of love, compassion and empathy’
- (Pujya Tai Ma)
On 2 October an historic conversation took place. Pujya Tai Ma with all her grace and blessings gave glimpses of her childhood, her convictions and immense faith in Mahavir Bhagwan and his words. It was a great revelation to all who heard the interview as she narrated her life and revealed a soul whose blessed feet walk on this earth.
Listen to Pujya Tai Ma share her innermost thoughts on her motivations, challenges and joyful moments in treading on her ground-breaking spiritual journey:
In the presence of Pujya Tai Ma, the beautiful recitation of Uttaradhyayana Sutra, the last sermon of Bhagwan Mahavir, took place, starting 15 days before Diwali day. Pujya Tai Ma and Upadhyaya Shri Yashaji lucidly and beautifully explained the powerful meanings behind the verses and shared their thought-provoking insights. All these inspirational discourses are available on YouTube:
Mere Devdoot (My Angels) is a book written by Pujya Tai Ma in which she remembers and reflects on everyone who has shaped her life. We have been publishing these stories regularly in this newsletter.
Here is one such story in which we learn about the importance of inner goodness which is moulded by a Guru.
It is with great pleasure to announce that, with the vision and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, a new school is going to be built at the Veerayatan Rajgir campus. The foundation laying ceremony took place on 9 November 2021 by Shri Shanti Tansukh Raj Daga. This school is specifically being built for destitute children who have no access to education, with their parents struggling to provide for even one meal a day!
The students of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir (TMVM) came together to make the temples of Pawapuri clean and beautiful on Diwali day. A social service group has been created at the school and all the students who are members of this group go together swept and cleaned all the temples beautifully. What a wonderful act of kindness!
With the inspiration of Pujya Tai Ma, Jain Centre of America celebrated 'Paryushan Parv' in the presence of Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji. Shilapiji Maharaj enlightened the devotees continuously for 8 days through inspiring and heart-touching online discourses on various aspects of life.
The Indian Council of Philosophical Research (Ministry of Education - Govt. of India) sponsors events to encourage philosophers to share enriching knowledge with each other. This year a 2-day National seminar was organised by International School of Jain studies in Pune where around 40 scholars from all over India were invited to present their papers. Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji delivered an informative and effective speech on the role and importance of Jainism to establish social harmony and peace.
With the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and the tireless efforts and guidance of Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, Veerayatan, Kutch campus is regaining its liveliness.
Second and final year students of BBA/BCA organised a Welcome Party for this year’s fresher students. Students' enthusiasm leapt no bounds as the event was held after almost one and a half years. We wish the freshers every success!
The faculties of Bachelor in Business Administration/Bachelor in Business Communications organised a competition on ‘Student Startup and Innovation Policy’ to encourage students to think about innovation and entrepreneurship. Thirty-five students shared their ideas through interesting PowerPoint Presentations on various topics including:
To teach and train elderly how to use smart phone features, online banking and shopping, using Instagram.
To develop a local app to provide budget friendly plumber, electrician, carpenter, cooks, caretakers etc. in remote areas of Kutch.
To engage ladies in sewing reusable grocery cloth bags, requesting local shopkeepers to sell or encourage people to bring 10 plastic bags and get 1 cloth bag free, thus contributing to making Kutch plastic free eco- friendly region.
Engaging village ladies to make woollen and crochet clothes for infants, toddlers, teenagers and selling them on-line, thus empowering women and giving recognition to their work.
Due to Covid, companies are encouraging placements through online interviews and Veerayatan campus is well equipped for this. A placement drive was arranged by the College Training Placement Officer for Windcare India Ltd, providers of cutting-edge renewable energy. We are pleased to inform you that five students from mechanical and electrical engineering faculty have been recruited. This is great news as such placement opportunities are rare and these students’ future career prospects look promising!
World Pharmacist Day is celebrated every year on September 25 to pay tribute to the pharmacists for the role they play in improving global health. The purpose of the event is to encourage activities that promote and advocate the role of the pharmacists in improving health in every corner of the world and to spread awareness of maintaining health and hygiene. Students of Veerayatan Institute of Pharmacy participated enthusiastically in the inter-college competition held by Tolani Institute of Pharmacy, Adipur, Kutch. It is wonderful to see the creativity of students in communicating and encouraging the public on the importance of health – they created ‘Pharma Rangolis’, colourful and inspiring posters and designed cartoons and drawings based on the role of the pharmacists! Very inspiring indeed!
‘Giving back to society and mother nature' is one of the important values Veerayatan is trying to imbibe in the students. On 29 October before the start of Diwali vacation, the students of Veerayatan Institute of Pharmacy organised a 'Tree Plantation Day' and took a pledge to not only celebrate a pollution free Diwali but also to contribute to making their surroundings green.
The Veerayatan family wishes all the students and their families a healthy, happy and safe life!
Many remarkable activities are continuing in Palitana. At Shri Adinath Netralay hundreds of patients are being treated, giving them the vision to see again which can make a difference between a life lived in poverty and a life full of opportunities!
At Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir (TMVM), the school is expanding, with children receiving not only an academic education but also instruction on good manners, family values, environmental awareness and joyous living. Those who have educationally lagged behind because of limited access to online learning during the pandemic are being given extra tuitions to catch up. And not to forget the creative side of education which is high up in the syllabus!
Please read this report which gives you all the latest highlights of the amazing work being conducted in Palitana.
There has been a flurry of activity at Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Jain School:
As the world celebrated Diwali, Festival of Lights, victory of good over evil, Young Jains Kenya hosted a virtual Chopda Poojan and Bhakti, led beautifully by the teachers of Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Jain School (SCVP), to commemorate the victory of light of knowledge over darkness of ignorance.
As Pujya Upadhyaya Shri Amarmuniji Maharaj has said, ‘The canvas of life is larger than the self’
The teachers truly portrayed this message when they spoke about universal brotherhood and upliftment of others by cultivating the timeless values of kindness and forgiveness.
Knowledge is an innate quality of the soul and it is only through right knowledge the path to Moksha becomes clear.
To enhance learning and celebrate Gnan Pancham, this year the adult class teachers of SCVP Nairobi hosted an online quiz comprising of various different topics including Goddesses and implements of knowledge, our scriptures, and Jain stories relating to knowledge. All this was presented in an innovative way through memory rounds, true or false questions, pictorial rounds as well as the usual one-word answers.
A unique way to celebrate this beautiful festival!
The children’s classes have resumed physically since September 2021 and this presented a wonderful opportunity for the students to give back to their less privileged peers through a book collection drive over two weeks. Story books, textbooks, magazines and arts and craft material were generously donated by the children. One fine Saturday morning, the children handed all the items collected to a representative of a newly set-up library in one of the slum areas of Nairobi. What an amazing act of kindness!
With the grace of Pujya Tai Maa and Pujya Sadhvi Shilapiji Maharaj, SCVP London together with Young Jains UK celebrated Diwali beautifully this year with the community participating in the Chopda Poojan and then followed at midnight by a serene and peaceful Mantra recitation (Jaap). Both these virtual events brought a lot of joy and peace to all.
The Chopda Poojan event was conducted in a beautiful manner with all families immersed in the Poojan. The children of SCVP recited the prayers and enlightened all the participants on their understanding of Diwali and what they love about Diwali - Watch this inspiring clip on children’s perspective!
The mantra recitation (Jaap) which followed after the Chopda Poojan, was wonderfully conducted with participants immersed in the vibrations of positivity and spiritual enrichment. We were blessed to have Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji to join us at midnight, with a beautiful heart-warming message - Guru Gautam Swami's selfless devotion for Mahavir Swami without any questions asked is a great lesson for us all to emulate. The Jaap continued well after 1am, and a powerful start to the new year!
This Diwali, Young Jains and SCVP supported the amazing, compassionate work done at Hugletts Wood Animal Farm Sanctuary, which is led by the inspirational Wenda Shehata for over 25 years. The donations received will help fund Pablo's Barn and an extension to the Barn that houses the cows.
Overall, this event was truly a spiritually fulfilling and entertaining day, providing a beacon of positivity, warmth and compassion for the coming year.
The beautiful festival of knowledge (Gyan Pancham) was celebrated by the children and teachers of SCVP as well as the wider community. The children succinctly educated all regarding the essence of Gyan Pancham, on the importance of respecting all those who give us knowledge and also the implements of knowledge. They beautifully recited the prayers respecting knowledge. The teachers gave us an apt message on the importance of effort!
SCVP South London is grieving the loss of our beloved Harshadbhai Sanghrajka, MBE, who passed away peacefully on 26th October 2021.
For the past 20 years, Harshadbhai has unwaveringly come to South London once a week to educate and train the teachers at SCVP. He gave teachers plenty of opportunities to participate in the various inter-faith meetings as well as teaching various communities in the UK. Over the years Harshadbhai has taught the South London community various Jain texts such as Dravya Samgraha, Tattvartha Sutra, Ishtopadesha, Ratnakarandaka Shravakachara, Atma Siddhi Shastra. He imparted this invaluable knowledge which has fundamentally influenced our daily lives bringing peace and joy through acceptance and positivity. Harshadbhai’s inspiration, patience and his love for Jain Dharma was immense. We will feel his loss dearly but we will cherish all that he has taught us.