Veerayatan Newsletter,
February 2024, Edition-44

A Grand Celebration of Pujya Tai Ma’s Eighty Eighth Birthday!

Pujya Tai Ma’s Health

Pujya Tai Ma was brought to Jupiter Hospital, Pune, on the evening of 25/01/2024 with a mild stroke (ischaemic stroke) to the left upper and lower limbs and slurring of the speech. With God's grace and her own resilience, she has shown remarkable progress in her recovery.

The swift and crucial decisions taken during this time were made possible by the support and guidance of Veerayatan President Shri. Abhay Firodia, Dr. Ajay Thakkar and Dr. Mahesh Shah. Their invaluable assistance proved to be a crucial factor in navigating through these challenging times.

The doctors and the medical team overseeing Pujya Tai Ma’s treatment are impressed by her remarkable progress and hold an optimistic outlook for her complete recovery soon. With the support of your kind prayers and well wishes, she is making rapid strides towards full recovery.

Pujya Tai Ma is sending her blessings, love, and warmth to all of you.

Positive outlook regardless of circumstances by Pujya Tai Ma

A positive outlook always

by Pujya Tai Ma

It is easy to laugh in a comfortable environment at home, but "those who can laugh in hospital, can laugh anywhere." This simple yet profound statement made by Pujya Tai Ma at Jupiter Hospital, serves as a poignant reminder that true happiness is not dependent on external circumstances but rather an internal state of mind that can be cultivated regardless of the situation at hand - even in the midst of a hospital environment that can often be daunting and stressful. Learning to embrace laughter can help alleviate stress and anxiety for patients and foster an uplifting environment for all involved in the healing process.

Let us all strive to carry this message of inner happiness and contentment with us, whatever circumstances we may encounter in life.

The inspiring and humbling birthday celebrations for Pujya Tai Ma

Despite Pujya Tai Ma being unwell, she wanted the birthday celebrations to continue at Veerayatan Rajgir, where about 450 people had come from different corners of the world to be with Pujya Tai Ma and witness the astounding work of Veerayatan.

This year there was an amazing mixture of events organised to mark Pujya Tai Ma’s birthday. Pujya Tai Ma’s birthday celebrations were all about making a difference to all in need – whether it is the free mega eye camps, the opening of the NJSM (Netra Jyoti Seva Mandiram) diagnostic centre, the inauguration of the Gautam Gurukul, interacting with the students of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir who had exhibited their ingenious science projects or just listening to the wonderful work which is being planned in Kandivali Mumbai, Palitana, Kutch, Nepal and Bihar.

And the icing on the cake was the amazing cultural performance by the students of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Pawapuri and Lacchuar. The smart and intelligent students with the help of teachers organised and participated in a wonderful show full of singing and dancing with colourful attire and beautiful broad smiles. The highlight was the grand finale where all the performers danced and sang ‘I wish you happy, happy birthday’, with the audience joining in the singing and dancing. There was joy all around - joy that Pujya Tai Ma is our Maa, joy for all that Pujya Tai Ma has done to expand one’s horizons, joy for all that love Pujya Tai Ma has radiated out! But we all missed Pujya Tai Ma’s presence deeply.

To watch the celebrations:

A precious gift from Shri Abhaybhai Firodia

Veerayatan President Shri Abhaybhai Firodia showed his unconditional and unwavering love and respect for Pujya Tai Ma, spanning many decades, by presenting her with a solid gold cast of her pious hands and feet for her birthday.

Pujya Tai Ma, creating a just and compassionate world by Atul Shah, First Vice President of JAINA USA

Creating a just and compassionate world

by Atul Shah, First Vice President of JAINA USA

Today, we come together to mark a significant milestone – the 88th birthday celebration of an extraordinary individual, Pujya Tai Ma. This day is not just about the passage of time; it is a collective acknowledgment of the profound impact that Tai Ma has had on our lives and the broader world. Pujya Tai Ma, through unwavering compassion and tireless efforts, embodies the essence of true humanitarianism. Driven by a vision to alleviate the suffering of others, Tai Ma’s journey transcends individual success, focusing instead on the collective well-being of humanity. To read further……

Launch of a beautiful book, Abhinav Dhrishta (Unique Vision)

Launch of 'Abhinav Dhrishta'

A beautiful book, Abhinav Dhrishta, written eloquently by Upadhyaya Shri Yashaji Maharaj, was launched on Pujya Tai Ma’s birthday. Not just as a book but also in audio format too. This is a book about Pujya Tai Ma’s vision and how her remarkable work has blossomed into a gigantic tree giving solace, love, a helping hand, creating friendships and transforming millions of lives. This book promises to be a very interesting and informative read and an inspiration for all.

We humbly thank Jayant Shah from Pune for sponsoring and bringing this book into fruition.

Preface of Abhinav Dhrishta written by Pujya Tai Ma

Preface to Abhinav Dhrishta

by Pujya Tai Ma

The Veerayatan that you are seeing today is the result of the blessings of God and the immense grace of respected elders and gurus. You are observing all this, and I am also observing. You are happy, I am also happy. Everyone is listening wholeheartedly, I am also listening in the same way. There is not even the subtlest corner of my heart that allows me to say that I have accomplished this. Neither have I done it, nor do I own anything.

When deciding on what I wanted to achieve, my aim was not only to do social work, but I had absolute clarity to implement the divine message of Lord Mahavir with the light of compassion and wisdom. And that too in the pious land of the Tirthankaras.

Whatever has been achieved has been possible due to the immense grace and blessings of God and the trustworthy support of all the people. My happiness, my blessing is only that I have been able to become an instrument.

Launch of Gujarati translation of Uttaradhyayan Sutra

Uttaradhyayan Sutra, originally written in Prakrit, is a profound scripture based on the last divine discourse of Bhagwan Mahavir before his nirvana. Pujya Tai Ma, who for 12 years took the vow of silence and read and contemplated on all the scriptures, whether Jain, Vedic or Buddhist, wrote a commentary on Uttaradhyayan Sutra in Hindi in 1972. Her understanding of the Prakrit language, her clarity of thought and her deep understanding of Bhagwan Mahavir’s profound messages has meant that the commentary written by Pujya Tai Ma grasps the very essence of the teachings and is a resource which is used widely amongst the monks and nuns and the lay community.

It is our great pleasure to announce that the Gujarati translation of this commentary is now published. Sadhvi Shri Chetanaji, who is highly proficient in Gujarati, carried out the translation. We humbly thank Suchetaben and Viralbhai Doshi for sponsoring the translation of this book.

A heart-warming speech by Divyanshi, a 14-year-old student

Transformational change

Transformational change

by Avinash Kumar

Avinash Kumar, an ex-student of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Lacchuar talked about the transformation change which occurred in Lacchuar and to him personally because of the vision, love and compassion of Pujya Tai Ma.

With great joy, we are celebrating Pujya Tai Ma’s 88th birthday and my congratulations to the entire Veerayatan family. I pray to Bhagwan Mahavir to bless Pujya Tai Ma with a long life so that we continue to be showered by her love and affection for years to come.

Dear Pujya Tai Ma, you are akin to the eternal Kalpavruksh (wish-granting tree) when it comes to maternal love, warmth and humanitarian service. Thousands of students like me, will always wish you from the bottom of our hearts, for all you have done for us, and it is my good fortune to be able to participate in your birthday celebrations. It’s true that when the night is at its darkest, some noble soul comes around lighting up people’s lives with knowledge and compassion. You are the light, piercing the darkness of so many lives. To read further……..

Celebrations at Veerayatan Rajgir Campus

The celebration of Pujya Tai Ma’s birthday took place in the splendid setting of the Veerayatan Campus at Rajgir. This was the first Veerayatan centre founded by Pujya Tai Ma when she started Veerayatan with the blessings of Gurudev Upadhyaya Shri Amar Muniji Maharaj over 50 years ago. What was originally empty land, full of thorny shrubs and hard landscape, nestled and surrounded by the auspicious Vaibhagiri Hills, has been transformed over time into a beautiful oasis of seva (humanitarian work), shiksha (education) and sadhana (spiritual practice) with a serene and peaceful environment. A campus which respects nature, history and the practice of compassion. To know more…….

For more information about the Veerayatan activities in Bihar:

The gift of sight

Every year Pujya Tai Ma’s birthday is celebrated in Rajgir by giving the gift of vision to those in need in and around the district of Nalanda. This year was no different. The eye camps were organised over 6 days and in total 946 patients from nearby towns and rural villages benefitted from free cataract operations with many more patients to be operated throughout the year.

Patients are not only given the gift of vision; they are also given the inspiration to lead a non-violent and alcohol-free life. A heartfelt thanks to all the doctors and other staff for all their hard work and dedication.

To learn more about Netra Jyoti Seva Mandiram, the eye hospital in Rajgir, visit:

Science Projects of Veerayatan students

In the run up to the birthday celebrations about 400 students at the Veerayatan schools in Pawapuri and Lachhuar immersed themselves in applying their knowledge of science to develop projects which could be utilised for the betterment of the world. The children showed great enthusiasm and had much fun as they proudly showcased their efforts at the Rajgir campus as part of the various fun activities during Pujya Tai Ma’s birthday, spending time to explain and demonstrate their projects to all the visitors. The projects were innovative and well thought through, ranging from the use of green energy to power infrastructure to innovative educational tools to assist learning whilst always having regard to the resources available to the communities they wanted to assist. Many congratulations to all the participants who will for sure be at the forefront of the next generation’s efforts to look after our environment and extend a helping hand to all in need.

Sharing experiences

by Mukeshbhai and Nimiben Turakhia, USA

As President of Veerayatan USA, my experience in Rajgir was transformative. The air was infused with compassion, fostering positive vibes throughout. The arrangements were excellent, ensuring a seamless event. The highlight was the beautiful performance by school children, showcasing their talent and dedication. Moreover, Sadhvijis’ unconditional sacrifice towards Seva and Shiksha left a profound impact on everyone.

In the midst of our busy lives, these moments remind us of the power of selflessness and service. Rajgir has truly been a testament to the values we uphold at Veerayatan.

by Jayantbhai and Rashmiben Doshi, UK

Being associated with Veerayatan now for about 25 years and this being our first ever visit to the sacred land of Tirthankara Mahavir my wife, Rashmi, and I were eagerly looking forward to our visit to Veerayatan Rajgir. After a long arduous journey, our arrival in the middle of night at ultra-modern Kripanidhi Retreat was followed by 6 days of excitement and joy.

Rashmi and I were deeply honoured to witness at first hand the results of Pujya Tai Ma’s 50 years of preaching and practising Jainism in its most original form. We were soon to realise that Veerayatan Rajgir was not only a place of peace and tranquillity for sadhana (spiritual practice) but a centre of ultimate shiksha (education) and unconditional seva (humanitarian work) directly supervised by Sadhvi Shri Sampragyaji and Sadhvi Shri Rohiniji.

Celebrating India Republic Day on 26 January was extremely emotional and humbling. At Veerayatan Rajgir we had an absolute blissful spiritual experience of the blessings of Tirthankar Mahavir and Pujya Tai Ma, albeit in their respective physical absence, in our opinion, a supernatural phenomenon!

by Hareshbhai Shah,

Past President of JAINA USA

Amidst the jubilant spirit of the 88th birthday celebration on January 25 and 26, the JAINA delegation, led by the first vice president Atul Shah and I, rejoiced in witnessing the inauguration of pivotal additions to the community. The unveiling of the Diagnostic Centre, Doctor's Quarters, and Gautam Gurukul signified a profound commitment to healthcare and education, enhancing the lives of many. Republic Day commenced with a patriotic fervour, marked by the fluttering of the flag, symbolizing unity and strength. The cultural extravaganza presented by the students of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir Pawapuri and Lacchuar on Pujya Tai Ma's birthday added a sprinkle of joy, echoing prayers for her enduring well-being and wisdom.

by Lalit Kumar Nahata,

President Jain Shwetamber Kalyanak Tirth Nyas

Respected Pujya Tai Ma’s birthday is celebrated every year at Veerayatan, Rajgir with great joy and enthusiasm. In her birthday celebration, we can always witness service, education and meditation in every endeavour. Every part of Pujya Tai Ma's life is tuned to it, as she is contemplating and working towards these goals round the clock. Lord Mahavir’s message of service to every living being is service to him and this is always reflected in her behaviour.

In the remote areas of Bihar, where parents could not even think about sending children to school, this has now become possible solely by the sustained efforts of Pujya Tai Ma. She showed the path of education to them and by providing education to these disadvantaged children, she has, not only educated society, but in turn has served the nation too.

There was no health facility in this area. By establishing the eye hospital in 1987 and now the Diagnostic Centre, this has meant that people in and around Nalanda have access to good quality healthcare, which is Pujya Tai Ma’s noble and praiseworthy vision.

Pujya Tai Ma’s guidance and inspiration is transforming lives of people, through meditation and penance (sadhana), attaining heights of spiritual awakening and peaceful bliss leading to a fuller and fulfilling life.

We are fortunate to be blessed with the presence and proximity of a Great and Sacred saint to guide and inspire us. It is a golden opportunity for all of us to listen to her knowledge, her vast experience and enrich our lives.

May the Almighty shower her with a long and healthy life, so that she can continue to inspire and lead us!

Opening of the NJSM Diagnostic Centre

The state-of-the-art Diagnostic Centre was opened by Dr Abhay Firodia and Dr Ajay Thakkar at Veerayatan Rajgir. To have such a modern diagnostic centre in Bihar is a proud moment for all who live in Bihar. This centre which has been built in the memory of Yuvacharya Shri Shubhamji Maharaj, who passed away suddenly in January 2021 as her liver condition was not diagnosed correctly and thus the treatment was delayed. Pujya Tai Ma made a resolve to build the much-needed Diagnostic Centre in Bihar where everyone, regardless of caste, creed and religion, will be seen and managed. Dr Ajay Thakkar, the managing director of Jupiter Hospitals, has guided Veerayatan on ensuring that the most up to date equipment is purchased to ensure that appropriate diagnosis is made. It houses a CT scanner, X-ray machine, ECG machine, ECHO cardiogram, has a pathology lab and much more.

Opening of Gautam Gurukul

A school by the name of Gautam Gurukul was opened in Veerayatan Rajgir by Tansukh R and Shantiben Dagaji and their family. This free school is for the very disadvantaged children in communities in and around Rajgir giving them an opportunity to learn and break the cycle of poverty and discrimination. This school will start in April, in the new academic year, and the children are eagerly waiting to start.

Foundation laying ceremony for the Uphaar project

Uphaar means ‘gift’.

In the past 50 years:

  • what has Pujya Tai Ma achieved?
  • what has been the gift to communities all over the world?
  • what are Pujya Tai Ma’s deepest thoughts which underpin all that which she has achieved and still continues to achieve?

The Uphaar project will present these extraordinary thoughts and magnanimous achievements in a unique way, engaging and inspiring one and all with the latest technology, incredible artwork and using light and sound. This project’s foundation laying ceremony took place on 26 January 2024 at Veerayatan Rajgir overlooked by the pious Vaibhargiri hills, the Veerayatan Parshva Jinalay and Saptaparni, a memorial dedicated to Gurudev Shri Amar Muniji.

We are immensely grateful to Navinbhai Bhandari for taking a lead in this project.

Birthday celebrations in Kutch

Pujya Tai Ma's birthday was celebrated with much devotion and enthusiasm. Students and faculties prayed for Tai Ma's wellbeing. Students of Rudrani and Jakhania schools presented joyous cultural programs.

Birthday celebrations in Kenya

Celebrating any momentous occasion at Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP), Nairobi is always a joy, and celebrating Pujya Tai Ma’s birthday was no exception!

Saturday morning was a hive of activity as each child participated in one of many different activities meticulously planned by their teachers, ranging from making medals to celebrate Pujya Tai Ma, depicting her values on a ‘tree of life’, to making book marks utilising a buddy system with the youngest at 5 to the oldest at 15! Others beautifully decorated bowls and made cards thanking their own mothers for sending them to SCVP!

Immense fun was had working in teams searching for various clues in a treasure hunt. The students were given a question sheet per team and had to search for envelopes containing the answers to many informative questions on Pujya Tai Ma and Veerayatan.

The highlight of the morning was a bake sale run by the children that raised a healthy amount of funds to support the children at the Cerebral Palsy Unit in Nairobi, a project dear to Pujya Tai Ma.

Birthday celebrations in UK

Birthday celebrations in UK

With the grace and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, we all at Veerayatan UK had a wonderful and memorable celebration both in person and online for Pujya Tai Ma's birthday. The children, with the teachers help and guidance, presented their birthday greetings beautifully, highlighting the values they have learnt from Tai Ma’s life such as gratitude, generosity, fearlessness, friendship with all, compassion and steadfastness. Parents and children learnt about Veerayatan’s amazing journey of compassion and they expressed gratitude for the opportunity of being part of the wonderful Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Jain school.

In keeping with the theme of compassion in action, we also undertook a food collection for the UK based charity “Gratitude”. The children and adults collected a good amount of food items for the disadvantaged in society. The collection was managed wonderfully by our youth teachers who warmly received items from parents, arranged the display and then helped load all the food in Gratitude’s van at the end.

No birthday party is ever complete without cakes (!) and we had 88 wonderful, decorated cupcakes. Our heartfelt wishes for Pujya Tai Ma’s Birthday and we are all indeed humbled to be part of a wonderful Veerayatan family.

The children and teachers of Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Jain School also created beautiful cards for Pujya Tai Ma.

Watch the event: