Veerayatan Newsletter,
July 2023, Edition-41

Veerayatan’s presence at JAINA Convention

Veerayatan congratulates JAINA Convention Board for hosting the 22nd Biennial JAINA Convention with the theme of ‘Maximizing Human Potential - The Jain Way’. Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, Sadhvi Shri Sanghamitraji and Jay Jain represented Veerayatan. As many of you may be aware Pujya Tai Ma had to cancel her trip to the USA due to an unfortunate fall. Pujya Tai Ma’s in-person spiritual presence was very much missed by everyone attending the convention.

The convention was inaugurated by Sadhvi Shri Sanghamitraji’s invocation and melodious song which was based on the convention theme. Pujya Tai Ma, through a video recording, addressed the audience by saying, ‘My blessings and best wishes for the success of this program. I congratulate JAINA for all the incredible work they have done over many years and pray that you continue to do this beautiful work in the future as well."

Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji addressed the audience on the theme of ‘How to maximise your potential - the Jain way’. Her main message was focused on training one’s body, speech and conscious and subconscious minds to achieve higher goals in life. In the panel discussion, Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji presented the thoughts of Pujya Tai Ma eloquently on questions such as why the number of Jains are decreasing all over the world? What can be done for the Jain youth in America who are turning away from their religion? How can the problems that are there at the world level be solved by the values of Jainism?

The video of Pujya Tai Ma’s journey of humanitarian work was also shown, with the audience mesmerised by the achievements of Pujya Tai Ma.

It is our great pleasure to announce that the following people associated with Veerayatan were recipients of the JAINA awards:

  • Shri Udaibhai Jain, of Houston, Texas for his constant generous support for JAINA, who has also supported Pujya Tai Ma’s mission of Seva, Shiksha, and Sadhana.
  • Shri Yogesh Bapna, Veerayatan (USA) Secretary.
  • Dr Bipin Doshi, Vice President of Veerayatan.
Jain Samaj in Raleigh and Richmond, USA inspired!

Jain Samaj in Raleigh and Richmond, USA inspired!

Sadhvi Shri Sanghamitraji together with Jay Jain visited the Jain Sangh of Richmond, Virginia. Maha Shatavadhaani Jay Jain who has an incredible power of concentration and memory performed Avdhaan, with Pujya Tai Ma’s blessing, where the 150 or so participants were awestruck by what they experienced! In Avdhaan, Jay memorizes up to 200 questions, objects or statements which have been asked/shown by the audience one by one. It is awesome to witness Jay’s immense concentration and the fact that nothing can distract him!

They also visited Jain Centre of North Carolina, Raleigh and presented the work of Veerayatan to the Jain Samaj who were enthralled by the progress made and the transformational changes made to thousands of disadvantaged children and adults in the field of Seva (humanitarian work and health) and Shiksha (education). Raleigh Jain community has been whole-heartedly supporting Veerayatan's compassionate work for past two decades and till date it is amazing to see that the enthusiasm has kept growing. It was a lovely and memorable event for all.

Get well soon, Pujya Tai Ma

Pujya Tai Ma had a fall on 8 June resulting in minor injuries to her head and hand and a hairline fracture on the tailbone. Pujya Tai Ma is recovering well after this incident and is now in Bihar recuperating and getting stronger day by day! It is amazing to see Pujya Tai Ma’s determination and focus and how she does not view this obstruction as a setback but always focusing on what more can be done for others who are in need! We all pray that everything is healed swiftly.

Devastating cyclone hits Kutch

The devastating cyclone, Biparjoy, struck Kutch on 15 June 2023. The damage to the entire District of Kutch was huge, but with the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, everyone residing in the Veerayatan Kutch campuses were absolutely safe. The Veerayatan campuses have no doubt been badly affected. More than 200 trees were uprooted, the roof of the sports pavilion was totally demolished, and numerous light poles and glass panels were broken and shattered. The whole campus ran solely on a generator for about 10 days as there was no power supply.

Notwithstanding this damage and with the guidance and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, Veerayatan Kutch played an important role in supporting the Government as they mobilised thousands of people from the coastal areas. Veerayatan’s school buses were sent regularly to evacuate local people and thousands of food packets and other essential items were sent for those in need to make them comfortable.

A lot of work is now ongoing at the Kutch campuses, including clearing, removal of uprooted trees, planting of new trees, replacement of windows and doors in the colleges and planning of a replacement roof for the sports pavilion. With the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, the campuses will undoubtedly flourish again soon.

Spiritual retreat in Pune

Spiritual retreat in Pune

The third spiritual retreat took place, in the presence of Pujya Tai Ma, in the magnificent, peaceful surroundings on the peak of Sahyadri Mountain in Naval Veerayatan, Pune. The 30 or so participants enjoyed every moment of this three-day retreat where they became absorbed in the morning meditations lead by Upadhaya Shri Yashaji; learnt the deeper meaning of the beautiful Bhaktamar Stotra and the all-embracing and universal prayer of Navkar Mantra; and discussed the true meaning of Bhagwan Mahavir’s teachings. Pujya Tai Ma’s main message was to inculcate peace for all living beings and to work towards her goal of having a ‘World without War’! Every devotee appreciated the dedication, commitment and generosity of Dr Abhaybhai Firodia, the President of Veerayatan, for hosting and sponsoring these retreats.

Attaining excellence: a proud moment for all Veerayatan Educational Establishments

It is with great pleasure that we announce that students studying in Veerayatan schools across India have done extremely well in their end of the year exams.

- In Kutch, the final year students of BBA/ BCA College made us proud by showing 100% pass result. The children have also done very well with the students of standard 10 class getting 94% and standard 12 class achieving 90% result.

- In Bihar, the students of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidyapeeth have done outstandingly well! The students of Standard 10 and Standard 12 class sat the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams and they all passed with flying colours. In Pawapuri, out of 184 standard 10 students, 11 students got more than 90% marks and 51 students got more than 80% marks. And out of 57 standard 12 students, 4 got more than 90% marks and 9 got more than 80% marks.

- In Palitana, the students have done amazingly well too. Out of 338 students, 56 students got marks above 90% and 97 students got above 80% and the rest passed with good marks..

- In Sanchore and Osian, the students also performed very well with all students getting marks above 70%.

Many congratulations to all the students and teachers of all the schools.

Paying Obeisance

Mere Devdoot Story

Paying Obeisance

Mere Devdoot (My Angels) is a book written by Pujya Tai Ma in which she remembers and reflects, with gratitude, on everyone who has been instrumental in shaping her life. We have been publishing these stories regularly in this newsletter. In this story Pujya Tai Ma contemplates on the pious land of Vaibharagiri Hills in Rajgir, Bihar. It is an epicentre of faith, not just for humans, but also for all life forms.

To read the story, click here

Veerayatan Bihar

Veerayatan’s library - Another wonderful golden treasure in Rajgir

Veerayatan’s library - Another wonderful golden treasure in Rajgir

by Anil Kumar, editor Patna

Veerayatan Rajgir has a famous eye hospital, a beautiful museum based on the history associated with Bhagwan Mahavir, but there is also another special thing - the library, Gyananjali.

Gyananjali contains more than ten thousand books and has priceless books, which will not be found anywhere else in Bihar. There are books available on the diverse philosophies of India, on languages, culture, literature, history and politics. There are hundreds of well researched books on Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Books written by Rahul Sankrityayan, a well-known scholar, and the complete series of Osho are all available. All the Vedas and Upanishads are available too. Many of the shelves contains rare handwritten books mainly on philosophy.

It was here that a series of books on language surprised me. Initially when I saw the thick book ‘Hindi Vishwas’, I thought it was a common dictionary. However, I came to know that there are 13 volumes, and so I was intrigued to know more and explore further. And what a pleasant surprise on opening one of these dictionaries - each and every word has been explained in depth over three to four pages. This series of dictionaries were published by Nagari Pracharini Sabha about a hundred years ago.

Whenever you come to Rajgir, do take time to immerse yourself in this priceless repository of Veerayatan and it will surely change your life!

Access to education enhanced!

Access to education enhanced!

We are delighted to announce that three 48-seater buses have been donated by Shri Firodia Trust to Tirthankar Mahavir Vidyamandir in Lachhuar. This is good news for all those who are living in the neighbouring villages as the children can now have easier access to the outstanding school in Lacchuar and transform their lives forever!

News from Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Pawapuri

Life has been busy at Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir (TMVM), an outstanding school in the Bihar, with students and teachers getting involved with many activities and competitions. The students of TMVM are very competitive when it comes to sports and this year has been no exception. Students have done exceptionally well in Athletics at Nalanda District and State level with many medals being awarded. Students have also done very well, representing Bihar, in martial arts. And the School Principal and the teachers have been busy attending teachers training ensuring that the lessons planned by them are creative and high standards maintained to ensure learning is embedded.

Veerayatan Palitana

Eye camps in villages around Palitana

Shri Adinath Netralay, providing good quality eyecare for the population in and around Palitana, has been organising free eye check camps. These eye check camps have a great impact:

  • Improving access to good quality healthcare in villages where otherwise there is not much hope.
  • Improving access to healthcare particularly for women, the disadvantaged in society.
  • Providing transport to those who require operations at Shri Adinath Netralay free of any costs.
  • Giving the gift of sight to thousands who otherwise would have had a low quality of life.

The latest eye check camp took place at K V School in Nani Rajasthali, a small village on the outskirts of Palitana, where 345 school children’s eyes were assessed. Those children who requiring further tests have been referred to Shri Adinath Netralay. We thank Shrimati Shradaben R Shah Omanwala Trust for generously supporting this camp.

Well done to all the staff for their continued dedication and hard work.

Excelling in Sanskrit

Forty-three children from Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Palitana, participated and did amazingly well in the Sanskrit test which they undertook as part of an interschool competition in the district of Bhavnagar. All the children passed the test, with two students designated outstanding and awarded the first and second rank. Our Sanskrit teacher, Shitalben Dabhi, was honoured and received an award for being a superb teacher. Many congratulations to all!

Veerayatan Kenya

online adult classes

It is with humbleness that we announce that, with the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) Kenya is currently running 5 online adult classes both in English and Gujarati. Many participants join these classes not only from Kenya but also from various countries internationally. The two texts which are currently being studied are:

  • Equanimity by Upadhyaya Amar Muniji
  • Twelve Facets of Reality - The Jain Path to Freedom by Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu

Exploring new horizons in Thika, SCVP Kenya organised 5 online sessions for adults in English on 'Jain Philosophy through a historical and cultural perspective'. It was great to see many participants join these classes and connecting to the work of SCVP.

For more information on these classes and the children’s classes, email:

A wonderful open day showcased by the Children and Teachers

There was the hustle and bustle, everyone was present bright and early at SCVP, all dressed up and eager to welcome and show parents all the beautiful learning which has occurred throughout the year by our dedicated teachers. Yes, we were all looking forward to the arrival of this day! Many parents across all the classes attended the open day and the students showcased all that they had learnt – sutras, the life stories of Tirthankars and the inspiration drawn from their lives, the Jain philosophy of Nav Tattva and Karma theory and much more. The parents were thoroughly impressed with all that the children had learned, and they spoke about the positive impact of the school in the lives of the children.

One parent said, 'You are doing our work for us!'.

Parents appreciated the teachers for the hard work they put in on a weekly basis to mould their children into good citizens of the world through the teachings of Tirthankar Mahavir.

Teachers’ activity workshop

Although our children’s classes have ended for the year, the SCVP Kenya teachers gathered on a Saturday afternoon to plan and prepare activities for some of the topics which will be taught to the children in the next academic year. Teachers know and understand the importance of making classes fun and interactive and ensure that children learn the important concepts. Working alone and in groups, teachers brainstormed and have come up with new, innovative ways of teaching various topics adding fun activities such as games, question/answer sessions, adding an experiential component or having a lesson which is workshop based.

The teachers are now set and eagerly waiting for the new term to start in September when they can implement all these ideas! We applaud our teachers for their immense and continuing dedication!!

Veerayatan UK

Samayik: In adoration of Mallinath Bhagwan

Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Jain School UK (SCVP), with the grace and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, held its annual Samayik event with invited guests from various organisations. About 180 adults and children participated in the Samayik which focused on Mallinath Bhagwan and her life story. Children and teachers of SCVP recited beautifully and confidently the samayik sutras, narrated stories in adoration of Mallinath Bhagwan, sang melodiously and created great awareness of women’s empowerment. Messages of friendship and spirituality were highlighted. And the life of Mallinath Bhagwan demonstrated to all present the immense capability of women who have the power to control their own lives, both within and outside the home, and a right to influence social change for themselves and others without fear. Pujya Tai Ma and all the Veerayatan Sadhvis are indeed living examples of women’s empowerment inspiring others to follow their path.

Well done to all the children, teachers, parents and volunteers for this peaceful Samayik with so much learning!

Visit to the ‘Pure Soul exhibition’

The Jain Community in the UK were fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the first major Jain Exhibition in the UK for over 30 years hosted at the School of Oriental and African Studies and containing a fantastic collection of ancient and modern Jain artefacts. Teachers of SCVP availed themselves of this opportunity by organising a visit for parents and children giving them the chance to experience and learn by viewing this wonderful exhibition and be guided by specialist trained guides. Everyone who attended had a wonderful time, increasing their knowledge of this beautiful religion through the exhibition’s use of imagery, videos, sculptures, scriptures and diagrams and connecting with other like-minded children, parents and teachers from various other Jain organisations.