Veerayatan Newsletter,
October 2023, Edition-42

Pujya Tai Ma’s 88th Birthday celebrations: Save the Date

Pujya Tai Ma’s 88th Birthday celebrations: Save the Date

Veerayatan humbly requests your esteemed presence to celebrate Pujya Tai Ma’s 88th birthday celebrations in Rajgir, Bihar from 24 January until 26 January 2024. Let us all create an unforgettable experience, in the company of like-minded people, by celebrating Pujya Tai Ma’s extraordinary life which has personified love and compassion for the past five decades and more, inspiring and motivating all to extent a helping hand and transform lives.

Greater detail of the programme will be released soon. However, in the meantime, save the date in your diary and start making your travel plans.

Students of Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth UK visit Kutch

With the blessings and inspiration of Pujya Tai Ma, Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji initiated Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) in the UK which has been imparting high values of Jainism in the families of devotees since 1995. Since this time, many students and teachers of SCVP have been visiting the Veerayatan Centres in India, not only to connect with the culture but to also try to understand the true meaning of religion in the presence of Pujya Tai Ma and the Sadhvijis. And by spending time with Vidyapeeth students, they have also experienced Veerayatan's vision and mission in a practical way.

Recently five students of SCVP - Diya, Mihir, Meera, Yash and Aashi - visited Veerayatan Kutch.

Read further…..

Pujya Tai Ma! Thank You from the bottom of our hearts! We are ever so grateful to you for giving us this opportunity of Seva!

A letter written by Diya, Mihir, Meera, Yash, Aashi

Today is our last day here and we are very sad to be leaving. From the energetic entrance with the Dhols and Band on day 1 to the smiling faces greeting us at school every morning, you have made our time here so special. We stand before you with hearts full of gratitude and joy. We cannot express enough how amazed and touched we are by the beauty of this campus and the warmth of all the wonderful people we met here.

Read and be inspired…..

My Time at Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Pawapuri

By Joseph Griffiths, 20 years old

From Monday to Saturday, for 4 weeks this past summer, at 8am each morning, I passed by a shining white marble building, the Jain temple in Pawapuri. The temple was settled amidst a pond covered by the leaves and flowers of white lotuses. Later I came to realise that in India mythology the lotus symbolises knowledge.

After passing the temple, the school bus I was in parked at the front gates of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir (TMVM). When I first entered the building, I was surprised at the size of the school. A large internal courtyard was surrounded by three stories where classes were taught. After morning assembly, from each storey I could hear repetitions – perhaps of multiplication tables or some basic words of English.

I taught in several classes from standard 6-10 and I am immensely grateful for all that I have learnt….

Read further and be inspired…..

Next Volunteer Programme being planned for 2024

We are excited to inform you that we are in the process of organising the next volunteer trip at the end of July 2024 for two weeks. Greater detail of the trip will be released soon.

Paying Obeisance

Mere Devdoot Story

Learning from a rook

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 pays her deepest respect to the rook for teaching the lesson of extending compassion to those who are suffering.

To read the story, click here

Paryushan Mahaparva celebrations globally

Paryushan Mahaparva is a special festival that teaches us how to purify our soul and live a life with purity at each and every moment. The basic inspiration is that a person should separate himself/herself from vices and sin and live a simple and pure life for the benefit of not only the individual but for humanity as a whole.

Inspired by the higher souls, this great festival is a beautiful opportunity for us to reflect, repent, and purify wherever we have indulged in attachment and hatred and then move towards our true nature.

The eighth day is celebrated as Samvatsari by consciously practicing knowledge, meditation, penance, self-study and renunciation. Let us recognise our faults and purify ourselves by sincerely observing our mistakes and refrain from any wrongdoing for the betterment of self and the entire living world.

Pujya Tai Ma conducted Paryushan Mahaparva in Pune and with her blessings, this year’s Paryushan was celebrated abroad in Dubai, Kenya and Muscat in the presence of Veerayatan Sadhvijis and within India at Rajgir, Kutch (in the presence of Sadhvi Shri Manasviji and Sadhvi Shri Pranatiji), Palitana (in the presence of Sadhvi Shri Chetanaji) and Jamshedpur (in the presence of Sadhvi Shri Shashwatji).

Paryushan Mahaparva Celebrations in Dubai

With the blessings and inspiration of Pujya Tai Ma, the Dubai Jain community had the privilege of experiencing enlightening discourses by Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji during the auspicious occasion of Paryushan Mahaparva. Sadhvi Shri Sumedhaji who is doing her 4th Varshi tap (a special fast for one year) accompanied Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji. Attendees eagerly gathered from in and around Dubai to immerse themselves in the teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir. Commencing with prayers, each day's discourse explained the importance of religion and spirituality in the day-to-day life.

Read further…….

Paryushan Mahaparva in Nairobi

With the blessings from Pujya Tai Ma, Shree Sthanakvasi Jain Sangh celebrated Paryushan Mahaparva in the presence of Upadhyay Shri Yashaji and Sadhvi Shri Rohiniji. The community celebrated Paryushan with lots of enthusiasm, interest and devotion. Apart from the daily evening pratikraman, we had lectures by Upadhyay Shri Yashaji in the morning and evening on very interesting topics and bhakti bhavna in the evening. And so many devotees undertook some type of fasting. On behalf of the Trustees, Management Committee and each and every member of Shree Sthanakvasi Jain Sangh, our heartfelt thanks to Pujya Tai Ma and the Sadhvi Sangha.

Paryushan Mahaparva in Muscat

At the very warm invitation of Adarsh Shravak Ratna, Shri Bakulbhai Mehta and Shri Dilipbhai Mehta and the whole of the Muscat community, respected Sadhvi Shri Sadhanaji and Sadhvi Shri Sanghamitraji celebrated Paryushan in Muscat this year. The Sadhvijis shared the teachings of Lord Mahavir and Param Pujya Shri Tai Ma with the community who embraced the teachings with great enthusiasm and deep sentiment.

To read further….

Paryushan in Rajgir

Rajgir, the place where Bhagwan Mahavir spent 14 chaturmas (rainy seasons) meditating, radiating love and compassion to all, giving a message of friendship with all living beings. Can there be any other better place in this whole wide universe to celebrate the greatest festival of all – Paryushan Parva?

In these wonderful surroundings overflowing with peace and serenity, Paryushan Parva was celebrated so beautifully. The Veerayatan staff did beautiful bhakti full of love and devotion in the Parshva Jinalay every morning and evening in the presence of Sadhvi Shri Vibhaji, Sadhvi Shri Shrutiji, Sadhvi Shri Divyaji and Sadhu Maharaj Dev Priyaji. Inspirational discourses were given every morning and afternoon by Sadhvi Shri Vibhaji and Sadhvi Shri Divyaji.

To read further…..

Veerayatan Bihar

At a glance: Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Pawapuri

Tirthankar Mahavir Vidyamandir (TMVM) has had a productive and joyous month of September, with teachers deepening their teaching and experiential skills through exposure to various training courses and students availing themselves of the opportunity of various festivals to enhance their learning and showcase their creativity. Here are some of the highlights of a busy September at TMVM Pawapuri:

A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame

Rabinder Tagore

  • The Principal of TMVM availed himself of the opportunity to participate in training for principals, organised by CBSE board. He also participated in an induction programme for principals also organised by CBSE. In this program all activities related to the school were discussed.
  • A famous educational, psychologist, guided meditation expert and renowned public speaker, Dr Acharaya Pawan, conducted practical workshops for the benefit of teachers and students on career counselling, creating a positive impact on all and discussing many aspects on which all can reflect. Students were also guided about their career planning by an experienced key speaker, Indian Police Officer Vikash Vaibhav and his team.
  • Teachers' Day was celebrated by the students and teachers of TMVM - a perfect opportunity for students to appreciate their teachers and for teachers to establish from their students what qualities and activities are liked by children.
  • Some of the students of TMVM went to Veerayatan Rajgir where they learnt about different plants and planted trees and shrubs.

Paryushan Parva Celebrations in Pawapuri

TMVM organised Paryushan Parva and Mahavir Janma Utsav activities for older students and younger students under the guidance of Rita Shah, a guest from UK. The older children spoke about the qualities of Bhagwan Mahavir highlighting kindness and compassion, forgiveness, fearlessness and generosity. One of the standard 9 students was inspired to come forward and talk about the value of fearlessness as he felt that it was an important quality which he wants to imbibe in his life. The fact that he spoke in front of 300 plus students is no small feat – it is the first time he had volunteered to speak in front of a crowd, purely because he was inspired by the life of Bhagwan Mahavir! What an amazing achievement by him!

The young children participated in Mahavir Janma Utsav on the theme of the childhood of Bhagwan Mahavir which included a drawing competition.

The Cleanliness Project

On Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on 1 October, the students of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir reflected on the message of Mahatma Gandhi whose dream was for ‘Clean India’ and he wanted all the members of the society to work together and make the country clean. The students helped their parents clean their home and also their surroundings. And they also cleaned the Pawapuri town. Well done to all the students and keep up the good work!

Veerayatan Kutch

At a glance: Veerayatan Kutch

  • A Medical Health Camp was organised for the school students checking their general health and making them aware of Eye Flu, the precautions which need to be taken to avoid this and how to manage the condition. A Tetanus Vaccination Camp was also organised where the students were given Tetanus injections.
  • A drawing competition was organised for the tiny tots which was fun and enjoyable.
  • Independence Day in August was celebrated by the students with great enthusiasm. Students showcased their talents in the form of plays, dances, songs and speeches.
  • With the commencement of the new academic year, freshers' welcome parties were organised by the senior students of the Veerayatan colleges. Such events are helpful for the new students to make friends and become comfortable with the college environment.
  • Teachers' Day was celebrated in school and colleges with great enthusiasm. Students took over the responsibilities of taking classes, thus understanding the difficult and challenging role of teachers.
  • An awareness camp about narcotics and its effects was organised by Asambia Branch Police team for the students of Veerayatan Institute of Engineering.
Excellence of pharmacy students

Excellence of pharmacy students at Veerayatan Kutch!

We are delighted to report the outstanding achievement of two of our brightest students, Heet Jani and Preeti Goyal. They have demonstrated remarkable dedication and academic excellence by successfully qualifying for the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) 2023, a highly competitive and prestigious examination in the field of pharmacy. GPAT examination, conducted by the National Testing Agency, is a national level entrance test for admission to the various postgraduate pharmacy programs in India. Their accomplishments reflect the dedication of our faculty members and the commitment of the entire Veerayatan Institute of Pharmacy family in nurturing and shaping bright minds.

Pujya Tai Ma, the entire Sadhvi Sangh and members of Veerayatan family heartily congratulate both the students as well as the faculties for this great success.

Karate Champion!

Japan Dangera, a 2nd year student of pharmacy, has made us proud by winning both Gold and Bronze Medal in Karate Kumite and Karate Kata, respectively, in the Gujarat Technology University (GTU) Sports Fest 2023 held in Sigma College of Engineering, Vadodara. Japan demonstrated his exceptional skills, displayed impeccable timing, precision and agility, leaving spectators in awe. He will now represent GTU in the National level sport.

Veerayatan Palitana

Providing the gift of sight to thousands in villages in and around Palitana

Shri Adinath Netralay organised a free eye check-up camp, at Nani Rajasthali, Palitana. This event witnessed an extraordinary turnout, with a record number of patients availing the benefits of the camp. The camp successfully conducted outpatient clinics for 216 patients addressing various eye ailments such as infections, cataracts, glaucoma, refractive errors and others.

Veerayatan provided medicines free of cost, further supporting the patients' well-being. And for those unable to afford essential cataract surgeries, patients were offered free surgeries. Together with Veerayatan's commitment of providing post-operative care, transportation, and free medication, these patients are provided with comprehensive support throughout their journey to recovery.

The event garnered substantial attention, even attracting coverage from local newspapers like Saurashtra Samachar and Sandesh Samachar, which highlighted the camp's impactful endeavours.

A Sanskrit Exhibition

With the infinite grace and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, a Sanskrit exhibition was organised by the students of class 6-9 of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir (TMVM), Palitana in which students prepared items on various topics such as vegetables, medicinal plants and their uses and description of the solar system, all in Sanskrit! Students also prepared charts related to Sanskrit grammar and they spoke about their school in Sanskrit. They created a wonderful exhibition and proudly displayed all the learning so wonderfully! Hearty congratulations and best wishes to the Sanskrit teacher, Shitalben, and all the students.

At a glance: Veerayatan Palitana

  • To improve public speaking skills and to imbibe good values, the older students in TMVM Palitana created a presentation on the legendary hockey player, Dhyan Chand and spoke about his achievements and qualities, educating and inspiring all!
  • The students of TMVM Palitana celebrated the festival of Raksha Bandhan, tying friendship bands to each other and promising to look after each other!
  • The girls from standard 3 to 9 organised the joyful and fun-packed mahendi competition and with their creative hats on, did beautiful mahendi designs on each other.
  • We are thankful to Pratibhaben and her team from Vipassana Meditation Centre to come and teach our students and teachers the art of stillness and meditation, enabling our students to focus and concentrate better.
  • Teachers' day was celebrated in style, with students taking on the role of teachers and through this experience, developing deep love and respect for all their teachers!
  • Students celebrated Bhagwan Mahavir's birth during the Paryushan Parva festival, learning about the life of Bhagwan Mahavir and the qualities Bhagwan stood for.

Veerayatan Meerut

The sacred tree planting event!

On 28 August 2023, a group from Veerayatan Meerut who had nurtured plant saplings grown from mango seeds brought from Rajgir, planted the healthy saplings in pots at the farm of Shri Rajendra Kumar Taneja, Treasurer of Veerayatan Meerut. The group recited the Navkar Mantra, followed by cheers for Pujya Tai Ma and Pujya Shri Upadhyaya Amar Muniji Maharaj. In this joyful atmosphere, Veerayatan will remain immortal. Expressing gratitude by giving everyone prasad, the sacred task was accomplished!

Veerayatan UK

Thirteenth year conducting Pratikraman in English

With the grace and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) UK had a very successful Paryushan conducting English Pratikraman on all 8 days! This is the 13th year we have been conducting English Pratikraman with SCVP London working once again in collaboration with Oshwal Association of the UK.

All the teachers did tremendously well in not only preparing the content for this year's Pratikraman over the last few months but delivering it over the 8 days with so much patience, clarity, and bhav. Children, aged 7-18 years, attending SCVP Jain School were truly the stars with their amazing recitation of the sutras which had the audience mesmerised and truly inspired! The enthusiasm of the children is a testament to the huge effort they have put in learning the beautiful Jain prayers and to the dedication of the SCVP teachers who have spent lots of time working with the children and helping them learn these sutras.

To read further……..

SCVP London Jain School - Start of New Term 2023/24

The buzz of children talking with each other excitedly, sharing stories of their week and plans for the weekend, adults conversing with each other and connecting with each other, the joy of the assembly with adults and children all praying together and then children walking animatedly with their friends to their respective classes all signalled the start of the new SCVP term! With the grace and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, the new academic term started amazingly on Friday 29 September and for the first time since the pandemic we have the children’s classes in person along with the adult class and we are also continuing with online children’s classes. We also run an online sutra class every Monday and children learn all sutras with lots of enthusiasm.

To read further…….

Veerayatan Kenya

Pratikraman in English

Paryushan Parva 2023 was once again successfully celebrated in Nairobi, Kenya with various activities being organised by Young Jains Kenya and the teachers of Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) Kenya.

SCVP annually conducts Pratikraman in English with explanations of this beautiful ritual, which is spiritually uplifting for all. This year the SCVP team went hybrid to extend the reach to those who can benefit from this annual opportunity of reflection and introspection by conducting the evening Pratikraman in English session both in person as well as virtually, relaying live via Zoom to a national and global audience. With the grace and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji all 8 days resulted in positive vibrations as the message of the importance of forgiveness in our lives was spread to all.

Exciting Children’s Retreat with Upadhyaya Shri Yashaji and Sadhvi Shri Rohiniji

To celebrate the auspicious occasion of Mahavir’s Janma Vanchan day (Birth Day), Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Nairobi was blessed to host a mini children’s retreat in the presence of Upadhyaya Shri Yashaji and Sadhvi Shri Rohiniji.

Traditionally the Kalpasutra (life of Tirthankar Mahavir and other Tirthankars) is read during this 8-day festival and the 5th day is when the birth celebrations are read. Hence, the reason for the 5th day being marked as Mahavir’s Janma Vanchan day. Children participated actively in the retreat in many ways.

Find out what the children learnt…..

Exciting start of the new term

Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) Kenya classes have now resumed after the holiday break and both students and teachers are back full of energy and vitality, with a thirst to further spread the words of Tirthankar Mahavir to the receptive children of SCVP.

On the first day of the new academic year at SCVP the students who had performed various tap during Paryushan were also felicitated by the SCVP Principal, Binaben.

A new intake of children has started at all levels which is very encouraging and a new in-person Foundation class for adults is commencing on Saturday 14 October 2023.

Upcoming events

Upcoming Event - Kenya


Young Jains Nairobi in conjunction with Sthanakvasi Jain Sangh Nairobi are pleased to host Sadhvi Shri Shilapji in October.

Sadhvi Shri Shilapji will be conducting a one-day spiritual retreat during her visit as well as presiding over a graduation ceremony for the class of 2022 students of Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) Nairobi! All at SCVP are looking forward to a spiritually uplifting time in the presence of Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji.