Veerayatan Newsletter,
October 2021, Edition-32

Pujya Tai Ma’s

Compassion knows no bounds!

Veerayatan’s incredible 50 years journey…..

The seed planted in 1971 by Upadhyaya Shri Amar Muni Maharaj has been cultivated by Pujya Tai Ma and flourished into an enormous tree of selfless work yielding the fruit of transforming millions of lives.

Watch how this incredible journey of Veerayatan has unfolded since 1971 and how this innovative work will continue into the future

Paryushan 2021 with Pujya Tai Ma

Paryushan 2021 with Pujya Tai Ma

The current unprecedented times has brought with it many challenges, but whatever the circumstances, the beautiful Jain festival of forgiveness, Paryushan, is always the focal point for spiritual reflection and progress for Jains. This year has been no different and we were all fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate Paryushan in the divine presence of Pujya Tai Ma. To learn from Pujya Tai Ma and the sadhvi sangha of Veerayatan is undoubtedly a splendid and valuable occasion.

This year Upadhyaya Yashaji Maharaj lead the beautiful meditations each day, initially focussing on the gross and then on the subtle body, speech and mind, and then moving onto our inner beauty, our reality, our soul. The importance of meditation in bringing detachment, even whilst creating friendships and extending a helping hand to all, was explained wonderfully by Pujya Tai Ma.

Pujya Tai Ma, in the morning lectures, spoke about her total surrender to Bhagwan Mahavir, so much so that she wishes she was there to protect Bhagwan in his times of difficulty. Pujya Tai Ma revealed that it is this which provides her with the motivation and drive which we have all observed for decades to extend a helping hand to all she comes in contact with and beyond!

One of the Veerayatan devotees, Binaben Shah from Kenya, took this occasion to publicly express her heartfelt gratitude to Pujya Tai Ma for her contribution to furthering the Jain Dharma and her love for all : to read this click here…

To listen to Pujya Tai Ma and the Sadhvi Sangh’s thoughts on how to progress on the spiritual path and address the challenges we must overcome, you can listen to the talks delivered as part of the Paryushan Mahaparva 2021 program.

YouTube link for Paryushan:

Mere Devdoot Story

Mere Devdoot Story

In search of love

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 relinquishing prejudices and loving each person…..

To read the story, Click here

Veerayatan Kutch

Glimpses of Activities

Notwithstanding the constraints imposed by the need to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, the active efforts of Veerayatan Kutch to help transform lives continues apace.

The need to return to normality in providing for the educational needs of children and students remains a priority and is moving in the right direction with the following recent achievements:

  • The Veerayatan Kutch campus is gradually coming back to life after a prolonged period of stagnancy imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools, colleges and hostels are now opening in compliance with Government guidelines.
  • School and college admissions for the new academic year are being progressed. Notably the campus, being well equipped in following Covid guidelines, has been designated as a 'Help Centre' for non-campus outside students too.
  • Veerayatan Institute of Engineering has applied for accreditation under NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). The Council not only reviews the quality assurance of education and provides recognition to the institute, but also helps the higher education institutes in identifying their strengths, weaknesses and in adopting innovative methods, something which will be very beneficial to us.
  • An online session was arranged for final year students of Pharmacy, Engineering and Management to provide guidance about internships, placements, preparing CVs (curriculum vitae) etc. Students were guided on these important topics to prepare them for their future careers by faculty and industry experts.
  • Additionally, for holistic development, a wealth awareness webinar was organised for students to guide them on finance management.

The work of Veerayatan Kutch in alleviating the hardships faced by so many due to Covid-19 also continues with vigour:

  • With the inspiration and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, Covid relief work continues in Kutch. An important initiative previously announced has been the provision of free education facilities for the benefit of orphans and single parents impacted by Covid. Veerayatan Kutch has been approached by many affected individuals for this support and they are being taken care of with utmost love and compassion.
  • Two oxygen plants are going to be installed in hospitals at Mudra and Maska-Kutch. These hospitals are going to be well equipped for the future to avoid being overwhelmed by the disastrous situation created during the second wave of Covid-19. This noble effort of Veerayatan is highly appreciated by the local community.
  • The compassionate work of distributing food packets to Covid-19 patients and their families in Ahmedabad has been successfully completed. The beneficiaries of this initiative have shown their gratitude towards the dedication, commitment and concern shown by Veerayatan.

The Veerayatan Kutch campus has, since inception, faced the challenge of conserving, treating and managing the use of water which is a very scarce resource especially for this region. The herculean task of bringing Narmada water to the Veerayatan campus is reaching its final stages and very shortly the campus will enjoy the benefits of a flow of direct river water.

Veerayatan Palitana

Veerayatan Palitana is making tremendous progress in all its activities.

  • Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir continues to expand with the start of standard 8 class.
  • Children who are educationally lagging behind because of the Covid-19 pandemic will be offered extra tuition classes to allow them to catch up on their learning. For this, new teachers are being recruited.
  • Shri Adinath Netralay hospital is providing excellent eye care to the local population with its reputation and trust ever increasing.
  • Veerayatan, along with a team of local volunteers and other organisations, have planted 110,000 tree saplings in Palitana and in 40 nearby villages in the aftermath of Cyclone Tauktae.
  • Permission has now been secured from the Corporation to use water from Shatrunjay river and the pipelines have been laid speedily. This is a great accomplishment for all our on-going projects and is a significant milestone to bring our huge upcoming project, Pragyatirth Takshashila, to fruition.

Veerayatan Kenya

Cerebral Palsy Unit

Covid-related acts of kindness

Activities at the cerebral palsy unit have continued throughout the pandemic. The pandemic undoubtedly brought many challenges to the families of children at the unit with many having lost their much-needed casual jobs thereby worsening the poverty to the extent that even affording one meal a day has become impossible. Veerayatan Kenya has extended the support given to these families by ensuring that food items are supplied monthly to their homes, the most recent distribution being in the month of July 2021. All the children also received jackets to keep them warm and protect them from the rain.

Porridge feeding program for all children

The porridge feeding program is a long-term project where over a thousand children and staff of the cerebral palsy unit and the adjoining Dr. Ribeiro Parklands Primary school in Nairobi, are given hot porridge every weekday. This nutritious meal each day ensures students are not only fed well but more importantly that they are able to focus on their studies.

Vocational Training

A very valuable project has been initiated in the cerebral palsy unit to ensure students are afforded worthwhile opportunities and a brighter future as they grow up. A new vocational training class has started where children are trained and are upskilled in tailoring, doing laundry, creating works of art and music, so enabling students to start earning, thus breaking the cycle of dependency.

SCVP Kenya

Virtual Paryushan Celebrations

For the second consecutive year due to the ongoing constraints imposed by Covid-19, SCVP has conducted Paryushan online, bringing together people from around the globe to celebrate this auspicious Jain festival daily in various ways:

And a special children’s session was hosted one afternoon to guide them through the process of pratikraman so as to give clarity and enhance their understanding. This session was conducted in English and included the recitation of sutras and prayers.

This year we also had an additional unique activity, a pre-Paryushan online Jain cooking event where a variety of Jain recipes were demonstrated.

Participants in all these events were awestruck and inspired by the wonderful celebration and were hugely appreciative.

Veerayatan UK

Tribute to Jyotiben Kishorilal Shah

Jyotiben, who was for many years the head teacher of SCVP Jain School and a pillar of Veerayatan UK ever since it started in 1995, passed away on 15th July 2021. Jyotiben was one of the founder teachers when SCVP Jain School was started in the UK by Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji in 1996 with the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma. Jyotiben was not new to teaching when she joined SCVP as she had been a headteacher at the Gujarati school run by the Oshwal community in the 1980’s. Jyotiben’s dedication and commitment to teaching the importance of Jain principles to children growing up in the UK was exemplary. Her calm and warm manner is something which will be remembered by all – she had that rare ability to make anyone she was speaking to feel special. As a person she was generous and kind and would always extend her hospitality to all. Her heart was always in promoting the work of Pujya Tai Ma and the Veerayatan sadhvijis who regularly stayed at her home and whose welfare she made a priority. She was a talented organiser and helped with many main events including the cycling for charity events organised by Veerayatan UK and the fun days organized by SCVP – in fact, her home-made pizza stall was always the most popular foodstall at the annual fundraising event. From the immense outpouring of grief from all when hearing this news of her death, it is clear she has touched so many hearts. We hope her story will inspire others to volunteer their time to help others.

Online Paryushan 2021

For the second consecutive year Veerayatan UK also held its annual Pratikraman in English online with the support of both Oshwal Association of UK and Navnat UK. With the grace and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, Pratikraman was conducted over all 8 days with great bhav and clarity so that people of all ages really understood the essence of this most important of Jain festivals. This year all the samayik sutras were recited in Prakrit by the children of SCVP Jain School and the audience were in awe at their clear and heart felt recitations of the sutras in a difficult language where pronunciations are challenging but which they all coped with admirably.

Online Pre-Paryushan classes for children

SCVP Jain School delivered pre-Paryushan online classes with a view to ensuring that our children learn the beauty of the Jain religion and grow up to appreciate the profound messages of Mahavir Bhagwan and the importance of Jain festivals. Over five consecutive days one-hour classes for two separate age groups comprising 5-7 year olds and 8-11 year olds were conducted by the teachers of SCVP Jain School. The topics this year were:

  • Panch Parmesthi, Why we pray and Connecting to Bhagwan Mahavir
  • Mahavir Bhagwan's Kalyanaks
  • The values of Gratitude and Appreciation
  • Showing thankfulness to Nature and The Environment
  • The importance of Forgiveness

The children and the parents found the classes stimulating and enjoyed the interactive activities which made the learning fun and engaging.

North London

All the children’s classes and adult class have started again in September and these classes continue to be conducted online, which means that the classes are accessible to all globally. Children are looking forward each week to learn about Mahavir Bhagwan and other Tirthankaras, their life stories, their qualities and timeless values and Jain philosophy. The learning is conducted in an interactive manner using songs, stories, scenarios and discussion to enhance understanding. For further details : see poster.

The adult classes this term will focus on a series of inspiring and uplifting conversations with renowned personalities from whom there is much to learn. Conversations with among others, Pujya Tai Ma, Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, Pravinbhai Shah (Chair of JAINA Education USA), Nitin Sonawane (who has walked around the world) and Dr Vinodbhai Kapasi (a highly regarded Jain scholar and practitioner) will provide valuable insights into how we too can shape our vision, knowledge and conduct to move forward on the spiritual path. For further details : see poster.

For more details please contact:
Rita Shah: Tel: +447837811251; email:

South London

Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (South London) continues with it’s Saturday morning adult class with the study of the highly regarded text of The Jaina Path of Purification by P.S. Jaini. All are welcome to join these sessions.

Date: Saturday

Time: 8.40am – 10.15am UK time

Join Zoom Meeting:

Zoom Meeting ID: 88552506216

Passcode: 610068

Upcoming events

Veerayatan UK

SCVP together with Young Jains UK will once again team up this year to bring joy and spiritual upliftment to all for Diwali 2021. The virtual events are currently being planned and promise to be uplifting for all the family. The celebrations will include conducting the Jain Chopda Poojan. Do not miss this opportunity to celebrate together as a whole community and watch out for further details. We very much look forward to welcoming you all!