Veerayatan Newsletter,
October 2022, Edition-37

New Year’s blessings from Pujya Tai Ma

Pujya Tai Ma gave a wonderful message to all for the New Year. Pujya Tai Ma started by saying that the New Year brings a new beginning, with freshness in each and every corner of our life, filled with happiness and with an outpouring of this happiness to all around you and to the whole of nature. She said that in this life we should put all our effort in only taking joy from this world and ensuring that that joy is also spread to all around us and beyond. Pujya Tai Ma blesses each and every one of you with good health, a mind which seeks out the beauty around us and a wonderful life filled with joy!

To listen:

Veerayatan’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations

Veerayatan’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations

Pujya Tai Ma is an outstanding personality. Under her leadership she has inspired, motivated and transformed the lives of so many and in the process founded Veerayatan and turned it into the leading charitable institute it is today. So, there is much to celebrate and be joyous about as Veerayatan approaches its 50th anniversary in 2023.

Everyone is invited to participate in these Golden Jubilee Celebrations during which Pujya Tai Ma’s 87th birthday will be celebrated, there will be a diksha ceremony and the inauguration of the newly built grand auditorium at Veerayatan Kutch. Pujya Tai Ma is looking forward to meeting you all to also discuss the next 50 years of Veerayatan and how these will be shaped - as she acknowledged when receiving the Padmi Shri Award this year, 'You have all been instrumental in the development of the organisation'. The celebrations will be honoured with your beautiful presence. So kindly save the date and RSVP using the link below by 30 November 2022 to enable us to make the necessary arrangements and reservations:

Celebrating Diwali with Pujya Tai Ma at Veerayatan Kutch

Diwali and New Year was celebrated beautifully at Veerayatan Kutch in the presence of Pujya Tai Ma. Pujya Tai Ma explained that although Diwali is the occasion of Bhagwan Mahavir’s nirvana, we celebrate this day to recognise and appreciate Bhagwan’s immense achievement in attaining this ultimate state. Pujya Tai Ma also spoke of Guru Gautam’s attainment of keval gyan and how Bhagwan Mahavir sent Gautam swami off to speak to Dev Sharma and rescue the animals because he had no doubt of Gautam’s abilities. The celebrations included the recital of the Uttaradhyayan Sutra (the last sermon of Bhagwan Mahavir which lasted 48 hours), a Laxmi Pujan and various prayers and stavans in remembrance of the qualities and achievements of these two great souls. All those present felt great peace as well as a thirst to pursue a spiritual path.

The first Diksha in Veerayatan Kutch

The first Diksha in Veerayatan Kutch

We are very pleased to announce that Kumari Jhalak Jain, daughter of Shri Dipak Bohra, has decided to follow Bhagwan Mahavir’s path and is taking Diksha on 28 January 2023 in Veerayatan Kutch. On Bhai Beej day, the chandla ceremony initiating the Diksha process took place in the presence of Pujya Tai Ma and the Sadhvi sangha. Pujya Tai Ma told everyone present about the beautiful life of a renunciate, where nothing nor no-one can bind them, and they walk with only one aim – to purify one’s own self and contribute and promote the welfare of others including the whole of nature. It was a delightful ceremony with Jhalak looking ever so radiant, ready to walk her next steps and progress on the spiritual path.

Mere Devdoot Story
Mere Devdoot Story

Recognise Us

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.

Here is one story of how the impact of Veerayatan’s selfless daily work in Bihar can lead to a fundamental change in sentiment of the local population.

To read the story, click here

Veerayatan Bihar

Diwali celebrations in the land of Bhagwan Mahavir

With the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, the students of Tirthankar Mahaveer Vidya Mandir (TMVM) Pawapuri, participated in a big celebratory event, ‘Pawapuri Mahotsava’ organised by Nalanda District Administration, Government of Bihar. All CBSE affiliated and Government schools from Nalanda participated in this great event. Students took part in rangoli, mehndi, singing and painting competitions.

The creativity of students was par excellence with amazingly artistic rangolis being done on a large scale! TMVM students, inspired by the teaching of Pujya Tai Ma, gave beautiful expression through their rangolis to many important messages: Be a mutual help to each other; environmental protection; bond of the love between child and mother; there is no he without she etc. They spread awareness through rangoli, painting and mehndi competitions that ‘All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the self. Merge yourself in this light and enjoy the festival of lights.’

Netra Jyoti Seva Mandiram (NJSM) Update

With the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, NJSM continues to excel with excellent service and health outcomes and is the foremost hospital in the district of Nalanda and beyond. NJSM has had a busy period over April to September treating many patients despite the rains and the heat. Almost 30,000 patients were reviewed by the dedicated doctors and other professionals in the outpatients department, 2500 operations have taken place and 1400 retina patients were treated. The dental department is also renowned and 6000 patients were treated from April to September.

Our National champions!

With the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, three students of Tirthankar Mahaveer Vidya Mandir (TMVW) Pawapuri, have secured Bronze medal at the International Games Federation of United World Games in 2022. The proud Karate champions, Aditya Pratap Singh, Saurav Sagar and Ritika Kumar, represented India in 11-12 years and 14-15 years categories. Many congratulations to the three students!

Excelling in studies too!

The 10th graders at TMVM Lacchuar all passed with outstanding results. Many congratulations, indeed!

Annual Diwali Cleanup in Pawapuri

Bhagwan Mahavir’s liberation place, Pawapuri, is one of the most religious places for Jains, especially at Diwali. The students of TMVM clean up this sanctified place on an annual basis. Not just the streets but also the beautiful Jal Mandir. And this year was no different. The students enthusiastically cleaned and it was a proud moment for all when all the work was completed. Well done to all the students for this fantastic achievement.

Veerayatan Palitana

Eye Camp for Sadhus and Sadhvis

With the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma, Veerayatan held its latest eye camp in Palitana which was organised in conjunction with Shraman Arogyam Seva Samaj and JITO Bhavnagar. This eye camp was dedicated wholly to treating the large sadhu- sadhvi sangh residing in and around Palitana and looking at their eye related needs. Approximately 140 sadhu and sadhvis attended the camp for various eye related issues, which were investigated and treated at the camp where possible with the distribution of all required medicines. Where further treatment or surgeries were required, follow-up appointments were made for the patients to attend Veerayatan’s Shri Adinath Netralay. The camp was very successful and appreciated by all and is part of Veerayatan’s outreach programme to deliver the benefits of eye treatments in an efficient and highly accessible manner to all those in need.

Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir School

Our Reflections

In a beautiful, green, lush setting, overlooking the magnificent Shatrunjay Hills, Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir (TMVM) School in Palitana was established in 2017 for disadvantaged children, with the blessings and guidance of Pujya Tai Ma. It is a unique school, an educational sanctuary! The students of TMVM arrive at the school every morning smartly dressed and with a broad smile on their face. Before starting the classes, the students together recite the Navkar Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra beautifully.

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Joyous Mahavir Janma Kalyanak Celebrations

The students of TMVM had the good fortune to celebrate Mahavir Janma Kalyanak (Birth of Mahavir Bhagwan) as part of Paryushan Parva in the presence of Pujya Tai Ma, Sadhvi Chetnaji and Sadhvi Sampragyaji. The children all attentively listened to Pujya Tai Ma talk about not only Mahavir Bhagwan, but also about Trishala Mata and how the love of a mother and father is to be treasured and reciprocated. The children all affirmed that they would extend their love to all. The children sang prayers and songs beautifully in praise of Mahavir Bhagwan including a song in English which appreciated Mahavir Bhagwan. The children were all given the opportunity to cradle Mahavir Bhagwan in his cot and their faces were full of happiness, even more so when each of the 350 children were given a delicious sweet at the end of the event by Pujya Tai Ma.

Teacher’s Day Celebrations

TMVM celebrated ‘Teacher’s Day’ to commemorate the contribution of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. This was a unique event where many of the children took on the role of the teacher (and the teachers became the students!), not just for one lesson but for the entire day. Children of all ages from Standard 2 through to Standard 9 taught other children either in their own class or in other classes in all subjects including languages, maths, science. The sight of the girls dressed beautifully in saris and the boys looking and acting all grown up and pacing up and down the classroom was very entertaining and beautiful to watch, whilst some of the younger children could hardly reach the whiteboard to deliver their teaching! Although all had great fun, there was a serious learning lesson for the children which they all acknowledged.

To read more....

Navratri Celebrations

Navratri is a festival which exudes beautiful vibes and radiates the triumph of good over evil. Celebrating this time with everyone is very auspicious and special. The occasion of Navratri is about being together and enjoying garba with loved ones. The students of TMVM exemplified this in the garba session they enjoyed at the school. See the love and joy in their faces and their amazing colourful garba attire which was complemented by their energetic dancing which they continued non-stop for hours.

Veerayatan Kutch News

Veerayatan Kutch

With the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and the able guidance of sadhvijis, various activities have been organised which demonstrate the commitment of all students at Veerayatan Vidyapeeth, Kutch to follow the timeless values taught to us by Tirthankar Mahavir. With the commencement of new academic sessions, students have been very active in organising and participating in various activities including celebrating our rich festivals and culture. Here are glimpses of these events:

Blood Donation Camp

'Giving back to the society' is the core value imbibed in the students of Veerayatan Kutch. Hundreds of students donated blood at a blood donation camp held in the presence of Pujya Tai Ma and ensured that the welfare of individuals and saving lives remains the highest of priorities.

Raksha Bandhan Festival

The festival of Raksha Bandhan plays a very important role in Indian culture depicting a sweet bond of love and protection. A rakhi making competition was organised for the tiny tots of Rudrani and Jakhania schools. Some of the students tied rakhis on the branches of trees to show their love for nature and seek blessings and the winners were awarded goodies and saplings.

Teachers' day Celebrations

The Veerayatan campus became lively with young children dressed as teachers. Senior students came in formal dress and took lectures in junior classes. They enjoyed this experience a lot as they not only taught but indulged the juniors in fun activities too.

Ganapati Bappa Morya celebrations

The students celebrated 'Ganesh Chaturthi' and took a pledge to worship eco-friendly Ganesha idols only. Students of Veerayatan Institute of Pharmacy organised an awareness campaign of celebrating this festival without polluting water reservoirs and they all participated in cleaning up the beach after the festival.

Cyber Smart Awareness Programme

Cyber Smart Awareness Programme

A large number of people from low literacy and low-income groups lack the skills, knowledge and capabilities to access, learn and use IT in everyday life and unfortunately, they often become victims of cybercrime. Veerayatan Vidyapeeth Kutch organised a cyber smart awareness camp for students in collaboration with Pratham Infotech Foundation that works to bridge the digital divide, facilitate the adoption of IT and identify the competencies that the new global economy demands.

Facing professional challenges

Facing professional challenges

Students of Veerayatan Institute of Pharmacy had a fruitful interactive session with Pujya Tai Ma and Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji on how to face professional challenges with ease while maintaining ethics and keeping spiritually elated. The main question which students had was how to live a stress-free life in this competitive world. Pujya Tai Ma advised the students not to take short cuts for small profits but to focus on bigger goals of life. Pujya Tai Ma went on to say that the students should bear in mind that bigger goals cannot be achieved in a day and thus continuous efforts are needed. Shilapiji Maharaj advised students to take short breaks throughout the day for introspection and to keep checking their behaviour at every step, thus maintaining stability in life.

Freshers' Welcome

Veerayatan Institute of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Computer Administration (BCA) welcomed the new incoming students with joy and fun activities. It was an event to facilitate friendships between the newcomers and showcase their talents. The students gave beautiful performances in the presence of Pujya Tai Ma and received the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma for a bright future.

Expertise within our Mechanical Engineering Faculties

It is a matter of pride that three of our Mechanical Engineering faculties were selected to train the new recruits at Adani Solar Power Plant as experts. Trainees were given required information and technical knowledge about the plant and its workings.

Veerayatan Meerut

Established in 2018, with the blessings of Rashtrasant Pujya Gurudev Upadhyay Shri Amarmuniji Maharaj and Padma Shri awardee, Pujya Tai Ma, “Veerayatan Meerut” is another centre of Veerayatan where seva (Humanitarian service) is performed regularly. Every month a free food distribution service for 500 people is organised at different places in Meerut. Activities including feeding of jaggery and fodder to animals in the animal sanctuary, helping the older people in the old people’s ashram and sending bandages to Netra Jyoti Seva Mandiram (eye hospital), Bihar. A 500-litre cold water tank with water purifier was also donated to TMVM, Lachhuar. And medical services are also provided to those in need by many householders and organisations coming together.

This year on the auspicious occasion of 2550th Nirvana Kalyanak of Bhagwan Mahavir, the program of third "Free Mega Eye Medical Camp" was organised in Gurukhub Satsang Bhawan Jain Nagar, Meerut, with the grace of Pujya Tai Ma.

Veerayatan Kenya

Paryushan 2022: Appreciating the achievements of children

With the blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and the guidance of the Veerayatan Sadhvijis, Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) continues expounding the Jain philosophy together with preparing the children and adults to become responsible global citizens.

SCVP had an incredible start to the new academic year. The first day assembly on returning to school focussed attention on all the incredible students who had done some form of tapa (austerity) over Paryushan Parva 2022, ranging from 16 upvas (not eating at all) undertaken to one student doing a kheer samudra tapa to others doing ekasanas (eating once a day). In total 27 students were felicitated, representing a great achievement for SCVP. As part of the appreciation these students were gifted with a photo frame and Diwakar Chitra Katha comic book to help them advance on their spiritual journey.

Veerayatan UK

Diwali celebration party with the new UK Prime Minister!

It is with great pleasure to announce that Navinbhai Sanghrajka, chairperson of Veerayatan UK, together with Mehoolbhai Sanghrajka and other Jains and Hindus went to the Prime Minister’s residence, 10 Downing Street, to celebrate Diwali with Rishi Sunak, who became the UK’s new Prime minister during the Diwali festivities. We pray that Rishi Sunak will be successful in working for the welfare of the country and the world.

Paryushan for Kids

SCVP Jain School, UK organised 3 days of virtual classes for children aged 5-10 years during Paryushan to enable children to learn about Mahavir Bhagwan and his life and beautiful values in a fun and interactive way. About 40 children attended these virtual classes each day and they all found the learning both enthralling and fun.

Paryushan Parva 2022 – Pratikraman in English

With the grace and blessings of Pujya Tai Ma and Pujya Sadhvi Shilapiji we had another successful Paryushan this year.

This year’s Pratikraman in English was conducted in collaboration with Oshwal Association of UK. This was the first post pandemic hybrid Paryushan held by SCVP for all 8 days and worked very well, giving all the opportunity to meet for a communal Pratikraman but also allowing participation at home with minimal travelling. The energy created each day during the Pratikraman was tremendous!

It was joyful listening to a reading of Mahavir Bhagwan’s life and the SCVP children and youth reciting the Samayik Sutras beautifully with clarity and great bhaav. Many congratulations to everyone involved.

Seva, Shiksha and Sadhana in Action

With the blessings of Pujya Tai Maa and Pujya Sadhvi Shilapiji SCVP UK organised a number of activities on 7 October across multiple locations which were a true testament to the Veerayatan ethos of Seva, Shiksha and Sadhana!

Diwali art Workshop

Our children’s classes for ages 5-15 have been conducted every Friday online. For the first time after Covid-19 restrictions, around 30 children aged 7-14 years came together for a Diwali Art Workshop designed to learn Jainism through art. Under the guidance of Namitaben, an expert art teacher, and support from all the teachers, the children made beautiful rangoli designs using environmentally friendly methods. In the design, children brought to life some of the Jain symbols such as the sathiyo, lotus flower, diwas, sun and elephants. Children were very engrossed and engaged in the activity and were very creative with their use of design and colours. All of them were so pleased and proud to share their artwork with everyone. The children thoroughly enjoyed and engaged with each other.

SCVP Adult Class – Voyage of Discovery

The adult class has been ongoing this term in person and the theme being followed is ‘Voyage of Discovery!’ The focus has been on awakening spirituality through deep meditation, unlocking the sub-conscious mind, importance of prayers and a virtual journey of famous pilgrim places. On 7 October, we had a wonderful session with Rajeevbhai (one of our long standing and respected adult teachers) who took the audience on a beautiful virtual tour of famous pilgrim places.

Feeding the Homeless

The Modular class of 15-16 year olds has also been ongoing this term in person focussing on life lessons around team work, collaboration, communicating with confidence, dealing with anxiety and generally helping the youth with skills they can use throughout their lives. This Friday they had a great opportunity to distribute food to homeless people at the Strand in Central London organised and run by a couple of charities (Lions Club and Jalaram Trust). It was a cold evening, rained quite heavily at the beginning and the food distribution carried on for over two hours but the youth smiled and had lots of energy throughout in serving over 140 homeless people. It was indeed an eye opener for the youth as they saw the homeless people queue in the rain in an orderly manner, saying thank you to every volunteer as they collected the food and taking care to only take a little so there was enough for everyone.