Obituary of Aparigraha Jain ►Founder, Publisher, Editor of HereNow4U

Published: 20.04.2018


Aparigraha Jain
Founder, Publisher, Editor of Herenow4U

It is my sad duty today, so short after his cremation, to write on this wonderful soul who has left for his heavenly abode on 12.04.2018, and with whom I shared all events of life more than half of my and his life.

Aparigraha Jain was gifted with many extraordinary talents and has succeeded in many fields of life. As an entrepreneur he was able to motivate different kind of professionals to share his visions of new horizons and most of all, to realise them in a very down to earth way.

Besides his many skills he was a spiritual seeker all his life, looking for spiritual uplift. He travelled to India in his youth, but did not succeed to find a Guru practicing in his own life what he was preaching to the masses. To find such a person is not easy, but possible. The karmic circumstances brought Acharya Mahapragya and Aparigraha Jain together when the time was right.

Aparigraha Jain, born as Christian Geerdes in Germany, was a very lucky person. When we went to Gangashahar for Maryada Mahotsav in 2001, he saw 10th Jain Svetambara Terapanth Acharya Mahapragya for the first time. We arrived during morning lecture, and Acharyashree publicly welcomed us. There were too many impressive situations to list all of them here. He got the name of Aparigraha from Acharyashree when we took farewell.

It was a very special moment, just the three of us. Acharyashree was meditating in a corner of a small room, apparently in deep Kayotsarga when we opened the door. We did not want to disturb him, but he opened his eyes and gave us sign to approach. Some monks rushed in, and then Aparigraha got his name, smilingly confirmed by the monks. There was a deep understanding between all those gathered in the room.

This encounter changed his life. Aparigraha had finally at the age of 53 arrived at his spiritual destination, Jainism. He became aware of his life mission, the propagation of Jainism in the West via the so called New Media. The situation was crystal clear to him, and what that meant. Thenceforward he worked untiringly to get deeper and deeper into the teachings of Lord Mahavira and to practice the same in daily life.

It was a mesmerising development which as his wife I was able to follow from very close. He did not only a full time job in being publisher and editor of HereNow4U, but also started to analyse scientifically all turns of human life under the aspects of Karma, Ahimsa, Anekant, Aparigraha, victor over the 5 inner enemies, character building, and living harmoniously and in concordance with the cosmic laws. He found out by practice that the teachings of Lord Mahavira, handed down for him through the books of and visits to Acharya Mahapragya and, later, many other Jain scholars and authors, are a golden threat to the destination of bliss and happiness in human life.

Aparigraha enthusiastically wanted to share his discoveries with other people. This was the initial thought to create a database on Jainism in the Internet. The idea was, to give the opportunity for Jain studies to people all over the world, regardless of origin, gender or religion. So he selflessly and on a voluntary basis put his skills at the service of the cause. From his own pocket he paid all the costs, professionally supported by his son Raoul.

At the same time his interest in all forms of life grew steadily. He delved into studies of plants, composted in his garden to give the best basis of life for the plant kingdom. The quality of the soil improved significantly, which resulted in providing habitat for countless microorganisms on a rather small surface. All kind of insects, birds, and plants started to populate our garden. He used to watch them with great affection and started series of photos to document their manifold activities, manifesting intelligence and ingenuity. He was guided by the teaching of Lord Mahavira, “All souls are equal”. His way of talking about his observations was very heartfelt.

The process which started to influence and change our lifestyle for the better can only be described in brief. In terrestrial time it started 18 years ago and is still going on. When during his first visit to the Saints in Gangashahar at the occasion of a philosophical overture given by late Munishree Dulharaj he decided to turn to pure vegetarianism from this moment on. Self understood, so did I. Changing eating habits resulted in a number of other important changes in our daily life. To name but one Preksha Meditation became an integral component. Many visits to Terapanth Sangh recharged our spiritual batteries, and after some time we became friends with Jains all over the world, not regarding their personal affiliation in diverse Jain communities, be it Digambara or Swetambara. Aparigraha was respected and accepted everywhere as a true follower of the Jinas, and he really was, until his last moments.

He admired the degree of spiritual maturity of all Saints and also lay followers. His perception was clear and concentrated, and he never judged a person. He used to say, “There are so many karmic reasons for everything that happens, but as humans, to understand this, exceeds our capacity.”

This was the impetus for his deep personal studies of Karma in its many facets. He wanted to share his insights by writing down the conclusions he had arrived to, but when he tried to start, he accepted that perhaps these insights cannot be put into words by him. It was my immense bliss to have been the one to whom he transmitted his thoughts, mentally or in speech.

The last day of his earthly sojourn was cheerful, relaxed and full of zest for action.

The whole family was gathered around him when he took his last breath. On his deathbed his face showed a wonderful smile.

Namo Arihantanam. I bow down to Arihanta (enlightened teacher).

With great devotion I have experienced the blessings and healing energies that are expressed in the words of Acharya Mahashraman Ji, Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar Ji, and Muni Kishanlal Ji.

With special contemplation we have noticed the comforting effects of Samanijis compassion.

Full of wonder and joy I have noticed the strong energy that has been given to me, the family and all participants of the cremation through the comforting record of Loggass, recited by Samani Pratibha Pragya, London.

We received wonderful words of empathy from our friends here in Germany, in India and abroad.

The cremation was a very spiritual and worthy ceremony from which we went out comforted and strengthened.

Due to the circumstances of this sudden and so painful loss, this obituary is not complete. I ask for forgiveness if unwillingly I have hurt someone by not specially mentioning him or her. Please let me know so I can learn from this mistake.

Carla Karuna
Berlin, Germany

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahapragya
  3. Acharya Mahashraman
  4. Ahimsa
  5. Anekant
  6. Aparigraha
  7. Aparigraha Jain
  8. Arihanta
  9. Berlin
  10. Christian Geerdes
  11. Contemplation
  12. Digambara
  13. Gangashahar
  14. Guru
  15. HereNow4U
  16. Jainism
  17. Karma
  18. Karuna
  19. Kayotsarga
  20. London
  21. Mahapragya
  22. Mahashraman
  23. Mahavira
  24. Maryada
  25. Maryada Mahotsav
  26. Meditation
  27. Microorganisms
  28. Muni
  29. Muni Kishanlal
  30. Muni Mahendra Kumar
  31. Pragya
  32. Preksha
  33. Preksha Meditation
  34. Samani
  35. Samani Pratibha Pragya
  36. Sangh
  37. Soul
  38. Svetambara
  39. Teaching of Lord Mahavira
  40. Terapanth
  41. Terapanth Acharya
  42. Vegetarianism
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