Pratishtha Mahotsav At London Oshwal Centre (01)

Published: 26.08.2005
Updated: 19.11.2012

The opening of the first Jain Temple in Hertfordshire, close to North London, was started on Friday, 19 th August. As the London weather on that day was fulfilling all prejudices, most of the activities had to be performed in the tents. Outside rain was master of ceremonies. In the Indian tradition, rain is very auspicious for the start of spiritual ceremonies.

The celebration of consecrating a magnificent home to the 24 Tirthankaras at the Shikharbandhi Jinalaya at the Oshwal Centre followed the rules of the Jain tradition. Jain Vidhikar Narendra Ramji Nandu came with his team, consisting of his son, gifted with a beautiful voice and skilful speech, two minor aged, talented nephews, and a team of dedicated and professional musicians from Mumbai (Bombay), India.

Editor Karuna Jain arrived on Friday evening and participated in the event since Saturday 20 th August. She was invited by the Samanijis of JVB London to stay with them up to Paryushan. This is her first report from London.

On Saturday, the Samanijis arrived with Karuna at 8.30 a.m. punctually for the morning functions. They staid the whole day at the Oshwal Centre, and left only when the Chandanbala play was completed at about 11 p.m.

The weather supported the foreseen outside celebrations, as there were ritual opening of gates to and main entrance of the temple.

People were gathering in a procession, heading for the ritualistic opening of the gates, leading to the temple from the left side, by facing the front of the temple.

These two enjoyed very much the procession. The volunteers happily took care of their needs and made them a part of the event.

Shree Chitrabhanu had come along all the way from New York to perform the rites when all 24 Tirthankaras would be brought to their destined places in front of the temple. This ceremony was performed on Sunday, 21 st August and will be described in detail.

Samanijis Puniya Pragya and Pratibha Pragya, and Shree Chitrabhanu on their way to the opening of the gates.

Samanijis were blessing the gates with Mangalpath (reciting of auspicious Mantra), while Vidhikar was doing Puja (religious ceremony to call the gods).

The volunteer women involved in the ceremony were all dressed in traditional, red-coloured Puja Saris (Indian cloths, specially for Puja) on Saturday. Every day of Prathishtha Mahotsav had his own colour. Red was the colour of the day, as was found out by a specialist before.

Their heads were covered with crowns, which are worn during Puja ceremonies as well. They were surrounding the columns of the gates and touching them before they got opened.

He could hardly believe to be chosen for the opening of the first gate, and refused two times, but finally agreed happily. The hat he is wearing is the traditional head covering for religious ceremonies, as well as the chain of flowers and the multi-coloured drum sticks. All flowers are skilfully made of plastic material, washable, and multi-usable. In the background right, the Vidhikar's elder nephew is watching.

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Bombay
  2. Chandanbala
  3. Chitrabhanu
  4. JVB
  5. JVB London
  6. Jain Temple
  7. Karuna
  8. Karuna Jain
  9. London
  10. Mantra
  11. Mumbai
  12. Oshwal
  13. Oshwal Centre
  14. Paryushan
  15. Pragya
  16. Puja
  17. Tirthankaras
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