Meeting With Acharya Mahapragya

Published: 02.12.2004
Updated: 02.07.2015

During my recent trip to India, I met with H. H. Acharya Mahaprajna, Muni Mahendra Kumarji and Muni Shree Kumar Shramanji at Siryaji (Rajasthan, India).

After brief exchanges of compliments, Acharya Mahaprajna inquired as to how JAINA is spreading the message of Mahavir in US? I mentioned that JAINA has sponsored Ahimsa Conference in California Poly Technical Institute. This was a two days conference attended by Jains and Non-Jains. I asked Acharya how could we maintain unity of Jains in North America? How could all sects of Jains stay together? If Terapanth were going to open up their own centers in US. Some of current Jain members would leave the existing centers and join new centers. Thus, it could dilute our numbers and weaken our strength. I sought his help to solve such a delicate matter.

He stated all sects of Jainism have these three things in common.

  1. Naitik life
  2. Adhyatmik life
  3. Kriya life

The role of Samanji in US is to make people aware of Jainism. He also felt that Samanijis should be scheduled at all Jain Centers on a regular basis to teach Preksha Meditation and teachings of Jainism to non-Jains.
Acharyaji has hoped that JAINA takes lead in spreading Jainism and its message to bring about Non-violence and other Anuvrata of Jainism in US among Americans. He also talked about training of Non-Violence. He feels that this could be achieved through Preksha Meditation.
Once people get used to Preksha Meditation, whereby they would maintain healthy life style then they could be also exposed to Anuvrata of Jainism, which would help them maintain balanced life. This in turn leads to the message of Lord Mahavir, Ahimsa, Anekanta, Aprigraha, etc. Acharyaji, through his Ahimsa walk has made difference in life style of even non-Jains. Some of the Muslims are practicing and spreading the message of Ahimsa. They have been leading the Ahimsa Walk parade and been holding the Jain Flag during Acharyaji's procession.

H.H. Acharyaji has contact with President of India. Acharyaji has agreed to informally find out if the President can attend JAINA convention in 2005 as one of the keynote speakers. If he can't come personally to US Acharyaji could arrange for a live telecast of President of India.
Acharyaji has agreed for his live telecast message for 2005 convention.

We also met with Yuvacharya Mahashramanji (successor of H. H. Acharya Shri Mahaprajna) for his guidance. They all were happy to note that there was a good demand for lectures from Samans during last convention. We have requested for same Samans to give Stress Management program during 2005 convention.
I attended Preksha Meditation Shibir, which was attended by Jains and Non-Jains from all over India. Part of the shibir also included discourses by Acharyaji and Yuva Acharyaji.

On that weekend there were over 4,000 attendees. They had come from all over Rajasthan areas by busloads. Many of them had brought pillows and blankets and slept in large tents. They all wanted to hear Acharyaji and follow his message.
Next day there were lines of people giving him respect.
Volunteers kept lines moving as people wanted to see him and get his blessing from close distance.

Acharyaji assured us that there is demand from many cities of US to open center but at present they were not going to open any more centers in US. He expressed his hopes through his monks that JAINA should be instrumental in spreading words of Mahavir and Ahimsa in North America to bring about world peace.

Samans and Samniji were there to help out JAINA and local Jain centers to teach Preksha meditation and Jain teachings. We should take the message of Acharyaji about Ahimsa and Non-violence to world in these times of terror and violence.

Acharyaji mentioned that to remove violence, it is very necessary that we first understand the root and cause of the violence and upon understanding, we have to work on removing roots of violence. Once the roots are gone, you would have created long lasting peace and non-violent environment.

Though it was a short and very useful meeting with Acharyaji, this has helped us open up a dialogue with Acharyaji to help us bring unity of all four sects in North America. They have given open invitation to all Jain Sanghs in North America to join International Preksha Meditation Camp at Jain Vishva Bharti, Ladnun in January 2005. For more information send e-mail to: netrat[at]att.net

Kirit C. Daftary, First Vice President of JAINA

Sources

Courtesy: Vol. 23 #3 Jain Digest Fall 2004

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahaprajna
  3. Acharya Shri Mahaprajna
  4. Ahimsa
  5. Ahimsa Walk
  6. Anekanta
  7. Anuvrata
  8. Environment
  9. International Preksha Meditation Camp
  10. JAINA
  11. JAINA Convention
  12. Jain Digest
  13. Jain Vishva Bharti
  14. Jaina
  15. Jainism
  16. Kirit C. Daftary
  17. Kriya
  18. Ladnun
  19. Mahavir
  20. Meditation
  21. Muni
  22. Non-violence
  23. Preksha
  24. Preksha Meditation
  25. Preksha Meditation Camp
  26. Rajasthan
  27. Samans
  28. Terapanth
  29. Violence
  30. Yuvacharya
  31. Yuvacharya Mahashramanji
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