HereNow4U - Living Jainism Tour 2006 - 02.2 Kolkata - At Gadheyas' Home

Published: 05.01.2007
Updated: 29.11.2012

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16.11.2006

On our way, we wondered about the driver’s capacity to handle diverse traffic situations, such as driving in small lanes crowded with pedestrians, bicyclists and dogs around narrow corners, as well as passing chariots and busses in similarly crowded main roads with breathtaking speed. Smilingly he noticed our admiration, turned his head, and stopped suddenly. Sushil told us that on our way two visits would be made, the first ahead to the Gadheya family’s home.

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We got out of the car and entered a stairway. On the stair head, workers were about to do some repair work in front of the lift. Meanwhile, Sushil informed our host that we had arrived. When we left the lift, the whole Gadheya family gave a heartily welcome to us. They had invited relatives and friends of the family; again, a laughing crowd of friends expected us!

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The members of this family were already familiar to us by their photos, as their 3 daughters Abhilasha (21), Anuradha (18) and Amirata (16) had decided on Paryushan 2006 to do an eight-days fast, which their middle daughter Anuradha had extended up to 30 days.

In an atmosphere, full of joy and happiness we used the opportunity to ask the 3 sisters and their parents on their Paryushan experiences. When Paryushan was near, discussion among the family members had started on the meaning of Paryushan. This discussion did not stop to move the minds of the 3 sisters, mainly the idea of purifying the soul to remove old Karma. They asked their parents what means the Jain tradition was recommending for its realisation.

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For spiritual guidance, the family went to the group of Sadhvishree Nirvanshreeji staying in Kolkata since December 2005. Sadhvishree Nirvanshreeji remembered Lord Mahavira to them, doing fast and penance for twelve years, resulting in the spiritual heights he was able to reach. The girls wondered if they would be capable to bear up fast at all. Sadhvishree Nirvanshreeji encouraged them by noting that one can achieve everything when there is firm decision.

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The 3 sisters’ mind was engaged with the subject, they first planned to start fasting the weekend before Samvatsari. After having slept over it, they agreed to start already the first day of Paryushan, and Anuradha ended up in her 30 days fast!

The parents supported their daughters’ decision by taking them to Darshan of Sadhvishrees as often as possible. When Anuradha felt the strength to continue, the whole family was on her side. For her, it was the first time that she had taken a decision on her own, and she felt all joy one can imagine that it was not only accepted, but also supported by her whole family.

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Remembering their feelings, all 3 sisters felt a lasting increase of energy and Self-awareness because they had enough endurance to realise an idea moving their minds. Abhilasha, the eldest put it this way, “From then on, when I thought something is impossible for me to do, I remember Acharyashree’s notion of IMPOSSIBLE: I’M POSSIBLE.” She added with a charming smile, “When I am not succeeding after trying again and again, I will verify if I really want to do it.” We were wondering to hear this from a 21-years old.

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Her youngest sister Amirata stated, “With my friends, we had talked on fasting for Paryushan as well. I was the only one who had done it. Next Paryushan my friends also want to do it with me.”

Then Abhilasha gave sign to follow her in the adjoined room. There she took a painting from the wall and said, “Look, this painting is hanging here since my childhood. I thought to know it very well and admired the painter. Some weeks ago only, I asked my mom what his name was. She then only told me that she had painted it before marriage!”

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Her mom was with us and said, “I don’t know if I would be able to do it again.” Abhilasha nodded to her mom’s last remark and continued, “Sometimes, we even doubt about our own achievements. Since my fasting experience, I have learnt more on the Self. There are no more doubts in my mind, but when I do not succeed after several tries, I simply ask my Self if this is really to accomplish.”

Then she addressed her mom, “Next time, we all should do fast together!” who responded, “Perhaps we should try.” For us, it was time to leave the kind Gadheya family for the next home to visit.
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Darshan
  2. Fasting
  3. Karma
  4. Kolkata
  5. Mahavira
  6. Paryushan
  7. Samvatsari
  8. Soul
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