Visit to Jain Vishva Bharati London

Published: 26.03.2004
Updated: 30.07.2015

For the first time, Acharyashree Mahaprajnaji has sent this year four Samanijis outside India. Samani Pratibha Pragya, Punya Pragya, Jina Pragya & Shukla Pragya are uplifting the Jain community of London which counts about 18.000 members as I was told by one of their officials.
The centre is supported by two hundred families from different Jain sects, support means the fares for housing, electricity and telephone. A schedule was organised for providing daily fresh cooked meal facilities to the saints. So they are able to do their service for mankind in London according to their dietary prescriptions. They are giving their full energy to all people needing their spiritual support and inspiration. The service for mankind is their purpose in life. They do not distinguish by any criteria whom they grant it and are real scholars of Anekantvada with their open mindedness.
Also they are very busy promoting Jainism in London by radio interviews and well attended lectures in High schools and other public institutions. Every Sunday intense courses for parents and toddlers, children and teenagers are given as well.

The centre was opened in April 2003 with two Samanijis working, but one wonders to hear this when seeing how the four nuns are needed and integrated in the life of the Jain community. There is a busy phone calling and regular coming and going of people just for seeing them and be in their haling presence. All women to whom I had spoken were very happy on this possibility to come and go and knowing to be welcome at any time and without special appointment for simple dropping over. As one lady for example has a destination now when she feels to need a break from the nursing of her MS suffering husband. She is very happy for this opportunity to get spiritual energy and inspiration here.
Special appointment is needed for personal consultation and personal courses.

The daily routine of the Samanijis is very busy from 4.00 am to 10.00 pm, only 6 hours of rest and recharging energy. Their days start with Vandana, chanting Mantras, Mangal Bhavana, Pratik Raman, meditation and religious studies. Then from Monday to Friday at 7.00 am to 7.45 Preksha Meditation for members of the community, then about 8.00 am going to a neighbouring family for breakfast alms where they had brought me with them without any announcement and where I was overwhelmingly welcomed and hosted with legendary British breakfast for four days. On rainy days, when they cannot leave the house, a special breakfast plan has been prepared. Then personal work, followed by courses of Preksha Yoga for back pain or Relaxation or Hindi class or preparation of another classes or lectures.

For providing their lunch a special time table has been compiled for the whole month, everyone who has got the time and the facility to do so can contribute with fresh cooked meal or fresh fruits or other home made specialities.
The women I have met during my visit are also very active.
Some of them are practising their profession, some of them are engaged in social working for institutions like Sangam - Association for Asian women - helping in immigration affairs, domestic conflicts and offer language as well as computer courses for women. Mrs. Pushpa Banthia, whose grandfather and father were among the founders of the Mumukshu training centre in Ladnun, Rajasthan, and other female members of the London Jain community are working for Sangam since many years free of charge and are very active in fund raising also. Sangam is working without any governmental support and finances its activities and now five stuff members with donations and membership fees.

During the afternoons there are visitors or phone requests for lectures or visits out of London or personal classes or consultations. Sometimes lectures are organised as well at places far from the JVB centre, then the transportation service is organised for two Samanijis. So all members of the numerous Jain community can enjoy their presence and get spiritual guidance. The other two Samanijis stay in the centre maintaining the daily schedule.
In the early evening hours they practise Pratik Raman and others like in the early morning hours.

In the evening classes during the week the Samanijis hold classes on Preksha Yoga for diabetes, common lecture and commentaries on Acharanga Sutra, Jainism for beginners, relaxation courses for tension relief and classes by appointment as well.

On Saturday from 8.00 to 9.00 am an advanced meditation lesson is given where people are doing the meditation in the standing posture. One of the participants had attended the II. International Preksha Meditation Camp in Surat, Gujarat, and is most enthusiastic on the spiritual progress enabled by this practice.

On Sundays there are regular classes on Jain philosophy and personality development for children, youngsters, and adults as well under the guidance of the Samanijis who are all trained teachers of Jain Vishva Bharati University Ladnun, India. Sometimes special camps are organised for half a day up to the whole weekend. All these activities are free of charge.
Donations can be given into the donation box according to the personal situation.

For further details please contact:

Jain Vishva Bharati
22 Oxgate Gardens
London NW2 6EB
Phone: 020-8452-0913
Email: jvblondon[at]yahoo.co.uk

Sources

Karuna Jain

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharanga
  2. Anekantvada
  3. Bhavana
  4. Gujarat
  5. International Preksha Meditation Camp
  6. JVB
  7. Jain Philosophy
  8. Jain Vishva Bharati
  9. Jain Vishva Bharati University
  10. Jainism
  11. Jina
  12. Karuna
  13. Karuna Jain
  14. Ladnun
  15. London
  16. Mahaprajnaji
  17. Mangal Bhavana
  18. Meditation
  19. Mumukshu
  20. Pragya
  21. Preksha
  22. Preksha Meditation
  23. Preksha Meditation Camp
  24. Preksha Yoga
  25. Punya
  26. Rajasthan
  27. Samani
  28. Samani Pratibha Pragya
  29. Shukla
  30. Surat
  31. Sutra
  32. Vandana
  33. Yoga
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