22.01.2010 Maryada Mahotsav (3)

Published: 15.04.2010
Updated: 30.11.2012

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H.H. Acharya Mahapragya commenting public performance, the stage behind him is decorated with the Letter of Conduct, Maryada Patra in big format

The highlight of every Maryada Mahotsav is when the actual head of Jain Svetambara Terapanth presents Maryada Patra, the Letter of Conduct, and reads it loudly to the gathering. The founder of Terapanth, Acharya Bikshu, once had laid down the code of conduct for monks and nuns. The code of conduct says that Terapanth ascetics strictly will follow the Five Mahavratas and lead a life of discipline, purity and self-control. The code of conduct is read in public on the third and final day of the festival.

In worldly terms the gathering is the birthday celebration of Terapanth order. A broad audience of many thousands participates in the annual festival where the foundation of Terapanth and the personality of its founder are commemorated. Acharya Bikshu had witnessed as a contemporary many transgressions of the Jain way of life by Jain ascetics. This inspired him deeply to reflect upon the realisation of Jain virtues in daily life. His insight was simple and convincing at the same time. Only a simple, disciplined, and blameless lifestyle of monks and nuns can make them lighthouses of wisdom for the lay followers.

At Maryada Mahotsav one can meet many saints, as they are called, at one fixed location. Normally they are in groups of maximal five, Samanis overseas in groups of two. Sometimes it is difficult to meet them on the way. But those who are concerned know they are coming.

For the saints it is the once in a year occasion to meet each other and to hear about work and life of other nuns and monks. For many of them this is inspiration and exchange of thoughts. At Maryada Mahotsav it is indicated also, who is sent where. Facts unknown hitherto.

For the widespread lay followers it is an opportunity to meet family members, respectively former family members who are members of the order now. Often long journeys have to be undertaken to connect again with the cultural and spiritual roots. An occasion for renewing relations with and getting new energy from their saints.

The focus of perception is on the saints. It is touching to be in the presence of about 250 people who completely have renounced a worldly and materially oriented lifestyle. Although they are a minority group in the audience, they are determining the atmosphere with their smiles, their detached attention, and their soft, but decided movements. People watch how detached, but not indifferent the saints are handling their relations: With a smile and much heartiness. They do not exchange many words. A smiling face with smiling eyes is enough and at the same time more than people normally are ready to spend.

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Samani Kusum Pragya in her speech

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Muni Abhijit Kumar in his speech

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Muni Mahendra Kumar in his speech

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Samani Mangal Pragya, VC of JVB University Ladnun, in her speech

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Muni Akshay Prakash presenting his book to H.H. Acharya Mahapragya & Yuvacharya Mahashraman

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Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha in her speech before presenting her book to H.H. Acharya Mahapragya & Yuvacharya Mahashraman

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Sadhvi Pramukha Mahashramani Kanakprabha in her speech

Before the Letter of Conduct is read out, there are plenty of public performances from the saints. Devotional songs with captivating voices, speeches with much commitment, presentations of newly released books etc.


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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Bikshu
  3. Acharya Mahapragya
  4. Discipline
  5. JVB
  6. JVB University
  7. Ladnun
  8. Mahapragya
  9. Mahashraman
  10. Mahashramani Kanakprabha
  11. Mahavratas
  12. Maryada
  13. Maryada Mahotsav
  14. Maryada Patra
  15. Muni
  16. Muni Abhijit Kumar
  17. Muni Akshay Prakash
  18. Muni Mahendra Kumar
  19. Pragya
  20. Sadhvi
  21. Sadhvi Pramukha
  22. Sadhvi Pramukha Mahashramani Kanakprabha
  23. Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha
  24. Samani
  25. Samani Kusum Pragya
  26. Samani Mangal Pragya
  27. Samanis
  28. Svetambara
  29. Terapanth
  30. Yuvacharya
  31. Yuvacharya Mahashraman
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