Ladnun - Jain Vishva Bharati - Trip To Spirituality [41.5] Diksha - Starting Into New Life (2)

Published: 10.02.2005
Updated: 15.02.2008

A babel of voices was announcing the arrival of Acharya Mahaprajna. Everybody craned his neck for catching a glimpse on him. The aspirants were the first on their feet, even Kamal's former brother-in-law, who had been in deep meditation one second before. The white clad saints on the stage seemed to float on the same white cloud, formed by their decision to dedicate their life to spirituality without attachment and aversion, affected by renounciation. Some lay followers appeared a little bit shy in the presence of the saints who had renounced or were going to renounce worldly life. They feel the ascetic's otherness which is both for them, familiar and strange. Someone was whispering, "I admire them for having chosen a way of life I highly respect, but for me, this choice is not possible." Someone added, "Perhaps, once, they had the same view, but then have changed not only their view, but also their life."

Acharya Mahaprajna (middle, about to take his seat) was unimpressed like always by the worldly activities around him, such as admiration or reverence towards his personality. Whenever he appears in a crowd, he smiles to the people surrounding him or greets them, but is clearly belonging to the spiritual, and not to the material world. He expresses this simply by the way he is present in the situation. Here, he was happily looking forwards to the aspirants' entry into the order.
He is the only Acharya of the Terapanth order, and is not only the spiritual, but also the administrative head of the order. This means that all monks and nuns are his disciples. When they present themselves, they say first 'I am disciple of Acharya Mahaprajna' and then their individual name. Some of them even say that the only important significance of their name is that they are disciples of their Guru. Whereever he will send them, they will go, whatever he asks them to do, they will accept. They feel spiritually energised by his mere presence, and so do visitors, no matter from where they come and which religion they follow or not. In Jainism, the spiritual guidance of an enlightened saint is regarded as highly auspicious. The four-fold Jain community, consisting of male and female ascetics and male and female lay followers, gets mutual inspiration from each other.

Acharya Mahaprajna has taken his seat, at his left, Yuvacharya Mahashraman is sitting. Behind them, some Munis are already on the stage of the assembly hall, waiting for the ceremony to come. Not seen on the photo, sitting to Acharyashree's right in some distance, Sadhvi Pramukha Kanakprabha, the head of all nuns, had taken her seat. The air seemed to oscillate, not many words were exchanged, only whispered questions were answered, "Did this person come already?" -- "Please, take your water, it's time now." -- "Put your legs orderly, someone wants to sit behind you." and the like.It was as if all gathered saints were giving a very special energetic welcome to the aspirants, the lay followers tried to move as little as possible and to fit into the frame according to the seriousity of the day.

Then it was time for the individual presentation of every aspirant. They were announced, got up, and did one clockwise rotation in front of the audience. It was their last appearance in a worldly dress. This young woman was going to be Sadhvi, a fully ordained Jain nun, which is indicated by her wearing of mouthpad together with her bridely dress..

This beautifully ornamented young woman also was about to be Sadhvi. The last night, after the two hours procession across the whole little town of Ladnun, all female aspirants were accommodated by Samanis.

She had come all the way from South India for her ordination.

She was happy that the day of her initiation into the Saman order finally has come.

Kamal's former brother-in-law looked like in a spiritual trance, but this was only semblance.

Since his first turn,his eyes were visible. They shone from inside with happiness.

This team from Jain TV documented the ceremony for spectators all over the world. They also followed the ceremony deeply touched. In the background, left from the camera, Sadhvi Pramukha Kankprabhaji is seen.

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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 Mahaprajna
  3. Guru
  4. Jainism
  5. Ladnun
  6. Mahashraman
  7. Meditation
  8. Mouthpad
  9. Munis
  10. Sadhvi
  11. Sadhvi Pramukha
  12. Sadhvi Pramukha Kanakprabha
  13. Saman
  14. Samanis
  15. Terapanth
  16. Yuvacharya
  17. Yuvacharya Mahashraman
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