12.02.2013 ►Tapra ►Talk with Acharya Mahashraman and Encounters

Published: 23.04.2013
Updated: 01.04.2014


Yes, get in, I love to drive you.

To be in time for lunch in Tapra all of us had put on alarm clocks. How everything looks different after having slept for some time, taken shower and changed clothes. Indeed, hot water had been available. We were very much looking forward to the afternoon when we were given time to talk more extended with HH Acharyashree. Even the sun had done some heating work, and so the ride to Tapra became very pleasant in the sunshine under a blue sky. Nearly in time we reached there.

There Swami Dharmananda piloted us unmistakable through the stream of visitors and demanded to hurry as soon as we stopped to talk someone known to us. We were not aware of the timeline for lunch! A lay follower in the small residence near the assembly tent donated free lunch for those in time between 12:00 and 12:30h. We arrived after 12:30h and were lucky. They had kept some items for us.


Youngsters from Tapra, one of them Happy Jain (l), assailed Christian Geerdes with queries

After the meal there was plenty of time to the appoinmentwith HH Acharyashree. We wanted to use the opportunity to meet with monks, nuns, and Samanis, but the early afternoon was very well used. According to Acharya Mahapragya the time from 14:00h on is very favorable for all mental activities. Most of the saints had bailed out of their rooms for lectures or books or meetings with relatives. We looked for shelter from the meanwhile burning sun in the big assembly tent. All of a sudden we were surrounded by a band of youths heaping questions on us. Where we are from, what we are doing in Tapra, and the like. We spoke about our work and distributed cards to them. One 15-years-old named Happy was exceptionally interested to communicate with us and wanted to get in touch with us later on by email. And that's what he really did.


Acharya Mahashraman talks to a young monk of his environment.


Acharya Mahashraman gives his blessings to the relatives of a visitor.


Acharya Mahashraman takes some notes.

The afternoon had progressed so that Swami Dharmananda picked us up for the meeting with HH Acharyashree. The room where he was sitting was crowded as usual. Everybody had a special concern which he wanted to discuss with the head of the Terapanthi. Seeing the many visitors everybody was aware of the limited time with the Acharya. It is really a pity that we could not understand on which subjects Acharya Mahashraman was considered. Frequently he smiled at the women sitting behind the bars, nodded kindly in their direction and sent his blessings to them. Acharya Mahashraman listened very concentrated to his visitors, took some notes, asked something, and acted very pacifying on even the most excited visitor. After having talked to him, everybody went away obviously less burdened. Finally it was our turn.


Acharya Mahashraman talking to Christian Geerdes and Swami Dharmananda

When Acharya Mahashraman welcomingly looked at Christian Geerdes, the latter asked him, „How are you?“ Promptly the answer came, “Fine.” The smile in his eyes was very deep. Apparently he was very amused about the interruption of the usual greeting ceremonial, and directly asked after HereNow4U. Hearing of the German version online since 8 months pleased him very much.


Acharya Mahashraman welcomes his visitors.


Swami Dharmananda reports on 102 books online, free accessible for everybody in the English version of HereNow4U to Acharya Mahashraman.


Acharya Mahashraman follows the descriptions of Christian Geerdes on the linking system in the glossary

Christian Geerdes gives the information to Acharya Mahashraman about the content of nearly 11,000 articles in the English version of HereNow4U (HN4U), available free of charge since about 10 years. Not only news of Terapanth Sangh, but also from other Sangha are published, as far as they are sent to HN4U. All of them with an amazing reference to the life conditions in 21st century. The data based link system of the glossary (2363 glossary entries in the English, 203 in the German version) acts like a guide in the jungle of facts. Since some years a software solution is in progress for further optimising.


Christian Geerdes asks Acharya Mahashraman to enlarge the quantity of publications in English language, e.g. to translate Hindi publications into English.

Many books authored by the Acharyas are available in Hindi language only. Certainly there would be a strong interest on the international level as well, if they were accessible in English language as well. In this case, these books could be a first range contribution to the spiritual development in 21st century. Many mentally oriented German-speaking readers are rather skeptical towards spirituality because of their rational approach. To bring the spiritual world near to them beyond esoteric and hocus-pocus is one of the main aims of HN4U.


Acharya Mahashraman, Swami Dharmananda, Christian Geerdes

Christian Geerdes then described our visit to M.C. Primary School Sultanpur. Swami Dharmananda depicted details on his work with the students and asked for HH’s support for the research project.


Acharya Mahashraman listens to Swami Dharmananda.


Relaxed and concentrated Acharya Mahashrman hears what his visitors are reporting to him.



Acharya Mahashraman definitely will be kept informed.

Very rarely I have experienced someone listening as affectionately and concentrated as HH Acharya Mahashraman. But he does in no way go missing for what is happening around him while listening. At the same time he is very present and furthermore a master of detachment, inner balance and balance of mind. To be relaxed and concentrated are no antonyms in him, but are complying with a deeply human attitude and charisma, impressing and continuing to have a long after effect on the observer. Impressing in terms of role model and archetype as a very down to earth guidance to an attitude which adopting in life is worthwhile because it excludes nothing, but includes all belonging to it.     


Muni Kishan Lal (m), Swami Dharmananda (l), Christian Geerdes

In a small room besides the big hall afterwards we met Muni Kishan Lal. He had not only a successful knee operation, but also an unintended heart operation in the last year. Both of us know Munishree since 13 years. He was the first Jain monk I ever met. We always visit him, and when there is time, we do not miss the occasion of a meditation session under his guidance. But this time his dinner time was close, and we said good-bye. Furthermore, we again were rather exhausted. All the many impressions and especially the intensive meeting with Acharya Mahashraman were working on us. Before the Samanis also were ready to take their last meal before sunset, I hurried to their accommodation. I was lucky and met some of them I know since quite some time.


Dr. Samani Riju Pragya

She had participated in my German language Course in 2007, whenever this was possible in spite of her busy schedule. At that time she was principal of Acharya Kalugani Highschool for Girls on the campus of JVB Ladnun and simultaneously worked on her doctoral thesis. After she had completed her PhD she very soon became director of JVBU department of Jainology and Comparative Religion and Philosophy. In 2012 Acharya Mahashraman appointed her as Samani Niyojika. Samani Niyojika is administrative head of the Samanis as well as link between lay followers and Samanis regarding request of sending Samanis to a certain location and the like.


Samani Madhur Pragya (l) with a Samani of her group.

Samani Madhur Pragya was the first Samani I ever met. This was in Berlin during her trip to Europe in 1997. There I had participated in a session of Preksha Meditation under her guidance. This lastly resulted in coming into contact with the Terapanthi and an encounter with Acharya Mahapragya. She was one out of six for the first time initiated Samanis in 1980 and several times had been Samani Niyojika.


Samani Akshay Pragya

Samani Akshay Pragya also had once made a stop-over in Berlin during her Europe trip in 2002, when she even came to our home together with Samani Parimal Pragya. She had been Samani Niyojika for several times. This function is temporarily applied from the Acharya. Samani Akshay Pragya has been in charge of the Preksha Meditation Centre of JVB Houston several years succeeding.


Dr. Samani Rohini Pragya

Dr. Samani Rohini Pragya did participate regularly and with keen interest in the 2007 German language Course. She welcomed me in German language, “Good day, how are you?” Meanwhile she has completed her doctoral thesis in Jain Philosophy on which subject she also is specialized.

He shadows became longer, and we were lucky to find a 3-wheeler seeming to wait for passengers like us. We went to Oshwal Bhawan and had some nice talks there, but went to bed early. The next day nothing special was taking place in Tapra, so we had planned a special tour for the morning.

Slideshow: Tapra

Photos & video by HN4U
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Kalugani
  3. Acharya Mahapragya
  4. Acharya Mahashraman
  5. Acharyas
  6. Berlin
  7. Bhawan
  8. Christian Geerdes
  9. Environment
  10. HN4U
  11. HereNow4U
  12. Houston
  13. JVB
  14. JVB Houston
  15. JVB Ladnun
  16. JVBU
  17. Jain Philosophy
  18. Kalugani
  19. Ladnun
  20. M.C. Primary School Sultanpur
  21. Mahapragya
  22. Mahashraman
  23. Meditation
  24. Muni
  25. Muni Kishan Lal
  26. Oshwal
  27. Pragya
  28. Preksha
  29. Preksha Meditation
  30. Rohini
  31. Samani
  32. Samani Akshay Pragya
  33. Samani Madhur Pragya
  34. Samani Niyojika
  35. Samani Parimal Pragya
  36. Samani Riju Pragya
  37. Samani Rohini Pragya
  38. Samanis
  39. Sangh
  40. Sangha
  41. Swami
  42. Swami Dharmananda
  43. Tapra
  44. Terapanth
  45. Terapanthi
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