14.02.2013 ►Tapra ►Award Ceremony

Published: 16.05.2013
Updated: 01.04.2014

Next morning at 08:00h we went to Tapra. There we had bananas, nuts, and jam toast for breakfast, and according to our request even Indian tea. The good results of the improvisational kitchen in the pilgrims’ colony in Tapra always were amazing. After breakfast we considered how to organise the day until the beginning of the award ceremony in the auspicious presence of HH Acharya Mahashraman at 14:00h.

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Morning activities in the pilgrims‘ colony in Tapra

Christian Geerdes took the video camera for fixing some impressions of the day, Swami Dharmanandji wanted to arrange a short talk with HH Acharya Mahashraman with me, and I wanted to organize our departure planned for the next day to Jaisalmer. The present day was so to say highlight and finish of the visit to our Terapanthi in Tapra.

Christian Geerdes was at the morning Pravachan and had a look at the newest copies of the book stall, Swami Dharmanandji succeeded in getting an opportunity for me to talk to Acharya Mahashraman at 12:00h, and I dynamically supported by the local Terapanthi organization committee got ahead to rent a car with driver which was supposed to bring us from Balotra to Jaisalmer the next day.

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Main road in Tapra in the morning

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Local young girls on their way

The main road in Tapra this morning was mainly used by the inhabitants of Tapra. The big stream of visitors was awaited at noon approximately and so it was. In the morning Pravachan participated beside the inhabitants of Tapra mainly pilgrims from the temporary colony as well as Terapanthi travelers from nearby. The street picture on this late morning was composed by some of them and locals being on their way here always. The three of us ran into us on the main road again and wondered whether it was time for my encounter with HH Acharya Mahashraman. It was nearly noon.

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Acharya Mahashraman welcoming me

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Acharya Mahashraman gives his blessings to me

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Acharya Mahashraman addresses me

The room of HH Acharya Mahashraman was crowded like always. Everyone wanted to talk to him and his blessings. We crossed the room, and Swami Dharmanandji gave the information the concerned monk that we had arrived. Acharya Mahashraman smiled at me, gave his blessings to me, and said, “Karuna! Keep up the good work!”

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Meeting an old friend

While leaving, I met my friend Prem. We had met last time in summer 2008 in her house in Jaipur when her husband Balwant Mehta was still among us. Meanwhile she is living alternately with her children in the USA and comes as a visitor only to India.

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Sadhvi Pramukha Kanakprabha, head of Sadhvis and Samanis

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Sadhvi Pramukha remembers my spiritual name Karuna

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Sadhvi Pramukha Kanakprabha asks for Christian Aparigraha Geerdes

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Sadhvi Pramukha since 41 years

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A wise human being

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Endowed with universal friendliness

Before lunch I wanted to pay my respect to Sadhvi Pramukha Kanakprabha. She was accommodated with other nuns in a nearby house. The room where she was sitting was crowded as usual. Nevertheless I succeeded in talking to her. She remembered us and gave her blessings to us.

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Sadhvi Prasanna Yasha

Behind me I heard someone softly calling my name. To my great joy I met here with Sadhvi Prasanna Yasha, until November 2012 Samani Prasanna Pragya. I had visited her several times at JVB London when she was in charge there, and in June 2007 she even had been for 7 days with us in Berlin. Here she had given meditation workshops and lectures at Free University. In Tapra she asked me what my thoughts were when I got to know that she is Sadhvi now. I told her that I was moved to tears by this fact, but shared her feelings of joy knowing and seeing how happy she is.

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Poster of Lord Mahavira

This huge poster in luminous blue colour, from which the head of Lord Mahavira with meditatively half-closed eyes emerged like from a blue cloud, was decorating the whole rear wall of the stage where Acharya Mahashraman and the monks as well as Sadhvi Pramukha and the nuns were sitting during all activities in Tapra. Before Acharya Mahashraman came on the stage, a placard showing him and his predecessor Terapanth Acharyas was put in front of the big poster, slightly differing in brightness from the blue colour of the latter. It was a felicitous work of art corresponding with the spiritual event with even some cooling effect because of the colour arrangement.

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The audience gets up

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Acharya Mahashraman has taken seat

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A group of monks has accompanied Acharya Mahashraman to his seat and forms an open half-circle around him

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Sadhvi Pramukha is bowing down in front of Acharya Mahashraman

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Some monks, 1st r. Muni Jitendra Kumar, have taken seat to the left of Acharya Mahashraman

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A senior and a very young Muni were taking seat behind Acharya Mahashraman

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To the right of Acharya Mahashraman in some distance Sadhvi Pramukha is sitting with the other nuns

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Meanwhile the assembly tent was considerably crowded

As usual Acharya Mahashraman was in time. At 14:00h sharp he arrived. I involuntarily was remembered to the saying that being in time is the kings’ courtesy, although the modest ceremonial at the arrival of the Terapanth Acharya and his monks and nuns had nothing to do with courtly pomp, but rather with nobleness. Before the saints are coming in sight, one of the monks is shouting, “Vande Guruvaram!” (I bow down before / greet the Guru). The assembly overtakes this formulation and gets up. When the Acharya has taken seat and the monks and nuns as well, this is like a starting signal..

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All awardees received a brass plate

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Awardee number 11

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Hiralal Malu (li, covered) and Bimal Surana together handed over the brass plates

For the awardees and their company seats had been reserved on the right side of the stage. Every awardee received a small card with his name and the number given to him. My number was 251. In this sequence the awardees also were mentioned in “Jain Swetamber Terapanthi Mahasabha (JSTM) 2012 Book of Awardees” and called at the function to receive their awards. Acharya Mahashraman gave his blessings to them, and a photo was taken from everyone with JSTM president Hiralal Malu and Bimal Surana while all three holding together the brass plate. Awardee number 11 rather was at the beginning, me at the end. In the version of HN4U a report was published on 14.02.2013 by Terapanth News:

Among other there is mentioned that the title of Kalyan Mitra (friend of spiritual welfare) was given for the first time to a lady and to someone from abroad. Except me another Terapanthi had been given this title. Together with the brass plate all awardees also received the book where all are named and their pictures are shown.

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The brass plate handed over to me

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JSTM Book of Awardees 2012

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p. 136

Especially for this function all the three of us, Swami Dharmanandji and both of us together had travelled to Tapra to be present in person when the awards were handed over. It was a very beautiful experience to participate together at this event. With hindsight it becomes a more and more precious memory. The title is very significant for me and in the meanwhile more than one year since acknowledgement has become inspiration, guideline and motivation for mental, verbal, and physical action in my daily life. Now I can add that it growingly has become a fertile soil for my future spiritual development and gives a stable base to it.

Slideshow: Tapra

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Photos by HN4U
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  2. Acharya Mahashraman
  3. Acharyas
  4. Aparigraha
  5. Balotra
  6. Balwant Mehta
  7. Berlin
  8. Christian Geerdes
  9. Guru
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  11. Hiralal Malu
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  15. Jain Swetamber Terapanthi Mahasabha
  16. Jaipur
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  18. Karuna
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  22. Mahavira
  23. Meditation
  24. Muni
  25. Muni Jitendra Kumar
  26. Pragya
  27. Pravachan
  28. Sadhvi
  29. Sadhvi Pramukha
  30. Sadhvi Pramukha Kanakprabha
  31. Sadhvi Prasanna Yasha
  32. Sadhvis
  33. Samani
  34. Samani Prasanna Pragya
  35. Samanis
  36. Swami
  37. Tapra
  38. Terapanth
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  40. Terapanthi
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