22.09.2014 ►Badagaon ►Invitation To Trilok Teerth

Posted: 26.01.2015
Updated on: 02.07.2015

At the occasion of the historical gathering of different Digambara Sanghs the day before in Model Town Christian Geerdes got acquainted with Shamlal Jain, member of Trilok Teerth Organising Committee. Trilok Teerth is the name of a Digambara Jain temple under construction near Badagaon, Uttar Pradesh (UP), approximately in 40km distance from Delhi. Trilok or Triloka is the name in Jainism for the 3 worlds or spheres (loka), where according to Jain cosmology the embodied souls are staying in compliance to their Karma. The upper sphere or heavenly world is reserved to Gods or heavenly beings, the sphere in the middle to Humans, animals, and plants, the lower sphere or hellish world to hellish beings.

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Trilok Tirth on 22.09.2014. In front the shrine of Acharya Vidyabhushan Sanmati Sagar Maharaj whose visions provided the inspiration for the construction of the temple  

Acharya Vidyabhushan Sanmati Sagar Maharaj regarded it very important to bring the knowledge collected since more than 2500 years by Jain saints and scholars near to the people of 21st century in the form of a temple with the help of traditional Jain iconography. Regrettably he will not be present at the inauguration of the temple in February 2015, as his terrestrial life ended in February 2013. His visions and dreams not only gave indications on the location where to build the temple, but also on its shape of the Jain universe.The temple reaches a height of approximately 100m up and 30m down, which corresponds to 7 floors down and 17 floors up. It is crowned with the statue of 1st Tirthankara Rishabnath who like all liberated souls dwells on top of the universe, representing Siddhashila at Trilok Teerth. The edifice could and should be understood as a three-dimensional stony transcript giving clear and exact ideas on the impacts of good, resp. bad Karma on the lives of the persons concerned.

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Shamlal Jain, member of Trilok Administration Committee 

Shamlal Jain addressed Christian Geerdes if we were interested in visiting Trilok Teerth, only 40km from Delhi. We had heard already of the construction of this Digamber temple and hoped to be able to visit. But there was no schedule yet. It was our good luck that Shamlal Jain offered a visit and expressed his readiness to explain everything to us. We were more than happy and did not hesitate to accept. That’s how it came we sat this Monday morning in a car together, being about to traverse first of all the city of Delhi.

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00576 Syadwad Bhawan

 Our destination was Syadwad Bhawan, Kunti Marg, in the Eastern part of Delhi

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00561 Gajraj Gangwal Jain

Here we met with Gajraj Gangwal Jain, president of Trilok Administration Committee, and some of the trustees

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00573 Wives of Trustees, Carla Geerdes

Not only this, they invited us to lunch before we started our trip to Trilok Teerth

After lunch we headed towards Trilok Teerth. The landscape became greener, the city was behind us, and so were the well-constructed roads. The landscape changed to more rural, we passed villages and groups of houses. Fortunately 21st century cars are rather comfortable even when the roads aren’t. The landscape was hardly visible, as up to the edges of the road some field plants, certainly corn, were proliferating. At the next confusing curve we turned into an access road and shortly thereafter the car stopped on the grassland of a fenced area.

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00577 Shrine of Acharya Sanmati Sagar

Shrine of Acharya Vidyabhushan Sanmati Sagar Maharaj

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 Trilok Teerth on 22.09.2014

After descending from the car the shrine of Acharya Vidyabhushan Sanmati Sagar Maharaj was what we saw first. Behind it the temple was majestically reaching for the sky. While we checked the area we asked ourselves if inauguration really might take place in February 2015. By remembering our experiences with ASK we were rather optimistic 5 months before date. But a lot of work was in front of all involved.

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00584 Ma Drasti Brushan

  Aryika Drasti Bhushan Mataji gave us a warm welcome at arrival. She was with us during the whole visit, except for dinner

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 We approached the building on the future central path

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 Impressively it rose in front of us

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On a canopied area beside the temple the masons were busy, everyone an expert

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The construction workers are skillful masters and were selected for their knowledge of the traditional endowment of a temple

All parts inside and outside the temple are manmade following the tradition of temple construction. But its form is unique hitherto. The shell of building was complete when we were there. Interior fittings and decoration yet had to be done by the craftspeople. Indian construction workers are nearly artists. They are admirably loose jointed, as is documented in the video which also is giving a good impression of the atmosphere. For us this invitation to Trilok Teerth was a unique occasion to watch for one day the making of a building already named by some as one of the wonders of the world.

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth N5718 Dhamendra Jain, Shamlal Jain, Christian Geerdes

The ride with the lift up to Siddhashila was a special highlight

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00655 Construction managers, Shamlal Jain, Christian Geerdes, Dhamendra Jain, Ma Drasti Brushan, Naveen Jain at Siddhashila

On the top, at the feet of 1. Tirthankara Rishabnath (f.l.) : The supervising construction manager, Trilok Jain, Shamlal Jain, Christian Geerdes, Dhamendra Jain, Aryika Drasti Bhushan Mataji, Naveen Jain

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00647 Siddhashila

 The sitting statue is nearly 10m high

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00660 Landscape

View from Siddhashila on Trilok Dharmshala and on landscape

Christian Geerdes together with construction manager Trilok Jain and the two brothers Dhamendra and Shamlal Jain went upwards in the shaky and clacking lift. While the jerky ride started, I saw them slowly gliding up. Anyway, I preferred to stay where I was. But Aryika Drasti Bhushan Mataji did not hesitate. Light as a feather she jumped upwards all the 16 storeys, followed by her student and spiritual aspirant Naveen Jain. As reported by Christian Geerdes they were there already when he and the other 3 arrived. The nun and her student had started shortly before the lift started moving. The lift was slow, but anyway!

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00667 Samavasarana Building

Samavasarana seen from Siddhashila

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00678 Samavasarana Building

Samavasarana seen from the ground

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00680 Making of Arihant Statues

 Here the Arihant statues are carved

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00700 Naveen Jain, Dhamendra Jain, Shamlal Jain, Christian Geerdes, Ma Drasti Brushan, Trilok Jain

 Naveen Jain, Dhamendra Jain, Shamlal Jain, Christian Geerdes, Aryika Drasti Bhushan Mataji, Trilok Jain

At least 170 smaller Arihant statues will be exhibited in so-called Chatalyas, small cabinets, in the upper stores. In the storeys there above 20 bigger Arihant statues will be displayed. All of them are crafted in a building nearby the temple. Considering number and weight of the statues it is reasonable to keep transport distance short.

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The edifice with its unusual shape seen from Dharmshala

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00728 Dr. Ranjana Jain, Carla Geerdes, Dr. Rekha Jain, Dhamendra Jain

On our way to dinner we encountered these two learned ladies, Dr. Ranjana Jain (l) expert in Jain Darshan, Dr. Rekha Jain specialist for Jain literature

After the meal we were taken to a neighboring building where a surprise was waiting for us. There were gathered Acharya Gyan Sagar Ji Maharaj together with Elacharya Trilok Bhushan and the monks of their group! Some nuns also were present. They all were busy with studying books or meditating. We were presented to the Acharya who welcomed us in his very kind and cheerful way. Someone translated our short, but very amicable talk. A very special unexpected meeting and highlight of this visit.

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00743 Acharya Gyan Sagar Ji Maharaj

Acharya Gyan Sagar Ji Maharaj

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  The nuns were very kind…

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 …and so were the monks, Elacharya Trilok Bhushan at the very back right

There was a very exceptional atmosphere in this hall-like room. Although it was rather noisy as can be noticed when watching the video, spiritual peace and mental presence emanated from Acharya Gyan Sagar Ji Maharaj, making me feel very comfortable and relaxed. Together with Acharyashree’s admirably intense kindness I was feeling accepted and valuable. This was our second encounter with a Digambara Acharya, and even with such a famous one. Acharya Gyan Sagar Ji Maharaj is the initiator of Gyan Sagar Science Foundation advocating scientific study and spreading of Jain principles all over the world. He feels it extremely important to make known and discuss those principles among the members of the global scientific community as he shares the view of many Jains that the findings of Jain saints and scholars are matching with the results of contemporary scientific research, but largely are unknown. His foundation offers support to all those willing to change this.

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00786 Ma Drasti Brushan

Thereafter we were told that Aryika Drasti Bhushan Mataji awaited us in her room

2014.09.22 Badagaon - Trilok Teerth 00817 Parshwanath Statue

She offered fruits and gifted this wonderful statue of Lord Parshvanath to us

The statue now recalls this unforgettable visit to Trilok Teerth to us from a suitable place in our home. Aryika Drasti Bhushan Mataji mentioned in our talk that she is taking one meal daily in the morning at 10:00h. I my mind I saw her hurrying up the stairs together with her very sportive looking student Naveen Jain. As was reported by Christian Geerdes she climbed without neither complaint, nor a helping hand on a rickety ladder to enjoy the view from Siddhashila.

Time for farewell had come. On the way back we did not speak very much, all of us were tired. Our companions left the car at different metro stations in the neighbourhood of their homes. The driver brought us back to our hotel on the other edge of the city. After 4 hours of drive we really were looking forward to our sleep.

Video: Badagaon - Invited To Trilok Teerth

Photos 22.09.2014:

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