01.06.2017 ►Veerayatan ►Newsletter - 2017.05

Posted: 01.06.2017
Updated on: 26.06.2017

Veerayatan International


Veerayatan_MonthlyHighlight

IN THIS EDITION:
Talking Point

Spiritual Quest
A Quiet Moment

Drop of Nectar

What's Happening Across the Globe

TALKING POINT

Jainism and Science
Jainism is a science. There is nothing like Jainism and Science, Jain philosophy itself is total science. To know is not a belief - it is a science. To believe, however, requires faith. And in Jainism, it is said that foremost you should know yourself. What do you think? What are your views?

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SPIRITUAL QUEST

 

A Quiet MomentMeaning of Yoga according to Jain Philosophy?
Can we really stop our thoughts? Is this spiritual practice? This article explores practices we should embrace to progress spiritually.

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Drop of Nectar: Exuding nectar of a Saint


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What's Happening Around the Globe

Pujya Acharya Shri Chandanaji Maharaj’s Inspirational visit to the UK

 

 

Pujya Acharya Shri Chandanaji Maharaj, the epitome of compassion, is an exceptional personality within the Jain community who has touched thousands of lives worldwide and continues to do so. Jains in the UK were fortunate to have the presence of Pujya Acharya Shriji together with Pujya Sadhvi Sampragyaji and Pujya Sadhvi Sanghamitraji in April 2017 for a 10-day visit during which time various spiritual activities were organised. To read further, please click here.

veerayatan global
Upcoming Events:

Volunteer Programme 29 July to 10 August in Rajgir, Bihar
An excellent not-to-be-missed opportunity to do voluntary work in Rajgir with Veerayatan, a leading NGO in India. The two-week programme will aid your self-development and assist you with your further education applications and opportunities. The perfect way to start the summer!

Participants (age 15-22yrs) will be international with a limit on numbers for each program to maximise the benefits for those enrolling. The dates for this first program are 29 July to 10 August 2017. Processing of applications has already commenced.

For further details, please contact:
Kenya: Bharat Doshi
: bdoshi(at)ashbgroup.com
UK and India: Rita Shah: ritashah01(at)gmail.com
USA: Punita Shah: punita.shah(at)veerayatan-intl.org

veerayatan PALITANA
Highlights:

We are delighted to announce that Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir in Palitana will be opening on 8 June with classes initially running from standard 1 to standard 4. Three weeks training of the teachers has already completed conducted by expert teachers from the Veerayatan Education Committee including Kanan Parikh, a teacher, Meera Jasani and Punita Jaswa, retired teachers, Bayjool Desai, a child psychologist and Dr. Pinky Jain, an educationalist working at University of Worcester in the United Kingdom. Around 20 teachers from Palitana and Osian have been trained. The aim of the teacher training was to build up the teaching team before the school starts in June, communicating to the teachers the ethos of the school and training them on using a unique way of teaching, that is moving away from didactic teaching and making the teaching child-centric. For these teachers, this is a completely new way of teaching, something which is being instilled at all levels. The teacher trainers were also involved in establishing educational systems within the school and reviewing the teachers’ subject knowledge base. The aim is also to bring in UK based teaching standards with teachers being made responsible to comply with the standards and establishing reporting mechanisms to ensure quality. Reviewing teachers and teaching will be done on a 3 monthly basis so that teachers are further trained depending on their knowledge and skills gaps.  It is hoped that the Palitana School will form a blueprint for other schools that are being planned in the future, and that, in particular, the training of teachers will lead to and support the more widespread aim of improving teaching standards in areas of deprivation.

Recruited teachers with teacher trainers

veerayatan SANCHORE AND OSIAN
Highlights:

 

We are pleased to announce that the Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir in Sanchore, Rajasthan was inaugurated, on 28 April and the school in Osian, Rajasthan is being currently refurbished. The aim is for both the schools to open in June with intake of children from the nearby area. We look forward to giving you more information in the forthcoming newsletters.

veerayatan kutch
Highlights:

All the students are busy with exams right now. We are pleased to inform that Meet Haria, BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) student from Veerayatan Institute of Management and Computer Applications, will be awarded a Gold medal for the overall best student in Kutch University. The award will be presented in October 2017. Well done and congratulations!

Veerayatan NEPAL
Highlights:

 

In the presence of Pujya Acharya Shri Chandanaji Maharaj, the Chief Guest Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, the Foreign Minister of Nepal, inaugurated a non-profit NGO Veerayatan Nepal on 20 May 2017. Established with the three-fold objectives of seva, shiksha and sadhna, the NGO is affiliated with Veerayatan International.

The welcome address was given by Shri Bachraj Tated, the President of Veerayatan Nepal, followed by a speech by General Secretary Shri Vinod Sethia about Veerayatan’s much acclaimed philanthropic activities going on worldwide for the past 46 years. The earthquake-affected children presented the song ‘Man Ka Manav’ while one student, Manoj, recited the shlokas of the Tattvarth Sutra and Sabin, another student, delivered a moving speech which brought tears to everyone’s eyes. These children have been supported by Veerayatan INGO (International Non-Governmental Organisation) and a permanent structure has now been planned by Veerayatan Nepal to support hundreds of such children. The programme continued with the heart rending speech of Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, under the guidance of whom the organisation is planning to transform the lives of deprived children with the highest standards of value-based education without discrimination as to caste, race, religion, gender or otherwise.

The Chief Guest Dr. Mahat praised the activities of Veerayatan International and was overwhelmed by the skills presented by the earthquake-affected children of Veerayatan Nepal. The programme concluded with the blessings of Acharya Shriji. The function was graced with the presence of Pujya Shri Manibhadraji Maharaj and Shramni Nideshika Charitra Pragyaji. Attended by prominent citizens, the programme was managed by Mr. K.N. Modi as patron and sponsored by Shri Radheshyam Saraf, Chairman of Hotel Yak & Yeti.

VEERAYATAN KENYA 
Highlights:

Seva work in Kenya by SCVP children: Feeding programme
Seven children aged 11 and above and two adults accompanied the Rotarian Club to give breakfast to the less unfortunate children in Nairobi. It all happened on the Nairobi Show grounds on 25 February. Our children had a lot of enthusiasm to go there early on that cold Saturday morning. As soon as we reached there, the children helped to arrange the food bag, which consisted of a packet of milk, banana, biscuits and a bun. About 5000 children, some disabled, were given food. Our children helped to distribute the food bags and in between, they also made conversation with these children. Yet, one thing surely lit up our hearts - the ever-smiling faces of the children who received the food bags! Our children reflected on how content these children were with such a simple breakfast and got them thinking. They now appreciate all the food they get daily. It has also made them aware of the value of sharing food and the possessions that they have. What a great way to follow the footsteps of Mahavir Swami!

Visit to Children's Home, Dada Centre
An afternoon well spent putting smiles on the children! The SCVP children, parents and teachers gathered up all the shoes and books for the library, donated generously by our community, and visited the children’s home on 7 May.  The shoes were donated to all the children in the home and the books were presented along with a cupboard to store these library books. It was lovely to observe children reading storybooks to each other, singing songs and dancing. And SCVP treated the children with ice cream and cup cakes. What an amazing experience for all!

Exhibition on Transforming Lives and Communities

Young Jains Nairobi took part in the exhibition on transforming lives and communities organised by the Asian Foundation from 12 to 14 May. Young Jains displayed SCVP activities portraying how lives are being transformed at SCVP, the Cerebral Palsy Unit and the support the children are receiving, the water project and a few other projects that have taken place over 20 years. A lot of effort and creativity was put together to make the exhibit stand out in a unique way and to create awareness to the public at large of the charities that Young Jains supports.

Upcoming Events:

Paryushan
The festival of forgiveness shall be celebrated from 18-25 August, at Oshwal Centre whereby English Pratikraman will be conducted in the evenings. A children’s’ camp is also being organised during the eight days of the festival.

For more detail on any of the above, please contact:
Leenaben Shah: leena(at)insightconsultancy.net | Ritaben Sanghrajka: ritasanghrajka(at)hotmail.com

Veerayatan UK 

Highlights:

Blessings from Acharya Shriji

 

First SCVP couple - Anooj and Chandni
We are happy to announce that two ex-students of SCVP Jain School in UK, Anooj Dodhia and Chandni Mehta, are engaged to get married next year. Both Anooj and Chandni have made a great contribution to the school and still continue to do so always making themselves available to support our activities despite busy work schedules. Acharya Shriji gave her blessings to the couple.

 

Meera receives the prestigious Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship
We are happy to announce that Rohitbhai Mehta’s daughter Dr Meera Mehta, one of the first graduates of SCVP in UK, has been awarded a clinical fellowship to conduct research into new therapies for tuberculosis (TB). Heartiest congratulations to Meera. Acharya Shriji was very interested in learning more about the research Meera is doing and gave her blessings.

 

Kajal wins the Churchill Fellowship
Kajal Sanghrajka, one of the first graduates of SCVP in UK and Navinbhai Sanghrajka’s daughter, was recently awarded the 2017 Churchill Fellowship in the category of Enterprise. She is travelling within North America and Europe to research diverse entrepreneurial ecosystems. Her special focus is on how cities attract, integrate and accelerate the success of immigrant entrepreneurs. You can read more about her motivation here. Kajal’s work is unique within the Jain community and we applaud her efforts in carrying out this research. 

SCVP NORTH LONDON
Annual Family Fun Day
The level of passion, energy, vibrancy and colour of the SCVP African themed “Hakuna Matata” Fun Day in March enthralled the record number of people who attended the event. There was delicious homemade mouth-watering dishes, lively African drumming and singing and lots of activities. Everyone enjoyed the fun activities organised and run by the children who along with their parents and teachers displayed wonderful qualities of selfless volunteering to ensure all the guests had a great time and help raise funds both for SCVP school and for the Cerebral Palsy unit in Kenya.

SCVP SOUTH LONDON
SCVP South London comprises of a small group of adults who meet every Saturday morning for Swadhyaya to read, understand and debate Jain texts in context of the modern world.  This activity has been made possible by Prakashbhai Patalia’s commitment and a dedicated study support from Dr. Harshadbhai Sanghrajka and our teachers. These classes have made a positive impact on our lives.
Under the banner of “One Jain” we have formed a Jain Education Team with the Institute of Jainology with a brief to propagate the teachings of the Jain faith.  As part of this initiative, a course entitled “Understanding Jainism” was conducted in South London during March/April 2017.  Overall, about 60 people attended, of which 35 people were awarded a Certificate of Attendance, for attending four or more of the 6 sessions. An Interfaith Forum in London entitled “Exploring insights into existential questions based on science and religion” was held on 23 April where Dr. Harshadbhai Sanghrajka spoke on the Jain perspective and this was well received.

Upcoming Events:
SCVP North London activities:
Samayik on 23 June - Come and join us for this wonderful event where everyone in the family - children, parents and grandparents - take part and understand the ritual of Samayik, all explained in English.

Pratikraman in English during all 8 days of Paryushan (18 August to 25 August 2017). A novel way of delivering Pratikraman so that people from all ages really understand the essence of and feel able to participate in this amazing ritual of forgiveness.

Forest walks in conjunction with Young Jains, UK

  • On Sunday 25 June starting at 11am: Ivinghoe Beacon/Ashridge Walk
  • On Sunday 23 July starting at 11am: Trent Park Walk
  • On Sunday 13 August starting at 11am; Potters Bar Walk


SCVP South London activities:
12 August: A workshop on an overview of Pratikraman Ritual at Oshwal Association UK, South Area
13 August: A workshop on an insight into Paryushan Parva at Navnat Centre, Hayes
19 - 26 August: Morning and evening lectures at Navnat Centre, Hayes
19 August: A workshop for children at Navnat Centre, Hayes
20 August: Lectures on an overview of Gunasthanaks and importance of Samyak Darshan at Oshwal Association UK, Northampton
18, 20 and 23 August: Essence of Pratikraman (in English) at Oshwal Association UK, South Area.

For more information on UK activities:
North London:
Email: veerayatanuk(at)gmail.com
Telephone: Nilesh Kothari: +44 7718580596 | Pramit Shah: +44 7979536456

South London:
Email: Vibhuti Mehta: vibhutimmehta(at)gmail.com | Prakash Patalia: prakashpatalia(at)me.com

Veerayatan usa
Upcoming Events:

It is our great joy and pleasure to share that along with Pujya Achraya Shri Chandanaji, Sadhvi Vibhaji, Sadhvi Shilapiji and Sadhvi Sanghamitraji will be participating in the JAINA Convention on the week beginning July 4, in New Jersey, USA.  There will be a day and a half of various interesting presentations and activities by Veerayatan dignitaries. Our Veerayatan President, Dr. Abhaybhai Firodia, has been invited as the keynote speaker.  We are also planning to have a booth, which will display all the present and future projects of Veerayatan. Please make sure to stop by at our booth for all the updates on Veerayatan projects and to have blessings of Acharya Shriji and the Sadhvijis.

In honor of our Sadhvi Sanghamitraji's five years of Diksha,  San Francisco Jain Centre is hosting a three-day event on July 14, 15 and 16.  This centre had also hosted the "Badi Diksha" celebration of Sadhvi Sanghamitraji five years ago. It was the very first Jain "Diksha Celebration" in the history of USA and people from all over the country had attended to witness this grand event.   The centre is now planning to have Bhakti Sangya on Friday evening (July 14), on Saturday (July 15) there will be the grand finale with a cultural program, taking of five vows of Diksharthi and a procession (Vargodho) and on Sunday (July 16) there will be the "Aarshi Vaanchan” by Acharya Shriji.  This is an event that should not be missed.  If you are in the area, please take advantage of this opportunity.

Programs have also been planned in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

For further details, please contact
Punita Shah at
punita.shah(at)veerayatan-intl.org

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