17.01.2018 ►Veerayatan ►Newsletter - 2018.01

Posted: 17.01.2018
Updated on: 18.01.2018

Veerayatan International


New Year Blessings From Acharya Shri Chandanaji Maharaj

 

 

‘We welcome the New Year as we respectfully bid farewell to 2017. With new awareness, new energy, new enthusiasm and new ambitions we aspire to make a fresh beginning!
 
Wherever new life emerges, takes birth or blossoms there is tenderness and vibrancy. Likewise for us the New Year brings vitality.
 
May you be free from the strain of past burdens, useless worries, anxieties, and sorrows that may exist in your life; I shower upon you an abundance of blessings. May you be able to show your appreciation to God and live a life replete with bliss and happiness!’

 

 

FEATURE ARTICLE

 

 

Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Jain School
Message from Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji:
 
Sociologists say that today’s generation is the most capable, vibrant and fortunate ever known in the history of mankind. Therefore it is important that with the tremendous opportunities for external development, young people should get enough exposure for internal growth as well.  It is with this objective that Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) was started in both the UK and in Kenya. Additionally young people are the successors of Tirthankar Mahavir’s teachings of Ahimsa, Anekant and Aparigraha. Hence it is our responsibility to apprise the young people with this extraordinary treasure trove of our prophet’s thinking.
 
It is now twenty one years …. I am overwhelmed to see the tremendous commitment of all the teachers, SCVP committees, Young Jains Nairobi and Veerayatan UK trustees.  Since its inception, SCVP has only seen tremendous passion, growth and innovation.  In the last twenty one years, everybody has worked very hard to ensure the continuity of the project. The teachers have experienced transformation, the committees have gained satisfaction of contribution and the children are gifted with the treasure of knowledge. All I can say is that whoever is connected with SCVP in whichever way—it is a lifetime opportunity to gain in the process of giving.
 
Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Jain School:
Empowering our children to become the ambassadors of tomorrow
Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth Jain School (SCVP), established by Veerayatan, is not just any evening school teaching Jainism to children and adults, but a school which cultivates a lifetime of learning and giving. Students never forget this experience and to them it remains special and valued long after they have ceased walking through it’s doors. The school has had spiritual blessings bestowed upon it by Acharya Shri Chandanaji Maharaj and Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji, therefore whoever attends the school is fortunate enough to tap into this grace, leaving an indelible imprint on them for an entire lifetime.
 
Read further and find out what makes this school special….
 
Click here to read about the value of the work of SCVP Jain School as described by community leaders in UK and in Kenya ……

 

SPIRITUAL QUEST

 

A Quiet Moment
What do we mean by simplicity? Is it only to do with our possessions and attachments? Is it really the foundation of religion? Will we be labelled as unintelligent and naive if we instill simplicity within us? See what Pujya Upadhyaya Shri Amar Muniji Maharaj has to say on this interesting topic………

Drop of Nectar
A human being first, then a king ……
by Pujya Upadhyaya Shri Amar Muniji Maharaj
 
In disguise whilst patrolling his kingdom, the King reached the bank of a river. He expected to find some wicked person in this uninhabited place. However, apart from one young man, there was no one else to be seen. The King went towards the young man and realised that he was Lakshmi’s son-in-law and he was on his way to collect his wife. However, the young man having developed a fever, he could not go any further.
 
“It’s too cold and it’s not good for you to stay here, come sit on my horse. I will walk you to your destination” said the King, still in disguise, to the young man.
 
Lakshmi was a servant in the King’s palace and her job was to clean the palace. On establishing that the young man was definitely Lakshmi’s son-in-law, the king went to her home and shouted out her name,  “Lakshmiji!” Upon opening the door, Lakshmi  - looking somewhat perplexed - asked, “Oh Brother, who are you?“ Before long she recognised the King but was still very confused. Seeing the King holding the rein of the horse and her son-in-law sitting on the horse, she bowed down to the King and asked, ”What is this you have done? Lord, you are walking and yet……”
 
“Lakshmi, I am foremost a human being, I became a King afterwards.” He continued, “One must be kind to all; this is the true religion. As a human being, this should be my foremost practice.”
 
Do you know who this king was? He was the king of Jammu-Kashmir, King Pratap Sinhji.

 

 

What's Happening Around the Globe
 

 

Veerayatan Global

 

Webinar learning classes: Tattvartha Sutra
Webinar sessions on the Tattvartha Sutra conducted by Yuvacharya Shri Shubhamji take place every Sunday - timings are 10am est (New York time). 

Webinar learning classes: Adhyatma Paravachan
Adhyatma Pravachan, a profound text by Pujya Gurudev Amar Muniji Maharaj, is being explained by Yuvacharya Shri Shubhamji in these webinar classes held every Thursday, India time 4.30pm. 

These classes are open to all. If you want more information or would like to join the above classes, please contact:
India, Middle East and Far East: Suchetaben Doshi: sucheta.doshi(at)veerayatan.org
USA: Punita Shah: Punita.shah(at)veerayatan-intl.org
UK and Kenya: Rita Shah: ritashah01(at)gmail.com

 

 

veerayatan BIHAR

 

Upcoming Events:
Invitation to Veerayatan Celebrations
Here is your invitation to Veerayatan Bihar for a very special celebration taking place between 24th January and 6th February 2018 of Acharya Shriji's 82nd birthday and the first anniversary of Parshva Jinalay, incorporating a 14-day mega eye camp and dental camp. During this 14-day period you will be able to:
 
- Volunteer your services in the camps and at the Veeryatan school in Pawapuri
- Participate in the dhaja (flag) ceremony at Parshva Jinalay
- Participate in spiritual discourses
 
By taking part you will meet many amazing people associated with Veerayatan worldwide!
 
An excellent opportunity to visit Veerayatan Bihar, the land where Bhagwan Mahavir walked and inspired so many people, and where Acharya Shriji has been taking huge strides in transforming the lives of the local people.

For more information:
Contact Anjaniji on +91 7488488344 or
Email: anjani.shalini(at)gmail.com or veerayatanbihar(at)gmail.com

 

A fun and exciting Master Chef Competition

 

The students of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Pawapuri not only excel in academic studies but also have many hidden talents. The school recently organised an exciting and fun competition - a Master Chef Competition - between the four school teams! We wish we were there to try some mouth-watering food cooked by the forty-eight students who took part in this competition! Congratulations to all the students - who knows but there may be a Michelin star chef amongst them in the making!

 

 

VEERAYATAN PALITANA

 

A tiny drop of love; a tiny drop of attention; a tiny drop of care - look at the difference this can make!
A story of a disabled girl
Nearly 9 years of age, Mahera could not walk, when her parents brought her to enroll at the Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Palitana School in June 2017. No other school was giving her admission. She could neither read nor write! Recognising her needs, she was placed in a special class in which two amazing teachers give individual attention to every special needs student. In no time at all, Mahera now comes to school walking by herself, her intelligence has been given an opportunity to manifest itself and she has already started reading and writing. Not only this but she loves dancing and doing yoga daily at the school. And now, very quickly, Mahera has moved to the mainstream standard 3 class. What a difference this school is making to lives in the short period of time since it opened six months ago.

 

 

Veerayatan UK

 

Inspired to make a difference
by Khilan Varia

Hi, my name is Khilan and I’m 9 years old. We have been decorating and selling pine cones! And it has been amazing! My 7-year-old cousins Maya and Aryan have helped me on this project.
 
So what inspired us to decorate and sell these pine cones?
It all began when my cousin Maya and I were in the back garden. When I went to get my football, we saw pine cones falling from our tree. We collected them and wondered what we should do with them? Our neighbour Uncle Andy heard us discussing and said, “You can paint them and sell them”. We loved the idea and painted some on the same day. The next morning we went to Uncle Andy and he bought 8 pine cones for £4. We got inspired to paint all the cones which we had collected and raise money for Veerayatan. We decided to sell the painted pine cones at SCVP Jain School. Our cousin Aryan started to have sleepovers with us and he joined the project. Over the period of 4 weeks we went onto making over 100 pine cones! And raised over £39.60 for Veerayatan. We would like to thank all our friends and their families who bought pine ones and supported us.

 

Congratulations to Khilan, Maya and Aryan on such wonderful sentiments and efforts - the young generation are here to inspire and learn from!

 

 

 

Tree Planting Event
SCVP and Young Jains were involved in a Tree Planting event organised by Woodland Trust in November. Around 30 people braved the cold crispy winter day to make a difference and replenish nature. The bright sunshine and the vibrant energy of the volunteers warmed up the atmosphere very quickly. Young and old hands worked together and despite the ground being very hard and hence difficult to dig, around 225 trees (saplings) were planted in the space of a couple of hours. A sapling was also planted in memory of Late Taraben, one of our oldest students at SCVP, who sadly passed away a few months ago.
 
Heartwood Forest is a great initiative by the Woodland Trust and over the last 10 years about 500,000 trees have been planted transforming this place into a beautiful forest and it has been good for SCVP and Young Jains to have embraced this activity.

End of Term Parents Evening and Social
The first term at SCVP concluded with a parents evening where all classes showcased to the parents what the children have been learning. There was some good feedback from the parents. This was then followed with some wonderful entertainment with many children from the school displaying their talents - be it singing, dancing, or sending the audience in fits of laughter with their jokes! It was a great way to end 2017!

 

Upcoming events:
 
2018 Term at SCVP
Our term commences on 12th January 2018 for both children and adults.
For the adult class, SCVP will be running a 10-week lecture series entitled ‘Vows in Jainism - Boundaries or Boundless’. This will explore, in a practical manner, vows within the Jain Philosophy and how they matter to us in our day-to-day lives. The discussions will engage everyone with stories and practical scenarios and promises to captivate all! We look forward to seeing you in January! For more details

For more details for activities of Veerayatan UK, please contact:
Nileshbhai Kothari: nilesh.kothari(at)bt.com
Pramitbhai Shah: pramit70(at)yahoo.co.uk

 

 

VEERAYATAN KENYA

 

A bright future for children with cerebral palsy
Some highlights of the achievements of children as a result of the work of the cerebral palsy (CP) project in Kenya. These children would have otherwise just stayed at home with no hope in the future!

 

 

Vanessa Atieno is a child with CP who joined high school in the year 2015. She has since maintained excellent academic standards. With a mean grade of ‘B’, Vanessa is expected to join university after completing her final high school examination in the year 2018. 

 

 

As the saying goes, ‘disability is not inability’, the cerebral palsy project has a success story of yet another child with CP. Bakita Wangui sat for a national exam, Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, and has qualified to join high school from January 2018.

 

 

Dominic Kulabi, a child with CP was unable to walk when he first joined the program. However after intense therapy Dominic can now walk alone with no assistance. He has now joined a scouting club of able-bodied children in the school. 

 

All twenty members of staff in the CP project have a huge smile after each of them received a tablet as an end of year bonus because of their diligent service to the children. Thank you to all the teachers!

 

 

 

Christmas Party with the Cerebral Palsy Children


Jingle bells, Jingle Bells. The annual Christmas party was organised for the children with cerebral palsy. Children wearing balloon hats, faces painted and singing Christmas carols and dancing away! The party was simply magical with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and in the presence of Father Christmas! And there was more excitement at Funscapes Amusement Park, where every child had an opportunity to take a ride and also play games; children were so excited and happy and did not want to leave the park. And this was not the end of all the fun. There was still more - a magic show and music with a guitarist.  Children were served with ice cream and chocolate cakes and went home with goody bags and smiles on their face. A memorable day for all - all happy and smiling!
 
Rural households set to benefit from subsidised solar kit
With support from Azuri Technologies, Raj Ushanga House and various donors, Veerayatan Kenya and Young Jains Nairobi distributed 300 solar kits (consisting of a solar panel, two LED bulbs, two switches and a USB charging cables) which benefited over 2000 people in Embu county and Tharaka-Nithi counties during the festive season. The project is about provision of basic energy aimed at scaling up rural Kenya’s adoption of solar solutions, as three-quarters of the rural households in the country are still dependent on kerosene for lighting.

 

Upcoming Events:
 
Graduation and SCVP Assembly
Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth, Nairobi is organising a Graduation Ceremony and a school Assembly on 13th January 2018. All the classes of SCVP will perform on stage showcasing what they have learnt in the class. The modular class students will be graduating from the school. For more details

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

 

 

VEERAYATAN INTERNATIONAL, USA

 

There are two schemes running in the USA to raise funds for Veerayatan, India. Read further to see how you can contribute to transforming the lives of children and adults from underprivileged backgrounds.
 
Give the Gift of Sight, the Day you Saw the Light
The eye hospital (Netra Jyoti Seva Mandiram - NJSM) in Veerayatan, Bihar, India helps to restore the sight in over 7000 eyes each year. The demand for the gift of sight, in the poverty stricken state of Bihar, is never ending. Veerayatan aims to eradicate blindness from Bihar through the promotion of education, health programs, training courses, and awareness campaigns. In 1998, a program was initiated in USA to provide well-deserved support for NJSM in Veerayatan. We are glad to inform you that the program has raised on average $10,000 each year for this amazing cause.
 
How does this scheme work?
We always welcome any donations for this program. However, we have developed a program and welcome you and your family members to register in the program. Once registered, you will receive a birthday wish with a gentle reminder for a “Gift of Sight” donation “On the day you Saw the Light” just before the registered member’s birthday. Suggested donation for the “Gift of Sight’ program is only $30 - for one surgery. This is not a lifetime commitment; you may opt out at any time or not participate in any given year. Give the gift of a lifetime that will last for a lifetime of the recipient!
 
Program registration form and updates of the program are also available online on Gift of Sight page. You can also make a one-time donation to support NJSM on the: Veerayatan website. For more information on NJSM go to: https://veerayatan.org/our-work/rajgir/

 

SMILE - DONATE without cost while you SHOP
Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? But, it is true! You can make cost-free donations while you shop at Amazon online, and Amazon will donate to Veerayatan International, USA. Amazon started a program approximately three years ago to help various non-profit organizations by donating percentages of their total sales to individuals who are registered for Amazon SMILE program. This does not impact the purchase price of any item nor any of your fringe benefits and service offerings that one may have with Amazon. For any Veerayatan International well-wisher, there is no reason not to register in the Amazon Smile program and let Amazon donate to Veerayatan International cost free.
 
To register for the Amazon SMILE program, there are only 2 easy steps. The Smile. Amazon.com site retains the same look as the standard amazon.com. All benefits associated with your amazon.com account will also transfer over (e.g. Amazon Prime). 
Step 1: CLICK here: smile.amazon.com
Step 2:  Enter your amazon.com account ID/Password and select Veerayatan International as your choice of organization.
And that is it! You do not need to do anything else. For future shopping trips: Instead of shopping online at amazon.com, go and shop at smile.amazon.com. Do not miss out on any donation opportunities, you should change your bookmark to replace amazon.com with smile.amazon.com 
Please note: this is not intended to replace your generous donations to Veerayatan, but to add to your donations while you do worldly shopping!!!
 
For further information on the 2 schemes, feel free to contact Madhuker A. Mehta by:
Email: mamehta(at)veerayatan-intl.org or by phone 919-816-0900

 

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