German Language Course At JVBI - [13] – Religious Weekend Trip

Posted: 28.12.2007
Updated on: 30.07.2015

27. / 28.10.2007

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Sujangarh - Shri Sushil Kumar Bafana and Shrimati Supyar Bafana

On my last weekend in Ladnun, Shri Sushil Kumar Bafana and Shrimati Supyar Bafana came to Ladnun for taking me on a religious weekend trip, scheduled a long time before my departure to India via emails. They are living in Kolkata and once a year visit their relatives at Sri Dungargarh. Sri Dungargarh is a little town built on (desert) sand and only 70 km, but 2,5 hours drive away from Ladnun. I was happily looking forward to the change.

After the course we were supposed to start which was quite convenient, as on Saturday only the morning course was held. From 11:00 on I was ready. Shri Sushil Bafana went for Darshan at Ladnun Seva Kendra and had to do some administration work, and therefore we started at 12:30. I did not remember the schedule in detail. I only remembered that visits to some eminent monks and nuns were planned. On Sunday a visit to Acharya Tulsi Samadhi Sthal in Gangashahar was planned. We already had been there in 2001 for Maryada Mahotsav.

 

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Sujangarh - Muni Rajkaran, the mathematical wizard

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Sujangarh - Muni Rajkaran’s mathematical square

 

We started to Sujangarh in about 15 km distance from Ladnun, it was very hot, too hot for me, 34°C! We halted at Sujangarh Seva Kendra to visit Muni Rajkaran ji who is known as a mathematic wizard. When we met him, he was aged 81. His elder brother Muni Poornanada ji, aged 89, and the young English-speaking Muni Piyush Kumar took care of him. He was no longer able to live the life of an itinerant monk. He took Diksha at the age of 15, his elder brother at the age of 60. Muni Rajkaran proved his talent by filling a square with numbers that horizontally, vertically, and diagonally add up to 73. 73 was the number I told him when he asked me to give a number between 50 and 100.

 

 

 

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Chhapar - Muni Sukhlal

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Chhapar - Muni Sukhlal ji (r) and Muni Mohjeet Kumar ji with eating bowls manufactured and painted by the last

 

After tea break we continued to Chhapar where we visited Muni Sukhlal. I already had met Muni Sukhlal in Surat 4 years ago. He and the monks of his group are responsible for the senior monks in Chhapar Until spring 2008. Muni Sukhlal organises Ahimsa training camps for students, and gives a spiritual speech every morning. His speech is open for all who are ready to hear his message from the teachings of Lord Mahavira, no matter who they are and which religion they are following. In Surat, he had developed a meditation and yoga program for the socially disadvantaged living near Terapanth Bhawan, replacing their expression of depression with a lightening in the eyes, which I will never forget. Muni Mohjeet Kumar showed the eating bowls manufactured and painted by him.

 

 

 

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Charwas - Sadhvi Kailashvati ji presenting booklets to Karuna, Sadhvi Lalitashree ji and Sadhvi Pankajshree ji watching

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Bidasar - Sadhvi Kundareka ji (r), Sadhvi Suraj Kumar ji

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Bidasar - Shri Nirmal ji gifts a book to Karuna

I had become very hungry in the meantime, but we had only light lunch with tea and cookies. Moreover, we had to proceed to the Seva Kendra for nuns in Charwas, and then to Seva Kendra in Bidasar. Sadhvi Kundareka ji with her group took care of 17 senior nuns in Bidarsar. In addition to Seva Kendra there was a Samadhi Kendra for former group leaders. Shri Nirmal ji - secretary of local Terapanth organisation - gifted some books in Hindi on philosophy and teachings of Lord Mahavira to me when we left.

Finally we headed towards Sri Dungargarh. We visited the parents’ house of Shrimati Supyar Bafana and her relatives. After having tea, we went to the house of my hosts, Shri and Shrimati Bothra. They gave a good dinner to me, and thereafter I immediately fell asleep.

 

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Sri Dungargarh - Shri Bothra on the gallery

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Sri Dungargarh - Sunday morning

 

At 07:00 Shri Bothra woke me up with early morning tea. Unlike the past weeks I had enjoyed a comfortable rest and looked forward to the activites of the day. I watched three animals hurrying from house to house, a big white (!) pig, and two cute-faced donkeys, but a balcony or a projection of the wall hid them when I tried to take their photos. Whereever they stopped, a window or a door gave way to their breakfast.

 

 

 

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Sri Dungargarh - Shri & Shrimati Bothra, my hosts

 

I was happy for the opportunity to become a little more acquainted with my hosts. Shrimati Bothra was former president of Sri Dungargarh’s Mahila Mandal (women’s wing). I immediately imagined how she found solutions for all upcoming problems, resolutely and full of energy. Shri Bothra presented himself as advisor of the women’s wing, commented by a subtle smile of his wife. In plain language, he is its financier. Both of them are the embodiment of the traditional rural moneyed nobility, supporting generously the social activities of their religious community and naturally opening their house to international guests in deep hospitality.

 

 

 

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Sri Dungargarh - Store room in Shri Bothra’s house

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Sri Dungargarh - View to Shrimati Bothra’s garden

They live in a joint family with Mrs. Bothra sen. in a two-stored house with mysteriously many doors, which they all (!) opened for me: On the ground floor the cow and the calf, storage place for firewood, kitchen garden with roses (in the desert!). On the first floor, the sleeping rooms, one salon, several storage rooms, two guestrooms, excellent sanitary arrangements, kitchen, and on the balcony behind the kitchen, accommodation and eating place of their servant, working since 25 years for them, also in charge for keeping the house and caring for grandma during their absence. On the second storey, on the splendidly constructed roof, rooms for the families of their sons are kept. They are not in use, as their children are living and working in Surat. And a beautiful view on the roofs of Sri Dungargarh included.

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Sri Dungargarh - Shrimati Bothra preparing breakfast

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Sri Dungargarh - Sadhvi Madhu Smita ji

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Sri Dungargarh - Sadhvi Madu Smita ji with her group of nuns

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Sri Dungargarh - Young student gives speech in English language

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Sri Dungargarh - Shri Bachraj Bhadani gifts a book to Karuna

After breakfast, we went to the community hall. Sadhvi Madhu Smita ji and the Sadhvis of her group gave their Sunday lecture. Then the Sri Dungargarh Terapanth community honoured me with a welcome function. All speeches were held in English language, a fact worth to mention, as this is not self-understood. Shri Bachraj Bhadani a book to me, and I was offered a shawl. I then gave a vote of thanks.

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Gangashahar - Shri Nirmal Kumar Nolakha

 

After two more visits we started to Gangashahar. One was to Shri Sushil Bafana's family, the other to their neighbour who is the mother of Sadhvi Nirvanshree ji in worldly relations. In Gangashahar we had lunch with Shri Nirmal Kumar Nolakha in his home. Shri Nolakha is trainer for Gyanshala trainers. For them he meticulously had developed a curriculum. He travels all over India to introduce and explain the curriculum to the Gyanshala trainers. Mostly he travels on his own expenses and regards his efforts as selfless service for his religious community. His cupboard was filled with a broad choice of awards. We were lucky to meet him in his house. In 2007 he only was 21 days in his home, he had told us.

 

 

 

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Gangashahar - Acharya Tulsi Samadhi Stal

We then visited the Tulsi Samadhi Sthal, not without having tea with the chief security and watching several times the video of 1995, when a living Terapanth Acharya handed Acharyaship over to his successor.

Back to Sri Dungargarh, we took dinner at Shrimati Supyar Bafana’s family, after three more hours, I went to bed in Ladnun. The driver and Shri Sushil Bafana had to wait for this moment for two more hours, as they returned the same way to Sri Dungargarh.

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