HereNow4U - Living Jainism Tour 2006 - 09.02 Mumbai (2) Visit To Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanu

Posted: 04.07.2007
Updated on: 29.11.2012

2nd December 2006

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In 2005, when Karuna met Shri Chitrabhanuji and Pramodaji at the occasion of Pratishta Mahotsav in London, she had promised to bring Aparigraha with her when they would meet next time. When we planned our Living Jainism Tour 2006, we contacted them just two days before their departure from New York to Mumbai. Pramodaji suggested visiting them in their Mumbai residence, and appointment was fixed for 2nd December.

After breakfast, we started from Terapanth Bhawan to Lake City View, the district where the Chitrabanujis are living when they are in India. We were told that the ride would take more than one hour. Fortunately, someone known to our hosts Sudanshu & Mr. S. M. Jain, but unknown to us gave us a lift to destination, and delivered us in front of the entry. The guardian asked where we want to go, and exclaimed on our response, “Ah, Guruji!”

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Shri Chitrabhanuji received us in his living room, and we immediately took photos to be sure not to forget it again. In the following, we have compiled an extract of the inspiring thoughts of this morning.

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Shri Chitrabhanuji gave a philosophical excursus on our names first. He joked that he never had seen ‘Aparigraha’ in a form. Freedom from things and objects is important, as things and objects are just things and objects. All further divisions are only made by the mind. Freedom from things and objects is important to shed Karma. Karuna is needed to untie our Self and to get rid of the limitations we are bound to when there is attachment for things and objects.

Then Shri Chitrabhanuji gave deep insights on Karma. Karma is telling us what to do in life; Karma makes us move. It is in our hands to unveil Karma and to erase it. When we write, what we have written becomes present on the paper. When we go away, it still is on the paper. However, what we have written, we can erase as well. It is important to keep in mind that it is our choice what we write and what we erase. The key to what to write and what to erase is awareness. If we are aware, we can write and then read it afterwards.

Karma is both, sticky and not sticky. It is sticky when we are unaware, and not sticky when we are aware. Life is making its own program; when we are aware, Karma supports us. Without Karma, we would never have a body.

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Pramodaji joined us, and we reported to both the nice incident we experienced at the entry with the guardian. Shri Chitrabhanuji said that all people are his friends, he has no limitations for people becoming his friends, whoever they might be. We should pay respect to all people we meet, before we expect them to pay respect to us. It is important to have good relations, everybody has his own Karma, and we should not bring down people. Limiting somebody else means limiting oneself.

Hospitality is a very good way to pay respect to people. In one Sutra of Indian philosophy is told to treat guests like Devas, godheads. When we heard this, we happily remembered the wonderful experiences with legendary Indian hospitality during the last three weeks.

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Life is always a question of balance between action and non-action. Ji means to conquer, and he or she who conquers is a Jina. Those following the path of a Jina are Jains. Once Alexander the great met with Aristotle and told the latter to take care after his dead that his hands are kept open to make people aware that the person who had conquered the world goes with empty hands.

When we are angry, we cannot laugh, either anger or laughter. When we get angry we should try to laugh to make anger fade. We have to work on the program life puts in front of us. In meditation, we realise our free soul and the freedom of choice we have as long as we live. Most people are not aware of their freedom of choice, they do not feel free and live like donkeys walking around the dwell, complaining in the evening how tired they are from the long distance they had to walk during the day.

There is an age-old controversy between materialism and spirituality. Materialistic people stick in the quick sand and fear to lose their material belongings; spiritual people give them up voluntarily. Jainism is a technique to lead a happy and meaningful life creating an awareness of this freedom of choice.

The most important thing in life is breath; we cannot live without it. Breath comes in and goes out, an outgoing breath never comes back. Therefore, we should not waste a single breath, every breath is important. Once we pay attention to its preciousness, we are aware of life. For every movement and action, we need breath. When we watch our breath, we watch our movements and actions.

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This is the actual view from Shri Chitrabhanuji’s living room window. When they moved in, they had an undisturbed view to the sea. Times are changing. Every day, Shri Chitrabhanuji takes a walk in the park surrounding the building. It still has some character of the jungle that has been there before the first buildings in Lake Side District were erected. The view on the park is taken from his dining table.

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The statue of Lord Mahavira is placed in front of his eating-place to remind him to live in awareness of the choice he had made for 28 years as monk, and then in the world. It symbolises the ethical values towards which the program of his life has guided him.

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A beautiful depiction of the life of Lord Mahavira

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This artwork is showing a depiction of Lord Mahavira in the style of a concave, three-dimensional relief. The observer has the impression that Lord Mahavira is not only looking at him, but also turning his body towards him. When the observer moves from one side to the other, he gets the impression that Lord Mahavira is moving with him, always inclining towards him. When two people from opposite positions look at Lord Mahavira, both have the impression that Lord Mahavira is looking at each of them only! A perfect demonstration of Anekantvad.

We could have stayed for the whole day, but were reminded to our schedule when another couple arrived. The gentleman kindly accompanied us to the taxi stand, told the taxi driver where to go, and bargained the fare. We sat nearly the whole way back without speaking, inspired to daydream, enjoying the much inspirations we got this morning.

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