JVB London - Paryushan 2006 [01] Summary Report

Posted: 31.08.2006
Updated on: 15.02.2008

Back from Paryushan 2006 at JVB London under the guidance of Samanijis Pratibha & Punya Pragyaji, we really feel renewed in the sense of relieved and purified from last year's karmic impressions and are happily looking back to this celebration in the true sense of its meaning. Let us give a first impression, detailed reports will follow.

For editor Aparigraha Jain it was the first experience of this kind, as it was his first experience of Ekasana, fasting in the way of taking a single meal in 24 hours and his first complete fast without water on the last day of Samvatsari. Editor Karuna Jain celebrated her third Paryushan at JVB London.

Both of us reached London on Saturday before Paryushan, which was to start on Monday and had a wonderful entrance to this spiritual decade of days with a spiritual celebration ceremony of Bhaktamar Stotra in Raksha's house on Sunday, where we went with the Samanijis. This ceremony was finished with a delicious lunch, and when we took our frugal evening meal, we thought at the forthcoming days of fast and Aparigraha wondered how he would manage. The next morning started with lectures of the Samanijis, first Samani Pratibha Pragyaji gave her's in English, it was followed by Samani Punya Pragyaji's in Gujarati language. During the lectures, one Samaniji took care of the kids by telling stories from the Agamas and reciting prayers with them, so parents were able to follow the lectures without worrying for their kids. In special sections, the Jain way of life was discussed with the youngsters.The morning session was concluded with prayers, which often were recited by the kids. The audience consisted of people from all walks of life and ages.

About one hour after the morning session, it was time for the meal. The members of JVB London were providing us with the same delicious meals they had prepared for Samanijis' Gochari. The Samanijis took very much care for us and supported our fasting with their auspicious presence, the members of the community assembled at JVB London were caring so much for us and gave a big support to us by making us feel being part of their community. Fasting with one meal was not the slightest problem for us. Mostly editor Aparigraha was happy how easily he was able to follow. On the last day, we held complete fast without water, but followed Samanijis' advice to take two meals the day before.

In the evening sessions, we enjoyed Pratikraman, which was given in English and in the original Prakrit language as well. Even without understanding the meaning of the words, we happily meditated on the Prakrit Pratikraman as well.

London born Cambridge student Pooja Jain has expressed the happy atmosphere at JVB London's Paryushan in her letter of thanks:

Vandami Namang Sami respected Samanijis
I wanted to thank you very much for leading us through Paryushan so nicely again this year - but especially Paushad.

As the first London Paushad, I think it was a definite success under your guidance. When Samaniji asked me in the morning had I missed my mobile phone, only then did it occur to me that I had been without it. Similarly only upon entering the kitchen having completed the Paushad, only when I saw the computer did I think, 'I must check my e-mail'. This proves, (just as you said you feel when you are in India) that when you are completely cut off from these things, you don't even realise their absence.

Also it was very helpful for our focus that you kept us occupied with such varied activities - whether singing prayers, doing meditation or telling us interesting relevant stories/ lessons. I also appreciate your constant care that we were all well whether in our sleeping arrangements or fasting.

The location, timing (of Samvatsari and bank holiday) and the group (with such inspiring personalities like Deepa and Nitesh) were all very conducive to a first-time good insight of how monks and nuns really live. And hopefully next time, we can observe things more strictly knowing now what to expect. It was also helpful that you drew our attention to the differences between Paushad here and in India (ie. the toilet facilities) and highlighted how we could repent for that relaxation of the vow. As usual, your manner was very mild and so guidance from both of you about covering our mouths when speaking or sweeping the floor at night was always welcome.

It was a special privilege that we got to do this exercise under such auspicious conditions and with the guidance of Samanijis themselves and hopefully this practice will continue. We will definitely miss both of your inspirational presences, but I'm glad that I got to learn so many new things from you - whether my first Paryushan three years ago, or my first Paushad this year.
With many thanks and respect
Pooja

Some results of Paryushan at JVB London in figures:

Tapasya
Fasting

Name

Days

Plus

Shimpi

16

Nilesh Kotari

9

Chandrakant Gudaka

8

Nisha

8

Deepa

8

silence

Phulvanti

8

Manjula

8

Ami

8

Veena

8

Indira Malde

6

Veena

6

Jaychand Nahata

5

Bipin Sheth

3

Joshana Shah

3

Joshana Shyamaji

3

Nina

3

Rajshree

3



Paushad

27 people

12 Vows of a Householder

25 people

1

Ahimsa-vrata

Refrain from gross violence

2

Satya-vrata

Refrain from gross untruth

3

Asteya-vrata

Non-stealing

4

Brahma-vrata

Celibacy

5

Aparigraha-vrata

Non-possessiveness & non-attachment

6

Dig-vrata

Restriction in activities in various directions

7

Bhogopabhoga-parimana-vrata

Limiting objects of daily use

8

Anartha-danda-vrata

Refraining from negative activities (like gambling etc.)

9

Samayika-vrata

Obtaining equanimity (contemplation)

10

Desavakasika-vrata

Keeping limits on consumable and non-consumable goods for certain durations

11

Posadhopavasa-vrata

Fasting, praying and temporarily living like a monk or nun - in a spiritual place for at least 24 hours

12

Dana-vrata

Offering food and shelter to monks and nuns, helping fellow house-holders



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