Book Title: Vardhaman Book on Jainism
Author(s): Jayshree Menon
Publisher: Bennete Coleman & Co Ltd
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Page #1 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ VARDHAMAN A BOOK ON JA IN ISME For Personal & Private Use Only Page #2 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ S arvot a b h a d r a inspired by the spirit of Lord Mahavira, a's No.1 granite company reaches out to the four corners of the world POKARNA GRANITES LTD dar Patel Road, Secunderabad 500 003, India. Tel: (91-40)789-7722/784-2182. Fax: (91-40)784-2121 E-mail: - Visit us at http// For Personal & Private Use Only Page #3 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Benz Patent Motor Car (1886) Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (1952) 513171 Mercedes Simplex Touring Coach (1907) Mercedes-Benz SLK (1996) 40 Mercedes-Benz 460 (1920) Mercedes-Benz S-class (1999) Worth every bit of 114 years of sweat, skill and science. Mercedes-Benz 170 (1930) Mercedes-Benz RK SWAMY BRDO MB 7118 Mercedes Benz 500 K (1939) The Future of the Automobile Mercedes-Benz India Limited - Customer Assistance Centre: Sector 15A, Chikhall Village, Pimpri, Pune 411 018. Tel: (020) 7458041/7458042: Fax: (020) 7458043; e-mail:,, website: For Personal & Private Use Only Page #4 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Front Cover: Oil painting on canvas - 5 ft x 5 ft. The entire philosophy of Jainism is based on ahimsa - non violence towards all living beings. Even the minuscule living form has to be treated with tremendous compassionate universal eternal love. The bright 24 petalled lotus is symbolic of the 24 liberated souls - the 24 Tirthankaras. The lotus itself is an iconic representation of purity, divinity and divine grace. The central graphic figure is the cosmic man (loka purusha). Here the cosmological scheme is super imposed on the human body in an attempt to synergise the microcosm with the macrocosm. The human body is divided into three - the lower world (adholoka), the middle world (madhyaloka) and the upper world (urdhvaloka). The swastika is the first auspicious symbol from the ashta mangala. The blessing hand has a pure gold bindu expressing the purity of the soul (jiva). The panchamahabhuta or the five primordial elements of nature, include the radiant red fire (agni). the tranquil blue water (jal), the nurturing green earth (bhumi), the vast bright white cosmos (akash) and the golden breath of life air (vayu) These panchamahabhuta have been divine witnesses envelop ing the message of Jainsm, helping mankind to reach the final stage - moksha - liberation. Back Cover: Oil painting on canvas - 5 ft x 5 ft Shri Vatsa is an auspicious mark seen on the upper chest of all the 24 Tirthankaras, symbolising compassionate universal love for all living beings. The four-petalled blooming lotus also represents the four dimensions of purushartha (dharma, artha, kama and moksha) which these liberated souls have transcended. The radiant sun is symbolic of the brilliance of Jain philosophy which has 16 emotions as its fundamentals - sol bhavana depicted in the form of 16 rays of light. The pure gold bindu is the core of the sun, a reminder to mankind of his final goal - moksha - liberation. Both the front and back covers have been specially painted for The Times of India, to mark the 2600 th birth celebration of Bhagwan Mahavir. Both the covers as well as all the paintings in this book are the creation of Saadhak Shivaanand Saraswati (Udayraj A. Gadnis). The paintings are an artistic representation based on extensive research undertaken by him over the past three years. For Personal & Private Use Only Page #5 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ FOREWORD eelings of wonder and hope surge within me, as I perceive the many auspicious signs that have appeared at the start of the new millennium. I recall, for instance, the United Nations Peace Summit held at the UN headquarters in New York last September when participants professing diverse faiths met to reaffirm the values they cher ish in common - peace and justice and happiness for all - thereby proving that humankind is determined to reclaim its spiritual heritage from the debris of violence and intolerance. What inspired me hugely at this Millennium Summit was the presence of a large contingent of Jain participants, belonging to all sects. The calmness of their speech and conduct, simple lifestyles, and steadfast dedication to Jain teachings, influenced me to put together in book form the powerful insights that Bhagwan Mahavir and the 24 Tirthankaras have left behind for the lasting benefit of humankind. Such an undertaking could not have come my way at a more propitious moment for me. The birthday of my late husband, Ashok Jain, just precedes the 2600 birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir. Such a fine coincidence gives me all the more reason to present this book on behalf of the Times Group, which I now have the honour to head. The attributes of Jain philosophy can be compared to a lotus in bloom. The fragrance of the lotus is evenly spread. It does not waft in any one direction. The teachings of Jainism also reach out to one and all. They do not acknowledge barriers of race or creed, of nation or dogma. This is why their compassion is not confined to the adherents of the faith. Jain philosophy seeks to be relevant to humankind as a whole and indeed to all living creatures. It takes in its stride the past, the present and the future. It endeavours to establish its pertinence in every circumstance where a human being is required to strike a spiritual balance with another human being, or with the environment, or, above all, within the soul. It is a matter of incalculable satisfaction to me that this pertinence of Jain teachings is exemplified in the example set by non-Jain Living Masters, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Pujya Asaram Bapu, Swami Sukhbodanand and many other spiritual leaders, as they strive, serenely and steadfastly, for the welfare of humankind. They rise above the barriers of creed, caste and race to inculcate a transparent, compassionate and creative art of living. I would also like to express my deep affections to my grandson Vardhman. True to his name, he enriched my vision while he was here with us and continues to do so from the great beyond. Finally, I offer my salutations to the Supreme Teacher, to the Living Masters, who hover above every seeker like a luminous cloud which emanates calm radiance and showers its blessings with abundance. May they continue to guide humankind's actions and crown its endeavours with success. Jan Education Intemational For Personal & Private Use Only Page #6 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ CONTENT 22 Jainism A Perspective Mahavir The 24th Tirthankara ........... A Beacon Of Peace - Acharya Mahapragya .......... A Doctor Of Knowledge - Acharya Shiv Muni...... Forging A New Identity For Prakrit - Acharya Vidyanand..... A Builder Of Faith - Acharya Vijay Indradinna Maharaj ........ Navkar Mantra ... A Breath Of Pure Bliss - Preksha Dhyana. Temple Of Learning - The Jain Vishva Bharati Institute ..... The 24 Tirthankaras ........ Happiness Is A Divine Bowl - Jain Sadhvis ......... 48 Publisher Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. Dr. D. N. Road, Mumbai 400 001 Epitome Of Love And Peace - Ben Maharaj ..... The Fragrance Of Service - Acharya Chandanaji .... Millennium Saint - Deepchand Gardi ............... Food For Fitness Putting His Best Foot Forward - D. R. Mehta... A Woman For All Seasons - Sharyu Daftary ...... .64 God's Own Son - Veerendra Heggade ......... ...70 The Small Big Man - Mafatlal Mehta .......... Bonding Through Jaina - Dr. Mahendra Pandya ........ Of Miniatures, Museums And More - Saryu Doshi... Gem Of A Man - Surendra Mehta ........... Bhumiputra - Bhavarlal Jain .... Absolutely Newsworthy! - Vijay Darda .................. 104 A Torrent Of Goodwill - Shardaben, Sudhir and Samir Mehta ............. ...110 Weddings On Earth, Blessed In Heaven ...........118 76 ..63 Editor Jayashree Menon for Arpan Publishing Pvt Ltd. Mumbai 400 021 Design Resp-Art Marketing Response Printed at SilverPoint Press Pvt. Ltd. 165, Kohinoor Ind. Estate, Tulsi Pipe Road, Mumbai 400 013 a International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #7 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ For us at Taj Tours, caring for your comfort is no extra service. It is a religion. TA TOURS LONDON Call it a divine inspiration, or an eye for detail, we make Most comfortable Itineraries no compromise when it comes to your travel plans. Centrally located hotels Because we know that you want to leave behind all your worries, just relax and unwind on your holidays. Authentic Indian cuisine For us, taking care of your comfort means taking care Plenty of time at important places of everything. So that you have all the time in the world Multilingual experienced to enjoy your trip. And forget all about the travails of tour managers your travel 18 years experience in UK We dare to take care of all your comforts to make it a heavenly experience. And not just an idle worship. .. No hidden costs & surcharges Europe for Indians by Indians in Europe For further information contact: H.O. GSA: MNC Tours, No. 2, Neelkanth, 133, L.J. Road, Mahim(W), Mumbai - 16. Tel.: 444 6699. Fax: 445 0101. E-mail: LONDON: 87 Ealing Road, Wembley, Greater London, HAO 4PY. Tel.: (020) 8900 1986. Fax: (020) 8903 0120. E-mail: Website: SPAN Lis w and thational les rivale Use Only Page #8 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ JAINISM, A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE All sounds recoil thence, where speculation has no room, nor does the mind penetrate there. The liberated is not long or short; big or small; he is not black nor white.. he is without body, without contact of matter, he is not masculine nor feminine or neuter; he perceives, he knows but there is no analogy: its essence is without form; there is no condition of the unconditioned BHAGWAN MAHAVIR SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION SAADHAK SHIVAANAND SARASWATI For Personal & Private Use Only Page #9 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ainism believes that an immortal and eternal soul (jiva) resides within all living beings. But the soul being vulnerable to the effects of deeds (karma) 'cause the soul to suffer by being subjected to repeated rebirths. Such suffering is believed to cease only when the chain of rebirth is broken to attain liberation - moksha. Jainism has been founded by Vardhaman Mahavir who was called Jina, who lived c. 540-468 BC. The word Jain originates from Jina, meaning victory, conqueror or liberator. The Jains have a chronology of their own which begins in the year 522 BC, which, according to their reckoning, was the date of Mahavir's death, aged 72. He was a prince in Bihar who, at the age of 30 was dissatisfied with life and after 12 years of severe asceticism, he attained enlightenment. He was preceded in history by a series of 23 Tirthankaras or trailblazers; the last one of these, Parshvanath, may have lived in the late eighth century BC. The early Jains spread from Bihar, especially to Gujarat and South India. There was a clear distinction between the two main sects - the Shvetambaras (white clad) who permitted themselves a white loincloth as their sole possession, and the Digambaras (sky clad) who walked about stark naked being without any possessions, since they had vanquished all desires. The Jain holy scripture is laid down in 12 books, called Angas, written in Prakrit. The Digambaras now fewer in number, maintain that the Angas were never composed by Mahavir, and instead follow books written by later religious Jain leaders. This is the so-called Secondary Canon, which in turn is followed by extensive theological literature. Through this, Jains are asked to practice the virtues of poverty, humility, purity, truthfulness, self-discipline, suffering, tolerance, innocence, abstention and asceticism. By conquering all his desires a person may breakout of the sansara or chain of rebirths and so end all suffering. The cosmology of Jainism teaches that the world is eternal and space immense, though limited, and empty. In the centre of the disc-shaped earth, are the strata of kingdoms ruled by demons where the doomed suffer long but not eternal punishment. Above the earth, rise layers of skies and higher still, lovely heavens where different classes of Gods enjoy power and pleasure. The Gods are great and may grant boons to mortals, but they too are not immortal, being subject to karma and the chains of reincarnation. Higher even than the abode of the Gods, beyond a disc which acts like a lid closing off the mortal realms, there lies the realm of those who have gained enlightenment and are therefore exempt from rebirth. The regions beneath and above the earth remain unchanged, but on earth ascending and descending epochs of history cause its people to grow taller and better, or smaller and meaner. At present we live in an era where people are becoming progressively more wicked and immoral. This deterioration will last for another several thousand years before there is an improvement in the moral standards on earth. All the individual souls together form the spiritual substance of theuniverse. In essence, they are knowing and wise, but their wisdom is clouded by their own desire, which in turn is caused For Personal & Private Use Only Page #10 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ by their bodies, which have been infected with physical pollution and ignorance. This condition causes the souls to travel from one moral body to the next, like a person caught in a strong current and unable to free himself. The karmic activity of a soul causes vibrations that attract particles of matter towards it. Only through complete control of all its desires can the soul attain peace, stillness, lucidity and insight into its condition. Only when that is achieved, can the enlightened ascetic end his life by ceasing to take food. When he dies, his liberated soul will rise to the summit of the world where it will live forever. Jains deny the existence of a creator. The world has always existed and is subject to the eternal laws of karma, the causality of recompense and punishment. The Jains do not worship the Gods but they venerate the Tirthankaras, the early saints and precursors of Mahavir, who first broke out of the sansara, the chain of existences. Many legends circulate about the Tirthankaras and their colossal statues are venerated by all. Only the sect of the Sthanakavasis rejects all temple cults and concentrates only on studying the scriptures. Jainism is characterised by vegetarianism and complete ahimsa, i.e. that its members take care not to harm any fellow creatures, to the extent that some Jains even walk with brooms to sweep away the insects from their path lest they tread on them. There are less than four million Jains in India and in a few Western countries. The final goal of a Jain is to sever the chain of rebirth and achieve a state of liberation known variously as kaivalya, moksha or nirvana. PANTNOS COURTESY: B. ARUNKUMAR AND.CO For Personal & Private Use Only Jain Education intentional Page #11 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The timeless caves of tranquility... he Hathigumpha inscription of the Great Kalinga Emperor, Kharvela of 1st century B.C., at Udaygiri, stands witness to the pre-Mauryan antiquity of Jainism in Orissa. Parsvanath preached at Khandagiri, says the Jain tradition The twin hills of Udaygiri and Khandagiri on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar are honey combed with caves which once served as retreats of Jain Ascetics. These marvelous network of tunnels and cells are hewned out of coarse grained sandstone. Set in the tranquility of the secluded hills, the 18 caves of Udaygiri and 15 at Khandagiri, locally known as Gumphas, are magnificient specimens of rock-cut architecture. Some of them have lavishly sculptured friezes with pilasters, verandas and arches, The largest and the most beautiful of the caves is the double storeyed Rani Gumpha carved with human figures, animals, flowers, arches and other motifs. Its pristine grandeur is evident even today. On the crest of Khandagiriis situated a modern Jain temple. ORISSA Commanding a unique position in the history of Eastern India, a visit to these caves is a must. They are situated at a distance of 8 km from the Railway Station and 4 km from the Airport at Bhubaneswar. TOURISM Come and follow the footprints of history. DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM Government of Orissa Paryatan Bhavan, Bhubaneswar-751014, Orissa, India Ph: 0674-432177, 431896 Fax: 0674-430887 email Website: rissa-The soul of India cathexis For more information contact : Tourist officer, Bhubaneswar: 5. Jaydev Marg, Bhubaneswar - 751 014. Tel 0674 - 431299. Chennai 42/18. Mount Road, (2nd Floor), Gee Gee Complex, Pin - 600002 Telefax 044-8534090 Calcutta: Utkal Bhavan, 55 Lenin Sarani. Pin: 700013, Tel: 033-2443653, New Delhi: Utkalika, B/4 Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Pin-110001 Telefax: 011-3364580 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #12 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ rdr dr The 24th Tirthankara Lettive Non injury to living beings. Which must be observed very scrupulously and thoroughly and behaving towards all living beings with proper restraint and control The very first principle of faith laid dawn by Bhagwan Mahavir is ahimsa SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION: SAADHAK SHIVAANAND SARASWATI ILLUSTRATION: PRASHANT SHAH For Personal & Private Use Only Page #13 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ahavir, the great man' lived peacefully in heaven for cen. turies until he decided to incarnate on earth in order to save humanity. He took the form of an embryo in the womb of Devananda, wife of the Brahmin Rishabhadatta, who lived at Kundapura. That night, when Devananda lay half asleep in her bed, she dreamt of 14 favourable omens - an elephant, a bull, a lion, the Goddess Laxmi, a garland, the moon the sun, a banner, a beautiful jug, a lake full of lotuses, the ocean. God's palace, jewellery and an eternal flame. She told her husband what she had seen. Rishabhadatta was overjoyed, for he realised that a son would be born to them who would become a great scholar and a famous religious leader. Then Sakra, the king of the Gods in heaven, decided that Mahavir should be the son of a Kshatriya, so he instructed the Gods' messenger Haringamesi, to transpose the new embryo from Devananda's womb to that of Trishala, wife of the Kshatriya king, Siddhartha. Trishala, who was reclining on a luxurious bed in a palace full of flowers and vases of perfumes now saw the 14 good omens in her dream. Her husband, Siddhartha, began to enjoy good fortune ever since that moment. He became ever richer in gold and silver, in land and grain, while his loyal army won victories and fame. The night when Mahavir was to be born, the Gods descended from heaven to share in the rejoicing. Flowers and fruits, gold and silver, rained from heaven on Siddhartha's palace. When Mahavir was born, he received the earthly name of Vardhaman (he who grows and develops). This event took place 2,590 years ago, according to Jain history. For 30 years, Vardhaman led a worldly life as a prince in Bihar, he married Yasoda and had a daughter called Riyadarshana. His parents, who were adherents of the doctrine of Parshvanath, lay down one day and abstained from food until they left the world. Deeply impressed, Vardhaman, decided that he would become an ascetic. He distributed his wealth among the poor and began his life of wandering without bonds. After 12 years he acquired moksha, liberation from all earthly desires and with it, enlightenment. Again the Gods assembled on earth around his person to exclaim, 'Victory!' Thus Mahavir became Jina, the victor (his followers call themselves Jainas or Jains after him). At that moment the sky was bluer than ever before, like a deep lake Covered with blue lotuses, while heavenly music could be heard on earth. Mahavir, seated in profound meditation under a teak tree, became omniscient (kevalin). He had overcome all evil and he now began to preach what he had practised for 12 years. One day while Mahavir was meditating in a field, a farmer arrived with his cows which he left in the field, telling Mahavir to guard them. Mahavir, however, was in such deep meditation that he did not hear the farmer nor see the cows. When the farmer came back the cows where nowhere to be seen. Furious the farmer screamed, "You lazy useless idler!" to the noble saint, and started beating him. He would have killed him, if Indra had not descended from heaven to protect the great ascetic whom he had been watching over all the time knowing what would happen. Thirty years after becoming kevalin, he was ready to leave the world, so he became liberated (mukta) and perfected (siddha). Mahavir had himself carried to a throne made of diamonds in a large hall illuminated by heavenly light. He preached there until in the small hours of the night, all his listeners had gone to sleep. Unseen, he attained moksha. Quickly many lamps were lit but the soul had departed. in Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #14 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA The eight auspicious sacred symbols hold deep spiritual significance for devout Jains. According to spiritual command, every Jain has to draw these symbols with pure unbroken rice grains in front of the icon of the Tirthankara before commencing his obeisance to the temple. While sitting in the sanctorum after worshipping the Bhagawan in a Jain Temple, these symbols attract positive energies. pAzrIparamAtmanenamaHnimi Ue kishaavriNde| iMdana riMdadhie tiloasurUdAsamAla bhie mo) bullA misaru vaese ||2|| UgataDAmA eu| usa motIro tilo siritila) egolo gAi yo egogharaku tijAssa 11 saMvacAramusasakSiNo] bamma sAvaThamANa jhiNacaMdo] iya PAINTINGS COURTESY SULATA PREMAL KAPADIA VARDHAMAN 14 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #15 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Only Thing That Is Distinguished About Our Tea Are The People Who Prefer It. Urmi Manikchand MA ADVT. BRD PREMIUM TEA Swad, khushboo, Rang... Uttamta ke Sang! 250 GMS Manikchand Manikchand For Personal & Private Use Only Page #16 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ saMbodhi saMgAyaka charya Maha The Acharya has written pragya, the 80-year over 150 books on various old spiritual head subjects including philosoof the Terapanth sect of phy, literature, yoga and reJains around the world, ligion in Hindi and Sanskrit. welcomed me into his The Acharya is also a great humble abode; a simple sadhaka or practitioner of little classroom of a pri meditation and the rediscovmary school in a remote ery of the lost links of the little Rajasthani village. He Jain way of meditation - and his following of munis Preksha Dhyana - are credand sadhvis had reached ited to him. the settlement after walk Karma took on a whole ing 12 km. that morning new meaning that day as I and would be setting out sat at the feet of the for the village down the Acharya. He shared with me road early next day. I had Portrait of Acharya Tulsi in calligraphy insights into the work he driven over 50 km. of dusty roads from Ladnun, and his order were engaged in over the years: the physical headquarters of the sect, expecting reinterpreting the holy scriptures in light of modto be awed by the holy man. Instead I found one ern realities. "They are not very different apart who accepted his karma with unassuming grace. from the words used to describe things," he said. Acharya Mahapragya took up the mantle as "For instance, our scriptures talk of karma that leader of the Terapanth sect of Jains on the death predetermines your life. Science, calls it genes. of his guru Acharya Tulsi in 1998. Born in 1921 Though faith and reason may appear to be poles in Tamkar, a small village in Rajasthan, Acharya apart, they are not contradictions as they share Mahapragya became a monk at the age of 10. At a common source." the age of 59, he was appointed the successor- He told me about the task of re-examining the designate of the order by his mentor and guru scriptures in light of modern findings, which was Acharya Tulsi. what he and his followers were busy doing. 1 TH Acharya Mahapragya Beacon of Peace Having written over 150 books in various subjects, he is credited with rediscovering the lost links of Preksha Dhyana TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHS: GUSTASP RANI VARDHAMAN 16 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #17 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ asked him his views on the nuclear bomb that India had recently acquired. How did he, who covered his mouth when he spoke so as not to harm the bacteria in the air, feel about a weapon of such enormous destructive power? "The bomb," he assured me, "was not the problem but a symptom of people losing sight of basic moral values. What is at stake here is that each indi- vidual has to resolve the conflict within himself. Once everyone in a family, society, nation and the worldwide community of mankind accepts the principal of non-violence and respect for all living things, the issue of making and possessing weapons of destruction is automatically resolved." I emerged from my audience with the Acharya awed by both the depth of his vision as also by its Clarity and simplicity: qualities that are manifest in the lifestyle of his order. As we drove to the next village in which the head sadhvi has taken up temporary residence, we passed two sadhvis setting out with their bowls to accept whatever people offered them for their evening meal. The head sadhui was surrounded by women who had come to seek her blessings and like the Acharya she showered her grace on them with a total lack of self-indulgence. In the little time she could spare for me before attending to matters concerning her flock, she explained the need for them to keep travelling from one place to another. It had nothing to do with penance. They were constantly on the move so that they did not get attached to any given place: an extension of their renouncement of materialism. The longest they could stay at one place was four months during the monsoons and after that no more than one month at any given place. And talking to her, I recalled the elderly sadhvi I had met at Siva Kendra,a home for old sadhuis, back in Ladnun. Almost 82, she was stooped over and had to walk with the aid of a walking stick. But the memories of her wanderings were still fresh in her mind and she showed me a map of India in which she has marked out all the places that her Acharya, with her in tow, had visited on foot. Little dots stretched across the length and breadth of the country and then there were all those unmarked villages through which they had passed. There was no place they could call home, but the entire country was their backyard. By the time I started my journey back to civilisation, the sun has slipped low in the sky. Wild peacocks graced the rooftops of homes in the little hamlet where the Acharya had settled in for the night. Looking at the peacock's silhouette against an orange sky, I realised that the village, like everything, including me, that had been touched by this gracious man, was blessed. PAINTING COURTESY, BARUNKUMAR AND CO 17 VARDHAMAN in Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #18 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Acharya Shiv Muni A DOCTOR OF WITH HIS FORMIDABLE ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS THAT INCLUDE A PH.D. AND A D.LITT., ACHARYA SHIV MUNI SHARES ERUDITE ENLIGHTENMENT WITH HIS LEGION OF FOLLOWERS VARDHAMAN 18 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #19 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ KNOWLEDGE unjab has given birth to great saints and ance for more than 14 years. He has proved to seers including Guru Nank and Guru be a tower of knowledge for his followers. Gobind Singh. Great spiritual leaders of According to Acharya Shiv Muni, "One who is Jainism like Acharya Samrat Amar Singhji, awakened is a muni and one who is sleeping is Acharya Samrat Sohanlalji, Acharya Samrat an amuni. It is the consciousness which raises Kashiramji and Acharya Samrat Atmaramji, have oneself to the status of muni. The one who has originated from Punjab. This pious land is the achieved an egoless state is a muni." birthplace of another great upholder of Jainism - He has made intensive studies of the ancient Acharya Shiv Muni, who has established and in- religious and spiritual scriptures. It was only aftroduced new religious and spiritual norms. ter years of in-depth research that he came out Born in Malaut Mandi of Fairdkot district in with his book on meditation, Dhyana: A Divya Punjab on September 18, 1942 and named Shiv Sadhana which earned him a D.Litt. Kumar by his parents Chiranji Lal and Vidya Devi, "Dhyana sadhana teaches us the true art of he rose to reach the highest spiritual pinnacle. living in the present moment," says Acharya Shiv He started treading on the path of renunciation Muni. "The one who understands and appreciand penance as taught by Bhagwan Mahavir when ates the present moment is awakened and conhe was 30, in May 1972. scious. He creates his own future. What has alBy then he had completed his post-graduation ready passed has slipped through his hands but in English and Philosophy and after receiving the present is in his hands. The one who underdiksha, he was awarded a Ph.D. for his research stands this moment is an enlightened person." work on 'Doctrine of Liberation in Indian Religions As rituals gained more importance, dhyana and with special reference to Jainism'. He was the first sadhana did not receive the attention they deto receive this honour among the Sthanak Sadhu served. After Acharya Shiv Muni achieved selfSamaj and perhaps the only realisation, in order to sadhu to have completed spread this knowledge, he his Ph.D. in English. The one who took the initiative to Acharya Shiv Muni is organise meditation camps understands widely travelled and has vis and personally taught mediited Geneva, Toronto, Ku and appreciates the tation to the participants. wait, America, etc. to spread It is said that one who can the tenets of Jainism. present moment is follow and persuade others After he was conferred awakened and conscious. to follow panchachar is a the status of Yuvacharya at true Acharya. With his fora grand Sadhu Sammelan in He creates his own future. midable qualities of uniting Pune by Acharya Samrat What has already passed and organising, Acharya Shri Anand Rishiji, he en Shiv Muni is a true Acharya. gaged himself in medita- has slipped through PANTING COURTESY tion, self-study and penhis hands but YAUREALA SHARAD PATEL the present is in 19 VARDHAMAN his hands For Personal & Private Use Only Page #20 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ NOW YOU KNOW WHY YOS Quadrant 2295 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #21 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ IN AKAI PURE FLAT TV. Perfect images even at edges. Distortion-free viewing from any angle. A For Personal & Private Use Only Page #22 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ charya Vidyanand hails from the ancient Indian muni tradition. The Egyptian historians referred to Jain munis, as zenmosopist. Alexander the Great, on his return from India took with him one such great zenmosopist called Kalyan who later became known as Colonus in Egypt. Even after more than 2300 years, his samadhi can be seen today in Egypt. Acharya Vidyanand Muniraj was accepted as the undisputed leader of Jains in 1994 on the occasion of the 2500th Nirvan Mahotsava of Bhagwan Mahavir by Acharya Tulsi. Acharya Vidyanand was born in Shedwal (in Belgaum, Karnataka) on April 22, 1925, in a Upadhyaya family. His father Pandit Kalappa Upadhyaya was a graduate from Syadvad Mahavidyalaya. His mother's name was Saraswati and her son later proved himself to be a true son of Saraswati, the Acharya Vidyanand FORGING A NEW IDENTI A serious student of religion, philosophy and ancient history, and a revered leader amongst Jains, he has now embarked upon the task of encouraging the use of Prakrit goddess of knowledge, when he became a serious student of religion, philosophy and ancient history. He received his early education in Acharya Shantisagar Digambar Jain Gurukul in Shedwal.. In 1946 he received kshullak diksha in Tamagaddi village of Karnataka from Acharya Mahavirkirtiji and was given the name Parshwakirti by his teacher. In 1963, he was given muni diksha and was conferred the munipad in Delhi by Acharya Deshbhushanji and was given the name Vidyanand. In 1974, he was awarded Upadhyayapad by his teacher. In 1978, he became an Elacharya and received the Acharyapad on June 28 1987. Acharya Vidyanand's religious and spiritual accomplishments have been multi-dimensional. He has propagated the teachings of Jainism on the occasion 200th Parinirvan Mahotsava of Bhagwan Mahavir. He was responsible for bringing the Jain community under one flag through samansuttam which gave a new identity to Jainism. To mark thousand years of the world famous statue of Bhagwan Bahubali, he organised mangal kalash processions. Organising a gommadgiri function in Indore and bawangajaji in Badwani, speak highly of the creative imagination of Acharya Vidyanand. He has founded the Kundkund Bharati in Delhi. The Ph.D. (Vidya Varidhi) in Prakrit language awarded by the institution has been recognised by the Government of India. He has also started the quarterly research journal, Prakrit Vidya, to encourage the use of Prakrit. PANTING OOLRIESY THE KANAKA ART FOUNDATION VARDHAMAN 22 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #23 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ FOR PRAKRIT dIptyA jayasyApi nizAmagi somasomamA Z ent VL 23 VARDHAMAN La For flersone & Private Use Only Jan Education International Page #24 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ w Un AN Acharya Vijay Indradinna Maharaj BUIL DER OF FALL He has undertaken to uplift the poor. To this end, he has built hostels, schools and homes that cater to the most economically backward of his followers charya Vijay Indradinna Surushwar Maharaj is a most respected saint of the Shwetambar Jain tradition. Born in a Parmar Kshatriya family in the village of Salpura of Vadodara district in 1923, he spent his childhood in a very religious and pious atmosphere. Unfortunately, when he was but ten years of age, he lost both his parents. At the age of 11, he happened to visit Damoi, 22 km. away from Salpura and came in contact with Rangvijayji Maharaj. Here he received his early education in Jain dharma. From Damoi, he went to Bodeli and stayed in the hostel there till he was 17 years old.. He was given Bhagawati diksha in 1941 in Narsanda village by Vinay-Vijayji Maharaj and became a Jain muni with the name Indravijay. VARDHAMAN 24 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #25 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ From Gujarat he travelled to Rajasthan, where he received higher diksha from Vikashchandra Suriji Maharaj in 1945. Seven years after his diksha, he left Rajasthan and came in contact with Acharya Vijay Vallabh Suriji Maharaj in Sadari Nagar, Punjab. Here began his true development and he learnt Sanskrit, Prakrit and Hindi. He was taught Agams by the Acharya and remained in his service till 1954. When, Acharya Vijay Vallabh Suriji Maharaj left for his heavenly abode, his chief disciple, Acharya Vijay Samudraji was declared as his pattadhar. Muniraj Indravijay travelled with him and was conferred the Ganipad in 1954. He now dedicated himself to propagating Jainism among the Parmar Kshatriyas with the blessings of Acharya Vijay Samudraji. Parmar Kshatriyas were scattered through a 100 km. region of Panchamahal district, in more than 700 villages. Thanks to Muniraj Indravijay's efforts, more than 70,000 Parmars accepted the Jain dharma. A few of them even chose to adopt the munipath and devoted themselves to human welfare. In 1970, Muniraj Indravijayji was made an Acharya in WorliMumbai by Acharya Vijay Samudraji and became Acharya Indradinna Surishwar Maharaj. In 1977 when Acharya Vijay Samudraji left this world, Acharya Indradinna Surishwar Maharaj took complete charge of the sangh. The upliftment of his economically backward followers, became his top priority. To this end, he has constructed a residential complex to accommodate more than 750 poor families with the help of Abhay Kumar Oswal in Ludhiana. He has also been instrumental in erecting the statue of Acharya Vijayananda Surishwarji in Shatrunjay tirtha and for renovating and developing Pavnagarh tirtha as an educational and religious centre. He's also built a girls' hostel, Shri Devshri Jain Kanya Hostel. He has initiated developmental activities in Shri Hastinapur tirtha near Delhi and organised Vijay Samudra Indra Sahdharmi Aid Fund in Jaipur. The gigantic tasks he has accomplished are bound to help the coming generations. PANTING COURTESY BARUNKUMAR 8.00 25 VARDHAMAN in Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #26 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The golden lotus, an icon of purity, grace, beauty and divinity reflects the atma of Jainism. Tha Jain Om holds the five petalled lotus together - respect for life even in the five primordial elements of nature - panchamahabhuta. The divine colours of Navkar Mantra Arihantas - divine white Siddhas - orange red Acharyas bright yellow Upadhayayas - fresh green Sadhus - black blue. SPIRITUAL AND ARTISTIC INTERPRETATION: SAADHAK SHIVAANAND SARASWATI PAINTING COURTESY: SMITA NARENDRA MEHTA VARDHAMAN 26 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #27 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ navakAramaMtra Namo arihaMtANaM Namo Arihantanam: I bow down to Arihantas Namo siddhANaM Namo Siddhanam: I bow down to Siddhas Namo AyariyANaM Namo Ayariyanam: I bow down to Acharyas Namo uvajjhAyANaM Namo Uvajjhayanam: I bow down to Upadhyayas Namo loesavvasAhUNaM Namo Loe Savva-Sahunam: I bow down to Sadhus eso paMca NamokkAro Eso Panch Namukkaro: This five-fold salutation savva pAvappaNAsaNo Savva Pavappanasano: Destroys all sins maMgalANaM ca savvesiM Mangalanam Cha Savvesim: And amongst all auspicious things paDhamaM havai maMgalam Padhamam Havai Mangalam: Is the most auspicious one 27 VARDHAMAN in Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #28 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Through Preksha Dhyana, you attain total peace and relaxation of mind, body and soul A Breath of COMPILED FROM THE WORKS OF ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYAJI BY MPS VIDYA JAN Page #29 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ editation is the art of living in the no pain or sorrow, only eternal happiness. present. We normally choose to From ancient times, numerous methods of recollect our past or predict the fu- meditation have been practised, one amongst ture, rather than think about the present. This them is Preksha Dhyana which means 'see thyleads to a vicious circle of hopes, failures, re- self'. Seeing, in this case, does not mean extergrets and tensions. Meditation allows us to stay nal vision, but a concentrated impartial percepwith the present, keeping us away from the past tion; a mental insight. The word Preksha is deor future. Through meditation, we can control the emotional area of the brain. Today, we are over The various types of whelmed by the fear of being Preksha Dhyana ousted in the race for survival. However at the same time, we Svasa Preksha (awareness of breaths) strive for more luxury, more Inhaling and exhaling are automatic actions. With some practice, we can increase the interval between wealth, more success. We crave one breath and another and lower the count of our intellectual knowledge. In fact, breaths. Svasa Preksha causes amazing results not we strive for superiority in every only on our neuro system but also on our internal orarea of our life. But we never gans. When our breathing rate is regular, the efficacy bother to delve deeper into the of the mind is increased. reasons behind our feelings of Sharira Preksha (perception of the body) anger, greed and fear. That's In Sharira Preksha the various organs and body parts where Preksha Dhyana (medita are observed minutely one-by-one with closed eyes. tion) comes in. The mind studies the whole body from the top of the Dhyana means the concentra head to the toes of the feet and focuses on each and tion of our mind on one object. every body part one by one. The mind is sharpened by At any given point of time, the the act of observing and acquires healing powers. mind is cluttered; however when Chetanya kendra Preksha (perception of the the mind is made to detach it physique centres) self from all distractions and fo Preksha of the endocrine system is called Chetanya Kendra Preksha. Our body is surrounded by an electrocus on one entity, then concen magnetic field. There are specific zones in our body tration occurs. According to that are influenced by these electro magnetic fields. Hatayoga, dhyana is the most Once we concentrate on these parts through Chetanya 'important gate to attaining Kendra Preksha, we can overcome our anger, fear and samadhi (eternal happiness) and endless worries. By meditating on the navel, our the ultimate aim of yoga is to at adrenaline glands get activated. Lain this happiness. Samadhi is that state of mind where there is leer Bliss Page #30 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Step by Step Method rived from the Sanskrit 'Pra + iksha' which means to observe carefully. Our mind never relaxes even when we sleep. In Preksha Dhyana, the mind is told to relax through auto-suggestion. Preksha Dhyana does not forcefully stop our thought process. Instead, it teaches us to develop the art of merely observing our thoughts without forming any reaction or getting involved. Gradually, the thoughts themselves cease. The technique of Preksha Dhyana is a practical and powerful tool for settling down a restless mind. Based on the wisdom of ancient philosophy and formulated in terms of modern scientific concept, Preksha Dhyana can bring about a change in behaviour and modify and integrate your personality. It is difficult to define the sweetness of sugar without actually ever tasting it, similarly, it is difficult to explain Preksha Dhyana without experiencing it. It is best to learn the technique of meditation from an expert. Preksha Dhyana can be learnt by anybody. Usually a ten day camp is adequate to acquire the basics of Preksha Dhyana. For an effective meditation session no fixed time is prescribed. If we just need to relax, 15-20 minutes of meditation are more than sufficient. Before deciding on any fixed time span, we should consider what is convenient, and the reasons why we are meditating. Posture is an important feature of Preksha Dhayana. You must remain quiet, motionless and alert for the duration of the exercise. Any strain or discomfort must be avoided during the session. You can choose any of the following postures: Padamasana (lotus posture) Ardha Padmasana (half lotus posture) Sukhasana (simple posture) Mudra (the position of your hands) Keep your right hand on your right knee and likewise your left hand on the left knee, palms facing upwards. Touch the index fingers to the tips of the thumb. Keeping the spine and back upright, close eyes lightly. Ist Step. Relaxation (Kayotsarg). For successful meditation, you must relax the tension in the entire body. Concentrate your mind on each part of the body from the head to the toe, one by one. Allow each part of the body to relax by the process of auto suggestion and feel that it has relaxed. What does Preksha Dhyana do? . Maintains a balance between activity and rest: relaxation. * Develops will power. . Purifies the mind. . Increases tolerance levels. . Brings about peace of mind. Changes mental attitudes. Prevents and cures psychosomatic diseases. Aids effortless concentration . Frees you from nervous and emotional tensions. 2nd Step. An internal journey (Antaryatra) This exercise promotes better generation of ner. vous energy which is essential for the subsequent meditation. Maintain the posture, focus your full attention on the sakti kendra (anterior end of the spine). Direct the energy to travel along the spinal cord to the top of the gyana kendra (top-most part of the head). When the energy reaches the top, di. MN30 Page #31 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ This can be increased slowly with practice rect it to move downward taking the same path, until you reach the sakti kendra again. Repeat this exercise for five to seven minutes. With complete awareness notice the life energy and the vibrations occurring in the back of the spinal cord. Starting from the sakti kendra, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems reach towards the gyana kendra. When these two are activated, life energy increases. 3rd Step Breathing. This is the source of vital energy and life. a) First breathe slowly and rhythmically. Breathe out air slowly and then breathe in very slowly from both the nostrils. Practice this for at least two to three minutes. b) Now bring your attention to the navel region, observe it with closed eyes. You will notice how it expands and contracts. Do this for at least five minutes. C) You will feel your breathing has become slow, deep and rhythmic. d) Shift your attention from the navel and focus it inside the nostrils, on the tip of the nose. Now become fully aware of each and every breath. Not even a single breath should come in or leave without your knowledge. Feel the freshness of the incoming breath (oxygen) and the warmth of the outgoing breath (carbon dioxide). This exer. cise should also be done for five minutes. If you find your mind wandering away from the breathing, then hold the breath for a few sec. onds (kumbhak). But be careful not to force the breath in. Initially, your mind may wander, thoughts may creep in - don't try and stop them; just observe them without getting involved. Once you have perfected the art of observing, the thoughts too will stop intruding. Maintain awareness during the whole sadhana. To end the meditation, take one or two deep long breaths and open your eyes slowly. For beginners, 15-20 minutes of meditation is sufficient. Benefits of meditation Diet control is only possible when the desire to eat actually becomes less. Through meditation we can actually learn to control our desire for food If you want to test the depth of the man then test the quality of his language and speech. One of the major causes for misunderstanding is the lack of control we have on our speech. And one of the major benefits of meditation is disciplin ing the tongue. Sudden anger too is the outcome of an unstable tongue. Meditation reduces the intensity of feelings such as anger, pride, fear, hate, complexes, etc. Through meditation we learn where exactly in our brain these feelings arise and how we can control them Through meditation there is a notable decrease in feelings of sorrow or dissatisfaction. Tension, restlessness, unhappiness are all caused by an unstable mind. Through meditation the brain cells become so activated and sensitive that one can immediately catch the vibrations going on in the other person's mind. Meditation increases awareness. Before meditation, you take 16 to 18 breaths per minute, after meditation there is a decrease in the rate of breathing starting from 14 to even six or four per minute, one count of breath includes both inhaling and exhaling. When we experience peace inside us, our emotions will be balanced and the number of breaths we take will decrease. This can resolve many problems like BP, heart trouble and other physical ailments. Meditation teaches you to become more compassionate and understanding. It is the key to improving your mind and thoughts. It is also the golden road to usher in a new personality and a better life. However, medi tation is not a magic wand by which we can change everything in a fraction of a second. The change will happen surely; but it will happen slowly. PANING OOURTESY VANDANA GUPTA 31 VARDHAMAN P ORN w Page #32 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA-SWASTIKA SWASTIKA an auspicious symbol also know as sathia. It is customary to draw the swastika at the beginning of all religious ceremonies. ASHTA MANGALA PAINTINGS COURTESY THE TIMES OF INDIA GROUP VARDHAMAN 32 Education international For Personal & Private Use Only Page #33 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ No one presents our product range better than nature Drip Irrigation System Sprinkler tigation System Solar Water Heater Tue Culture Plastic Sheets PVC HDPE os Green Houses Onion & Vegetable Dehydration Banana Mango Papaya, Guava Purees & Concentrates All we did was to observe and learn the rules of Nature, and complement it with the world's latest technology, So that the fast dwindling precious resources of Nature can be conserved, and valuve-added. The result is a comprehensive product range above. It's an 38-year-old effort. An effort that's made us a One-Stop-Shop for Hi-Tech Agriculture. And yet there's still a lot to learn from Nature. And a lot more to give back. IRRIGATION UAJI Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. Small Ideas. Big Revolutions Plastic Park, Jain Fields P.O.BOX: 72, Jalgaon - 4 25001. India. Tel: 250011; Fax: 251111; E-mail: Plastic; Visit us at: Jain Jain PVC Pipes inter HDPE.Pipes Jain Jain Jain Drip Jain Sprinklers Jain Jain Tissue-Cultureers Green House se Onion Dehydration Fruit Processing Solar Page #34 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ vele Use Page #35 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ emple of spiritual knowledge The Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University) is a tranquil haven of knowledge and spirituality in the semi-arid desert of central Rajasthan At the headquarters of the world is that the spiritual development of its stuTerapanth Jains in Ladnu, dents is as important as imparting knowledge and Rajasthan, the only building sharpening their intellect. that vaguely resembles a The prospectus of the Institute sums up the temple serves as the adminis- essence of its approach: trative wing of the Jain Vishva Without moral and spiritual eduBharati Institute (Deemed Uni- cation, no amount of material versity). In many ways the Insti- advancement can bring about tute, established in 1972 by the peace in individual, family, com late Acharya Tulsi, is a manifes- munity or international relations. tation of the spirit and beliefs of a sect which Wars are the product of the mind does not believe in, yet does not condemn, build- and peace will also have to be ing temples. found in the mind. The religious beliefs of the order are expressed * Indeed, the words of Lord through the graduate and post graduate Mahavir: Nanassa Saram programmes offered by the Institute: Jainology, Ayaro (Right conduct is the Comparative Religion & Philosophy, Non-Violence . essence of knowledge) is the & Peace Studies, Science of Living, Social Work. motto and guiding light of the All its courses, while rooted in the bedrock of Institute. ancient scriptures, strive to be relevant to mod . It is around this temple of ern realities. And where the Institute is uniquely knowledge that the 60-acre camdifferent from educational institutes around the pus, an oasis of green tranquil 35 VARDHAMAN in Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #36 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ity in the semi-arid desert of central Rajasthan, revolves. Facilities here include a library stocked with over 40,000 books and 5,000 rare manuscripts, an art gallery, a 60-room meditation and yoga centre,separate hostels for boys and girls, an English medium secondary school,computer centre, as well as a bank, printing press, canteen and an Ayurvedic centre. The university community, apart from the administrative staff, comprises a faculty of 22 and 60 students and only 10per cent of them are Jains. Regardless of their origins, all are required to follow a strict code of conduct: abstinence from smoking, drinking and violence, pure veg. etarianism, participation in morning prayers, meditation and yoga, love and respect for all living things both on and off the campus. "We are not in the numbers game and are well aware that these requirements, combined with the fact that most of the degree courses are not ex "The university is a temple, the teacher the priests, the students the devotee and knowledge the deity" Acharya Tulsi actly job oriented, may result in low enrollment. However, what we are attempting to achieve here is very relevant as it becomes increasingly important that we do not lose sight of man's spiritual destiny in today's world of modern technology and growing materialism," says S. Bengani, the Kulpati or Chancellor of the Institute. In addition to its graduate and postgraduate studies, the Institute also conducts a 3-month residential course in meditation and yoga. Students who undertake this training course are accommodated in the 60-room meditation centre and are expected to follow a stringent daily routine which starts with them waking at 4 am and following a strict Jain vegetarian diet that included total fasting between sunset and sunrise. Alternatively, visitors and tourists may opt for the less stringent 15-day or 7-day course while residing in the three guesthouses (with attached kitchens that prepare simple yet wholesome Jain vegetarian meals), that overlook a garden built around the samadhi of Acharya Tulsi who died in 1998 at the age of 86. Acharya Tulsi was the spiritual head of the com VARDHAMAN 36 Jan Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #37 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Praga Without moral and spiritual education, no amount of material advancement can bring about peace munity for some 60 years and was instrumental in leading it into the modern era. He was the inspiration behind the establishment of the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute. In a radical break from convention, he established in the early 1980s, the Saman order of sadhuis who, unlike traditional Jain munis and sadhvis for whom the only way of getting from one place to another was on. foot, were allowed to use modern means of transportation to spread the message of peace across the world. Today, one Samani heads the computer department of the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute. More importantly, Acharya Tulsi initiated the on going process of reinterpreting the scriptures to uit: HUONO make them more relevant to a generation driven by modern technology. Indeed, within the cam* pus is an audio-visual centre that records all the official discourses of the Acharya. With the passing of Acharya Tulsi, the flame of spiritual enlightenment passed on to his disciple and successor Acharya Mahapragya. At sunset, a peaceful calm settles over the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute complex. Jets of water from a musical fountain within the garden dance to the soothing rhythm of melodic bhajans. But for a local family that has come to relax in this peaceful setting and take group photographs in front of the fountain, the place is deserted. The Samanis are in their quarters meditating and the other munis and sadhuis are out on the road following the footsteps of the spiritual leader as he trudges across the land. Yes, modern technology may be creeping into the physical headquarters of Jainism at Ladnun, but tradition still rules supreme around the spiritual beacon that is Acharya Mahapragya and his following of munis and sadhuis as they walk across the land; never anchoring for too long in one spot but leaving behind a little divinity before moving on. 37 VARDHAMAN total For Personal Piliate we only www. library Page #38 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA-SHRI VATSA SHRI VATSA an auspicious symbol on the upper chest of all the 24 Tirthankaras showing compassionate universal eternal love for all living beings, however minute they may be. Jan Esteti errational For Personal & Private Use Only Page #39 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ WE'VE PUT Rs 75 CRORE BEHIND THIS LITTLE INDIAN. Our investments in the pharmaceutical industry are one of the largest in the country. These include our Rs. 75 crore R&D facility, the new benchmark in such research centres. Set up near Gandhinagar in Gujarat, this spanking R&D Centre houses over 200 top notch scientists. They put their energies into basic and applied research, covering computer aided drug design, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, microbiology and fermentation. formulation development, biopharmaceuticals, toxicology and clinical research. The research centre has been granted patenting in USA and India. This apart, we have tie-ups with prestigious research institutes around the world. Among them are the William Harvey Research Institute, London, and premier institutes in India like the National Chemical Laboratory, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Plus university projects nearing commercialisation, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited is one of India's major Indian healthcare companies, having a turnover of about Rs. 450 crores. We have integrated operations from basic pharma substances to intermediates to bulk drugs to dosage forms. Our manufacturing plant is being expanded and upgraded to European standards, at a cost of over Rs. 50 crores. International operations are being given a thrust through investments planned in selected countries. We are the market leaders in niche therapeutic segments of cardiovascular and neuro-psychiatric diseases and have significant presence in gastro-intestinal and anti-infective segments. We are also one of the leading Indian exporters of formulations to over 20 countries. We have strategic alliances with global pharma giants Sanofi Synthelabo, France and Novo Nordisk, Denmark. And our competitive advantages include a wide distribution network and proprietary formulations in global markets. It's all part of our effort to help reach reliable healthcare to every Indian, little or not. torrent TORRENT PHARMACEUTICALS LTD. TORRENT HOUSE, OFF ASHRAM ROAD, AHMEDABAD-380 009. TEL: 658 5090. FAX: 658 2100. Page #40 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ smile bloomed across her face and sparkled in her eyes. My anguish over the stringent lifestyle of the Saman order of Jain sadhvis had apparently amused her. "But our physical survival depends on seeking." she reassured me in perfect English. She was referring to the fact that every day she and her colleagues were totally dependent on the charity of others for their daily sustenance. Every day they went with their bowls from home to home, happily accepting whatever people gave them. They never asked for more or accepted money ("It's just another piece of paper") for which they have had no use ever since they joined the order. When writer/photographer Gustasp Irani encountered the Samanis, sadhvis from the Saman order in Ladnun, he found himself introspecting and deciding that ... FIAPPINESS IN. A DIVINE VARDHAMAN 40 F RASER & Private Use Only Page #41 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ "But don't you ever crave to eat or possess something special? Is it not difficult going out on the streets to beg?" I asked a group of sadhvis dressed in spotless white. My answer was that winsome bemused smile and a simple "No!" uttered from behind a handkerchief held in front of the mouth in order to minimise the harm the uttering of the word would have on the bacteria floating in the air. I might have been asking the questions, but the truth was that I was also doing all the soul searching. For in this little desert town on the edge of nowhere, I had stumbled upon a quiet little oasis of spiritual tranquility, peopled with amazing Jain sadhvis who seemed content in their detachment from all earthly pleasures. Indeed, these were no ordinary sadhuis, but belonged to the special Saman order that was created in the early 1980s by the late Archarya Tulsi, the spiritual head of the Jain Terapanth religious sect. Traditionally, the only way a Jain muni or sadhvi could get from one place to an other was on foot. That they are required to keep walking so that they do not develop an attachment to any one place is another matter. In view of the fact that an increasing number of Jains were settling in countries outside India, the Acharya deemed it necessary to create a new order of special sadhvis who would be allowed to use the benefits of modern transport to cater to the spiritual needs of the community. As expected, there was a storm of protest. More than just a break from tradition, the fact that the spiritual karma of the Samanis might be compromised by asking them to do less than what was expected of full-fledged sadhvis was also an issue. "We of course, had full faith in the spiritual wisdom of our Acharya," said one, who had been initiated in the first batch of Samanis. Today the Saman order is a reality and welcomed across the community, especially by those settled outside the country. "Not just the Jains, but other Indians, no matter what their religion, PANTINGS COURTESY NTERGOLD 41 VARDHAMAN Fat Personal & Private Only www neben Page #42 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ come to attend our talks and meditation classes when we travel abroad," one Samani told me. And yes, abroad too they roam the streets with their bowls. Of course, where there are Indians it is not a problem. Rather families compete to feed them ("They see it as an honour") and the Samanis must use diplomacy not to offend and self-restraint in face of this overwhelming generosity and bounty. With quite a few Jain families settled in Far Eastern countries like Japan, the problem is not so acute either, as here they are used to Buddhist monks seeking for food. In some Western city however, it can get a little sticky. For instance in Rome, Italy, where a group had gone to attend a world conference on religion, they would set out each day and seek for food at restaurants. The real problem here was first clarifying what they did not eat and then explaining how it should be served to them. (Since they avoid all physical contact, food is dropped rather than placed in their bowls). Some Samanis work on computers. Others accompany the Acharya in his wanderings around the country and record the Siscourses of his munis and sadhvis who are engaged in the task of reinterpreting the sacred scriptures in light of modern scientific discoveries But the Saman order goes beyond allowing them the freedom of using modern transportation. It is the administrative arm of an ancient religious movement that is deeply rooted in tradition yet surprisingly attuned to prevailing realities. Some Samanis work on computers. Others accompany the Acharya in his wanderings around the country and record the discourses of his munis and sadhvis who are engaged in the task of reinterpreting the sacred scriptures in light of modern scientific discoveries. All speak fluent English and/or Hindi and are B.A. graduates from the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University) in Ladnun, Rajasthan. Yet for all their exposure to the world, they are untouched by its materialism. The daily routine of their lives is still starkly austere. They wake up each morning at 4 o'clock and devote the next few hours to prayers, yoga, meditation and a lot of soul-searching introspection. Come sunrise and they are out on the road with their food bowls in -- VARDHAMAN 42 Jain Education in For Personal & Per Use Only Page #43 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ hand. ("We are not allowed to eat leftovers".) At 8.30 they get down to their specific tasks for the day, be it in front of a computer, attending degree course classes or interpreting the scriptures. After sunset they are not allowed to eat or drink even a sip of water till sunrise. By now they have retired to their quarters where five share a little room with a low-slung desk, a bookshelf and a cupboard in which they hang their one spare gown (even the cloth used to stitch the gown is given to them as charity). After group meditation and yoga they finally go to sleep at around 10 o'clock with only a thin sheet separating them from an unyielding hard floor. The order is not for recluses or runaways. Girls are accepted into the fold only with the consent of both parents. There are no restrictions: a girl may be of any age or of any religious background; so long as she believes that her karma is to be a Jain sadhvi, she is welcome. Initially girls are initiated as mumuksus or trainee sadhvis and must reside at Parmatic Sikshan Sanskar, the training center for novice nuns. After a period of around five years, during which time they earn a B.A. degree and fluency in English and/or Hindi, the Acharya decides whether they become full-fledged sadhvis or Samanis. And yes, a Samani may at some later stage become a fullfledged sadhvi. Currently there are around 550 full-fledged sadhvis and 95 Samanis, in addition to around 105 munis in the order. A young Nepali mumuksu fielded my questions with unblinking honesty. "Of course, my parents were disappointed at first when I refused to get married. But I finally convinced them that rather than devote myself to looking after one man, my life would be so much more meaningful if I dedi cated it to serving all creation." Parents do come to visit their girls who are happy to see them; just as they would be happy to welcome anyone else who comes to Ladnun for spiritual rejuvenation. I look closely to see if there was a hint of emotion on the face of one mumuksu whose parents had recently spent a month at the guesthouse attached to the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute. I saw none. The girl joined the other Samanis who sat in a row to demonstrate their meditation techniques. One of the senior sadhvis led the session with a divine invocation. Her colleagues picked up the last syllable before it died and sustained it as a hum. In the reverberation of their voices, the materialistic baggage that I was burdened with shook loose and fell away. I found myself floating on the wings of detachment. And for one brief moment I had a flash of insight into the Saman way of life: Happiness is a divine bowl! 43 VARDHAMAN cation International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #44 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Maharaj Vavhamyashriji, Epitome of lovingly known a Love and Compassion cansoit Maharaj throughout the Jain community, has a tremendous capacity to comfort and console TEXTE PAJENDRA DALAL istory is full of examples of women's saga of patience, courage, dedication, affec tion, compassion and love for all of mankind. One such lady is the Jain sadhvi Maharaj Vavhamyashriji, popularly known as Ben Maharaj throughout the Jain community. Her devotees are spread all over world - USA, UK, Holland, and in the smallest of village from Tamil Nadu to Gujarat. Ben Maharaj hails from a very prosperous family of jewellers. Her mother sadhvi Maharaj Sarvodayashriji took Jain diksha with her three young daughters and her only son devotees with equal love, irrespective of whether they come from the US, UK, Japan or small villages in India. She is the Jain version of Mother Teresa with a tremendous capacity to console and comfort people with love. Whoever visits her gets a sense of mental peace. During the day she meets on an average, hundreds of devotees, yet makes each one feel special. . A prolific writer, she corresponds regularly with her devotees, explaining dharmik issues of the day or extolling them to follow some ritual or the other. One wonders where she finds the energy to keep in touch with her thousands of followers. Though busy in her public life from morning to evening, she also follows the routine life of a Jain sadhvi and looks after her 50 young shisyas' studies and well being. She is very devoted to them, and nurses them to good health with motherly love and affection should they fall ill. She spends hours in prayers and sadhana (spiritual pursuits). Being a sadhak of Mata Padmavati she has performed Parshva - Padmavati Pujan several times. A prolific author, Ben Maharaj has written many books on the Jain religion and personalities. She has interpreted and translated important Jain scriptures Das Vaikalik Sutra and Uttara Dhyan Sutra, from Sanskrit to Gujarati in simple layman's language. under Gurumaharaj Labdhisuriji Maharaj near Palitana in 1950. Ben Maharaj and her sisters were tutored in the Jain shastras and scriptures by the renowned Jain Acharya Vikramsuriji Maharaj. Currently she is under the agya of Jain Acharya Maharaj Rajyashysuriji. Dedicated to her guru and dharma, Ben Maharaj has studied Jain scriptures extensively and is well versed in Gujarati, Sanskrit. Hindi and English and can explain the different aspects of Jainism with ease. Ben Maharaj has travelled by foot all over the country, from small village to metros spreading the message of non-violence, righteous living, religion , duty, pity, pardon and truth. Several families have turned to spiritualism and started following Jain tenets due to her efforts. She treats her VARDHAMAN 44 national For Personal & Private Use Only Page #45 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ anabling technology which 5. All you have to do 15 GXISg PHOTD in and SOSEY WIG, no come Videocon brings you the world's first ever Internet television. TAR W VIDEOCON Open your eyes to a never before phenomenon in television. Videocon brings you for the first time in the world, a television that lets you get onto the internet directly. Using an advanced open platform internet system, this stylish model has an inbuilt TAP-enabling technology which gives you direct access. All you have to do is connect it to your existing phone line and you're online. No messy wiring, no complicated external devices to connect to. An infra red keyboard unit. lets you send e-mail chat and even browse through as many sites as you like. And, it comes with handy internet-friendly features such as auto e-mail check, easy browser portal, printer compatibility etc. What's more, you can even watch television while on the net. So it's regular TV entertainment on one hand, and worldwide information on the other. Switch on, tap into the internet and you'll see why television will never be the same again. w TAP Internet TV MRP: Rs. 17,990 + Rs. 4,000 (for one year Internet connection, training, installation and warranty) Product now available in Mumbai. Coming to your city soon. VIDEOCON BRING HOME THE LEADER For more details on the product, write to: Videocon International Ltd., 17C, Mittal Court, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021 Tel.: 2871798/3822. E-mail: info@mktg TAP and Internet TV are registered trademarks of Videocon International Ltd. Mudra:VIL:8676 ucation International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #46 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ THE FRAGRANCE OF SERVICE ACHARYA SHRI CHANDANAJI IS THE FIRST WOMAN ACHARYA IN JAINISIM'S OVER 2500 YEAR HISTORY! TEXT NIIN KAPAN t's nine in the night, and Acharya Shri Chandanaji has just arrived in Mumbai from Gujarat, where she and her band of sadhuis have been ministering to the physical and emotional needs of the earthquake-devastated victims. And here she is tirelessly at work before she travels to her rural Navalveerayatan base (60 km. from Pune). The small group of devotees sits around her, listening in rapt attention to the gentle lilt of her voice as she makes a point. Her sweet voice conceals the determination and devotion with which she has worked to serve not just her mentor Upadhyaya Shri Amar Muniji Maharaj and the tenets of Jainism, but all those who seek her out, whether for spiritual solace or nourishment of the body and mind. Talking about her work - the Veeryatan and Navalveerayatan centres, the eye hospital, the work of education and personality building of needy children... would be an oversimplification of the work of Jainism's first woman Acharya in the religion's 2,500year history. She is the strength behind Veerayatan ('the land of Mahavir), which is not just a religious and charitable centre in Bihar, but a global movement pivoting around Jain philosophy and belief. Acharya Chandanaji set up the centre in Bihar, fulfilling her mentor's dream to have such an institution in the land of Bhagwan Mahavir. She can be rightly credited with infusing a new life into Jainism and its glorious heritage, and making its tenets more appealing to the world, and more specifically to the young generation of Jains who tend to question blind dogma. Says Chandanaji, "They are looking for a scientific approach." To this end, Chandanaji, who her. self, before starting on her mission, did an intense study of religion, grammar, philosophy, logic and several languages for nearly 13 years, began courses in Jain culture, history and be liefs at her two main centres. The number of smaller centres in cities around the world - UK, Africa, US and the Canada - has steadily been increasing as Generation X responds ardently to her efforts. Travelling far and wide to spread Jainism for more than 25 years, the approachable Acharya Chandanaji has broken down the barriers that bound this beautiful, hitherto esoteric religion. Veeryatan is perhaps the only institution to offer these courses to devotees and seekers alike, welcoming everyone. Chandanaji's emphasis is on the proactive as. pects of her faith rather than rituals. (As a devotee interjects, "She never rebukes us if we haven't made the daily trip to the derasar.") Says Chandanaji, "Religion should be the source of bliss, not compulsion; otherwise it cannot grow." To illustrate further sadhvi Shilpiji, one of her close aides, says, "When we talk about ahimsa, it doesn't mean the passiveness of non-violence; as Chandanaji herself says, the positive message of Jainism is that of love, of doing constructive work, with the two-fold overall objective: to help others as well as yourself." Adds Chandanaji, "Ahimsa is one of the best things about our religion, which translates into friendship with all life. However, it doesn't mean that one who practices non-vio VARDHAMAN 46 cation interational For Personal & Private Use Only Page #47 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ lence becomes powerless before cruelty. One can't be a mute spectator if you see a cow being butchered in front of your eyes." Chandanaji goes so far as to say that "the Jain religion has been wrongly presented in some aspects; non-attachment has become synonymous with abhaav (deprivation). On the contrary, Tirthankhar Maharaj has termed abhaav a sin. One of my aims is poverty alleviation." The other goals include promoting vegetarianism and helping relieve stress by encouraging positive thought. A life of an ascetic is obviously difficult, but it's even more of a struggle for one who has chosen to not just serve humanity, but also create her own path. Chandanaji has faced obstacles - monetary, physical (even a raid by dacoits) and ideological. "There has been some opposition, but it didn't last because there was no strong reasoning to back it," says she. "I have made a deep study and questioned my beliefs in search of the solution, and I found it inside me. How does one define religion? Knowledge is religion - knowledge that dispels your negative tendencies, which gives direction to your life. I want to stress that mere sacrifice is not the same as being spiritual; sacrifice should also make you useful to humanity." It was at the tender age of 14 years that Acharya Chandanaji chose this path, which she ascribes to a past-life association. "My family and I used to stay in a village, and one day, when I wasn't even old enough to study in school, my grandmother took me to a temple for the darshan of Swami Pragyanandji. I bowed before him and asked him whether I too would meet God. He said that I would realise God one day. The condition of the poor, especially my schoolmates, was something I could not bear to see. So I would often help them in various ways, sometimes without the knowledge of my parents. When my mother came to know about this, she encouraged me to ask for whatever I needed for my little acts of charity. This continued for a few years. One day, my grandfather came home, and told me that some sadhvis were in the neighbourhood. Until then, I had never seen sadhvis or known about their good work. That was the day I decided to join their order." Thirty-six years later, she was proclaimed the first female Acharya. Says Chandanaji. "Self-respect is one form of womanhood. There is no reason why it wasn't done until now. I am fortunate to be the first, and I am thankful to everyone for the same." Far From The Madding Crowd Navalveerayatan, run by Acharya Chandanaji, is a unique centre for learning courses intend to develop the body, mind and soul of the participants using modern techniques of instruction, workshops and discussions. Run by Acharya Chandanaji and her band of sadhvis, Navalveerayatan focuses on self-understanding and inner peace. The centre runs a special one-month course for young women, comprising spiritual, cultural and moral education for the participants. Navalveerayatan provides nutritious meals and comfortable accommodation. An ultra-modern training faculty, open air spacious playground, beautiful spots for meditation and a cultural hall for music and art, complete the Navalveerayatan experience. The courses at Navalveerayatan cater to almost all age groups, educational levels, family backgrounds and linguistic preferences. Set up by the Amar Prerana Trust of the Firodia family and dedicated to the memory of the late Shri Navalmalji Firodia, Navalveerayatan is open to members of all faiths, creeds, age groups and nationalities. s the pace o life's journey becomes increas. ingly uncertain and frenzied, we get fewer opportunities to rest and reflect. To reveal our own inner beauty, a special education is required, directed towards raising not the quantity of goods that we need, but the quality of life that we lead. We need to learn techniques for making our lives and relationships more meaningful and more satisfying, both for ourselves and for our loved ones. Navalveerayatan allows us to acquire these qualities by learning the true art of living. Located in a pollution-free, clean environment, atop a beautiful hill, Navalveerayatan is a unique experience. Situated 60 km. from Pune in Maharashtra, Navalveerayatan is an extraordinary centre for imparting spiritual and cultural education for all castes and faiths. Navalveerayatan runs residential courses of various durations - from one day to three months. These 47 VARDHAMAN Education intomational For Personal & Private Use Only www.binaliha. Page #48 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ VARDHAMAN 48 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #49 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ * MILLENNIUM SAINT HE BOASTS NO HALO, WEARS NO SAFFRON ROBES, DISPENSES NO HEAVY PHILOSOPHY. YET BY SHEER DINT OF ALL THAT HE HAS DONE AND IS STILL INTENT ON DOING, DEEPCHAND GARDI QUALIFIES AS A MODERN DAY SAINT! TEXT MEENAKSHI AGRAWAL PHOTOGRAPHS: VIKRAM GAWDE The 11-year-old boy, who went to Muli, from nearby Vankaner to visit the temple of the family deity, Mandavraiji, did not even have the requisite four annas to pay for his half-ticket for the journey. In the presence of the deity he prayed for good thought, good sense and good will enough, so that he would be able to donate the princely sum of Rs. 1000 daily, to some needy cause. The boy felt, as if a voice answered, "Child, your desire will be fulfilled". 49 VARDHAMAN For Personal & Private Use Only Page #50 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Thirty years later, the boy returned to his ancestral temple to thank Mandavraiji for granting him his heart's desire and to ask for another wish fulfillment. Rs. 1000 no longer being a very sig. nificant amount now, he wanted God to enable him to donate at least a lakh of rupees daily. Once again he heard the same voice granting the wish. The phones ring constantly, as Deepchand Gardi prepares to leave for New Delhi, for a meeting with the Prime Minister, to discuss the agenda for the celebrations, planned in honour of 2,600 years of Mahavir Jayanti. As President of the Bhagwan Mahavir Memorial Trust, he is on the Prime Minister's special committee, in charge of the planned festivities. The 85-year-old Gardiji does not eat a morsel of food without donating a minimum of his wished for amount daily. He feels that his life full of miracles, is proof of the fact that his tenure on earth is merely to serve God's will. Given up for dead at birth, then miraculously revived 45 minutes later, without any sign of physical or mental damage, Gardiji is no ordinary mortal. For the inhabitants of hundreds of villages, where he has built waterworks, schools and shelters, for the thousands of students who owe their education in both India and abroad to him, for the ess living creatures - from the smallest in- sect to bigger animals that survive due to his benevolence, he is a veritable God. Hailing from Paddhari, in Saurashtra, Gardiji did his schooling from an English medium school in nearby Vankaner; his University education from Mumbai and went on to earn the prestigious degree of Barrister at Law from London. A totally self-made man, Gardiji always had a strong bent towards social service. He recalls making small donations, even as a young student, when he could ill-afford it. He built his first school at his native place, Paddhari, in 1946 when he was just 31 and named it after his father, the late Swarajji Gardi. Since then, his philanthropic activities have spread far and wide and include interest-free loans, distribution of food, funding for Cheshire homes, orphanages, schools, colleges, hospitals and religious institutions. As per the Jain principle of anekantvada, he does not differentiate on basis of religion, caste or creed. He donates equally generously to nonJaini or non-Hindu organisations. "Jainism," according to him, "is a universal religion, treating God, not as a creator but as a Divine Being showing one a better path to salvation." It is not sur prising that many Muslims come to take his blessings en route their pilgrimage to do Haj. His sons, Dr. Rashmikant Gardi, a gynaecologist in Chicago, USA and Hasmukh Gardi, a solicitor in London are firm supporters of their father's selfless service to mankind. A clause in Gardiji last will and testament states that a crore of rupees be donated daily, after his death. While explaining this to his grandsons, Hiten and Binoy, he teasingly threatened them, that if they did not work towards this end, he would take rebirth in the house to remind them of this wish. To this his devoted grandsons retorted, "You will definitely have to return, just to see that we are doing twice as much, of what we have been asked to do." Jeeva Daya, or compassion for life, the prime tenet of Jainism, is the guiding principle of this dignified man's life. He staunchly believes in the code of, "live and let live; and help them to live". This along with ahimsa, or non-violence and peace towards all living beings has been the inspiration for his selfless service to humanity and even other forms of life, big and small. To this end, large amounts of grains are distributed to the needy in remote villages, and he has donated generously to the care of all types of living creatures - Cows, dogs, cats, fish and birds. To serve the poorest of the poor, is his motto, and to achieve this aim, he utilises his personal funds, through the Deepchand Gardi Trust. Aparigraha, the principle of non-possession, based on the philosophy of denial, has been responsible for the charitable bend in his naresponsible for the charitable ture. "I believe that my time on earth is merely to do God's will and all that I own has been given by God to be passed along to the needy, on humanitarian grounds." He feels he is a mere instrument of Divinity, and says, "When I serve the lowliest creature, I get the highest satisfaction; and satisfaction is the best form of happiness." Seated under a massive picture depicting Lord Krishna's teachings to Arjuna, in his Carmichael Road residence in Mumbai, situated next to a chowk named for his wife Ruxmaniben Gardi, he refuses to take credit for his innumerable contributions to charity. He very modestly refers to himself not as a giver, but as a taker. "I am just a bhikshuk, a beggar for the blessings of people. What I give to them is mere money, which belongs to the mortal world. What the recipients give in return, are priceless blessings, which will benefit me in life, as well as, after death, in rebirth. These blessings are my main source of strength. These blessings are the reason, that I am still going strong at 85 and have never been admitted to a hospital. I thank the Supreme Be VARDHAMAN 50 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #51 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ing daily, for filling my bag, to the brim, with the kind thoughts and love of people." A total antithesis to the self-seeking persons of the age, Gardiji craves no form of attention or personal publicity. He does not accept any awards and nor does his name appear anywhere on any donor or trustee list. He has distanced himself from the fields of both industry and politics, for sheer selflessness is the motto of his life. Not even a single school, waterworks or temple constructed by him, is named after him. He names them after a local person, his daughtersin-law or his grandchildren and great grandchildren, all of whom are settled abroad and unknown in India. His philosophy is, 'Simple Liv. ing, High Thinking', and he wants to inculcate positive thoughts and optimism into every moment. As he simply states, "Jo achha hai, wo mera hai. It should be our attempt to focus on whatever is good in our personal world and let go of negativity." This sanguine approach to life lets him live without any worries or tensions, doing whatever good he can to fellow beings along the way. However, with all the humility of a truly great man, this saint of the 21st century, dismisses his immense contribution to society, saying, "I am born to be forgotten, not remembered. I want to be like the foundation stone, providing a firm and strong base, for others to build their beautiful dreams on." 51 VARDHAMAN For Personal & Private Use Only Page #52 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA-NANDAVARTA 2u VH NANDAVARTA a sacred complex form of swastika which is a visual icon for higher meditative attainment, a beautiful configuration formed by nine angles or corners of divinity. VARDHAMAN 52 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #53 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ PARIMAL PARIVAAR AUR PREM KA ANOKHA BANDHAN ! Manikchand PARIMAL TEA Manikchand QUALITY PRODUCTS FROM Swad, khushboo, Rang... Uttamta ke Sang ! JS Manikchand Page #54 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ FOOD FOR FITNESS Science has established what Jainism has advocated all along - we are what we eat, and to stay healthy, you have to follow healthy eating habits TEXT ARUNA RATHOD he menus of most vegetarian restaurants have the ubiquitous statement 'we also serve Jain food', but why haven't we heard of a speciality Jain restaurant? That's because, besides being strict vegetarians, the Jains also have other restrictions when it comes to food. And the reason Jainism advocates strict vegetarianism is because the very first principle laid down by Bhagwan Mahavir is ahimsa, which means non-injury to living beings. Many religious and spiritual practices that originated over 2000 years ago, continue till date. It is no coincidence that science and medicine have now deemed these practices conducive to good health. Dr. Ramanlal Shah, retired Head of the Gujarati Department of St. Xavier's College, explains, "Even though the basic principles of Jainism are framed from the religious and spiritual point of view, you can find scientific reasons for them. When we VARDHAMAN 54 Fore s t www b Page #55 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 4.5) 55 VARDHAMAN For Personal & Private Use Only Page #56 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ talk about vegetarianism, the question we're al- time. They recognised that there is a rhythm in ways asked is don't plants have life? Jainism has life - day and night, the cycles of seasons. Simian answer to this query. We recognise the fivelarly our body too has a rhythm according to the physical senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and Circadian principles. There are three processes hearing as the principal attributes of living be in the digestive system - elimination, digestion, ings. All life forms in the universe are then classi- absorption. The elimination process is from mornfied in terms of the senses found in various crea ing to noon. Our energy level rises as the sun tures. The lowest life forms are those with only rises, so noon is the time when our energy is at one sense, the sense of touch, such as plants. the highest. Our digestion stops before six in the But since human must eat to survive, they are evening. When the sun sets our body prepares allowed to eat life with only one sense, that is for sleep and rest." basically plant life." Jains normally have their meals before sunset. Dr. Vijaya Venkat who runs the Health Aware. The food is cooked during day light only, never at ness Centre in Mumbai, and who is an authority night. This practice originated in ancient times on nutrition says, "Food should be ecological, evo- when there was no electricity. When a lamp was lutionary and ethical. Jainism scores 100 per cent lit, insects attracted to the flame could die. Bewhen it comes to ethics regarding food. Also be- sides, going to bed soon after dinner is not very cause of the numerous restrictions, Jains normally healthy, so when Jainism advocated an early dindon't overeat." ner, it was again health driven, besides being reShe believes that the ligious Jains are supposed to drink boiled water Jain philosophy of live only. Jain monks never fall sick as a result of drinkFood should and let live is very impor- ing this water. tant and necessary for Vegetables and fruits that grow underground be ecological, evolution. "We can never (roots of plants) are prohibited as a general rule. recapture what our an. The reason being, if we pull out the plant from evolutionary and cestors had by way of dis- the root, we destroy the entire plant, and with it ethical. Jainism cipline. We have de- all the other micro organisms around the root. stroyed nature and sen- Dr. Venkat adds, "About an inch below the soil, scores 100 per cent sitivity. We don't even there is a rich growth of micro-organisms around when it comes to have to validate ancient the root, so when we pull it out, we are destroy culture through science. ing a life cycle." ethics regarding food Tradition is more impor- Fresh fruits and vegetables should be plucked - Dr. Vijaya tant." only when ripe and ready to fall off, or ideally The medical reasons after they have fallen off the plant. In case they Venkat for being a vegetarian are plucked from the plants, only as much as reare relatively a modern quired should be procured and consumed withphenomenon; mostly out waste. evolving during the past Roots are supposed to increase your sensuous half a century or so, after developments in mod feelings. Sour and spicy food is rajasik. Only satwik ern medicine established links between certain food keeps the mind clean, makes you ailments and a non-vegetarian diet. samatabhavi, gives you equanimity. Alcohol, meat Dr. Venkat too believes that our bodies are not and even honey are forbidden. Honey because you designed to digest non-vegetarian food. "The have to burn the beehives to get it and also the fact Jains are definitely right when they believe that that you drive away the bees and usurp their hard one must not consume meat. Our body cannot achieved collection of honey which is not accepted digest non-vegetarian food. In the human diges by Jainism. tive system, the saliva and blood is alkaline while In the case of food grains, such as wheat, rice, meat products and other products are acidic." maize and beans, these are obtained when the In fact, Jains also avoid eating onion and garlic. plants or the pods are dry and dead. Mushrooms Dr. Shah explains, "The onion is made up of and fungus are not eaten by Jain families because many cells, so eating it would mean killing many they are parasites and grow under unhygienic lives. It was found later that eating onions and conditions. garlic also lead to an increase in tamasik Honey, vinegar, molasses and wine are taboo. behaviour that leads to aggression." So are vegetables, like jack fruit, that bleed on cutting and when cooked look like meat. VegFood Practices with a medical relevance etables like cabbage are peeled layer by layer, According to Dr. Vijaya Venkat the practice of each leaf cleaned and washed before cutting and having our meals before sunset and after sun cooking, in case there are insects and worms in rise, is something we must follow like orthodox between the leaves. Similarly, leafy vegetables Jains. "Our ancestors were really far, far ahead of must be cleaned well before consumption. VARDHAMAN 56 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #57 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Barilla FARFALLE COTTURA 10 MINUTI For enquiries: R.R. Oomerbhoy Pvt. Ltd. P.B. No. 11161 Mumbai: 400 020 Fax: 022-202 6929 E-mail: Personal & Prive. Use Only Page #58 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ JM MUTUAL FUND HAS THE FOLLOWING SCHEMES APPROVED AS PUBLIC_SECURITIES BY THE GOVERNMENT OF MAHARASHTRA, JM BALANCED FUND Investment Objective : Steady current income as well as long term growth of capital. JM EQUITY FUND Investment Objective: To provide investors with a convenient instrument for long term capital growth and appreciation. IM JM LIQUID FUND Investment Objective : To provide a high degree of liquidity to investors and at the same time provide current income and preservation of capital. JM G-SEC FUND Investment Objective: To invest only in Government securities. Coming Soon JM Heritage Fund - The Ahinsa Fund With Debt and Balanced option J.M. Capital Management Limited 112 Jolly Maker Chambers No. 2, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400021, Tel.: 2826474 Fax: 2881154 E-mail: mktg@immutual.con Jain Education intern Ahmedabad - 6576666/ 67 Bangalore - 2212578/ 2245810 Calcutta - 2816690 - 95 Chennai - 8585823/ 24 Hyderabad - 3398988/3301157 Mumbai - 2665577 New Delhi 3312460/ 0775/ 1822 Pune - 446 5040 Surat w427,146/424 103 Page #59 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ JM BALANCED FUND OPEN ENDED INCOME CUM GROWTH SCHEME WITH MONTHLY DIVIDEND REVIEW equity Strike the right balance. HIGHLIGHTS * Dividend Plan for regular income and Growth Plan for Capital Appreciation & periodic dividend * Sale & Repurchase at Daily NAV based prices * Entry load 1.5% * Redemption within 3 working days * Dividend under Dividend Plan is tax free u/s 10 (33) * Units approved as "Public Securities" by Government of Maharashtra Conditions apply. JM MUTUAL Your friend in the world of risk. Trustee: J. M. Trustee Company Limited. Investment Manager: J. M. Capital Management Limited. Sponsor: J. M. Financial & Investment Consultancy Services Limited. Co-Sponsor: J. M. Share & Stock Brokers Limited. tok Factors: All Investments in mutual funds and securities are subject to market risks and the NAV of the scheme may go up or down depending upon the do's and forces affecting the securities market and there can be no assurance that the objectives of the scheme will be achieved. The above information is not only indicative of future results and may not necessarily provide a basis for comparison with other investments. The sponsors are not responsible or liable for y los resulting from the operation of the fund beyond the initial contribution made by them of an aggregate amount of Rs. Two lacs towards setting up of the mutual Ved which have been invested in JM Equity Fund. JM Balanced Fund is only the name of the scheme and do not in any manner indicate either the quality of the cheme, their future prospects or returns. Please read the Prospectus/ Offer Document, particularly scheme specific risk factors, before investing Page #60 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Putting his best foot forward As Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India D.R.Mehta walks tall. But few know of the thousands of the poorest of the handicapped poor he has helped to walk, through his Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti BMVSS), Jaipur For Mehta believes that you can only worship God, through service to man! TEXT SHALINI SHARMA PHOTOGRAPHS ASHESH SHAH VARDHAMAN 60 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #61 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ he financial nerve centre of the coun- try rests in his hand, his every deci sion makes the money market quiver in reaction, crores swing either way de pending on the direction he pushes the file. No one realises the weight of this gargantuan responsibility more than the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, D. R. Mehta himself. In a field which had come to respect the predators and sneer the ethical, the man chosen six years back to cleanse the Augean stables was strangely one who believes completely in the power of ahimsa. Also one who has never in his life ever bought a share. "I have never had an inclination for it," he admits. Let's flashback to February, 1995. The government had woken up to the belated recognition that outdated rules and policies had made the stock market a feeding ground for manipulators. The market was awash with bad deliveries, defiant brokers and floundering corporates. On the other side of the spectrum were ordinary investors, many of whom had lost their entire life savings in the scam. The Bombay Stock Exchange had proven to be the most shoddy, badly run organisation completely out of sync with modern financial methods. On the surface, a financial bulldozer may have been the solution to roadroll the opposition and crack the whip. Instead they chose a man of peace, a bureaucrat from the Rajasthan cadre hailing from Jodhpur. As Mehta himself recollects, "I was unpleasantly surprised. I didn't want the post, aware that it was going to be a high tension tightrope walk constantly under the media eye. But my objections were ignored." The markets experienced his healing touch. "Many of my financial friends felt that drastic action was the only solution to deal with the mess. But I personally feel that if change has to be truly effective it has to be gradual and done through consensus. We set up committees consisting of brokers, corporates, financial institutions and most important, ordinary investors, to give us feedback. Of course, people complained I was introducing a bureaucratic culture to the stock markets and that it would not work. But I am happy to say we have largely succeeded and that's because we made sure that everyone in the trade was consulted. Management is about communication. Ultimately whether people agree with you or not is a different issue. What's important is that they too are involved in the process of change." During this period, the capital market in India was transformed into a modern, efficient, safe, investor-friendly and vibrant entity. Today Mehta cites the Indian capital markets as one of the best stock exchanges in the world with total screen 61 VARDHAMAN in Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #62 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ based online trading. No night we take them in. At longer do newspapers every point, they are made scream with regularity to feel like human beings." about stock market says Mehta. Touchingly, misdemeanours, the sys even the relatives accomtems are modern and panying the handicapped transparent and terms like are put up free of cost by badla have become part of the centre. Such is the history. fame of the society today, But for Mehta the suc that people pour in from cessful resonance of the all corners of India in market he has tamed dims search of a limb, but more next to the story about the importantly a place where journey of his heart, his they are treated with care social organisation and respect, Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang BMVSS today fits about Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), 75 to 80 per cent of the which has the distinction of total artificial limbs fitted being the largest limb cen in India at its centres and tre in the world today at on-the-spot limb fitment It started when he was camps throughout the posted at Pokhran. "I met length and breadth of Inwith a major car accident. dia from Kashmir to Kerala The doctors were doubtful and from Gujarat to I would survive. I did, but Assam. It has also exmy leg was smashed into tended its reach to a num40 pieces; I was in hospi ber of other countries tal for five months and it The path to such as Somalia, Vietnam, took years of therapy be salvation is clear Angola, Afghanistan, Nicafore I fully recovered. I still ragua, Panama, West cannot bend my knee. But - if you do something Indies, Kenya, Ivory Coast, more importantly, the South Africa, Philippines, good or bad you have to whole process made me Thailand, Indonesia, Sri aware of how blessed I was face the consequences Lanka, Pakistan, to have the best medical fa Bangladesh, etc. where cilities at my disposal. And of your actions. But limb fitment camps are how the poor have to sufpeople today have organised from time to fer because they do not time. have the same advantages. forgotten the old What fuels this noble "I got my chance when I sayings, they prefer to and extremely successful was posted in Jaipur in social work enterprise? 1974. I saw the Jaipur foot seek reassurance in The name of the which had been moulded rituals like fasting and organisation says it all. If by master craftsman ever anyone has tried to Ramchandra Sharma. going to the link the goal of an "It was an excellent limb, temple organisation to the tenets even cheap but needed an of a religion, in this case organisation to support it. Jainism, it is Mehta. I did the needful by setting "The Jain scriptures are up BMVSS. In our first year we fitted only 59 limbs. very clear about this - worship of God means the Now every year we fit 15,000 limbs, making ours worship of man," he states simply. "The path to the biggest institution in the world to do such salvation is clear - if you do something good or work." Today the society is the succour for the bad you have to face the consequences of your poorest of the handicapped poor. The limb, food actions. But people today have forgotten the old and lodging for the period of the treatment is sayings, they prefer to seek reassurance in ritucompletely free which also includes rail fare back als like fasting and going to the temple. But home. "If you ask a poor man to pay even a to- Jainism clearly states that only if you follow the ken amount it is the equivalent of saying 'you path of good knowledge, good thoughts and good people don't have the money so get out'. Even if action then only will you be a good Jain. People a poor man and his family arrive in middle of the think non-killing is ahimsa. To me that is the su VARDHAMAN 62 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #63 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ tion. "Lord Mahavir is not a God, he was a great teacher. If I follow his path maybe I can become like him," he humbly confesses. And just how does he plan to do that with a high powered financial career which shows no signs of letting up? He smiles, "When I retire, I am not going to become some chairman or consultant or advisor. I intend to fade like a falling star in the financial world. If you do come looking for me I will be in my 6 by 8 feet BMVSS office in Jaipur." Doing what he does best - worshipping God through the service of man. perficial aspect of ahimsa. Pure ahimsa is when you are friends to all living things, when you ac- tively help them - which is what we do through our Society. I am proud to be a Jain and that I follow the path of ahimsa." At the meeting to decide on the 2600 birth celebrations of Lord Mahavir in Delhi recently, which was attended by many of the country's leading politicians and industrialists, Mehta was invited by Vajpayee to give a talk. Thus acknowledging the role of this bureaucrat in sustaining the true spirit of Jainism through his social work. Mehta cut through the hype with a simple suggestion. That if the government really wanted to honour the memory of Lord Mahavir, they should set aside Rs. 100 crore for the free treatment of poor people afflicted with cancer. It was no off-the-cuff idealistic statement. As this financial expert reasoned, the interest on that sum would take care of the treatment costs. As for the blessings of the poor, that could never be measured. His respect for other religions and deep-rooted belief in gender equality also emanates from the basic core of Jainism. "Mahavir says 'You are friends to all and you have to pray to all'. In other words, you cannot discriminate between people on grounds of caste, creed, sex or religion. BMVSS is proud of its secular credentials, it is the core of our approach. If we set up a limb or polio camp on the birthday of the Kanchipuram Shankaracharya, we also set up a similar camp at the Dargah Sharif. Do you know ours is the only Society whose people can walk into the Turkman Gate area during riots completely unarmed and no harm will befall us. Once a Muslim admirer put up a banner right next to the Jama Masjid welcoming the Bhagwan Mahaveer Samiti to that area. The Naib Imam summoned him demanding to know our religious affiliation but he told them about our work instead. The Naib Iman gave his approval and the banner remained. To do good for others, that is religion." Liberation of women is the bedrock of Jainism he believes. "The first person to have attained salvation according to Jain philosophy is a lady, Rishab Devi the mother of the first Tirthankara. But today we have some religious leaders who will say Jainism does not believe in gender equality. Such a statement is totally against our religion." Typically, Mehta has set up a centre in Jodhpur for helping widows, deserted or distressed women, mostly in rural areas where over 4,000 such women have been helped so far. His knowledge of Jainism is not just the result of religious idealism. It spans the serious study of all the 32 main scriptures and he possesses the translation of all of them. The most arresting aspect of his simply furnished sitting room is a long running wooden tableau of the different stages of Lord Mahavir's journey to salva ducation International For Personal Present Page #64 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Guided by the five principal tenets of Jainism-ahimsa, satya, achaurya, aparigraha and brahmacharya, Sharayu Daftary has proved her mettle in varied avatars-as ace businesswoman, caring wife and proud mother of three accomplished daughters. Besides being the editor of Jain Bodhak, she is also in her second term as President of the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) WOMAN SEASONS TEXTI SHALA A GANGULY PHOTOGRAPHS MEENAL AGARWAL For Personal & Private Use Only Page #65 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ doooooooooooooooo Tena 0000000000000000gnaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Jain Educa For Personal Page #66 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ou cannot ignore or deny the fact business acumen and humane approach that that a man and a woman are like could teach a thing or two to hothouse trained the twin wheels of life's carriage. MBAs, whose focus on upward mobility often That is why a husband and wife must nurture makes them lose sight of the shop-floor, where mutual respect and buffer each other at all times the success story actually begins. on their journey towards self-expression, "For 32 years we had no strike, no go-slow and fulfilment. For it is only in such secure and no loss of manpower." Now this is a record civilised homes that an intellectually strong and achievement for a helmswoman with a BA deemotionally sound new generation can be gree, who worked on the machines in a sari (oh raised...and a bright future ensured for our val- yes!) and evolved her own play-to-win strategy, ues, our culture." with some credit to Peter Drucker, who asserts This is Sharayu Daftary - ace businesswoman, that the best manager is one who can get every caring wife, proud mother of three highly accom- thing done through worthy delegates. plished daughters and a staunch practising Jain "I really believe in that. Rather than appointing - speaking in her new avatar as a committed quality-control inspectors, I always told my workeditor of Jain Bodhak - an inspiring fortnightly ers that I had full faith in them. I would give them paraphrasing the way to live right, as per the the specifications of the materials and tell them tenets of Jainism. She is reacting in this edit, to to be their own inspectors in the production unit. Prime Minister Vajpayee's declaration of 2001 This increased both their self-esteem and their as the 'Women's Rights Year' and elucidating how skill." And no doubt, their loyalty. "My religion, gender equality is intrinsic to the Jain dharma my upbringing has taught me that where you are which grants a woman as much dignity, freedom born is because of your karma. Go beyond that of thought and opportunity as man. and you realise that all atmas are equal. Besides, A lightning-swift mind; a wide canvas of a little praise goes a long way in making 'effiinterests and achievements; ideas as crisp as the ciency effective and weakness redundant' as delicately embroidered cottons she prefers; a Drucker recommends." tremendous capacity for absorbing information Daftary takes us down memory lane to reveal and learning and a work ethic that is defined by how her'enterprising adventure began. "My grand"need, not greed" has enabled this spunky in- father, Hirachand Nemchand, was a reformer who heritor of the Walchand family to go far, in a male- brought the religious texts of Jainism out of the dominated arena, with many 'firsts' to her credit. temple and made them accessible to the com Currently injecting her special spark of mon man and more important, to women. Till womanpower in her second innings as President then, because of the Mughal influence, women of the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC), where who stepped out of the threshold were looked she had the honour of becoming the first elected upon as 'loose'. So women were kept at home President, way back in 1981, Daftary has also and denied a higher education. He was the first earned the distinction of being the first woman to to let his daughter study. My uncle Walchand was be elected President of the Automotive Compo- a visionary who started the Hindustan Aircraft facnents Manufacturers' Association in 1971, the first tory at Bangalore, among many other enterprises, woman member of the executive committee of As my father Lalchand was the executive director FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Com- of this, we spent some of my most memorable merce & Industry, New Delhi), years at Bangalore, where, beand first lady Rotarian of the Ro Rather than cause of their presence and pretary Club in her area. In fact, dur appointing cept, I imbibed some unforgeting her initial run at the IMC, she quality-control table lessons. VIPs would gather was President elect of both its inspectors, I always at home on Sundays and I witmainstream body and the Ladies' nessed many discussions about told my workers that I Wing. The fact that the latter po had full faith in them. the burning need for political and sition is now occupied by her economic freedom. This is where I would give them the daughter Gauri Pohoomal, says as the seeds of my nationalistic specifications of the much for the daughter's compe fervour were sown...and I felt detence as for the mother's consci materials and tell them termined to contribute to the ecoentious nurturing skills. to be their own nomic growth of my country. This She is also founder and man inspectors in the is when I first dreamt of running aging director of Bharat Radiators production unit. an industry." She was then only Ltd., an engineering and ancillary This increased six years old! unit to the automobile industry both their self That dream did not peter out, which she established in 1958, esteem and even after marriage (at 19) and a at age 25. She guided the for their skill daughter (at 21). That was when tunes of her company, with a she asked her father if she could VARDHAMAN 66 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #67 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ step into one of the family ventures, but her uncles turned down the idea. When she tried for a job elsewhere, she discovered the unpalatable fact that her lineage was the selling point that brought her attractive offers. Around this time, the government floated a scheme for the manufacture of radiators, but it had no takers. "My father was approached and he asked me if I was interested. Of course I said 'Yes'." However, her father had two conditions. "He said you must work on the machines yourself and that I would get no help from the Walchand Group." But the daughter was game for this challenge and the rest is business history! Having supportive inlaws helped, definitely. "For the first seven years of marriage, we lived with Arvind's parents. As a civil engineer handling construction jobs, he would often be out till late and they saw how alone I was. So they were relieved that I had taken up something to do." Besides, (this with a smile) "everyone knew I was a person who would do what I wanted." A statement that loses its sting when you realise that it was not in being a party animal but a work-horse in a virtual 'no-woman'sland' that her interest lay. What are the basic values that have shaped her no-nonsense attitude, her high-thinking lifestyle? "From my childhood, by education and example, I have been guided by the five principal tenets of Jainism-ahimsa, satya, achaurya, aparigraha and brahmacharya (being non-violent, honest, abstaining from taking anything that does not belong to you, being content and observing fidelity). Every one at home followed these principles. My uncle had many business interests but his personal assets would never go beyond a certain point - no shady deals and no opulence even though there was affluence. Enjoy what you are entitled to because of your good deeds, your punyakarma, but do so with a cer tain detachment, is what Jainism says. The Walchand group earned respect for transparency of action because these religious tenets were applied to daily life." Pepper this strong conditioning with an infectious energy, a thoroughness of approach, exemplary time and people management and you have the success formula of this woman of today. "I have always had a tendency to evaluate and analyse the knowledge I acquire. I also believe in constantly updating myself. I still read the latest books on economics, business management. At conferences, I would never open my mouth until I was sure of my hold over my subject. Therefore, when I did speak, I would sound better than the others." Perhaps this was the reason she was the FICCI member chosen to meet Indira Gandhi. A memorable meeting in which the erstwhile premier praised her for being both intelligent and beautiful, thereby also healing forever the Achilles' heel Daftary had nursed as a young woman. She felt she was not goodlooking because she was "dark, thick-lipped and round-eyed". "Religion teaches you to face reality," is how she brushes off a compliment on how refreshingly candid she can be even on such deeply personal and vulnerable ground. But then, in the business of life, victory goes to the one savvy enough to circumvent any minor setback and create one's own space, one's own style. "My jewellery, my bangles, bindi, shoes, flowers always matched my sari. I played badminton regularly to stay in shape after my three daughters were born." She even learnt kathak along with them, for awhile! It was from this happy mix, this irresistible cocktail of a traditional foundation and a modern outlook, a healthy and perfectly groomed body and a quicksilver mind, that the swan soon emerged, earning compliments galore as she brushed shoulders with the high and mighty, in the corri 67 VARDHAMAN For Personal & Private Use Only Page #68 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ dors of her business world. Smiling at us from the magnificent blow-ups daughter Kavita surprised her with recently, is a twinkle-eyed young woman, whose soft features and pert figure radiate with the allure of a confident person who has found her calling. "Yes, in the final analysis, it is your bhav, the attitude of your mind, not just your features that make you lovely." Which is why today she can dismiss the extra kilos time has gifted with a merry "I was thin and then I was lovely and now I am fat again, so what?" Emerson, who prescribed laughing "often and much" as one of the 'musts' to stay alive all your life would be thrilled with such a disposition! Today, Daftary, who figured as the only woman in Business India's list of 100 prominent business leaders of India in 1988, is busy with her many tasks as the 'once-more' IMC President. "We provide quality service to the industry and trade organs. For instance, there are a lot of programmes for educating mediumsized units. We help to create pro-active partnerships between government and business, provide timely and accurate information, do research review economic, monetary and trade policies, all with the goal of achieving rapid growth of the national economy." That was the desk-time portfolio. Independently, Daftary has travelled extensively and lectured on subjects ranging from management and women's empowerment to vegetarianism, ahimsa and Jain philosophy, Little surprise then, that the Jain Ratna Award was conferred on her because of her firm belief in ahimsa as a practising Jain, her commitment to the propagation of Jain philosophy as well as human and ethical values. "In 1980 I began a serious study of Jainism under Acharya Vidyanand Muni. It was he who convinced me that I should take up the editorship of Jain Bodhak, the fortnightly started by my grandfather. It is second in longevity only to Tilak's Kesari and it has brought me a lot of fulfilment. You see, when one follows certain principles, one wants to know the philosophy behind them. My main effort in Jain Bodhak is to make available what is in the shastras in a simplified manner. The road to moksha is open only to those with samyakdarshan -which is shraddha (piety), gyan (knowledge) and charitrya (good character). "I am a strict follower of the Jain diet - I don't eat anything grown underground. Jaise khave anna, waise hoye mann (what you eat influences your mind)." "I believe in yoga. I do the suryanamaskar as well as pranayam and dhyana. You see puja or paath (ritualistic worship or chanting and reading of spiritual texts) are the initial steps but finally, the road to moksha is through the mind ...learning to eliminate anger, avarice, attachment, ego. The most difficult to give up is maya (attachment). Jainism tells you that by good deeds you may accumulate punya but to break the cycle of life and death you must cultivate detachment." Surely it is this constant striving to reach that inner seat of calm detachment that gave her the strength to absorb the shock of the stroke her husband suffered about a year ago. "The study of Jain philosophy, my guru have helped me to understand the theory of karma. Students of economics normally treat the karma theory as negative for the economic growth of the country because they feel it makes you fatalistic. That is not true. True purushartha is in learning to accept what happens, yes, but also in not giving up or getting bogged down by life. You have to keep on doing the right things and try to find a way out. Yes, life did come to a standstill for a short while but I have the strength to bear what comes. My husband is a fighter, so am I. Along with my sense of responsibility, compassion and acceptance is the awareness that if this is his fate, it is mine too." In whatever she does, Sharayu Daftary's motto clearly is, "Give your all to what you do". You have to only read her outstanding resume. Or listen to her management-speak'. Or nit-pick with her about Jain philosophy. Or discover she gives research grants to low profile but deserving musicians. Or hear about the exhibition on vegetarianism that she had mounted and how she helped Satish Arora add zing to Jain food at the Taj. Or see how well her daughters Gauri Pohoomal, Czaee Shah and Kavita Khanna, have turned out ("what was important was not what they did, but how well they did it"). Or stare disbelieving at the impeccable hand embroidery she has done on her saris! And you know there are still some rare individuals from whom life will always take a beating. You know this woman cannot fit into a thumbnail sketch. You know, most of all, that you have met a winner! YARDHAMAN, 68 national For Personal & Private Use Only Page #69 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Tom Hanks lost 12 kgs to look like an AIDS patient in the movie PHILADELPHIA Quadrant 2188 DESERVES TO BE SEEN ON AN AKAI. Akai CT 21L15. Intelligent picture control with daylight, ideal and evening settings. 140-watt PMPO Surround Sound With super bass woofer. Free set of interchangeable frontcoveroparels Bayear Warranty Page #70 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ G* By legend he is the foster son of the Dharma Daivas. By the sheer scope and size of his charitable and social deeds, he is the most loved man in his state. Officially, Rajashri D Veerendra Heggade is the guardian of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala, Mangalore, Karnataka, TEXT STANLEY G PINTO harmasthala in Karnataka is the perfect embodiment of the word dharma. Dharmasthala represents religious tolerance, for here, the caste, creed and faith of the pilgrims are of no consequence. For here, the Jain Tirthankara is worshipped on the same consecrated grounds along with the native Daivas and Lord Manjunatha (Shiva). The priests are Vaishnavite Brahmins and the guardian of the temple, Heggade, is a Jain by faith. Together, they form an enviable confluence of faiths. For those who come for justice, Heggade dispenses justice, acting in the tradition of his ancestral role as the representative of the presiding deities. The Heggade in question is Rajashri D Veerendra Heggade, Vharmadhikari of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala, Mangalore, Karnataka. The present Heggade, son of VARDHAMAN70ernational For Personal & Private Use Only Page #71 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ZNANSTAVASARIO ETUL TUDNOTATION temom Jah Educatic a tion Personal & Private Use Page #72 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ foundation stones for this great religious centre. The significant architects of the modern Dharmasthala were the two illustrious predecessors of the present Heggade. The late Manjayya, Heggade (1918 to 1955) and the late Ratnavarma Heggade (1955 to 1968). Their zealous efforts have not only been responsible for putting Dharmasthala prominently on the pilgrimage map of India, but also enhanced the amenities to make the pilgrims comfortable. Veerendra Heggade (born in 1948) is the son of yoojneon. Ratnavarma Heggade, is the 21 st Heggade of Dharmasthala. The position of Heggade of Dharmasthala is a unique one, smaarNbh. unknown to any other religious centre in the country. Accord ing to tradition, he represents Lord Manjunatha and is a pious grahastha with numerous religious, social and cultural responsibilities. His duties include propagating the tradition of dharma in accordance to the command of the Daivas, who accept him as their foster son. As the traditional head of the Manjunatha shrine, he must ensure that traditional practices are observed regularly. He also has to discharge his responsibilities true to his conscience and function as the representative of the Daivas. He executes his social responsibilities as a pious grahastha by extending the four traditional danas (gifts) - annadana (food), aushadadana (medicine), vidyadana (knowledge) and abhayadana (freedom from fear). Besides worship and social service, Heggade is also responsible for promoting the fine arts. He maintains a touring Yakshagana troupe, encourages the flow of new idea and hosts the annual Sarvadharma Sammelana and Sahitya Sammelana to spread religious tolerance and knowledge That's why Heggade is revered as a man of God in his actions. Twenty generations of Heggades have devoted their lives to manage and develop Dharmasthala kshetra. Sheer dedication, selfless service and pious devotion to God and man have been the Ratnavarma Heggade. He was a boy of great dig. nity and devotion and nurtured by the piety of his mother Ratnamma and influenced by his father's administrative skills and dedication to dharma. The boy showed great maturity at an early age, and this was put to test when the mantle of Heggade fell on his young shoulders at the age of 20, on October 24, 1968. Since then, he has carried his heritage to greater heights, not only by continuing to protect the essence of the kshetra, but also by achieving remarkable progress in his service to mankind. In the Pergade tradition of generous hospitality, every pilgrim to Dharmasthala is an honoured guest. Whatever his caste, creed or culture, he is provided with free food and shelter. The Annapoorna Choultry, named after Goddess Annapoorneshwari (Goddess of Food) feeds more than 20,000 people per day. Thus Heggade fulfils his promise of annadaana. VARDHAMAN 72 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #73 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The legend of Dharmasthala Reaching out to the needy and providing them succour is second nature to Heggade. During severe drought in the North Karnataka districts of Gulbarga, Dharwad and Bijapur and during the floods in Dakshina Kannada in 1974 and in Gadag in 1992, Heggade was in the forefront helping to resettle the victims. As for vidyadana, the Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Education Trust provides the best educational facilities possible in the region. The many free hostels provide boarding and lodging facilities to the needy to pursue their education. Heggade's modern outlook is evident from the fact that he has introduced a unique combination of subjects at SDM College, Ujire, allowing students to combine psychology, rural development with Sanskrit, home science and business management. Fight hundred years ago, Dharmasthala was L known as Kuduma in Mallarmadi, then a vil lage in Dakshina Kannada. Here lived the Jain chieftain, Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballaithi in a house called Neliyadi Beedu. They were simple, pious and affectionate people. The Pergade family was known for it generosity and hospitality to all. According to the legend, the guardian angels of dharma assumed human forms and came to earth in search or a place where dharma was being practised and could be continued and propagated. They arrived at Pergade's abode. As was their habit, the Pergade couple hosted these visitors with great respect. Pleased by their sincerity and generosity, that night the Daivas appeared in Pergade's dreams. They explained the purpose of their visit and instructed him to use this house for the worship of the Daivas and dedicate his life to the propagation of dharma. Asking no questions, Pergade built himself another house and began worshipping the Daivas at Neliyadi Beedu. This continues even today. As they continued their worship and their practice of hospitality the Dharma Daivas again appeared before the Pergade in his dreams. This time they asked him to build separate shrines to consecrate the four Daivas - Kalarkai, Kalarahu, Kumaraswami and Kanyakumari. Pergade was instructed to choose two people of noble birth to act as the Daivas' oracles and four worthy persons to assist Pergade in his duties as the executive head of the shrines. In return, the Daivas promised Pergade protection for his family, abundance for charity and renown for the kshetra. As desired Pergade, built the shrines and invited Brahmin priests to perform the rituals. These priests requested Pergade to also install a Shiva linga beside the native Daiva. The Daivas then sent their vassal Annapa Swami to procure the linga of Manjunatheswara from Kadri, Mangalore. Subsequently, the Manjunatha temple was built around the linga. Around the 16th century, Devaraja Heggade invited Vadiraja Swami of Udupi to visit the place. The Swamiji gladly came, but refused to accept bhiksha (food offering) because the idol of Lord Manjunatha has not been consecrated according to the Vedic rites. Heggade then requested the Swami to do so and the Swami named the place Dharmasthala - the abode of religion and charity. Thus the roots of charity and religious tolerance established by the Pergades 800 years ago, have been nurtured and strengthened by the Heggade family, the word Heggade being a derivative of Pergade. When a group of vocational institutions established under the Janata Shikshana Samithi, Dharwad by the late freedom fighter Sri Hukerikar were floundering, Heggade stepped in and these have now blossomed into fine centres of learning. The beautiful Ayurvedic College cum Hospital at Udupi and many others at Ujira and Mangalore stand testimony to the healing touch of Heggade. The unceasing quest of Heggade to revive the ancient heritage of arts and science has found expression in another unique institution - SDM College of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences at Ujire. The engineering and dental colleges at Dharwad, are Heggade's vision for professional excellence. Heggade has been committed to rural development since 1982. He initiated a project to bring the inhabitants of under developed villages into the mainstream, by fulfilling their basis needs food, shelter, clothing and employment. 73 VARDHAMAN For Pe onal & Private Use Only Page #74 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ One Man's Mission - muNdumaatt shrii ksseetr dhrmsthll graamaabhivRddi yoo! Pragathi Bandhu is based on the To begin with, 80 villages concept of self-help and pooling of eshwara Cultural and Re resources among farmers. in Belthangady district were search Foundation conJnana Jyothi is a programme in adopted. Today the smiling collaboration with the National ducts research on literafaces of 12,000 families Literacy Mission. ture, religion, arts and speak volume about the Jnana Vikasa enlightens rural crafts and has been responsuccess of this unique exwomen and propagates concepts like sible for preserving over periment in social family planning, small savings, child 5,000 priceless manu. upliftment. health. scripts and antiques. The Constant interaction, Rudseti (Rural Development and ancient scripts are being regular follow-up and effecSelf Employment Training Institute) deciphered by scholars and tive co-ordination have been trains village youth in agricultural and translated into modern lanthe hallmark of this project. allied activities, sets up micro guage so that gems of anThis success had led enterprises or small business. cient literature may once Heggade to widen the hori- Rudseti aims to halt the migration again find their true place zon and reach of this process from villages to cities in in Indian literature. project. search of employment. The institute The Manjusha museum Mass marriage is another has so far trained over 42,000 at Dharmasthala is a treaindividuals and the success rate has important concept intro sure house that displays a been over 65 per cent. duced by Heggade in 1972, priceless collection of to eradicate social evils like sculptures, paintings, icons dowry, casteism, untouch and other works of art. This ability and financial debt. Mass marriages are just is but one example of Heggade's unceasing efone facet of Heggade's efforts to bring people forts to preserve culture. Over the years, Heggade together and decrease the burden of marriage has also put together a collection of horse drawn expenses. Today the event has become an an- carriages and vintage cars that could well docu ment the history of automotive transportation. These vintage beau ties have been restored to pristine "pgtibNdhu tNddgllige condition with tender care and bekRssi upkrnngllu mttu striiyr vitrnnaa lieve it or not, every one of them is totally road worthy! The neglect of some of the country's shrines and temples rang a discordant note in Heggade's heart and he set about establishing the Dharmasthala Dharmothana Trust for restoration of such temples. Set up in 1990, the trust, under the guidance of Heggade, identifies and takes up the renovation of temples and shrines of archeologically important temples, which are not protected by the ASI, nual feature with around 500 couples being With the expertise of the Archeological Departjoined in wedlock on each occasion. The ex- ment, the restoration process is carried out on penses for the wedding clothes, mangalsutra scientific lines. As an incentive to proper mainand wedding feast for a limited number of each tenance, local inhabitants are encouraged to get couple's guests are borne by the kshetra. involved in bringing back the lost glory of the The presence of Bahubali in Dharmasthala temple. The trust has spent more than a crore is evidence of religious tolerance and spirit of towards this objective in the last decade. oneness. According to Heggade, the trust's next action Veerendra Heggade was instrumental in accom- would be to renovate temples in the districts of plishing the task of installing Bahubali on De- Haveri and Dharwad. cember 25, 1975, the work of which was started Truly, Heggade is a true representative of God. in 1967, nder the aegis of his father Ratnavarma Numerous awards have been bestowed upon him. Heggade. The mahaprastishtana was conducted These include the title of Rajashri by former presion February 3, 1982 and the mahamastak- dent Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, an honorary docabhishekha the next day. torate by the Mangalore University and the Heggade has made a great contribution to pre- Padmabhushan by the President of India on serve culture and heritage. The Sri Manjunath- March 30, 2000. For Personal & Private Use Only VARSHANBARN 74 national Page #75 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ So why do it to your home? TruDry. Introducing T. 100% dry ready-to-iron clothes. No more clotheslines. Leo Burnett B VIL 0035170 VIDEOCON Page #76 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ONCE, HE WAS A DIAMOND MERCHANT BASED IN ANTWERP. TODAY. HE SERVES HUMANITY IN INDIA. STRIVING TO ATTAIN THE JAIN IDEAL OF KARUNA, MAFATLAL (MAFATKAKA) MEHTA, DOESN'T PREACH HIS FAITH, BUT PRACTICES IT WITH GREAT FERVOUR AND HIS DIWALIBEN MOHANLAL MEHTA CHARITABLE TRUST ONLY REAFFIRMS HIS BELIEFS TEXT: MKRAM OZA PHOTOGRAPHS ASHESH SHAH VARDHAMAN 76 U nemational For Person Private Use Only Page #77 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ THE SMALL BIG MAN .n a world of rapidly changing ideals, practice and precept often simulate the linear struc ture of railroads. For miles and miles, tracks run alongside, converging only through the magical melee of the mind and its mechanics - the realm of the imagination. Science however calls it a mere illusion, a travesty of truth, a mere visual deception. Two parallel lines will never meet, it says with equanimity. And that is the universal truth - the scientific reality. It is not far from the spiritual truth either, for how often does religious rhetoric respond directly to the exigencies of daily life - the pangs of hunger, the cries of the disabled and of those who writhe in pain? Yet one man has struck a balance. His name is Mafatlal Mehta. A staunch Jain, he won't preach his faith but practice it he will, and with such fervour, it boggles the mind. Not for him the hollow homilies of saints nor the long hours of virtuous meditation that religion demands of its faithful. "I won't be a sadhu" he says with a determined shake of his head. Mafatkaka, as he is fondly known for the bundles of money he doles out in charity each day, prefers to spend his time serving humanity - ensuring that the have-nots have what they should - striving to attain the Jain ideal of karuna (compassion). At age 83, Mafatkaka is a study in perseverance. Through the love and support of an adoring family, he cuts a fine picture of a man devoted to his cause the cause of purging misery among his brethren. Resolute that service alone is the true path to salvation, Mafatkaka can convince airlines to part with their leftovers and marriage parties to hand over their surplus food. A true champion of the poor, his benevolence ranges from medical to educational aid, from organising eye camps to polio correction centres among a host of other gracious activities. Mafatkaka was only five when he lost his father. His elder brother Chandulal and mother Diwaliben played vital roles in his upbringing. While Chandulal Mehta gave him the best education and the requisite skills to set up a pioneering diamond business, it was his mother who proved to be the stronger influence on his philanthropic life. A gutsy freedom fighter, Diwaliben was simple, disciplined and deeply religious. She had no formal education, yet she developed an innate fondness for religious literature that helped her acquire a sound understanding of the basic tenets of Jainism. Even in her own childhood days in Palanpur, Gujarat, 77 VARDHAMAN For Personal & Private Use Only Page #78 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Resolute that service alone is the true path to salvation, Mafatkaka can convince airlines to part with their leftovers and marriage parties to hand over their surplus food. A true champion of the poor, his benevolence ranges from medical to educational aid, from organising eye camps to polio correction centres among a host of other gracious activities Diwaliben was involved in acts of charity, helping those in distress with guidance and advice. After the early death of her husband, she concentrated on cultivating these traits in he children. In 1955, Mafatkaka first came in touch with Mahasati Ujwalkumariji. Through her guidance, he plunged headlong into the task of providing succour to the poor and deprived, the physically, mentally and visually handicapped as well as orphans. His charity work brought him closer to humanitarians such as Mother Teresa, Baba Amte and Pandurang Shastri Athavale. In grateful tribute to his mother, Mafatkaka dedicated his altruistic life to her memory. He founded the Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable Trust in 1970 with the motto to help the needy and the deserving in all aspects and an objective to alleviate the miseries of the disadvantaged sections of the community." Though Mafatkaka opted for Belgian citizenship for the sake of his business, his heart lay in India and its suffering masses. Four years ago, this gifted diamond merchant of Antwerp decided to focus solely on charity work back home. Generously funded by his four sons who took over the reins of his business empire, the 30-year-old Trust today enjoys the support of NGOs in Europe and the USA. It receives relief aid from them, including food grains, clothes and medicines that are distributed among the deprived sections of society - particularly in rural and backward areas - without consideration of caste, creed, religion or race. Even the Government of India has provided a special permit to the Trust for the import of hospital garments, furniture, medicines and food without levying import duties. Thus a woollen sweater is made available for as little as Rs. 10 while a hospital cot can be purchased for only Rs. 3,000. His granddaughter-in-law Rupali gives an example of Mafatkakais simple philosophy of giving: "When I fast he will insist that I pass over that missed meal to the poor. Your fast is voluntary he'll point out. Theirs is compelled." As one of the trustees Rupali too is involved in the activities of the Trust. Alongwith her grandfather-inlaw, she looks after the day to day affairs, meeting as many help-seeking individuals and families as she can. Under the guidance of father-inlaw Ashwin Mehta, the managing trustee, Rupali represents the faith of the Trust in the younger generation and their altruism. Besides offering crores of rupees in donations to a large number of hospitals that cater to the poor, the Trust has bought the Khan Bahadur Bachooali Eye Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, instituted by Mahatma Standing (1 to r): Mafatkaka, wife Pamuben, daughter-in-law Smita Sitting (I to r): Son Narendra, grandson Paras VARDHAMAN 78 Sain Education International For Personal Private Use Only Page #79 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Mafatkaka's sons (I to r): Mahendra, Ashwin and Narendra Gandhi. Open to everyone, the hospital conducts eye operations free of charge. "Self-sufficiency is the key," says Mafatkaka, his deeds speaking louder than words. Once a blind man from Bihar approached Mafatkaka. With his brief knowledge of music, he sought a harmonium for a living. Not only was he provided with the instrument, Mafatkaka introduced him to a noted musician who accepted him under his tutelage without charging a fee. "It's not always money," smiles Mafatkaka. "Small things make all the difference." His charity organisation meanwhile regularly sets up polio correction surgical camps. Its projects to install the Jaipur Foot have resulted in a large number of self-reliant amputees. Mother Teresa took Mafatkaka with her to London to attend her award function, Progress in Religion. Mafatkaka came away inspired by the ceremony. He realised that recognition of any good done by a person is the most effective way for motivating one's self and others to do better. Since 1993, his Trust has presented ten awards of its own - to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as religion, environment, social work and human rights. The award is for individuals who have benefited a large number of people through their selfless efforts. Each award comprises a cash prize of Rs. 300,000, a medallion and a citation. Among the illustrious list of awardees are Pandurang Shastri Athavale, Baba Amte, Sunderlal Bahuguna, Maneka Gandhi, Anna Hazare, Ushaben Mehta and the Dalai Lama. In response to Mother Teresa's concern for girls born of unwed mothers, Mafatkaka set up an orphanage for 525 girls called Ma-Niketan in Thane. The Smt. Kamala Mehta Dadar School for the Blind was established for 175 blind girls in addition to another in Pune called the Smt. Kamala Mehta Andh Kanya Chhatralaya. No recommendation is ever required for admission. "The uneducated are open to exploitation from all corners," believes Mafatkaka. "An educated woman is more likely to understand the importance of family planning, vaccination etc." So following the construction of hostels for blind girls, Mafatkaka created the facility to educate them. Once on his way to Belgium, Mafatkaka spent some time at the airport restaurant with his daughter. When it was time to leave, he asked for the bill and was surprised to find that it had been paid, that too by the cashier! On enquiry it was revealed that the cashier was a product of Ma-Niketan. As a young girl, she had lost her mother at an early age and her father had insufficient means to support her. The school had equipped her with enough education and confidence to be able to draw a monthly salary of Rs. 12,000 and to stand on her feet. "I'm your daughter," she said to Mafatkaka even as his eyes welled up. This then is Mafatkaka, the small big man who sports a divine virtue - the virtue of giving - a virtue that spawns a nobility of soul - a nobility that leaves in its wake a feeling of goodness - a feeling that as long as such men walk the earth, there is hope. 79 VARDHAMAN For Personal & Private Use Only Page #80 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA-VARDHAMANAKA VARDHAMANAKA an earthen bowl sealed with another earthen bowl and used as a lamp. This pair in Sanskrit is know as samput. The lit lamp is symbolic of light banishing darkness. VARDHAMAN 80 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #81 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Not just thunderous. But wondrous. PRESENTING VIDEO CON BAZOOMBA Announcing a double breakthrough in television digital sound technology. The Videocon Bazoomba. A stunning combination of two mighty woofers that delivers sound - from the very delicate to the very powerful. Add to it, the luxury of beauty-enhanced pictures with Super Scene control. Mighty digital sound plus a super crisp picture. Television won't be the same again. For Personal & Private Use Only Bazoonba Woofer Digital Surround Sound Selectable Sound WORDEN Control Super Scene Black Stretch Rede Noise DVD VIDEO 5427 R (53 cms) Favourite Mode Zoom LD/VCD/DVD Compatibility For prompt 24 hour Customer Care Service in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Indore and Lucknow please call us on 96280 96281 V VIDEOCON BRING HOME THE LEADER Page #82 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Bonding Through Jaina Dr. Mahendra K Pandya, came to the USA way back in 1966 to study, but soon made it his home. Today, as President, Jaina he's made it his life's mission to bond together all the Jains in North America and Canada, irrespective of their language, region or tradition TEXT SHRADDHA JAHAGIRDAR SAXENA PHOTOGRAPHS VKRAM GAWDE VARDHAMAN 82 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #83 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ atch him on a wintry afternoon in Mumbai Acharya Sushil Kumarji and Gurudev Chitra and he is a man in a hurry. It's his last day Bhanuji. Jaina has evolved from its initially small in Mumbai, India and he is on his way back beginnings to embrace 57 centres at present. Sighome. Time is crucially short as Dr. Mahendra nificantly, it represents Jains irrespective of their Pandya is set to fly back in a few hours to Staten language, region or traditions and has, hence, Island, New York. But he agrees to talk about life provided an effective forum to foster friendship as a NR Jain and President, Jaina. and unity among all the Jains in North America The 65-year-old Dr. Pandya is a first-generation and Canada. American. He left India way back in 1966 after Initially, as with any organisation, financing was he'd completed his MD (medicine) from Gwalior a problem, but now with each committee seeing University. He travelled to the USA for further to its funding and the funding of its projects, studies, then stayed back to practice from 1972 things move with a greater degree of smoothto 1997 ness. Over the years Dr. Pandya has seen Jaina Soon after he settled there, his wife Asha joined grow. "It is the largest non-sectarian organisation him and his sons Sanjay and Rajiv, who are now of Jains. We want to propagate our beliefs, parboth based in New York, grew up on foreign ticularly amongst people who do not adhere to shores. age-old traditions. We believe in unity and not in Flashbacking to his early days, Dr. Pandya says uniformity. Rather our belief of anekantuada that he did not find it too difficult settling down (multitude beliefs) tells us that we do not know in New York, "As a physician I found it easy," he the complete truth. says. "Settling down socially was also easy as We can learn from othhad two of my family friends living in New York ers as well." SINCE WE who helped me and my family." "Jaina," continues LIVE FAR Today, Dr. Pandya has retired from active medi- Dr. Pandya, "is com AWAY cal practice. His sons have not followed in his mitted to social ser FROM OUR footsteps. They are busy with their family busi- vice and humanitarian COUNTRY, WE ness of diamond jewellery, Ashi Diamonds. Dr. activities both in HAVE COME TO Pandya explains that while the overseas opera- America and overseas. REALISE THE tions are looked after by his sons, his nephew Through its World handles the Indian side in Mumbai at his Opera Community Services it DIRE House office in the heart of the city. IMPORTANCE OF has rushed aid to Dr. Pandya's involvement with Jainism is not earthquake victims in PRESERVING something new or taken up as a fad. "Obviously, Latur (Maharashtra), OUR CULTURE, distance does make the heart grow fonder," the Uttar Kashi (Uttar SOMETHING Jaina President says. "But right from the begin- Pradesh), North Ridge THAT IS TAKEN ning I have adhered to the precepts and principles (California) and Kobe FOR of Jainism, whether in India or abroad." (Japan). In 1998, GRANTED Incidentally, Dr. Pandya was the founder mem- when a highly destruc HERE ber of the first Jaina unit in New York and he was tive cyclone hit Gujarat also involved with establishing the first Jain (India), Jaina adopted temple in the city there. "There was already a two villages in the state. Recently, Jaina also group of Jains interested in coming together to rushed aid for the victims of the Gujarat and make an association. The leader of this group was Rajasthan drought. So, even though Jaina does Dr. N.K. Sethi who hailed from Indore and hap- not have its office in India, its representatives here pened to be a family friend as well. Once estab-monitor the activities and needs of the times." lished, the initial links soon grew and so did our T he medical camps that Jaina conducts regucontacts." larly in India in places like Bidada in Gujarat, the * What is Jaina? Dr Pandya patiently explains. Bhagyodaya Teerth Hospitals in Sagar (Madhya "There is a sizeable population of Jains in the Pradesh), deserve special mention. US, but scattered as they were, they hardly inter- Doctors are flown in from America and with acted in any significant way. So though there were contributions and donations needy people are several unitary bodies, there was no single unify- provided with the requisite medical care. These ing body. Jaina filled this vacuum. Established in camps and activities are carried out in collabora1981, Jaina is the umbrella that guides and com- tion with the local health centres. bines all the Jain centres in North America and Jaina has donated in a big way to educational Canada. The idea of a national organisation was institutions like Mahila Vidyalaya in Mahivirji, the first conceived by some of the Jain leaders in the Vidyasagar Sansthan in Bhopal and is involved in US like Lalit Shah, Jagat Jain, Sulekh Jain, Dr. the Ahimsa Bhavan and Sant Niwas in Aligarh. To Salgia and Vinay Jain, to name a few," he states. ensure the availability of socially relevant basic Jaina took firm root with the blessings of education, Jaina is committed to seeing that each For Personal & Private Use Only 83 VARDHAMAN wweryog Page #84 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ of Jaina of its centres has a pathshala. In association with The Jain Digest, Dr. Pandya says proudly handits centres it is also creating an up-to-date cur- ing over a copy, is the quarterly magazine of the riculum that can be implemented in different Jain Associations in North America. It gives inforschools. mation about events that have happened and As one generation follows the next, the link with forthcoming highlights of Jaina. It is mailed to its roots is likely to become even more tenuous. over 7,500 Jain families in America and worldFully aware of the need to keep its faith and prin- wide - completely free of cost! ciples alive, Jaina tries to foster the faith. Every Dr. Pandya is a satisfied man today. He lives in two years the Jaina convention hosts a congrega a joint family, a rarity in America. "That's because tion of at least 10,000 to 12,000 Jains. the boys work together. The family that works "It has become a unique social and religious together, lives and eats together," he meeting place for like-minded people," says Dr. philosophises. They are all vegetarians. "My whole Pandya. He already has his eyes set on the next family, including the grandchildren, are strictly convention scheduled in Chicago in 2001. vegetarian. They do not eat cookies, cakes or ice It was an extremely gratifying and a proud mo- creams that contain eggs, in fact they buy some. ment when the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal thing only after reading all the list of ingredients!" Bihari Vajpayee, announced the formation of the The family is involved with Jaina in some way National and International com or the other: "My wife Asha is mittee for the year-long celebra firmly by my side in whatever I tions of Bhagwan Mahavir 2600 The objectives do. My elder son Sanjay and his Janma Kalyanak and to actively wife Renu take care of the fundspread the highly relevant mes raising that is necessary for sage of peace and non-violence. To develop a better Jaina activities; my younger understanding of Jainism Jaina has established a Mahavir son Rajeev and his wife Deepti To assist and promote Memorial Committee to actively charitable activities take care of the publication of participate in the international To promote vegetarianism and the annual calendar." Dr. event. non-violence Pandya himself links up with Dr. Pandya admits that the To assist in the establishment the different parts of Jaina, Jains are more unified abroad, of Jain temples, schools and mainly by telephone and ein countries like America and other Jain-oriented facilities mail. "I do visit the centres Canada, for instance, than in In- To keep all Jains together and whenever the need arises," he dia where the religion has sprung guide them in their different says, "or if there is some celfrom. "Since we live far away activities ebration or function like the from our country, we have come inauguration of a new centre." to realise the dire importance of preserving our H e is rarely found at home as he also shuttles culture, something that is taken for granted here." between his overseas home and India, a place An important means of preserving the tenets that inevitably and naturally draws him even afand philosophy is by inculcating the youth and ter so many years. "Nowadays I am more in India teaching them the importance of Jainism, show than in the US," Dr Pandya smiles. "My friends in ing them how relevant it is to their lifestyle even New York are continually asking me if I have today. To this end is dedicated the Young Jains of shifted base." America (YJA) and its fast-growing membership Obviously the answer is 'No'. His family has put is evidence of the fact that Jaina is moving in the down roots abroad and his work as President Jaina right direction. YJA seminars are a regular fea- gives him a deep sense of fulfilment. "It's gratify. ture of the biennial conventions and an associa- ing to see how Jains have not forgotten their way tion of Young Jain Professionals is now an affili- of life, Jaina gives us an immense sense of beate of Jaina. longing. We can reach out to one another and What attracts the youngsters to Jaina? Dr. realise that yes, we have a common bond, a Pandya smiles. "Jaina's matrimonial data bank is shared way of life. We are proud that our youngextremely popular for marriage referrals. Many sters too have not turned their backs on our Jains have found their life partners through the beliefs." Marriage Information Service." He continues, "The Jain presence cannot be Other potent tools that Jaina uses to propagate ignored. "Our community is full of people who its views are its numerous publications. The main make a difference socially in a variety of ways Jaina library in Los Angeles has over 8,000 books. and professions and may their breed grow!" It has a branch in Canada. The Jaina website- And on that highly positive note, Dr. Pandya - keeps the cyber-happy world ends the chitchat. Ready to fly back home, he abreast of activities and current events in the assures us that he will return soon to India. After world of Jainism. Jaina also brings out an annual all, he has found the magical formula that helps calendar to exemplify its teachings. him straddle two continents... all with a smile! VARDHAMAN 84 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #85 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ caratereedom NO PARKING ABTU Created from pure 24 carat ICON cotton. In over a 1000 exotic designs, shades and weaves. Sought by international fashion labels. Cut into ready-to-stitch shirt and trouser lengths. Fit only for an ICON 24.ICON ICON carat ashima sotto N FABRICS Available at all leading fabric outlets : For Trade Enquiries Contact : ASHIMA LTD. UNIT ATTIRES, Texcellence Complex, Khokhra Mehmedabad, Ahmedabad 380 000, e-mail:, Fax No.: 079-2772930. & Private Use Only WAITONA Page #86 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ he has a story to tell. Of the very first time she lectured publicly at the behest of the legendary Walter Spink, at the University of Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1976. The pay- ment was $75, a paltry enough sum to be sniffled at today. "But it seemed like riches when I thought how nicely it covered the cost of a $70 camera lens I hankered after! Those days I was into learning photography." As it happened, she never subsequently charged for any lecture she delivered that was arranged by Spink... But to think that this mea- gre amount meant something to Saryu Doshi, whose distinguished business family background in Mumbai has always been nothing short of extremely privileged. "It was my early student days spent away from home that really resulted in a tempering effect, truly moulded me and decided critical turning points in my career for me. But for those experiences, I might have sunk into the complacency of becoming like any other fat housewife, dangerously content with the luxuries surrounding her. Thankfully that didn't happen!" she says. VARDHAMAN 86 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #87 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Widely acknowledged for a research in the field of Jain miniatures, Saryu Doshi is the former editor of Marg magazine and present honorary director of Mumbai's prestigious National Gallery of Modern Art. Here she discusses the influences and interactions that have shaped her learning and her life EXTE MEHER MARFATA PHOTOGRAPHS: ASHESH SHAH OF SEMINIATURES, MUSEUMS AND MORE.. Here is what did happen instead. Following a comfortable childhood spent at Mumbai's Laburnum Road with parents Nagindas and Leelavati Daftary and attending two schools, Queen Mary's and St. Columba, she went to Elphinstone College and to the J.J. School of Arts. "But it was with a constant yearning for some thing else; I wasn't content with carrying on being educated until married off or something." Marriage to automotive engineer Vinod Doshi from the illustrious Premier Automobiles clan may not have shaken things up for her had it not been for her husband. "I was barely inspired to do anything, he was the true motivator." Travelling with him through the US and Europe, she registered 'haphazardly', for courses ranging from history of Indian art and philosophy to psychology and adult education. "It was only after I enrolled at Ann Arbor University that things crystallised a bit more. From being a good student in school, I had dropped to becoming a mediocre one in college, but here I was suddenly hitting A's! It was heady. I felt I was finally getting somewhere I liked. I pushed myself to work better and better, and in Education International For Personal & Private Use Only w 87 VARDHAMA Page #88 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ finished with Honours. Before long I was being glass underfoot, but when finally unfurled she courted by professors to join their history of art found herself riveted by the most magnificent 40 department! Those fabulous years taught me three x 33 feet fully painted scroll dating to circa 1680essential values I needed to possess-an inquir- 1700. "Thank God I waited for that cup of tea," ing mind hungry for stimulation, meticulousness she chuckles, adding, "The lesson I learnt here of detail and the spirit of independent research. was that it was as important for me to have inAnn Arbor opened up everything for me." spired the priests' trust as to have aroused my Small wonder, then, that getting back to India own curiosity." The photographer had to improproved temporarily disillusioning. In Mumbai she vise a makeshift backdrop-the delicate cloth was combed bookstores for art books and struggled carefully stretched onto the four corners of a to explore what she could do with her learning. charpoy to have sections of it shot! She was encouraged by Dr. Moti Chandra ("my From studying Mughal painting at the Univerguru in the total sense of the word-his wide-rang- sity of Chicago to teaching Indian miniature painting connoisseur's interests bequeathed me the ing at Ann Arbor to lecture tours taking her to gift of eclecticism") and his son Pramod who was Berkeley, she has done it all. With her young son assistant curator at The Prince of Wales Museum. Maitreya enjoying the rare privilege of observing When her husband was posted such a full life at close quarto the company factory town ters. "Mittu travelled often with in Satara, Doshi continued IN A FLASH me, and back home grew used studying, carting volumes on IT CAME TO to having good friends like Indian art by the bagful there. Girish Karnad, Satyadev "Dr. Moti Chandra spurred ME THAT Dubey, Vijay Tendulkar, Shyam and honed my intellectual de RELIGIOUS Benegal and Sai Paranjpye velopment, unlocking the origi dropping in regularly and stay ECSTASY CAN nal thinking in me that he in ing over impromptu. It must sisted every art historian must NEVER BE have been a stimulating envipossess," she acknowledges. COMPUTED IN ronment for a child. And I canIt was a letter from a Jain not stress this enough- I could scholar urging the Chandras to STRICTLY never have achieved even a write on relatively unexplored PRACTICAL tenth of what I have, were it not Digambar Jain manuscripts for the support of the family, (existing research focussed TERMS, THERE IS A especially my wonderful in-laws largely on the Shvetambar Jain CERTAIN PLACE IN - Walchand Hirachand and tradition) in temple libraries, Lalitabai." that got her involved in the pio SPECIFIC The summer of 1976 saw her neering venture. This was what RITUALS join Marg, India's premier shaped into her celebrated magazine of the arts, as associPh.D. subject. TOO ate editor with the veteran Mulk "Researching it made for a Raj Anand at the helm. "Regardhumbling, maturing, enriching less of the fact that we didn't experience," she says. Combing the country to see eye to eye on practically everything, I'm gratelook for evidence substantiating the work, Doshi ful to Mulk for opening my eyes to a sound reality: remembers "going off on several wild goose the demystification of art, that it should be covchases, but research cannot pass up any ered for laymen, not just scholars." Teaching chances". One of the more exciting moments courses in the US and writing filled the next ten along this journey of learning took place on an years, until Roshan Sabavala of Marg invited her afternoon in the late '60s (she completed her to take over as its editor- a post Doshi held from thesis in 1971) at Karanja near Nagpur. Expect- 1981 to 1986 and for which she is widely respected ing to simply explore a couple of manuscripts and till date. She set up systems for the magazine, wrote superb bronzes at a temple that was undergoing for it and guest edited four hugely successful extensive repair, she was asked by the priests to books: Homage to Shravana Belgola, Masterstay on for tea. Though aware that her family was pieces of Jain Painting, Tribal India and India waiting for her to join them later in the evening in and Egypt: Influences and Interactions. Nagpur, she did not want to offend the priests While born a Shvetambar Jain herself and marand accepted. Which is how she stumbled upon ried into a Digambar sect family, Doshi reveals an incredible find. she came to respect the ritualistic aspect of the Rolled up unobtrusively at the far end of an latter cult after a particular incident. Present for inner room lay a tired looking scroll she sensed the mahamastakabhisheka (lustration) of the needed closer examining. Getting to it was like Bahubali statue at Shravana Belgola, Karnataka, clearing an obstacle course, what with wood and she sensed "indifference change to rapture" at For Personal & Private Use Only VARDHAMAN. 88 on International Page #89 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ the dignity of the moving sight before her. "Initially, I didn't think much of 1000 gallons of milk being poured over a statue in a country where children could be fed the same. But I was compelled to revise my opinion. It was mind-blowing to see the beatific expression on the faces of hundreds of devotees dancing under the statue in the hope of catching stray drops of milk flowing down. In a flash it came to me that religious ecstasy can never be computed in strictly practical terms, there is a certain place in life for specific rituals too." What does Jainism mean to her personally? "There are two very definite aspects to it for me. For one, like most Jains, I strictly adhere to our basic tenet of reverence for life. I'm a staunch vegetarian and I don't pluck flowers, etc. Equally vital is the sense of detachment I try to apply to various situations daily. There is a certain attempt to not lust after possessions. Surround yourself with lovely things, appreciate them, but don't stay bound to them. This way it is not as if you don't feel any loss, but without attachment, it's that much easier to come to terms with it. The West sadly lacks this beautiful Indian concept." Appointed honorary director of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) when it opened in 1996, she has steered the show here admirably, considering the fact that she has had only a limited background in contemporary art and never administered a museum before. Curating innumerable shows herself, she confesses she is partial to those displaying local talents. "Although a national museum, I believe we owe Mumbai artists first. And, ideally, I should like the NGMA to go beyond an exhibition gallery and serve as an area for a permanent collection." How does she reconcile the scholar in her with the socialite people see with as obvious visibility? At once erudite and extremely popular on the social circuit, she revels in cultivating both sides to her personality. Accordingly, she is an impeccably groomed silk sari-and-pearls Rotarian, city grand dame and charming hostess to international litterateurs and political ambassadors alike. Gliding with seemingly effortless ease between these worlds, she manages to make time to play the "fastidious housewife" and doting grandmother to Maitreya's seven-year-old son Sahir, besides indulging in her love for classical music and Indian film music with equal fervour. The wisdom of her words stays with you: "Ultimately, everything is about craftsmanship. I relish a good thriller novel if its language is superbly crafted-which is why I prefer a Robert Ludlum over a John Grisham novel, no matter how gripping the latter story. Life is all about harmonious crafting, be it in the elements of a miniature painting, the lines of a poem, the stringing of a necklace or a human relationship." Touche 89 VARDHAMAN Lain Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #90 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA-BHADRASANA BHADRASANA a holy seat, the royal throne. Also regarded as the sacred seat for liberated souls, this is a seat of honour for evolved souls. VARDHAMAN 90 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #91 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Over 500 mission critical projects have been delivered for Fortune 500 clients such as NEC, Citicorp and Reuters. An ISO 9001 Certified organization, Polaris has 5 state-of-the art software development centers and has recorded Every potent solution, every true relationship can only stem from complete understanding. over 100% compounded annual growth every year for the past 6 years. Little wonder then that Polaris has been Polaris delivers end-to-end technology solutions in the four converging streams of Banking, Finance, Insurance and Retail. Over 2200 experienced associates with a ranked among the Forbes Global Top complete understanding of people, processes and technologies are active in 300 best companies 15 offices worldwide. Using contemporary technologies and customer oriented chosen from over methodologies they achieve rapid, affordable and effective implementation for 20,000 small global corporate giants like NEC, Citicorp and Reuters. companies. For more details reach us at Worldwide Headquarters Polaris House, 244 (Old No.713), Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 006. INDIA. 91 44 852 4154 Fax : 91 44 852 3280 live your dream POLARIS Atlanta Bahrain Boston Chennai Dallas Frankfurt Fremont London Los Angeles New Delhi New Jersey - Riyadh Singapore Switzerland Sydney For Personal & Private Use Only DESIVI Page #92 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Gem A OF MAN A STAUNCH ADVOCATE OF JAINISM AND VEGETARIANISM, THE KHADI-CLAD SURENDRA MEHTA. IS A FAR CRY FROM WHAT YOU'D EXPECT A DIAMOND MERCHANT TO LOOK LIKE TEXT SHIVANI MAHESHWARI PHOTOGRAPHS: RICHARD PEREIRA is rise may not have been as meteoric that one can walk into the Mehta Jewellery showas Dhirubhai Ambani. He may not have room in Chennai blindfolded and not be hoodset up an empire as big as the Birlas. winked. However, in his line of business, he Mehta's simplicity and reticence has kept him stands leagues above the rest. His name glows away from the media blaze all these years. In fact, unparalleled the 77-year-old jeweller timidly confesses that this Surendra Manilal Mehta's reputation glitters like would be one of his first interviews where he would the diamonds he deals in. With a wealth of experi- delve so deeply into his personal life. Dressed in ence and goodwill earned over 60 years, this busi- white khadi dhoti and kurta, which he has spun nessman and philanthropist has set new standards himself, he looks more of a freedom fighter than in the diamond trade and nurtured the values that a jeweller. The only trace of his trade is the 1.6has made Mehta Jewellery a household name carat diamond ring on his finger.. among discerning buyers of jewellery. It is believed Born in 1923 at Palanpur in Gujarat, Mehta had For Personal & Private Use Only Page #93 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 93 VARDHAMAN on Inter for Personal & Private Use Only Page #94 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ an affluent upbringing. His father was a government servant, a deputy political agent - the highest post an Indian could achieve in the pre-Inde. pendence era. Mehta enjoyed many luxuries that only a few Indians could avail of those days. With easy accessibility to a club, he developed a deep interest in sports like football, hockey, cricket and badminton. Even today, in his spare time, he turns on television only to watch sports. Mehta realised from childhood that he could not be totally disassociated from the family business. His three uncles were in the diamond trade. Yet, he nurtured hopes of becoming a doctor and even enrolled in the science stream, but the pro cess of dissecting animals made him uneasy. He then decided to become a barrister, but fate ob viously had other plans in store for him. When he was barely 17, one of his uncles, Bapalal, who had successfully set up Bapalal & Co. Jewellers in Chennai, suddenly passed away. Young Mehta was immediately summoned to shoulder part of the responsibility. "At that time, there was no question of protesting or questioning. You simply complied with orders from the elders," he says. In Chennai, he was put under the tutelage of a senior assistant and trusted aide in the business, Narayan Das. Like an uncut rock, the raw Mehta too was chiselled and polished, till a diamond emerged. His worth and respect grew with time. For almost half a century, Mehta worked assiduously and managed the family business. From small traders, they grew to become one of the premier jewellers in South India. With a high degree of mastery and integrity, Mehta soon became a legend in his own right at Bapalal & Co. Jewellers. People came from far to seek his advice. However, a decade ago, Mehta was put to the biggest test of his life. Differences in the family forced him to take a heart-wrenching decision - to break away from Bapalal. This was in 1992, aires, but we have enough to satisfy our needs. the "darkest period of his life", he declares. We have always been taught to stay away from He spent months discussing the dilemma with greed. However, these days, people have become his two sons Tushar and Abhay. A host of busi- very materialistic. They want to own 100 pairs of ness ideas were thrown up, including construc- shoes, 50 suits..." Mehta, in contrast, manages tion, garment export, speculation in the share with two pairs of chappals and shoes and drives market, but none appealed to him. His heart lay an 11-year-old Contessa. in diamonds. "I'm glad that my sons accepted all To many, Mehta seems to be in the wrong busimy suggestions and abided by my advice." ness, a business that appears to be in conflict Surendra Mehta finally started his own indepen- with his credence. However, the diamond master dent business on July 9, 1992, at the ripe age of clarifies that "It is only now that ornaments have 70. A grand state-of-the-art 10,000 sq ft show- begun to symbolise opulence and make a fashroom was opened in Chennai, offering a dazzling ion statement. There was a saying," he recollects, range of contemporary as well as traditional "that if you have a rupee, you invest 25 paise in jewellery and silverware. In a short span of less land, 25 in jewellery, 25 in business and the rethan eight years, Mehta Jewellery has become one maining quarter you reserve. In the olden days, of the most reputed in the region with an annual there was religious significance attached to turnover exceeding Rs. 5 crore. jewellery. It also served as high security for "We are moderate jewellers," maintains the women. But today its sanctity is lost." highly principled Mehta. "We may not be million- Mehta's other deep-rooted passion in life is veg For Personal & Private Use Only Page #95 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ etarianism. He has been conscientiously promot- enthusiastically shows papers of a court case that ing vegetarianism since the early 50s. He started his foundation is currently fighting in Calcutta his campaign way back in 1959 when he joined against an 'unscrupulous' slaughterhouse, which the Indian Vegetarian Congress headquartered in is killing a large number of animals daily. Chennai. Thereafter, he has attended and actively The Managing Trustee of Mehta Jewellery is also participated in 10 World Vegetarian Congress a staunch promoter of Jainism and its tenets. He across the globe. is involved in many social and religious activities In 1990, he was elected as President of the In- and has been the president of the Gujarati ternational Vegetarian Union, the first Asian to hold Swetamber Sthankwasi Jain Association and the the post. He was given a fellowship for his long Research Foundation of Jainology. He has also and dedicated service in promoting the cause of been one of the major patrons of Jain vegetarianism. His fervour can be gauged by his Vidyaashram, a day-cum-residential school spread five-page bio data, of which three are devoted to over ten acres in Chennai, which will draw inspi. his milestone efforts in promoting vegetarianism. ration largely from Jain values and culture, Six years later, Mehta set up the Ahimsa Re- With 60 long sincere years in the diamond insearch Foundation, a non-political, non-religious, dustry, Mehta has now handed over the glowing non-profit making organisation aimed at promot- mantle to his two sons. His passion for the trade ing vegetarianism, animal welfare, compassion for and whatever he is involved in continues unliving creatures, farming without chemical abated. For Surendrabhai Mehta, it's more than fertilisers and poisonous pesticides. In fact, he just a business, it's a way of life. 95 VARDHAMAN For Personal & Private Use Only Page #96 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA-KALASHA KALASHA the holy pitcher with two divine eyes as well as two ends of a scarf drawn on either sides. This plays a prominent role in every auspicious ceremony. VAROHAMAN196international For Personal & Private Use Only Page #97 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ WITH BEST COMPLIMENTS Contact for Luxurious Row House, 1,2,3 BHK flat, Shops, N. A. Plots, Farm House & Agriculture Land at various prime locations. NIWAS PROPERTIES () PVT. LTD Poddar House, Patil Lane No.3. College Road, Nashik-422005. Ph.580121,578921. Fax. (0253) 580573 (Since 1980) We build your house like ours. Website :- *BEST COMPLIMENTS FROM SHRI VARDHAMAN STHANAKWASI JAINSHRAWAK SANGH, NASHIK Surajmal Sakhia President) Shantial Dugad secretary J.C. 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Fax: Shree Mahavir Sahakari Bank Itd. 87,Dana Bazar, jalgaon Tel. 221990,220090. // uyamena jJAnena caivam lakSmI prApyate // Jan Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #98 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ BHAVARLAL HIRALAL JAIN STRONGLY BELIEVES THAT 'YOU SHOULD LEAVE THIS EARTH BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT NUMBER OF INNOVATIVE AND COST EFFECTIV MAKE THE FARMER'S LIE VARDHAMAN 98 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #99 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ orn to a farming family in a tiny village, Bhavarlal Hiralal Jain studied commerce U and law and went on to become a gazetted officer in the Maharashtra Civil Services. But in 1962, urged by his mother Gauribai, his entrepreneurial instincts came to the fore. With a meagre capital of Rs. 7,000 (the accumulated saving of his joint family) the only business he could contemplate was marketing and distribution. He took up a small kerosene agency and started going from door to door selling kerosene oil and domestic gas cylinders on a handcart. So successful was he, that within a few years, he had graduated to marketing products of national and multinational corporations. He also began supplying farmers with essential items like seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, tractors and light diesel oil. He became the proud owner of a petrol pump. And then destiny intervened. One October evening in 1973, he saw a Scottish drilling rig refuelling at his petrol pump. It carried the inscription, 'Agriculture : A profession with future'. Nostalgia flooded him. As a boy, he had seen his father and uncles cultivating the family land in Vakod village, near Jalgaon in Maharashtra (his ancestors had migrated about 100 years ago from Agolai in Rajasthan). He decided that agriculture would be his thrust area and began seeking out agencies for agricultural inputs and equipment like seeds, pesticides, fertilisers, electric motors, PVC pipes, tractors and implements. The year was 1978 and a sick banana powder unit was being sold for Rs.30 lakh. Jain could muster only Rs.5 lakh. The bankers refused to finance the purchase of an old unit, but Jain, with his rare persuasive skill, managed to raise another 10 lakh from them. The remaining amount was provided by his suppliers and customers. Once bought, the banana powder processing unit was ingeniously converted into a papain processing plant. HUMIPUTRA! HE AND HIS JAIN GROUP HAVE INTRODUCED A AGRICULTURAL TECHNIQUES TO EEASIER AND HIS YIELD MORE PROFITABLE 99 VARDHAMAN Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #100 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ He organised groups of farmer for growing papaya and centres were created for collecting the papaya latex, the raw material for papain. Besides selling the fruit itself, the farmers now had an additional source of income in the form of the papaya latex, plus Jain had ensured a regular supply of raw material for his factory. Who could have predicted that this facility would one day become the world's largest manufacturer-exporter of papain? On a frosty December morning in 1978, Jain landed in New York, on his first foreign trip to sell papain. Having located a hotel which he could afford ($30 with bed and breakfast), he reached a prospective customer, Mr. Jack Haim, who immediately subjected him to a grilling. "Young man," said Haim, "give me three good reasons why I should buy your papain? I don't know you. Haven't heard of your company. What is more, from ex perience I can tell you that I HAVE Indians are cheats." ALWAYS HELD A lesser man might have THAT AGRICULTURE IS been intimidated, but not Bhavarlal Jain. He replied NOT ONLY A staunchly, "You don't have DEPENDABLE to know me, you have to PARTNER, BUT IS know my product. I have brought a sample which INDEED THE VERY you can test and convince VEHICLE FOR OUR yourself of its quality. As for LONG TERM the company, you don't have to know it because the STABILITY AND product is going to be supPROSPERITY. plied at less than five per cent of the market price to NAY, OUR VERY you at your doorstep withSURVIVAL out any advance payment or obligation to buy. Com ing to your observation that Indians are cheats, may I point out to you, that in effect you are saying that every sixth man walking on the face of this earth is a cheat! Every community, every country has its good and bad characters. You probably got into a wrong lane. Does that justify castigating the whole human mass of about 900 million people?" Haim immediately apologised to Jain. Eventually the meeting ended with Haim purchasing the entire stock Jain had. Soon, Haim became Jain's number one customer. "I am a farmer at heart. My roots will somehow and always take me to rural India," Jain believes. In 1985, so excited was he when he saw the drip irrigation system at a trade fair in Fresno, that he handed over the reins of the trading business to the rest of his family and concentrated on manufacturing drip irrigation systems in India. The foreign collaborators were willing but not the Indian Government. The concerned bureaucrat queried, "There is no import substitution involved in your proposal because your technology saves water, but we are not importing water. Moreover, why do we need technology to distribute water?" Not disheartened by this negative response, Jain obtained the licence in 1987 and floated a public corporation, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. The issue was oversubscribed by over 12.5 times, an amazing feat for an unknown new entrant to the stock market. But Jain's battle for popularising drip irrigation was far from over. The farmers proved tougher to convince than even the bureaucrats! "We had to undertake a whole lot of exten sion activities including seminars, trade shows, demonstrations, ad campaigns. We had to invite farmers, administrators and leaders to per sonally witness the miracles a drip system could perform," Jain recalls. In addition, study tours for about 50 progressive farmers each were organised to Israel and Australia. Similarly, board members of sugar factories and bank directors and officials were taken to the USA so they would acquire an indepth understanding of drip technology and its various benefits. Success stories and interviews of farmers from different locations growing different crops were flashed on radio as well as TV. Reporters from all prestigious publications were taken around and requested to cover the techno-commercial aspects and future of the technology. What Jain undertook was akin to a zealous mission - door to door, village to village - to popularise drip irrigation. As luck would have it, Jain got his biggest break from the same bureaucracy that had initially scoffed at him. In 1990, the Central and State governments boosted the subsidy programme for small land-holders and the drip irrigation system now became affordable. Sales nearly doubled and kept on increasing unabated. Bhavarlal Jain had helped raise an industry where none existed. Not surprisingly, he is hailed as a promoter/pioneer of drip irrigation in the country. A living and lasting symbol of Bhavarlal Jain's love for the rural environment is his 1000 acre R&D farm. Amid the dusty, barren hills on the outskirts of Jalgaon, lies an oasis of neatly cultivated green fields. Painstakingly set up and supervised by him personally, the farm acts as a research, development and demonstration centre, drawing over 10,000 visitors every year from all over India, as well as abroad. Over 150,000 horticultural and agro-forestry trees have been planted during the past four years. The farm is probably the only one of its kind in the private sector. Jain has applied bio-technology for cloning ba VARDHAMAN 100 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #101 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ nana tissues and has introduced the exotic names for the agricultural community. Grand-Nain high-yielding banana variety to the Bhawarlal Jain is deeply philanthropic, Keenly Indian farmer. This is yet another measure to aware of his social responsibilities, he heads many boost productivity by supplying improved plant- public charitable trusts that are engaged in the ing material. "We cannot feed the growing in- medical, educational, cultural and social fields. dian population by just bringing additional land So proud is Jain of his Indian heritage that he under irrigation," Jain maintains. "To be com- sent his four sons to vernacular medium schools, petitive, we have no choice but to improve wa when he could have so easily sent them to the ter and land use efficiency by adopting technol- best educational institutions abroad. But he ogy." His fruit and vegetable processing plants wanted them to be brought up in India, imbibcomplete the value chain for the farming com- ing Indian ethos and work culture. No wonder munity and also earn valuable foreign exchange. sons Ashok, Anil, Ajit and Atul are as much sons He has also introduced solar water heating of the soil as their father. While Ashok is busy systems. expanding and updating HRD, Anil is busy hoistHarbinger of the second green revolution, Jain ing the Jain flag all over the world, in addition promotes, manufactures and supplies all high- to handling the finance portfolio. Ajit looks aftech agricultural inputs under one roof. ter domestic marketing, while Atul currently "India's economic development plan must be based in London looks after exports to Europe. based on sustainable agriculture," he insists. "This A teetotaller and non smoker, the only vice will lead to a more stable and self-reliant growth pattern. India's core strengths are its vast land and water resources and conducive climate. Added to these are the immense and versatile human resources. If we channel our economic growth primarily based on agriculture, its related infrastructure and support this with judicious liberalisation of other areas, we will be treading a much safer path. I have always held that agriculture is not only a dependable partner, but is indeed the very vehicle for our long term stability and prosperity. Nay, our very survival." Bhavarlal Jain's business is driven more by ideology than by profit alone. His reach extends far beyond building physical assets. A voracious reader and deep thinker, commitment to rural upliftment through meaningful assistance is his mission. The best way to know him is through his work. His stated mission in life is: 'Leave this world better than you found it'. Bhavarlal Jain with his four sons Atul, Anil, Ajit and Ashok All of Jain's activities are centred in the in- Bhavarlal Jain suffers from is workaholism! And dustrially backward town of Jalgaon. It is here, this he cannot give up, notwithstanding the five that Jain has made huge investments about Rs heart attacks, he's already suffered! 400 crore) in agro and export oriented indus- Jain's yearning for quality and excellence has tries. Forging a direct association with over 5000 earned his companies over 80 awards, while families, all the focussed industries which Jain personally too, he is the recipient of numerous has promoted, are impacted with high social con- awards, national and international. The Irrigatent and are in harmony with national priorities; tion Association of USA, that comprises over be it agriculture, food processing, export pro- 7000 irrigation Industrial Houses around the motion, resource conservation or environment world, bestowed the International Crawford Reid improvement. Memorial Award on Jain in 1997, 'In recogniBuilt on this remarkable foundation, institutions tion of his significant achievements in promotled by him have interwoven themselves into the ing proper irrigation techniques and in fostervery fabric of the society they stand to serve. ing major advancements in the industry, outJain Pipe', 'Jain Drip', 'Jain Tissue Culture' are side the United States'. He is the first Indian not merely trade names or brand equity banners and only the second Asian to have received this to generate revenues and broaden the bottom award in the past 20 years. line. They have come to symbolise prosperity for However, for him "the best ever reward is the small land-holders and become household smile on the face of the farmer." 101 VARDHAMAN an Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #102 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ THE 24 TIRTHAN KARAS To Rishabhdevji (Aadinathji) Ajitnathji Sambhavnathji JE TOTO Suparshvanathji Chandraprabhswamiji Suvidhinathji DO Vimalnathji Anantnathji Dharamnathji OTOMOTE Mallinathji Munisuvratnathji Naminathji Jain Education international For Personal & Private Use Only Page #103 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ DIODO Mood Abhinandannathji Sumatinathji Padmaprabhswamiji so Sheetalnathji Shreyansnathji Vaspujyaswamiji STOTOOL Shantinathji Kunthunathji Arahanathji Neminathji Parshvanathji Mahavirji PAINTINGS COURTESY: THE TIMES OF INDIA GROUP For Personal & Private Use Only Page #104 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Absolutely Newsworthy! Vijay Darda, Rajya Sabha MP and Chairman and Managing Director of Lokmat Times is a man who carries off his dual roles as politician and publisher with great aplomb and confidence TEXT: ARATI SEN PHOTOGRAPHS: ASHESH SHAH NARDWAX 104 Jain Education Intematona For Personas 2 Pino Page #105 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 105 VARDHAMAN Lain Education International For Personal Pro use Oy Page #106 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ t the age of five, Vijay Darda had decided that he wanted to be a hockey player like the legendary Dhyan Chand and bring fame and glory to his country. In the following four decades his sporting spirit remains unchanged, but the gameplan has changed. Far away from the dusty football fields of Yavatmal in north eastern Maharashtra, Darda, 51, spends most of his time in the upper house of the Parliament and at his newspaper office in Nagpur. The son of prominent Congress leader and freedom fighter, the late Shri Jawaharlal Darda, Vijay Darda grew up in an environment charged with patriotic fervour and political debates. "My childhood memories are of my mother cooking for hordes of people ranging from simple villagers to political leaders, all of whom came to meet my father." Jawaharlal Darda was a Congress minister in the Maharashtra Cabinet for nearly 22 years. He founded the Lokmat group of publications, which has today grown into a leading chain of newspapers in the state with multi-editions. Vijay Darda finds himself following in his father's footsteps, but it has happened without him consciously wanting to do so. "I never wanted to be a politician and I never imagined I would be in the newspaper business. In my youth, my only desire was to be a sportsman. The newspaper business was a legacy and today I cannot imagine a life without Lokmat. And politics, you could say, is in my blood. My career as a minister is on a parallel course with my publishing career, as my priority is the welfare of the newspaper industry." Darda's mother, Veena Devi, was against the involvement of her sons in politics. First it was Rajendra, the younger son who fought for the state assembly elections. But he withdrew from active politics after losing his candidacy. When Darda told his mother about his wish to enter politics, she was not too happy, but she suggested that if that's what he'd set his heart on, he should be a Congress candidate, since that was the party the family identified with closely. Unfortunately for Darda, Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President, chose some other candidate over Darda for the 1998 Rajya Sabha elections. Undeterred, he decided to fight as an independent candidate with the encouragement of friends like Rajya Sabha MP, Mukesh Patel. The summer of 1998 saw Darda snatch a spectacular victory from Congress candidate and former Union home secretary, Ram Pradhan, in a complete reversal of poll fortunes. The election had its share of drama. The Congress accused Sharad Pawar, the former Congress leader and founder of the rebel group National ist Congress Party, of manipulating the defeat of Ram Pradhan by supporting Darda. This election led to the first stirrings of political ambition in Darda and he put in a great amount of effort to woo a host of independent MLAs who were undecided between voting for the Congress or the BJP-Shiv Sena. "I was, in a way lucky, to be caught in the crossfire between Sharad Pawar and the Congress and I got a lot of votes which I may not have got if Pawar had not supported me," says Darda. But his campaigning skills had been tested while he was still in school, when Yavatmal colleges, which were affiliated to the Nagpur University, used Darda's skills to get Yavatmal students elected to the Student's Council. "I was still in school when college union leaders began approaching me to help them rally for votes in Nagpur colleges." That's because, talking to people, winning their trust is an extension of Darda's gregarious self. Even as a child, Darda never let the fact that he belonged to one of the most pre-eminent and famed families in the entire Vidarbha region, go to his head. His father, Jawaharlal Darda was a legend in the region and his house in Yavatmal was visited by political greats like Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Indira Gandhi and a host of other leaders. But his parents made sure that their sons had a normal upbringing. The boys went to a municipal school while their sisters studied in a convent school in Mumbai. The boys travelled in ordinary second class compartments in trains while the rest of the family went first class, and they walked to school because they did not have money to take a bus. They received two sets of new clothes every year for Diwali. It was simplicity on the verge of austerity. "I never felt deprived because all my friends in school came from low income families. I was no different from them." He continues, "My mother comes from a staunch Jain family and I have learnt the basic tenets of Jainism from my mother and my maternal uncle." A few years ago, Darda met a Jain sadhvi, Pritisudhaji at Chandrapur, near Nagpur. "I was mesmerised by her sermon. It did not seem like a religious discourse for she explained the teachings of Lord Mahavir through simple stories. I try to lead my life on the basis of ekta akhandta, samadharma aur sambhav (unity, secularism and peaceful co-existence)." Darda, later, organised a huge samskar yagna for Pritisudhaji at Nagpur, which continued for some weeks. "It was a memorable event," remembers Darda. "Although I do not actively practice my religion, whenever there is an opportunity for spiritual enhancement I make the most of it." He used to watch his father from a distance, VARDHAMANA 106 ternational For Personal & Private Use Only Page #107 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ "I am a trustee of Lokmat, not the editor, so the views and opinion of the paper are not mine. The paper is secular and promotes clean and clear journalistic reporting. So I don't carry any political baggage when I am in the Lokmat office neither do I play the role of a journalist when I am in the Rajya Sabha. Over there I am looking at larger issues because I believe in issue-based politics." The reformist zeal of Darda, perhaps brought out by his political and publishing background, is manifested in his active participation in the literacy movement and in higher education. He is on the boards of several education bodies and is the founder of Amolakchand College of Science, Commerce, Arts & Law, Shri Jawaharlal Darda College of Physical Education (Sports College) and the Matoshree Veenadevi Darda English medium school at Yavatmal. From the young lad in Yavatmal dreaming of always busy talking to people, managing the press, shuttling between Delhi, Mumbai and Yavatmal. At that point, Jawaharlal Darda was more of a political leader than a father. "I became close to him only after I joined Lokmat. That's when in the course of long chats, I discovered my father, his vision for his newspaper, his love for his children. He used to say political clout never lasts for long but the newspaper will remain forever. The newspaper was always his first love." Complying with their father's wishes, the sons, Rajendra and Vijay, shifted to Mumbai from Yavatmal to study printing technology. Darda also enrolled himself for a journalism course at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Even in his busy schedule as a newspaper baron and minister, shuttling between cities and countries Darda finds time to pen down editorials and articles for Lokmat. He also has a few books to his credit including, The Indian Emergency as seen by an Indian and Lokmat Congress Centenary Special-1985. Lokmat has come a long way from a single edition Marathi newspaper printed from a godown in Nagpur in 1971 to a publication with a circulation of 10 lakh and 18 editions that include English, Marathi and Hindi language papers. Prior to Lokmat's relaunch in 1971, it was a non-profit venture for Jawaharlal Darda who wanted to spread the Congress ideology through the paper and use it as a bridge between the government and the grassroots in communicating social issues and reforms. Vijay Darda believes he has played a crucial role in changing the face of the regional newspaper industry, which belonged to the dark ages of cheap news print and propaganda stories. He has introduced advanced machinery in his press and was one of the first to set up a teleprinter network across rural Maharashtra. Lokmat has one of the largest networks of rural reporters across the country, making it a widely read regional newspaper. Darda's involvement with the newspaper community goes much beyond Lokmat. He has promoted the cause of small newspapers as the President of the Indian Newspaper Society, as member of the Indian Languages Newspaper As sociation and of the Audit Bureau of Circulation, as life member of the Advertising Club of India, Mumbai and member of the International Advertising Association, Inc, New York. The combined roles of businessman, newspaper baron and politician can sometimes be incestuous but Darda is very vocal about any criticism on such grounds. playing hockey all his life, Darda today smoothly transits from global forums to panchayat level committees. "I have learnt a lot from attending international conferences like the World Economic Forum which I attended with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1992, SAARC Editors' Forum in Colombo and printing technology exhibitions the world over. But I have learnt even more by mixing with people at the grassroots level, knowing their needs and problems." The learning continues and Darda's mission is expanding - from fighting for cheaper newsprint prices and protecting the interests of small newspapers to more national issues which include safeguarding the sovereignty of the country by barring foreign equity in media. "I am a survivor, a long distance runner. And I feel as if the marathon has just begun," he concludes. 107 VARDHAMAN For Personal & Private Use Only Page #108 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA-MEEN YUGALA MEEN YUGALA the fish couple. The form of the fish is considered divine, as it also shows the flow of divine life in the cosmic ocean. VARDHAMAN 108 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #109 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ TIMES. music SPIRITUAL Welcome to Navkar.... ..The world of immeasurable bliss, joy and pure truth! bha AdinAtha mahAvIra Tree janakalyANaka sarvazreSTha mahAmaMtra Artistas attributed with powerful healing and curative properties. Considered the most sacred amongst the sacred, this mantra can take man to the pinnacles of spirituality and holiness. Navkar Mantra is one of the earliest mantras known to man. It is the invocation to the Supreme being recommended by the Dharma of the Jains, one of the oldest known religious denominations of the world. Salutations offered through this mantra are supposed to provide the reciter with great spiritual and material success, remove evil and negative tendencies of the mind, destroy various aspects of misery and give divine peace of mind while removing any obstacles that may come in the way of the individual's spiritual and material growth. Thus the mantra is Featuring Signature Prayer by Pandit Jasraj. Mangalacharan by Rattan Mohan Sharma, commentary by Harish Bhimani, 108 Chants of Navkar Mahamantra & Navkar Prarthana. This album is specially released to commemorate the 2600th birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira. priced at Rs. 295/ each and cassettes are priced at Rs. 65/-each Delivery period of CC/OD & Mumbai/Delhi cheques: One week from date of receipt of the order. Outstation CC/DD only 2 to 3 weeks from the date of receipt of the order to Manager (Mal Order). Times Music Times of India Bldg, 4th floor, Dr. D.N. Road, Mumbai 400 001. For further enquiries contact Gracy on Tel: 022-2641926 Fax: 022-2642191 OR Times Music, 3rd floor, Herald Mouse, 5A. Bahadurshah Zafer Marg Doh 170002. Contact Geeta Tel: 011-3316179/Fax:011-3316142 BEBID LIKE TO BUY 'NAVKAR Date of Birth: .............. ....Address... .... City: State ...Phone OH . Res Fax . .. ..... E-mail: Enclosed is my D. Cheque in hour of Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. No..... . .... . .Dated ........................ (Add. Rs. 10- per mail order.) Or, please charge it to my Credit Card Times Card Master Card/Visa Card/Amex Card No ..............Expiry date:.. ............. (Minimum order value should be worth Rs.300/-for credit card holders) No. of CD............No. of Cassette ..... Total Amount:................... be at your nearest music store Date of Advt. Signature DIAL 2821818(MUMBAI)/3316179 (DELHI) TO GET FREE DELIVERY OF NAVKAR AT YOUR DOORSTEP. Delivery within city limits only. Visit us at For Personal & Private Use Only Page #110 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ TORRENT OF GOOD WILL In the aftermath of the killer quake that struck Gujarat, the Mehta family of the Torrent Group, Ahmedabad, were at the forefront in distributing medicine and aid to the needy. But then for mother Sharadaben and sons Sudhir and Samir Mehta, dharma has always meant doing good for as many as possible! TEXT: SANDHYA BORDEWEKAR am, Friday, 26th January 2001, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The Mehta family had woken up to a day of leisure, of no meetings, no appointments, and no decisions. It was Republic Day, a national holiday, and a long, much looked forward to weekend stretched ahead. It was one of those rare occasions which the large Mehta family had decided to spend together. am. Shardaben Mehta had just fin ished her morning chores and was planning to go to the derasar opposite their home. Sons Sudhir and Samir, Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively of the Torrent Group, one of the fastest growing industrial conglomerates in the country were up but not really about. "I was in my balcony, having tea and leafing through the newspapers when I thought I felt a YARDHAMAN 110 Sama n ternational For Personal & Private Use Only Page #111 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ little unsteady," says Sudhirbhai, as he recalls a conceptual stage." the 20 seconds that shook Ahmedabad, brought Having learnt their elementary business lessons Kutch to its knees, and pulled the rug from un- in the pharmaceutical industry, the Torrent der Gujarat's feet. "My first thought was that my Group's philanthropic leanings are primarily toBP had shot up and I was having an attack of wards healthcare and the electricity sector. vertigo myself. But when I heard my teacup rat- Father Uttambhai Mehta started his career as tling in the saucer, I knew immediately that this a medical representative with Sandoz Ltd. As a was an earthquake. Fortunately, all us, my young boy growing up the hard way in Chhapi, a mother, my wife, my brother and his wife and small village in the backward Banaskantha disthe children were at home so we rushed out of trict in north Gujarat, he finished school at the the house into the garden. Then nearby Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya the lights and the telephones on loan scholarships. His decicrashed." sion to leave Sandoz must have By 9.20 am, Samir Mehta with been a gut-wrenching one, eshis technical staff was already pecially when the small pharat the Sabarmati power station maceutical business, Trinity of the Ahmedabad Electricity Laboratories, he had estabCompany, in which Torrent has lished with his severance pay a controlling stake, to try and in 1959, did not do too well and restore the power supply. Within he had to return to Chhapi vilone-and-a-half-hours, lace in failing health. However, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad wife Shardaben continued to city could switch on electricity. manage the business from their "For the first 3-4 hours, every village. Uttambhai never really one was talking about regained his lost health but his Ahmedabad. What has col extraordinary will power and lapsed and where, getting the Shardaben's meticulous care injured to hospital, organising saw him through the difficult relief," explains Sudhirbhai. "We times as he carefully laid every had already opened the manu brick of an edifice that was Late Uttambhai Mehta facturing units and got together worth Rs. 2200 crore at the antibiotics, painkillers and time of his death in March 1998 stress management drugs since at the age of 76. those were the medicines most "My biggest worry then was needed to cope with such an how to keep the family toemergency, and set up a distri gether," remembers bution network with local NGOs. Shardaben, a shadow passing Then we came to know about over her face. It must have been Kutch. So instead of just giving difficult, if not impossible, to away the medicines haphaz bring up a family of four young ardly, we prepared standard children, look after a husband packets for distribution so that in indifferent health, and conall those who needed the medi tinue managing the pharmaceucines had access to the right tical business where she would drugs in the right quantity." herself package the medicines, Within two weeks of the deal with the distributing agenearthquake, the Torrent Group cies, make bills and collect the had already distributed more outstandings. "I had complete than Rs. 50 lakh worth of es faith in Lord Jai Jinendra," she sential medicines through 20 says simply. The same lady who 25 NGOs actually working in the sha Shardaben Mehta today has access to a consideraffected areas. "We are also working with a very able fortune, could hardly look beyond Rs. 200, committed and wonderful group of doctors, those days. most of whom we know very well since we are Having gone through difficult years herself, she in the pharmaceutical business," says has tremendous empathy for those less fortunate. Sudhirbhai, "and together we have started a "My mother is a completely God-fearing persmall hospital in Bhachau, one of the badly af- son," says Sudhirbhai. "In 1984 when we decided fected towns. The hospital is financed by the U to export to Russia and the Eastern Bloc counN Mehta Charitable Trust. Amongst our long- tries, I was continuously travelling to these counterm plan is a hospital in Bhuj that is already at tries. My mother made me promise that in keep 111 VARDHAMAN in Education International For Personal & Private Use Only Page #112 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ U. N. MEHTA INSTITUTE OF CARDIOLOGY RESEARCH CENTRE The U. N. Mehta institute of Cardiology & Research Centre, Ahmedabad ing with the tenets of our Jain faith I would not eat non-vegetarian food or touch alcohol. She would pack lots of khakhras for me, so that I wouldn't go hungry," he laughs. A promise which he has strictly kept, not just out of respect for his mother, but also because he believes in it himself. Those were the days when vegetarianism had yet to catch Western fancy. "My hosts would often laugh at me and frankly they were quite worried that I may fall ill if I didn't eat properly or at least drink some vodka in the bitter cold. But I managed quite well." Reminisces Shardaben, "My husband always believed in straightforward dealings in business. He also believed in sharing one's prosperity. The moment our business began to do well in the early 1970s (Trinity Laboratories became Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. In 1975), his first thought was to do something for his old school and he decided to help establish more such hostelschools so that children from poor families could get the chance to study. He went to the community and convinced them that similar schools for girls should also be established. So we helped set up the first Mahavir Jain Kanya Chatralaya. My children studied at the small village high school in Chhapi and it became my dream to modernise the school and provide it with a proper infrastructure. So we have now completely rebuilt it and there are 1200 students studying there right upto Class XII," she says with a smile. "But that's not all," adds her son, "we plan to expand the school so it can accommodate 300 more students." Shardaben is helped in her sev. eral charitable projects by her eldest daughter, Meena Modi whose husband, Dineshbhai manages the Rs 100 crore Torrent Cables. Her other daughter, Nayana Shah and her husband, Dushyantbhai manage Torrel Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd. The family manages one major trust - the U. N. Mehta Charitable Trust that was established in 1982. "My basic concern revolves around empowering women and children through education and vocational skills so that they can become independent," says Shardaben. "And the second is health care. Both concern humanity, rich or poor, young or old. Though my husband and I have always followed the Jaina dharma in our personal life and supported sahadharmik bhakti (helping our own community), we later wondered why were restricting ourselves. We decided to help all those who needed our help. and also to do something for the village which had supported and nurtured us in our difficult days and do something for the people there? That's when my husband decided to contribute about 10 per cent of whatever profit we earned to society and formed the U.N. Mehta Charitable Trust, to fulfil this aim." "Talking about Jaina dharma," continues Shardaben animatedly, "let me tell you how my husband interpreted it. He always advised our children that whatever they did, they must make sure that they were always on the side of truth. VARDHAMAN 112 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #113 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ That was the essence of his "It took us three years to fidharma. Neither of us forced nally put the plan into action, our children to follow any ritu but we finally did it," says THE MOST als blindly. We always told our Sudhirbhai. children that it is good to fol IMPORTANT Torrent began to work in the low what religion has to say, fields of neuropsychiatry and THING IS NOT that it is good to visit the cardiovascular medications, derasar regularly. But this is TO HURT and as stress-related disorders not enough to be a good Jain. PEOPLE. began to become more and The most important thing is not more frequent in the 1980s to hurt people. Violence of any VIOLENCE OF and 90s, there was an increaskind - physical, mental or ANY KIND - ing need for specialised hosspiritual - must be avoided." pitals to treat and care for paIn keeping with the Jain phi PHYSICAL, tients suffering from these losophy of jeeva-daya, at the MENTAL OR problems. As these so called behest of Shardaben, the Tor 'rich men's problems' began to rent Group has contributed SPIRITUAL - take their toll on the common phenomenally in arranging for MUST BE man, Uttambhai Mehta was cattle fodder in as many vil convinced that Ahmedabad selages of the state as it could AVOIDED riously needed a good, statereach during the drought-de of-the-art cardiac institute. clared years. Once on a visit "Since the state already had to the famous Jain temples of good hospitals for specialised Palitana, Uttambhai realised that pilgrims suffered treatment of cancer and kidney diseases, my fagreatly due to lack of potable water at some of ther contacted Dr. Girinath and Dr. Mathew of the important temples on the hilltop. The water Apollo Hospital, Chennai, to discuss the possifrom the kund was quite unclean and the staunch bility of starting a cardiac hospital in Jain pilgrims would not touch mineral water. So Ahmedabad," explains Sudhirbhai. And that's Torrent stepped into the picture and worked out how the U. N. Mehta Institute of Cardiology and a scheme by which demineralised water could Research Centre came up in Ahmedabad in asbe piped up at least upto the main temples. sociation with the Government of Gujarat. "This Parimal Garden, Ahmedabad 113 VARDHAMAN Sain Education International For Personal & Pelvate Use Only Page #114 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ is also a teaching institute, so cardiologists are also trained here," smiles Sudhirbhai. The hospital charges patients on a fee-slab system that is directly proportional to their earnings. A lot of the poor and really deserving patients are treated free of charge, in the sense that the hospital looks for donors to foot their bills. Sudhirbhai is presently trying to set up a large corpus fund in association with the state government, which would generate enough interest to take care of the poor patients so as to solve this problem once and for all. The Torrent Group has also initiated an informal programme where highly skilled cardiac surgeons from the US (often NRIs originally from Ahmedabad) come to the hospital with their entire medical teams for a specified period each year and offer their services free. That's how they got an eminent team of NRI doctors from California to come and perform 30-40 minimum invasive cardiac surgeries, the latest in cardiac techniques, for the first time in Ahmedabad last year. Torrent is also thinking of setting up a good general hospital in Banaskantha, their home district. "I feel very happy that my husband chose a field of business, where we could help alleviate people's physical pain and misery, and now my sons are following in his footsteps," says Shardaben. "But I am concerned about the environment too. This huge Parimal Garden right in the middle of Ahmedabad city was so unkempt. My husband would regularly go for his morning walk there. And we both felt sad that such a lovely property was wasted. So my husband decided to do something about it." The Torrent Group took over the development and beautification of Parimal Garden, with architect Kamal Mangaldas creating some truly imaginative landscaping, with spaces for senior citizens, picnic spots for families, jogging tracks, children's play areas, water bodies with fountains. It's a green oasis in the heart of the city. "Our Parimal project convinced us that we must take up 'green activity in a major way," explains Sudhirbhai. "At our Torrent Research Centre just outside Ahmedabad, we have actually put a green building together. The huge ultra-modern complex incorporates several energy-efficient and passive cooling principles that keep the inside temperature of the building a comfortable 30 degrees C. without air conditioning even during the scorching Ahmedabad summers. Isn't this what good health is all about? Not just for our selves but for our planet too?" Standing (1 to r): Sudhir, Anita, Sapna and Samir Sitting (1 to r): Uttambhai, Shardaben, Shaan, Jinal, Aman and Varun VARDHAMAN 114 For Personal & Private Use Only Page #115 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ASHTA MANGALA-DARPANA DARPANA the mirror, is to see the image of the Tirthankara close to oneself. Also a reminder of the reflections of divinity, this very atma is but a reflection of the parmatma. To look deep within and appreciate the connection with divinity. For Personal & Private Use Only Page #116 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ain marriages do not have traditional Brahmins performing the marriages. It is a mar riage performed in the presence of God. According to Jain experts, the Jain vidhi has its own origin in the philosophy of Jainism, where all living organisms are respected and granted their own freedom of expression. There fore, the ritual of marriage too follows the philosophy of Jainism and adheres to the rules set by Bhagwan Mahavir. Brahmins do not perform the wedding. Close relations of the bride and the groom step in for the mantrochhar. Earlier the parents performed the rites and also said the mantras. But these days, they just perform the rites and other relatives and friends of the family recite the mantras. The Jain vidhi is very meticulous. The scriptures that accompany the wedding invitation have a detailed description of every ritual. The marriage mandap itself has to be set to exact specifications A Jain wedding is solemnised in the presence of in order to invoke positive God, but without a priest officiating! energies and keep away the negative ones. The TEXT SHRUTI PANDIT scriptures define that the bride and bridegroom should sit facing the east and the parents should face either the east or north while performing the rites. The person giving instructions and reciting the mantras should occupy a position from where everyone can hear and understand him clearly. The scriptures also have a detailed list of what is required for the vidhi. The most important is an idol of Bhagwan Mahavir (it has to be from a temple). Temple priests allow a family to borrow the idol from the temple for the duration of the vidhi. Also essential are the scriptures or any religious book that contains samayik, panch Weddings on earth, blessed in heaven ang atinternational & Hivate Use Only Page #117 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ pratikraman, etc, along with a thavani (special wooden stand to keep the scripture) and a red silk cloth. A siddhachakrayantra or an ashta mangala is deemed necessary. Siddhacharkrayantra pujan or Padmavati pujan is optional, and the former usually takes place if either of the families have taken a mannat before God when the wedding was finalised. Since this is the beginning of a new life for the couple, a kalash, big pot covered with red cloth symbolising the complete life is kept at the centre. Betel leaves and silver coins are placed in the kalash There is no hom-havan. Jain philosophy does not permit burning of wood as this might hurt or kill the living organisms that might be living inside. Instead, there is a closed lamp symbolising the presence of the Fire God. It is essential that everyone present make an offering to God. All the offerings are placed in the centre so that the bridal couple can perform the mangal pheras easily. The vidhi starts with a welcome benediction. This is followed by salutations to the Arihantas (the establishers of the shasan), the Siddhas (liberated souls), the Acharyas (spiritual masters), Upadhyayas (scholars) and all the sadhus of the world who have dedicated their lives to God. The bride and the groom then light the mangal deep (the auspicious lamp) and pray for God's grace to lighten up their new life. Now the bride's mother and groom's mother put auspicious tilaks on the couple's forehead. A senior woman of the family ties the mindhal on the right hand of the bride and the groom. Another ties the holy rakshapotali on the right arm of both the parents. This is followed by the recitation of the mangal tilak verses. Sacred rice is offered at the feet of Arihant. The Arhat puja follows, where all 24 Tirathankaras are worshipped. The bride and groom offer vasakshepa (sacred yellow coloured sandalwood powder) to each Tirthankara. One senior woman of the family sprinkles sacred water on the couple. Then comes the by gyana puja (worship of the sacred scriptures and the books of learning), where the couple performs the ceremony by offering vasakshepa. The recital of shanti mantra along with offering of akshata (scared rice) follows The actual wedding ceremony begins now. The tying of wedding knots, cheedabandhan is the main ritual. One of the women of the family ties Aja kI tAjA cAra GARDEN RDEN FRESH INDIA'S day TEA Adsun STRONG CTC LEAF cAya For Personal & Private Use Only Road Lorg Page #118 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ one end of the bride's sari to the end of the loose cloth that hangs from the groom's right shoulder. This end has betel nut and silver coins tied to it. Another woman then places a varmala (garland symbolising union) around the couple's neck. This is symbolic of their partnership in the performance of duties. This union has been formed in the presence of the five Gods and the light. Now follows the core of the sacrament of the wedding - the hastamilap (joining the palms of the bride and the groom together, symbolising their union). The bride's father draws the holy swastika on the couples's palms and then places the bride's right palm on the groom's right palm, keeping Lord Jineshwara as witness. Bride and groom then recite the Navkar mantra thrice in their mind and do the kumbhaka dhyana (meditation) taking deep breaths. The bride's parents pour holy water on the joined palms of the bridal couple reciting Om Arham. Chanting of the mangalashtak, is the next step. Keeping Lord Jineshwar as witness, everyone prays that the newly wed couple enjoys harmony, love, peace and happiness at every moment in their life. These manglashtaks are sometimes from the old Sanskrit scriptures. Or sometimes a family member writes them especially for the occasion weaving in the names of bride and groom and their family members. Now comes the holy ceremony of offering unbroken scared rice to Lord Jineshwar or Bhagwan Mahavir. The newly wed couple offers this at the feet of the idol to the chanting of the Navkar mantra. It is now time for the mangal pheras around the lamp. The bride leads and the groom follows her during the pheras. Each phera ends with both of them offering sacred rice at the feet of the Lord and saying Om Arham. The mantras that are chanted during the pheras are salutations to Lord Arihant and his supremacy in different forms. After the pheras is the saptapadi - the seven vows that bind the couple for their lifetime. After taking six pheras, the bride changes her place to sit on the groom's left. She is now the daughter-inlaw of the groom's family. Blowing of conches and ringing of bells mark this occasion. The seventh phera happens now, with the groom taking the lead and the bride following. They recite Om punyam, priyantam, priyantam, thrice. The mantras that are chanted after this by the parents mean- noble birth, good house, divinity, sovereignty, the qualities of Arihant and salvation. The last ritual takes place as the groom places the mangalsutra around bride's neck and applies sindoor to her forehead. Everybody present now thanks the Lord for being present to bless the couple. They also ask for forgive ness for mistakes committed unknowingly. PAINTINGS COURTESY For Personal & Private Use Only Page #119 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Filling hearts with happiness and minds with memories. 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