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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Jai Jinendra!

Theme for this month is Meditation. Please feel free to submit article on Meditation to jainahq@jaina.org. Best article will be published in next Newsletter.

JAINA appreciates initiative of Siddhachalam for reducing usage of Styrofoam and encouraging usage of steel plates.

Please Register now for JAINA convention in New Jersey from June 30 – July 4, 2017 at www.jaina.org. Prices will go up from $269 to $285 for adults after Jan 31, 2017.

Sincerely,

Ashok Domadia
JAINA President
Chairman - JAINA BOD

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The monk who is absorbed in meditation achieves victory over attachment and aversion, and the senses. His fear vanishes and his passions are shattered.Finally, he extirpates his indulgences, abhorrence and delusion.

- Bhagwan Mahavir
KNOW YOUR TIRTHANKAR
Kuntunath Bhagwan is the 17th Tirthankar of the Avsarpani kaal. He was born to King Sursen and Queen Shri Devi in the city of Hastinapur. He attained nirvana at Samet Shikhar and had 35 Gandhars. He took 3 bhavs after Samyak Darshan to attain moksh. The topic of his first sermon was Mann Shudhi

The key is used for two purposes that are to open the lock and to lock it. Human mind is like a key; it can open the door of the soul and can lock the door of the soul. Declined mind locks the development of the soul, where as a renounced conscience allows the soul to develop. By opening the door of the soul, our soul can see ourselves, can know the real treasure and can consent it. Real success is to develop the rarely received conscience for sacred devotion. The way a mirror is of no use for a blind man, the same way if any person doing religious activities without purifying his mind, is of no use. We call Tirthankars ‘Jinas’ because they are able to control their minds. We are always trying to defeat the outer or worldly enemies, while we have forgotten that some enemies are reviving in ourselves for allowing them to grow inside is our biggest failure. We always try to win over the world but the real challenge is not to win over the world but to win over ourselves. The challenge is to win over our mind as our mind is unstable and wonders. It is inconstant. When mind is provoked then senses do sinful acts and if mind doesn’t contribute to the senses than it can’t do sinful acts. We can control our mind by continuous practice and asceticism.
MEDITATION
Meditation is the foundation of being oneself. It helps in recreating one’s mind with clean and pure thoughts. A person doing meditation can grab positivity in to him or her, through which one can experience the soul energy of satisfaction.

Meditation helps in various ways to a person, no matter whether it is for health or mind. Through meditation a person can preserve the creativity in himself or herself by which there comes a spirit of non-violence and helping others in different stages of life.

Experiencing meditation helps in experimenting various new things in day-to-day life. As it cleans up all negativity, you can immediately feel the freshness of your mind which helps in thinking more about the environment around you. Meditation is a best exercise to be chosen by each & every person to rebuild the energy for soul and mind as well.

Cleaning up once mind with good thoughts is easily done through meditation. A short 15 minutes (approx.) meditation every day will help you to have a expressive and positive life.
By, Grishma Samir Shah
(Ahmedabad)
JAIN STORY: THE VALUE OF MONKHOOD
A little boy named Thaavaacha Putra was standing atop his home and enjoying the natural beauty of the landscape when a sweet melody from a neighbouring house reached his ears. Curious of its nature, he went to his mother and asked her what it was and what was its significance. His mother told him that the songs were a part of a celebration to welcome a newborn child.

"Were such songs sung at my birth also?" Thaavaacha Putra asked.
"Yes, my dear," his mother answered. "Songs more in number and sweeter than these too."
"Mother, I feel almost as if I have never stopped hearing them."
"Go and listen to them then, my son."

Thaavaacha Putra went back to the roof and listened to the singing. The songs, however, were not as pleasant then. They were harsh and shrill and filled him with a sense of uneasiness: Again he ran to his mother and asked, "What has happened to the songs, Mother? Why are they no longer sweet but strident? Are they being sung by some other person?"

"No, son, the same person is singing, but--"
"Why, then, are they different than before?"
"The circumstances have changed," she answered.
"The child who was born a few hours ago has died. That is why the songs have changed into mourning songs." Thaavaacha Putra was badly shaken by the incident. Full of sorrow, he asked, "Why do people die? Does it not matter how small the person may be?"

"Now don't ask such questions," said his mother rather irritably.
"But mother," he protested, "tell me one thing. Will I too have to die in this manner?"
"Not only you, but also I, your father, and everyone will have to die someday, and will be born again according to the good and bad deeds they have done."
Somewhat confounded, Thaavaacha Putra asked his mother, "Is there any way to escape the cycle of birth and death?"

"There is," his mother admitted, "but it is a very difficult and severe course of life. The only path to spiritual liberation is to perform Sadhana at the feet of Lord Aristnemi, the 22nd Tirthankar of the Jain tradition. But it is a life-long process, my son."

"Mother, where does Lord Aristnemi live now? Will he come to our village soon?"
"Yes, he will, my son, and if you wish you may meet him then."

Thaavaacha Putra had decided to adopt the life of renunciation and penance to liberate his soul and so escape the cycle of life and death. From that day on, a detachment toward worldly things filled his mind and occupied his soul. When Lord Aristnemi came to his town, he was initiated into the monastic Order and ultimately proceeded on the path to enlightenment and emancipation.

Jain Center Update: Siddhachalam

First day of year 2017, Sunday Jan 1, started with the recital of Namokar Mantra followed by Sangatith Puja (Dev-Shastra-Guru puja and Snatra puja) at Siddhachalam. We would like to thank all laabharthis who joyfully participated in the recital and puja to celebrate the start of 2017.

Pujyashri Amrender Muniji was present to give his blessings. In his gracious presence, Bharatbhai Shah of Wayne, NJ led the puja and aarti.

During this year, Siddhachalam aims to reduce the use of styrofoam products in Gautam Labdhi Bhandaar (Kitchen/Dining Hall). To achieve this, Siddhachalam is promoting the use of steel plates.

We want to recognize the laabharthis who volunteered to use steel plates in Gautam Labdhi Bhandaar on the first day of 2017.

During your next visit to Siddhachalam, use steel plates in GautamLabdhiBhandaarand be part of our commitment to help the environment.

We also would like to recognize the volunteers who helped in puja arrangements and making arrangements for swamivatsalya.


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