Jain Pratistha Mahotasav – Franklin Township, NJ
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Posted by: Manju AN
Pratistha Mahotasav – Franklin Township, NJ
June 29th marked the opening (also known
as Prathishta) of Central New Jersey’s first Jain Temple. This auspicious
event elicited excitement from members of the Jain community from near and far
alike. After years of fundraising, careful planning, and anticipation,
the dream of a new temple had come true.
To honor this occasion, the JainCenter
organized a 10-day celebration filled with traditional Pujas, catered meals,
and cultural events each night. As the Derasar is home to Swetambars,
Digambars, Sthanakwasis, and Shrimad Rajchandra devotees, each sect was able to
have its own opening.
Swetambars’ Pratishta Mahotsav started
with Manekstamph Ropan, Mangal Toran, Kumbh Sthapana Pujan, lighting of the
Akhand Deepak, and Jawara Ropan. These opening ceremonies were then
followed by a series of Pujans that took place on a daily basis. Gaadi Pujan
was also performed by SakalSangh and Snatra Puja took place in the Rang Mandap
On Sunday July 1st, Utthapan Vidhi of all
5 Pratimajis was performed at Shantinathji Derasar prior to the Pratimajis’
Pravesh to the Franklin Township Derasar. The anticipation of the Pravesh
was noticeable as all members of the Sangh gathered outside to welcome the
On July 5th, Pravesh in the Derasar and
Pohkana were performed. Attendees were excited to see the Bhagwans arrive
at their final destination. This was followed by 18 Abhisheks of all of
Saturday July 7th was of utmost
importance as the final steps to complete Franklin Township Derasar’s Pratishthaa were taken. The entire Sangh
came together at 7am to watch as each Pratimaji was Pratishthaith (cemented into place
forever). At 9:30, Pushpa-Vrushti took place; a helicopter circled the
Shikhar of the Derasar and showered it with flower petals. Finally, on
Sunday July 8th at 5am sharp, the first official Dwar Opening of the Derasar to
the public took place.
As all of these ceremonies brought
happiness among Sangh members, Kalyanak celebration amplified their joy even
further. This included Chyvan, Janma, and Diksha Kalyanak of Muni Suvrat
Swami as well as Sughosha Ghant Naad, Meru Parvat Abhishek, Bhagwan’s
childhood, Vivah Mahotsav, Rajyabhishek, and Varshidan.
The Digambar ceremony took place over the
course of 3 days. It was kicked off by Dhwaja Ropan and a Mandap
Inauguration. Following this were Vidhi Nayak, Nvidhi Adhyaksha Bhagwan
Pravesh, and a procession. 4 Pujas (Indra Pratishthaa, Yag Mandal Vidhan, Garbh
Kalyanak, and Janma Kaylanak) also took place on the first day. The
second day was marked by Diksha Kalyanak, Vargodo, and Vedi Suddhi of the
pedastal . Additionally, the First Darshan took place in the Mandap
followed by Samosaran Darshan. To wrap things up, another Vargodo and Abhishek
of all of the Bhagwans in the temple took place. The joy and excitement
in the Digambar community was palpable throughout all of these events.
Sthanakwasis took part in a half day
ceremony that commenced with Navkar Mantra Patt Pratishtha. Lectures from various
dignitaries speaking about the importance of Navkar Mantra were attended by
all. Together, the community then chanted 108 Navkar Mantras and attended
Samuh Samayik conducted by Shri Tarlaben Doshi. Members were overcome
with joy and pledged to meet as a community at least once a month to take part
in Samuh Samayik.
Shrimad Rajchandra devotees celebrated
the opening by chanting Mantra and offering donations. They also hosted
Prayer and Shobha Yatra after which they all congregated in Shrimad Dhyan
Mandhir for the first time. Upon speaking to members of the Shrimad
Rajchandra school, it was clear that they were very excited for a new place of
spiritual worship as well as their own prayer hall within it.
In additional to daily religious ceremonies, nightly cultural programs
were organized. Each spiritual morning and afternoon was followed by a
delicious dinner and entertainment from peers in the community. This was
a great way for members of the Jain Sangh to enjoy food from different regions
of Gujarat and provided them with a chance to socialize while watching some
Each Pathshala developed and took part in
their own show. Edison Pathshala told the love story of Nem Rajul through
prose and dance. The Jersey City Pathshala group performed a skit about
Aimutta Muni that was well-received. The Caldwell team decided to step out of normal
bounds and refreshed the audience with a Broadway-inspired musical.
Finally, bringing back the importance of samayik in modern world intertwined
with humor, the South Brunswick Pathshala performed an engaging and funny skit
based on "All Izz Well”.
As each Pathshala worked supremely hard
on their respective performance, so did other members of the community.
Talented musicians put together a symphony that paid homage to revered Jain
stavans. Each pathashala participated to choreograph dances to well-known Jain
Of course, no program is complete without
thanking those who worked tirelessly to put together 10 days of celebration.
As such, dignitaries those traveled from near and far were introduced to the
audience. The Board of Trustees and Executive Committee were also asked
to come on stage so the Sangh could recognize their dedication and hard work.
Aside from performances, the various Pathshalas
collaborated to create an excellent panch kalyanak exhibition of Mahavir
Swami’s life. The dioramas were beautifully created with vibrant colors,
distinct characters, and even mechanical aspects.
Each night a very dedicated group
performed Aangi to the Pratimajis. This was of great importance and was
overseen carefully. In addition, a creative committee spent many hours
decorating the entire Derasar and the prayer hall. With tasteful wall
hangings as well as artwork lining the halls, they created a welcoming atmosphere
that attendees took note of and appreciated.
Also not to be overlooked, the food
committee organized close to 30 meals for everyone to enjoy. They had the
task of supplying Jain food that was pleasing to taste and varied each
night. They took on this responsibility with enthusiasm and passion and
the output was pleasing to all. The parking and the transportation teams added
to the convenience for over 5000 attendees.
Overall, the Pratishtha Mahotsav was a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime
event enjoyed by a tightly knit Jain community. Each member participated
with great joy and dedication and added to its success.