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Jain Pratistha Mahotasav – Franklin Township, NJ

Tuesday, August 21, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Manju AN
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Jain 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.  
 

Swetambar:

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 everyday.

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 Pratimajis.

 

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 the Pratimajis.

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.

Digambar:

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.

Sthankwasis:

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:

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.

Cultural Activities:

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 great performances.
 

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 songs.

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.

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