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JAINA Special Newsletter: Das Lakshana Day - 8
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Jai Jinendra!

Today is the eighth day of Das Lakshana Parva. Some of us will start fasting from today to do Atham (3 days of fasting). I wish you sukh sata. Eighth Dharma is Uttam Tyag which means to cast aside, to give up, to get rid of, to discard and to leave.

Warm Regards,
Gunvant Shah
JAINA President


In this world, it is not what we have but what we give up, that makes us rich.

Every living creature is an aspirant for happiness. This happiness is an outcome of renunciation. When a thing is fully and wholeheartedly given in charity to others, it is called renunciation. If someone desires a return in exchange for a thing donated or wants to get it back after once giving it to others as charity; or donates something to others after getting his name inscribed on it, it is not called renunciation. Only that can be called as giving, which is given to the poor. All other givings are barter.

There lived a very wealthy householder in a city, but he was greedy by nature. He neither took nice food nor put on nice clothes, nor gave money in charity for religious deeds and other noble causes. His chief aim in life was to accumulate money by saving every penny, day and night. What to say of seeing his face, people disliked even to hear his name in the morning. The scriptures say, "namatikripanrsya cha", i.e., the name of a miser is not worth speaking. Such people are condemned and disdained wherever they go. After all who can show respect to such selfish men? In the modern times, we daily come across so many affluent people, who hesitate to donate even a penny for religious functions and for a good cause but are forced to pay a huge amount of money as taxes. They are aversive to give a donation to every category of charity-seekers viz. superb, medium and lower type. On the contrary, such people try to win false prestige and glory by arranging garden parties in honor of high government officers, and feeding the gentry on the eve of wedding receptions. Forget giving a donation to social institutions, he did not even give a tip of twenty-five paisa to a peon. If sometimes a hungry beggar knocked at his door asking for food, he would shut the door on his face and make a pretext of sickness but never offered him food.

The fullness of the life of the householder is achieved when he feeds those, who come hungry to him. Indeed he, that shares his food with the hungry, will never go hungry at any time. Those who fast in penance endure hunger; to do away with hunger in others is better than fasting in penance.

Oh my God! You are not only my defender; but You are the architect of my victory over the unconquerable foes.

Let the enemies inflict the wars. The wars may be so horrifying that the points of spears and arrows may cause rivers of blood from the wounds of the elephants. The vengeful soldiers may be eager to swim through blood to win the opponents.

But when Your Bhakta approaches Your lotus feel, he is bound to emerge victorious.

God, I am aware that I do not have to worry at the time of such or even a greater war than this; but my past deeds and sins have already declared the war against me. However, they may not stop warring at all. But I am sure, I will attain victory by your grace. You are bound to make me victorious. I am your disciple, having taken the refuge in your lotus feet.

O Lord! Your disciple is sailing his ship in the mid-sea. A great thunderstorm is raising gigantic waves. Horrifying creatures like crocodiles, sharks and whales are seen around the ship and moving about at their sweet will.

A frightening seafire has also erupted from the bottom of the sea, to engulf the large quantum of sea waters.

It appears that the ship is about wreck in the storm and sink. Your Bhakta is silent and serene. These calamities make no effect on him. He recites and remembers Your name and reaches his destination without harm or hindrance.

God, I do not know as to when shall I have to be in such a vicious thunderstorm; but this ocean of sorrow and grief disturbs me now and again, bent upon to sink my ship of penance. Oh God, please protect me. Please take me safely through the Ocean of Births and Deaths to my ultimate destination, the Moksha. I would sink myself in recitals rather than in the sea of sorrow and grief.

Source: Param Pujya Acharyadev Shrimad Vijay Rajyashsuriji Maharaj Saheb

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As we know Hurricane Florence is pummeling the Carolinas with strong winds, heavy rain, and dangerous tidal surges. Florence is inundating communities and leaving over one million are without power. The storm surge has been as high as 11 feet, combining with as much as 50 inches of rain to produce catastrophic flooding. Compounding these challenges, Florence is moving very slowly with 90 mph winds and heavy rain. The storm will affect coastal North Carolina and South Carolina.

The rain has paralyzed infrastructure. Chances are high that every one of us has family and friends who have been impacted. Our prayers are needed for all their safety and welfare, no doubt, but there is an even greater need to help.

JAINA World Community Service (WCS) is launching a fundraising drive for the victims of this unfathomable tragedy and ask the Jains of North America to contribute. The funds will be used for a humanitarian project that will be selected & executed against once the relief operations end and rehabilitation work begins.
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