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JAINA Newsletter: New YJA Board, YJP retreat, Mahamastakabhisheka, etc..
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Jai Jinendra!

On behalf of JAINA, I wish all Tapasvis good sukh-shata during this Shaswati Ayambil Oli.

Mahamastakabhisheka of Lord Gommateshwara Bahubali will be held from February 17th to February 25th, 2018 in Shravanabelagola (Karnataka), India.

Congratulations to incoming YJA Executive Board for 2017-2018.

Warm Regards,
Gunvant Shah
JAINA President
The valiant does not tolerate indulgence, nor does he tolerate abhorrence. As he is pleased with his own self, he is not attached to anything.
- Bhagwan Mahavira
This occurred at the time of Bhagwan Munisuvarat Swami (The 20th Tirthankara), about a million years ago.

Prince Shripal and his mother had to go into hiding after the death of his father due to his evil Uncle. During their travels in far off places including forests they came into contact with a group of lepers. After living with them for a few days the Prince to became affected by leprosy. His distraught mother left to find a cure for him and left him at the care of the lepers. The Lepers made Shripal their king.

Unlike her sister, Princess Mainasundari had hurt the ego of her father who was a powerful King. She had claimed that only Karmas and deeds decide your fate and not the king. The king was enraged and wanted to teach Maina a lesson. He got his chance when the lepers and Shripal arrived in the court. The Lepers demanded a bride for their king. The king married off Mainasundari to Shripal despite protests by Maina’s mother.

Mainasundari had great faith in Jain Dharma. She took her husband along with the lepers, to a monk named Munichandra for the cure. He suggested them to perform the Siddhachakra Mahapuja which included a particular type of fasting known as Navpad Ayambil Oli for a period of 9 days. Eventually, all of them including Shripal got cured due to the power of Ayambil.

Jains perform Ayambil Navpad for nine days to salute the nine supreme beings in the universe. Ayambil is special type of fast in which people can eat only boiled grains that too once in a day. It is not permitted to add anything that has salt/sugar/oil to the boiled grains. It is one of the most challenging fasts of Jainism.

Special arrangements are made for NRI's to perform the upcoming Mahamastakabhisheka of Lord Gommateshwara Bahubali in Feb 2018. If you are planning to come to India during this time, please do not wait - Register ASAP - as we have very limited Kalashes and Hotel accommodations left.

The ceremony in 2018 will be the 88th in the series that commenced in the year 981 A.D and second Mahamastakabhisheka of the 21st Century. The Mahotsava will be graced by numerous Acharya, Munis, Aryikas, Kshullaks, Kshullikas and Bhattarak Swamijis. Those attending will have the benefit of the holy audience of religious leaders and listening to their discourses on spirituality, ethics and morality. In addition, there will be the opportunity to witness many cultural programs and spiritual discourses by prominent Sadhus, Sadhvis and Scholars.

Mahamastakabhisheka, the head anointing ceremony of the Bhagwan Bahubali, is observed once every 12 years in the Digamber Jain tradition. The next Mahamastakabhisheka of this ancient, over one thousand thirty-five years old Statue will be performed in 2018 during the period of February 17th to February 25th, 2018 in Shravanabelagola (Karnataka), India.

The day of February 21st, 2018 has been set aside as a special day for the NRI's to perform Abhishek of Bhagwan Bahubali. NRI's will be provided special facilities and arrangements being made for Lodging and Abhishek etc. We are expecting over 500 - 1,000 NRI's across the world to join us.

Mahamastakabhisheka is a prominent and important festival, famous in India and abroad. Hundreds of thousands of people from India and around the world gather with enthusiasm, devotion and dedication and feel themselves blessed by attending the festival. Over 1 million devotees are expected to attend the consecration ceremonies in 2018. It is the largest gathering of Jain's in the world.

Please click here to register online at the website specifically for NRI's >>

Please click here to View/Download Mahamastakabhisheka Brochure >>

For more detailed information on application and registration, please visit their website - or email at
#18 Angarsha Pir, Where Faiths Meet

Look up to your right.
Do you see a white wall with a green flag?
That is Angarsha Pir.

It may be surprising to you to find a muslim place of worship here.

Jains and Muslims have shared the land of Gujarat for centuries, but have you seen their places of worship so close to each other, especially at a place which is perhaps the worlds holiest of spots for Jains. It is easy to assume that some Muslim ruler in the past forcibly made this Dargah, and once there, it just survived for all these years. However the true tail is far more interesting. Often when you travel, you come across stories which are unexpected, yet become the defining point of the trip. Here is one such story – The Legend of Angarsha Pir.

In the 14th Century, when Palitana was already a rich and well known Jain pilgrimage site, Allauddin Khilji decided to plunder the temple and go back with all the famed jewels. He also wished to destroy the holy idols, which were considered to be against Islam and so had to be razed to the ground. As he attacked the temples, a Sufi requested him to turn back and not destroy such a pious place. Allauddin Khilji scorned at him and told him to mind his own business, and questioned the sanity of protecting temples of Kafirs (non muslims). As Khilji marched on, the Sufi decided to teach him a lesson and summoned fire from the skies. The fire burned most of his army and pushed Khilji back from the sacred temple complex.

From that day onwards, the Sufi became a holy man to all Jains as well. He got his name Angaarsha, because angaar means fire, after the miracle which saved the temples. Today people from all faiths come here and request favors. In an interesting tradition, as you ask for something you leave a small symbol of what you want from the Pir. So childless women leave a wooden cradle, people with Asthma leave Asthma pumps and so on. You can be very imaginative here. Of course, once you wishes are fulfilled you come back and make a donation to the Pir. Our next stop – step 3200.

Click to read the story & listen to an amazing audio clip in English or Gujarati.
Jain Society of Central Florida (JSOCF) celebrated the Paryushan Parv this year in the presence of Jitubhai Shah (Phd,). There were daily seva/puja at the Derasar. It was followed by discourse from Jitubhai in the morning and evenings. These lectures were streamed live on Youtube for the benefits of everyone who were not able to make it to the temple. JSOCF celebrated the Sapna Darshan of Trishla Mata and Samvatsari Pratikraman. JSOCF organized daily Ekasana during the 8 days of Parushan. Paarnas were organized for all the tapasvi’s at the end of the Paryushan parv.

Das Lakshana parv was celebrated with Dev Shahstra Puja every day. Every evening there were online lectures.

One Shravak did a Sidhi Tap. Three tapasvi did 10 upvaas and 9 upvaas, There were 14 Athais (8 upvaas). There was a 13 year old who did Athai (8 upvaas).

JSOCF also celebrated the 5th Annual Dhwaja raising ceremony of Anila Vijay Poonai Tirth under the guidance of vidhikar Shri Narendrabhai Nandu. This year there were 18-Abhisheks of all the Bhagwan and Dev/Devi on Saturday September 2nd. Dhwaja was raised for the mulnayak Bhagwan Mahavir as well as all the 24 Tirthankars and Dev/Devi’s in the Bhamati on Sunday September 3rd.

JSOCF continued the Aaymbil during the Parushan parv which is being done every month for the past 8 years.
Jai Jinendra! Congratulations to the 2017-2018 YJA Executive Board, which recently gathered in Chicago for their first meeting. We are all really excited to start collaborating with JAINA to ensure a successful year ahead! Thank you so much to the previous board for all their dedication and perseverance. We truly appreciate your hard work!

Here are the new YJA Executive Board members:
  • Co-Chair: Dharmi Shah
  • Co-Chair: Siddharth Shah
  • Director of Education: Parshva Vakharia
  • Director of Events: Anand Shah
  • Director of Finance: Sidhant Gandhi
  • Director of Fundraising: Monika Jain
  • Director of IT: Anish Doshi
  • Director of Project Development: Saejal Chatter
  • Director of Public Relations: Sehal Shah
  • Director of Publications: Rachna Shah (not pictured)
  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator: Mansi Shah
  • Mid-West Regional Coordinator: Charmi Shah
  • Northeast Regional Coordinator: Aastha Kodia
  • South Regional Coordinator: Prapti Ghiya
  • Southeast Regional Coordinator: Rishab Jain
  • West Regional Coordinator: Pranay Patni
We are excited to announce Key Note Speaker, Nipun Mehta, at the upcoming 1st National Young Jain Professionals Retreat!

Nipun Mehta is the founder of ServiceSpace, an incubator of projects that works at the intersection of volunteerism, technology and gift-economy. He has received many awards, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service, Wavy Gravy's Humanitarian award, and Dalai Lama's Unsung Hero of Compassion. In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed him to a council on poverty and inequality. Nipun is routinely invited to share his message of "giftivism" to wide ranging audiences, from inner city youth in Memphis to academics in London to international dignitaries at the United Nations. He serves on the advisory boards of the Seva Foundation, the Dalai Lama Foundation, and Greater Good Science Center.

To watch Nipun's TED Talk video follow this link:

Register Now To Attend 2017 YJP National Retreat:
Akbar and Birbal Story - The Corrupt Official:

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