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JAINA Newsletter:Diwali Special Newsletter
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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
Jai Jinendra!

Wish you and your family a Happy Diwali and spiritually enlightening New Year! The significance of Diwali Parva is multi-faceted, varying according to mythology and scriptures. In Jainism, Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the attainment of Moksha by Bhagwan Mahavir. The act of illuminating homes and temples with lamps to celebrate this parva guides us to light up our inner vision by implementing the path preached by Bhagwan Mahavir.

A beautiful JAINA Calendar 2020 will soon be out for mailing. Hope you enjoy it. Your tax-deductible donations makes it possible to distribute JAINA Calendars to over 15,500 Jain families free of cost. To support this project, please make your kind donation at the details given below.

JAINA EC welcomes new Co-chairs of YJA and is looking forward to working with them.

Sincerely,

Mahesh Wadher
President
JAINA
BHAGWAN MAHAVIR NIRVAN KALYANAK
Jains celebrate Diwali & Mahavir Nirvana on the new-moon day of Kartik. Bhagwan Mahavir attained Nirvana in 527 B.C. at Pawapuri. The festival falls on the last day of the month of Asho, the end of the year in the Indian calendar. But the celebration starts in the early morning of the previous day as Lord Mahavir commenced his last sermon (final discourse known as Uttaradhyayan Sutra), which lasted until the night of Diwali.

Lord Mahavira was 71 years and 6 and a half months of age. It was the rainy season and he was staying in Pawapuri, Bihar (India). Tirelessly and selflessly, Mahavira passed his days and nights in giving discourses and answering questions in a large hall. Many people had gathered, including the members of various royal families. All gazed at the sage, who was seated in the lotus position before them, and drank in his every word. After preaching more than 110 sermons — the final one lasting no less than 48 hours — Mahavira entered into deep meditation and withdrew from his physical body, the state of nirvana. When the assembled crowd realized that Mahavira's soul had departed, they said, "The light has gone from this world. Let us now light clay lamps." Countless small lamps were lit to soulfully observe the passing of their beloved Teacher.

Next day, the Hindu New Year begins with a glorification of Gautam Swami (chief disciple of Bhagwan Mahavir) and in the early morning hour, we listen to the Nine Stotras or Gautamswami’s Raas. Bhagwan Mahavir is worshiped on this day and sacred scriptures are recited. Devotees assemble at Pawapuri (Bihar) to offer their prayers as Pawapuri was the place where Bhagwan attained Nirvana, this Parva is also celebrated with great gusto in Girnar (Gujarat) and also worldwide. From a social aspect, the occasion is celebrated in a traditional manner by greeting and offering sweets to the loved ones.
IMPORTANCE OF UTTRADHYAN SUTRA
Shri Uttaradhyayan Sutra is revered as Bhagwan Mahavira’s last sermon, wherein He imparted invaluable knowledge continuously for 48 hours before attaining nirvana at Pawapuri. It was about 1000 years later that Shri Devardhigani Kshamashramanji compiled this immortal treasure-trove of wisdom in its present form, which has been preserved till date. Through 36 chapters Shri Uttaradhyayan Sutra offers insights into a variety of subjects ranging from fundamental doctrines of Jainism and Jain Codes of Conduct, to interesting narratives that nourish spirituality.

Similarly we all should follow Uttradhyan sutra as it was last sermon of our Bhagwan. Today in many temples worldwide, Uttradhyan sutra is worshipped on the day of Mahavir Nirvaan Kalyanak- Diwali.

The first chapter of Uttradhyan Sutra starts with Vinay –Respect to our Tirthankars, Dharmaguru and Kevli Prarupit Dharma. The last chapter is on Jiva Jiv Pravibhakti- means here Bhagwan has explicitly mentioned divisions and sub divisions of Living and non-living beings.

There are 4 types of Anuyog according to Anuyog Dwar Sutra. They are as follows-
  1. Dravyanuyog- it includes those Aagams which deals with 6 dravyas and 9 tatvas for example Jivabhigam Sutra, Uvavai Sutra.
  2. Charankarnanuyog- it includes those Aagams which deals with the aachar/characters of monks. For example Acharang Sutra.
  3. Ganitanuyog- it includes those Aagams which deals with the length, sizes, numbers and calculations of Sashwat(permanent) things like Devlok, Dweep and samudras and naraklok etc. for example Janbudweep Pragyapti Sutra, Chandrappragyapti Sutra.
  4. Dharmakathanuyog- it includes those Aagams which deals with religious stories. For example Gyatadharmakatha Sutra, Vipak Sutra.
Out of all the Aagams, Uttradhyan Sutra is the only Aagam in which all the 4 Anuyogs are included.
  1. Swadhyay of Dravyanuyog purifies our darshan
  2. Swadhyay of Charankarnanuyog purifies our Character/Charitra.
  3. Swadhyaya of Ganitanuyog increases concentration power.
  4. Swadhyay of Dharmakathanuyog purifies our Knowledge/Gyan, Darshan and Character/Charitra and also strengthens our belief.
Therefore, once in our lifetime we all should go through Uttradhyan Sutra.
SHRADDHANJALI - ACHARYA VIDDYANANADJI MAHARAAJ
Our world has lost Pujya Shri Viddhyanandji Maharaaj one of the greatest monks of the 20th and 21st century.

He has been a pillar and a guide for all Jains residing all around the world. In his book "Guruvaanee", he described the Jain population in India during King Akbar was more than Crores ( 1 crore = 10 Million). It is said the majority population in India during King Chandragupta was Jains. In one year he had exhorted Jains to go to Pakistan to renovate/restore Jain temples.

He sent Charukeertiji Bhattrakji ( Shravanbelgola and Moodbidri), and Devendrakeertiji Bhattarakji of Humcha as the ambassadors to overseas countries.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF DIWALI IN JAININSM
JAINA CALENDAR 2020
A beautiful JAINA Calendar 2020 is ready and soon will be out for mailing. The theme of the Calendar is “Temples in India”. Hope you enjoy the calendar as much as we did in creating it.

Please donate generously to JAINA as this project is entirely supported by your valuable donations. Your tax-eductible donation makes it possible to distribute it to over 15,500 Jain families free of cost.

QUOTE
Where there is neither pain nor pleasure, neither suffering nor obstacle, neither birth nor death, there is Nirvana.

- Bhagwan Mahavir

JAINA WELCOMES YJA EXECUTIVE 2019-2020
JAINA EC thanks past Co-chairs of YJA, Monika Jain and Charmi Vakharia, for their wonderful work. It was great working with you both!

A warm welcome from JAINA to new Co-chairs of YJA, Vatsal Gandhi and Parshva Vakharia. We are looking forward to working with you to spread Jainism among the youth of North America.


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Mail your Donations in favor of JAINA to : Ashok Savla (JAINA Treasurer), 8843 1/2 Longden Avenue, Temple City, CA 91780

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