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JAINA Diwali Special Newsletter
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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Jai Jinendra!

JAINA Executive Committee and Board of Directors wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali and spiritually enlightening New Year! Bhagwan Mahavir attained Moksha on Diwali day at midnight in Pawapuri, Bihar in 527 B.C. Let us celebrate Mahavir Nirvana with prayers and compassion for all living beings.

With your valuable support, JAINA continues to strive to expand its programmes and offerings to the Jain community of North America. Please send in your valuable donation to make JAINA stronger. Donation details are given below.

JAINA will publish Gyan Pancham special newsletter on Sunday, where we will learn the Importance of Gyan Pancham, Gyan Pancham Vidhi, and Rituals on Gyan Pancham.

Warm Regards,
Gunvant Shah
JAINA President
11-07-2018

DIWALI AND BHAGWAN MAHAVIR

Jains celebrate Diwali & Mahavir Nirvana on the new-moon day of Kartik. Bhagwan Mahavir Nirvana in 527 BC. 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 Bhagwan Mahavir commenced his last sermon (final discourse known as Uttaradhyan), which lasted until the night of Diwali.

Bhagwan Mahavira was 71 years and 6 and a half month 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 reaching more than 110 sermons — the final one lasting no less than 48 hours (Uttradhyan Sutra) — Mahavira entered into deep meditation and withdrew from his physical body. This is the fifth and final auspicious event in Bhagwan Mahavira's life. Like the Buddhists, the Jains refer to this state as nirvana. When the assembled crowds 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. Some people believe that this is one of the origins of our Indian Deepavali festival. Bhagwan Buddha was residing nearby at Samagrama at the time. Within a few fleeting hours, messengers brought him the news that Mahavira had attained nirvana. Although Bhagwan Buddha and Bhagwan Mahavira did not meet on the physical plane, they had tremendous respect for each other.

BHAGWAN MAHAVIR’S LAST SERMON: UTTRADHYAN SUTRA

Shri Uttaradhyan Sutra is revered as Bhagwan Mahavira’s last sermon, wherein He imparted invaluable knowledge continuously for 48 hours before attaining nirvana in 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 Uttaradhyan 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 the last sermon of our Bhagwan. Today in many temples worldwide, Uttradhyan sutra is worshipped on the day of Mahavir Nirvana 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 subdivisions 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 tattvas, 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 naralok 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/smaiyktva.
  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 Utradhyan Sutra.

DIWALI IN JAINISM



SAY NO TO CRACKERS AND YES TO DEEPAWALI OF DIYAS

At midnight on this day Bhagwan Mahavir, the great Tirthpati, left for heavenly abode.

Nirvana means liberation and again means total freedom from bondage. The Super Soul has always transcended it's physical limitations. The supreme soul conquered birth and death and became the recipient of eternal bliss. It is the attachment and hatred that are responsible for bondage and as a result,self-suffers from the pangs of birth and death.

What sort of Deepawali is this, involving the precious life of Innocent persons?

Every year we hear the news that a number of lives are lost because of fire enraged due to crackers. Generally, this happens when an innocent animal world is asleep. They get terrified for protection, they run hither and thither and meet with unnatural death. Don’t forget that one who is enjoying at the cost of other's lives is sure to reap the fruits of his deeds. It is inevitable. If you make others happy, you will be happy in return and if you make others unhappy, the same will be the consequence to you too.

On the advent of a pious day cracking of crackers cause much harm:

  1. Innocent small beings get killed.
  2. By loud explosions many get deaf.
  3. Gas emitted by the crackers is injurious to health.
  4. Crackers are made of paper. By the burning of papers and the letters, there is a bondage.
  5. Mercy towards human being is also adversely affected and with the bondage of the karma, the soul is bound to gravely suffer.
  6. By giving trouble to other living beings, there is a karma ( called Vedaniya) come into force and consequently leads to various diseases and one has to undergo tremendous trouble.
  7. And besides all this, a lot of money is wasted. If the same money is utilized in things such as benevolence, charity, helping in every possible way to all living-beings it would be meritorious.

The real utility of one’s intellect is in the fact that it should be used in the welfare of all living beings. The intelligence that leads to the wrong path is bound to destroy one. If a weapon is properly used, it protects one, or otherwise, it will bring about incalculable loss.

DONATE TO JAINA

JAINA continues to strive to expand its programmes and offerings to the Jain community of North America. JAINA's mission is to spread the principles of Jainism to maximum number of homes and especially our youths and children. In order to meet our mission and provide services to the community, JAINA relies on community members for their valuable support. Without your support JAINA would not have achieved any of its goals.



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