London Celebrates Mahavir Janma Kalyanak Under One Banner

Posted: 13.05.2008
Updated on: 29.11.2012


Prasanna Pragya

Rohit Pragya


On Saturday 26 April 2008, Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated by over 1,800 members of the Jain community of the United Kingdom at Harrow Leisure Centre under the banner of ‘UK Jains’. This event was inspired by Samani Prasanna Pragyaji on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti celebration last year at JVB Centre London where representatives of many Jain organisations were present. Samaniji suggested that the most invaluable present Jains in the UK can bestow on Lord Mahavir on his birthday would be for all the Jain organisations in the UK collectively celebrating Mahavir Jayanti in the year 2008.


Speeches from the representatives of other bodies echoed Samaniji’s noble thoughts and it was agreed that a committee be formed to take the matter forward. This was the genesis of MAHAVIR JANMA KALYANAK (MJK) celebration for 2008, which was comprised of more than twenty organisations. With the blessings of His Holiness Acharya Mahapragyaji, guidance of Samani Prasanna Pragyaji and hard work of Jains, a dream became a reality.


The programme started at about 1:30pm with the recitation of Namaskar Mahamantra by Respected Samani Prasanna Pragya and Samani Rohit Pragya. Ashwinbhai Shah of Oshwal Association of the UK and Subhashbhai Bakhai of Navnat Vanik Association of the UK welcomed guests and audience.  In her keynote address, Pujya Pramodaben Chitrabhanu expressed her views on the teachings of Lord Mahavir.  Dr Vinodbhai Kapashi of Mahavir Foundation spoke on ‘Mahaveer no updesh’and Shree Jayeshbhai Shah, from Jain Samaj Europe (Leicester) talked on the topic of ‘Tap no mahimaa’in Gujarati. After these scholarly speeches, the Samanijis together with other artists presented a dialogue called ‘Voice of Time’ depicting the secret of Lord Mahavir’s rebirth.  The audience showed their appreciation of the subtle message of the dialogue by clapping as well as laughing! Smt Shruti Malde from Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth gave an interesting talk on Jain diet. The afternoon session was concluded by Dr Mehul Sanghrajka’s talk on the Institute of Jainology’s project of digitisation of Jain manuscripts. Later, the Samanijis read extracts from His Holiness Acharya Mahapragya’s message on Mahavir Janma Kalyanak. MJK committee members expressed their gratitude to Acharya Mahapragyaji   and   copies of the message were distributed to the audience.


An exhibition on “Insights into Jainism” was organised by Shree Kishorebhai Bhimji Shah. Over fifteen Jain organisations had set up stalls in order to bring awareness of their activities. Children’s activities as well as an adult workshop were also organised.


A delicious Jain vegetarian dinner was served to all the audience in less than two hours!

After the dinner, the second half of the evening was devoted to a cultural programme, which started with recitation of Namaskar Mahamantra, by Respected Samanijis, followed by a diva lighting ceremony. Samani Prasanna Pragyaji showered her blessings for the success of the event.  She appreciated the support and commitment of MJK committee and wished that this event would become a stepping-stone for future celebrations of Lord Mahavir’s birthday. Eighty participants including children, youths and adults from various Jain organisations performed twenty-two items.


Jain Vishva Bharati (JVB) London presented three items. Gyanshalachildren presented a skit entitled ‘Magnificent Mahavir’, showing the qualities of BhagvanMahavir. Under the guidance of the Samanijis, Shree Kaushikbhai Khajuria, Shree Saggarbhai Malde and their team presented a programme of Arhat Vandana. Accompanied by enchanting music the programme included slide show of text together with its meaning. Also, young ladies of JVB London Centre performed a dance based on Arhat Vandana. Arhat Vandanais a composition of canonical maxims by Acharya Tulsi, the ninth Acharya of Terapanth sect. The purpose of this presentation was to raise awareness of the teachings of Lord Mahavir and to inspire laypersons to recite this prayer every day in order to lead a peaceful and purposeful life. A garabadance was also performed by young ladies of JVB to pay homage to Lord Mahavir. Besides this, various other acts including songs and dances were performed to fit the occasion.


The grand finale of the programme was a song led by Shree Kaushikbhai Khajuria and supported by all the artists, which created an amazing atmosphere of bhakti. The Samanijis concluded this historic event with the recitation of mangal path.


Many dignitaries attended the event including the mayor of the London Borough of Brent, Shree Harshadbhai Patel. This whole programme will be broadcast on Venus TV 807 on   18 May as well as on Supreme Master TV. 



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