A Short History Of The Terapanthi Sect Of The Swetamber Jains And Its Tenets ► 04 Impressions Of Notable Personalities ► 4.5 Impressions Of Notable Personalities - Shephard & Spens

Posted: 21.09.2010

Speech delivered by Miss Meliscent Shephaed Chief Organ.iser "Association for Moral and Social Hygiene in India." Delhi and Lady H. Mary Spens, Wife of Honble Sir Patric Spens, C.B.E., Chief Justice of India on a visit to the Present Acharyya Shrimad Tulasiramji Maharaj at Sardarshahr (Bikaner) on 4th February, 1946.

Gentlemen.

On behalf of Lady Spens, Mr. & Mrs. Gupta and myself, I have been allowed by his Holiness a few minutes in which to try to express our heartfelt gratitude for the most gene­rous hospitality we have enjoyed here at Sardarshahr at the kind invitation of the Jain Swetambar Terapanthi Sabha.

To His Holiness the Acharyya Maharaj, we are indeed indebted. He has not only permitted us all to attend these great gatherings, but has also granted us some of his valu­able time in private audience, when he answered our enquiries.

We have been greatly interested in the principles of the devoted Sadhus and Sadhwis, who keep a mental enclosure away from the affairs of the material world, in order to attain spiritual advancement of the soul. We have observed the daily routine, the method of making their own utensils (most beautifully decorated), of writing their own sacred scriptures, of sewing, of making brushes all from materials given by the people to whom they give their messages. We have been present when these Sadhwis begged food. We have seen that they are welcomed to the kitchens by the ladies of the houses and that the nuns reject a large amount of the offered food freely offered but the monks and nuns only take sufficient for their individual needs for one day only. They are therefore not in the least like ordinary beggars. In fact at one gathering of above ten thousand laymen and women, several laymen chanted a song of invi­tation begging His Holiness to decide to return to Sardar­shahr another year.

We have also seen those who want to be initiated after long testing, praying to be allowed to join the Sadhus and Sadhwis in full sight of all their neighbours and with the written permission from their relatives. The shining eyes of monks and nuns and their replies show how happy they are.

We have been privileged to be accepted almost as member of this most brotherly and sisterly family. We do thank the President of the Sabha Seth Chhogmal Chopra and Seth Nemchand Pancha (M.L.A., Bikaner) and many other members of the Executive Committee of the Sabha for their very courteous invitation to attend these memorable func­tions. Neither Lady Spens, Mr. and Mrs. Gupta and their children, nor I will ever forget these very happy days.

Seth Budhmal Dungar and his family have very kindly given us the hospitality of his guesthouse and we have also much enjoyed visiting the ladies in many other houses, where we felt that we have been welcomed into friendship.

There is a Punjabi proverb "From one lamp a thousand can be lit." From the glowing lamp of your Acharyya's teaching and example many holy lives are lit. May your spirit of peace and fellowship spread throughout India.

Sadarshahar, 4-2-46

(Sd.) Meliscent Shephard
(Sd.) H. Mary Spens

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5th Edition, 1946
Publisher:
Sri Jain Swetambar Terapanthi Sabha, Calcutta, India