Posted: 08.09.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Next morning after breakfast we continued our talk where we had reached our limits because of fatigue. Our friends are leading a very spiritually oriented life and meditating up to 3 hours daily in the morning and in the evening in separate rooms used for meditation only. Rajendra Bengani during our talk Further Rajendra Bengani observes the rule followed by monks and nuns, not to take in anything after sunset...
Posted: 03.09.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Invigorated we focused our attention on Dubai Mall. Fortunately we felt revitalized. What we saw now, in a certain way recollected stories on fanciful hallucinations by those who went astray in the desert and suffered of acute water deficiency. Dubai Mall is no fanciful hallucination, but made of very stable, high quality materials one can touch and see, and even go shopping inside. KaDeWe in Berlin is the...
Posted: 29.08.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
This day started at 07:00 h in the morning for us. At 07:30 h we left our friends’ home. Some minutes later we got a taxi with a nice driver who only made a small detour to show the area to us. Practically this meant that he dropped us at the backside of the building complex. To get a booking on short call for a visit to the world’s largest building appears rather challenging. Our friends not only succeeded...
Posted: 26.08.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
After a relaxing afternoon we started into the evening activities. Christian Geerdes had a very interesting discussion with Vikas Garg, whereas I took a nap. Together the three of us started about 19:30 h. Vikas was so kind to accompany us to the boat, while our hosts had other obligations. Vikas feared that it was not enough time until departure of the boat. But we did not worry, as our friends’ apartment...
Posted: 21.08.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Four Terapanth Acharyas in a row (f.l.): 01. Acharya Bhikshu, founder of Jain Svetambara Terapanth Sangha, 09. Acharya Tulsi, 10. Acharya Mahapragya, 11. Acharya Mahashraman, present head of Terapanthi The next morning, when we sat with our friends, the photo above immediately caught our eyes. It hangs on a wall of the living room overlooking the whole salon. The first and the present Acharya are framing two...
Posted: 16.08.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
In Delhi, where we had started our 2013 India Trip we also left the subcontinent. Our flight to Dubai was in the morning, and as scheduled we landed there in early afternoon. Our friends Vijaya and Rajendra Bengani are living since 12 years in Dubai because of business conditions. Personally we got to know each other 8 years before in Ladnun during our stay there (Ladnun - Jain Vishva Bharati - 2005 Trip To...
Posted: 09.08.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
On NH65 we drove back in direction to Jodhpur, but turned after 18km to the right and stopped after some meters in front of an open gate, which was inserted in a, as it seemed hastily erected large wall. On first view we believed to be in front of an undeveloped real estate. But on closer examination the impression was different. The iron-made entry gate had an unusual shape and was decorated with Jain symbols,...
Posted: 08.08.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
This Sunday was the last day of our stay in Jodhpur. The following Monday in early afternoon was our flight to Delhi where we stayed overnight and took farewell from our friends there. Tuesday morning Swami Dharmanand ji accompanied us to the airport, and from there we took the flight to Dubai, our last destination before returning to Berlin. But back to Jodhpur, there we met again with the Surana family this...
Posted: 02.08.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
This Saturday we resolved to visit Mandore Garden. Before the completion of Fort Mehrangarh and the foundation of Jodhpur making it HQ of the Rathore clan the rulers of Marwar resided there. Mandore Garden is in a distance of about 9km from Jodhpur station from where nearly in front, in a side street, our hotel was situated. Opposite the hotel was a big taxi stand, and we fast agreed upon a package price with a...
Posted: 26.07.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
In the afternoon we visited the other building, situated on a hill high above the town, Mehrangarh Fort. The 122m elevated solitary hill on which the fortress has been constructed immediately attracted the attention of King Roa Jodha 550 years ago when looking for an appropriate location for the head quarter of his clan. Mehrangarh Fort means “Fortress of the sun”. Since centuries this building surmounting...
Posted: 18.07.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
The next day we planned to explore Jodhpur and some of its landmarks. Saurabh Surana had recommended the visit of Umaid Bhawan in the morning. Excellent suggestion! Many strings and specialities of Jodhpur’s history are coming together here, tightly connected with the Rathore Rajput ruler clan. Since 1226 the latter is in ruling power in Marwar Jodhpur. The name of this impressive palace complex comes from...
Posted: 15.07.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
About 15:00h we took farewell from our gentle host in Ostra Parshvanath thinking how nice it would be to come here again. Over Bhopalgarh we reached Gangani and then continued to Banar. Banar is about 21km away from Jodhpur. We again observed how gradually the landscape changed alternately from barren steppe to more green areas, and vice-versa. The heat of the day worked like a warm shawl on the landscape...
Posted: 11.07.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Some days seem to be nearly endless, that much one experiences and sees. That was the case on this Thursday in February. In retrospect, all is in its chronological order, morning followed by afternoon. This afternoon appeared to expand the more we were on our way. This was not alone due to the drowsy desert landscape in the sun. Areas where hardly life was supposed to be, emerged as settled and even cultivated...
Posted: 03.07.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Jodhpur Bheru Bagh Parshvanath Temple As appointed, about 08:30h Saurabh Surana picked us up at the hotel for the planned temple tour. We started with Goliya Mandir Jodhpur, as it was within walking distance from the Surana family’s house. Saurabh Surana kindly accompanied us; his parents had already gone there earlier that morning. When we approached the area, we did not recognize immediately that there was...
Posted: 26.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Just when we got ready the driver arrived. About 08:00h we started, curious, if the Google map prediction of needing 4,5 hours for the 270km from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur was right. The day promised to be sunny with cloudless sky, temperatures around 25°C. Actually warm enough for air condition, with which the car had not been provided. When the sun got directly inside, in the morning already temperatures easily...
Posted: 20.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Next day was our last in the “golden city“ of Jaisalmer. We wanted to use the opportunity for a stroll through the town. The past days had been a little bit exhausting, and so we decided to start softly this one. Getting up not too early, having some relaxed breakfast, and then ready to discover the town. Not on the way to another destination or a sightseeing project, but focused on city life and its...
Posted: 17.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
It was late afternoon when we started for the central square in front of the Fort. There always Motor Rikshas were available. This time we decided to drive up the hill on Motor Riksha. The thought was based on the reflection that at a place like Jaisalmer a tourist attraction like Suri Dungar certainly can be reached not only by exhausting footways. As we had plenty of time left until sunset, we first took some...
Posted: 16.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
We voluntarily concentrated our attention on more beautiful subjects after this somewhat sad part of our round tour. At the entrance of the Lodurva Amar Sagar Jain Temple situated at the equally named lake we experienced a nice surprise. Gatekeeper at Amar Sagar Jain Temple When the gatekeeper of the temple saw us, he immediately asked us where we were from. We not only told him that we came from Germany, but...
Posted: 15.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
The road suddenly crossed a narrow green valley, thickly grown over with broad-leaved trees. We stopped in front of a gate and got out of the car. A stony hill laid ahead which we climbed up. When we turned halfway the hill upwards, the narrow green valley emerged as banks of a then parched river from which only some wet stones had remained. Will it ever carry water again? Anyway, we had proceeded hill upwards...
Posted: 14.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Typical landscape between Lodurva temple complex and Pohar Dadabari Jin Kushal Suri The frugal landscape vaulted by a cloudless sky made its contribution to come to terms with the recent impressions. Who would have guessed such a structure in the middle of the desert? From the formerly flourishing city nothing, not even ruins had been left. The desert is fetching back everything if not energetically prevented...
Posted: 13.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
About 30 minutes we drove across Thar Desert. The landscape did not look much different from the sand dunes, but without sand. Shrubs and desert grass formed the modest vegetation. Our next destination was Lodurva Parshvanath Temple, which we reached after plenty of turns and crossings on roads of low category. The alone standing temple complex nevertheless is in a distance of about 10km in north western...
Posted: 13.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
The next day we had plenty ahead of us and rented a car with driver through Jag. Beside the restaurant and the hotel he is running some kind of travel agency for excursions as well. Supported by him we had worked out a tour to cover all destinations we wanted to visit on just one morning. But we had to get up very early as we sought to experience sunrise in the desert. Therefore the Sam Sand Dunes had been...
Posted: 07.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Sunday again! Hardly believable that we were travelling ten days and the second weekend only but felt like doing so for months. We decided to pass a quiet Sunday and therefore to visit Gadisar Lake, being five minutes by motor Riksha straight ahead the street of our hotel. In 1156 it was built as a rainwater collection lake for the first time by Maharawal (great king, title of the Jaisalmer and Dungarpur...
Posted: 04.06.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Relaxed we watched the colourful activities on the central square in front of Queen’s Palace in Jaisalmer Fort. The coming and going slowly changed into a status quo which meant that no fresh traveler groups arrived. The Jain temples are open for the general public until noon, and afterwards belong to the pilgrims only. The latter do not like too much to be in the focus of tourist attention. They prefer to...
Posted: 30.05.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
If only I had not laughed when a friend told me that it was raining when she visited Jaisalmer some years ago. That was what I was thinking in the eve when the grey clouds coming up in late afternoon finally emptied rather continually to be replaced by new ones only. My friend also had been there in February and left after two complete days of rain. Undismayed we made our plans for next morning to visit the...
Posted: 22.05.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
As scheduled the driver came at 08:30h to Oshwal Bhavan in Balotra to bring us from there to Jaisalmer. A little bit wistfully we bade farewell from Swami Dharmanandji, who stayed there and would return to Delhi by train. We had a very good week with plenty of happenings and were already sure to miss him. At the end of our India Tour we would stay for one night again in ASK before leaving India. After a short,...
Posted: 16.05.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Next morning at 08:00h we went to Tapra. There we had bananas, nuts, and jam toast for breakfast, and according to our request even Indian tea. The good results of the improvisational kitchen in the pilgrims’ colony in Tapra always were amazing. After breakfast we considered how to organise the day until the beginning of the award ceremony in the auspicious presence of HH Acharya Mahashraman at 14:00h...
Posted: 13.05.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Being on the way in India, it may occur that the quantity of experiences changes the sense of time in terms of measurability and bygone already. Time on this day had stretched for me to an unexpected length, from present to present, from situation to situation. Everywhere there was to discover something, in the landscape, on the road, in a village. This string of small shatters of present was melting into a...
Posted: 09.05.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
In the temple were still very many people. Most of them were forming a queue to a flower decorated aisle. There was the destination all were concerned with. The atmosphere was solemn but nevertheless cheery. The encounter for which all were queuing so patiently had apparently an uplifting effect on the followers. It was after a look in their faces that this conclusion came up. Patiently the followers were...
Posted: 08.05.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Nakoda Parshvanath Temple: Entrance area Straight we followed the white marked path and directly arrived at the entrance area of Nakoda Parshvanatha Temple. First the slightly higher than life-sized and beautifully ornamented sculptures of two elephants catched the eye. Their upwards directed trunks are forming a gateway. They are hiding the vision inside the temple. Two elephant boys dressed in turquoise...
Posted: 02.05.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
The more one approaches the entrance of Nakoda Jain Temples, the more one leaves behind the bustling activity around the parking area. After having passed the few, but obvious security officers, one actually enters a different world. It is quieter, and people are moving smoother. Here is no hectic pace, nobody aims at selling something, and people at the most are gifting smiles to each other. This small world...
Posted: 26.04.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
It was the right morning to visit the famous Nakoda Jain Temples. Nakoda is only 13 km from Balotra, and easy to reach via the small town of Jasol. At 08:00h we left Oshwal Bhawan and looked for transportation. Swami Dharmananda wanted to go directly to Tapra again, and the three of us made appointment there for early afternoon. The distance to Nakoda was easy to make by 3-wheeler, and very soon we found one...
Posted: 23.04.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Yes, get in, I love to drive you. To be in time for lunch in Tapra all of us had put on alarm clocks. How everything looks different after having slept for some time, taken shower and changed clothes. Indeed, hot water had been available. We were very much looking forward to the afternoon when we were given time to talk more extended with HH Acharyashree. Even the sun had done some heating work, and so the ride...
Posted: 18.04.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
12.02.2013 Balotra - Tapra At 07:45h approximately we reached Balotra Junction. Sometime before sun had risen and already surmounted the top of the trees around the station. We were looking for a taxi to Tapra, but realised then that we were on the wrong side of the station. The question was whether to walk over the rails or take the street outside and pass the manned crossing. Too tired for experiments! After...
Posted: 15.04.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Back to Adhyatma Sadhana Kendra we were told that Samani jis from Bangkok had arrived. It was the time of their lunch, and I decided to meet them later. Only during mealtimes they are undisturbed, otherwise they are leading a public life. This means that they are approachable for everybody at any time. When they are away, surely someone will be there knowing where they have gone and when they will probably be...
Posted: 11.04.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
The next morning we went with Swami Dharmananda to a governmental model primary school, more precisely M.C. Sultanpur Primary School. The school is rather near to ASK, only one metro station later. It is situated at the random of the much frequented road to Gurgaon, the Mehrauli Gurgaon Road. Nevertheless it was astonishingly quiet when we got off the car. Last year already I was there with Swami Dharmananda at...
Posted: 08.04.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Again we were astonished by the enormous change occurring in the Indian capital. The whole city more and more resembled a construction area. We left the centre of the city on a northern arterial road (NH1), leading to the city of Ambala, 150 km from Delhi in the Haryana state, and further to Indian and then Pakistani Punjab up to Lahore. At this moment we had no presumption that our destination has a certain...
Posted: 04.04.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
The next day was Sunday. On this day Swami Dharmanand ji had laid our schedule into the hands of the Garg family. Personally we until then had not met, only email contact with Vikas Garg. Before our departure to India, Cris Jain Geerdes’ attention was attracted to a video on Preksha Meditation by Acharya Mahapragya in Hindi, with explanatory English text added by Vikas Garg, uploaded to YouTube. This first...
Posted: 01.04.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Thanks to modern mobile phone technology, suddenly the driver with the car appeared in the crush. Very fast we got in the car and relaxed. When not involved, the bustling activity on the roads of Delhi can be rather entertaining. The many human encounters there are calling the observer’s attention. My attention suddenly got back as the car which just had gained speed again slowed down without due cause. Not...
Posted: 29.03.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
We would have liked to stay a little longer, but schedule pressed to go on to the next temple. The many traffic jams competently were mastered by our driver. After some time, we stopped in front of one of the best known Jain temples in Delhi, Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir opposite the Red Fort. Very fast we got out of the car, the driver brought up to speed and disappeared. We were standing in front of the...
Posted: 29.03.2013
 
Outside views: delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir 01143 delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir 01144 delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir n0252 delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir n0253 delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir n0254 Interior: delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir 01151 delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir 01152 delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir 01153 delhi shri digambar jain lal mandir...
Posted: 26.03.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
We stopped near the side entrance of the temple, where a ladder was leaned against the wall. The first temple we visited this afternoon was Chhoti Dadabari Jain Mandir. It is a contemporary Shvetambara Kharatara Gaccha Temple. Kharatara is an image-worshipping and temple attending Sangh of Jainism belonging to Murtipujaka and Mandirmargi Jain communities. Terapanthi to which we belong also are Shvetambara, but...
Posted: 26.03.2013
 
Chhoti Dadabari Jain Mandir, a Shvetambara Kharatara Gaccha Jain Temple. Outside views: delhi chhoti dadabari jain mandir 01035 delhi chhoti dadabari jain mandir 01041 delhi chhoti dadabari jain mandir 01036 delhi chhoti dadabari jain mandir 01038 delhi chhoti dadabari jain mandir 01037 delhi chhoti dadabari jain mandir 01106 delhi chhoti dadabari jain mandir 01040 delhi chhoti dadabari jain mandir 01043...
Posted: 21.03.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
On the way to ISJS (International School for Jain Studies) Faculty Meeting to prepare the program for Summer 2013, Karuna Jain (talking to the gatekeeper), Prof. Dr. Key Chapple, and Dr. Purnima S. Mehta met at the entrance of the location. Next morning, soon after breakfast we started with our Delhi schedule. Swami Dharmanand ji kindly had provided driver and car, resp. had compiled a very nice...
Posted: 18.03.2013
By Editor Carla Geerdes
Departure area at Berlin Tegel Airport, our airplane to London Heathrow took off about 11:30h CET. Weather was seasonal, 5°C with snatches of sunshine. It was one of the first days in 2013, when the sun was visible in Berlin. There are no direct flights from Berlin to Delhi so far. You can choose either the eastern direction via Istanbul, or the western direction with quite a choice of capital destinations,...

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