Maryada Mahotsav - 143rd - [18] Day 3 - The Main Event - Part I

Posted: 04.05.2007
Updated on: 29.11.2012


Thursday the 25th January 2007. Seventh day of bright half of Indian month Magh. Dear Readers, a branch of Indian philosophy which believes in creator God states that God created this universe on this day of Indian Calendar. That’s why this day is known as achla saptami (earth seventh) or surya saptami (sun seventh). Jains do not subscribe to the creator god theory. But what is a well known fact that on this day Acharya Bhiksu created a whole new world of spiritual opportunities when he penned the final disciplinary guidelines for his terapanthi followers. Those guidelines in due course became the very basis of Maryada Mahotsav. Main event of 143rd Maryada Mahotsav was all set to start soon after 1215 pm. The large courtyard of Acharya Tulsi Samadhi Sthal, Gangasahar was bustling with activities. People came early and took their seats to witness what was going to be a long, interesting and important programme.


Volunteers were there to help the audience and maintain order – though their presence was hardly required. Almost everyone was self disciplined. Considering the large gathering of over ten thousand men, women and children, there was hardly any noise or other such distraction/ disturbance. The atmosphere was charged with positive energy and expectation. TV crew were preparing for live broadcast of the event.


Top brass of various terapanthi organizations had taken their seats. MC, Munishri Mohjeetkumarji kept the audience engaged by using his choicest superlatives about history and importance of Maryada Mahotsav. Hundreds of Munishris, Sadhvisris and Samanijis had taken their seats and some more were coming by the minute.


When pujyapravars entered the arena at 1225 pm, everyone rose on his feet and paid obeisance by loud chant of ‘Vande Guruvaram’ & ‘Vande Yuvaachryavaram’. Soon after pujyapravars settled down, audience took their seats. At 1242 pm, Yuvaacharyashri recitedNamaskaar Mahamantra in his clear, loud and melodious voice. This was absorbed by one and all with utmost respect and concentration. The main event of 3day long Maryada Mahotsav had begun. A group of Samanijis rose and invoked Acharya Bhiksu by reciting“Bhiksu Astakam”.

(Bhiksu Astakam is a verse in sanskrit containing 8 stanzas of 4 lines each – composed by Acharyashri Mahaprjnaji appx 17 years ago during his visit to Siriyari. First stanza can be loosely translated something like this – “Acharya Bhiksu, the creator of terapanth had a high degree of resoluteness. No one was able to waver his determination under any circumstances. His mind did not have fickleness and his body’s organs were not attracted towards wrong direction. He was verbally abused and he was physically attacked by fists but he endured all adverse events with equanimity. Such pure and clean hearted Bhiksu may please come and reside in my eyes”)


Believers had no doubt that the programme was being witnessed not only by Acharya Bhiksu but by all the previous 9 terapanthi acharyas from their respective heavenly abodes.

Dear Readers, permit me the honor and privilege of sharing with you some of the details of the all important event which unfolded in the gracious and pious physical presence of Acharyashri, Yuvaacharyashri, Sadhvi Pramukhashri, munishris, sadhvishris, samajiji and lay followers and in symbolic presence of heavenly bodies as well.

  • Shashan Gaurav Sadhvishri Rajimatiji said, “Terapanth is synonym for allegiance to truth and right conduct, allegiance and total devotion to Acharya and allegiance to humbleness. A person, when not happy with himself gets attracted towards outside physical matters and materials. One should learn to live a life of unattachment”. She asked all members of fourfold order to be vigilant and not to distract Acharyashri for small time and/or routine matters.


  • Munishri Rakeshkumarji said the importance of Acharya in the fourfold order can be compared to the importance of brain in human body. He said our resolve should become even stronger and one should discard ego and individualism.


  • Dr Samani Mangalprajnaji, Vice Chancellor of JVBI also talked about importance of collective thinking, collective responsibility and team spirit and said much progress was not possible for holders of individualism. She cited the example of good symphony where all components of music not only should be in perfect harmony but also should follow one lead. She also gave example of large business organization which has developed and progressed under leadership of one person. She said terapanth sect had witnessed a rare chance of enjoying concurrent leadership of Acharyashri Tulsi and Acharyashri Mahaprajnaji and Jain Vishwa Bharati was a product of collective thinking of these two great persons. She requested support from all for JVBI and invited all to gain from the opportunities offered by JVBI.
  • Munishri Mahendra Kumarji started his talk with a well known English proverb, “take care of a penny and pound will take care of itself”. He said all the disciplinary rules, big or small, as established by Acharya Bhiksu should be strictly followed. He said the sect, where every penny of discipline is accounted for, will always have its treasures of discipline full and flowing. He talked about need for establishing more training centers for Preksha Meditation and Jeevan Vigyaan (life science) and suggested means for conflict resolution in a peaceful manner. He also talked about soon to be published book“Beautiful Home & Nobel Nation” jointly written by Acharyashri Mahaprajnaji and Indian President Hon. Dr Abdul P Kalaam.

Munishri Sumermalji said that being a member of terapanth dharm sangh was not an ordinary matter. The monks and nuns who can strictly follow the disciplinary guidelines laid down are the only privileged ones who can become part of this sect. He said we were lucky to have lived in the era of great acharyas like Tulsi and Mahaprajna. The society has witnessed higher levels of education and prosperity in past 2/3 decades but it was equally important to pause and decide how this improvement (in education and material wealth) can be properly utilized. He said the disciplinary rules were equally applicable to lay persons as well. The conduct of a terapanthi shravak should be such transparent and respectful that public at large is able to guess that this person is a follower of Acharyashri Mahaprajnaji.

Mukhya Niyojika Sadhvi Vishrutvibhaji briefly talked about personal life history of Acharyashri Mahaprajnaji – from his birth in small village Tamkor to his initiation in monkhood, his religious practices under watchful eyes of Acharyashri Tulsi and being named his successor. She said, Acharyashri’s horoscope carried a rare combination of good fortune, high and well aligned position of celestial stars and utmost valour. She said Acharyshri’s popularity had always risen to new heights – in earlier years mainly in academic circles and then in general public at large – at home and abroad.


After these speeches, it was turn of Sadhvi Pramukhashriji to speak. I will cover that and other details of the day’s event in future posts.

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