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HereNow4U - Living Jainism Tour 2006 - 05.05 Ladnun: Meeting Samanijis

Published: 28.03.2007
Updated: 30.07.2015
23rd November 2006, 16:30 - 17:30

We next went to Samani Niyojika Akshay Pragyaji to deliver a message to her from Samani Nirmal Pragyaji who was in Mahatma. We were happy to meet again with Samani Akshay Pragyaji. In autumn 2001, she was in Berlin with Samani Parimal Pragya for some days in the week of Paryushan on her way to London. She explained the meaning of Paryushan festival to us, which inspired us to fast for 24 hours, our first fast ever.

In Berlin, she had conducted one Preksha Meditation Camp and given an introductory lecture on Jinism. It was the first time that Samanijis came to our house and accepted the food we prepared. They visited some German friends of us and brought their peaceful vibrations into their houses.

In the courtyard in front of the house where Samanijis are accommodated, she barefoot stood in the desert sand and answered to Karuna’s questions for her documentation in the glossary of HereNow4U. The background sounds are made from the thousands of birds as peacocks, crows, blackbirds, larks, wild pigeons, including ring doves, finks, stars, greenfinches, and many more, coming home every late afternoon for drinking and then sleeping on one of the 600 trees (every clan of birds has its own tree) on the campus:

We are sorry for the low audio quality, distorting Samani Akshay Pragyaji's voice. [Editors]

Samani Niyojika (head of Samanis) Akshay Pragya interviewed by Karuna Samani Niyojika (head of Samanis until jan. 2007) Akshay Pragya
Samani Niyojika (head of Samanis until jan. 2007) Akshay Pragya talking with Karuna Arcade to the courtyard from the house where Samanijis are living in Ladnun. One group is sharing one room, one group consists of five Samanis (Jain nuns allowed to use means of transport)

Her interview taken, she asked if two Samanijis could come with us to Tamkor, where we planned to go next morning. She smiled on our affirmation and went to her next task.

Samani Riju Pragya, headmaster of Jain Vishva Bharati's Girls' College Samani Riju Pragya, headmaster of Jain Vishva Bharati's Girls' College, talking with Karuna on education of rural people; in the background Samani Shashi Pragya

Samani Riju Pragya is head of Jain Vishva Bharati’s Girls’ College; a project to make rural people participate in the social development India’s society is facing since beginning of the New Millennium. We were happy to meet her and liked to know from her how the project to specially educate girls with rural background has been realised in the meantime.

The inspirational thought for this project came from Acharya Tulsi and gained new momentum under Acharya Mahaprajna’s guidance. Both Acharyas held and hold the view that an educated woman brings about sustainable development to a whole family, which inspires the same process for the whole community.

Formerly, Rajasthani women in rural areas were not much educated, they hardly knew to read and write. The remote area of Ladnun at the outskirts of the Thar Desert was chosen for building up educational institutions from kindergarten to university for two reasons. First, because lay followers donated the property, second, because the rural population around Ladnun was in need of an institution to educate their daughters, as economic survival in such remote area demands women’s contribution to the budget.

Samani Riju Pragyaji evolved curricula containing elements of Jeevan Vigyan and Preksha Meditation to inspirit the girls to build an active and peaceful personality able to create a harmonious atmosphere in their families, which results in enabling them to develop sustainably. The circumstances their mothers met in life were different.

Wind of change blew into many rural families, when social workers of JVBI organised meetings in villages not only for men, but also for women to make them participate in communal life instead of only staying in their houses without other social contacts than relatives.

Those mothers now are strong supporters of the Girls’ College, they talk to their more patriarchal oriented husbands, which diminishes the latter’s resistance against their daughters’ education. Actually all tasks are starting to bear fruit in form of increasing numbers of female college students. Samani Riju Pragya wants to get on with the curriculum work to motivate the girls to complete their studies with BA certificate.

Dr. Samani Chaitanya Pragya, head of the Jain university's social department, talking with Karuna; Samani Shashi Pragya (r) Dr. Samani Chaitanya Pragya, Samani Shashi Pragya, Karuna

While we talked, Samani Chaitanya Pragya came to welcome us. She is head of JVBI’s social department now. Since 2006, she is head of Social Department at Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (JVBI) and the responsible to compile lessons in Jain philosophy for correspondence studies in Hindi and English language. She aims to broaden the circle of JVBI students all over the world and hopes that studies of Jain philosophy in the near future will increase.

Samani Shashi Pragyaji joint us. She kept silence as can be seen by her mouth pad and affirmed by gestures that she is about to complete her research dissertation on peace education and the contribution of Preksha Meditation to inner and outer peace and harmony.

Vice-Chancellor Dr. Samani Mangal Pragya (l), Samani Punya Pragya (from 2004-2006 at JVB London), Dr. Samani Chaitanya Pragya

Samani Mangal Pragyaji then made us wonder. Meeting her in her office as vice-chancellor means to meet the head of university. Meeting her with other Samanijis means to meet someone who is leading a life dedicated to serving humanity. Obviously, connection with the own Self helps to cope with all situations in life.

We then learned that the Samanijis coming with us would be Samani Param Pragyaji and Samani Punya Pragyaji. Samani Punya Pragyaji salutes Samani Mangal Pragyaji with gestures, as she also kept silence this afternoon. We were happy to spend time with Samanijis.

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      1. Acharya
      2. Acharya Mahaprajna
      3. Acharya Tulsi
      4. Acharyas
      5. Berlin
      6. Chaitanya
      7. HereNow4U
      8. JVBI
      9. Jain Philosophy
      10. Jain Vishva Bharati
      11. Jain Vishva Bharati Institute
      12. Jeevan Vigyan
      13. Karuna
      14. Ladnun
      15. London
      16. Mahatma
      17. Meditation
      18. Mouth pad
      19. Paryushan
      20. Pragya
      21. Preksha
      22. Preksha Meditation
      23. Preksha Meditation Camp
      24. Punya
      25. Rajasthani
      26. Samani
      27. Samani Niyojika
      28. Samani Param Pragyaji
      29. Samani Parimal Pragya
      30. Sustainable Development
      31. Tamkor
      32. Tulsi
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