Anandotsav – Paryushan Mahaparva 2023 View Photos In a gargantuan gathering, devout followers from across the globe convened at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai to celebrate the Paryushan Mahaparva, in the revered presence of Pujya Gurudevshri. Beginning on September 12, this event marked a spirited initiation for new seekers and an opportunity for those already on the path to accelerate their progress. Sanctifying Snatra Puja Each day commenced with a vibrant Snatra Puja, a warm tribute to the Chyavan and Janma Kalyanaks of Tirthankar Bhagwan. Fervent aspirants participated in pakshal, pujan, dance dedications and offered creative ghaulis; infusing the atmosphere with enchantment. The mornings reached their zenith with the entrancing chants of ‘Krupalu Dev, Krupalu Dev.’ Purifying Pravachans Pujya Gurudevshri graced tranquil mornings with discourses centred around the worshipful verses from Swayambhustotra by Swami Shri Samantbhadracharya extolling the virtues of Tirthankars Shri Shantinath Bhagwan, Shri Kunthunath Bhagwan and Shri Arnath Bhagwan. The pravachans provided insightful wisdom about the devotional and philosophical fundamentals of Jainism. The captivating evening pravachans explored the ‘Essence of Religion’, meticulously derived from Param Krupalu Dev’s teachings in Shrimad Rajchandra Vachanamrut Patrank 47. Pujya Gurudevshri addressed pivotal questions regarding religion, clearing the fog for new aspirants and veteran seekers alike. The pravachans discussed the following intriguing and eye-opening questions: Day 1 – Religion: Sectarianism or Self-awareness? Day 2 – Religion: Philosophy or Transformation? Day 3 – Religion: Obedience or Independence? Day 4 – Religion: Inner Conflict or Complete Alertness? Day 5 – Religion: Enduring Pain or Experiencing Joy? Day 6 – Religion: Easy or Difficult? Day 7 – Religion: Renunciation or Attainment? These inquiries gave seekers deep insights into religion’s ability to lead individuals towards self-discovery and spiritual ascent. Exhilarating Evening Celebrations Evenings were filled with various connecting programmes. The inaugural evening featured a thought-provoking theatrical act, ‘Dharmana Mukhya Chaar Ang,’ based on Bhagwan Mahavir’s teachings. On the evening of the second day the Hon. Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Ramesh Bais, launched a marvel of today’s world – Pujya Gurudevshri’s voice in eight languages, powered by Artificial Intelligence. Other products, reinforcing the Mission’s commitment to spreading spiritual wisdom, too were launched that evening. Shri Ramesh Bais received the recognition titled, ‘Jain Dharma Hiteshi’ from the pious hands of Pujya Gurudevshri for his significant contributions towards upholding Jain values. In his address, the Hon. Governor expressed great respect for Jainism and acknowledged the various initiatives undertaken by the Mission. The evening of day three witnessed Salim Merchant, renowned music composer and singer, offering a beautiful rendition of Param Krupalu Dev’s ‘Amulya Tattva Vichar: Bahu Punya Kera Punjthi’ to Pujya Gurudevshri. He shared his personal connection with Param Krupalu Dev’s essence of spirituality and recounted his reflective experiences at the Ashram. His Live performance left the crowd spellbound. Salim Merchant along with other dignitaries launched a book, ‘Decontaminate the Inner Self’, written by Pujya Gurudevshri. On the fourth evening, over 150 teenagers from Shrimad Rajchandra Divinetouch Centres across Mumbai performed, ‘The Quest for Happiness,’ – a Broadway-genre musical emphasising that true joy lies within. A sequel of the book, ‘What Would Bapaji Say?’, was launched by Pujya Gurudevshri and esteemed dignitaries. The fifth evening celebrated the birth of the all-compassionate Bhagwan Mahavir. 14 laabharthis were blessed to carry the 14 dreams of Trishala Mata, Bhagwan Mahavir’s privileged mother, which were lovingly venerated by the Master. Pujya Gurudevshri tenderly rocked a cradle symbolising the Lord’s birth. Assembled devotees joined in this sacred experience as the rope of the swing was passed along the entire large arena, enabling each one present to benefit from the opportunity. Subsequent evenings presented an overview of the upcoming Shrimad Rajchandra Animal Hospital, chanting meditation and a glimpse of the approaching events of 2023. Apart from the evening celebrations, there was a special children’s workshop, ‘I Love Paryushan’, that helped them discover the power of forgiveness. There were various stalls at the premises, including one enabling the virtual viewing of the colossal Jinmandir at Shri Dharampur Tirth, a Cyclothon stall, amongst others. On the occasion of Paryushan Mahaparva, an overflow of compassion was experienced as 501 animals were freed from slaughterhouses and placed at animal shelters. Amazing Atmarpit Diksha Four devoted souls – Yuvarpit Sharan Kamdar, Jivanarpit Gopika Shah, Jivanarpit Dr Bansi Dedhia and Akshay Parekh – stepped forward for the Atmarpit Diksha ceremony, sealing their eternal bond with the Lord. Filled with devotion and radiant joy, they paid homage to Bhagwan Mahavir, Param Krupalu Dev and Pujya Gurudevshri. Sharan and Dr Bansi shared their experiences of grace on the journey to becoming Atmarpits. The Master bestowed upon them His blessings in the form of a tilak and vasakshep, presented them with the Atmarpit mala, kada and attire and initiated them into Atmarpit Diksha. The parents of the new Atmarpits were felicitated and parents of Atmarpit Akshaybhai took Ajivan Brahmacharya Vrat. Three Atmarpits – Dr Mansiji, Bhandariji and Nitaji – were blessed with higher vows and the title ‘ji’ to their name. Sacrosanct Samvatsarik Alochana The morning of the culminating day began with Pujya Gurudevshri’s powerful pravachan on Forgiveness. In the afternoon of this refining day of Samvatsari, devotees turned inward with introspection during the heartfelt alochana, reflecting on their faults. A natural sense of atonement welled up within them. As the compassionate Master gracefully traversed every section of the vast venue, bestowing seekers with His benevolent gaze, they expressed ‘Micchami Dukkadam’ with teary eyes. The monarch of Jain festivals thus was celebrated with supreme enthusiasm, leading to a mass uplift in the spiritual energy of seekers the world over!