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Published by Rachna Shah, 2018-12-16 19:24:13

Young Minds - December 2018

Young Minds is a quarterly publication of YJA that features articles, recipes, educational information, regional updates and more. It provides a platform for Jain youth across the country to share and learn from each others’ perspectives.

Keywords: jainism,youth,religion,spirituality,jain,perspective,opinion,art,culture

Um autem di rae aut et lit, et volore
niment eic totas eosam voluptate ene
inti con pellabo.

04 Letter from Editor
Rachna Shah

05 Letter from Co-Chairs
Monika Jain, Charmi Vakharia

06 Education Corners
Parshva Vakharia and YJA’s Education
Subcommittee

Contents

10 Local Event Spotlights
12 National Dinners

Simmi Nandu

14 Clothing Drive
Simmi Nandu

16 Retreats
Simmi Nandu

2

18 College Chapter Spotlight

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Jains

20 On Existential Crisis
Kushal Shah

23 Artist’s Statement
Twinkle Shah

26 Sangh Spotlight
Jain Center of Greater Phoenix

28 Reads
Vatsal Gandhi

30 Interview
Amit Jain

32 Dharma and Devotion
Rishi Zaveri

38 Cinnamon Pancakes
Recipe

40 Orange & Almond Granola
Recipe

42 Why?
Hally Shah

45 How to Say No Without Looking Like a Jerk
Jamie Shah

48 Recovering the Universal Jain Message
Professor Kanti Mardia

3

letter from Editor

Dear readers, In this issue, you’ll find arti-
cles, spotlights, interviews,
Jai Jinendra! In the spirit of recipes, reading recommen-
our theme, do it yourself (DIY), dations, local event high-
Young Minds is trying something lights, and much more:
new. For the months of Decem- In “Dharma and Devotion”,
ber, January, and February, we Rishi Zaveri shares his nine-
will release a new issue each month journey with his Gu-
month under the overarching ruji in India. “Our goal in this
theme of do it yourself (DIY). life should be to increase
DIY is about finding your own our virtues and decrease our
way to do something. It can be faults, if even by a little.”
about improving yourself, im- In our first sangh spotlight,
proving your environment, or Urmi Mota, a member of the
about exploring a new side of Jain Center of Greater Phoe-
your world. It means making do nix (JCGP) shares that “what
with what you have and what you [she] loves most about JCGP
are. You don’t have to be an ex- is how much it has changed
pert to try. DIY is building some- in the past 15 years”.
thing independently. It ranges In “Why?”, Hally Shah
from home improvement, like shares how she tries to live
building a patio, to do-it-yourself “a life that might not always
investing. It’s about being per- answer every question, but
sonally involved in the creation of one that can still try; be-
what you use and enjoy. cause, why not try to under-
We hope that this magazine can stand everything?”
be an experience - a pathway to In an interview with Amit
finding answers to the questions Jain, he shares his advice for
you seek, finding questions you young Jains today: “Find a
can search for answers to, to be- way to be comfortable with
ing inspired. That’s what DIY is. who you are. The sooner you
Standing back, and saying - I did can do that, the sooner the
that. What will you do? quality of your life will go up.
With #yjalove, Being different makes you
Rachna Shah special.”
Director of Publications, 2017-19
[email protected] 4

letter from Co-Chairs

Jai Jinendra, retreat or fifteenth, we encourage
you to sign up for a weekend of
This past Thanksgiving, we want- friendships, laughs, and #YJAlove.
ed to take a moment to reflect on
all the aspects of our lives we are This issue’s theme is “Do it your-
grateful for: family, friends, men- self.” With the new year just
tors, and especially, all of our YJA around the corner, we implore
members. Thank you for all that you to think hard about your new
you do, whether it’s attending our year’s resolutions and goals,
local and regional events, partici- and think of a positive change
pating as a local representative or you want to implement and do it!
subcommittee member, reading Whether it’s through YJA, com-
or writing for Young Minds, and munity service, or within your own
everything in-between! personal lives, email [email protected]
org with your inspiring goals so
A special thanks goes out to our we can share them with the rest of
Executive Board, without whom our readers!
none of this would be possible.
Over the last 2 months, they On behalf of all of us here at YJA,
worked extremely hard to pull off we wish you all the happiest of
a multitude of events and initia- holidays and a wonderful New
tives for YJA. From successfully Year, and we look forward to see-
conducting 100% Vegan friendly ing you all at our winter Retreats
National Dinners and Lunches in and future events!
over 34 cities across the coun-
try, to raising funds during Giving With #yjalove,
Tuesday, to organizing Thanksgiv- Charmi Vakharia and Monika Jain
ing Jaaps in various Jain Sanghs, Co-Chairs 2018-2019
they have been working tirelessly
to ensure YJA continues to pro-
vide engagement and opportu-
nities to our current and future
members.

Even though it’s getting colder
outside, we’re excited because it’s
almost time for our favorite sea-
son of the year: Retreat season!
Be on the lookout on YJA social
media channels for Retreat save-
the-dates and registration com-
ing soon. Whether it’s your first

5

Education Corner:
Maun Ekadashi

Manvi Harde and Rishi Zaveri

Jai Jinendra! is one of the most important days
for Jains, on par with the days of
Once, when Neminath Bhagwan Paryushan and Das Lakshan Parva.
came to the city of Dwarka, Shri It is said that 150 Kalyanaks of
Krishna came to listen to his ser- Tirthankars occurred or will oc-
mon. During the sermon, Shri cur, on this day. The 5 Kalyanaks
Krishna asked Bhagwan Neminath most relevant to us are Aranath
if there was a day Bhagwan’s Diksha
on which doing
any good deed “150 Kalyanaks of Tirt- Kalyanak (renun-
resulted in more hankars occurred or will ciation), Mallinath
punya, or good Bhagwan’s Janma
occur on this day.” (birth), Diksha and

karma, than any Kevalgyan (omnis-
other day. Bhagwan Neminath
cience) Kalyanaks and Naminath
said that there was one such day Bhagwan’s Kevalgyan Kalyanak.
- Maagsar Sud Agyaras, common-
ly known as Maun Ekadashi. On As the name suggests, Maun Eka-
this day, the rewards of our good dashi is most widely observed by
deeds are multiplied 150 times! keeping maun, or silence. This is
not just a silence of speech, but a
This year, Maun Ekadashi falls on silence of distractions and nega-
Wednesday, December 19th. It tivity in thought and actions, as

6

“Verbal silence is important because it
promotes mental silence, which is the
first step towards understanding the

infinite qualities hidden within us.”

well. There are many activities As students and young profes-
we can do to assist ourselves sionals, it may be hard for us to
while keeping maun. Many do keep Maun for the whole day.
Upvas, or fasting for 1 full day, Instead, find an hour in your
so the time saved in eating can schedule where you may gener-
be used towards religious pur- ally socialize or use your phone,
poses. Temples are filled with and keep Maun during that
Jains doing Darshan and Puja. time. That could be in-between
Many perform a ritual known as classes or during a break at
Dev Vandan, during which they work. Use this time to meditate
sing about the Kalyanaks of the or reflect on values such as
Tirthankars and recite sutras compassion and self-control.
which describe the auspicious- Try to go to the temple in the
ness of these Kalyanaks. Count- evening for Darshan or volun-
ing 150 mala (a rosary of 108 teer and use your time to bene-
beads), one for each Kalyanak, fit someone in need. Try to im-
is also a popular way of keeping prove your qualities as much as
focused during maun. possible on this day, because
Maun has a very important role you will be repaid 150 times!
in Jainism. After Tirthankars If anything in this article has of-
take Diksha, they keep Maun fended you or gone against the
until they attain Kevalgyan. teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir,
Many new Sadhus and Sadh- we sincerely ask for forgive-
vis keep selective Maun during ness. Micchami Dukkadam!
their studying period. Shravaks
and Shravikas, too, keep Maun To learn more about Maun
not just on Maun Ekadashi, but Ekadashi, check out YJA
also during Paryushan, Das Pathshala!
Lakshana, Diwali, etc.
Verbal silence is important be-
cause it promotes mental si-
lence, which is the first step
towards understanding the infi-
nite qualities hidden within us.

7

Education Corner:
Maun Vrat

Manvi Harde and Rishi Zaveri

Maun, a Sanskrit word, trans- In our busy lives today, true Maun
lates to complete silence. Maun seems far away from being practi-
Vrat thus means a vow of silence. cal. However, just ten minutes of
Traditionally, Maun requires com- silence in a day is proven to be in-
plete silence, accompanied with a credibly restful and stimulating for
religious practice separate from our brain, allowing ourselves to be
worldly activities. Jainism views fully aware in the present moment.
introspection as one of the most If you sit and let the thoughts set-
crucial steps on our religious jour- tle, the noise disappears, and you
ney, and many times this intro- can fully and completely see this
spection is done in silence. We in- world’s beauty, as well as intro-
trospect to get to know ourselves spect on the moments that have
and to get rid of the voice in our passed during your day.
head, the one that is constantly
welcoming thoughts and speak- This practice will allow your life
ing to you at all times. The goal of to unfold in many great ways. If
introspection is to be in complete you’re present and thoughtful in
tranquility - no matter how many the ways Maun teaches you, you
thoughts come will be more fo-
cused on what
rushing into your “In our busy lives, true you’re doing. In a
head, be a quiet Maun seems far from be- time when multi-
observer who tasking is seen as
only exists within ing practical.”

the present mo- a gift, doing one
ment. True Maun is achieved when thing at a time allows you to be
even thoughts do not intrude mindful and perfect the task at
our meditation. Maun is a simple hand. Having that single point of
prayer for silence, because in or- focus when you’re working can
der for us to reach the part of us promote happiness on its own.
God has made - our soul that lives Silence is just that - mindfulness
with an intent and purpose - we for all that is around you and what
have to meditate and focus on the is within. The leaves changing or
silence. the smell of really good coffee can

8

reap its fruits, you need
a positive mindset. If
“When we talk from the deepest part you want to observe
of ourselves, the truth that lives deep Maun for a full day, it
does not matter if you
inside us, we are praying.”

have other commit-
ments. Maun is not just
be small overlooked things in our the silence of tongue
busy lives, but if we choose to
but also the purity of mind. Try
be mindful in our silence, we can keeping a clear and open head
learn to appreciate them much that is free from noisy or negative
more.
thoughts like stress, regret, or
anger. Don’t pull out headphones
Practice in silence can also help and listen to music, or check so-
you achieve purity of speech. cial media, which is what you may
When you practice silence, you usually do when you have a mo-
can weigh your words before ment of silence. Instead, take a
speaking, ensuring your words minute to step back from all that
have no harmful effect on an- is going on by simply observing.
other person and thereby leave Try practicing meditation by just
no trace of guilt on yourself as closing your eyes and focusing
well. It thus means mastering on your breath as your mouth
your tongue. Not only does this closes and your heart opens. Find
allow you to feel more in touch your inner silence, and see how
with the purpose in your words, this silence is within everyone
but you will also begin to under- and within the deepest roots of
stand that words are not the only the Jain religion. We only know
form of communication. God does our own and others’ surface per-
not need you to communicate sonalities and who they present
through words, because silence themselves as. Dig a little deeper
is a prayer. When we talk from and see that though our souls
the deepest part of ourselves, the may not speak, they can be felt.
truth that lives deep inside us, Maun can be a hard promise to
we are praying. Maun Vrat is a fulfill in our lives, as the purity
vow to yourself and God that you and silence of our entire selves
will use your words wisely, and takes a lot of self-control and
that you will pray to God from practice. Take a step back for
the deepest part of yourself. It is some time today and slowly start
a vow that you will learn how to integrating silence into your life,
think before you speak. Although embracing the gift of Maun God
Maun entails the abandonment of has blessed us with.
noise in head and speech, start-
ing off with speech helps you
If anything in this article has of-
slowly cut off the noise from your fended you or gone against the
life and come back to yourself. teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir,

To practice Maun in your life and we sincerely ask for forgiveness.
Micchami Dukkadam!

9

Bowling Social Local
Event
YJA attended Jain Society Spotlights
of Greater Atlanta’s Youth
Bowling Social. JSGA’s newly YJA hosts a number of
formed Youth Sub-Committee events throughout the
hosted a bowling event for all year: in addition to our
youth ages 13 and above! annual National Dinners
and Regional Retreats, Lo-
Region: Southeast cal Representatives and
471 North Holt Parkway Regional Coordinators
Suwanee, GA organize everything from
movie or bowling nights
December 1, 2018 @ 4:00PM to community service ac-
tivities to Jainism-related
speakers or discussions.
You can see examples of
some YJA events on these
pages!

10

YJA Goes HikingRegion: West
“Pima Canyon Trailhead AM- 10:30 AM With the sun shining on
November 25, 2018 @ 08:30 our backs and the wind
keeping us cold, we
9904 S 48th Street had an amazing time
hiking up Pima Canyon
Ahwatukee, Arizona

85044 trails as a youth Jain

group.” -Sohail Daulat

Game Night

Region: South
West Campus, UT
2505 San Gabriel 208
Austin, Texas 78705
December 01, 2018 @ 07:00
PM - 11:00 PM

“ Everyone had a blast
and Rushi cooked an
amazing curry!”

11

National Dinners

“The national dinner was a really fun event because I
got to meet new people and make new friends from my
region. The friendly atmosphere reminded me of the
2018 convention-- meeting new and familiar faces. It
was also really cool that we went to a vegan restaurant
to promote a healthy and cruelty-free lifestyle in sup-
port of the vegan initiative.” --Sachi Solanki

Austin

Los Angeles

12

This year we kicked off Na-
tional Dinner season in late
October and wrapped it up
in early December. We’re
excited to announce that
100% of our Dinners this
year were Vegan Friendly,
with over a third of them
taking place at purely Ve-
gan restaurants. The suc-
cess with our National
Dinners has prompted YJA
to launch our Vegan Ini-
tiative, in which we make
a commitment to having
our events be 100% ve-
gan-friendly and focus on
promoting both Jain and
Vegan diets with respect
to the Jain principle of
ahimsa. Check out pictures
from our 34 National Din-
ners this year!

Boston

13

Clothing Drive

With winter right round the corner, and seemingly
already here in some parts of the country, YJA has
officially kicked off our Interregional Clothing Drive
Competition. The drive will run from December 2nd
to January 13th and we have collection centers set
up all across the country. The region that collects
the most donations will receive prizes at their re-
gional retreats in 2019, so get collecting!
If you don’t see your sangh or locality represented
but would like to get involved, reach out to us at
[email protected] so that we can get it set up!

14

Where can I find a collection
center?

Mid-Atlantic | RC: Achal Shah Northeast | RC: Kaivan Shah
Franklin Township, NJ: JCNJ Hartford, CT: JCC Sangh
Sangh Burlington, MA: JSNE Sangh
Richmond, VA: JSCV Sangh Boston, MA: JSGB Sangh
Washington, DC: JSMW Sangh South | RC: Ketan Kapasi
New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Uni- Austin, TX: JSGA Sangh
versity (contact Achal Shah for Dallas, TX: JSNT Sangh
details) Houston, TX: JSH Sangh
Mid-West | RC: Janvi Shah Southeast | RC: Juhi Nahata
Chicago, IL: JSMC Sangh Atlanta, GA: JSGA Sangh
Louisville, KY: Louisville Sangh Atlanta (GTech), GA: Georgia Tech
Kansas City, KS: Kansas City Jain (contact Juhi Nahata for details)
Sangh Columbus, GA: Columbus Sangh
St. Louis, MO: JCGSL Sangh Raleigh, NC: JSCNC Sangh
Cleveland, OH: JSGC Sangh West | RC: Akshay Madhani
Columbus, OH: JCOCO Sangh Bay Area, CA: JCNC Sangh
Indianapolis, IN: JCCI Sangh Los Angeles, CA: JCSC Sangh
Bloomington, IN: Indiana Univer- Alberta, Canada: Alberta Sangh
sity (contact Krish Kamdar for
details)
Detroit, MI: JSGD Sangh

15

Retreats

Retreat season is officially upon us! Retreat registration
will begin in January, exact dates varying depending on
your region. This year, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
will be joining forces to put on the biggest YJA retreat
in history at Poconos, as per dearly loved Mid-Atlantic
tradition. Poconos and Mid-West retreats will be held
in February, followed by South, Southeast, and West in
March. Get ready for the most hype retreats and stay
tuned for more information regarding location, regis-
tration, and transportation!

16

17

College Chapter
Spotlight:
VCU Jains

What impact has your chapter had on your cam-
pus’s Jain community?
Our chapter is very small; nonetheless, it has
brought us back to our roots by keeping us con-
nected with other Jains. It has helped knowing that
there are other Jains in the area, especially when
first coming to college.
What is your college chapter looking forward to
this year? What goals do you have in mind?
We look forward to holding discussions with our
members, socratic seminar style, where we can
answer questions and discuss questions and top-
ics that connect Jainism and our everyday lives. By
doing this, our goal is to help our members apply
Jainism to their everyday lives no matter how small
the impact is, or at least to think about how Jain-
ism can impact their lives in ways they wouldn’t
expect.
What advice would you give someone who wants
to start a chapter?
Definitely go ahead - you will be surprised how
many Jains you can find in your area. It provides a
good way to find people with similar mindsets and
beliefs and to make new friends.

18

“ By doing this, our goal is to help
our members apply Jainism to
their everyday lives no matter
how small the impact is, or at
least to think about how Jain-
ism can impact their lives in ways
they wouldn’t expect.
19

On Existential Crisis

Kushal Shah

I was the first grandchild in the were planning to bring him home,
family, and my mother says that and when they do, he might not
the first word that I learned to make it.
speak was “dada” (grandfather). I I asked if I should come, and eve-
was very close to my grandfather ryone strToenpgoslyrecptoibnustesisrteesdvomlo ycomdneim-us
and would always find an excuse cision. Mymoddaqduii umt vaoldenei smit,eautdaalekct teontium
to go to his place, be it because I dlitaedraalolyvebtedrriueoomrranrkoaeveteteiuedmmpaertaeeeoxnvteedcsvltooaomlerwlaeslgstnetanisa.mntauIqdusutdaefttuonhegdmiiuans.ncEotot, traueunm--
was strolling nearby, or it was a remembetremc. rNyeqinuigodiicnimaetloodnquge-ntiiemt, qeu,unti
vacation, or if I had argued with and heresIeqwuiaalsit muoncaobrelset qtuoaeccoorneptrreoprlor-
my parents. He fell quite ill in my emotipoons sm.illIabwo aresptarteumadfainccgabailbisoruemt
2012 and after that, had to un- how peopalliequse tvealyiliiqnugi omanbitriooreamdquceoeopseet
dergo dialysis twice (later thrice) with the death of a family member,
a week there on. I left India for the and the author said that attending
first time in 2016, when I went to funerals plays a big role in saying
Doha (Qatar) for a research in- goodbye. I then decided to go, no
ternship, and then I made a rou- matter what!
tine to talk to my grandparents
at least once a week — come what in happier times
may!
He went to see a doctor, and he
was prescribed a very high dose
for blood pressure
than the usual. He
immediately col-
lapsed and was hos-
pitalized for the nth
time on July 24th,
2018. This time his
blood pressure had
dipped way below
normal and his heart
had grown weaker.
I was feeling quite
low and then on the
27th, my mother
told me that they

20

The flight was at 5:50 PM that she would always face
and it was already 2:00 PM. the dichotomy to remain loyal
I booked tickets and headed to the old world and fluent
straight to the airport. The in the new - and this story is
Emirates flight was fourteen not that different. Living in
hours long, and never before Seattle, studying and doing
had my inner critic been so research at a great school
vocal about what I had done. and working in the tech in-
Firstly, I was condemning dustry can easily overshadow
my impulsive decision and the middle class upbringings
secondly, I was not sure if in the sleepy town of Amda-
he would still be alive by the vad and the leisurely under-
time I reached India. I landed graduate life in the historic
on Sunday and went directly city of Jaipur. Philosophy
to the hospital. I finally got to becomes a constrained tool
see him in person, and there to look smarter during argu-
he was lying in his ICU bed, ments and religion becomes
happy and content over the a compulsion during the nine
fact that I had come. days of Paryushan. Netflix
He was a very practical per- triumphs reading and almost
son and had happily em- everything is acceptable as
braced the inevitable. The long as the dollars keep com-
next few days were spent in ing.
the hospital, where immedi- My dada was very much in
ate family members would pain during the last few days,
take turns to be with him in and whenever the doctor
the ICU room. He was talking would come and ask him how
to all of us, listening to reli- he was feeling, he would al-
gious scriptures, and giving ways say that he is alright. He
me advice on how I should would say that it is his body,
manage my money. Finally on which is under pain, and that
the 31st, he passed away. is not his true self. His true
But that’s not where the story self is the “aatman,”, which is
ends; I think this is where it never in pain. He would ask
begins. The story of my exis- my dadi and my mom to re-
tential crisis, the story of my cite different poems, includ-
first real tryst wIth all things ing his favorite Ratnakar Pa-
perishable. Jhumpa Lahiri, chissi.
the author of Namesake, said
during promotion of the book

On his last day, he asked us to read this poem by a monk called
Keshavlalji Maharaj. Keshavlalji had written this poem during his
last moments and my dada would read it quite regularly. The
poem highlights the permanence of the soul and it goes some-
thing like this:
The entire experience made me mindful on who I was and where
I belonged. It made me realize to not venture beyond which there
was simply no return. It helped reinforce the belief that time is
fleeting and everything material is temporary. It exposed how at-
tachments bring misery, and the emphasis should be on quality
and not quantity. I hope that one day, I too can start seeking my
actual self, my aatman!

Artist’s Statement

Twinkle Shah

As an Indian-American, I am deeply connected to my Indian roots. I
love my vibrant culture and I wear my sand-colored skin with pride,
but finding balance between my conservative Indian culture and my
liberal American culture is challenging—it often feels like two parts
of me at war. Through my modern American perspective, I find ma-
jor flaws in Indian society, yet I also value my religion, language,
and culture in all of its vibrancy: I am both proud and ashamed of
my culture. As an Indian woman who thinks highly of her culture, I
feel that it is my responsibility to participate in the improvement of
it. I hope to bring attention to Indian societal issues and underscore
the need to break the restrictive boxes of society. Through practice
I’ve learned how to embrace the hyphen in ‘Indian-American’—it has
manifested itself in the perfect medium: art.
My work is an expression of how I embrace both my cultures, simul-
taneously using art as an outlet to communicate my views. I use ab-
straction to suggest that stepping the traditional boundaries might
be the way to tackle these issues: by finding a balance in-between
liberal and conservative thinking, in-between modernity and tradi-
tion, in-between America and India.

women-in-a-box. 9 x 10 x 15 in. mixed.

24

women-in-a-box appeared in my on women by society. The object
IB art exhibition titled in-between: takes the form of a box, symbol-
indian-american. The piece uses a izing the constrictive box women
variety of media, including fabric are trapped inside in conservative
from a traditional women’s gar- indian societies. The placement of
ment, jewelry, bangles, a circular the jewelry on the box resembles
mirror, and safety pins. All the the venus symbol, or the female
media allude to a typical indian symbol (♀). The box symbolizes a
woman’s day to day objects. One boundary, control, or restriction,
of my favorite parts of embracing prevalent in conservative Indias.
Indian culture is adorning myself Through my artwork, I have a
with jewelry—it is a way I feel voice: I stand for the advance-
beautiful in the skin of my own ment of Indian society, for break-
culture. The use of safety pins ing the stigma, and for replacing
represents the often-demeaning old traditions with fresh ones.
expectations of modesty placed

Here is a piece I wrote for this work:

by the threads of the box
were the women kept.
cuffed.
closed.
behind the insulting label of venus.
in the circle of femininity
is a reflection
yours
because change begins with

you.

25

Sangh Spotlight

Jain Center of Greater Phoenix

Fast Facts

• The Sangh was built on December 25, 2008 and
has 500 members today.

• The Sangh started as Pathshala and Swadhyays in
people’s homes.

• Important milestones include Pratishtha and Tem-
ple inaugaration (2008). 2018 marks its 10th an-
niversary.

• It is the only Jain Temple in Northern America to
have an Ahimsa Stambh and both Digambar and
Shwetambar Pratimas together throughout the
temple.

26

Urmi Mota, a youth of the temple, shares her experiences:
My favorite aspect of JCGP falls in line with how its changed.
What I love about JCGP the most is how much it has changed in
the past 15 years. When I moved to Phoenix and started going
to Pathshala in 2003, JCGP was a group of some families that
met on Sundays in a high school. The kids would divide up into
different classrooms based on their Pathshala level and would
meet up with the parents and other adults afterward for prayers
and Aarti. In 2006, JCGP had its Shilanyas as the base for our
Prathistha in 2007.
Since I was so little back then, I didn’t realize what exactly JCGP
was until these ceremonies. These ceremonies truly were life-
changing experiences for so many and brought a lot of people
together and closer. Because we have grown so much in the
past 15 years, there is a huge family-like feeling within JCGP
families, especially for those who have been here since even
before we had a Deraser in 2008.
I didn’t realize until recently, but a huge part of my life would
be missing if JCGP and the connection between the families of
JCGP didn’t exist. Since so many of these families have grown
up together, it would be impossible to imagine the past decade
and a half without thinking about them in JCGP. While there’s
been a lot of changes, there are also a lot of annual events (Jain
Camp, JCGP Picnic, or JCGP anniversary celebration) that JCGP
has been doing for years that has stayed the same which I think
are essential to making JCGP what it is today as it has brought
so many together and have shaped many of the memories with-
in the Sangh.
For the next generation, I think it’s important for them to real-
ize how much they themselves can grow within JCGP. Not only
spiritually, there are so many opportunities to meet new friends
or companions that could be with them for years to come and
chances to get involved within the Sangh with service and help-
ing out.
Recently, I haven’t been as involved as I used to be since I came
to college and it’s been slightly harder timewise. However, all
the kids are super involved when it comes to cultural events
such as Mahavir Jayanti or the Sangh’s anniversary celebration
in January. We’ve also had a few Seva days in the past where
families within the Sangh gathered together to help clean and
reorganize our temple!

27

Reads

The world-famous author of ‘A
Brief History of Time’ provides
his final thoughts on our uni-
verse, planet and mankind in this
book, which draws from hun-
dreds of papers, lectures, essays
and speeches of his over the
years. If you are worried about
where the world is headed in the
future and want to restore your
faith in science, read this book.

When a book combines history, bi-
ology and science all in one amaz-
ing narrative about humankind and
is recommended by Barack Obama
and Bill Gates, it’s got to be worth
a read. Where did we come from,
what is going to happen to us and
what exactly does it mean to be “hu-
man”? The book is thoroughly pro-
vocative and insightful for anybody
curious about ourselves.

What’s your favorite book? Email [email protected] and your
read could be featured in our next Young Minds issue!

28

Another historical account of the
universe, this book summarizes “Big
History”, a social studies course
created by the author that spans
13.8 billion years. It helps us bet-
ter understand people, civilizations,
and how we are connected to every-
thing around us by focusing on ma-
jor events, thresholds, trends and
questions about our origins.

Walter Isaacson has written biographies
for Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci and
Benjamin Franklin, but this is a biography
of a man whose vision, strive for perfection
and relentless drive changed the course of
multiple industries forever by revolution-
izing personal computers, phones, tablet
computing, digital publishing, music and
animation. We get an insight into his pro-
fessional and personal life while also get-
ting lessons on the character, leadership,
innovation and values of arguably the
greatest innovator of our generation.

You don’t have to be a soccer fan
to enjoy this book - it is a gripping
and fascinating true-crime thriller
about the biggest sports scandal
in history. Corruption, money-
laundering, fraud, betrayal and
irony - this book has it all and is
undoubtedly investigative jour-
nalism at its very best.

Recommended by:
Vatsal Gandhi ([email protected]).

29

Interview:
Amit Jain

“I remember being under
a lot of pressure in high
school and it probably
wasn’t healthy. Part of
that pressure originated
from me not being sure
what I wanted to do with
my life.

Share a portrait of who you to help others build their busi-
were in high school. What did nesses as a consultant. By my
you care about, what values late twenties, I had worked with
shaped your life, and what did Venture Capitalists and startups
you want to be when you grew and had seen a lot of money ex-
up? change hands. I became disillu-
In high school, I was known as a sioned with the system as solu-
rebel to many. I didn’t quite fit in tions coming from startups were
with the Jain kids I grew up and boiled down to commodities in a
I didn’t quite fit in with everyone portfolio. I decided to focus on
else. But I was always striving working with organizations look-
(to a fault) to find a place to fit ing to find solutions for climate
in. I cared about friendships, change. That’s what I’ve been
relationships, cars, sports, video doing for the past 10 years. It’s
games, and having fun. I worked tied to values and my spiritual-
hard in school so I could have ity. I’m able to tie Jainism to my
fun later. It was the cost of do- work in sustainability everyday.
ing business in a family where What advice do you have for
education has the highest value. young Jains today?
I remember being under a lot Find a way to be comfortable
of pressure in high school and with who you are. The sooner
it probably wasn’t healthy. Part you can do that, the sooner the
of that pressure originated from quality of your life will go up. Be-
me not being sure what I wanted ing different makes you special.
to do with my life. I wasn’t sure What have you recently been
if I was going to into medicine or working on at work?
something else. Currently, I’m working on mak-
Share a portrait of who you are ing our business more sustain-
today and make a comparison. able with our operations and
How have you changed? What within our supply chain. I’m
sustains you in your work? How putting together several clean/
does the professional connect renewable energy projects in
to the personal? North America. I am also devel-
Today I still feel like I don’t quite oping a long-term global strat-
fit in, but I am unique just like egy for our global business by
everyone else. I don’t need a setting science-based targets
place to fit in and it feels great for climate change in congru-
to have wonderful people gravi- ence with the UN’s Sustainable
tate towards me. In college, I Development Goals.
found that I wanted to work for
myself and build businesses. By
my early/mid-twenties I wanted

Rishi Zaveri

Dharma and Devotion:

My Adhyatmic
Adventure

I found myself asking: “What secret does he know
that I don’t which helps him stay happy and peace-
ful all the time, through even the toughest of trials?”

This question played itself over and over again in
my mind until I decided I needed to get an answer

through any means necessary.

9 months. 120 villages and cities. Sadhus in general. They own noth-
1200 kilometers walking. Immeas- ing. Have no family. Have no perma-
urable experiences. nent address. Yet, they live without
worry. I remembered my Guruji sit-
In the summer of 2017, I quit my ting in the Upashray (a place built
brand-new career and laidback life by Jain communities for Sadhus
for an indescribable journey. I had to stay) during the height of sum-
been working for almost a year, mer in Ahmedabad, where the tem-
experiencing a new adult life where perature can get up to 115 degrees
work mixes with play. I would visit Fahrenheit with 90 percent humidi-
a different city almost every month ty. While I was sweating, feeling un-
to meet friends. I loved visiting new comfortable, and dreaming of fans,
restaurants and trying new foods. he was peacefully singing a beauti-
Through all this, however, I felt like ful stavan. I found myself asking:
I was missing something. From the “What secret does he know that I
outside, it looked as though I had don’t which helps him stay happy
everything I needed to be happy and peaceful all the time, through
– an awesome job, a new car, sup- even the toughest of trials?” This
portive family, great friends, and question played itself over and over
freedom. Yet, I was not happy all again in my mind until I decided I
the time. There were situations needed to get an answer through
in which I found myself feeling any means necessary. So, in July
stressed or upset. I made the deci- 2017, I quit my job, packed up, and
sion to spend the next nine months left for India.
with my Guruji, a Jain Shvetambar
Sadhu that I had met five years ago
and spent time with on annual visits 9 months. and cities.
to India. 120 villages
1200 kilometers walking.
During these times of stress, anger, Immeasurable experiences.
and various negativity, I thought
about my Guruji and the life of Jains

33

My time in India began during the day. Over time, I came to realize
monsoon season, Chaturmas, the that the objective of these stud-
four months during with sadhus ies was not to just gain the actual
and sadhvis stay in one place. I knowledge, but that it was a form
stayed in an Upashray with my Gu- of mental shielding. When a Sadhu
ruji in the small town of Sheoganj, is engrossed in his studies, he is
Rajasthan. My first month was not thinking about the outside
probably the most difficult month world, he is not aware of what is
of the trip. Between the heat, mos- being said or done around him, and
quitoes, food, and lifestyle, there he experiences no raag (attraction)
was no shortage of adjustments I or dvesh (aversion) towards any-
had to make. thing. These states cause an im-
My main goal, however, was to see balance in our mind where we are
what knowledge and experience not able to experience the mental
helped sadhus live such a friction- peace we strive for. That is why
free life, so I had to live as closely when I would get frustrated with
to their lifestyle as I could. I be- learning one thing, Guruji would
came a Mumukshu, or in training point me in another direction – to
to become a sadhu. The time of a re-center me.
Sadhu, and thus also a Mumuk- After the monsoon season ended,
shu, is spent mostly in study. From it was time to leave Sheoganj and
reading, memorizing scriptures, start vihar. Vihar is travel done by
reflection, meditation, and giving Sadhus, by foot, so that they do
lectures, this is time spent on not stay in one place for too long
understanding the self. outside of the monsoon season.
For me, it meant memorizing scrip- This is to prevent him from be-
tures and delving into their mean- coming too attached to the place
ings. I would spend at least a few he stays. Although my Guruji had
hours in the morning memorizing become fond of Sheoganj, and the
gathas, and spend a couple hours people of Sheoganj fond of him, as
in the afternoon learning what they the days to leave came near, he did
meant. My nights consisted of re- not show one bit of sadness.
vising, by memory, everything I In fact, I felt a sense of restless-
had learned during the day. ness in all the Sadhus. Vihar is the
Some days, I would be able to heart and soul of a Sadhu where
memorize 20 gathas, and other the true strength of their resolve
days, I could barely memorize 2 is tested. During this travel, I had
gathas. Those days, I would get the opportunity to truly witness
so frustrated and would complain my Guruji’s true powers – his pres-
to my Guruji, who would give me a ence of mind, universal compas-
new stavan or bhajan to learn that sion, detachment from sansar (the
worldly life), and willpower. During

the five months of vihar I spent countless idols of Bhagwan, even
with my Guruji, we traveled over a few of Mahavir Bhagwan that
1200km (750mi). On our jour- were made while he was still liv-
ney, we sometimes stayed in big ing. I fell in love with Rajasthan
towns and cities, and other days – its culture, traditions, food, lan-
in small villages and hamlets. We guage; and most of all, its peo-
spent nights in proper Upashrays, ple – their hospitality, kindness
Jain households, Hindu temples, and affection. Non-Jain villagers
factories, schools, and govern- would open their doors to us to
ment buildings. We walked in stay and invited Sadhus to come
40-degree weather at 5 am and for Gochari (Sadhu’s method for
100-degree weather at 11 am. We asking for alms). Even if much of
walked through jungles, moun- their food did not meet our dietary
tains, and deserts. I ate what peo- restrictions, they would still force
ple fed me - sometimes the food Guruji to take something, even if it
was spicy, sometimes extra salty, was just some milk or ghee. They
and sometimes completely bland. would come at night to wherever
I sometimes only had enough wa- we were staying for Satsangh
ter to drink, and there were long (when a sadhu or learned person
stretches of days where I did not gives a religious discourse).
shower. Although most of the villagers
I visited hundreds of temples - were not Jain, Guruji would give
some new, some centuries old. lectures on morality and general
I was blessed to do Darshan of spiritualism. He would reference

“I have not enjoyed or been more general well-being. The next
at peace with myself than I was day, the same Bhai came
during this time. Even on the days again to meet Guruji. He
I had to walk 18km, with a pulled requested Guruji to come
muscle in my foot, while fasting, I to his house for Pagla (it is
never felt regret or anxiety.” considered auspicious to
have a respected person
step foot in one’s house).
Guruji denied the request,
the works of great Indian philoso- claiming that if he did it at Bhai’s
phers, like Saint Kabir and Tulsi
Das. In areas with Jain communi- house, he’d have to do it every-
ties, my Guruji and the other Sad- where. The Bhai kept pleading,
hus would give discourses which and as a final gesture of his re-
contain more Jain Tattvagyan spect for Guruji, he told Guruji
that he would take a Badha of
(philosophy). They would invite quitting tobacco for the rest of
children to the Upashray and
teach them different sutras or tell his life. Guruji agreed, gave him
them stories. the Badha and went to his home.
Two months later, he called me
and told me that he had remained
Many of the places we visited clean the whole time. Tobacco
were not frequented by Sadhus
and Sadhvis too often, so Guruji addiction, like many other drug
would be begged to stay for an addictions, is extremely hard to
shake off, and the fact that this
extra day or two. Phalsund was
one such community where I wit- Bhai was able to do it just out of
nessed something that touched his devotion to Guruji impressed
upon me the hidden power that
my heart. We reached Phalsund
in the late morning after walking lies within our Sadhus.
about 19 kilometers. We planned
on resting for the night and leav- I can wholeheartedly say that to
ing the next morning. Guruji held this day, I have not enjoyed or
a Pravachan (lecture) that night been more at peace with myself
on the lessons we can learn from than I was during this time. Even
the life of Mahavir Swami. The on the days I had to walk 18km,
with a pulled muscle in my foot,
Sangh was so happy to have a
Sadhu in their village after so long while fasting, I never felt a bit of
that they begged us to stay for regret or anxiety. I knew that I
one more day, and Guruji agreed. had my Guruji looking over me
After the lecture, one Bhai stayed and providing me with his bless-
back to talk with Guruji. Guruji ings. By observing Guruji and the
other Sadhus, I had also learned
had noticed that this Bhai had a so much about how life is meant
habit of chewing tobacco, so at
night he explained to him how to be lived – simply, compas-
harmful tobacco is for health and sionately, and with conviction. My

Guruji had trained me to face any The above was an attempt at an
challenge with a clear mind and impossible task. There are no
accept all troubles with a smiling words that can accurately rep-
face. He taught me to be strong resent the blessings of my Guru,
in my convictions – to never sac- the support of countless stran-
rifice my morals and values. He gers, or the feeling of freedom
showed me the value of our reli- I felt on my journey. If my story
gion and our Sadhus, even in the has piqued your interest even
21st century. One thing he told a little bit, then I ask one thing.
me, which I will never forget, is Next time you go to India, ask
that our goal in this life should your parents or relatives to take
be to increase our virtues and you to a Sadhu or Sadhvi in your
decrease our faults, even if by city. Ask them about their life –
a little. This is something I have why did they take Diksha, what is
pledged my life to doing each keeping them in it?
and every day.

“Next time you go to India, ask your parents or relatives
to take you to a Sadhu or Sadhvi in your city. Ask them
about their life – why did they take Diksha, what is keep-
ing them in it?”

So what was the answer to the Some of you may have a lan-
burning question that prompted guage gap, but try the best you
my journey? What was the se- can.
cret to a Sadhu’s peace? I do not If I have written anything which
think I have the full answer yet, has hurt or upset you in any way
but I found the three main ingre- or which is against the teachings
dients: Shraddha, Samarpan, and of Mahavir Swami, I sincerely ask
Samta. Shraddha means absolute your forgiveness. Michhami Duk-
faith – in Bhagwan, in his teach- kadam.
ings, and ultimately, in our own
self. Samarpan is total surren-
der – to Bhagwan, to one’s Guru,
and to one’s Dharma. Samta is
the state of equanimity – towards
our friends, towards our enemies,
and towards the world. Through
years of practice and penance, a
Sadhu develops these traits and
embarks on his journey towards
infinite peace, or Moksh.

bike
Ferum il molor si bea que volum int et, Percimodi aut explitibus volo volum
veles as et aut eumque et, ut abo. Nem quatqui consequi omnihic tenis et ex
am fugitium harum fugia non comnim et qui offic toribus volorisquis volut
quat hic to berum et quiassunt quiam quam quas aut laut andaerf eruptiore
fuga. Ut labo. Tempos as sini debit ip- cus desequo quatiae excero maximo
sundit aut re atem aut odis moluptia et unt ulla alit inis aut maiorem evel-
sequiam eos apienihil iumquis aperepr ique doluptatur sunt autatecab istota
eicipsae. Hil magnatis eaquature ratur- quisimusdae acil iusam remqui nemo-
est aut res et amus rat receperchil id lup tatesequodi dolupti simusam nem.
eum et Qui blandam, tem di aciis voluptat-
urem vendae. Et estrunt ut ommolup-
tate porrunt volo ipitatur a et esti aut
dellantotat.

What’s your favorite winter recipe? Email [email protected]
and your recipe could be featured in our next Young Minds issue!

38

Cinnamon
Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes Instructions
Cook Time: 12 minutes 1. Put the flour, baking powder,
Total Time: 17 minutes and cinnamon powder into a
Servings: 2 bowl.
Author: Hurry The Food Up 2. Add the applesauce, milk and
Ingredients syrup and beat well with a fork or
1 cup flour (whole wheat) hand blender.
1 tsp baking powder 3. Roughly half the butter will go
1 tsp cinnamon powder into the pancake batter. To do
4 tbsp maple syrup that either use the microwave or
1 cup applesauce heat it up in the pan you’re about
1 cup milk* to use for the pancake and then
2 tbsp butter** pour it into the mix.
*Vegan replacement: 4. Keep the heat on medium. Add
almond milk a ladle of mixture at a time to the
**Vegan replacement: pan, cooking for about 3 min-
applesauce utes. Flip the pancake and cook
for another 3 minutes.
TOPPING IDEAS: 5. Before every ladle of mixture
peanut butter; bit of cream grease in the pan with a small
and a splash of lemon; dollop of butter.
lightly mashed blueberries Enjoy!
heated.

39

Orange &
Almond Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes Instructions
Cook Time: 20 minutes 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Total Time: 30 minutes Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed
Servings: 8 cups baking sheet with parchment paper.
Author: Cookie and Kate 2. In a small bowl, combine the orange
zest and sugar. Use your fingers to rub
Ingredients the zest into the sugar until it’s bright
2 teaspoons orange zest orange and very fragrant. This step will
(from about 1 ½ oranges) ensure that your granola is infused with
2 tablespoons sugar orange flavor.
4 cups rolled oats 3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the
1 ½ cup raw almonds oats, almonds, salt, cinnamon and or-
1 teaspoon fine sea salt ange sugar. Stir to combine. Pour in
1 teaspoon ground cinna- the olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla,
mon and mix well.
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil 4. Pour the granola onto your prepared
or melted coconut oil baking sheet. Spread the granola into
½ cup maple syrup an even layer. Bake for 19 to 23 min-
1 tablespoon vanilla extract utes, stirring halfway, until the granola
¾ cup raisins, preferably is turning lightly golden in color. The
golden granola will crisp up as it cools.
5. Let the granola cool before stirring in
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use the raisins and breaking up the granola
certified gluten-free oats. into chunks as necessary. Store the
MAKE IT NUT FREE: Substitute granola in an airtight container at room
pepitas for the almonds. temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or keep it
in the freezer for longer shelf life.

40

bike
Ferum il molor si bea que volum int et, Percimodi aut explitibus volo volum
veles as et aut eumque et, ut abo. Nem quatqui consequi omnihic tenis et ex
am fugitium harum fugia non comnim et qui offic toribus volorisquis volut
quat hic to berum et quiassunt quiam quam quas aut laut andaerf eruptiore
fuga. Ut labo. Tempos as sini debit ip- cus desequo quatiae excero maximo
sundit aut re atem aut odis moluptia et unt ulla alit inis aut maiorem evel-
sequiam eos apienihil iumquis aperepr ique doluptatur sunt autatecab istota
eicipsae. Hil magnatis eaquature ratur- quisimusdae acil iusam remqui nemo-
est aut res et amus rat receperchil id lup tatesequodi dolupti simusam nem.
eum et Qui blandam, tem di aciis voluptat-
urem vendae. Et estrunt ut ommolup-
tate porrunt volo ipitatur a et esti aut
dellantotat.

What’s your favorite winter recipe? Email [email protected]
and your recipe could be featured in our next Young Minds issue!

41

Why?
Hally Shah

A three letter, one syllable, sim- As the years progressed, and I
ple word; a word that on its own came to understand the science,
has the power to terrify us. The history, and purpose of our re-
word why holds the power to ligion, I found that our religion
stop even the fastest person has plenty of reasoning:
and frighten the most powerful Jainism is founded on the princi-
person. It is the word that led to ple that we must not act, speak
mankind landing on the moon or think of harming any living
and our creation of the tele- being.
phone; but for those, it was not Our rules are made on the basis
just why, but rather why not. of how people lived at the time.
Why not? The science based on what was
The question rendered my par- present during that time.
ents speechless every time I With these understandings, I
doubted their ways. It may have figured out a way that I could
annoyed them, but more impor- practice our religion without
tantly, it left my parents without feeling as though I was con-
an answer. This question came stantly breaking it.
up mostly when ma and dad The rules that my parent oh so
told me to do something that, graciously told me about have
naturally to my 6-year-old brain, their own explanation, the big
didn’t make sense. one is no root vegetables. I un-
Why can’t we eat green vegeta- derstood why we don’t eat such
bles on tithi? vegetables when I incorrectly
Why not eat tater tots? completed an osmosis lab. My
Why not walk with shoes? 8th grade science class was
Why not…? supposed to put one carrot stick
in salt water and one in fresh

42

why
not?

water. The purpose of the lab was to see the “I try to live a life that
physical changes that occur to carrots due to has the least himsa
the diffusion of water through the membrane. within it. A life that en-
I had missed the day and had to complete courages knowledge.
the lab with broccoli at home—it didn’t work A life that might not
because the “skin” cells in the membrane always answer every
are different in broccoli and carrots. In root question, but one that
vegetables, we have cells on the “skin” or can still try; because,
membrane with semi-permeable boundaries why not try to under-
that allow the diffusion of water. By adding stand everything?
the variable of fresh and salt water we create
a difference in the rate of diffusion. The dif-
fusion through the boundaries allow the veg-
etable to either become flimsy or stay stiff.
Basically, similar to humans, root vegetables
continue to grow in fresh water just like hu-
mans and many fish. Which meant, root veg-
etables are in a sense a form of living being.
Now in 8th grade I figured out exactly why

43

we cannot eat root vegetables. I should say,
right then and there I gave up all root veg-
etables! Unfortunately, that was a big no;
between school, travel, and lifestyle I could
not give up everything our religion said is
against our diet. While many might say these
are simply excuses, I reason with myself with
the idea that I live practicing our principles. The idea is that while
Our principles, beyond ahimsa include Dhar- I do not follow every
single rule, I follow
“shan (vision), Gyan (knowledge), and Charitra the ones that I can to
the best of my ability.
(conduct). My reasoning is although I cannot
follow the lifestyle of Jainism to the T, I can
try my best to practice our principles.

By having the right vision, right knowledge,
and right conduct, I can still practice Jain-
ism without feeling restricted. The idea is that
while I do not follow every single rule, I follow
the ones that I can to the best of my ability. I
try to live a life that has the least himsa within
it. A life that encourages knowledge. A life
that might not always answer every question,
but one that can still try; because, why not try
to understand everything?

44

How to Say No
Without Looking
Like a Jerk

Jamie Shah

Generally, a negotiation is (1) Don’t Say Yes in the First
all about “Getting to Yes”: It Place
is about cooperation, col- In the words of Leonardo Da
laboration and finding op- Vinci, “It is easier to resist
portunities to create a win- in the beginning than in the
win situation. However, I end.” Don’t let yourself pro-
don’t think that “Getting to crastinate and think that you
Yes” is the hard part. What will be able to say no to a
is actually difficult is saying, prior commitment at a later
“No.” Saying, “No” makes time. We often get caught up
you look and feel like the not wanting to let the other
bad guy: someone who is party down by initially com-
uncooperative and difficult. mitting with the full intention
However, every day we are of backing out later. How-
confronted with situations ever, the longer you wait to
where we have to analyze cancel, the more the person
the costs and benefits of is depending on you to fol-
sacrificing our own happi- low through on your commit-
ness to satisfy that of oth- ment. I’ve learned there is a
ers. Wouldn’t it be nice to direct relationship between
be able to say no with con- the longer you wait and the
fidence to the unfulfilling more you look like a jerk: as
obligations (no matter how time towards the commitment
big or small) in your life? increases, your jerk factor in-
I’m here to share three tips creases. Moreover, the longer
to make it easier for you to you wait, the guiltier you feel
say no so you can spend a to cancel, making it more dif-
little more time doing things ficult to follow through on
that make you happier: your initial intent.

45

(2) My Way or the Highway Tech- give a
nique reason
The “My Way or the Highway Tech-
nique” involves saying yes, but us- use the Xerox machine, be-
ing caveats to make the commitment cause I am in a rush.
work on your own terms. For exam- Version 2 (Not Providing a
ple, if a friend would like to meet for Reason): Excuse me, I have
dinner, choose to meet at a place that five pages, may I use the Xerox
is convenient to you or at a restaurant machine?
you enjoy. If you’re like me, you’ll say, In the Version 1, where the
“Yes, let’s meet at my favorite res- researcher provides a reason,
taurant, Taco Bell!” This way you are the researcher has a 94% suc-
also making the commitment work for cess rate of being able to cut
you. the line. This is compared
(3) Give a Reason to an only 60% success rate
People love reasons. Having an an- by providing no reason (as in
swer to a question fulfills a basic hu- Version2). This alone shows
man need as we are always looking that people are more willing to
for reasons to questions that have no comply with you when you pro-
answer: Why is the sky blue? Why is vide a reason. However, what
the grass green? is most interesting is the third
In a study conducted at Harvard Uni- version of the favor:
versity (Langer, 1978), a researcher Version 3 (Providing no real
asked a small favor of people waiting reason): Excuse me, I have
in line to use the library photocopier. five pages, may I use the Xerox
The favor was asked in two ways: machine, because I have to
Version 1 (Providing a Reason): make copies? (Here, the re-
Excuse me, I have five pages, may I

“ In the words of Leonardo
Da Vinci, “It is easier to re-
sist in the beginning than in
the end.” Don’t let yourself
procrastinate and think that
you will be able to say no
to a prior commitment at a
later time.

46

searcher did not add any new informa- “Even if you are
tion with the reason and is, instead, providing a ‘non-
stating the obvious.) sensical’ or ‘bad’
Presumably, Version 3 (providing a
nonsensical reason) would receive the reason, people
same low success rate as Version 2 are just as will-
(providing no reason). However, Ver- ing to accept your
sion 3 resulted in a 93% success rate, response as if you
nearly identical to Version 1 (provid- had provided a
ing a good reason). This study proves
that even if you are providing a ‘non- ‘justifiable’ or
sensical’ or ‘bad’ reason, people are ‘good’ reason.”
just as willing to accept your response
as if you had provided a ‘justifiable’ or
‘good’ reason.
Life is full of opportunities; there is
always so much going on and it can be
difficult to prioritize. Hopefully, you find
that these three techniques will help
you get the most out of your time with
the least amount of stress.

47

Recovering the
Universal Jain Message

Professor Kanti Mardia

It is an unfortunate truth that Jain gurus and scholars. With
violence dominates the news. these Four Noble Truths, I pre-
Lately, reports of sexual violence sent a novel scientific map to the
surface almost daily, alongside ancient Jain path; a road map to
coverage of all-too-frequent Jainness, containing both theory
mass shootings in the USA and and applications.
other acts of terror committed To be clear, when discussing
around the globe. Consequently, Jainism, I refer not to an –ism but
the world can seem like a dark to Jainness as a science of life.
place, leading us to ask painful In the same way that we speak
but necessary questions: What of Christianity rather than Chris-
is the antidote to such violence? tianism, my emphasis will be on
How do we begin to make sense Jainness (Jainatava), or the qual-
of these problems and see a clear ity of being a Jain, rather than
way forward? For Jains, the an- Jainism.
swer is to embrace a philosophy We might instinctively define
of compassion, or ahimsa, mean- Jainness in relation to ahimsa,
ing non-violence or non-harm. but let us first see what the Jain
While the truths of the Jain scriptures say. In the Dasavaika-
dharma are eternal, they are not lika-sutra, we find: “Prathamam
always so easy to comprehend. jnanam tato daya” (First knowl-
The original Jain scriptures are edge, then compassion).
vast and written in obsolete lan- With Jainness, knowledge pre-
guages like Prakrit. As the popu- cedes compassion. The emphasis
lar language changes, the chal- is on knowledge before we pro-
lenge of mapping these ancient gress to ahimsa.
ideas into a modern context and A similar thought was expressed
idiom emerges. by Einstein:
Seeing this need, I formulated
the Four Noble Truths of Jain-
ism, in consultation with many

48

the first step to Jainness? Of
course, there must be belief
in the teachings of the Tirt-
hankaras, and to see their teach-
ings in a modern context, I have
put forward Noble Truth 1:

“The soul exists in contamination
with karmic matter and it longs
to be purified.”

This presumes belief in multiple
concepts, including the exist-
ence of soul, its interaction with
a foreign substance (namely,
karmic matter), and the innate
desire to be free from karmic
matter.

“Science without religion is We can understand these con-
lame, religion without science is cepts more easily by appeal-
blind.” ing to modern science, which
Science, derived from the Latin in a way has been searching for
scientia, means “knowledge,” “soul” through research into
while religion corresponds to consciousness. Karmic matter
“spirituality.” So this could read: is formed of karmons—invisible
“Spirituality without knowl- particles similar to the elemen-
edge is blind.” One is the left tary particles of modern physics,
hand and the other is the right like photons and electrons. Pho-
hand—both must work together tons make light and electrons
to lead a successful life of Jain- produce electricity, but we don’t
ness. see the individual particles. In
The question follows, what is the same way, the soul absorbs
and emits karmons when inter-

“ Science, derived from the Latin sci-
entia, means “knowledge,” while re-
ligion corresponds to “spirituality.”
So this could read: “Spirituality with-
out knowledge is blind.” One is the
left hand and the other is the right
hand—both must work together to
lead a successful life of Jainness.

49

acting with karmic matter. towards moksha with positive
While the concept of karma is non-violence results in the light-
familiar to many religions, we est karmic matter.”
can understand the Jain concep- We see that ahimsa is at the
tion of karma as karmic matter heart of Jainness. The underly-
through analogy. When gold is ing formula to shed the karmic
mined in its raw form, it is cov- matter was articulated by Suri
ered by dirt and dust – its full Haribhadra: “Freedom from
lustre only emerges once this kashayas is the only way to lib-
dirt is removed. Similarly, karmic eration.”
matter is the “dust” on the soul. This is not an easy subject, so
Eventually, all karmic matter do not expect instant learning.
leads to kashayas, or destructive Jainness, as a science of life, is
emotions that butcher the quali- really the science of a lifetime.
ty of the soul. The four kashayas For Jains, it is the science of in-
are Anger, Greed, Ego, and De- numerable lifetimes!
ceit. Collectively, these destruc- For more details on the Four No-
tive emotions make us AGED. ble Truths, please visit Facebook.
So what is the pivotal action Songs giving a broader view of
needed to remove this kar- these Noble Truths are available
mic matter? How can the soul on YouTube. A pocketbook Jain
achieve its lustre? Thoughts and Prayers also sum-
This takes us to Noble Truth 4B: marises some of these ideas.
“Violence to oneself and others To conclude, “Let Jainness
results in the heaviest karmic thrive!”
matter, whereas helping others

50


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