IOJ Education Team Paryushan 2016 Activities
Requests began to reach IOJ Education Team from early 2016 for lectures and workshops for Paryushan. Preparation started in earnest for the various activities from Spring onwards and finally delivered during August-September 2016.
The first of the activities was with Oshwal Association UK (OAUK South Area). They requested the IOJ Education Team to present a lecture on Introduction to Jainism on 29th July 2016. With Paryushan approaching, the aim was to reach members of the community who have little understanding of Jainism to arouse their interest and encourage participation during Paryushan. About 40 people of varying ages attended the two-hour programme. The first part of the session focussed on what Dharma means, aptly presented by Jyotsnaben Samji. The second part, presented by Shrutiben Malde, emphasised what Jainism is. This was a comprehensive overview of the subject. It was clear from the discussion and verbal feedback that the audience enjoyed the session.
Following this, a 1 day-workshop on Insight into Paryushan was held at EKTA Centre, London NW9, requested by Oshwal
Association UK (OAUK NW) on 20th August 2016 and then at Oshwal Mahajanwadi, Croydon, requested by OAUK South Area on 27th August 2016. At these workshops, participants were given an insight into the history and purpose of Paryushan Parva. This was an interactive session led by Jyotsnaben Samji and was followed by
a practical session on Asans and Mudras used in the Pratikramana ritual, led by Shrutiben Malde; meaning and actions of Muhapatti Padilehana, led by Jyotsnaben Shah and meaning of some sutras by
Trusitben Shah. The day was interspersed with stavans beautifully led by Trusitben Shah. A childrens’ workshop was also held at EKTA Centre led by Jyotsnaben Shah and Vibhutiben Mehta where
the children enjoyed play-acting selected
Jain stories and played Jain educational games. Both these workshops were before Paryushan, intention being that they would prepare the community for this important Parva. A very positive feedback was received from many of the 150 or so attendees of these workshops.
During Paryushan, Dr Harshadbhai Sanghrajka had a daily programof reading of Kalpasutra in the mornings and a series of lectures in the evenings on 12 bhavanas at Byron Hall, Harrow
Leisure Centre for OAUK NW community. These sessions were attended by hundreds of people each day. Many compliments were received. OAUK NW acknowledged the efforst of IOJ in the presence of OAUK Central Executive Committee who visited Byron Hall.
Pratikramana in English was conducted both for OAUK NW and OAUK South. This entailed reciting the key sutras in Prakrit, followed by their English translation read in unison by all attendees. All those who attended commented that it was very valuable for them to understand the meaning of the sutras. These sessions were conducted by Trusitben Shah, Jyotsnaben Samji and Jyotsnaben Shah.
A programme for children, Paryushan4Kids, was also held at Harrow Leisure Centre for OAUK NW Community during the Paryushan weekend. About 80 children enjoyed various activities like Jain games of snakes & ladders, transmigration in 4 realms, symbols of Tirthankaras, colouring activities and a touch-feel exhibition of Jain Upakarans as shown in the collage here. The activities were led by IOJ Education Team with plenty of help from enthusiastic OAUK NW volunteers. The childrens’ parents who joined the session for the last half hour showed much appreciation for the effort put into this session.
Shrutiben Malde gave two interactive lectures on topics of Jain Philosophy – Dravya, followed by Mohaniya Karma, to the community in Northampton on 4th September, 2016. Both lectures were very well received with much audience participation and many questions. Some members of the OAUK Executive Committee who happened to be visiting Northampton in the afternoon were very complimentary after attending the lecture on Mohaniya Karma.
IOJ Education Team is thankful to the organisations for their invitations and hospitality and making Paryushan 2016 more meaningful for all those who attended. The Northampton Sangh as a token of their appreciation donated £101 to the Institute.