SHREE RAJ SAUBHAG SATSANG MANDAL SAHITYA SATRA SAHITYIK ADHIVESHAN – LITERARY FUNCTION One more activity has been added to Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram’s various humanitarian activities. Sahitya (Literature) and Art has direct connection with sensitivity and the inner soul. Art and literature is one form of sadhna (spiritual perseverance). Param Krupaludev who has attained His Atma (Self Realization) has guided several mumukshus on the spiritual path through literature. As a result of Param Pujya Bhaishree’s vision and deep understanding, a beautiful function ‘Sahitya Satra’ was held on 4th and 5th November 2007 in the Ashram Premises. This function was held in collaboration with Gujarat‟s famous Literary Organization „Gujarati Sahitya Parishad‟ which was headed by Mahatma Gandhi and Writer Govardhanram Tripathi. Well-known writers of Gujarat attended this function and stayed in our Ashram for 2 days. The main aim and subject of Sahitya Satra was spiritual devotion. It was a tremendous opportunity to learn about the lives and works of various noble souls. An exhibition of Param Krupaludev’s life, Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram’s activities, spiritual books and things made by Aashirwad Trust For The Differently Abled was put up alongside the function. Shri Narayanbhai - Gujarat’s famous follower of Mahatma Gandhi, inaugurated the function. Students of L.M. Vora Girls High enthralled everyone by their splendid dance performance on a welcome song and on a prayer. The first session included inauguration, welcome dance and related speeches. Initially, Brahmnisht Vikrambhai welcomed all writers and invitees. Shrimati Anilaben – minister of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad gave a basic introduction. Shri Raghuvir Chaudhri gave an interesting speech on the Tradition of Devotion. Pujya Bhaishree explained the relation between art - human sensitivity - human life - literature and its significance for the progress of a nation. He also spoke of the aim of this Satra and briefly described various humanitarian activities of our Ashram. Shri Narayanbhai gave an inspirational speech and laid emphasis on revolutionizing sahitya. He expressed his concern on various matters such as the negative impact of television on our society, caste differences, environmental destruction and so on. He stressed on using sahitya for social benefit. Shri Kumarpal Desai - head of the Parishad spoke of various aspects of Bhakti Sahitya and the Tradition of Bhakti. The uniqueness of this Sahitya Satra was that the past head of the Parishad Shri Raghuvir Chaudhri, present head Shri Kumarpal Desai and the newly selected future head Shri Narayan Desai were all present for this function. Shri Chandrakantbhai Vyas directed the sabha. The afternoon session was dedicated to Middle Age poetries and tatvadarshan (philosophical reflection). There were 2 sessions. Shri Bholabhai Patel was the head of the first session. He gave an introduction of Bhakt Narsinh Mehta, Meerabai and Dayaram. He said that the poems of Middle Age were free from differences. He envisaged poetry as a mixture of Bhaktiras (Nectar of Devotion) and Gnanras (Nectar of Wisdom). Shri Vinod Joshi explained with examples minute details of poems written by Narsinh Mehta. Shri Nitin Badgama spoke on the life and literature of Bhakt Meerabai. With the help of Meera’s bhajans, he gave a very interesting speech on premlakshana bhakti. Shri Harikrishna Pathak beautifully explained the significance of the poems written by Dayaram and said that his poems were applicable to all ages that is old age, middle age and also in the present period. Shri Narottam Palan was the head of the second session. He gave an introduction of Anandghanji Maharajsaheb, Dasijivan and Brahmanand. Shri Labhshankar Purohit gave a speech on poems written by Anandghanji Maharajsaheb. He not only spoke but also sang some parts of the poems written by Anandghanji. Audience became engrossed in this vivid mixture of speech and music. Shri Nathalal Gohil gave a speech on Dasijivan and Dr. Ramesh M. Dave spoke on the poems written by Brahmanandji. From 8 to 9 in the night, the activities of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram were shown on projector along with Br. Vikrambhai’s explanation in a very melodious tone. Thereafter, famous singer Shri Niranjan Pandya sang devotional songs from 9 to 12. Shri Raghuvir Chaudhri inaugurated a book of devotional songs ‘Adhyatma Kavya Sarita’ published by Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram. On the second day, the morning session was dedicated to ‘Shrimad Rajchandra – Sadhak and Sarjak (Creator)’. Shri Kumarpal Desai was the head of this session. Br. Vikrambhai and Br. Minalben provided us tremendous insights on the life and sadhna of Shrimad Rajchandra (Param Krupaludev). They also sang Shrimad Rajchandra’s songs. They very beautifully conveyed the depth and elegance of Shrimad’s writings. It had a profound impact on the audience. The entire environment became spiritual. Shri Rajendra Patel spoke on Shrimad’s literature and Shri Priti Shah spoke on Shrimad’s poetry. Their speeches reflected deep study on Shrimad’s vast literature. Shrimad’s writings depict Lord Mahavir’s teachings. Everyone realized that Shrimad’s writings were a result of His Self Realization and that His words came from the depth of His Soul. His writings were free from differences and were unbiased. Shrimad has left behind a profound spiritual legacy and His living example, both of which can transform our spiritual destinies. Those who came in his contact, often much older than him, were impressed by the depth of his understanding and scholarship. He was only 16 when he composed a book explaining simply and lucidly the essence of Jain teachings. He also composed the Mokshamala (Rosary of Moksha) of 108 lessons which even today provides wonderful insights into a true spiritual life, Jain teachings and the meaning of certain practices. Even today it provides inspiration to thousands of aspirants. Following a request from Saubhagbhai, he composed the Atma Siddhi Shastra within 90 minutes in the town of Nadiad. This composition of 142 stanzas explains the path to Moksha. Besides being highly spiritual, it is also a Classic of Gujarati Literature and has been the subject of numerous translations, commentaries and is also studied at universities for doctorates in philosophy even today. People were drawn to him by his publications and they even communicated through letters. Indeed it is through his letters compiled in a volume called ‘Shrimad Rajchandra’ also popularly known as ‘Vachnamrut’ that we have come to know his message, his inner thoughts and a glimpse into his spiritual state. As these letters were written to intimate acquaintances they were always very personal and honest. While at times being compassionately stern, guiding the reader away from materialism, they also offer much practical spiritual advice. Shrimad met some monks who were deeply impressed by his understanding of the scriptures. Shrimad had composed the ‘Letter of Six Fundamentals’ (Chh Pad No Patra). Shri Kumarpal Desai spoke on the relation between Shrimad Rajchandra and Mahatma Gandhi. Shri Labhshankar Purohit inaugurated the book „Shrimad Rajchandra and Mahatma Gandhi‟ written by Shri Kumarpal Desai and published by Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram. It is a matter of great surprise that the world in general, and in particular, Jain community, knows so little of Shrimad Rajchandra (Raichandbhai), the great Jain whose influence on Mahatma Gandhi transformed the destiny of the Indian nation. It was His inspiration that opened the eyes of the world to peaceful and compassionate ways that evolved the philosophy of Satyagraha. Gandhiji said of Him in 1921, “Many times I have said and written many times, that I have learned much from many lives of many a person, but it is from the life of poet Raichandbhai, I have learned the most. I must say that no one else has ever made on me the impression that Raichandbhai did. The noble lesson of compassion I also learnt from His life…He has taught me such a law of compassion that I should be affectionate even to my killer. This noble teaching I repeatedly received from Him to my heart‟s content.” The last session was dedicated to ‘Jaibhikkhu Centenary Offering’. Shri Vinod Adhvaryu was the head of this session. He spoke of various aspects of Jaibhikkhu’s personality and literature. Shri Balvant Jani described Jaibhikkhu as ‘Karmshil Sarasvat’, Shri Pravin Darji described Jaibhikkhu as ‘Charitrakar’, Shri Ramniklal Maru described Jaibhikkhu as ‘Novelist’ and Shri Yashvant Mehta described Jaibhikkhu as a ‘Child Writer’. In the end, Shri Bharti Dave – publications minister of the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, expressed her gratitude to everyone whereas Br. Minalben thanked everyone on behalf of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram. At 5 pm, all the guests and mumukshus went to Sayla village. Pujya Bhaishree, Shri Kumarpal Desai, Shri Bholabhai Patel and Shri Raghuvir Chaudhri inaugurated the ‘Jaibhikkhu Marg’. All writers visited Aashirwad Trust For The Differently Abled and various places of our Ashram. All writers were given a gift and a kit of books. In this way, the 2 days function got over amidst devotion, spirituality and literature. These celebrations help us to see the insights on the path provided by the great saints. It enables us to become closer to and more acquainted with the noble qualities of great souls. It facilitates our transformation and purification. Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram’s various spiritual and humanitarian activities had a deep impact on all the invitees. It was truly a mixture of literature, perception and spirituality.