'Grand function to spread positivity, not show baazi': Jain International Organisation on celebration at Mahalakshmi Race Course

'Grand function to spread positivity, not show baazi': Jain International Organisation on celebration at Mahalakshmi Race Course

The grand ceremony, which is being questioned for its opulence considering the austere life preached by Jainism, is not just for “show baazi”, the organisers said.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Saturday, March 11, 2023, 01:17 AM IST
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Pic (l to r): Virendra P. Shah, Ghevarchand Bohra, Naypadmasagar Maharajsaheb (Jain Monk in front of mic), Dharamchand Jain and Chandrakant V. Shah | FPJ

The Jain International Organisation (JIO) announced a grand celebration at the Mahalakshmi Race Course on Saturday to confer the title of 'Acharya' on Naypadmasagar Maharajsaheb and Prashantsagar Maharajsaheb. The grand ceremony, which is being questioned for its opulence considering the austere life preached by Jainism, is not just for “show baazi”, the organisers said.

The Free Press Journal had earlier reported that the event will be held on a 1 lakh sq foot space at the race course with 50,000 people in attendance and food being served. The chief ministers of many states including Maharashtra, along with the governor, judges, IAS, IPS and IRS officers are also expected to attend. Later in the day, another event will be held at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) dome where prominent singers will perform.

“The cost of the event is less than the cost of putting up a stage for a big political or Filmfare event. The racecourse management has given us the space for free,” Naypadmasagar said. According to him, there is a spiritual angle to the event. “There is a good in the herd of people that will attend and they will go to different places to save others and be beneficent to them,” he said, adding that such events should be held in a bigger way.

Naypadmasagar is the founder and promoter of JIO and the Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) which promote unity and welfare of the Jain community in all aspects of life. He is also known for lobbying for the political representation of Jains and his praises of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the past, he faced controversy for saying and asking community members to vote only for those who promise to close slaughterhouses on certain days of the year.

“We do not believe in presentations and show baazi but in 'karm' (deeds). Most schools, hospitals and educational institutions are run by Jains and we donate to them,” said Chandrakant V Shah, a speaker at the event announcing the grand celebration.

Fifty-four-year-old Naypadmasagar took Diksha at the age of 15. He is being given a two-title jump to be conferred with the Acharya title where Sadhus of all four sects will be present, which Naypadmasar said that this was happening after the time of Lord Mahavir. "In present times, the Acharya title is akin to being Tirthankar of parmatma (God). Use Bhagwan ka swaroop mana jaata hai (He is considered God-like. It is said that when an Acharya looks or puts his hand on a person, his sins are washed and soul cleansed. My Guru found me fit to be Acharya and there is a great responsibility I will have to fulfil," said Naypadmasagar over the title he will be conferred with today.   

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