Home History A Jain Sadhu’s Pilgrimage to Sindh (Part-XVIII)

A Jain Sadhu’s Pilgrimage to Sindh (Part-XVIII)

A Jain Sadhu’s Pilgrimage to Sindh (Part-XVIII)
Cover page of Gujarati book

There were 3 prime purposes of our visit: Prohibition of non-vegetarianism, Religious Harmony amongst all the communities, and Propagating the Practicality of the Principles of Jainism

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 18 (Activities in Sindh) of a series of articles based on a pre-partition book named “મારી સિંધ યાત્રા” (“منهنجي سنڌ جو سفر”) in Gujarati authored by Jain sadhu Shri Vidyavijayji, narrating his experiences of travel and stay in Karachi for about 2 and a half years between 1937 and 1939. It would be advisable to click on the Introductory Article and read it to better understand the series. – Nasir Aijaz, Editor Sindh Courier]

Vimal Shah, Mumbai

The Purpose of Our Visit

There were three prime purposes of our visit (1) Prohibition of non-vegetarianism (2) Religious Harmony amongst all the communities (3) Propaganda of the Practicality of the Principles of Jainism. Sermons were given at different places depending on the needs. Propaganda of books, scholarly discussions, and public discourses were our resources for the activities. Whether the audience consists of only one person or thousands of people, giving sermons anytime on any topic was our objective.

Public Discourses

Takhatgadh, Ummedpur, Gudabalotara, Aahor, Jhalore, Mokalsar, Sivanagadh, Balotara, Badmer, New Chhor, Mirpurkhas, Hala and Hyderabad – at these and many such places we addressed public discourses. The activities at Gudabalotara, Aahor, Jhalore, Sivanagadh, Badmer, and Hala were more delightful and fruitful.

Activities in Sindh

Celebration of ‘Mahavir Jayanti’ in a center of Muslims like Hala, and that too with the cooperation of non-vegetarian Hindus and Muslims was a special achievement. There were regular early morning discourses in Hyderabad. Hundreds of Sindhi Aamil and Bhaibandh community people used to attend. Scholarly discourses were held the whole day. Many people used to give up non-vegetarianism. In addition, we could deliver two public discourses. We camped in Hyderabad for a very short time – only a week. Hyderabad is popular for extremely hot weather in Sindh. Sindhi people usually do not venture out before evening. However, with efforts from the Jain leaders, we could achieve a lot.

As a result of our sermons, hundreds of people gave up non-vegetarianism. Many people gave up liquor, and many people engaged in several noble causes

After departing from Hyderabad our first halt was at Kotri. Many brothers and sisters from Karachi were also accompanying us. In addition to the Jains of Hyderabad, even Sindhi brothers and sisters were with us. Today’s hot weather would be remembered for a lifetime. It was not just hot; it was like embers were pouring from the sky. Fortunately, the accommodation was not that bad. The Sindhi brothers and sisters requested us in the afternoon to deliver sermons. Sermons in such hot weather? Still respecting their wish everyone gathered. Sermons were delivered. Then the interest levels were raised. Sindhi sisters – Behen (Sister) Parvati and Chandrika sang nice Bhajans. Elderly Sindhi lady Mata Putlibai narrated some stories from the Ramayan and Mahabharat. The mood of even Ajramar Doshi, the volunteer from Karachi sprang and he too participated actively. The whole day was spent with unprecedented happiness.

The Enthusiasm of the Sadhus

Whenever we used to camp at railway stations, it used to be an opportunity for scholarly discussions with the station master and other staff. Our entire group used to be enthusiastic about giving sermons to people. At times Shri Vishal Vijayji would come and report how many people gave up non-vegetarianism, and at times Shri Dan Vijayji would come and give a similar report. The epitome of peace Shri Jayant Vijayji and Late Shri Himanshu Vijayji were striving day and night for the purpose. Everyone was so enthusiastic that even if they meet someone on the way, they won’t mind spending half an hour giving sermons to the person.

Shri Jayant Vijayji and Late Shri Himanshu Vijayji used to visit every historic place, note down any inscriptions or legends found in the historic evidence.

The Topics of Scholarly Discussions

The topics of scholarly discussions used to be mostly God, Karma, and the Purpose of Life. The eagerness to get knowledge related to these topics was almost universal. Man is trapped in the lust for worldly affairs. Despite that, even an atheist has hidden questions in his heart like – Who am I? From where have I come? What are my duties? What am I doing? And where will I go from here? As a reflection of these, many elite people used to engage in discussions.

The Result

Our activities went on like this during the entire journey. Without exaggerating I can say that hundreds of people gave up non-vegetarianism. Many people gave up liquor, and many people engaged in several noble causes. In short, I can confidently say that the results of giving sermons to these people were a thousand times better than what we can achieve among the people of Gujarat and Kathiyawad who are accustomed to and overwhelmed with sermons or rather indigested with an overdose of sermons. (Continues – read the 19th Part on Sunday July 9, 2023)

Click here for Part-IPart-IIPart-IIIPart-IVPart-V Part-VI Part-VII Part-VIII Part-IXPart-XPart-XIPart-XIIPart-XIII Part-XIVPart-XVPart-XVI , Part-XVII


About the contributor of the series of Articles based on the book

Jainism - Vimal Shah - Sindh CourierVimal Shah is a follower of Jainism by birth and is based in Mumbai, India. He is a Computer Engineer and holds a Diploma in Jainology from Mumbai University. He has an immense interest in reading, writing, studying, and teaching Jain Philosophical subjects. He conducts classroom as well as online sessions on Jain Philosophical courses. He continues to study various subjects and remains a student of Jain Philosophy. He has significantly contributed to the Translation Project of the ‘Compendium of Jainism’ from English to Gujarati – an initiative of the JAINA India Foundation. He is also associated with a Project for the translation of Jain Aagams (Scriptures) from Gujarati to English. He has a special interest in the history and preservation of the Jain Heritage in Pakistan. He was part of a Delegation of the Jain Heritage Foundation, New Delhi that visited various Jain Heritage Sites in Pakistan in May-2023.



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