November 2013

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Young Minds

Fall 2013

Young Jains of America Est. 1991

Young Minds

Fall 2013 Edited by: Sonny Shah

Letter from the Editor Jai Jinendra! Welcome to the next chapter of the Young Jains of America. We have a new Executive Board in place, consisting of 16 youth from around the nation, working ever so diligently on events, Jain education, volunteer work, and more! And of course, we are excited to work with the newly elected 2014 YJA Convention Committee to plan the upcoming 2014 YJA Convention that will take place in Washington, D.C. this summer. Please join us in welcoming them and wishing them all the best with their upcoming term. Who’s ready for #yja14?! My name is Sonny Shah and I will be serving as the Director of Publications for the 2013-2014 year. I have the pleasure of shaping Young Minds, the quarterly

publication consisting of articles written by readers like you! Through Young Minds, our wonderful Regional Coordinators and Local Representatives get the word out about Jain events that may be happening in a city or a town in their area. If you are interested, keep an eye out for this logo throughout the publication: As I have mentioned before, we rely on contributions from writers around the world in order to publish Young Minds. If at any point you are interested in writing an article or sending us a picture portraying Jainism in the community, email us at We look forward to hearing from you and to revealing Jainism through the eyes its followers. Sincerely, Sonny Shah 2013-2014 Director of Publications

Meet the YJA Convention Board! YJA 2014 is taking place this summer and all the right people have been chosen to lead. Take a look and meet your awesome 2014 Convention Board! Page 4

Tribute to Tarla Dalal The Jain community is saddened by the loss of Tarla Dalal, the Julia Child of Indian vegetarian cooking. Please take a moment to read this tribute written by Dr. Manoj Jain and Chintan Shah. Page 10

Young Minds | Fall 2013


In this Issue: 

Jainism vs. Ambition


Meet Your YJA Convention Board


National Dinner 2013 Recaps


Fellow Jains: We Need to Talk


Vegan Holiday Shopping Guide


A Tribute to Tarla Dalal


An Experience of a Lifetime


Marathon Reflection – Thank You


Jainism 101


My Texas-Sized Love for YJA


YJA Executive Board Meeting Recap


Recipe Corner – Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cookies


Upcoming Events


Compassion Challenge




Letter from the Co-Chairs


Young Minds | Fall 2013

Jainism vs. Ambition by

Mahima Shah

Most people’s definition of success involves fame, wealth, relationships, careers, or a combination of these. However, while achieving these goals will give them that momentary feeling of euphoria, I believe that it wouldn’t make them truly successful. Jainism teaches us that less is more and that nonattachment is a life-changing concept that we should embrace. However, success is said to be driven by ambition – you need to completely want what you are trying to accomplish, and to fail is unacceptable. So then, how do success and ambition balance each other out? How is it possible to want something so badly, but also not be upset if you don’t get it? I remember hearing a motivational career speaker talk about his goals, and I had always wondered if everyone’s mentality was similar to his. He had said that his goal in life was to be the best and to make it out on top. It didn’t matter what exactly the “top” was as long as it was something new and creative. He then likened this type of thinking to that of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. As he was talking it struck me that it seemed like he would never be satisfied. He would keep striving for something greater, but ultimately in the end, there would be no grand prize waiting for him. He would have money, he would have a great reputation, and he would probably have a nice family, but he would also constantly want more. It was when I came to this conclusion that I realized how much truth there is in the philosophy of non-attachment in Jainism. Jainism teaches us that true success is based on happiness, contentment, and appreciation for whatever present state you are in. But society’s ideal view of a successful person wholly contradicts this - society wants you to work and strive for the top, through whatever means necessary, but once you get there...then what? Society leaves you hanging. I realized that the smartest, most respected people are the ones who have figured this out. For example, take Steve Jobs. He’s known for never giving up and always trying something innovative; to achieve what hasn’t been achieved before. But when anyone looks into his speeches and the way he thinks about life, it’s obvious that Steve Jobs was not striving for success, but rather


success found him. He didn’t follow society’s dogma, but instead paved his own path - when he was fired from Apple, he wasn’t so attached to his position that he thought of himself as left with nothing. Instead, he knew that his state of being wasn't dependent upon the company or anything external. He viewed the seemingly devastating event of his life in a completely positive light - as a chance to experiment with other ventures and start something new. It was the idea of non-attachment that he had mastered which enabled him to understand that he would never fail. As a result, he was able to concentrate on doing what interested him rather than following the normal path to success that everyone else was taking. One of the three main pillars of Jainism is aparigraha – nonattachment. Being attached to anything in this world has no use because it is all fleeting and can disappear at any moment, but for some reason, we all tend to forget that we will die someday, and that every possession, memory, and experience will no longer mean anything in the future. As a result, following aparigraha would mean that instead of being attached to objects, people, relationships, goals, or dreams, one needs to be fully content and understand that happiness does not come from external means but rather from within. Doing this will allow TRUE success to be achieved. The secret to life, the key to success, the way to balance ambition and Jainism is to not be too attached to your goals, but rather be readily willing to strive for them, all the while being fully happy with wherever life takes you. Your whole outlook on life changes drastically the moment you turn all expectations into appreciation, and by putting this one essential piece of knowledge into use, you’ll always find the world bursting with opportunities.

Young Minds | Fall 2013


Meet your 2014 YJA Convention Board Convention Committee Co-Chairs

Parag Parekh

Sejal Dhruva

Aakash Shah

Kayuri Shah

Kunal Dagli

Vaishali Shah

Priyal Gandhi

Shikhar Shah

Harsha Nahata

Sunny Dharod

Anshul Mehta

Ravi Doshi

Bonita Parikh

Khushali Gala

Aanal Gandhi

Mayha Parikh

Krupa Shah

Adult Volunteer Coordinator Co-Leads

Daytime Programming Committee Co-Leads

Fundraising Committee Co-Leads

Hospitality Committee Co-Leads

JNF Committee Co-Leads

Public Relations

Pathik Shah

Young Minds | Fall 2013


PR Committee Co-Leads

Amit Shah

Megha Vipani

Virag Vora

Ankit Shah

Bharat Srikishan

Priyank Shah

Kunal Shah

Viraj Mehta

Vishal Mehta

Neeketa Sheth

Salonee Shah

Paras Goda

Sneha Parikh

Jinen Shah

Charmi Vakharia

Sonny Shah

Neil Shah

Anika Jain

Registration Committee Co-Leads

Security Committee Co-Leads

Site Committee Co-Leads

Social Committee Co-Leads

Souvenirs Committee Co-Leads

Interested in joining a sub-committee as a volunteer? Please e-mail!

Young Minds | Fall 2013


Young Minds | Fall 2013


Young Minds | Fall 2013


Fellow Jains: We Need To Talk by

Gautam Srikishan

These days, most of the public discourse about religion is often around how it intersects with controversial political issues—issues like abortion and marriage equality. It’s no secret that the public discourse is not always positive, constructive, or nuanced.

So, if we ask the question, “Where does Jainism stand on all of these controversial issues?” we might be missing the bigger point here: religious communities rarely vote unanimously. Maybe the better question is this: where do you stand on these issues? And how do your beliefs influence your position?

For a long time, I’ve noticed how these issues are rarely discussed within the Jain community (at least in my own experience in Chicago). Countless other religious communities are taking positions on issues like marriage equality because of their religious beliefs, not in spite of them. It seems as if we hardly discuss our positions on these issues in the context of Jainism, as if our opinions would be obvious.

Few of us are experts on a lot of these issues, and fewer still are actual scholars of Jainism. As such, it’s incredibly important that we listen honestly and charitably to each other’s arguments, regardless of whether we agree or disagree. We have to hear each other out because we don’t know where our argument’s blind spots are.

Given that controversial issues like marriage equality can be very sensitive, I’ve laid out a few tips for how we can approach these discussions constructively:

In practically every religious community, there are people on opposite sides of any given issue, even though these people are of the same faith. How weird is that? Well, not that weird, actually. The thing about religious communities is that they’re diverse. Really, deeply diverse. Even as Jains, who make up a relatively small percentage of the population, we see a large diversity of knowledge and practice.

This is an important part of religious practices and views: they can adapt over time. They must reflect the current context, and when they become outdated or are in tension with our modern values, we should consider how they might change. 3) These issues are complex, so we have to hear each other out.

But they’re not obvious; I remember being shocked when I found out a swamiji who often lectures at our temple was, in fact, vehemently opposed to the idea of same-sex marriage. That moment shook me awake to the fact that, as a community, we need to discuss this.

1) Remember that religious communities are diverse.

are committing to a vegan diet over vegetarianism, a modern interpretation of Jainism’s tenet of non-violence. Spiritual leaders such as Gurudev Chitrabhanuji and Pramodaji are even urging the broader Jain community to change their diets to reflect the times.

Besides, nobody wants to hear two people argue past each other—we’ve got presidential debates for that. So let’s start the discussion. What do you believe? 2) Religions and religious communities can change their views on issues over time. It’s a good thing that they do. If religions didn’t have the capacity for change, we might still see beliefs like racial discrimination and polygamy codified in certain religions and sects. Even in the Jain community, we’re starting to see some shifts in interpretation of Jain principles. As dairy production becomes increasingly industrialized, a growing number of Jains

CONTINUE THE DISCUSSION ONLINE We want to know what you think. Tell Gautam what your opinion is about the evolution of Jainism in today’s world. How do your beliefs influence your stances on current controversial issues?

Young Minds | Fall 2013


Vegan Holiday Shopping Guide by

Sheenika Shah

Giving gifts to loved ones and friends this holiday season? This year, try to be more conscious when purchasing products and buy cruelty-free gifts. For example, if you plan to gift clothing items, avoid wool, silk and leather. Here are some easy ways to go vegan with your purchase!

For the Fashionista: ❏ Vegan handbag – Olivia + Joy is a new company that sells trendy handbags. Be alert for Groupon and LivingSocial deals that often feature vegan handbags. ❏ Vegan nail polish – The New Black by Demi Lovato is vegan-friendly, long-wearing, and chipresistant. ❏ Vegan makeup – The popular makeup brand Urban Decay now sells vegan makeup!

For the Handsome Dresser: ❏ Vegan belts and wallets – The Vegan Collection makes stylish and durable non-leather wallets and belts for the modern dresser. ❏ Watches – Find a watch that doesn’t have a leather strap such as these Skagen pieces.

For the Vegan Foodie: ❏ VitaMix or BlendTec – Professional blenders for the smoothie lover! ❏ Vegan Snack Box – For the gift that keeps on giving, sign up someone special for a subscription to receive vegan goodies every month. ❏ Bamboo cutting board and vegan artisan cheese book – every vegan foodie needs a good recipe book for vegan cheeses.

For the Baker: ❏ Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra is an excellent book for dairy-free cupcake recipes.

For the Student: ❏ Moleskin notebook – these popular notebooks are vegan-friendly and a great addition to any student’s backpack.

For the Yogi: ❏ Give your favorite yoga lover a mat and YJA’s popular “Keep Calm and Ahimsa” shirt to complete the look. For questions regarding vegan shopping or eating, please email!

Young Minds | Fall 2013


A Tribute to Tarla Dalal Contributions by Dr.

Manoj Jain & Chintan Shah

Tarla Dalal, the Julia Child of Indian vegetarian cooking and author of over 17,000 recipes and 170 cookbooks, died in her sleep on Wednesday, November 6th, at the age of 77. She revolutionized the very concept of teaching Indian cooking, first focusing on Indian women and later expanding her reach across the globe.

Navkār Mantra Ṇamō arihantāṇaṁ I bow to the arihants, destroyers of their inner enemies. Ṇamō siddhāṇaṁ I bow to the siddhas, the liberated souls. Ṇamō āyariyāṇaṁ I bow to the acharyas, the religious leaders.

Her influence on the Jain community, both in India and North America is quite apparent. She highlighted Indian vegetarian cuisine and made it mainstream. Her Gujarati cultural upbringing and willingness to experiment with bold flavors made vegetarian food appealing to the masses. JAINA had the great privilege of hosting Tarla Dalal at the 2005 JAINA Convention in Santa Clara, CA. She presented several sessions, provided cooking demonstrations and even served as judge for the first ever Jain Iron Chef cooking

Ṇamō uvajjhāyāṇaṁ I bow to the upadhyays, the religious teachers. Ṇamō lōē savva sāhūṇaṁ I bow to all the sadhus and sadhvis, those who have renounced the worldly life and follow a path of simplicity. Ēsōpan̄ chaṇamōkkārō, savvapāvappaṇāsaṇō Maṅgalā ṇaṁ ca savvēsiṁ, paḍamama havaī maṅgalaṁ This five-fold bow (mantra) destroys all sins and obstacles, and of all auspicious mantras, is the first and foremost one.

competition. Her fellow judges Sunita Jain and Chirag Shah, and the audience, found her commentary and enthusiasm inspiring. I had the great privilege of meeting and working with Tarla Dalal at the 2005 JAINA Convention. I was tasked with introducing her to the Jain Iron Chef competition and explain, in Gujarati, what the competition was and how it worked. No easy task! She enjoyed tasting the creative dishes prepared by

Jain youth groups from around the country. Her personality was flexible, fun and always exuding excitement! Of her many cookbooks, Tarla Dalal also co-authored one with Manoj Jain and Laxmi Jain titled Jain Food: Compassionate and Healthy Living. In addition to the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, the book expands on the philosophy of food in the Jain tradition where mindful eating is as much a part of religious activity as prayers and scripture reading. This book has been given out to attendees at YJA Conventions and sold at recent JAINA Conventions. She was very influential in the Indian community and in the larger culinary world. Her passion and creativity will live on.

We at YJA would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Tarla Dalal at this time of great loss.

Young Minds | Fall 2013


An Experience of a Lifetime by

sense of peace and serenity. It also allowed me to be a part of a welcoming host family and to enjoy their traditions, culture, and their hospitality.

Neha Jain

Volunteering has always been an endeavor that I have wanted to pursue, to be able to give back to the community (which is highly encouraged in Jainism), and that too back in my ancestral motherland, India. I finally got the opportunity to do so in September and October 2013, with IVHQ (International Volunteer HQ). The experience was phenomenal.

My volunteering experience consisted of teaching English (grammar, vocabulary, poetry, conversation English) to monks of varying ages in a Tibetan colony in Bir, Himachal Pradesh. I was not sure what to expect when I got there, but the experience exceeded my expectations. Despite having limited supplies, the enthusiasm for learning a third language was very clear amongst all the monks. They strived to be a part of the learning, to create a bond with the educator, and they had utmost respect for all the educators (who were volunteers). Their humble and respectful approach to knowledge and education touched me the most. A clear

example of this occurred on my last day of teaching. I was given a party by my students (aged 8-13) who brought snacks, sang and danced for me, and provided me with heartfelt letters and gifts of appreciation while bestowing me the honor (through white scarves) of being their teacher. The best part about volunteering with the monks was not the fact that I was given the opportunity to be a part of their learning, but that I was imparted with words of wisdom from them, allowing me to grow in a positive way.

Apart from being provided with the opportunity to educate, volunteering in Bir has also enabled me to forge strong friendships with my fellow volunteers, as well as the adult monks, and I will forever be grateful for this. We formed such a close-knit group in the four weeks that I have nick-named us the Bir gang! Volunteering in Bir gave me the chance to be a part of the stunning beauty of Bir, but more importantly being enveloped with a

Keep an eye out for the first ever

If you want to set something up in your city, Please e-mail

My volunteering experience has come to an end and I can say that I am absolutely thankful to have been given this opportunity that has enriched me in so many ways. Fortunately for me, the journey has not ended, as I have been asked by the principal of one of the monasteries to create an English curriculum for the new volunteers so that there will be progression and continuity in the teaching of English. Being able to give back to the community is just absolutely fantastic.

To everyone who is reading this, I recommend volunteering at any juncture of your life. It has the power to change you profoundly.

Young Minds | Fall 2013

Jainism 101 by Priyal Gandhi


Marathon Reflection - Thank You by

Sunny Dharod

I crossed the 13.1-mile mark in 96

What is the significance of Diwali in Jainism? On this day, Lord Mahavir attained nirvana, or freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Lighting lamps are symbolic of lighting the lamp within ourselves. The day after Diwali marks the beginning of a new year.

What should Jains do on Maun Ekadasi? We celebrate the five kalyanaks, or great events, of thirthankars (conception, birth, renunciation of worldly life, omniscience, and death) throughout the year, but the kalyanaks of 150 thirthankars of the past, present, and future all fall on Maun Agyaras/Ekadasi, making this day extremely auspicious and marked with many religious practices. Any thought, words, or action, good or bad, is multiplied 150 times on this day. Mauna means silence, and many Jains take vows of silence for a few minutes to even the whole day.

How did the festival Bhai Beej originate? When Mahavir Swami attained nirvana, his brother Nandivardhan was very sad. Their sister Sudarshana invited Nandivardhan to her house to console him. Traditionally, sisters invite brothers to their house on this day.

What is something you can do on Jnan Panchami? Jnan Panchami is a day to worship and respect knowledge and falls on the fifth day of the Indian New Year. You can easily observe Jnan Panchami with this two minute video.

minutes. “Take the risk. Let’s go,” I remember thinking. I passed 1 runner, 10 runners, 30 runners. Before I knew it, I had run the next 7 miles in 45 minutes (6 minutes, 25 seconds per mile). At Mile 20, I found the group of runners who were on pace to finish in 3 hours and 5 minutes, which would qualify me for the Boston Marathon. “STAY WITH THEM UNTIL THE END!!!” I told myself. During the final 6.2 miles, I fought my thirst, my stomach cramp, and my wobbly legs that just wanted to fall over. With only half a mile to go, I accelerated one last time with all my might. Breathlessly, I crossed the finish line with a time of 3 hours, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds. It was because of my parents I was able to do this. Regardless of any hardship they have faced, my parents have reached success by working hard every single day. Taking care of their work lives, their home, and their children, my parents have never made an excuse not to show up to work. I was not made to play sports. I’ve never been the biggest, tallest, nor strongest. Because of my parents, I had the motivation to run over 1,100 miles in 6 months. The fact that they flew to Michigan to see me run my first marathon meant the world to me. It was because of my friends I was able to do this. My cross-country teammates from high school helped me find my lifelong passion. My college friends and club-running teammates gave me physical and mental advice because they wanted to see me succeed. Most of all, my fellow YJA Board Members went above and beyond to pump me up for the race. One week prior to the marathon, they sent me an incredible video message to wish me luck. They showed me their love. They showed me that YJA equals family.

Picture credit: ©

It was because of Shoe4Africa I was able to do this. Toby Tanser, founder of this amazing charity, gave me purpose in all those miles I ran during the blistering hot summer. The most rewarding part of crossing the finish line was representing such a meaningful cause. The funds that I raised in the last 6 months are going towards the construction of a public children’s hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. Those children would do anything to be here. They would do anything to be writing an article from a laptop in a room with air conditioning. I dedicate my marathon to those wonderful children. Words cannot describe how thankful I am to my parents, my friends, my teammates, my YJA Family, Toby Tanser, Shoe4Africa runners, and most importantly, the children. They are the reasons why I finished the marathon, had the courage to “take the risk” at Mile 13.1, and qualified for Boston. On any given day, please say “thank you” to anyone who has helped you overcome a challenge. You could not have done it without those amazing people.

Young Minds | Fall 2013


My Texas-Sized Love for YJA by

#yjalove @YJATweets

Avni Nandu

Ever since I was 5 yrs old, Jainism has always been an essential part of my life. Sunday mornings were always spent at Pathshala, learning the ABCs of Jainism or 24 Tirthankars. Years went by with this routine and as my adolescent years began, my sister and I both started feeling a certain obligation to serve the local Jain organization that defined such a large part of our lives. It was then that we learned about Young Jains of America and the upcoming convention in Tampa, FL. I can honestly say that no weekend in my entire life has compared to YJA 2012. I had no idea that over a year later, 4 days spent in the sunshine state with hundreds of other Jains that I had never met before would have such an impact on myself and the other youth at the Jain Society of North Texas. After YJA, we all found a way to serve the community that has been with us for so many years. For the first time in almost a decade, teenagers were becoming greatly involved in our local Jain chapter. Today, over a year after the convention, the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) Jain Youth Group is new and improved. We have 5 elected officers who reach out to the rest of the Jain Society of North Texas and all of our other pathshala members, working to impact the people around us and to embrace the values of Jainism. Looking back, before we went to YJA 2012, I never would have imagined such a growth in dedication and support in the youth at our Jain center. It's such a nice feeling to know that we are able to give

back to the place that taught us so much about Jainism and life in general. I know that I speak for so many other Jains out there when I say that YJA has changed my life forever. Who knew that just after 1 weekend, my family would extend all around the country to hundreds of other people like me. It has rekindled the social interaction of the youth of our Jain society. For that, and for every other incredible memory, early morning yoga session, and every amazing new friend that I've made, I am eternally thankful for YJA and everyone involved in this organization. The impact that has been made on my life will never be forgotten and I'm proud to call myself a young Jain. Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season! See y'all at YJA 2014!

Follow YJA on Twitter Are you a fan of the Twittersphere? Follow us and stay on top of all the news and updates you need to know about YJA! Tweet us your ideas, suggestions, questions, or just send us some #yjalove. We asked: “What are you thankful for?” Here’s what some of our followers answered: Ritu @retwooo: “YJA has made me thankful for showing me what Jainism is all about, and being able to apply this knowledge into everything I do!”

Sheenika @SheenikaShah: “Every now and then I check the hashtag #yjalove to be inspired by amazing people. Tons of love to my second family, @YJAtweets :)”

Krutak @Krutak_Shah: “I'm thankful for all the knowledge I have gained from the scholars at YJA.” Vishal @vishalabwala: “YJA has made me thankful for the opportunity to keep the spirit of Jainism alive in my modern lifestyle.”

Young Minds | Fall 2013


YJA Executive Board Meeting Recap

On September 20th, the 16 YJA Executive Board members met for the first time in Washington, D.C. to plan the upcoming year. They spent three days working on current events, new initiatives, improving processes, and of course, bonding by playing endless rounds of mafia! They also had a chance to visit and meet with members of the Jain Society of Metropolitan Washington sangh, encouraging youth and parents to get involved with YJA. If you would like to get involved with YJA please e-mail We would love to hear from you. All thoughts, comments, questions and concerns are welcome. We look forward to a very exciting year with you all!

RECIPE CORNER “Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cookies” by Avni Maru

Ingredients:  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  1 teaspoon baking soda  1 teaspoon baking powder  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg  1/2 teaspoon salt  1 1/2 cups granulated sugar  1/2 cup butter (Earth Balance), softened  1 cup Pumpkin Puree (ex. LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin)  1 tablespoon ground flax seed  3 tablespoons water  1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets. COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Mix ground flax seed with water and keep to the side. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, flax seed+water mixture and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Young Minds | Fall 2013


Upcoming Events National Jiv Daya Pujas: A prayer for all of the turkeys Sunday, November 24th, 2013 - Houston, TX Puja


Check out our Facebook Event!

We would like to thank the following article writers and contributors to this quarter’s issue of Young Minds:


Sunday, November 24 , 2013 Middletown, CT Puja Check out our Facebook Event!

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 Northern California Puja

Avni Maru Avni Nandu

Check out our Facebook Event!

Chintan Shah th

Sunday, November 24 , 2013 Southern California Puja Check out our Facebook Event!

Gautam Srikishan Mahima Shah Manoj Jain Neha Jain

Region Websites

Priyal Gandhi

Visit your region’s website for more information on other upcoming events in your area:

Sheenika Shah Sunny Dharod



With special thanks to:



Apurvi Mehta & Priyal Gandhi For editing each article; and

Bonita Parikh


For selecting all photographs used.




Interested in contributing to the next issue of Young Minds? Visit our website for more information: s/youngminds

Young Minds | Fall 2013


Compassion Challenge This Thanksgiving, JAINA is launching its first 30 Day Compassion Challenge! From Nov. 28 to three days after Christmas, we will find new ways to express our respect and empathy for all living beings. With the holidays around the corner, we wanted to offer a way to practice, connect, and share our experiences of compassion and kindness. Register today! By doing so, you will join an online community of like-minded people around the world as you contemplate ways to express compassion in your life. We will send you daily e-mails with inspiration and ideas, and you will be invited to a private Facebook group where you can share experiences, read others' stories, and support each other along the way. This kicks off powerfully on Day 1! On Thanksgiving Day, there will be a number of Jiv Daya Compassion events around North America. To learn more please go to and register today!

JAINA Kindly Requests Your Support to Help the Jain Community in India Sign the petition to assist Jains in India gain minority status. Here are the benefits of Minority Status in India: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Finance Scholarships for Students Admission Reimbursement of Fees Institutional benefits

Essentially by having Jains in India gain minority support, they have access to a number of government programs which allows for more scholarships for Jain youth, federal loans for education, and many other financial benefits to Jain centered NGO's.

Young Minds | Fall 2013


Help Support YJA Please Make a Contribution to YJA Today to Pass Jain Principles & Practices onto the Next Generation of Youth! Jai Jinendra! The Executive Board for Young Jains of America (YJA) plans to be very active in bringing Jain principles to youth across the country. We would like to take this opportunity to briefly discuss our current projects and how they will make a difference to the YJA community:     

Monthly Webinars – Educate and raise awareness about Jain principles and ideals and address youth problems, difficulties, and concerns. Website Maintenance – Continue to develop a professional website for Jain youth and create a forum to share Jain principles and values. Regional Retreats – Weekend retreats held in each region to instill a sense of religious and cultural pride among Jain youth. Community Volunteering – Organize volunteering events, such as Relay for Life and assistance at soup kitchens to allow youth to participate in charitable community activities. National Dinners – Encourage the development of friendships with Jain youth in their local cities, while conversing about real-life topics relating to Jainism over a delicious meal.

With the support of donors like you, YJA has grown to be the largest Jain youth organization in the world. For the YJA Executive Board, it is an honor to be a part of a group that motivates and inspires countless lives. Please consider supporting our efforts with a personal contribution to YJA today. A contribution of any amount will provide tremendous support to instill a sense of among youth about their Jain heritage. The ultimate goal of the YJA Executive Board is to prepare today's Jain youth to become tomorrow's Jain leaders. Not only do we appreciate your donations, but the fundraising team would like to hear from you! Please e-mail with your comments or suggestions for improvement by YJA. If you have any questions regarding Young Minds, please e-mail We thank you for your wonderful contribution! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Young Jains of America Contribution Form *You can make a contribution by credit or debit card at* Full Name: ___________________________________________________________ Company Name (Optional): ___________________________________________________________ Address: _______________________________ City: ____________ ST: ____ Zip: ___________ Daytime Phone: (______) ______________

Evening Phone: (______) _____________________

Email Address: ________________________________________________ Please make your check payable to Young Jains of America and mail it to: Young Jains of America c/o Sheenika Shah P.O Box 1312 Brea, CA 92823

Young Minds | Fall 2013


Jai Jinendra! Thank you for reading this issue of Young Minds! We hope you enjoyed all the fun and insightful articles contained in this issue and are looking even more forward to regional upcoming YJA events! The new YJA Executive Board has been hard at work planning dinners, retreats, webinars, and volunteer opportunities for everyone to enjoy and experience and all of these events will culminate with the 2014 YJA Convention in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area between July 3 - July 6, 2014! One of the reasons YJA is such a wonderful organization is because of the enthusiasm its young teenage and adult members demonstrate when it comes to participating in altruistic initiatives. The onset of the holiday season is the ideal time to continue towards promoting a Jain way of life and the YJA Executive Board will continue to organize plenty of activities for everyone to be able to perform acts of charity. Participating in these noble goals, during the holiday season, will have an even more profound effect on the people benefited by such generosity because it will convey to them the notion of continued love and support, both of which can uplift anyone's spirits. On behalf of the YJA Executive Board, we thank our Board of Trustees, the JAINA Executive Committee and the many volunteers who have made the past year truly memorable. Let's make the next year even better! With #yjalove, -Sejal Dhruva & Parag Parekh Your 2013-2014 Co-Chairs

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Est. 1991

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