April 2016

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Young Minds Young Jains of America | Established 1991

Jai Jinendra! Thank you for reading the April 2016 issue of Young Minds! In the midst of such exciting times for YJA, our Regional Coordinators have wrapped up another successful year of planning retreats! We have also spent the past month initiating new, innovative projects that are meant to bring our community together to engage in activities and discussions related to Jainism. Through our College Chapters Project and YJA Forums webpage, young Jains all over the nation now have more opportunities to network, learn, and reflect. Your 2016 YJA Convention Committee has also been working tremendously hard to plan for Los Angeles! More than 85% of our spots have filled up, so if you have not already done so, please be sure to register for the convention as soon as possible. From listening to thought-provoking speakers to engaging in interactive sessions, attendees will come away with a greater understanding on what it takes to use Jainism to create social impact. It will be a weekend you won't want to miss! On behalf of the YJA Executive Board, we thank our Board of Trustees, the JAINA Executive Committee, our donors, and the many volunteers who have helped us with our efforts. Midway through our term, we understand that our success can only come with all the support we continue to receive from our mentors.

April 2016

Spring issue

Sincerely, Puja Savla & Sunny Dharod YJA Executive Board Co-Chairs

2016 YJA Convention Board

From the Editor: Dear Reader, As we slip into the last quarter before the 2016 YJA Convention, I find YJA at the forefront of my mind. Planning the convention is a large task, but it is the smaller, but no less significant, milestones that demonstrate the scope of this organization. From expanding YJA to include College Chapters and building a forum for educational dialogue, we strive to leave no idea unturned. As Agents of Change, we hold the capacity to make a difference in our respective communities, but also for ourselves. I challenge myself, what one new action can I do today to enhance the role of Jainism in my life? How can I be an agent in action in my own education? One solution for today is to flip through the following pages. This issue includes information about new initiatives, reflections on retreats, and previews for the upcoming convention. Find yourself in the pictures and prepare for the excitement to come! Warmly, Saejal Chatter Director of Publications youngminds@yja.org


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.
 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.
 Ēsōpan̄chaṇamōkkārō, 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.

YJA Winter Board Meeting January 2016

Recipes Have a sweet tooth? Need a something sweet to get your dessert fix? Check out the easy (and quick) recipes below! All Young Minds recipes are one hundred percent Jain. Have a favorite dish you’s like to share? Send it over with a picture at youngminds@yja.org.

Jain Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients: 1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 cup cane sugar 3 tablespoons of (vegan) butter, melted
 Glaze: 1/4 cup powdered sugar (more if you want more glaze) 2-3 tablespoons water Instructions: 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch pan. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon.
 2. Unroll can of crescent dinner rolls, firmly pressing perforations to seal.
 3. Brush melted butter over dough. Spread cinnamon/sugar filling over dough evenly. 
 4. Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. Then with a knife, cut the dough into 1.5 - 2 inch sections and position in the greased pan
 5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan; place on cooling rack.
 6. In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients, adding enough water for desired drizzling consistency; drizzle over warm rolls. Serve warm.

Vegan Brownies Ingredients: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 cups white sugar 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup water 1 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Chocolate chips to taste (optional) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Add in chocolate chips if desired. Spread evenly in a 9x13 inch baking pan. 3. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares. 4

Announcing:YJAForums Can’t wait for #YJA16? Get hyped for the convention and get involved in discussions on spirituality, science, diet, and Jain theory with other attendees through YJA’s newest project: YJA Forums (forums.yja.org)! On this forum, the Young Jain community around the country can come together to interact with others, learn from others, discuss, respond, comment, and dive into topics of Jainism like never before! Find the sample posts below thought provoking? Make your own posts and share your ideas with your peers.

Jainism + Biology Research:

Many young Jains are drawn to major in the life sciences, whether for pre-med or with other goals in mind, a major which tends to include some research component. However, after having witnessed and participated in different areas of biological research as part of my major, I've realized that while …while it's easy to say that direct animal some are obviously research involving the incompatible with Jain killing of animals values, others fall into cannot be compatible a g r a y a r e a . F o r with Jain values, what example, while it's about plant focused easy to say that direct research or a n i m a l r e s e a r c h microbiology research involving the killing of with bacteria? animals cannot be compatible with Jain values, what about plant focused research or microbiology research with bacteria? Or even working on creating a drug in a chemistry lab, but knowing it would have to go through animal testing somewhere later down the line before it could be approved for human use? I'm curious as to how other Jains have approached this. Any other science majors or scientists out there, what are your thoughts? - Anjali Doshi

Often when we covered Indian culture in Social Studies classes in school, textbooks would briefly mention Jainism as a religion where monks and nuns renounced their worldly lives of personal relationships and material possessions to pursue a life of non-attachment and minimal karma. One of my non-Jain friends at school once asked me "Isn't this kind of selfish? What if your parents, sibling, child, or even a stranger really needs you? How can you justify abandoning them?" I tried to explain that in the long run, these kinds of attachments only breed more suffering and karma not only for one's What if your parents, soul but also for the sibling, child, or even a world, but I couldn't stranger really needs help but think her you? How can you point held some justify abandoning merit. How can one them?" justify intense shortterm pain for others in pursuit of long-term liberation for one's own soul? - Rea Savla

Is Diksha Selfish?

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College Chapters Project YJA’s mission for the College Chapter Project is to engage Jain youth at the college level and support existing Jain student organizations to promote Jainism and its rich culture. We hope to encourage college students to get involved on their campus and get together to discuss Jain topics, volunteer, and have fun! Starting a YJA Affiliated Chapter on your campus or registering your current Jain student organization as a YJA Affiliated Chapter has many benefits: •Educational Handbook: This document has lengthy information on Jain educational material your organization can use for events. From access to the JAB manual to Jain Jeopardy, this is a great resource for information on Jain topics!

•Events Handbook: This document has plenty of religious, volunteering, social, intercollegiate, and interfaith events your organization can hold. Use this as a resource to plan exciting events for your organization! •YJA Executive Board Members: As a YJA Affiliated Chapter, you have unlimited access to our Executive Board members for any help you may need. From the Director of Project Development to the Director of Education, our Executive Board is there to help your organization. •Young Minds Publications: YJA Affiliated Chapter’s members can write articles for Young Minds, YJA’s very own publication. You can write on any topic of your choice, whether it be about how you implement Jainism in college or neat Jain recipes you know. •Featured YJA Affiliated Chapter: We’ll be occasionally featuring YJA Affiliated Chapters that go above and beyond on Young Minds and our social media accounts! Regardless of if you’re a new organization or an established one, we’ll be featuring chapters that go beyond the hedges! If you are interested in starting a YJA Affiliated Chapter or registering a current Jain student organization, please fill out this form: http://goo.gl/forms/1p1gXjWBEj and feel free to email projects@yja.org with any questions or concerns.


Penn HJA has grown exponentially this past semester. Hosting a wide range of events from religious services to group discussions, the organization has achieved university-wide recognition. We are proud to say Penn HJA is a YJA College Chapter and hope to have many other colleges and universities follow their lead. Mission Statement: By striving for peace within ourselves, our communities, and our world, we aspire to live as harmonious, stronger, happier individuals Check out their interfaith blog at pennhja.wordpress.com!

Agents in Action

Featured Chapter: University of Pennsylvania Hindu & Jain Association


/ #YJA16: Agents of Change Registration Details + Programming Preview!

Register NOW because…

85 % of convention spots sold out

30 4 days until prices go up

days in sunny Los Angeles

…or you will miss out on…

9 specially crafted meals





…and the talent of

5 talent competition teams

35 650 convention board members

agents of change

P.S. The 2016 YJA Convention Board has been working hard to bring to you the best convention yet, however we appreciate all support from of our community. Want to help? Donate today at https://convention.yja.org/donate! Every donation will go towards shaping our youth and the future of Jainism.

Agents of Change

Pictured Above: The YJA 2016 Souvenirs Committee is hard at work making the best goody bags yet, but are also Agents of Change in their daily lives. Send a picture of yourself with your own statement to souveniers.la@yja.org and have it featured during convention!

Agent in Action: ActionShow App is a mobile app company that has created a tour guide app for Shatrunjay. Visitors to Shatrunjay download the app on their phones and use it during the climb up to listen to stories about tirthankars, facts about Jainism, and architectural insights about the hill and its temples. The goal is to make the yatra (journey) more meaningful and to learn more about the importance of Shatrunjay to Jainism. The app is currently available for Android, and will soon be available on the Apple App Store. If you have an Android phone, you can download it directly from the Google Play Store and check it out for yourself (search for "Shatrunjay Palitana"). The app acts like a "pocket tour guide" with easy to use "Pause", "Play", "Next", "Back", "Learn More", and "View Map" buttons. It's intuitive and straightforward, with helpful maps and directions during the climb in addition to the stories and songs. Meet Ushma Shah, a young Agent of Change who used her knowledge of Jain temples and technical skills to build an interactive app! Pictured Right: Screen shots from the ActionShow App. 10


Meet. Every. Last. Agent.

Are you ready for your training? Your first mission as an Agent of Change is to Meet Every Last Agent (M.E.L.A.). Be prepared for fun, carnival-style games that will prepare you for the weekend ahead with the skills and the new friends to make YJA 2016 a success. Dress is casual, and the event will go on throughout the first day, so you’ll have plenty of time to be ready for action!

/ West Retreat 2016 This year was the second West Retreat I’ve attended. I was excited to go back to Three Rivers, CA to meet new friends and explore Jainism through a quick weekend by Sequoia National Park. There was some familiarity, as we were in the same area as last year’s retreat, but also new experiences, with a new group of attendees, and new activities. We were able to go into the national park for a hike and bonded over our utter fascination with all the snow falling (we don’t do snow often in California). Later that night we had a wonderful discussion with some of the attendees of what Jainism really means to us. What started as a casual conversation turned into a deeper dialogue about how we incorporate Jainism into our daily lives and how our practice of Jainism has altered as we grow older. There were individuals that I have known my entire life, as well as others who I had just met the day before, and it was very interesting to hear each of our responses. While there were individual differences, there were also underlying similarities. It’s always great to take a quick break from our busy lives for a weekend of getting back in touch with our Jain values. -Neelam Savla


Pictured: Hiral Gala, Sequoia National Park


Southeast Retreat 2016 14

#SE16 Retreat Recap This year’s YJA Southeast 2016 Retreat was held in scenic Magnolia Springs State Park in Millen, Georgia. With a cabin right by the lake, this was the perfect spot to reconnect with the outdoors and spend a quality weekend learning about Jainism. After a brisk morning walk and some stretches, Southeast YJAers got to work making warm no-sew fleece blankets for the homeless. After this, we participated in an engaging session about leshyas where we learned about how a positive frame of mind and well-intentioned thoughts can make a huge impact on our daily lives and the people around us. After lunch, we began the scavenger hunt, with items like a Bollywood scene reenactment to a team selfie by the lake. A little rain changed our plans a bit, but we had a good time nevertheless with Minute to Win It games indoors. Everyone pitched in to help make the Mexican fiesta for dinner, and afterwards we had an incredibly meaningful discussion on Jain diet and how we can grow towards living more compassionately. After all-night card games and Mafia, we bid each other good-bye Sunday morning until #yja16 in LA! -Mitesh Bhalani, Southeast Regional Coordinator

February 5th, 2016 was the day that it all changed for me. The next two days were completely focused on building personal character and relationships with others through social interactions and exchanges, while taking on Jain values. Retreats are defined as a definite time spent away from one’s normal life for the purpose of reconnecting and deepening connections with others that may have the same religious beliefs. This weekend in February was about defining ourselves as Jains, while meeting others with similar values. Magnolia State Park, in Millen, GA, was absolutely beautiful and serene, adding to the transformative experience. Not only were the three days filled with fun, but we took this time to reflect upon ourselves, as Jains, through sessions discussing the importance of Leshyas, states of mind, and the extent of which Jains practice vegetarianism in our daily lives. The retreat served as a way to step back from the stresses of school, home, and any other activities, and focus on the meaning of being a Jain living in America. Each day, we tackled a different aspect of Jainism through interactive group mini skits, scavenger hunts, and evening discussions. Nevertheless it’s safe to say that, everyone, including me, went home with a new perspective on Jainism and life-long lasting friendships. The retreat allowed me to step back and focus on who I was as a Jain and create everlasting memories to hold on to until the next southeast retreat. - Hannah Shah


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