May 2023

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2 Young Minds णमो अरिहंताण ṆAMŌ ARIHANTĀṆAM
णमो सिद्धाणं ṆAMŌ SIDDHĀṆAM
णमो आयरियाणं ṆAMŌ ĀYARIYĀṆAM
णमो लोए सव्व-साहूणं ṆAMŌ LŌĒ SAVVA SĀHŪṆAM
एसो पंच-णमोक्कारो, सव्व-पाव-प्पणासणो ĒSŌPAN̄CHAṆAMŌKKĀRŌ,
मंगला णं च सव्वेसिं, पढमं हवई मंगलं ।।१।। MAṄGALĀ ṆAM CA SAVVĒSIM, PAḌAMAMA HAVAĪ MAṄGALAM

The 2022-2023 Publications Team!

Editor-in-Chief: Suryaraj Jain


Harshita Jain, Jainik Shroff, Khushika Shah, Rahi Shah, Rihi Jain, Saanvi Shah, Charmi Shah, Saloni Nahar

Editors: Purva Shah, Sakhi Shah, Vidhi Piparia

2022-2023 YJA Executive Board


Deesha Ajmera, Pratik Shah, Rupal Sanghavi

ICYMI Corner

YJA hosted Winter Retreats across the six regions and attendees had a blast! Check out our Instagram page to see the highlights from each retreat hosted.

The Education team released its Younger Minds issue earlier this month! This publication is dedicated to kids aged 5-13, featuring relatable philosophy lessons, stories, games/activities, and more. Read it here!

To stay up to date on all things YJA, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”
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- Helen Keller

Letter From the Editor

When I was first told that a Letter from the Editor had to be included in our Young Minds publication, I thought to myself

“What do our readers want to hear from me?”

This being my first time on YJA’s executive board, let alone any sort of Director or Board member position, I was both eager and anxious to get started as the Director of Publications. YJA has been such a helping hand for me since 2019 when I began on the Education and Publications committees. After having a chance to experience the subcommittee for the 2022 YJA Convention, I was convinced to apply for the board position. But I also had some persuasion over the last year or two from a very good friend and a former Director of Education (thank you, Harshita Jain!).

Once I was given the opportunity to take this position I said yes and I have no regrets at all. I am forever thankful to have been given this opportunity and have put my all into this position.

Throughout my life, I have always worried about just the present. Not about the future and what I can do, nor the past and how I could have changed something for a better outcome. This same process has allowed me to successfully get through four years of college and the first few years of my full-time working career.

Doing things one step at a time has allowed me to be able to free myself of so many worries, while also allowing me to take a step back and understand what it is that I want to do in the present. The future isn’t known and the past cannot be changed, so I challenge everyone - live in the present for a week (maybe more) and see how it feels! I’m happy to say that a few of my very close friends have been able to do this and have seen how much it helps with their mental health.

With that being said, this first issue of Young Minds for 2023 is a little bit different as we don’t have an actual theme, but take the theme as having an open mind and being yourself. The Young Minds team has put together these articles that will leave you amazed at the work people do in our community, how we can practice Anekantavada (multiple viewpoints), expand our knowledge, and so much more. Our hope is for you to seek out new and intriguing perspectives from this Young Minds issue.

The Young Minds team hopes to hear from you after you have gone through this issue of Young Minds. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, email us at I truly stand by this statement - if there is something you like or do not like, let us know. Your voice could spark a new idea for us.

With #yjalove, Suryaraj

5 MAY 2023

Letter From the Co-Chairs

As the ‘22 - ‘23 Executive Board kicked off this year, enthusiastic and idealistic, little did we know the challenges that lay ahead, and little did we know how many people would be there to support us every step of the way and how we would each grow to become more than capable of overcoming each of these challenges.

A moment that captured the essence of this year was when we took the Mid-Atlantic Retreat group photo at the mountain. By this time we had encountered some unexpected situations, and were slightly out of breath, trying to gather the group of 90+ youth in the cold. As we stood there and soaked it in for a moment, we realized that despite all that had happened that day, somehow we had all made it out there together. The collective support of the attendees, alumni, board members, and numerous other people had made this moment possible.

The ‘22 - ‘23 YJA Board stands on a foundation built through YJA leadership and community members, including the most recent ‘21 - ‘22 YJA Board, who trusted in us to elect us into these positions and provided us the knowledge and guidance to enable us to continue to give back.

We kicked off the year with over 200 applicants for Local Representatives, Committees, and Project Teams. With the help of local YJA members, we started the year with National Dinners in which over 250 attendees attended in-person National Dinners across North America. Shortly following that, we launched the grassroots Giving Tuesday Campaign where we raised over $16.5K through 39 individual YJA members’ fundraising campaigns and approximately 250 donors from our community. In December, we launched the Earth to YJA Campaign, an initiative that provided information on environmental and sustainable decisions we can make in our dayto-day lives. This campaign was shortly followed by Winter Local Events to keep up the high energy prior to the beginning of our Winter Retreats. On the educational front, we released the Legacy of Rushabhdev Bhagwan article, Friday Facts, conducted a Jainism presentation at William Penn University, and held a National Virtual Thanksgiving Jaap.

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The 2024 YJA Convention is not too far away and to begin planning it, we launched the Bid Packet Competition. Through this competition, youth formed teams and are working together to complete bid packets to bring the 2024 YJA Convention to their city. Around this time, we also began working with the JAINA Youth Activities Leads to plan the Youth Activities Programming for the 2023 JAINA Convention. Last but not least, we kicked off Winter Retreats to forge deep connections amongst the youth, learn more about Jainism and ways to implement it in our dayto-day lives, create unforgettable memories, and rev up the energy and excitement within the regions!

To work on all the above, ideate, and build the bonds needed to work closely together - we held two YJA board meetings this year in October and February. During these meetings we had the opportunity to interact with the youth and Sangh members of the Jain Sangh of Metropolitan Washington and Jain Society of Central Florida (Orlando).

Nothing this year would have been possible without the combined effort and support of individuals across the community. From you, our members, to the Local Representatives, Project Team, Committee, and Youth Activities members, donors, parents, alumni, Board of Trustees, and JAINA - your help, trust, guidance, and hard work has allowed us to be where we are today. We are incredibly grateful for the time and energy all of you have put into building our community and enabling us to live a Jain way of life.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of Young Minds and leave it inspired even more than before and excited for what more is to come!

Stay tuned and we will see you very soon. Until then please stay safe, healthy, and happy!

With #yjalove,

7 MAY 2023

College Chapter: MeritWinners!

Last year at the 2022 YJA Convention, the College Chapters team announced the winners of their Essay Competition! There were two winners in the Essay competition:

Esha’s commitment to improving her game and allowing herself to take a risk in order to achieve better results paid off, resulting in her landing in 1st place!

In 2nd place, we had Akshat Shah from Allen, TX who is attending the University of Texas (Austin) studying Computer Science!

In 1st place, we had Esha Singhai from Cockeysville, MD who is attending the University of Maryland studying Computer Science!

Esha explains her passion for chess. She recounts her experience at one of those tournaments where she won four straight matches only to lose in the finals. But she didn’t give up, as she wanted to improve upon her strategy for the game to go her way, which is what she did with her coach. Esha stated (when playing the game with her coach):

Though the game ended in a draw, I was proud. It took 5 years to not lose against my coach, and it was because I had finally trusted my abilities enough to venture out into the unknown.

Akshat talked about how his American and Indian roots have allowed him to gain important perspectives on the world as he has had the chance to live in India and the United States. From this, he has learned an important lesson: having diverse views. From moving back to the United States, to learning new chess moves (similar to Esha!), Akshat stated that:

Anekantavada has helped me become an open-minded citizen, a collaborator, a servant leader, and a changemaker—qualities that I will continue to improve upon and embody for a lifetime and beyond.

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College Chapter: Essay Winners!

While Esha and Akshat were our Essay Competition winners, we still have two winners for YJA’s Merit competition winners!

In 2nd place, we had Rahi Shah from Rochester Hills, MI who is attending George Washington University studying International Affairs and Political Science, and a minor in Criminal Justice!

Thanks to a project on surveillance programs used by the National Security Agency for her AP Capstone Research class during her junior year of high school, Rahi’s curiosity for privacy rights and ethics led her to her current major today. With this major she hopes to:

In 1st place, we had Aneri Sheth from Fremont, CA who is attending the University of California (Berkeley) studying Materials Science and Engineering!

Aneri expressed her interest in wanting to pursue research in materials development in hopes of exploring new technologies. But what caught our attention was Aneri’s selflessness, as she stated that:

With the prize money, I hope to share some of the prize money with the Jain Student Association at Berkeley. With a budget, I hope to help host events that enable students to grow culturally sharing the moral foundational principles of Jainism.

Bridge a connection between my prior experiences in advocacy and political campaigns and my passion for the intelligence community.

MAY 2023

Connection, Connection, Connection:

Life Lessons and more from YJA Board of Trustee Naishadh Shah

Meet Dr. Naishadh Shah, D.O, M.B.A, an attending Interventional Radiologist based out of Princeton, New Jersey and one of YJA Board of Trustees (BOT) members. From serving on past YJA Executive Boards to returning for a fourth two-year term as trustee, Naishadh has long been involved in and dedicated to giving back to Jain youth.

Publications Committee members Rahi Shah and Harshita Jain interviewed Naishadh to dive deeper into his background, motivations, and biggest takeaways from life so far. Keep reading to learn more about his advice on navigating his professional and personal journeys thus far – and the lessons he wants to share with the YJA audience.

We know we’ve collected your bio in the past, but for our readers who might be getting to know you for the first time, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

“I’m a physician, I’m an interventional radiologist (IR), which pretty much means I use imaging guidance such as ultrasound, CAT scan, or X-ray, to perform a procedure that previously would have required surgery or an open procedure.”

The IR specialty involves using various radiology techniques to guide non- or minimally invasive surgeries. Learning to apply new, cutting-edge technologies is something Naishadh finds particularly exciting. Where does he spend his time outside of work?

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“I’m happily married for 15 years, I have two kids, a nine year old son and eleven year old daughter, that’s pretty much where the rest of my time goes. I do enjoy hiking, photography, reading when time permits” However, at the end of the day, his children are definitely his top hobby. He surmised that “[it] probably will be that way for another decade, or as long as [they’ll] have me, right?”

“A lot of my day-to-day weekends are very busy. [This] weekend, I’m on call. But most weekends, we have something going on with our large family in New Jersey, or at the temple.” Life certainly sounds busy - but very fulfilling, too! Given where you find yourself now, can we jump back to your roots and talk about the motivating factors that got you involved with YJA, along with your Sangh?

Prior to serving as BOT, Naishadh has long been in touch with Jain institutions and the Jain community. His parents were first involved with a Jain Center of America, and then with the Jain Center of New Jersey. This connection is something he currently strives to emulate.

“The pride and joy of being part of a group like that… I think that’s how I probably fashion myself to be one day. I want to be part of something bigger.”

Initial opportunities, such as working with a youth group in New Jersey during high school, helped Naishadh recognize his connection with the YJA community and his inclination towards leadership roles. This naturally funneled him into serving on the YJA Executive Board, first as Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, and then as Co-Chair.

While faith, energy, and the new friends that he made are what drove him to invest more time into YJA, what he told us next came as a pleasant surprise:

“Finally, I think [YJA] has probably been the greatest leadership experience I’ve ever had. Even after having been vice president of a group of radiologists, having been chief of Interventional Radiology at a hospital, having been chief resident, having [had] so many other leadership roles, the groundwork really came from YJA. I say that unabashedly because it taught you how to work with people who are still learning about themselves, you know, in their transition from youth to adult years, and are volunteers.”

Since then, Naishadh serves in his current role and continues to support YJA through other means. He also participates in the Jain Sangh at a greater level, though not yet in a leadership capacity.

A long history of involvement, for sure. Now, in your current role as BOT, are there any goals you have in mind as you guide the Executive Board in their responsibilities?

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Naishadh has two main goals: first, he seeks to help YJA anticipate and adapt with regards to any foreseeable issues. He stated that “finding a loophole that somebody can exploit or unintentionally fall into” can prevent future executive board members from having to worry about that, and instead focus on the “growth and progress” of YJA. By taking proactive measures to counteract unfavorable outcomes, he contributes to a stronger foundation upon which future leadership can rest. Secondly, he aims to highlight the importance of the Executive Board position as not only an opportunity to help the Jain community in a larger role, but also a significant learning experience around leadership. Naishadh underscored that “each of these negotiations, conflicts, whatever you [face,] is a microcosm of what you’re going to be facing later on in the “real world.” [Take] the opportunity to learn from it and not just solve this one problem, but to keep it in the back of your mind so you know how you can resolve it again in the future.”

With his desire to pay the knowledge he had received forward already evident when taking on the role of BOT, this conversation only reaffirmed his conviction in and dedication to that personal mission.

could tell he had thought about this before. His response: maintaining a connection.

“I think it’s important to stay connected, whether it be at the Sangh level, the YJA level, or even with just close Jain friends. Everybody comes across a time when the rest of life makes you too busy to commit to Jain institutions and social networks. And I think to even keep some amount of connection throughout will be helpful in the long run because you do come out of that slump, be [it] in high school, college, or early career or even after you had kids. It’s good to maintain that connection so that when you’re ready to re-enter that social aspect of the Jain community, it’s a smoother transition. It’s a transition where you’re already familiar with everyone and it makes for a happier environment for you because everybody does end up coming back at some point.”

young Jains, specifically?

When it came to asking about his advice for us, the next generation of Jains in America, we

We’ll have to take these nuggets of wisdom back with us to think about more - wow. It’s already apparent how they’ve measurably impacted your career, family life, and spiritual growth. Is there anything that comes to mind when thinking about guiding words for
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The South Asian Trailblazer

Relaunching your career

For better or for worse, I have a very low tolerance for doing things that I don’t feel serve my grander purpose. When I quit my job in private equity, people were like “Oh my gosh, you’re so brave,” and I was baffled by that comment.

At the time, I didn’t feel very brave. It just points to the reality of golden handcuffs and “THE job out of college.” There’s nothing wrong with chasing wealth and prestige, but it’s likely not going to be enough. That’s why

you as an individual, but not the “perfect job” for everyone.

The finance world can be pretty intense and when I looked a couple of years up the ladder, I didn’t see myself loving it even at that level. I come from a very entrepreneurial family and wanted to own my purpose and space, and pursue my multitude of passions. I wanted to do something that fulfilled me every day and brought me joy. I wanted to take the time to pivot and not just jump to the first opportunity that arose – which of course comes with an immense amount of privilege. After I quit, my sister and mom were on my case about the next step, but my dad was super calm. Initially his calm stressed me out, and when I asked him why he was so calm he said, “When I was your age, 23-years-old, I immigrated to this country with $8 in my pocket. You are going to be just fine.” That stuck with me. I also learned that

we have to remember that our parents do know best (to a degree), and our friends also know best (to a degree), but you know yourself better than anyone else.

When you make a career pivot, it often feels like a massive risk in that moment (and often it is), but it increases the pressure on you to make it “worth it.” However, there’s a better way of approaching it. You don’t need to know exactly what your next step is to make that leap, otherwise you may never take that step. It just needs to be directionally one step closer to where you want to go in that moment. Just look at me — I’ve taken a winding journey, but in every role, I’ve committed to being present because I knew there was a reason I was there and that it was leading me closer to where I was meant to be.

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there’s no such thing as “THE job”, there’s the “perfect job” for

Since high school, I have always explored media as a hobbyist and as I left private equity, I knew I wanted to explore the intersection of entrepreneurship, early-stage venture, and media. I landed upon this media startup, based in New York City, that said they would hire me as an intern. We were a few months into the pandemic, and obviously as a recent grad, I was looking for full-time work, but I said “Sure, sign me up.” After a few months, they took a chance on me and hired me full-time.

I started my own platform, South Asian Trailblazers, around the same time. I always tell people who are trying to start something of their own: you don’t have to decide this day one but the minute you try to monetize something that you started as a passion project, you’re commoditizing it. Sometimes that takes the fun out of it and for some people it brings them a lot of joy, but you have to figure out where you sit on that spectrum, otherwise you’ll lose steam. Developing that balance for me has been interesting and I think I’ve found a healthy one but it definitely took me time to get there.

Obviously, these experiences are a few of the many that have started to shape my long-term career arc. As a community we are really good at reverse engineering everything - this person got here because they did x, y, and then z. The dots always connect backward, sure. But also, I believe every experience compounds even if it’s not explicitly related to the previous one. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience in private equity. I am so grateful for it even though it’s not necessarily what I’m pursuing now. Markets impact every single industry and everything we do. It has absolutely translated into every role I’ve had and I wouldn’t be here without it. That’s just one example of how every experience compounds even if it’s not related to the last one. You as a person are the connection between all of your experiences because you are experiencing each one and serve as the inherent linkage. They all come together to shape the next opportunity and decision, consciously or subconsciously. That’s why my number one piece of advice is to

15 MAY 2023
increase your surface area, consume content, inform yourself as much as you can, and get outside of your comfort zone.

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On the point of staying informed, I listen to a lot of podcasts on leadership and growth, and on Adam Grant’s podcast, he spoke about how a little bit of imposter syndrome is good for you because it forces you to level up. Your competence and confidence are often mismatched. So the slight lack of confidence makes you work a little bit harder at that competence. I think that’s a fundamental way to think about leadership and trailblazing.

I’m still working towards my dream job. I’m not sure what it is, but I believe it affords me the flexibility to pursue my multiple passions. We live in a world that tells us we have to choose one thing. I’m not so sure that’s true. I’m figuring that out right now, but everything has its time. In terms of what’s next for me, this is my “Yes” year: diving into new experiences and jumping out of my comfort zone, my “New Chapter” year: starting business school this fall, and my “Growth” year: both personally and professionally. With Trailblazers, we’re planning on doing a lot more live events to bring our community together. Am I a South Asian trailblazer? I’ll leave that to you guys to answer.

The thoughts and opinions expressed in each post belong solely to the individual highlighted in the story. An interview was conducted with Simi Shah by the YJA Publications team, in which this story was then written up. YJA does not endorse any of these viewpoints but is simply using this project as a platform to showcase the diverse experiences of the youth in our community.

A special thanks to Charmi Shah and Saloni Nahar!

South Asian Trailblazers is all about elevating the voices of leaders in our community. Our community is experiencing such a moment, let’s keep that momentum going.

Diksha and Diamonds

Taking Diksha is a way of renouncing worldly life - it is a way of ridding ourselves of the 4 Kashayas (anger, greed, ego, deceit), thus allowing Jains to progress spiritually and ultimately achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death. In recent years, there has been an increase in children taking Dikshawith numerous stories of children as young as the age of 8 giving up all worldly pleasures to find a deeper meaning in life. This has spurred controversies not only in the Jain community, but also in the global community at large. Is it necessary to wait until one reaches adulthood? Or should anyone of any age be permitted to take Diksha?

So, what do Diksha and diamonds have in common? These two ideas have come to the global forefront with the recent story of the diamond heiress. According to BBC News, Devanshi Sanghvi, an eight-year-old heiress to a multi-million dollar diamond business in India, “renounced the world and became a nun” out of her own free will (Pandey, 2023). This sparked a number of political and religious debates, with critics stating that she was too young to make that decision on her own, while others supported the idea that Diksha can be taken at any age. With this, we will analyze the arguments of both the proponents and critics of taking Diksha at any age.

17 MAY 2023

Yes, it should be permitted

To start off, there are people who think that Diksha should be an available option for everyone, regardless of age; they believe that Diksha allows laypeople to progress spiritually in a way that is not possible without renouncing worldly life. The goal of every Jain should be to break free from the cycle of birth and death and attain spiritual salvation, or Moksha. While taking Diksha does not guarantee achieving this goal, it is an important first step to putting our soul on the right path. It is vital to understand that we are in the 5th ara of the Dukham Kal (an ara of unhappiness) where attaining Moksha is impossible on Earth, but that should not deter us from making decisions that will only help our soul progress. In fact, proponents of child Diksha make this a key part of their arguments; since we know we will live and die, why should we wait until we are close to death to make such an important spiritual decision? We could be happy and healthy one second and then suffering in the next. As a result, supporters consistently say that “waiting” to make

such an important decision is not always the doctrine to follow.

The story of Aimutta Muni, a child who took Diksha at the age of eight after an interaction with Gautam Swami, is often used by supporters to reinforce this idea. When asked by his mom why he doesn’t want to wait to take Diksha, he responds by saying “I also learned that no one knows what is going to happen tomorrow. No one knows who will die first or last. So why wait and miss the opportunity which is available to me today?” Yes it is true that this story takes place in a different time period and a different cultural ara of Jainism. But the key idea behind the story remains the same; time should not be an obstacle to renouncing worldly life.

Concerns over the physical welfare of children who renounce worldly life are completely justified; after all, it is not easy to walk barefoot everywhere, sleep on the ground, and not eat after sunset (all rules that Sadhus and Sadhvis must follow). But supporters of child Diksha argue that if children are truly spiritually ready, these rules would not be of any concern. As Dr. Bipin Doshi, a teacher of Jain philosophy at Mumbai University, says “you cannot apply legal principles in the spiritual world.”

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No, it should not be permitted

Those who believe that children should not be permitted to take Diksha often take a more objective approach to this debate, although opponents argue that scientific objectivity has no place in spirituality.

According to Jean Piaget, who was one of the most influential developmental psychologists of the 20th century, and a proponent of his theory of cognitive development, children typically do not develop the ability to think critically and abstractly about moral, philosophical, and ethical issues until they reach the formal operational stage. Children typically reach the formal operational stage between adolescence and young adulthood- far later than the age of eight years (Piaget, 1964). In fact, children at the age of eight are typically in what is classified as the concrete operational stage, where they still think in concrete terms and often struggle with abstract concepts. Of course, there are children who are exceptions to these general stages of development (on either side of the spectrum), although this is rare.

Using these psychological studies as their basis, those who believe that children should not be permitted to take Diksha believe that children are simply too young and inexperienced to be making such a life-altering decision. Instead, they argue, children should wait until adulthood, when they fully develop these important cognitive abilities to be able to make a decision that they will not regret later on. Although Devanshi, the diamond heiress, does have the option of walking away from the life of a Sadhvi if she decides to change her mind in the next few years, this has led others to argue that this is more of a reason to wait until adulthood to avoid the consequences of making such a monumental decision too early in life.

On the other hand, in the legal world, children’s consent is not valid in the court of law until the age of 18 in most places around the world, for the very same reason. Until the age of 18, a child’s parent/legal guardian makes decisions for them that are in the child’s best interests. Because of this, critics argue that children should not be permitted to make the decision to take Diksha out of their “own free will.”

19 MAY 2023

The story of Devanshi Sanghvi - amongst many others - has brought the debate of free will, consent, and spirituality to the forefront of the global religious sphere not only in Jainism, but also in other religions as well.

You may be asking yourself - has this same conflict manifested in other religions? In Hinduism, for example,, “Hindu girls are married to deities and become devadasis [though the practice was outlawed in 1947] and little boys join akhadas [religious centres]”. Buddhism [...] children [...] live in monasteries as monk[s]” (Pandey, 2023).

When examining sensitive matters such as these, it is vital to remember to keep an open mind and consider both sides of the story, regardless of which side you may favor or which religion it is. This ties directly back to the Jain principle of Anekantvad, which speaks to the idea that there are always multiple aspects to the analysis of truth and reality. Even when we are not discussing controversial issues, applying Anekantvad to the many facets of our personal and professional lives will enable us to see the bigger picture of what truly is.

If anything in this article has offended you or gone against the teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir, we sincerely ask for forgiveness. Michhami Dukkadam!

Winter Retreats recently concluded, with close to 300 total attendees joining across the 6 regional retreats!

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YJA Spotlight: Local Representatatives

Priyanna is always so on top of her work and is always down to help. No matter what anyone needed throughout retreat season, Priyanna was the first one to lend a hand!

Kavni took the initiative to spread the word about South Retreat to lots of Jain youth from Houston new to YJA. The region saw a record number of Houston involvement in several years.

Abhinav always takes initiative to encourage youth at his Sangh to participate in YJA activities through sharing his own experiences!


Diya is a first time LR this year and yet she always participates during LR calls, has been a solo lead for a local event, and helped emcee at JSOSW MJK.

Simran always takes initiative on calls and helps out with projects she’s excited for. She even helped lead a session at the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Retreat which was super engaging, fun, and well-organized

Ryan has always gone above and beyond not just for YJA but for everything that he does. He has helped host local events as well as lead a session at the 2023 Southeast Retreat!

21 MAY 2023
Midwest: Priyanna Shah West: Diya Shah South: Kavni Shah Northeast: Abhinav Jain Southeast: Ryan Shah Simran Shah

Book Reviews from the YJA Community!

Looking for a new book to read or trying to get back into reading? Look no further, here are book recommendations from members of the YJA community.

Overstory - Richard Powers Recommended

by Siddharth Challani

Intricate, ambitious, and hard-hitting, this book is about trees, and humans that strive to understand, appreciate, and preserve them. The compelling plot and Richard Powers’ beautiful prose combine to make this one of the most stunning pieces of realistic fiction I’ve ever read.

The connection between Jainism and environmentalism is already strong, and the ideas of nonviolence, compassion, and viewing stories from different perspectives are seamlessly integrated into this story as well. More fundamentally, the way Powers writes about the science of trees and the role they play in the lives of his characters is a refreshing and almost magical way of looking at life, and his writing underscores the importance of valuing life in all its forms.

The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment - Adyashanti Recommended

by Mahima Shah

“At the End of Your World” is an insightful guidebook for those who are seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and the nature of existence. Through his practical approach, Adyashanti helps readers navigate the challenges of spiritual awakening and find true peace and freedom. Adyashanti helps readers resonate with the core values of Jainism, which emphasize the importance of non-attachment, selfdiscovery, and living in harmony with the universe. If you’re looking to deepen your spiritual practice and gain a fresh perspective on life, then “At the End of Your World” is a must-read book that will guide you towards a fulfilling, happier, and more meaningful way of being

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In Recent News!

The Willow Project gets the green light: Newly discovered Tirthankar Mahavir idol: Historians have recently discovered an idol of Tirthankar Mahavir which has been estimated to date all the way back to 10th

This isn’t the first time that Jainism’s roots have been found in Southern India, as previous findings suggest that inscriptions of Jainism in Tamil Nadu have been found to date back to the 3rd century BCE as well.

M.S. Dhoni makes history:

The legendary and veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni surpassed 5,000 runs in the

The celebration of Mahavir Jayanti Kalyanak recently happened on April 4th and President Joe Biden, along with Vice President Kamala Harris, expressed their wishes to those observing Mahavir Jayanti on Twitter!

23 MAY 2023

C r o s s w o r d


1. A trait that defines trailblazers, as they overcome 5-Down

2. 2009-15 sitcom with cast member Donald Glover - or a group of people with shared characteristic(s)

5. Residents faced this as tornadoes tore through parts of the Midwest and South in early April

7. A celebrity or politician has over their fans or followers

8. Earthly limbs; in computer science, instructed deviations from default execution

9. Jnan or Gyan, in the Indian language


3. One of typically four presented at a crossroad

4. Taylor Swift album marked by reptile imagery

6. PowerPoint or Googles Slides might be helpful tools when putting this together

10. An immediate reaction or thought to something

11. Guiding principles or beliefs, or measures of color intensity

24 Young Minds

Incredible Instant-Pot Pasta (Serves 2)


• 10 oz Pasta (such as Rigatoni, Penne)

• 5 oz Prego Sensitive Recipe Pasta Sauce

• 6 oz Water

• 1/3 cup of Parmesan Cheese (Regular or Vegan)

• 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

• Basil, Oregano, Italian Seasoning, Salt and Red Pepper to taste

• 1/2 teaspoon Sugar

Optional Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup Spinach

• 1/2 cup Broccoli

• 1/4 cup Bell Peppers


Combine all ingredients into your Instant Pot and stir well. Cook for 6 minutes in the Instant Pot on pressure cook setting. Once the pasta is finished cooking, cool off for about 10 minutes before opening the lid to serve. Serve with extra parmesan and a few fresh basil leaves!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan) (Makes about 30 cookies)


• 2 cups (250 grams) All-Purpose Flour

• 1 teaspoon Baking Powder

• ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda

• ½ teaspoon fine Salt

• 1 ¼ cups Dark Chocolate Chips (preferably chocolate with 60 percent cocoa content or higher — double-check the ingredients to make sure they’re vegan)

• ½ cup (100 grams) Sugar

• ½ cup (110 grams) packed of Light Brown Sugar

• ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Canola, Grapeseed, or any other neutral oil

• ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon water

R e c i p e s

Flip to the next page for the Directions

25 MAY 2023


1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips to the flour mixture and toss to coat.

2. In a separate large bowl, whisk the sugars briskly with the canola oil and water until smooth and incorporated,

26 Young Minds

Crossword Solution!

All of these individual factors contribute to developing this, which continues to evolve with each and every one of us:


27 MAY 2023
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