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Shraddhanjali to Swamiji Devendrakeerti Bhattarakji Maharaaj

Tuesday, August 3, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pooja Jain
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A gathering was assembled on Friday 7/15/10 to offer Shraddhanjali to Swamiji Devendrakeertiji Maharaaj on behalf of Scholars Program and Jain community of North America in the presence of Ashwini Prajnaaji. Manak Muniji Maharaaj and Sadhviji Shubhamji also called in. Similar gathering was also held atSiddhachalam and Jain center of America.

One of the several unique contributions of Swamiji :

There was a gathering of about 100,000 people to greet Bhattarakji when he as a first monk returned from foreign religious tour in1974. Subsequently when Muni Shushil Kumarji wanted to come to US, about 100,000 people gathered to oppose his tour to foreign country . Then Acharya Deshbhushanji Maharaj called all Jain shravak for assembly where about 200,000 people came. Maharajji told the crowd that you had just celebrated Devendrakeertiji visit to foreign country , you should support Muni Shushil Kumarji's journey to America. The crowd had change of heart and voiced the support for Muni Shushil Kumarji's travel to USA. Devendrakeertiji Bhattarakji then helped Muniji Shushil Kumarji on all aspect for foreign tour including application for VISA, travel help almost on daily basis enable Munij to come to USA, help spread Jain Dharma in the western world and established Siddhachalam.

There was a gathering in Kearny Hindu temple for conducting Vidhan under his guidance on a very rainy day with 1500 people participating. Swamiji came and established Padmavati Mata’s idol. Some how immediately Swamiji ordered to all peoples to move out surprising everyone. In about 30 minutes the floor collapsed sparing fatality as large as 1500. This could have record death in America avoided due to Swamiji’s direction.

His holiness Jagadguru Sri Devenderakeerty Bhattarakh Mahaswamiji was born on May 25, 1949, as 'Vinaya Chandra' in a royal family of Mulky, South Kanara District, of Karnataka State, india. He had his primary and Secondary education at his native place and got his B.Sc. in 1971, M.A. in philosophy in 1974 and Doctorate (PhD) in 1979. His holiness Sri Mahaswami accepted the saintly life (Deeksha) on March 20, 1971 and shortly after that was assigned as the Head of Sri Hombuja Jain Math on October 30, 1971. As a religious and spiritual head of Jain religion (Digamber Sect), he strives to bring harmony among all the various sects of the Jain faith (Swetambar, Digamber, Sthanakwasi, Terapanthi, Srimadrajchand Panth etc) in India and abroad. It is because of his long vision, peace loving and quite nature that more than 51 temples have been built for the Hindus and Jain faith in the USA, Canada, England, Nepal, Australia and elsewhere. He is the first Jain monk of Digamber Sect in the history of Jain religion to go abroad, crossing the Indian borders, for the propagation of Indian religion and philosophies in general and Jain religion and philosophy in particular. (During the year 1974 he went to Belgium, Europe to grace the world conference on religion and peace held in Leuven University, Belgium in Europe.)

His holiness Sri Mahaswamiji travels throughout India and foreign countries to grace various religious, social, cultural, national and international functions. From July 1974 to present, he has gone abroad more than 63 times covering almost all the countries of the world. His recent visits were as follws:-
       a. South Africa in November and December 1999 – to grace the Parliament of World Religions. 
       b. South Korea in February 2000 – to grace the world religion and the Cultural conference.
       c. Australia for the pratista ceremony of Lord Mahaveera Idol in Canberra and Sydney Temples.
       d. USA for the pratista ceremony of Lord Pasvanatha and Mahavira idols in Lansing MI-Bharatiya

       e. USA – NJ for Bruhat Sidhachakra Vidhan pooja in June 2005 at Karni Hindu Temple.
       f. Pratistha ceremonies at Siddhachakra, NJSan Francisco, CA; Virginia USA, etc..

His holiness Sri Mahaswamiji was among the very few senior religious and spiritual leaders who were invited by the United Nation's Organisation (UNO) to attend a World Peace Summit in UNO headquarters, New York, USA, during August 2000.

His holiness Sri Mahaswamiji participated and represented India in World Religious Parliament when it was held in Chicago, Illinois in 1993, Cape Town, Africa in 1999, and Barcelona, Spain in year 2004. His holiness Sri Mahaswamiji has completed 39 pilgrimage tours of Sri sammed Shikharji Sidda Kshetra, the most holy place of Jains. His holiness Sri Mahaswamiji is running several educational institutions to impart the religious, moral and cultural values of ancient Indian religions to general public in state of Karnataka. He has erected a 23 feet height marble statue of Bhagwan Parsvanath Swami, the tallest statue of its kind inIndia. As a highly learned scholar and orator, he has written several books on religion and philosophy and has delivered hundereds of speech around the world. Various organizations and general public have decorated his holiness with various titles such as Jagadgurre, Bharatgaurava, Bhattarakartna, Pratistabhaskara, Samyaktwachoodamani, Syadwadhesari, jnana Bhaskara, Jinasamayadeepaka, Bhattaraka Shiromani, Saddarmaparanjyoti, Vishwea Dharna Prevarthakha etc…

His holiness Sri Mahaswamiji has the mastery over several languages such as English, Kannada, Hindi, Tulu, sanshrit, Prakrut, etc…, and is also chief editor of a monthly religious magazine "Guredeva." His Holiness has published hundereds of Religious books under the auspicious of Sri Siddhanthakeerty Granthmala which was started by his holiness himself. His holiness Sri Mahaswamiji has blessed ten (10) Jaina Conventions so far held in North America including the recent one in New Jersey.

The following are the words of homage received from many monks, scholars and persons from our community:

Gurudev Chitrabhanuji -- It is a shock and a great loss for the whole of Jain community and the aspirants to hear that Bhattarak Shri Devendrakeertiji breathed his last breath on this planet on the 14th of July.He was open to all the sects of Jainism with great respect, and was attached to none. We had celebrated many Pratishtha ceremonies together but this last one was on June 26-27 at the Jain Center of Greater Boston. His unassuming peaceful presence was an inspiration to all.
He practiced Ahinsa in all aspects of life and when we were together in Boston, I noticed that he eschewed dairy products while sharing food with me.

His soul is eternally alive and he has moved on to his eternal journey to a higher level of divinity.
With Peace and Light, Chitrabhanu

Swamiji Charukeertiji - swasthi shree Devendra Keerthi was born in a royal family near Jain Mutt Moodbidri. he was good orator and great donor. He had done more than 61 foreign tours We did together so many programs including Nirmal Dosi conducted last Jaina 2007 convention dialogues on Jzain Unity in New Jersey Holiday Inn hotel seminar. It was memorable one. we pray lord Jinendra uttam sadgathi for his soul.
with blessings
- Charukeertiji Swamiji

Swamiji Ashwini Prajnaaji - Today Bhattarak Shree Devendra Keertiji Maharaj is not with us in his physical form which is a sad reality. Born in "Bharat khshetra”. He made valuable contribution to promoting and propagating ‘Veetraag’ Jain dharm not only in India but even more in USA and all over the world. His life was a living symbol and inspiration towards the path of salvation not only for us in America but for the humanity and all living being as a whole. Untimely passing away of Bhattarak Mahaswamiji is a great loss to all ‘shravaks’, all over the world. He not only promoted in speech the principles of Jain dharm; ‘Ahimsa, ‘Aparigrah’, and ‘Anekantwad, but lived those in his life to inspire and guide others. As such his short life is a great inspiration to every human.

It is destined that everyone who has come (born) in this world will go (die) someday. The important is ‘how the life is lived and what is achieved in the life span, no matter how long or short’. The achievements are measured not by the longevity but in terms of actual accomplishments. Bhattarakji was epitome of these achievements in his life.

Our true respects’, tribute and salutation to Devendra Kirtiji Maharaj will be to make his life a great inspiration and encouragement for all of us and we live by the message of "Veetrag Prabhu”, as taught to us by Shree Bhattrakji. I wish from the bottom of my heart that his soul will constantly progress towards the epic of the highest spiritual mountain.
"Siddha name is truee”! "Arihant name is true”!

Anand Jain (Jain Center of BC) - Indeed, it is a sad event for all the Jains all over the world. Since 1988, I knew him personally, I am deeply saddened.

Anop Vora (Jain Center of Rochester) - It is a indeed a matter of great sorrow to learn of Swamiji Devendrakeertiji's passing away at a relatively young age. I had the privilege of interacting with him many times when I was actively involved with JAINA. One event I distinctly remember is the gathering of the interfaith leaders in the Parliament of Worlds' Regions held at Barcelona in 2004. I was fortunate to have Devendrakeertiji with us in an apartment in Barcelona for over a week. He shared his ideas very generously at the Parliament. In addition, he visited the States many times just to support the JAINA held conventions. Jain Community will miss his knowledge, vision, and active participation. May his soul rest in peace and bliss.

Brahm & Suman Parsh - We express our Codolences to the entire Jain community which has lost a great scholar of Jainism. We pray for his soul to rest in peace and express our Shraddhaanjali to his soul.

Chanchala Mehta (Jain Center of Greater Memphis) - It is indeed a very sad demise of shri Swamiji Devendrakeertji at such an young age. He was such a great orator, philosopher and teacher in every aspects of life. Our heartfelt shraddanjali.

Chandrakant Mehta (Jain Center of NJ) - I could not believe to hear this sad news. I said good bye to him only ten days ago. We were together for one week at NYC and Cleveland pratistha. Personally, I knew him for 20 years. He was very kind holy saint. We will all miss him. May God bless his soul.

Chandravadan Shah (Dada Bhagwan Vignan Institute) - We are extremely shocked to hear the sad news of Sri Sri Devndrakeerty Bhattarakji Mahaswamiji demise. We all will pray for his eternal piece and ultimate salvation in our Satsang. He has played a very big role not only for Jainisam but in many other fields of social work and getting harmony and piece in different groups. We cannot forget his unparallel work.

Dr. N.P. Jain (former Ambassador of India to U.N) - . I learnt with shock and sadness about the untimely passing away of Bhattarak Devendrakirtiji,. I met him for the first time at the Parliament of World's Religions and was struck by his serenity, simplicity devoid of ego. I gained a lot from his interpretation of deeper aspects of Jain philosophy.

Thereafter I met him at several international conferences. He has left behind memories of a great saint who served the society with tremendous self-restraint. the World needs many more saints like him.

Allow me to express my heartfelt and sincere condolences.

Dr. Raksha Shah (Mumbai) - It was indeed sad to hear about the passing away of HH Shri Devendrakirtiji who was with us just a few months back in Melbourne. I had the opportunity to be with him at both the Parliaments- one in Spain Barcelona at the fourth Parliament of World’s Religions in 2004 and five years later in December 2009 at the fifth Parliament at Melbourne in Australia.He had a unique way of passing his message of peace and was surrounded by people at both the places.He was a great sage and philosopher. It is indeed a great loss to the Jain Community.

Faquir Jain (Jain center of CT) - . It is indeed a big loss. He was instrumental in so many Prathisthas (including in the Middletown Temple in CT) in US. A very kind and learned saint.

Jaipat Singh Jain (Siddhachalam) - Sri Devendrakeertiji Bhattarak Swamiji is no more. He left for devlok yesterday at the Humbaj Jain Muth near Bengalaru, India.

Swamiji's physical presence will be deeply missed by all. His was a voice of wisdom and reason. Swamiji wholeheartedly supported Shikharji at Siddhachalam project. As recently as a few weeks ago, when Siddhachalam sought his guidance on vidhi vidhan for bhoomi pujan, he gave valuable counsel. He enthusiastically supported the idea of one vidhi for the bhoomi pujan event. Although he had scheduled programs in India around August 29, 2010, he felt that the Shikharji project deserved his full attention and agreed to specifically travel to Siddhachalam for bhoomi pujan. His physical presence will be deeply missed by Siddhachalam.

Kanubhai Lakhani (Jain center Long Island) - I have travelled with Bhattarakji from NewYork to Canada with Acharya Shri Shushilkumarji and had a great experience and greatfeelings when we were with him in car great viabrations he was great personalitiy my self and my wife we learned lots of things from him he will be remembered all the time he will be in our heart and in our day to day life he was a great Acharya we just pray for his soul.

Kishore Tolia (Jain Vishwabharati Sangh Orlando, Florida) - It is a great loss to entire Jain community all over the world. Devendrakirteeji Maharaj has contributed tremendously towards bringing harmony amongst all Jains. Orlando Jain Sangh has fond memories of all his visits and discourses on Jainism. We pray that his soul rests in peace.

We at Orlando Jain Sangh have learned a lot from him. His knowledge of Jainism was very deep. We all take a moment of silence for Shraddhanjali to Bhattarakji Devendra Kirtiji. A great soul leaves us with message to follow path of Bhagwan Mahavir.

Kushal Baid (Jain Society of Greater Cleveland) - Shri Bhattarak Devendrakeertiji Mahaswamiji just graced and led our Pratishtha Mahotsav in Greater Cleveland last week (July 2-6, 2010). He was a sublime individual whose presence invoked Bhakti and devotion. I had the good fortune to be the contact person on behalf of our Sangh in inviting him, getting his direction in planning the Pratishtha program and then being the primary contact person during the Pratishtha celebrations. He was always kind, generous with his time and in imparting knowledge and gracious in all my contacts with him. It was a great privillege for me to have gotten to know him over the last 8-9 months. His untimely departure leaves a great void in the World Jain community - as one of the great Jain religious personalities who was willing to travel outside India has been taken from us.

We all pray for peace for his soul.

Manish Modi (Mumbai) - I am deeply sorry to inform you that Bhattaraka Devendrakirti of Humcha died of cardiac failure at 5 am on 14/07/2010. He was at Humcha, his pontifical seat.
It comes as a shock to hear of his death.especially since he was only 63 and reasonably fit. He was such a modest and kind man. His learning and hallowed position as the Bhattaraka of one of the most popular Jain mathas in Karnataka had imbued him with skill and tact, but did not effect the essential simplicity and niceness of the man.

I had been fortunate to spend a day in his august company at the Boston Jina Mandira Pratishtha Samaroha. He was not only extremely learned, but spoke with equal command in Hindi, English, Kannada and Sanskrit. He was master of ceremonies during the ritual consecration of the three large Jina idols at the Jain Centre of Greater Boston's new temple premises. He conducted the sacred ceremony with such dignity and grace! He showed remarkable ecumenicity of spirit. All of us Jain laypersons (and I include our listmember Kathy Ullrich in this group of Jain laity) came away feeling purified and lightened after witnessing the ceremony.
I bow in obeisance to his memory and pray for his soul.

Manubhai Doshi ( Chicago Jain Center) - Devendrakeertiji became Bhattaraka at the Humbuj math at the age of 22. He had earned MA degree from Madras University and PhD from Madurai University. He was directing the monthly magazine Gurudev as well as Shri Siddhantkirti Granthmala and was instrumental in publishing many religious books and articles. Bhattarakji had traveled to many countries and performed Panchkalnayak and Pratishtha ceremonies at the temples in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. His was a voice of wisdom and reason. He was a rare combination of ancient and modern and had given support to Shikharji project at Siddhachalam. His death on July 14 has created a lacune in the religious realm that would be difficult to fill in. Naresh Jain (IJS) - I am extremely saddened to inform you that Swami Devendrakeerti Bhattarakji of Hombuja Jain Mutt has passed away on July 14, 2010.

Swamiji's significant presence has always been there in major Jain functions, pratishthas and conventions in North America as well as in Jain centers of other countries. He was a great scholar of Jainism. More importantly, he was very passionate to promote peace and nonviolence throughout the world. He represented Jain religion in all five Parliament of World's Religions held during his lifetime. I had the divine opportunity to work with him for the Jain presentations in the 2004 Barcelona Parliament and 2009 Melbourne Parliament and benefit from his extensive knowledge. I will personally miss him.

Prakash Mody - This is the second big sad news within such a short period. His Holiness Pontiff will be missed by all, specially in North America, as very few Sadhu Maharaj of the Digambar sect visit NA. His contribution for Jainism in the International field was great. May he attain Moksha. My heartfelt condolences to all.

Pravin Mehta (Jain Society of Middle Tenn, past treasurer of JAINA) - It is a great loss to our Jain Community. His contributions to spread our religion to the world is well known. Vacuum created by his loss will never be filled.


Rajiv Jain (IJS) - Bhattarakji will be missed by tens of thousands of people. He had a unique way of communicating the principles of Jainism. I am convinced this came from his personal experience as a scholar before becoming a monk. I recall he mentioned to me once that his favorite subject in school was math and that he excelled in it. He has graced so many events all over the world, innumerable to be mentioned. However, to me, his stay at our home in the mid 80's was especially special to me.

Ramesh K. Shah (Hudson Valley Jain Sangh) - All the members of our Hudson Valley Jain Sangh were shocked to hear the news about Kaldharam of Swami Devendrakeertiji Bhattarakji Mahaswamiji. He was a frequent visitor at our Hindu-Jain Temple and we were lucky to have him and his guidance, inspiration and blessings at all the important events including Pratishthas of Shri Padmavati Mata & Shri Dharanendra Dev in 2000 and Shri Bahubali Swami and Shri Gautam Swami in 2006. We still remember 108 Kalash Abhishek of Shri Bahubali Swami (a mini version of Maha Mastakabhishek) at our temple during Pratishtha and Shri Bhaktamer Vidhan Pooja in 2009 at a very short notice.

His quiet nature and comfortable composure hid the amount of hectic travel he undertook, large number of devotees, temples and events he serviced, graced and attended throughout the year and year after year. His deep knowledge about Jainism and correlating Jain Principles and Bhagwan Mahavir's message for today's life throughout the world and the fact that he offered his services to the entire Jain community and Humanity were evident in everything he did.

We will all miss his physical presence, but his teachings, message and an example of how to lead a life as a true Jain will always inspire current and future generations.

May his soul rest in peace and inspire us to follow the path shown by Bhagwan Mahavir and him.

Sheila ( Narsighpura jain Samaj) - It is indeed a great loss to our community. His guidance and his vision and mission to promote peace and harmony around the world will be missed.

Sulekh and Ravi Jain (Jain center of Houston, past president of JAINA) - This is a very sad news for the entire Jain world. We join you in this hour of our common loss.

Tansukh Salgia ( Jain center of Columbus, Founding member and past President of JAINA) - My family and I are in deep shock after receiving e-mail from the Mutt about the sudden passing away of His Holiness Bhattarakji Shri Devendra keerthi Maharaj. He was one of the most venerable persons in Digamber Jain community. I have known him since1987 when first time I invited him at to attend fourth JAINA convention held at Chicago. He was one of the great Digamber Jain saint, thinker, and scientist. He revolutionized the way people worldwide looked at Jainism and made it global. One thing that I loved and respected him most about him is he always tried his best to work with all four sects of Jains in North America as Jains without any discrimination. His visit to Columbus in 2008 to celebrate Pooja at our residence and later performing Jain prayer at Ohio Senate will always be in our memory. Our family just spent four days (July 2-6, 2010) with his in Cleveland, Ohio at a Pratistha ceremony where I had a privilege to participate with him for Digamber Pratistha. My highest regards to His Holiness. May he attain the highest liberation! Please convey our heartfelt sincere condolence to all staffs of Jain Mutt.

Vimal Prakash Jain (New Delhi) - It is shocking and heart rending news that such a revered person as Bhattarakji Devendra Keertiji Maharaj all on a sudden passed away due to severe heart failure. He was one of the few Jain Saints who believed and actively worked all his life for the cause of unity among all Jains. I met him only once during the Pratistha Mahotsava here of the NCJCin the year 2000 and had the good fortune of talking to him in absolute confidence. He would disclose some shaming and shocking facts about some so called great Jain scholar and author Shall talk to you more when It come to my daughter Vandana in Cranston ,East coast. The passing away of Bhattarakji is an irreparable loss to the Inter national Jain Community .I hope we take some necessary lesson from this sad event.

I might remind you of another tragic loss in the instant passing away of the greatest living Jain scholar saints, the very revered Jambuvijayji Maharaj Nov.2009.I feel we failed to learn anything about the life and safety of our saints who are the torch bearers of Jaina Dharma during these crucial times for true saints of our tradition.

Vinay Garg (IJS) - We are all very sorry and sad to hear this news. Our Heartfelt Condolences
to everyone.

Yogesh Kamdar (Jain center of CT) - I recently had a chance to greet and vandan Swamiji. He looked very healthy, as always spiritual, peaceful and smiling. We all have been blessed to know and meet him personally. In just a few weeks, we have lost two great spiritual leaders. We, in the US will miss him greatly. He was generally quiet, yet very powerful in knowledge and his deeds.

I know you personally will miss him greatly. Of course, his message and life time of teachings and guidance will always stay with us. Vandan,

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