Those were my childhood days – the 1980’s an age aspiring to learn and explore new things and innovations. Adding to this was my anna (my father Dr.H.A.Parshwanath), an ever active person with full of energy always around me to quench my curiosity. Though I was not much aware of the world around, somewhere in the corner of my mind I always wanted to learn and experiment new things. Adding to the instinct it was my natural desire to travel. Without any further thought I always used to accompany anna or amma whereever they go. I also used to attend several programs during this period. Thanks to Anna; he used to take me to almost all kinds of activities whether it might be a drama rehearsal, the dramas he used to enact or socio religious gatherings where he was invited as a speaker or might be visit to a village as a part of his field work. Of all these, the Dashalakshana Parva celebrations and the related travel that used to take place was very unique.
That was the period when Dashalakshana Parva was not known to many at large. Keep aside the non-Jains it was unknown to many Jains aswell. In this scenario the members of Hubli Jain Samaj (community) initiated a very unique program to create awareness about Dashalakshana Parva and thus propagate Jainism.
Every day at around 5 to 5.30 pm the Jain scholars, speakers and leaders of the community from Hubli were taken out in one or two vehicles to nearby villages with Jain population to speak about Dashalakshana parva. Since dad used to give lectures about Dashalakshana parva and Jainism. He was invited on many occasions. Sometimes dad used to take me to those places and occasionally my mother and little sister also used to accompany. By the time we reached the nearest village it used to be around 6 to 6.30 pm. After the regular servings, religious gathering would start with formal introduction of the speakers and dignitaries. The speakers would speak about that day’s Dashalakshana dharma and Jainism. This would continue for about an hour or so and would wind up at around 7 or 7.30 pm. Soon after that the group used to head towards the near by village with Jain population. Again a similar religious gathering would take place in the 2nd village. By the time this was concluded it would be around 9 or 9.30 pm. Following this the team used to return back to Hubli and by the time we reached home it used to be about 10 or 10.30 pm. On many instances if the villages were nearer then a visit to the 3rd village would also happen. In such an instance we would reach home very late and even midnights.
This Jaina journey was not restricted to just one day, instead it was taking place continuously on all the 10 days of Dashalakshana Parva. Interesting aspect of this activity was that the team never repeated the same villages. This enabled the team to visit at least 20 to 25 villages during this season. This paved the way for propagating Jainism and Dakshalakshan Dharma during the period to as many people as possible.
The love, innocence, hospitality and religious involvement shown by the villagers with a thought that guests have arrived to their village is inexpressible. It is worth noting that many non-Jains actively participated in this program without any inhibitions. This involvement from the village folk without any discrimination in terms of caste or creed contributed to the initiative’s success. Jainism was practically propagated amongst the masses in its true spirit. The Jinas teaching as aspired by them reached the Janas (common men) in its full sense and sensibility. Through this initiative Jina Dharma truly turned out to be a Jana Dharma. The organizers of this initiative deserve a special applause for venturing such a noble program.
The very concept of this initiative, its planning and execution is no less than a startup concept. Such innovative programs are needed to help in spreading Jainism and establish peace and harmony in the society.