Ahmedabad (Gujarat), August 19, 2012: Around 12,000 old Jain idols and 111 derasars of the city were recently washed and cleaned in just one day by 10,000 devotees who had volunteered for the job. This is the first time that cleaning of derasars on such a scale and with the participation of so many people had taken place.
The derasars with their idols located in the old city had fallen into a state of neglect. Moved by their condition, Sadhvi Maitri Ratna Shriji resolved to have them cleaned. She announced her wish to have the neglected derasars cleaned and restored by youths and Jain devotees of the city.
Four months back, a team conducted a survey to determine how many derasars needed to be cleaned and how many devotees would be needed to clean one derasar.
A special association, Jinalay Shudhikaran Parivar—Rajnagar (JSPR), was created for the cleaning of the derasars and their idols. The 10,000 Jain devotees who joined it were split up into different teams. Around 50 devotees were assigned to one derasar for its cleaning. The ‘shudhikaran’ (cleaning) of the derasars was carried out on August 19.
When asked why the derasars had fallen into neglect, Nirvan Shan, a member of JSPR, said that, over the years, many Jains living in the walled city had migrated to the western part of Ahmedabad.
“As a result, the derasars of the walled city fell into neglect. Restoring them was very important,” Shah said.
Swetambar Murti Poojak Jain devotees washed the stone idols, cleaned the metal idols (made of brass and copper) and replaced the old ornaments and pooja items with new ones all through the day on August 19.
Many of these derasars are more than 100 years old and were in a neglected condition. Another member of the JSPR, Bhadresh Shah, said that among the prominent derasars that were cleaned are Shambavnath Bhagwan Jinalay of Kalupur and Adishwar bhawan Jinalay, Ajitnath Bhagwan Jinalay of Jhaveriwad.
Also, the Shri Chintamani Parswanath Jain derasar in Rajpur area of the city, which is more than 450 years old, was decorated and devotees performed a mahapooja there, said Bhadresh Shah. – News Courtesy: DNA India