SHRI MUNISUVRAT SWAMI NE NAMAH

 THE SHINING HISTORY OF EAST AFRICAN OSHWALS – A Religious perspective

 It is said that where there is a society there has to be religion and where there is religion there shall be a society!

 A society with a strong religious background started its journey from India, thousands of miles away, to Kenya. They came in search for a living and means to support families back home. They progressed in all three aspects of life- economically, socially and religiously.

 The shinning history of religious progress started with the building of a “Ghar Derasar”at the Jain Shala Road in the year 1957. At a cost of Kenya shillings thirty thousand, three marble idols of Tirthankars where ordered from India. On 22nd August 1957 on the auspicious occasion of Savantsari the three pratimas where placed at the Derasar. The beautiful three pratimas are as follows: Mulnayak Shree Mahavir Swami, Shree Adeshwar Bhagvan on the right and Shree Shantinath Bhagvan on the left. The building of the “Ghar Derasar” increased the faith of the Jina’s teachings within the Oshwal Community.

 With the blessings of Dev, Guru and elders, in 1968 the community resolved that they must build a “Shikhar Bandi “Derasar. In 1970 a committee was appointed to look into the development of the same. The committee started working on this great project. At the same time, three pratimajis where sent from Zanzibar , Shree Parshvanath Bhagvan, Shree Shantinath Bhagvan and Shree Mahavir Swami Bhagvan. These were placed in a Ghar Derasar in Mahajanwadi, Limuru Road. On 4th July 1971 when Shree Chitrabhanu was in Nairobi he gave plenty of encouragement and inspiration to the community to move forward with the project of building the derasar.

 

During the building of Derasar, lots of assistance was received from the Anandji Kalyanji Trust of India. The idols were made in Jamnagar and the Gabharo and the Rang mandap were designed in Ahemdabad. The table below shows the key events that took place in the History of Munisuvrat swami Jinalay:

 

Date

Event

22nd January 1976

Shilanyas vidhi

22nd March 1981

Ubhar Vidhi

25th October 1981

Barsakh Vidhi and Chaajli Vidhi

22nd April 1982

Anjanshalaka and Pranpratishtha of Pratimajis in Jamnagar

28th July 1983

Dhamtini Padmashila Vidhi

30th October 1983

Arrival of the idols in Nairobi

11th November 1983

Display of idols at Jain Primary School

12th November 1983

The ceremonious arrival of the idols at the Derasar

4th February 1984 to 12th February 1984

The Pratishta Ceremony and Flag Hoisting on the 11th of February 1984( Maha Sud Naum)

 

 

This difficult task of building a “Shikhar Bandi”Derasar was finally completed with the able leadership and organization skills of Oshwal elders and a team of dedicated volunteers.

This marked yet another milestone in the religious history of Oshwals in Nairobi.

We the current and future generations of oshwals will certainly enjoy the fruits of this dedication.

 Oshwals in Nairobi prospered and advanced in various walks of life. From a spiritual perspective we have seen development of the feelings or renunciation, service, compassion, unconditional love, friendship in our society.

 After the development of the derasar the community also built the Upashraya. The building of the upashraya led to the increase in the number of religious activities that took place. Currently we have the following activities that are carried out on a regular basis: Pooja, Jaap, satsang, bhakti bhavna, pathshala for children and various religious classes for adults.

 We pray that we are granted the wisdom and energy to continue our spiritual and religious development for the Oshwals of Nairobi for generations to come!