Thursday, June 20, 2013

मुर्शिदाबाद में जैन साधू एवं यति गण


मुर्शिदाबाद में जैन समुदाय अत्यंत धार्मिक एवं समृद्ध था। अतः विभिन्न गच्छों के साधू, साध्वी एवं यति गण यहाँ पधारते रहते थे। कुछ यति तो यहाँ स्थाई रूप से भी रहते थे।

मुर्शिदाबाद आकर बस्नेवालों में  सेठ सर्व प्रथम थे। वे पायचन्न (पार्श्वचंद्र ) गच्छ के थे। उनके समय में पायचन्न गच्छ के साधुओं एवं  का आगमन मुर्शिदाबाद में होता रहता था। बाद में अधिकांशतः खरतर गच्छ एवं तपागच्छ के साधू सध्विओं एवं यतिओ का ही पदार्पण यहाँ होता रहा है. इनमे से कई बड़े विद्वान् भी थे एवं उनलोगों ने अनेक  रचनाएँ यहाँ पर रह कर की है.

तपागच्छ के महान आचार्य आत्माराम जी महाराज के प्रमुख शिष्य श्री कमल सूरी जी ने लगभग सौ वर्ष पूर्व अजीमगंज चातुर्मास किया था।  राय बुध सिंह दुधोडिया परिवार ने उस चातुर्मास का लाभ लिया था। इसी प्रकार खरतर गच्छ के गणाधीश श्री सुखसागर जी महाराज के शिष्य श्री हरीसागर जी महाराज को अजीमगंज श्री संघ ने आचार्य पद प्रदान कर उनका चातुर्मास यहीं करवाया था. उसके बाद लम्बे समय तक यहाँ कोई चातुर्मास नहीं हुआ। नब्बे के दसक में फिर से यह सिलसिला चालू हुआ एवं जियागंज के दुगड़ परिवार की बेटी साध्वी श्री चारुयशा श्री जी का चातुर्मास अजीमगंज में हुआ। उसके बाद साध्वी हेम प्रज्ञा श्री जी का अजीमगंज एवं उनकी छोटी गुरु बहनों का जियागंज एक साथ चातुर्मास हुआ। उसके बाद अजीमगंज के ही सपूत आचार्य श्री  पद्मसागर सूरी जी एवं साध्वी श्री शशिप्रभा श्री जी का चातुर्मास भी अजीमगंज में हुआ.

यद्यपि यहाँ साधू सध्विओं का चातुर्मास होता रहा है परन्तु शहरवाली समाज मुख्य रूप से यतिओ पर ही निर्भर रहा। बीकानेर के श्रीपूज्यजी की यहाँ बड़ी मान्यता थी। बीकानेर की बड़ी गद्दी से संपर्क जिन सौभाग्य सूरी के समय से ही प्रारंभ हो गया था। बाद में यह संपर्क इतना दृढ हो गया की बीकानेर की  में  के बाद श्रीपूज्यों का चातुर्मास अजीमगंज से ही प्रारंभ होता था।  यह व्यवस्था आज तक प्रचलित है। श्री जिन चारित्र सूरी, जिन विजयेन्द्र सूरी, एवं जिन चन्द्र सूरी के अनेक चातुर्मास यहाँ पर हुए।

 इसके अतिरिक्त बीकानेर गद्दी के एक आदेशी यति यहाँ पर हमेशा रहते थे एवं धार्मिक क्रियायों के साथ यहाँ की समाज व्यवस्था को सुचारू रूप से चलने में योगदान देते थे। अजीमगंज में श्री लक्ष्मीचंद जी यति एवं जियागंज में श्री प्यारेचंद जी यति को मैंने भी देखा है। बीकानेर के आदेशी यतियों के अलावा अन्य यति गण भी यहाँ रहते थे। संस्कृत भाषा के प्रकांड विद्वान् महा महोपाध्याय श्री हेमचंद जी एवं उनके शिष्य प्रशिष्य श्री करमचंद जी व किर्तिचंद जी अजीमगंज में आजीवन रहे. आपलोग विजय गच्छ के थे एवं कोटा गद्दी से संवंधित थे। इसके अतिरिक्त अजीमगंज में यति मोतीचंद जी एवं यति ज्ञानचंद जी भी स्थाई रूप से निवास करते थे।

श्रावकों में लोंका गच्छ के अनुयायियों की  संख्या अधिक होने पर भी कभी किसी लोंका गच्छ के यति यहाँ पधारे ऐसा सुनने में नहीं आया है.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Statesmen, freedom fighters and politicians from Shaharwali community


There were several prominent Statesmen, freedom fighters and politicians from Shaharwali community. They served well the nation India and the state of Bengal in their individual capacities. I can name Sri Surpat Singh and Sri Bhupat Singh Dugar, two real brothers from Rai Bahadur Dhanpat Singh family, as members of Cnetral legislative Counsel in British India. Sri Navkumar Singh Dudhoria, grand son of Rai Budh Singh Bahadur also adorned the same post. Sri Rajpat Singh Dugar from Laxmipat Singh Dugar family was elected as member of Rajya Sabha (MP) in independent India. I heard that Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India had recommended him for the seat. Jawaharlal Nehru admired his contribution and told him the most active member in the parliament.  Sri Rajendra Singh Singhi was elected as member of West Bengal legislative assembly (MLA) from Kaliachowk, Maldah.  

Sri Bijay Singh Nahar was the most prominent among all Statesmen and politicians from Shaharwali community. He elected as MLA in West Bengal legislative assembly several times and adorned chairs as Deputy Chief minister of WB, Home and labor ministers. He was also elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in Loksabha elections 1977. He was also elected general secretary of Janata party in 1977 and Chairman of Bihar Religious Board.

I heard that total number of eight persons represented in government but I could name only six. Please inform me about the rest two.

Large numbers of prominent persons from Shaharwali community were awarded with government titles such as Jagat Seth, Raja and Rai Bahadur. 

Sri Narendra Pat Singh Kothari was elected as vice-chairman and Sri Chandrapat Singh Kothari as commissioner of Jiaganj-Azimganj municipality. 

Sri Jagat Singh Lodha was a great freedom fighter and his idol is established at Lodha Park, Jiaganj. Sri Gulab Chand Bothra was also a freedom fighter. Ganpat Singh Dugar led a "Vidroh" against British government in the middle of nineteenth century.

Mahatma Gandhi visited Azimganj on the invitation of Sri Nirmal Kumar Singh Nowlakha. Sri Nowlakha donated a sum of Rs. 10,000 at the time of felicitation in his rose garden. Ten thousand was huge amount at that time. I heard that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose also visited Azimganj. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was a resident of Harawat estate, owned by Dugar family. Dugar family bore all expenses of his education. Similarly, they helped Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan in various ways.

 Rai Bahadur Dhanpat Singh Dugar was instrumental in establishing Bengal chamber of Commerce and adorned the chair as founder president. Rai Badridas Bahadur Mookim of Johari Sath had joined him as founder secretary. It was the first Chamber of Commerce established in India.

Jiganj and Azimganj came under Lalbagh municipality. Sri Nirmal Kumar Singh Nowlakha donated a piece of land behind the Azimganj city Railway station to establish a new separate municipality. He also established a hospital near municipality and a girl's primary school. Some other Statesmen also contributed to public utilities. Most of the educational institutes in Jiaganj and Azimganj has been established with their contributions. 

Raja Bijay Singh Bidyamandir, Singhi school, Sripat Singh Dugar college and Rani Dhanya Kumari college of commerce at Jiaganj are contributions of Raja Bijay Singh Dudhoria, Singhi family and Sri Sripat Singh Dugar of Shaharwali community respectively. Recently, Subodh Chand Bothra has contributed to a B. Ed college in Jiaganj. Singhi family also established a high school in Lalbagh. 

There are Rai Budh Singh Bahadur primary and high schools at Azimganj established by Dudhoria family. Keshar Kumari belonged to Singhi family who was married to a boy of Dudhoria family. There is a girl’s high school at Azimganj in her name. 

Large numbers of Jain temples, Dadabadi, Dharamshala, Upashray, hospitals and dispensaries, educational institutes and other places of public utilities spreading India wide tell the stories of generosity of Shaharwali community. Sri Dhannulal Nowlakha also built a Shiva temple at Baranagar near Azimganj which is famous as Panchamukhi temple. 

Murshidabad was chosen for Pakistan because of its dense Muslim population at the time of partition. several reputed persons of Shaharwali community requested Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor General of India to reverse the order and to keep the district in India. It is also heard that they gifted an expensive Basra pearl string to lady Mountbatten to please her. Order was reversed with in a day. The nation India is indebted to those Shaharwali people  for their contribution to keep Murshidabad district in India. 

This list cannot be completed without naming Justice R S Bachchhawat. Sri Randhir Singh Bachchhawat was selected as Hon'ble justice of the Supreme court, the apex court in India. 

I have tried to list as many as I could remember or got information of. Please inform me if anyone important left. I also urge to correct any wrong information. Your contribution only can enrich this blog.


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Shaharwali boy updated KALQ Keyboard Android app in Google play


Shaharwali boy Darshan Kothari has updated KALQ Keyboard Android app in Google play. It is well known fact that he has launched world's first KALQ keyboard Android app and uploaded it in Google play store for free download. He launched the Android app on April 30. The latest updated version came on June 18, 2013.

Worldwide media reported this launch and several renowned websites including CNET have provided links to download the same. The app link has got 5 star user rating in CNET!  KALQ is a smarter keyboard to speed up typing in smart phones. Researches show that one can enhance his or her typing speed in this thumb based keyboard up to 85% than the older QWERTY key boards. Moreover, the app developed by Vardhaman Infotech led by Darshan Kothari has "Rupee" sign. Rupee sign is first time included in any keyboard in the world. Several other new features are also developed for better user experience.

Every technology requires updates. Continual development through researches is the key word in modern days' tech savvy environment. The new version of KALQ keyboard app is much more efficient than its older versions. It is compatible to more Android devices. Some errors in older versions are removed based on user complaints and few new features are added on the basis of user's reviews and suggestions.

Team of technical experts at Vardhaman InfotechJaipur, worked hard to bring the new version in the leadership of Darshan. They are still working on major development and we can expect even better versions. Those who have already downloaded the app can go to Google play store to update their Android application.

Apple does not allow an app developed by others. Hence, this app is not applicable in iPhones. Similarly it does not work in Blackberry. However, majority of smart phone users use Android phones and it is compatible to most of the Android mobile devices including tabs, fabs and smaller phones.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jain temple in Gaysabad- Dasturhat


There was a Shwetambar Jain temple in Gaysabad- Dasturhat in the last century. We have visited Gaysabad in 1977 and found a ruin. An old aged farmer informed us that that was a ruin of a Jain temple. I do not know what happened with that ruined temple.

I have found an old inscription that tells us about a temple in Dasturhat, 7 KM west from Azimganj. The inscription in an idol also informs that a member of Shaharwali community had performed Pratishtha of that idol. Gaysabad is on the opposite side of Dasturhat on the bank of river Bhagirathi.  It is possible that Gaysabad and Dasturhat are the same place and the inscription and the ruin are referring to the same Jain temple.

Sri Prakash Barnawat recently informed me that the Jain Tirthankar idols in Gaysabad were brought to Kiratbagh, Jiaganj by Maharaj Bahadur Singh Dugar. The idols are installed in Kiratbagh and these are there since that time.

It is possible that there was dense population of Shwetambar Jain (Shaharwali community) in Gaysabad and Dasturhat region in the last century. They may be shifted from there for some unknown reasons. At present there are no Jain population.

It is matters of investigation that whether the temple referred in Dasturhat and Gaysabad are the same? Whether there were a Jain population in these places? If yes, why Jain population were shifted from there? I am trying to answer these questions and urge people living at Azimganj and Jiaganj to physically verify the areas and try to find out the truth. I will be grateful to him or her who will inform me about this.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Murshidabad Shaharwali Literature


Shaharwali society of Murshidabad is a educated society and huge literature are created by, for and about them. The oldest script I found is by a Jain saint who wrote a Gazhal about cities in Murshidabad. It is an 18th century literature. " Pratap Singh Raso" is another old scripture by a Jain monk depicting life of Sri Pratap Singh Dugar, a Shaharwali who organized a Paidal Sangh to Palitana befor two centuries.

Rai Bahadur Dhanpat Singh Dugar was pioneer in publishing Jain Agam. Singhi Granthmala (Publication series) by Dalchand Bahadur Singh Singhi is renowned for their literary value. Babu Puran Chand Nahar was well known historian who collected and published Jain inscriptions. Similarly Puran Chand Samsukha also wrote several books. Mr. Bothra wrote Stavan Chouveesi. "Glimpses of Bengal" published in 1905 refers to life story of several Shaharwali personalities including two from Nahar family.

Jain Sadhus and Yatis created several texts living in Azimganj, Jiaganj, Baluchar and Mahimapur of Murshidabad. Shaharwali society patronized these creations. Yati Ramriddhisar, author of several Jain and medical books was also born in Murshidabad. Renowned publishers Tata Sons published Mr. Pradip Kothari's book on philately. Shaharwali Cook Book" by Murshidabad Heritage Development Society is latest addition to publications.

I heard that Dr. Rajendra Prasad, first President of India has referred Dugar family of Azimganj at several places. However, I have not yet seen those. If any one has any reference please inform me.

I am in process of collecting these literature and/ or references to these. Renowned Jain historian Dr. Shiva Prasad, Jain Research and Study Center, Jaipur has been helping me in this context. I request everyone to provide me with documents and references to literature related to Shaharwali society and Murshidabad.

As all of you know that I am writing this blog about Shaharwali society of Murshidabad for last five years, I am now motivated to write a book containing religion, history, culture, social structure, language and literature etc of the Jain society of Murshidabad.  I would love to incorporate relevant information in this book . Names of the information providers will be mentioned at appropriate places.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sri Kishor Chand Kothari left for his heavenly abode


Alas! Sri Kishor Chand Kothari (72) left for his heavenly abode yesterday at Nal Dadabadi, Bikaner. He belonged to famous Panachand Nanakchand Kothari family of Azimganj. Sri Kishor Chand popularly known as Gopal ji was son of late Sri Padamchand and grandson of late Sri Tarachand Kothari.

He lived most of his life working at Alliance jute mill, Jagdal, near Kolkata. He was shifted to Jaipur few years back and started living his religious and spiritual life spending most of the time with Sripujyaji Sri Jin Chandra Suri at Nal Dadabadi, Bikaner. He used to practice Vipassana meditation.

He left his wife, two brothers Pradip and Sandip; a sister Shila Nahta; two sons Ujjwal and Nirmal and three daughters behind him.

His funeral was took place at Adarshnagar burning ghat in Jaipur today morning and Uthavna will be held at Dadabadi, Moti Doongri Road, Jaipur tomorrow 4.30 PM.

He was my cousin uncle and I pray for his peaceful birth and next life.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Gemstone idols at Chintamani Parasnath temple in Azimganj



Crystal gemstone idol at Chintamani Parasnath Jain temple, Azimganj



 Gemstones idols at Chintamani Parasnath Jain temple, Azimganj
Harakchand Golechha family was a renowned Shaharwali family residing at Azimganj. They were very rich and religious. Golechha family built a complete Chouveesi made of gemstones. They established all these gemstone idols at their Ghar Dehrasar. This temple was famous as Chhote Shantinath ji. The main idol, Sri Shantinath swami, was made of jade, a rare gemstone. It had grapes color. There were another 24 idols made of various gemstones such as ruby, hessonite  rock crystal, iolite etc. There was a Gattaji (Navpad-Siddhachakra) made of precious gemstone emerald.

It is worth noted that this was the only Shwetambar Jain Chouvishee made of gemstones. There were few other gemstone Tirthankar idols in other places but no complete Chouvishee till recent past. There was a Chouvishee in Digambar Jain temple at Mudbidri.

Later on the whole temple of Chhote Shantinathji was shifted to Sri Chintamani Parasnath temple in Azimganj. All these idols were put in an almirah. Sri Chintamani Parasnath temple committee then shifted all these idols building a separate Gambhara (Sanctum).

Unfortunately, all these expensive gemstone idols were stolen in the mid-1990s. It was a very sad event. I met Mr. SB Chouhan, the then Home minister of India along with a delegation requesting him to put his effort in recovering stolen idols. The Hon'ble Home minister took the pain and wrote a letter to Mr. Jyoti Basu, the then Chief minister of West Bengal. Only a few of the idols were recovered after all efforts. The rest of these gemstone idols are not yet recovered.

Few of the remaining gemstone idols are placed in the original Gambhara whereas other statues are kept under lock and key at Chintamani Parasnath temple in Azimganj. I have photographs of both these places which are put here for your perusal.


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Video Jain Teerth Azimganj and Jiaganj



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