Thursday, August 07, 2003

Today I am going for a "Chouka" for two Jain Aryikajees (female ascetics) in our local temple. During the monsoon months, Jain ascetics stay at one place, as compared to the rest of the year when they are constantly on the move from one place to another. So this is more a time for contemplation, meditation, preaching and teaching than any other during the year. The ascetics take very simple food, once a day. This food is prepared by devotees in a very very clean and pure environment. Everything has be very clean and completely pure and this makes it very tough to do this kind of thing. A lot of effort goes into a single meal.

Our family has had a tradition of some "Choukas" in the past, but the recent years have seen no Choukas in past years. Life in a big city can be drastically different from one in a small city and one has much less time.

Noida, where I live is a comparatively new place and this is the first time that some ascetics have stayed for the monsoon months. So there is a great fervour in the Jain community here. Most of the arrangements for the meals have been made at the local temple itself, instead of homes, as is normally done.

I better get going!

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