This is how it all began...

A Brief History of Sangh's Prestigious Activity

During the late 1920's Jains needed an organisation which could root out the eveils of orthodoxy which had penetrated in the day-to-day life of Jains. Young Jains were throbbing with thoughts of change and a few amongst those enthusiastic Jain youths started on organisation - namely: Mumbai Jain Yuvak Sangh (MJYS). This was done on 3rd Feruary of the year 1929.

An organisation by itself cannot not achieve anything if the purpose does not reach the masses for whom it was setup. If MJYS wanted to succeed in their mission of changing the way Jains thought or in general how the society thought, they needed a vehicle for their mission to reach the vast majority of Jains across India and the world as well as like minded people from other communities. And with this purpose in mind a pamphlet 'Shri Mumbai Jain Yuvak Sangh Patrika' was born on 31/08/1929. It had six 1/4 demy size pages and was priced one-half anna.

No doubt this was a humble beginning of the great movement which was to bring revolution in the religious thinking of the Jain community.

It was also during this time when the Independence movement was at its peak, this pamphlet could not keep itself aloof from the independence movement and because of which the then British Rulers had imposed a penalty of Rs. 6000/- on the magazine - which the management of the magazine refused to pay and consequently the publication was stopped. After more than a year later it came out with new name - TARUN JAIN. And in the year 1939 it regained its old famous name - PRABUDDHA JAIN.

The message this magazine can give to Jain community has been expounded by Kala Saheb Kalelkar in his words: This world is at its end. The only way it save itself from the annihilation is to follow AHIMSA -- the way of life as proposed in SYADWAD. This message of the learned men may not reach the vast Jain community in India and across the world, which the Partika PRABUDDHA JIVAN can do.

The magazine created a vast readership. People were eagerly waiting for its issue. To put it exactly: the magazine could meet the timely need of Jain community. And it was so liberal in its views, people from non-Jain community enjoyed its reading. This is not a small achievement for a magazine which which has its foundation - Jain philosophy.

Late Shri Parmanand Kunvarji Kapadia, Shri Chimanbhai Chakulal Shah and Dr. Ramanlal Shah edited the issues of this magazine.

Parallel to this is: Paryushan Vyakhyanmala. The learned and most admired man of Jain community - Pandit Sukhlalji; started his lecture-series in Ahemdabad in the year 1930. In the year 1931 it moved to Mumbai where a small plant grew into a great banyan tree. Everyone was waiting for his lecture series. And since then these gatherings have been addressed by some of the greatest thinkers and orators of the time to quench the thirst of jain community and people in search of knowledge!

A few of the the esteemed and learned speakers that addressed these gatherings have been: Pandit Sukhlalji, Kaka Kalelkar, Dr. K. M. Munshi, Dr. Jagdish Chandra Jain, Sarladevi Sarabhai, Swami Akhand Anand, Motilal Kapadia, Morarji Desai, Dr. Ushaben Mehta, Pandit Dalsukhbhai Malwania, Haribhai Kothari, Santshri Moraribapu, Swami Anand, Pujya Jinvijayji, Zaverchand Meghani etc.

In the year 1959 the first female learned speaker in the panel of esteemed speakers to address this gathering was Mrs. Mrinalini Desai. Other leading female speakers to follow subsequently were Prof. Taraben Shah and Kum. Shailaja. Kum. Shailaja has addressed the gathering in Sanskrit language as well.

And Acharya Rajnishji was invited to speak in 1961. After the year 1983 Jain Sadhus and Sadhvijis have been regularly invited to address and speak at this gathering.

Dr. Ramanlal Shah had another noble and benevolent thought of helping the needy people. For this he launched a project to help the institutions in Adivasi areas. These social service institutions were starved of funds. Due to self respect and honesty, more so transparency they could approach government or donors. Mumbai Jain Yuvak Sangh selected such institutions and helped them to carryout their activities. Till today the Sangh has doated almost three crores of rupees to twentyone institutions. These funds were through donation fund drives during Paryushan Vyakhyanmala and during other such charitable activities of the sangh.

If we take look at the history of Mumbai Jain Yuvak Sangh, Paryushan Vyakhyanmala and Prabuddha Jivan Patrika - four stalwarts appear prominently before our eyes: they are Pandit Sukhlalji, Manilal Mokamchand Shah, Shri Parmanand Kunvarji Kapadia, Shri Chimanbhai Chakulal Shah and Dr. Ramanlal Shah. They are the founders and pillars of this edifice.

Jain community owes much to these greatmen for its well-being.