Sadhvi Sahelaji impresses with her straight talk

Sadhvi Sahelaji with former All India Radio star singer Leela Joshi
Sadhvi Sahelaji with former All India Radio star singer Leela Joshi

CHICAGO: A highly educated young Indian woman of a rich business family of Mumbai turned Sadhvi (nun) came to Chicago for a short visit and impressed all those who came to meet her and listen to her sagacious talks.

An erudite scholar, Sadhvi Dr Sahelaji gave discourses about Jain Dharma and the principal teachings of Vardhaman Mahavir, the most popular spiritual Master, considered the founder of this order at Chicago Jain Temple located in Bartlett, a suburb of Chicago. She is equally adept and familiar with essence of Sanatan Dharma and other religions too and has never cast herself as one professing Jainism. Principles of universal love, harmony, tolerance and Vasudaha Aive Kutaumbak define her view about what is true religion.

Sadhviji was in Chicagoland visiting devotees and Jain/Hindu temples and at the behest of her numerous followers decided to give some talks and Swadhaya at the temples here. She visited a few nursing homes too since she plans opening one in Mumbai.

She is actively engaged in educational programs or spiritual and scientific healing in which she has mastered the art of 24 spiritual healing Anahata symbols. People across the globe invite her to share her invaluable thoughts on spiritual practices.
In her journey to different parts of the world and regions of India she preaches the importance of moral values in daily life. She has combined spiritual and scientific healings with social services to achieve peace and self-realization. In order to realize her dream of promoting self-reliance and self-realization she established Anahata Sarvatobhadram Charitable Trust and has dedicated her life to help older people to share their experience and knowledge for the welfare of society.

She says that in order to bring up our underprivileged and tribal people we must support them to make them self-reliant. In view of this she encourages to develop projects called “gaushala” with a dual objective of protecting cows and organize milk distribution centers on the basis of popular Amul Milk producing distribution facilities.

She says that projects like this will have multi-dimensional economic benefits creating rural employment and reducing the problem of cow-slaughter, which is virtually against the Hindu/Jain view of life. She assed that this will also provide cow-dung, which is an important bio-pesticide.

Yet another dear project dear to the heart of Sadhviji is to establish a Mahila Gruha Udyog project focusing on welfare of women and protection of their interests, which unfortunately both the government and society had ignored even after 60 years of independence. Women in rural India lacks facilities for their empowerment.

Sadhviji called for promoting their welfare through encouraging more and more educational facilities and opportunities for women to help them cope with the advancing world and to enable Indian women to be at par with women in the West. Of course, their traditional role as mothers and torch bearers of Indian values and culture should not suffer by blind westernization, which happens in our schools and colleges creating setbacks in our efforts to strengthen our mores.

Sadhvi Dr Sahelaji was born and brought up in Amritsar, Punjab in a highly respected Jain family. Having completed B.A. (Honors) she pursued Master of Arts in Sanskrit. She chose to become an ascetic and received Bhagwati Diksha. She also received degrees like “Prabhakar Shastri” and lives the life of a traditional Jain Sadhvi.

Surendra Ullal

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