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    NAMO VITARAGAYA Jay Jinendra *SHRIMAD DEVACANDRA KRTA CAUBISI* Old Gujarati text + Hindi translation + Gujarati explanation Printed on glossy art paper with
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2009
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      Jay Jinendra

      Old Gujarati text + Hindi translation + Gujarati explanation
      Printed on glossy art paper with full colour illustrations
      By Upadhyaya Devacandra along with an auto-commentary
      "Svopajña Balavabodha"
      With Hindi and Gujarati gloss by Acarya Vijaykalapurnasuri
      Ed. by Premal Kapadia
      2005     355 x 250 mm     506 pp, all colour plates
      + 471 colour ill.
      + 159 decorative motifs and emblems
      Deluxe hardcover edition    

      This work is a pleasing marriage of scholarly commentary on a
      spiritual text with extraordinarily beautiful coffee table book
      aesthetics and picture quality! The high production values and 170 gsm
      imported art paper enhance the pleasure of reading and owning this

      It is the product of the life-long dedicated spiritual endeavour of a
      great scholar and accomplished adhyatma-yogi of high repute – Parama
      Pujya Upadhyaya Shrimad Devacandra Vacaka (1689-1755 CE), direct
      disciple of Upadhyaya Shri Dipacandra Vacaka, Raj Hamsa Gani of the
      Kharatara gaccha.

      The Introduction provides a brief biography of the author along with
      quotations and references from important works published (in Gujarati)
      on Shrimad Devacandra and his works such as; "Shri Devacandraji
      Maharaja Krta Stavana-Covisi" ed. Kanti B. Shah and "Shrimad
      Devacandraji: Temanum Jivan ane Gujarati Sahitya" by Manilal M.

      Shri Devacandraji's stavanas, in content and calibre are reminiscent
      of Anandghanji's Covisi, and perhaps more difficult since they focus
      on Dravyanuyoga.

      This Covisi (as "Stavana-Covisi") actually has 25 stavanas hymns or
      songs of praise. The first 24 stavanas are named after the 24
      Tirthankaras and the last stavana is concluding in nature.

      These 25 stavanas have a total of 214 verses composed in 18th Century
      Gujarati, Old Gujarati.

      The work `Covisi' is published along with the author's own commentary
      – Svopajña Balavabodha and has Vijaya
      Kalapurnasuri's lucid and elaborate Gujarati gloss and its Hindi
      rendering by Pt. Basantilal Nalavaya Ratlamwala.

      Though this is a Covisi (collection of 24 hymns) of stavanas,
      devotional songs, in the praise of the Lord, it also serves a
      different purpose. Its target is the cultivation of deep and ultimate
      devotion towards the Supreme Enlightened Souls – the Lords. But this
      devotion is not merely an outcome of sheer emotional outburst. It is
      not the state of either fascination or helplessness. It is, rather, a
      means to help oneself to understand, recognize and know his own self
      through dedication and service offered to the Tirthankaras who have
      attained the highest state of self-realisation.

      Thus, this devotional work is not devoid of rational outlook or
      logical explanation – of the real state and nature of the self.

      Philosophical tenets interwoven in the beautiful texture of heartfelt
      emotions of sublimation, dedication, reverence and devotion depict an
      altogether unique picture of the path of self-realisation–as tracked
      by an experienced and enlightened master – Shrimad Devacandra.

      Questions like – how can devotion lead to the knowledge of the self,
      what is the secret of the real evolution of the self, how far the
      means, as prescribed in the scriptures, such as listening to the noble
      virtues and attributes of the great Tirthankaras and their darshana
      (vision of this image or idol) can be helpful in the attainment of the
      true knowledge regarding one's own self, why does the path of the
      self-realisation pass through the province of the devotional worship
      of the Lord, how far the knowledge of reasoning,   logic and
      philosophical complexities become helpful in the attainment of moksha
      – the final release – all such questions find appropriate convincing
      answered in the journey of the gathas in this Prayer book.

      Topics like the importance of meditation in the final realization of
      one's own self (sva-rupa), the attainment of one's real state of pure
      atman by removing all impurities of karmas, greatness of the tradition
      of chanting the holy names of the Lord, role of the knowledge of the
      science of logic in acquiring the true perception of the real nature
      of the self, the secret of the varied worship of the different
      forms of the Lord, the glory of the glorification of the Lord's
      supreme non-attachment, the characteristic powers of the self, the
      outcome of the company of noble people and finally the overcoming of
      delusion and infatuation through the  piercing unique purity of the
      self – these topics are  elaborately explained in live and lucid

      The spontaneous flow of the most effective and charming words pregnant
      with the aesthetic excellence and philosophical spark arrests the mind
      of the readers. The philosophical topics are treated in an off-beat
      manner which elucidates the message of the author.

      After every stavana, the essence of the stavana is given, which helps
      the reader to quickly grasp the central topic under discussion in
      particular stavana, and of course it  also serves the purpose of brief

      The secrets of master-pieces unfold slowly and gradually during their
      repeated readings, "parayana".

      The present work is embellished with very beautiful and pleasing
      illustrations, miniature paintings, decorative items and photographs
      (630 in all). This really documents the precious record of the very
      rich contribution from the Jain culture and tradition, to the fields
      of Painting in particular and arts in general. The picturesque
      calligraphic presentation of the text of the Gathas has really
      enhanced   the beauty and value of this excellent publication.

      The beautiful illustrations include rare pattas, old miniatures and
      paintings representing some of the finest examples of  Jain art
      heritage sourced painstakingly from Jain Jñana Bhandaras, museums,
      temples and private collections. The illustrations relevant to each
      stavana are appropriately exhibited providing exceptional charm to the
      whole work, which is unique in concept.

      The appendix contains the explanation of the specific philosophical
      terms, the list of the captions of the pictures and the
      acknowledgments regarding the sources of the illustrations etc.

      The editor and the publishers surely deserve our hearty
      congratulations for publishing such an important work, which is
      perhaps more relevant today, for its scientific treatment of a subject
      like devotion for the attainment of Truth..

      It is hoped that this work. will be warmly welcomed by the students
      and scholars of philosophy as well as devotional, and also the artists
      and connoisseurs of the art heritage of India.

      Book review by Girish B. Jani

      Yashodhar Modi

      E-mail: manishymodi@...

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