Humans of YJA: May 9, 2021

“I went through some pretty rough patches of depression myself when I was in school. I’d see everyone around me, and it would seem that they had a path, a certainty that they created their days out of — but I had no idea what I was doing. When you’re floating around like that, you find yourself spiraling into something pretty bad. You collapse, and then you have to rebuild. You’ll think you’re on the right path, and then something will break you again.

There has to be something you do in your life that takes you away from yourself…

Written By Jay Shah

Jeff Bezos with ex-wife MacKenzie Scott (Source)

Note: The following terms will be used through this article. They, along with their definitions, are provided here: lākh (100,000 rupees); crore (10,000,000 rupees); Sādharmik (fellow Jain laymen and laywomen); Lakhpati (one with at least one lākh rupees, similar to the idea of a millionaire).

In 2019, valued at $171.6 billion dollars, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world. Upon his divorce on July 5th of that same year, his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott suddenly became the world’s richest woman with a net worth of $62.3 billion dollars. While both individuals were beyond…

Written by Akash Jain and Vidhi Piparia

Meet Nish Shah: a Houstonian, a Jain, a physician, a son, a husband, and now, a father. His experience and childhood embody that of many Jain children growing up in suburban America. Brought up in Sugarland, Texas, Nish found himself surrounded by members of a bustling Jain community, with his mother at the forefront.

Ultimately, however, there comes a time where one becomes one’s own spiritual guide and begins to dictate the right and wrong in one’s life. …

Humans of YJA: April 3rd, 2021

“A couple of months ago, I had this epiphany while watching Moana. I was explaining the movie to my Masi from India who was sitting next to me asking, ‘what is Moana like? Who is she?’ I described Moana as this fearless girl who knows her worth, what she loves, and she goes after it. As I went to bed that night, it hit me that I wanted to be like Moana. I wanted to be that girl who knows what she’s after, follows her dreams and passions, and doesn’t let her insecurities get in her way.

So as I…

Written by Deesha Ajmera


The five Samvayas, or causal factors

Jainism recognizes the 5 Samvayas as causal factors linked to every event that takes place in the universe. These are defined in Jainism as the following: Käl (time), Swabhäv (nature), Niyati (destiny), Karma, and Purushärth (self-effort) — check out this resource for a quick overview. Having developed a basic understanding of the meaning of each of the aforementioned factors, we will now dive into how they apply to our day-to-day lives.

Each and every event that occurs does so as a result of these causes. It is important to understand…

An Exploration Into the Five Samvayas

Written by Deesha Ajmera and Siddharth Challani

***This article contains spoilers!***


As you might remember, Dr. Stephen Strange’s story starts out as a portrait of a successful young man in the prime of his life. A brilliant surgeon at the peak of his career, Strange has it all — fame, money, and a healthy dose of arrogance. But his charmed lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt when reckless driving puts him back in the operating room — as a patient. Having suffered extensive nerve damage, he is told he will never operate again.

Humans of YJA: March 16th, 2021

“My goal was to work for Nintendo in Japan, but when I was trying to be more realistic about it, I realized I should know the language. So I’ve been teaching myself Japanese for the past couple of years. Actually, when I was in high school, I studied abroad in Japan, and that kind of confirmed this interest I had in their culture and language. I think the way Japanese culture approaches things is very open-minded, and that’s taught me to adopt that same sort of mentality.

When I was younger, I played the piano, painted, and played video games…


Written by Nishi Shah and Suryaraj Jain

Monica Shah isn’t just an ordinary Board of Trustee member for YJA. She’s a Pathshala teacher, basketball coach, music lover, Bharatnatyam dancer, and so much more. But her biggest passion in life is leading her own children to be positive contributors in society. That’s how she became interested in being the coach for her son’s basketball team, choreographing Bharatnatyam pieces for her daughter, and teaching Jainism to the younger generation.

For the past ten years, Monica Aunty has been teaching Pathshala at the Jain Society of Metropolitan Washington (JSMW). Motivated by her son…

By Nami B. Jain & Rishi Zaveri

This article was written for Maun Ekadashi, the most auspicious day in the Jain calendar. 150 Kalyanaks, or milestones in a Tirthankar’s life, are commemorated on this day. In observance, Jains perform penance of various kinds, including fasting, reflecting on the soul, and taking Maun Vrat (a vow of silence for a limited time). The following piece describes the significance of Maun Vrat, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

A Jain Shravak (layman) performs pooja on the representation of a Tirthankar’s footprints. Such engravings are often found at or around the location where the Tirthankar experienced a Kalyanak, or major life event. (Source)

Once, a great fire ravaged the city of Shauripuri. The villagers, fearing for their lives, ran from their homes in search of safety. They noticed…

“I have little life, time is very precious.”

Written by Vishwa Shah

Born and raised in Secunderabad, Telangana (then Andhra Pradesh), Mr. Ignatius Joseph has accomplished much in his life. From being a corporate employee in Riyadh to speaking at a UNESCO conference, he has experienced a wide variety of environments. For the last 25 years, he has made it his mission to further peace, harmony, and ahimsa in the world.

Discovering Jainism

Day in and day out, on his 2.5km journey to school, a four-year-old Ignatius Joseph would silently observe a group of people clad in plain white cloth as they walked barefoot on the side of the highway…

Young Jains of America (YJA)

YJA is an internationally recognized Jain youth organization built to establish a network for and among youth to share Jain heritage and values.

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