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Dharma For Life Celebrated Great Indian Women in Jain Literature and Society

On the sunny afternoon of April 6th, 2024, Dharma For Life, a unit of the Tulip Foundation, became a hub of intellectual discourse and celebration. Professionals, Homemakers, and people from all walks of life gathered to honour great Indian women in Jain literature and reflect on the evolving essence of womanhood. The meticulously organised event offered a platform for fruitful discussions among scholars, professionals, and laypeople.
The program commenced with a warm welcome tea, setting a hospitable atmosphere for the attendees to network and connect. The event started with a heart-touching prayer sung by Mrs. Sunita Jain that evoked feelings of calmness and self-contemplation in everyone’s heart. This was followed by the much-awaited first session, which was a lecture on “Great Indian Women in Jain Literature” by Dr Vibha Jain. As a distinguished scholar of Jain philosophy and a Professor of Commerce at the University of Delhi, Dr Jain talked about Great Indian Women, focusing on the soul journey of Satī Draupadi. The Q&A session allowed the attendees to discuss and exchange ideas on Dr Jain’s lecture.
Post-lecture, a brief tea break offered the attendees a chance to refresh and recharge before the commencement of the second session. The panel discussion on the “Evolution of Womanhood” included diverse perspectives from academia, bureaucracy, medicine, and millennial culture. Panellists were Dr Rekha Jain (Former Economics Professor from DU), Mrs Dheera Khandelwal (Former IAS), Dr Shalini Jain (Gynaecologist), Mrs Divyanshi Jain Dagar (Millennial and thinker), and Dr Medhavi Jain (Founder, Dharma For Life) engaged in a thought-provoking dialogue about the journey of womanhood in today’s society.
Dr Rekha Jain beautifully explained the different types of ‘Stree Shakti’ through historical examples like Sati Anusuya, Sukanya, Mandan Mishra’s wife, Ubhaya Bharati, along with personal stories. Mrs Khandelwal delved into the four pillars of a woman’s life: career, relationships, self-love, and financial independence. Dr Shalini Jain elaborated on historical figures like Brahmi and Sundari, advocating balanced feminism, highlighting marriage, motherhood, nutrition, vegetarianism, vaccination, and holistic practices. Mrs Divyanshi Jain Dagar expanded the definition of feminism to include struggles faced by men and prioritising emotional well-being and emphasised the freedom of thought, speech, expression, and self-identity. Dr Medhavi Jain shared five teachings from Durga Stuti to highlight concepts like creation, destruction, and women’s right to choose a life partner. Her heartfelt poems on women’s freedom and her expressions were very inspiring. Along with exploring the literal meaning of ‘Dharmapatni’, she also dealt with the topic of ‘Women’s liberation’ in Jain philosophy. The second session was followed by the interactive Q&A that allowed the attendees to engage with the panellists, seeking clarifications and sharing reflections.
The event concluded on a high note with closing remarks from Mrs Vandana Yadav, an esteemed author. She summarised the day’s discussions efficiently. The event ended with a delicious Satvik Jain dinner, allowing the attendees to relax and continue their conversations in a comfortable setting.

Senior scholars such as Dr Shugan Chand Jain, Founder of the International School For Jain Studies, and Dr Jai Kumar Upadhye ji graced the occasion. Honorary Mr Devender Bahl, Founder of Sabhya Prakashan, was also present to bless the program.

The lecture and panel discussion were not only interesting but also engaging. Many spirited discussions took place. The attendees were inspired to champion gender equality and empowerment in their spheres of influence. The organisers provided intellectual nourishment and ensured attendees’ comfort by offering to reimburse travel expenses for scholars and speakers, showing their dedication to making the experience smooth and enriching for everyone.
In summary, the celebration of women in ancient Indian Jain literature and society at The Tulip Clubhouse was a resounding success, leaving an indelible impression on all those who attended.

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