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I am a Jain ; Common App/ Significant Experience


shadow_master 3 / 4  
Dec 28, 2012   #1
Please tell me how do you feel?

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
I am a Jain and have been raised by two devout parent to follow - ahimsa, satya, asetya, brahmacharya and aparigraha - non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy and non-materialism. Jainism played a big role towards the development of my character and personality and thus I always wanted to go to Palitana, the holiest site of Jainism. However, it was not until December, 2010, that I seized an opportunity to travel to Palitana for a 35-day pilgrimage.

After I reached the sacred city and had formal greetings with my Guruji (spiritual leader), he explained that I would have to climb the 3600 steps to the summit of Palitana, to visit the most prominent Jain temple, 108 times. I would be allowed to eat only once everyday before sunset, subsisting on foods which were carefully prepared to serve simply for nourishment of the body, without taste. I could only drink boiled water and I had to wake up everyday at 4am to start my morning prayers before heading out for the climb.

Everyday, I climbed the holy mountain 3-5 times and most days ended with my legs in hot water for some relief. Hunger, thirst and sleep-deprivation were my constant companions. For a few weeks, I complained that these rituals were too hard and that I didn't understand the reasoning behind it. My Guruji would always reply in his serene voice, "The body is just a vessel for this life, you must strengthen your soul which will accompany you beyond this life." When I entered the temple on the summit for the 73rd time, at six in the morning, it finally dawned on me. The temple, which was never empty, was now deserted except for a handful of pilgrims. The chilly December morning, the chanting of centuries old religious verses by the elderly which I didn't understand but somehow felt attached to, the smell of sandalwood in the air transcended me to an oasis of serenity. At that moment, I felt infinite. I could become anything I wanted as long as I was determined. I felt ahimsa towards everything and everyone. I felt rising positive energy within me. I started seeing beauty in everything. I felt truly happy.

That night, I sat with my Guruji, for a few hours explaining how my spiritual awakening had reinvigorated my life. He then explained that the reason behind this pilgrimage was to build self-control to be, "like a lotus, which although grows in dirt, is pure itself." I finished rest of my pilgrimage in complete bliss and returned back to Bangkok just in time to celebrate the New Year. That New Year symbolized the renewing of my life. This newfound energy inspired me to become more active in my community. From the trip, I realized what made me happy was helping and leading others. My hunger during the trip made me think of the millions of people who go to sleep hungry everyday, my strict diet reminded me of the sanctity and wonder of nature, the pain in my legs made me think of all the people who have to do hard labor just to make ends meet and my prayers reminded me that I only have a limited time on this planet. What I learnt on the my pilgrimage is now helping me as a leader. As the MUN club founder and president, I try to keep an open mind while discussing global problems and I lead by example. As the captain of the Chess team, I never let my team give-up until the tournament is over. As a young entrepreneur, I don't let anybody's doubts and discouragement hinder my determination. I have learnt that I can achieve anything if I have the determination and will to achieve it and for that I thank my Guruji.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I can not do everything, but still I can do something." - Edward Everett Hale
Karla281995 6 / 15 1  
Dec 29, 2012   #2
Grammatically, the first sentence needs work. Have the English translations in Parenthesis
I am a Jain and have been raised by two devout parents to follow ahimsa, satya, asetya, brahmacharya and aparigraha ( non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy and non-materialism.)

4am
4 a.m.

I don't think you would write the number 3-5

Take out the contractions-didn't

The end is kind of a cliche like the "I can do all things with determination part"

Overall, Well-written. Really, you did a great job. I can say I was very interested in reading this and I have never heard of such religion. This made me research it.

My best wishes!
-Karla Valcourt

P.S. You should return the favor
hellogoodbye 2 / 20  
Dec 29, 2012   #3
As a Jain, I was raised to follow _______________________.

without taste doesn't need a comma before it.

'ended with my legs in hot water for some relief.'

Ended with bathing my legs in hot water for some relief from the aches.

As the captain of the Chess team, I never let my team give-up until the tournament is over. As a young entrepreneur, I don't let anybody's doubts and discouragement hinder my determination. I have learnt that I can achieve anything if I have the determination and will to achieve it and for that I thank my Guruji.

^ This ending was VERY abrupt and seemed as though you were just throwing in your accomplishments for the sake of trying to tie it in.

Also, the quote at the end doesn't really match.

Overall, good idea. Needs better execution.

Help with mine?


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