I often get asked… How do you know so much, and where do you get your information from? Where do you learn from? How do you know what you write is correct? I even have a new title, “Jai Jais Masi”.
I am so blessed to have been brought up by my grandparents on my mother’s side, who I call Bapa and Ma. My Bapa was my inspiration, when I was younger he would tell me stories of why Ganesh had an elephants head, why Hanuman could fly. This was my initial introduction to our wonderful ancient stories. My mum would tell me things growing up when we had festivals and fasting days, I was very inquisitive as a child… I guess that’s where my children get it from! I feel our generation tend to question things more, why do we pray to the cooker, why do we ring a bell? My grandparents would sit with family in the villages and share the stories, yet I feel they skipped a generation with my parents, they would not questions the rituals they would just join in!
Sadly by grandmother passed away in 2014, and last year we were so sad to say goodbye to my grandfather who was 101 years and 10 months old. One the most precious memories I will treasure is seeing my 100 year old grandfather sit with my 3 years old son and share The Jai Jai books, laughing, singing and acting. My grandfather would expand my stories and held his attention for hours, it was magical. These books truly bond a generation, and I have had some lovely testimonials from families saying the same.
I met Sagarbhai Shakula in 2014 as he performed my Ma’s last rights. When my Bapa passed away in 2020, Sagarbhai came to also preform the rituals. It was a very intimate family affair and during the pind pooja he sat and explained to us all the meanings behind the ceremony. I was blown away by his knowledge and wanted to sit and listen to him all day. It was the way he blended scientific reasoning, and religion to make our generation understand. We spent a lot of time chatting, and he has fully supported my Jai Jais journey. He truly understands how important is to educate this modern generation and keep our religion and culture alive.
You will see “An interview with Hindu Priest” in our blogs. Sagar bhai is my go to for information. I will research my content, using books, translations of the scriptures such as the Rig Vedas, the Puranas, the Gita etc and also the internet. Once I write my content I meet with Sagarbhai-virtually these days and he will check what I have written is accurate against the scriptures. He will also share more stories and information. He studies in India a diploma in Veda, and started learning when he was 10 years old. His family are generations of Hindu priests. I am so blessed that our paths have crossed, and I am sharing this information with you and your families. There is not a single day I came home and day, “kids did you know… mum did you know that…?”
Sometimes I get super confused!!! One of the things I have learnt is how many variations there are in spelling, dates and even the stories, Sagarbhai tells me the variations have occurred from different regions in India, and also how information has been translated through the years. There are also elements of the stories being made into narratives for children to have fun and understand.
We are so thankful for everyone’s kind words about The Jai Jais and how much you and your families are learning too. We want to keep these stories alive in a fun, modern and engaging way for children to pass on and learn… The Jai Jai Way! Hinduism is a fountain of endless knowledge. It is so rich in tradition, meaning and symbolism and I am so honoured to learn and share this with you.