1980: First Digamber Temple outside India
Pujyashree Kanjiswami, after spending many
years as a Jain monk in the Sthanakwasi sect and thereafter doing
deep study of the Digamber Jain scriptures and meditation, exposed
the true meaning of Jainism and explained the correct path of practice
to attain the ultimate objective of self realisation. He decided
to reside in the secluded village of Songadh in Saurashtra to do
further study, meditate and pursue his goal, but soon found followers
gathering around to learn the true meanings of scriptures explained
by him, and the impact of which later spread all over India and abroad
to Kenya, UK, USA and other parts of world. Many swadhyay halls and
temples were and are still being built in India to propagate his
teachings of Jainism. In the early 1950s, 'mumukshus' in Nairobi,
Kenya formed a Mandal and later bought a property for a swadhyay
hall and temple but the pinnacle was reached when a new Shikharbandh
temple was consecrated and a panchkalyanak pratishta mahotsava was
held in the presence of Gurudevshree in 1980.
1981 – 1984: Indian mumukshus' come to London
Due to the political atmosphere in Kenya, some 'mumukshus'
started migrating to the UK in the 1970s and continued their religious
pursuits through swadhyay, in groups and families. In 1981,
Shree Virchandbhai Malde from Songadh visited London and gave further
encouragement and as a result, in 1982, a few families
of Hounslow invited Shree Lalchandbhai Modi of Rajkot, who gave the
benefit of swadhyay for nearly six weeks. In 1984, Shree
Shantibhai Revashankar stayed in London for nearly a year and gave
lectures and taught methodically the basic principles of religion.
This led to a larger following of 'mumukshus'. Since then, the very
learned scholar Dr. Hukumchand Bharill, of Jaipur visited London
almost every year and imparted deep understanding of religion to'mumukshus'
1989 – 1993: Formation of London mandal
Shree Bhagwanji Kachrabhai Shah, who had spent nearly 30 years under the umbrella of Gurudevshree in Songadh, migrated to London in 1982 and started regular swadhyay and teachings twice a week at his residence, where his whole family and other 'mumukshus' attended regularly. Paryushana and other festivals were regularly celebrated at his residence. The growing number of 'mumukshus' taking interest in swadhyay and learning, led by Zaverchandbhai and others, initiated the idea of forming a mandal in London, which was inaugurated as Shree Digamber Jain Association on 17.09.1989. An interim committee was elected of President - Laxmichandbhai BK Shah, Vice President - Zaverchandbhai M Shah, Secretary - Jayantibhai D Gudhka, Treasurer - Manilalbhai L Shah, Members - Premchandbhai Meghji Shah and Ramaben Chandaria. Bhimjibhai BK Shah, Bharatbhai H. Shah and Amritlalbhai Harania were elected as Trustees. Laxmichandbhai served as President for 12 years until the year 2002. The Constitution of Association was prepared by Bhimjibhai and was adopted on 13.06.1992 and was registered officially with Charity Commission on 02.04.1993.