These Jain friends formed a Jain group under the leadership of Dr. Narendra Sethi and their first meeting was held at Columbia University. Dr. Pandya was nominated as the treasurer who paid for all the expenses of the group out of his own pocket. They began to hold monthly meetings at Columbia University student’s hall. Dr. Pandya’s wife Asha Rani and other ladies prepared vegetarian meals for the meetings that attracted lots of students and eventually many Jains from all the boroughs. The news of these monthly meetings was published in the New York Times as the formation of the first Jain Center in North America. In 1976, they formalized the group as The Jain Center of America (JCA) with Dr. Sethi as their President and Dr. Pandya as Vice President. They frequently held their meetings and celebration of Mahavir Jayanti and Diwali at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan under the Guidance of Dr. N. P. Jain. They also met and worshiped at Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji’s Jain Meditation Center in Manhattan and other Secular Halls in New York.
After the retirement of Dr. Sethi, Dr. Pandya became the President of JCA. In 1981, with the blessings from Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji and Shri Sushil Muniji, and a major financial contribution from Dr. Pandya, JCA purchased a small house in Queens for their religious activities. This is the site where the present four-story modern Jain Temple with a replica of Ashtapad Tirth, beautiful artwork, and separate floors for a Digambar and a Svetambara Temple stands. All five traditions of Jains are represented in the four-story temple – celebrating Jain Unity with respect for Diversity. This world renowned unique and unified Jain Temple is a living testimony to Dr. Pandya’s belief that all Jains should be united.
In the 1970’s Dr. Pandya organized celebrations in New York and the Indian Consulate for the celebrations of Mahavir Bhagwan’s 2,500 Nirvana Anniversary attended by many important dignitaries from India and the US.
All along, Dr. Pandya was the main supporter of Sushil Muni’s ashram in Staten Island. In the early eighties, Dr. Pandya, and Dr. Tansukh Salgia collaborated in the months-long search for a larger place in Poconos for relocating Sushil Muni’s Ashram. For their long days of search, Pandya ji would provide rides from Staten Island and home-cooked food. They finally settled for what is presently known as Siddhachalam. Here too, Dr. Pandya was a major contributor, fundraiser, and negotiator for purchasing of the property. Sushil Muni appointed Dr. Pandya a lifelong Trustee of Siddhachalam.
When Dr. Pandya retired as President of JCA, he began his participation in the newly formed national organization of Jains – Federation of Jain Associations in America – JAINA. To fortify the financial health of JAINA, Dr. Pandya conceived and formed the JAINA Charitable Trust. It was a timely call and as the President of the Trust, he threw a lifeline to JAINA. In 1997, he became the First Vice President of JAINA and in 1999, he became the President of JAINA.
As President of JAINA, Dr. Pandya, in the very first meeting of the board of directors moved a resolution to make JAINA (not any Sangh) the convener of all the future JAINA conventions. He established the JAINA Calendar program and Mini Library initiative for Jain homes. His vision of producing a large wall calendar with the twelve most exquisite colorful photos of Jain Temples from all over India complete with descriptions and many miniature photos of the artful interiors is now one of the most successful projects of JAINA. Over 14,000 calendars are mailed cost-free to JAINA members annually. His JAINA Mini Library consisted of three scholarly Jain books in English. He mailed out over 3,500 sets free to JAINA members who had donated to JAINA. He traveled to over 20 Jain Centers in US and Canada and convinced many Jain centers to follow a non-Sectarian approach to building their Jain Centers. He presided over the 2001 JAINA convention in Chicago as President as well as the 1999 JAINA Convention in Philadelphia as the Vice President.