Ahimsa Times November 2006 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org
"Jainism has contributed to the world the sublime doctrine of Ahimsa. No other religion has emphasized the importance of Ahimsa and carried its practice to the extent that Jainism has done. Jainism deserves to become the universal religion because of its Ahimsa doctrine."
- Justice Ranglekar, Bombay High Court -
TRADITIONS IN JAINISM
SALLEKHANA OR SANTHARA
According to Jainism, each individual soul is pure and perfect, but since eternity it is associated with karmic matter which is transformed into different forms. This suppresses innate cognitive and other properties of soul which has, therefore, become subject to birth and rebirth. The supreme object of religion is to show the way of liberation to the soul from the bondage of karma. This spiritual process is inextricably connected with the process of shedding karmas. The basic concept underlying a vow of sallekhana or santhara is to prevent influx of new karmas even at the last stages of life and at the same time liberate the soul from bondage of karmas.
The word sallekhana is composed of two words, sat and lekhana. Sat means samyak (rationality in belief) and lekhana means weakening the strength of body and passion by taking a vow. Santhara is a process that starts after a vow of sallekhana is taken. Santhara derives from the Sanskrit word sanstar which in prakrat has become santhar. Santhar is to spread a bed of grass. It is in the last stage that a person, for achieving samadhimaran, sits on a grass bed and goes into deep meditation. He cultivates no interest in living or no regret in embracing death. The purpose is not to seek moksha but to liberate the soul from the bondage of karmas. In Jainism, the tradition of systematic fasting, known as santhara, has existed for more than 2,000 years. Holy men say that sallekhana is giving up the body by fasting when there is unavoidable calamity, severe drought, old age or incurable disease, in order to observe the discipline of religion. Prior to taking vow of sallekhana, santhara is required to give up all feelings of love, hatred, companionship and attachment of any kind with a pure mind. One may take to santhara after obtaining blessings from gurus, and permission from family, friends and relatives.
Sallekhana is voluntary termination of one's life, but under no circumstances is it equivalent to committing suicide. Suicide is committed on a sudden impulse. It is normally a misfortune of one's own making. It may be a result of mental weakness or external circumstances. Attempting suicide is a penal offence under Section 309 of Indian Penal Code. The high courts of Bombay and Delhi have held Section 309 unconstitutional. In Rathinam P before a division bench of the Supreme Court, it was argued that provisions of Section 309 of IPC are arbitrary, monstrous and barbaric and offend the equality clause under Article 14 of the Constitution. The division bench by invoking Article 21 has held that since right to live includes right to die, Section 309 is violative of Article 21. It is true that the division bench judgment of the Supreme Court in Rathinam P stands overruled in Gian Kaur. However, in the Gian Kaur case the court observed: "The right to life including the right to live with human dignity would mean the existence of such a right up to the end of natural life. This also includes the right to a dignified life up to the point of death including a dignified procedure of death. In other words, this may include the right of a dying man to also die with dignity when his life is ebbing out". The Supreme Court in Gian Kaur has summed up the law of the land by observing that the right to live with human dignity includes the right to terminate natural life after commencement of natural process of certain death.
If we examine the case on the basis of philosophy of religion it is evident that every man lives to accomplish four objectives of life i.e. dharma, artha, kama and moksha. When earthly objectives are complete the question arises as to why a person should cling to the body. Hence, a man has a moral right to terminate his life according to Jain religious tenets, because death is simply changing the old body into a new one.
In 1972, the Law Commission recommended abolition of Section 309 of the IPC. In UK, there is no punishment for abetment of suicide. In a number of countries, including UK, euthanasia or mercy killing is permitted. In 1993, Dutch parliament permitted mercy killing under strict guidelines. In Gian Kaur the court has recognised the right to die with dignity. Hence, a dying man who is terminally ill or in a persistent vegetative state can be permitted to prematurely terminate his life.
Sallekhana is a system of belief which Jains regard as conducive to their spiritual well-being. The preamble to the Constitution states that the Constitution secures to all its citizens liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. Article 25 guarantees that every person in India shall have freedom of conscience and a right to profess, practice and propagate religion. Article 29 goes further and declares that any section of citizens having a distinct culture shall have a right to conserve the same. If any law comes in conflict with constitutional rights, it will have to yield. According to Sati Prevention Act, 1987, abetment of sati means that if any widow commits sati, or if someone abets or glorifies it, the act is punishable. This is different from sallekhana-santhara. It is clear that sallekhana is not suicide, and practice of sallekhana in the Jain community is protected by various guarantees enshrined in the Constitution. Source: www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com
DEVOTEES RECALL THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ACHARYASHREE VIDHYA SAGAR JI MAHARAJ ON HIS 61st BIRTH DAY
Acharya Shri Vidhya Sagar Ji maharaj entered his sixty-first year on the 7th October, 2006. Entire Digambar Jain samaj remembered him on this day for his enormous contributions to the Jain religion and Jain society. He has been a motivating force behind the establishment and renovation of many Jain teerths. He has been instrumental in spreading the message of Mahavir, propagating ahimsa, truth and aparigraha, providing facilities for youngsters to learn Jain religion and philosophy, looking after various cowsheds (Gaushala) and shelters for birds and animals. Shri Vidhya sagar Ji has been the symbol of gyan (knowledge), bhakti (devotion) and acharan (conduct). In spite of continuously practicing austerity, asceticism and penance, he always maintains simplicity, calmness, straightness and sensitivity.
MUNI RAKESH KUMAR JI ADDRESSES STUDENTS AND STAFF OF PUNJAB AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY
Muni Rakesh Kumar Ji accompanied with Muni Shri Sudhakar Ji, disciples of Acharya Shri Mahapragya belonging to Jain Shwetambar Terapanthi sect visited Punjab Agricultural university and addressed the students and staff there. He laid stress on the need for spiritual development apart from mental and physical development of young generation. He discussed at length the harmful effects of addiction and appealed to all the students not to indulge in such a vice which causes a person to lose all his senses. The audience present was highly moved by the appeal and all the students and staff took a vow before the saints not to take any intoxicating items in future. Munishri Ji also talked about the subject of science of living and explained the necessity for developing mental concentration, resoluteness and discipline amongst the students.
MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT PROPOSES BILL TO TAKE OVER RELIGIOUS SHRINES
Mumbai, November 13, 2006: The Maharashtra government is proposing legislation which will empower the state to take over all religious shrines. If the legislation is enacted it will place all Hindu, Jain, Christian and Buddhist shrines under government control. The law, however, makes no mention of Aukaf land (Muslim religious bequests) which are located all over the state. The intended purpose of the proposal, according to the government, is to curb corruption at the temples. At the present time, some shrines are under government control from which the state is getting two per cent of the total income. In the new bill the provision is made to take 12 to 15 per cent of the total income. According to senior government officials, the proposed legislation will add approximately Rs. 40,000 crore in yearly revenues to the government . In Mumbai alone, there are 60,000 - 70,000 religious shrines.There are more than nine lakh religious shrines and places in the state of Maharashtra. But this proposed legislation is likely to invite some unavoidable tensions for the government. After the enforcement of this act all Hindu, Jain, Christian and Boudh shrines will be under government control. But this draft bill is totally silent on the huge Aukaf Land spread all over the state. Source: www.cybernoon.com
NINE IDOLS STOLEN FROM JAIN TEMPLE
Jalesar (UP), Nov 3: Nine antique ashtadhatu idols were stolen along with cash and ornaments from the Digambar Jain temple. Two idols of Parsvnath, four of Chandraprabhu, and one each of Sidwanath, Adinath and Mahaveer Swami were stolen. Several ornaments, cash, 'mangal kalash' and other valuables used in temple rituals are also reported missing. Additional Superintendent of Police Pramod Kumar said the thieves entered the temple by breaking open the main door while those inside the shrine were asleep. Several suspects have been rounded up for interrogation and police teams sent to different places for tracing the thieves. Meanwhile, members of the Jain community said they would launch an agitation if the police failed to nab the thieves soon.
EXCAVATIONS NEAR BIKANER REVEAL RARE STATUES OF TIRTHANKARS
Bikaner: During the digging of soil in a field at Rai Ki Dhani village in Khatu Bari region of Nagaur district of Rajasthan, six rare stone statues, belonging to 11th century have been recovered few days ago. The statues are those of Bhagwan Shri Parshwa nath Ji, Shri Adinath Ji and also of Shri Bahubali swami. year Samvat 1094 is inscribed on some of the stones. The information about the recovery of statues was reported to the Archeology department at Bikaner by the local police for further investigations.
VIRAYATAN OFFERS YEOMEN SERVICE TO THE FLOOD-STRICKEN IN SURAT
An eminent religious institution, founded by Shwetambar Sthanakwasi saint, Upadhyay Shri Amar Muni, based at Rajgiri in Bihar, performed exceptional service to the poor and helpless people of Surat town during the devastating floods a few months back. Acharya Shree Chandana Ji maharaj, the disciple of Upadhyay Shri Amar Muni, has been at the lead in providing service to the people in the form of food items, medicines, clothing and shelter along with her devoted and dedicated team of other Sadhwis throughout the period till the floods receded and people could go back to their homes. Over the last thirty-four years, the activities of Virayatan have grown steadily. The small candle of compassion lighted in Rajgir, has inspired many people in different parts of India and abroad, to practice 'compassion into action'. Earlier, while the people of Bhuj were facing the calamity caused by devastating earthquake, Veerayatan had been at the forefront to provide all sort of help to the earthquake-stricken people, including establishing a hospital there.
INAUGURATION OF NEW ACTIVITIES AT VIRAYATAN
Under the guidance of Acharyashree Chandanaji maharaj, Veerayatan is putting into practice the message of Mahaveer, as relevant to the modern times through service, education and spiritualism (Seva, shiksha and sadhna). On 5th, 6th and 7th January, 2007, Veerayatan will be celebrating the inauguration of various new activities, namely:
(i) inauguration of "Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir at close-by holy place, Pawapuri;
(ii) a conference to deliberate furtherance of spiritual endeavors through compassion and action and
(iii) inauguration of an "Artificial limb centre.
Veerayatan invites all those associated with its noble activities to attend these celebrations. For further details contact: , Sadhwi Shri Sampargyaji at E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
SEMINARS AND CONVENTIONS
NINTH ANNUAL YOUNG JAIN PROFESSIONALA CONVENTION AT LOS ANGELES
The 9th Annual Young Jain Professionals convention was held in Los Angeles, CA from October 15 to 18, 2006. The theme of the convention was Balancing the Scales of Life. A primary aim of this convention was to provide a forum for learning about and discussing issues that we as Jains face in the professional stage of our lives. Jains from the US and Canada attended in the convention and participated in scholarly presentations, self reflection, and social activities for the weekend.
The convention began Friday evening with a recitation of the Navkar Mantra and an introduction of the YJP Executive Board. Next morning began with a meditation session, where Ashok Sanghavi took participants through a relaxing journey. Next day, came a presentation, Discovering the Gift of the Wound. In this presentation, Aqueela Sherrills began by sharing his life story as a gang member in his teenage years and the journey that led him to dedicate his life to ending gang violence. Mr. Sherrills emphasized that peace is not a destination. Peace is not only the absence of war, it is about balancing the gift of the wound with who we are. Next, participants had a choice of three different sessions: 1) Passion & Purpose: Mind, Body, and Soul, 2) Aparigraha, or 3) Human Rights/Labor Rights.
Then came a trip to the Los Angeles temple. Inside the temple, attendees were able to view a mini temple that the British had built in 1904. This intricately carved two story teak temple, a replica of a temple in Palitana, had been made for the 1904-1905 World’s Fair held in St. Louis. After the World’s Fair, the temple ended up on display in a casino in Las Vegas for decades. Eventually, the Jain Center of Southern California was able to acquire the temple and was recently able to put it on display.
Attendees got a tour of the temple, were given a chance to worship, and then were treated to a sumptous lunch. This was followed by team building activities, where participants got a chance to interact with each other and learn more about each other, while enjoying fun and games.
Sunday morning, those who were able to wake up early enough participated in a meditation session again led by Ashok Sanghavi. Then, after breakfast, participants had the option of choosing among three different topics: 1) Higher Consciousness in Marriage, 2) Living in the Now, or 3) Jain Rituals. In Higher Consciousness in Marriage, Dr. Anil Singhvi, with his down-to-earth, humorous style, raised issues such as the purpose of getting married, picking the right person, what makes it difficult for couples to talk to each other, and factors that lead to failed marriages. Dr. Singhvi helped participants recognize the elements necessary in developing a strong and healthy marriage. In Living in the Now, Gabe Anderson conveyed to the audience that we all create stories in our lives and relate to them as if that is who we are, thereby, repeating old patterns in our lives. We can, however, make the choice to step away from old stories and change them, thereby creating new patterns for ourselves. In Jain Rituals, Ashok Sanghavi educated the audience on purpose and meaning behind various Jain rituals. Participants got a chance to learn about how these rituals can serve as a source of spirituality.
The participants attended one of the two following sessions: In Making Your Life a Fulfilling Experience, Dr. Mohan Sood conveyed that a person can be successful, but still not be fulfilled. He identified the following factors as essential to fulfillment: education, making work a joyful experience by maintaining a work ethic, respect for elders, love and acceptance, and giving back to society. In Contemporary Issues in Jainism, Jain priest Jayesh Khona led a discussion on controversial topics, such as gender roles in Jainism, marrying non-Jains, etc. This was followed by a session on Anekantavada. In this session, Dr. Anil Singhvi focused on the application of the principle of Anekantavada (non-one-endedness) for effective communication. He identified characteristics of bad communication and then shared secrets to effective communication. These secrets include the following: 1) Finding the truth in what the other person is saying, 2) Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, 3) Asking gentle probing questions to learn more about what the other person is thinking or feeling, 4) Expressing feelings with “I feel” statements instead of “you” statements, and 5) Finding something genuinely positive to say to the other person, even when angry. The convention ended with dinner and as everyone parted, many looked forward to seeing each other at next year’s YJP Convention. [Courtesy: Shilpa Shah]
2ND YOUNG JAINS OF INDIA CONVENTION CONCLUDES WITH REVOLUTIONARY RESOLUTIONS
New Delhi, Nov 5: The 2nd Young Jains of India (YJI) Convention concluded on a high note with two key revolutionary resolutions that are expected to transform the Jain community in the coming future. The key resolutions passed as a part of the convention are - “To exhibit humanity and compassion in all fronts by denying dowry system and practicing ahimsa by not promoting abortion”. The resolutions read out by the National Chairman of YJI Manish Kasliwal emphasised that persons practicing dowry and encouraging abortion will be denied from being members of YJI. Youths and dignitaries present at the convention accepted this resolution unanimously and there by setting the ball roll for a new era in the Jain community.
Colourful Inaugural Function – The convention was inaugurated on 3rd November, 2006 at a colourful and attractive inaugural function at Siri Fort Auditorium. The inaugural function was attended by Justice Vijendra Jain (Acting Chief Justice Delhi High Court), Abhishek Singhvi (Congress Spokesperson), Indu Jain (Chairman, Times Group), N.P.Jain (Ex Indian Ambassador), D.R. Mehta (Ex Chairman SEBI and Ex Deputy Governor RBI), Kirit Daftary (President JAINA), Prem Jain (Ex VP Cisco System), R.K.Jain (President, Bharat Jain Mahamandal), Parveen Jain (VP MCafe) and Manish Kasliwal (Chairman YJI). The function went on to a flying start by a motivating speech by NP Jain. Mr N P Jain recited his soul stirring poem focusing on the behaviour of human attributing all his failures to the will of God. Justice Vijendra Jain emphasized assertively that all revolutionizing concepts and the everlasting rules that govern the world are in fact Jain principles. Smt Indu Jain quoted that youth have the maximum energy to lead the world in the right prospects.
Abhishek Sindhvi in his address stressed on the rise of India as an economic superpower due to the contribution and talents made by the Indian youth with the right technological approach. Pravin Jain also a member of YJI board of trustees opined that united positive efforts by the Indian youth could change the world’s scenario in the right perspective. Manish Kasliwal, the chairperson of the organization emphasized on the more than urgent need for the youth to come together to go beyond the rituals and unite under the common thread of the Jain philosophy. He stressed that the focus of the organization will be to bring in a positive change within the community and encouraging the youngster to be a contributing factors to the social causes affecting the society. The function witnessed the launch of the movie ‘Samyaktva’ based on the principles of Ahimsa Aparigraha and Anekantwad by Dr Abhishek Sanghvi. The inaugural function was followed by colourful cultural presentations. The highlight of the presentation was the dance performance by Deaf and Dumb children from Indore, Their synchronized performance to the musical tunes by the children who understood only sign language was mesmerizing and unbelievable.
Interesting Discussions: The Following two days of the convention witnessed many interesting sessions resulting in many fruitful and interactive discussions. The speakers were successful in making the youths to be very interactive during the sessions. The plenary sessions on Ahimsa, Aparigraha and Anekantavad led to many interesting discussions and questions on practicing these principles in daily life in our family and professions. The plenary sessions on Aparigraha deserves a special mention. This session led to a long drawn discussion on its practice with Ruby Bhatia (a popular television anchor and a stern follower of ahimsa and vegetarianism). The 2nd Day evening witnessed many humorous and breath taking cultural presentations by the YJI team members from across India. The participants whole heartedly appreciated the efforts put forth by YJI-North team in organising this convention successfully. The convention concluded with a decision to meet in South India at its 3rd All India Convention in 2007.
TR-IANNUAL CONVENTION OF DIGAMBAR JAIN MAHASABHA HELD AT NEW DELHI
The tri-annual convention of Digambar Jain maha sabha was held at Sirifort auditorium, New Delhi on the 29th October, 2006 in the holy presence of Poojya Acharya Shri Vidhyanand Ji maharaj. The occasion was also the celebration of birth centenery of Acharya Shri Desh Bhushan Ji maharaj. The inauguration of the convention was presided over by shri A.R. Antule, Minister for minorities, Govt. of India and the chief guest was Shri Arjun Singh, Minister for Human Resource Development, Govt. of India.
TWO-DAY NATIONAL SEMINAR ON JAINISM IN SOUTH INDIA AT MOODBIDRI
Moodbidri Nov 12: A national seminar on "Jainism in south India" was organised on Saturday, the 12th November, 2006 at Moodbidri. The programme was well-attended by a large gathering of jains and others. 'Contribution of Jainism to Kannada politics and poetics is immense', opined Administration Reforms Commission Chairperson, M Veerappa Moily during is talk. He was speaking after inaugurating the two-day national seminar on "Jainism in South India" here on Saturday. Credit of democratising the realm of knowledge goes to Jain scholars and writers who experimented in Prakrith, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and other local dialects spoken by the mass. Thereby profound philosophical truths became accessible to commoners. Though Teerthankaras were ordinary mortals, achieved divinity by leading disciplined life. Life of Teerthankaras serves as an exemplary module for contemporary world which is evidencing moral degeneration, he remarked. Highlighting the concept of 'Anekantavada' in Jain metaphysics, he said that logical thinking, rationalism and dialectic approach are contributions of Jainism.
Delivering the key note address, scholar Ham Pa Nagarajaiah said that being merchants, Jains were exposed to art, literature and culture of various nations. By blending the alien elements with the native, Jains created marvellous art and architecture, he opined. In the presidential remarks, Vice Chancellor of Hampi Kannada University Prof Vivek Rai said that any religion or philosophy become acceptable with some modifications directed by 'time' and 'space.' Jainism became localised in Tulu context and the very fact that Jains in this region worship Bhootas, participate in Kambala and other rituals testifies this fact. Efforts to re-visit Jainism and re-model it according to contemporary times is necessary, he observed. The programme was organised by Hampi Kannada University in association with Alva's Education Foundation and Dhavala Mahavidyalaya. Former President of ICHR Dr M G S Narayanan, seer Bhattaraka Charukeerti Panditacharya of Moodabidare Jain mutt, MLA Abhayachandra, Dr Mohan Alva and others were present. Courtesy: Mahavir Sanglikar, E-Mail : email@example.com
JAIN BUSINESSMAN TO HOLD GLOBAL MEET IN MUMBAI FROM JAN. 4TH TO 7TH 2007
In a major event, leading Jain businessmen and industrialists from all over the world will gather for a brainstorming in Mumbai in January 2007 focusing on the socio-economic development of the country. The Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) is organizing the first mega International Multi Trade Fair -2007 and the second International Conference of Jain Businessmen and Industrialists at NSE Complex, Goregaon in Northwest Mumbai from January 4 to 7, 2007. "Over 10,000 delegates are expected to attend the conference and 400,000 people are expected to throng the trade fair. This will also serve as a networking platform for the business community. JITO will focus its attention in promoting the gen-next apart from working on improved channelisation of the community resources," said Mr Hemant M Shah, Secretary General, JITO. The International Trade Fair is expected to showcase, for the first time, the multi dimensional business activities from across 40 countries, including India. It will provide a tremendous opportunity for the Jain entrepreneurs to display their products and services. "JITO focuses on 3 aspects – Service, Knowledge and Economic Empowerment and the global event will witness the participation of distinguished Businessmen, Industrialists, Politicians, Bureaucrats, Professionals, Educationists and Media professionals, " said Mr Shah.
JITO (formerly known as Shree Jain Vyapar Udyog Seva Sansthan) is a global organisation for achieving socio-economic empowerment, community welfare, practice of compassion, spread of global friendship and providing quality education. JITO wishes to establish a network to plan, strategize and open avenues to solve issues regarding trade and industry. JITO is the chief affiliate of JIO (Jain International Organisation), which is the apex body of Jain organizations.
JAINA STUDIES WORKSHOP 2007 AT LONDON
9Th Jaina Studies Workshop shall be held on Wednesday, 21 March, 2007 at Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, Russell Square, London. The Annual Jain Lecture "Jainism and the Culture of Trade" by Prof. Lawrence A Babb. (Amherst College) will be followed by a reception. For inquiries E-Mail : Jainastudies@soas.ac.uk , School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London. Tel. 44(0) 207637 2388.
HONOURS & AWARDS
APPOINTMENT OF JUSTICE VIRENDER JAIN TO P&H HIGH COURT CLEARED BY THE PRESIDENT - Justice Virender K Jain is all set to take over as the next Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Justice Jain is currently acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. President APJ Kalam cleared his appointment. The President Kalam has cleared the appointment after having received all the clarifications from the Prime Ministers Office.
ANUVRAT AWARD FO THE YEAR 2005 TO DR. MAHAVIR RAJ GELDA
Dr. Mahavir Raj Gelda, an erudite scholar of Jain religion and Jain philosophy was honoured with the well-known 'Anuvrat Award' in the presence of Acharya Shri Mahapragya and Yuvachaya Sri Mahashraman ji on the 11th October, 2006 at Bhiwani (Haryana). The award consists of the presentation of a cash amount of Rs. 1,21,000/-,along with a shawl and a letter of eulogy. The award was announced by a duly constituted selection committee, headed by Dr. L.M. Singhvi under the auspices of Jay Tulsi Foundation. There were 15 entries for this award out of which the committee decided unanimously the name of Dr. Gelda.
PROF. PREM SUMAN JAIN TO BE HONOURED WITH PALI-PRAKRIT PRESIDENT'S AWARD
Professor Prem Suman Jain, former head of the department of Jainism and Prakrit at Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Udaipur has been selected for the coveted 'Pali-Prakrit Rashtrapati award' for his outstanding contribution to Jain studies and prakrit literature. The announcement for this award was made on the 15th August, 2006.
NIRMAL KUMAR JI SETHI RE-ELECTED AS CHAIRMAN OF ALL INDIA DIGAMBAR JAIN MAHA SABHA - Shri Nirmal Kumar Sethi was re-elected unanimously as Chairman of All india Digambar Jain Mahasabha for the 9th time at the elections held during the annual convention of Jain Maha Sabha on 28th and 29th October, 2006 at New Delhi. The elections for the office bearers of Mahasabha, which has been serving the community for the last 112 years, are held every three years. Shri Sethi has been holding the post of Chairman for the last 25 years. The occasion coincided with the birth anniversary celebrations of Acharyaratna Shree Desh Bandhu Ji maharaj, when representatives of all the four organs of Digambar sect, Dharm Sanrakshini, Srut Sanvardhini, Teerth Sanrakshini and Mahila Maha sabha were present.
SHRI SURENDRA CHORDIA ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF JAIN VISHWA BHARATI,
At the last meeting of the general body of Jain Vishwa Bharati held at Bhiwani, where Acharya Shri Mahapragya had been holding chaturmas, Shri Surendra Chordia was elected as the chairman of the institution. Shri Siddh Raj Ji Bhandari was nominated as Vice-Chancellor on the same occasion. Shri Chordia has made remarkable contribution to the growth and development of Terapanth samaj. He has been able to earn the confidence of Acharyashi during the Ahimsa Yatra with his complete allegiance, loyalty and sense of devotion.
JAINISM AND ECOLOGY (English) - Ed. with an Introduction by Christopher Key Chapple, 2006 225 x 145 mm 700 pp; Hardcover. Prof. Christopher Key Chapple has initiated a study of religions to see their viewpoints on the environment and its preservation. This book explores if organised religion might be able to find answers to the current environmental crisis. A galaxy of Jain scholars have contributed articles to this book such as: Paul Dundas, Padmanabh, Jaini and others.
SAMAVAYANGA SUTRA (Prakrit-Sanskrit) - Original Prakrit text + Sanskrit commentary, By Abhayadeva Suri, Critically edited with a Preface & 9 Appendices by Muni Jambuvijayaji. + A Hindi Essay on Ardhamagadhi Agama Sahitya by Sagarmal Jain, The Samavayanga Sutra is the 4th amongst the 12 Angas of the Jaina canon. The sutra is believed to have been composed by Ganadhara Sudharma Svami. This edition has, in addition, a Sanskrit commentary by the 10th century Shvetambara Acarya Abhayadeva Suri. 250 x 185 mm 520 pp with 25 b/w illustrations Hardcover Rs. 450
The above books can be obtained from: Mr.Manish Modi, HINDI GRANTH KARYALAY, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MINISTER FOR MINORITIES, A. R. ANTULE ASSURES JAIN COMMUNITY FOR COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE - At a function organised to facilitate Acharya Desh Bandhu Ji maharaj of Digambar sect on the 29th October, 2006 at New Delhi, Minister for Minorities, Mr. A. R. Antule assured the representatives of Jain community that independence of Jain religion would be maintained. He reiterated that Jain religion was a completely independent and eternal religion. There is no other religion older than this one. Those who had framed our constitution had accepted its independenent nature. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru had also accepted that it was truly an independent religion. He expressed his surprise at the way, Jain religion had not been included in the list of minority religions in the Section 2(C) of the National Minoities Commission Act, 1993. Whatever error has been left, can now be corrected and he assured to take up the responsibility to carry out the correction.
MR. BAL PATIL WRITES TO MUMBAI HIGH COURT ABOUT THE PROBLEM OF STRAY DOGS
The Hon’ble Chief Justice, Shri Dalvir Bhandari,Bombay High Court,Mumbai
Sub: Urgent Hearing of the cases field and pending in various courts for the control of stray dogs.
1. As an ex-Member of the Maharashtra State Minorities commission, senior journalist and activist for the Constitutional national religious minority right of the Jain community, I am seriously concerned to draw your attention to the question of remedial measures for the control of stray dogs. The magnitude and the gravity of the question can be appreciated if one takes into account that there are more than five and half lakhs of stray dogs in Mumbai endangering the civic safety, it is necessary to confront this issue in a rational manner. In this context I would like to draw your attention to Mahatama Gandhi’s editorials in his Hindi-Navjivan published from Ahemadabad dated October 18, November 4,11,18 and 25, 1926 (Xerox copies closed) in which he defended the killing of stray and dangerous dogs by the industrialist, Ambalal Sarabhai, (a Jain and father of the atomic Scientist Vikram Sarabhai) and caused a furors among his readers and volley of protest as to how the apostle of ahimsa could so it.
2. In these editorials, Mahatma Gandhi as a life-long experimenter with truth explained and defended his stand. He said :”I think I can justify this stand even when claiming to be non-violent.” Among the arguments he put are:
i) Just as it is a sin to give food to a beggar, it is a sin to feed a stray dog. It is false mercy towards the dog …”we are not doing our duty by increasing the tribe of stray dogs.
ii) I have not propounded any special religion for killing of the dogs; I have merely suggested Apaddharma. If the dogs cannot be protected by the nor the public, nor can be better to kill the dogs to free them and ourselves from fear and harassment.
iii) Five thousand dogs straying with hunger, eat dirt and left-offs-this is better or out of this fifty die and rest live-which is better?
iv) The dog nuisance is mainly confined to urban areas. The only remedy is to eliminate them. Thus there is least destruction of the dogs and the urbanites are protected.
v) This much must be made clear that one should not wait till the dogs come a desperate stage. Dogs dying of starvation can only cause harassment. This is only an urban nuisance and it must be stopped.
vi) I am not partial to violence, nor am I insisting me own view. I am prejudiced towards truth and I seek truth trough ahimsa. I have experienced that truth cannot be sought otherwise.
vii) The question of dogs in the Ashrama is from their birth. The mad dogs are killed in the Ashrama. Such incidents have occurred twice or thrice in a decade. No other dog was killed.
viii) The Ashrama way which follows my understanding is mentioned in order to make clear my position
3. I have taken the liberty of quoting what even the apostle of ahimsa was constrained to take recourse to when it was a question of stray dogs. I am concerned therefore pray for appropriate judicial intervention to meet with this canine menace.
BAL PATIL, (R) 54, PATIL ESTATE,EX-MEMBER, 278, JAJVI DADJI ROAD,MAHARASHTRA STATE MINORITES COMMISSION, MUMBAI-400007, E-MAIL: email@example.com, TEL.: 2361068, CELL: 98692 55533 ( Dt. October 12th 2005 )
MEDIA FOR CLEANER AIR IN ASIA
Journalists invited to apply for BAQ 2006 media scholarships Manila/Colombo, 21 September 2006: A major new initiative was announced today for engaging Asian media professionals to cover the region's quest for cleaner air. Two dozen journalists from across developing Asia will be granted media scholarships to attend Better Air Quality 2006 (BAQ 2006, www.baq2006.org) to be held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from 13 to 15 December 2006. They will also benefit from skills training on clean air issues on 11 to 12 December 2006 at the same city. BAQ 2006 will be the year's largest regional gathering of industry, research, government and civil society representatives committed to cleaner air in the world's largest region, the Asia Pacific. The media scholarship programme is a joint effort by the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia, www.cleanairnet.org/caiasia) and TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP, www.tveap.org) two regional organisations committed to promoting better media coverage of clean air issues.
KAMDHENU UNIVERSITY TO BE ESTABLISHED AT RAIPUR IN THE HONOUR OF SHRI KAMAL MUNI 'KAMLESH' - During a function held recently at Raipur to honor Shri Ghanshyam Muni, disciple of Shri Kamal Muni 'Kamlesh', for his 41 days' fasting, and celebrate the day as Ahimsa Day, the adviser to Chhatisgarh Government, Shri Rajendra Singh Rajpurohit announced that the Government has decided to establish "Kamdhenu Iniversity" at Raipur at a cost of Rs. 400 crores. Land, measuring 170 acres, has been sanctioned for this purpose. The Central Government will contribute Rs. 250 crores and the rest will be given by the State Government. The project was conceived on the inspiration of Shri Kamal Muni with the objective of carrying out studies, providing courses and conducting research programmes related to growth and development of cows. Chhatisgarh would be the first State in the country in this field of teaching and research. The studies would cover all aspects of genetics, growth, development, health, yield and quality of milk, life span, quality of leather etc. The main stress would be on ahimsa, compassion and vegetarianism. Apart from cows, other animals, like buffaloes, male buffaloes etc. will also be included in the studies. The proposal has already been unanimously passed by the State Vidhan Sabha.
NAMINATHJI JAIN FOUNDATION LAUNCHES MOBILE DIALYSIS VAN IN MUMBAI - Mobile dialysis unit serves the dialysis needs of patients at their doorstep. The idea of taking dialysis to patients rather than sick patients trudging to the hospital seems to have gained momentum in Indian healthcare. Only recently, the Mumbai Kidney Foundation in association with Naminathji Jain Foundation has furthered this cause by introducing a mobile dialysis unit service in the limits of greater.
A Need - A patient having permanent chronic dialysis has to visit the dialysis centre two to three times a week. For a paralysed or invalid person, going all the way to the dialysis centre is inconvenient. A dialysis van can reach him and the procedure can be performed either in the van or in the house. The concept of dialysis on wheels has thus taken root in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai. A large number of our patients are elderly and people with physical disabilities. For this section of patients to come three times a week and spend four to six hours in the hospital for dialysis is difficult. Also, many of them do not have any family members who can accompany them and hence they were finding it extremely arduous to have dialysis.
Functioning - The procedure for mobile dialysis is almost the same as dialysis centre, involving four hours. Unit includes a vehicle equipped with all the machinery and accessories required to perform a standard haemodialysis. This includes dialysis machine, recliner, power backup, and a water tank with water purified through reverse osmosis. It has a fully automated and remote controlled dialysis chair, which works like a dialysis bed and in addition there is a monitor deliberator and an artificial respirator. It also carries accessories and equipment required to handle emergencies. "It has in-built life saving equipment and there is a senior dialysis technician and a dialysis doctor accompanying the mobile van, so it is an almost fully functional unit. The investment for all these facilities is around Rs 20-25 lakh.
JAIN POPULATION IN CAPITAL CITY DOES NOT FIND SEPARATE RECOGNITION
According to the Delhi Minorities Commission's annual report 2004-05, which was recently tabled in assembly, amongst minorities Parsi community is the lowest in number. Only 23 Parsi families are now residing in Delhi while among the minorities, Muslims are the largest group. As per Census, 2001, minorities constitute 17 per cent of the total population in Delhi with Muslims taking the lead having 11.7 per cent followed by Sikhs at 4 per cent and Christians at .9 per cent, says the Commission's report. There are 16,23,520 Muslims, 55,56,02 Sikhs and 13,03,19 Christians living in the national capital while the number of people hailing from Buddhist community stand at 23,705. Though Jain community constitutes just 1.1 per cent of the total city population, it is yet to be notified as a minority despite recommendations from the State Commission to the Delhi Government. Delhi Minorities Commission was set up by the Delhi Government in 2000 with an aim to look into the problems faced by the minorities in the city.
INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL FOR JAIN STUDIES INVITES PARTICIPANTS FOR TWO MONTHS STUDY PROGRAM IN INDIA - International Summer School for Jain Studies is a non-government; non-profit project funded by handful of Jain philanthropists in USA, Canada and India. It has conducted summer schools in 2005 and 2006, and is now inviting: Advanced graduate level students with special interest in Jainism and Professors teaching related classes or conducting Jainism related research to apply for the 2-month Summer 2007 program. Selected participants from North America will be provided stipend, air travel to India and boarding and lodging in India. Those from other overseas countries may also apply, however they will need to provide for their own expenses. The program, conducted at major Jain centers in India, includes - Interactive classroom lectures using modern teaching aides by eminent Jain scholars and live interaction and visits to Jain homes and family ceremonies, temple worship, rituals, festivals, pilgrimage and visual and performing arts, interactions with Jain monks and eminent personalities and access to Jain literature. For details, forms and information about past summer schools please visit www.jainstudies.org Courtesy: Mr. Yashwant Malaiya E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
M. P. GOVERNMENT DECIDES TO START DEGREE COURSES IN MEAT TECHNOLOGY
To the utter dismay of not only Jain community but all those believing in vegetarianism, Madhya Pradesh Government has decided to commence courses in meat technology at the prestigious institution, 'National Indira Gandhi Open University, Bhopal. It is indeed shocking to know that the state government, which boasts of preserving the national heritage, ethics and values, has been prompted to start such a course, which would lead to organised killing of animals, promote non-vegetarianism and boost butcher houses in the country. The said course is reported to be of one year's duration and the admission fee is going to be just Rs. 2200/-. The feelings of all vegetarian people and those interested in the care and protection of animals have been badly hurt by this unfortunate news. The readers are urged to send their protests against this decision to the Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh Government, Bhopal and to the Vice-Chancellor, National Gandhi Open University, Bhopal requesting them to re-consider this decision and revoke the same with immediate effect. Courtesy: Convenor, All India Sudharma Ahimsa Prachar samiti, Bhavanimandi (Raj.) Ph. 98294-80152, 0941-3101489.
SHELTER HOMES TO BE BUILT BY MAHAVIR INTERNATIONAL FOR THE FLOOD-STRICKEN IN RAJASTHAN
As informed in the August issue of Ahimsa Times, about fifty villages in the Barmer district of western Rajasthan, situated in Barmer, Baitu, Ramsar and Shiv tehsils were totally destroyed by the sudden floods about three months ago. Hundreds of villagers and their cattle died and their property and houses were devastated. According to the official figures, about 41,000 houses had been washed away. The loss of life, property and cattle caused by this natural calamity has been enormous and can not be easily compensated.
Mahavir International, a charitable non-government organisation devoted to humanitarian activities for the last 30 years and having more than 150 centres in India as well as abroad, and supported solely by contributions from its members and generous and munificent donors in the country, has taken the lead in providing immediate relief in the form of food, clothes, blankets etc. It has now decided to build shelter homes for the poor and helpless people rendered homeless by the floods. To start with, It has taken up a project to build homes on the land allotted by the Government, in areas nearby the affected villages. Each house would be of 400 sq.ft. covered area and would be built using bricks, cement and corrugated steel sheets and the total cost of each house would be coming to Rs. 51,000/- only. Other essential items required to start a living, like, bed, utensils, oven, cooking items, lantern etc. would also be provided along with the house. Mr. Pushp Jain, Member of Parliament, who is also International President of Mahavir International has been the back-bone and helmsman behind the entire project, involving land acquisition, planning, construction of houses and their allotment to the needy.
JAIN MONK PRASANNA KIRTISAGAR MAHARAJ ASSAULTED BY ROBBERS
17 November, Ahmedabad - Jain organisations in Gujarat have demanded resignation of the Minister of State for Home, Amit Shah, after a murderous assault on a prominent Saint of the Jain community. Eight armed robbers stormed into a Jain shrine under construction in a village some 12km from the state capital of Gandhinagar, mercilessly beat up the Saints with thick sticks and decamped with cash and gold ornaments worth Rs. 1,22,000. Prasanna Kirtisagar Maharaj has been hospitalised with multiple fractures all over the body. A guard who came to the rescue of the monk was also thrashed by the gang, believed to be regularly looting villagers in the region. Though shrine robberies are the order of the day in Gujarat, it is for the first time that a respectable priest has been targeted.
CANCER UPDATE FROM JOHN HOPKINS HOSPITAL
1. No plastic containers in micro.
2. No water bottles in freezer.
3. No plastic wrap in microwave.
Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals causes cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers.
This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons. Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead. This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in your life! Courtesy: Mr. Satyesh K. Bhandari, E-Mail: Satyesh.Bhandari@ril.com
The entire Digambar Jain community was grieved to learn that Acharyaratna Shree Bharat Sagar Ji maharaj , a highly revered saint, left for his heavenly abode after a severe heart attack on the 21st October, 2006 at Aninda Parshwa nath sidhh kshetra, near Udaipur in Rajasthan. He had accepted samadhimaran, immediately prior to his death. Condolence meetings were held in various towns and cities all over the country to mourn his sad demise.
JAIN WOMAN DIES AFTER PERFORMING 'SANTHARA'
November 10, 2006 - JABALPUR (Madhya Pradesh): An elderly woman died, reportedly after undergoing santhara, a practise by Shwetambar Jains in which persons abstain from food and water till death. Kamla Bai, 72, stopped food and water for last four days before death in Chhavani area. The woman was injured after a fall a few days ago and had expressed a wish to commit santhara, according to her family.
DELHI JAIN VETERAN COMMUNITY LEADER SHRI. BHIKU RAM JAIN LEAVES FOR HEAVENLY ABODE
Shri Bhiku Ram Ji Jain, Ex MP left for his heavenly abode on 10th November 2006. Shri Bhiku Ram Ji Jain, Ex MP was a visionary leader of Delhi. He battled and overcame the odds of life to become a successful entrepreneur, a philanthropist, respected politician and above all a good human being. He was elected Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha 1980-85), freedom fighter in Gandhi's "Quit India Movement" in 1931,elected Councilor, pre independence in MCD Delhi in 1945, elected councilor MCD Delhi 1958, Chairman DESU 1958-1965,chairman standing committee 1964-65,elected Executive Councilor in interim Metropolitian Counsil 1967,elected 1st Minister (executive councillor) finance in 1967-68,chairman traders cell AICC. He was cremated on 11th November 2006 amidst large number of his ardent admirers in which Important dignitaries like Sri Prakash Jaiswal (HM), Sh Kapil Sible (MIN.), Sh Sajjan kumar (MP), Sh Santosh Bagrodia (MP), Smt Sheila Dikshit (CM), Mangat Ram Singhal, Sh Ram Babu Sharma, Sh Rama Kant Goswami, Smt Kiran Walia & Sh Rajesh Jain & others were present at Nigam bodhghat.
Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal organized an a condolence meeting at National Club, Fatehpuri, of Traders of Delhi for paying tributes to the Chairman Sh Bhiku Ram Jain Ji. Many political congress leaders like Sh Oscar Fernandez, Smt Sheila Dikshit, Sh Ram Babu Sharma, Sh Kapil Sible, Sh Jai Prakash Aggarwal, Sh Santosh Bagrodia, Sh Sajjan Kumar, Sh Jagdish Tytler & Sh Mangat Ram Singhal, Sh Haroon Yusuf and hundreds of his followers and well wishers attended the Ceremony. Sh Shyam Bihari Misra (National President of BUVM) said that Sh Bhiku Ram Jain was a good Congress leader, a Distinguished Parliamentarian, Philanthropist, Statesman, Social & Political Personality. Sh Naren son of Shri. Bhiku Ram Jain and aspirant politician reminded that Sh Bhiku Ram Jain was attached with Mahatma Gandhi in his " Savinya Avagya Andolan" 1931 when he was 15 years old. He later became a Member of Parliament when he highlighted the problem of Traders of Delhi. Sh Vijay Prakash Jain Gen. Secy. Of BUVM said Sh Bhiku Ram Jain was one of the Men who sacrificed for traders of India.
The condolences meeting was also attended by various trades association's office bearers & traders of Delhi like Sh J P Aggarwal MP, Jai Narain Khandelwal, Satwant Sing, Praveen kumar Anand, Devraj Baweja, Pawan Kumar, Satya Narain Gupta, Shyam Sunder Holenki, Shadi Lal Kapoor, Suresh Bindal, Narender Madan, Ramesh Vind Loha, Ramesh Ahuja, Vimal Mehra, Kedarnath Bikanerwala, Sushil Goyal, Ajay Arora, Chetan Sharma, Ram Vilas, Sitaram.-- Bhiku Ram Jain Foundation, 49, Rajpur Road, Civil Lines Delhi-110054, M: 9811027563. 25930044, 25449650 Fax: 25423325, E-Mail: email@example.com
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We invite Jain volunteers from different geographical area to join the team of Ahimsa Times Correspondents. The interested readers may send their profile and a photograph to The Editor at E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.