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Ahimsa Times February 2007 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org

Vol. No. 80

February 2007

TEMPLES
SUPREME COURT ORDERS HANDING OVER KESARIAJI TEMPLE TO JAIN SAMAJ BUT LOCAL ADIVASIS OPPOSE

Accepting the repeated appeals by the Jain community, The Hon'ble Supreme Court, after a long period of 33 years, has reiterated its earlier decision that the Jain temple at Shri Kesariaji, near Udaipur in Rajasthan, which was being controlled by the Devasthan Department of the Government of Rajasthan be handed over back to Jain samaj.  The Court Has accepted the contention of Jains that the temple belonged to them only and not to Hindus or any other community. However, it did not specify as to which sect, the temple should be handed over. This decision has been left to the Government of Rajasthan, saying that the State Government may settle this impending controversy between the two sects, Shwetambar  and Digambar. The decision was announced by double bench of Supreme Court, consisting of Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.B. Sinha and Mr. Justice Markendey Katju. on the 4th January, 2007. The announcement made by the Supreme Court has however sparked off agitation amongst the local adivasi poulation and they have adopted a damaging attitude.

Looking at the adverse situation, the local authorities, deputed a large contingent of police to control the situation and protect the temple premises, but the adivasi group, occupying  a near-by hillock, started pelting stones on the police, which resulted in death of one and injury to several policemen. Few adivasis have also been injured. Observing the still worsening situation, the authorities have alerted the army to keep ready, if called in for helping police. The local adivasis have great respect for the temple god, e.g. Bhagwan Rishabh dev, whom they call 'kala bhagwan'. Though the fight for the control of the temple looks as if it is between Jains and Adivasis, but it is apparent that the adivasis living close-by in a large number have been mis-guided by the vested interests and have ben been told that they will no more be allowed to enter the temple, once the control goes in the hands of Jains. The State Government will have to intervene quickly and clear the doubts once for all, if the problem is to be solved. Few days after the problem arose, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Mrs. Vasundhara Raje visited the place and met various sections of people, including adivasis,  people of Jain community and those of Hindu community. She has assured the Adivasi people that adequate compensation will be granted to the family of the deceased and all facilities will be provided for their rehabilitation.

PROTEST CALL OVER KESARIAJI TEMPLE HANDOVER WITHDRAWN
Tribals protesting the move to hand over an historic temple in Rajasthan to the Jain community have withdrawn their call for Sunday's protest demonstration following Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's assurance that she will look into the matter. The Rajasthan Janjati Vikas Parishad, an association of tribals, had this week threatened to stage a 'mahapadav' or sit-in at the temple if the state government did not listen to its demand on the temple in Rishabdeo town, over 450 kms from here. Officials said the protest call was withdrawn after the chief minister assured them that the government would consult legal experts to request the apex court to review its decision. 'We would take a decision after seeking legal advice in this matter,' Vasundhara Raje had told a tribal delegation here this week.

The tribals, who worship the temple's presiding deity - Jain god Rishabdeo - as 'Kala Baba', are irked over the court ruling last month transferring the ownership rights of the ancient temple to the Jain community. The 15th century temple is of special significance to Jains. On Feb 8, one person was killed and seven were injured in police firing as tribals tried to enter the temple forcefully. Courtesy: Mr. Gaurav Jain 'Lakshaya', M: (+91)- 981 198 1233, E-Mail: gauravejainyji@gmail.com

EIGHT IDOLS STOLEN FROM DIGAMBAR JAIN TEMPLE NEAR JAIPUR
The ugly incidents of theft in Jain temples are on the increase day by day. Such cases are being reported almost every week but culprits are brought to book only in very few cases. The stolen goods consist of idols of Teerthankars and other gods and goddesses, ornaments used on the idols and cash money received as donation in cash boxes. In a recent case at a Digambar Jain temple at village Bassi, near Jaipur, eight ashtadhatu idols of Bhagwan Parshwa nath, one idol of Devi Padmavati, one idol of Siddh Bhagwan and one set of idols, depicting 24 Tirthankars alongwith half a dozen silver umbrellas (chhatra), and cash amount of Rs. 15,000 kept in a donation box were reported to be stolen in the early hours of Friday of 26th January, 2007.  The matter was promptly reported to the police.

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA JUDGEMENT ON SHREE KESARIAJI TEMPLE
Courtesy: JAIN GAZETTE, LUCKNOW

CASE NO. : Appeal (civil) 4092-4095 of 2002, PETITIONER : Deewan Singh & Ors.-Appellants, RESPONDENT : Rajendra Pd. Ardevi & Ors.­ Respondents.

DATE OF JUDGEMENT : 04/01/ 2007, BENCH : S. B. Sinha & Markandey Katju, JUDGEMENT :, JUDGEMENT
WITH CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 4076-4079 OF 2002, CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 4081-4084 OF 2002, CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 4086-4089 OF 2002, S. B. SINHA, J.

Management of a temple known as Shri Rikhabdevji situated in the village Dhulev near 40 miles away from Udaipur in Rajasthan is involved in these appeal which arise out of judgements and orders dated 18.09.1997 and 06.02.2002 passed by the High Court of Rajasthan.

Indisputably, the matter came up for consideration on an earlier occasion before this Court in State of Rajasthan and Others v. Shri Sajjanlal Panjawat and Others since reported in [(1974) SCC 500] To read the full text of judgement.

MUMBAI JEWELLER INTENDS TO RENOVATE JAIN HERITAGE IN PAKISTAN

Satish Shah, a diamond merchant from Mumbai wishes to revive Jain Temples in Pakistan.  He is planning to raise Rupees 25 crores for this purpose. When Satish Shah, chairman of city-based Goldstar Jewellers, visited Pakistan to scout for a potential market, little did he expect to find Jain temples. Recently Mr. Shah visited Pakistan and felt extremely sorry about the state of old Jain Temples situated in different parts of Pakistan particularly Sindh province. The different temples included   the 1,200-year-old samadhi of the spiritual leader Dada Jin Kushal Suruji. According to Shah, the references of the temples can be found in old Jain manuscripts and also in books prepared by Jains when they migrated from Pakistan to India. There is a sizeable population of Hindus in the Sindh province and so the Hindu temples have not fallen to disrepair. Courtesy: Mr. Satyesh K. Bhandari, E-Mail : skbhandari@hotmail.com

 

DIKSHA KALYANAK  OF BHAGWAN SHRI PARSHWA NATH CELEBRATED AT NAGPURA IN CHHATISGARH BY THOUSANDS OF DEVOTEES - The celebrations of the diksha kalyanak of Bhagwan Shri Parshwa nath Ji were held at Nagpura a village near Rajnadgaon on national highway no. 6 for a period of five days starting from the 13th December, 2006. These were attended by thousands of devotees from Chattisgarh and other parts of India. The special guests who joined the celebrations oncluded Dr. Raman singh, Chief Minister of Chhatisgarh, Swami Achutanand Ji from Haridwar, Shri Dinesh Devangan, Chairman, Nagar Nigam, Durg, Acharya Shri Ratna Sunder Surishwar Ji maharaj and Sadhwi Shri Sanveg nidhi ji maharaj. The Chief Minister announced during his speech that Nagpura would ve developed  not only as a Jain pilgrimage centre but also as an Ayrveda university as well as a Centre for Naturapathy, Homeopathy and other sciences. A sum of Rs. 7 crores has been sanctioned for the purpose. The celebrations included a yoga and health care camp and cultural and spiritual programmes. For the purpose of worship (Maha-abhishek), holy waters from 108 rivers was obtained in pitchers.

SAINTS
MUNI SHREE TARUNASAGAR JI TROUBLED FOLLOWING RUMORS ABOUT HEALTH

Mangalore: A highly revered and admired Jain Muni Shree Tarunasagar Ji has been troubled lately following rumors about his well being. So in order to clarify unnecessary confusion about his health, Tarun Sagar Ji addressed a press conference from the residence of  Dr Veerendara Heggade. Dr Veerendara Heggade dismissed the rumors regarding the ill health of Jain muni Munishree Tarunsagar Maharaj, saying that Munji's health conditions is perfectly Ok. He was addressing the press meet reacting to the reports saying that the health of Jain Muni Tarunsagar Maharaj was deteriorating and he was in Coma after the Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations at Dharmasthala. Dr C K Ballal who is treating the muni said that swamiji's health was affected due to stress and continuous walking. Dismissing the reports that Muni cannot speak or see, doctors said that, Muniji can speak very well. We have advised him to take rest for few more days and he will be perfectly fine to resume his religious discourse. Muniji himslef "I am perfectly healthy and hearty, when I came to Dharmastala, I was slightly indisposed specially after the Chatrumasya in Bangalore, but now I am recovering."

Amidst the subdued sound of hymns, the journalists watched the Muniji accepting aahar.  The serving was done by Anita Surendra Kumar who had eight volunteers working under her. Mrs. Kumar told journalists that all the dishes served to the Muniji were prepared after sunrise without using salt and sugar.

The 'mounawratam' had to be maintained by all those present in the room or there was the danger of the Muniji stopping the 'satvik aahar' if there was any disturbing sound. This included the sound of mobile phone, children crying or muted conversations.

Muniji in his replies said that he has never stayed more than a year in any state except Karnataka.  Tarunasagarji had arrived in Belgaum in July 2005 and stayed there till December 2005. Later, he attended the Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony of Bhagawan Sri Bahubali in Shravanabelagola in the month of February 2006 before leaving to Bangalore where again he stayed for another Chaturmasa so that he could get to attend the Mahamastakabhisheka at Dharmasthala in Feb 2007. It can be recalled that Muni Tarunasagarji was brought to Mangalore from Dharmastala in a 'Doli' for the treatment in the last week.

DEVOTEES EYEWITNESS SEER'S 'KESHA LOCHAN' CEREMONY

Mangalore Feb 21: A number of devotees witnessed 'revolutionary' ascetic Acharya Tarun Sagar Muni's "Kesha Lochana" ceremony (plucking the hair) at "Veera Bhavan," the house belonging to Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr D Veerendra Heggade, where the seer has been taking rest for some time in Mangalore. In fact, Acharya Tarun Sagar had invited the media persons as well to witness the life of Jain seers. The seer who started the 'Kesha Lochana' around 2.15 pm completed by 3.15 pm. At first, he put ash (prepared using cow dung) on his head and started plucking his hair with his hands. The 'Kesha Lochana' (plucking hair) is part of Jain seer's life. Throughout the ceremony, devotees sang Bhajans. The last time, the seer performed 'Kesha Lochana' was in Bangalore about four months ago. This is said to be the first time Mangalore is witnessing the 'Kesha Lochana' of any seer. Mr Surendra Kumar, his wife Anitha Surendra Kumar, Jain Milan President Pushparaj Jain and Mr Jayaverma Raj Ballal among others were present on the occasion.

 

CONFERENCES, SEMINARS & EVENTS
MUNI SHRI AMRENDER KUMAR JI REPRESENTS JAINS IN WORLD RELIGIOUS CONFERENCE
Muni Ji recently attended the World Religious Conference in Montreal, Canada, which was attended by more than 5,000 people. He presented the closing lecture at the conference in which he highlighted the importance of basic principles like non-violence, religious unity, mutual respect and peaceful co-existence of all living things - human or otherwise. Muni Ji has been travelling the world with a mission to spread the values of Jainism, non-violence, vegetarianism, yoga and compassion. He is a disciple of Maha Shree Sushil Kumar Ji Maharaj - the first Jain monk to preach and travel outside India. Muni Ji is also an internationally renowned yoga teacher as well as spiritual guru. Muni Ji advised people to follow "Anekantwaad", which literally means multi-sidedness.

MAHAMASTAKABHISHEK CEREMONY AT RISHABHDEVPURAM NEAR ALLAHABAD
By the blessings of Ganini pramukha, shri Gyanmati ji maharaj and guidance of aryika shri Chandana mata ji maharaj, a holy pilgrimage centre for Jains, 'Rishabh Dev Deeksha teerth' has been built recently near Prayag railway station, 8 Km. from Allahabad on the Allahabad-Varanasi highway in the year 2001. To add to the glory of the teerth, a diksha-kalyanak tapovan alongwith a kevalgyan tapovan have now been built at the same  place. An unique structure in the form of Mount Kailash has also been constructed there, which comprises of 72 chaityalayas, signifying the place from where Bhagwan Rishabh Dev attained salvation (nirvan). This model of Mount Kailash is 50 feet tall and at its top is installed a 14 feet tall idol of Bhagwan Shri Rishabh Dev. The first Maamastakabhishek ceremony of the idol was held from 2nd to 4th February, 2007. Special arrangements were made on the last day for the worship, which was performed by thousands of devotees.

ALL INDIA SUMMER SCHOOL ON PRAKRIT LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 2007
B. L. Institute of Indology, New Delhi is organizing  the 19th All India Summer School on Prakrit Language & Literature (Both Elementary and Advanced Courses) from Sunday, 13th May to Sunday, 3rd June 2007 under the able supervision of renowned Linguist and Indologist Prof. Satya Ranjan Banerjee. Interested Scholars and other participants may contact: Mr. Balaji Ganorkar, Joint & Officiating Director, BLII, E-Mail: blinstitute@yahoo.com

HONOURS & AWARDS
MR. VED JAIN ELECTED VICE-PRESIDENT OF INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS
At the meeting of the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), held in Delhi, CA.  Ved Jain of New Delhi is elected as the Vice-President for the Year 2007-2008 effective from February 5, 2007. Mr. Ved Kumar Jain is a fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Mr. Jain, a science graduate, passed the Chartered Accountancy examination in the year 1976 and was in the merit list both in intermediate and final examination of the institute, He did BA Economics from Punjab University and L.L.B from Delhi University in the year 1980. He was selected as member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in the year 1997 and worked as Accountant member ITAT for a short period before resigning in 1998. He as actively contributed as member of the Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in the drafting of the new 3CD form, Guidance Note on Tax Audit, Issues on Tax Audit, drafting of new Section 115JB (Minimum alternate Tax), Guidance Note on Minimum Alternate Tax Audit, drafter of Transfer Pricing Rules, Drafting of Transfer Pricing Audit report, Guidance note thereon, drafting of pre budget and post budget memoranda. Congratulations Mr. Ved Jain, We wish you all the success in your endeavor to serve the fraternity of Chartered Accountants and in the growth of economic growth of the country through your valuable advisory services to the Government of India.

SADGURU JAGGI VASUDEV OF ISHA FOUNDATION PRESENTED ‘MAHAVEER’ AWARD

INDIAN humanitarian and founder of Isha Foundation Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev was conferred with the Mahaveer award by Young Indian Vegetarian`s Society  promoting animal rights and vegetarianism in Britain. The award was presented to Vasudev for his services to society, protection of environment and promoting healthy living. Isha`s Project Greenhands, intended to address the depleted tree stock in Tamil Nadu, made it into the Guinness Book of World Records when thousands of volunteers planted 813,226 saplings in a single day - Oct 17, 2006. The citation said Sadhguru Vasudev was chosen for the award "for his razor sharp intellect, superb command of English language, concern for mother Earth and propagating vegetarian lifestyle, inspiring millions of people." Vasudev`s `Inner Freedom for the Imprisoned` programme, meant to transform prisoners, is going on in several Indian and US jails.

CHAGANLAL JAIN LITERARY AWARD FOR PURABI BARMUDOI
GUWAHATI, Feb 4 — Ropowali Noi Sonowali Ghat is an extraordinary novel — a living document of 19th century Asom set against the backdrop of British rule in the State. The author, Purabi Barmudoi, exhibits her prowess in portraying a society at a crossroads, brought about by changing values and social mores following the advent of the British and the consequent Western influence.

Speaking at the function where the Chaganlal Jain Literary Award was conferred on eminent author Purabi Barmudoi for her novel "Ropowali Noi Sonowali Ghat". The book has been published by Banalata, a premier book publishing house of the State.“A powerful author, Barmudoi depicts the changes undergone by the society during the British rule in Asom in a most realistic and vivid manner. Barmudoi was unable to accept the honour personally as she has been seriously ill for some time. Her mother received the award from Asam Sahitya Sabha president Kanak Sen Deka on Barmudoi’s behalf. An acknowledgement note from the author was also read out where she thanked the family of the late Chaganlal Jain and Asam Sahitya Sabha for choosing her for the award. “I am happy to receive the honour, and it has enhanced my responsibility as a writer,” she said in the note. The award, given by the family of the late Jain in association with the Asam Sahitya Sabha every five years since 1991, carries Rs 50,000 in cash, a citation and a silver plaque.

NEW PUBLICATIONS
1. Jain Literature and Kundakunda
(8 B.C.- 44 A.D.), Dr. T.V.G. Sastri, Director of Archeology, Kunda Kunda Jnanapith, Indoor - The Jain Literature is remarkable for its variety and vastness and chronological sequence of events, not merely confined not merely to religious tradition, but also to other branches such as geography, history, science and socio-political studies. Only in the last 50 years, there began research into this literature. Since the nirvana of Mahavira in 527 B.C., Jain literature has contributed to the overall progress of the religious and cultural mosaic of India. Historically speaking, several works like Tailoyapannati, Harivamsapurana, Avashyaka Vrtti, Parisistaparya, and Prabandhahintamamni, exhibit a consistent treatment of internal history of India from 6th century B.C. to the founding of Maurya empire in the 4th century B.C. Further, they give details of eras like Mahavira era, Saka era, Vikrama era etc. Jacobi, Buhler and other have proved that Mahavira, the last of Chauvimsi (24) Tirthankaras was not only a senior contemporary of Buddha, but Jainism, was a well established religious tradition at the time of Parsva in 8th century B.C.Through his writings, Kundakunda has made it clear that he had full knowledge of atamatatva or atmavidya - the knowledge of the soul and advocated the path of vitaraga, non-vitaraga, non-attachment, either for good or bad. One should develop a state of mind through -`sravanasakti, strength from austeric practices that lead one to enlightenment. Courtesy: Mahavir Sanglikar, Mobile: 989 020 3549, E-Mail : msanglikar@yahoo.com

2. Jains in Freedom Movement

(Hindi) (II Ed.) 2006, Dr. Kapoor Chand Jain and Dr. Mrs. Jyoti Jain, Publishers: Sarvodaya Foundation, Khatauli (U.P.), Price: Rs. 300/-, Dr. Kapoor Chand jain is an erudite scholar of Jain philosophy, Jain history, Jain art, Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. Having obtained M.A. and Ph.D., he earned several awards, like Bhagwan Mahavir award, Shastri Parishad award and Rishabh Dev award. He has edited many books and magazines and submitted research papers and writted authoritative books on jain philosophy and prakrit and Jaina research. This book, written by him and his wife Dr. Mrs. Jyoti Jain, an equally bright scholar, presents an authentic account of the lives of Jain martyrs, who sacrificed their precious lives and the freedom fighters, during the struggle for freedom of the country. It is an ever-lasting testimony to the people coming from numerically small but highly influential Jain community. Having given a bird's eye-view of the freedom movement, the authors relate few important events in the national struggle and then present a list with details of 20 Jains who became martyrs, sacrificing their lives. The book then contains brief details of 740 persons, coming from various parts of the country and belonging to Jain community, who played an active role in the frredom movement, went to Jails and underwent severe hardships. The book is a collection of massive information and is well-illustrated with about 300 photographs of freedom fighters. The list of freedom fighters does not appear to arranged in a regular order, state-wise or alphabetically and an index at the end of the book is not given. Authors may consider these short-comings in the future edition of the book. However, both of them deserve hearty appreciation and congratulation for the unstinted efforts put in by them in the production of this valuable book.

3.Bibliography of Prakrit and Jaina Research Bilingual

(III Ed.) 2004-Dr. Kapoor Chand Jain,Publishers: Shri Kailash Chand  Jain Memorial Trust, Khatauli (U.P.),Price: Rs. 200/-,This book introduces bibliographical details of about 100 theses from Indian universities and 131 from abroad. A list of potential topics for further research in Jainology is also given. The book is bilingual and therefore it is useful for both Indian and foreign scholars of Jainism. The information provided by the author in this book would be highly useful for scholars and researchers alike.

 

4. Matter in Jain Philosophy - Dr. Kapoor Chand Jain, Publishers: Same as above., This book presents in a very concise form the philosophy about matter (Pudgal), karma and soul from Jain point of view. The hierarchy of life, cycles of birth and Jain logic are briefly explained and the book makes an interesting reading for the scholars of Jainism.

5. Book on Jainism by German University -A German University will be bringing out a book on Jain religion and its passage through the past century in Karnataka. The University of Heidelberg in Germany will be bringing out the book "Jainism in Karnataka — the last 100 years," in the next couple of months. Sabine Scholz, a researcher from the University, while speaking to media persons said that the book was almost completed and will be released in a couple of months. Sabine is doing her Ph.D on Jainsim and has been touring Karnataka since the last 18 months. Apart from submitting the thesis, she is also helping in the compilation of the book.

Sabine had visited the Jain temples across the coastal belt and in North Karnataka and says the book touches upon events like the Mahamastakabhisheka held in different parts of Karnataka during the last 100 years. The book will also provide information on the evolution of age-old practices and rituals of Jainism and how they are affected by the modern times and about the Digambar Jain Saints.

6. "Jainism And The Temples Of Mount Abu And Ranakpur" - Author: Mr. Lothar Clermont, Thomas Dix AND  Edited by Mr. Dilip Surana,Publisher: Gyan Gaurav Publishers., C-34, Sir Pratap Colony, Airport Road, Jodhpur, Ph.: 91 291 2515861, 9414127863, Text: © Lothar Clermont, Photos: Thomas Dix, Printer: First Printed 1998, Reprinted 2006 by Thomson Press, New Delhi, Volume: 96 pages, Size: 242 x 312 mm. This book contains excellent photographs & good source of basic knowledge about Jainism for foreigners and tourists. Some of the photographs are reproduced below with the permission of Mr. Dilip Surana.

MISCELLANEOUS

YOGA CAMP IN BANGKOK UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF SHRI SHRUTPRAGYA JI

Life and Peace of Mind Foundation organizes Yoga for Anger and Stress Management Workshop in Bangkok on 21st Feb. to 25Th Feb. 2007 at Indo-Thai Chambers of Commerce. Shri Shrutpragyaji will deliver a lecture on 25Th of Feb. in Hindu Samaj at Bangkok. Dr. Kamal Parikh from Rajkot will also deliver a speech. Shri Chandrakant Koticha will address to the participants. Yoga Instructor Mr. Rajeev Mishra from Life will demonstrate the yoga technique.Mr. Atul Jogani is organizing this workshop in Bangkok. For further information contact Mr. Atul Jogani at his E-Mail : lifebkk1@hotmail.com

ISSJS PROGRESS REPORT
By Dr. Sulekh C. Jain, Director ISSJS Program, Houston, Texas, USA, 281 494 7656, 832 594 8005 ( cell)

February 2007
Friends,
Briefly, I want to share with you a bag of goodies (good news). Lot is happening and very fast. Here it is
SCHOLAR PARTICIPATION
In 2005 we had 7 participants
in 2006, we had 14 participants
in 2007, we will have 33+ participants. Wow. Prof. Anne Vallely (University of Ottawa, Canada) is bringing her entire class of 17 students (Ph.D, M.A and Undergrads) to next ISSJS along with herself.

This year, we will have participants from USA, Canada and Russia (Moscow State University) and may be (?) from Thailand
A preliminary breakdown of the Class of 2007 is
University of Ottawa Class 16 (5 PhD + 12 undergrad)
New Professors 4.
New PhD and other students 9
Returning Scholars (PhD students, Instructors and Professors) 4

ANCIENT JAIN IDOL SEIZED BY DELHI POLICE
On February 24 an idol of Jain Tirthanker, which dates back to around 800 years and worth several crores was recovered and two persons arrested in Chandini Chowk Market of Delhi. Police said they received a tip-off that two persons Pappu Yadav and Banu would come from Punjab to Delhi for selling these idols. Accordingly, a trap was laid and the two apprehended with the idol. During investigation, the accused  admitted that they were labourers in Uttar Pradesh. They also told them that another labourer, Ram Babu, in Hamirpur, UP, reportedly told them that they could make more money for all of them by "selling an idol which was precious".

They told police that Ram Babu asked them to accompany him to Sangrur in Punjab, where a "sculptor", Shiv Pal, could help them sell the idol. The two told police that they went to Sangrur but Shivpal suggested they try selling the idol in Chandini Chowk. At Delhi, while Ram Babu got down from the bus at a bypass, the two were arrested on their way to Chandini Chowk. Courtesy: Mr. Gaurav Jain 'Lakshaya', M: (+91)- 981 198 1233, E-Mail: gauravejainyji@gmail.com

PROTEST AGAINST POLICE FAILURE TO RECOVER JAIN IDOLS IN GURGAON
Gurgaon, Dissatisfied with the local administration and the alleged failure of the police to make any breakthrough in the theft of 10 ancient idols from a Jain temple, which took place about a fortnight ago, a mahapanchayat of members from all sections of society and adherents of all religions was convened and later a protest march held. The mahapanchayat came down heavily on the district administration and the local police in their failure to prevent the theft and inability to make any breakthrough in the case. The mahapanchayat and the protest march were organised by the Gurgaon Jain Sabha. The fortnight-long relay fast by members of the community at Mahavir Chowk was called off following an assurance made by Mr. Nirmal Kumar Sethi, national president of All India Digambar Jain Tirth Protection Mahasamiti to the community members here that the state government would be persuaded to refer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The participants at the mahapanchayat later staged a protest march from the affected Jain temple to the venue where the relay hunger strike was in progress. The protesters also raised slogans demanding the immediate recovery of the idols. The speakers, including local leaders from various political parties and representatives of various social and religious organisations and business and trade, made critical reference to the law enforcing agencies. Members of the community cautioned the follow-up measures by the police in tracing the idols would be keenly watched. Direct protest action by the community could not be ruled out in case of failure of the police.

SPECIAL COVER ISSUED AT BIKANER ON SETH HIRLAL RAMPURIA

A special Postal Cover has been issued at Bikaner (Raj.) on 29th Jan. 2007 to honour famous Jain personality Seth Hiralal Rampuria. Indian Postal Department had provided special cancellation on this cover. Seth Hiralal Rampuria (1866-1941) born in Bikaner at shifted to Kolkata for business. Apart from a successful businessman, he had donated lot of property and money for social work and specially for education. He also donated large sum of money for Gang Canal, Prince Bijaysingh Memorial Hospital, Jain Bhavan at Kolkata and Bikaner.His haveli craved with red stone at Bikaner is very attractive and historical.He will be remembered for a long time as Philanthropist and for his memorable acts and deeds for the welfare of the society. Courtesy: Mr. Sudhir Jain,E-Mail: mrsudhirjain@hotmail.com

 

AHIMSA TIMES INVITES NEWS CORRESPONDENTS FOR HELPING IN NEWS COLLECTION
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: ahimsa@jainsamaj.org.

GOVT. TO DECLARE RARE NATIONAL MANUSCRIPTS AS TREASURE OF INDIA
The government has decided to declare forty five manuscripts of the country with Manuscript Treasures of India. It is estimated that country has a stock of more than  5 million manuscripts  and the idea to give recognition to pioneering manuscripts should be considered as landmarks in India's aesthetic history. The National Manuscript Mission will be providing a token sum of Rs 1 lakh to each of the 21 repositories across the country where these manuscripts are kept for taking special protective measures. Some of the manuscripts have been declared national treasures because they are highly vulnerable due deterioration caused by climate. National Manuscript Mission Director Sudha Gopalakrishnan has suggested to the government that  repositories would be asked to provide infrastructure for storage of manuscripts, besides taking up preventive and curative conservation.

The Manuscript Treasures of India includes the Gilgit Manuscripts, Al-Quran al-Majid, Rigvedasamhita, Arthashastra, Baburnama, Gita Govinda, among others. The Gilgit Manuscripts yet to be fully deciphered belonging to the 5th-6th centuries are among the oldest written documents in the world and are unmatched in their significance in the area of Buddhist studies and evolution of a number of languages of world importance like Sanskrit, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tibetan. The Al-Quran-al-Majid one of the world's most sacred books is the basis of the Muslim faith. Attributed to Hazrat Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Mohammad, this copy of the Holy Quran is said to be written in his own handwriting. This manuscript is in Arabic, and it is written in early Kufi script. Dated to 661 AD it is also one of the oldest parchment manuscripts in the world. The Rigvedasamhita is one of the four main Vedas or texts that form the basis of Hindu faith supposed have been composed 3,000 years ago. This manuscript is extremely rare as it is written on birch bark a support material used exclusively in Kashmir and dates back to 51 Kashmiri era.

The Persian manuscript Tarikh-i Khandan-i Timuriyah richly illustrated manuscript created in the period of Akbar 1577-78 begins with an inscription written in Emperor Shah Jahan's own hand. The illustrated manuscript of the Persian version of Ramayana with Rajasthan school of painting belonging to the late Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar. Three hundred and fifty year old manuscript of Natya Shastra - 4th century BC treatise on drama, dance and performing arts composed by Bharatamuni - written in Sanskrit in Kannada script. Persian translation of Baburnama autobiography of Babur written in Nastaliq script during emperor Akbar's time in 1585 by Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khana.

PUNE IS A LIVING HELL FOR ANIMALS - MANEKA GANDHI
Pune,  Animal rights activist and Member of Parliament Maneka Gandhi slammed Pune as a ‘living hell’ for animals. However in the same breath she appreciated the efforts of city-based NGO's like  Indian Herpetological Society,  Blue Cross Society and particularly  the efforts of Lila Parulekar for the welfare of animals. She suggested that social organisations like the Jain Shwetamber Murtipujak Yuval Mahasangh should help animal welfare organizations financially. Mrs. Gandhi was addressing a function organised by the Shri Jain Shwetambar Murtypooja Yuvak Mahasangh.  She commented that the Jain organisations go beyond goshalas  and temple building. They should help animal rights activists and organisations and stop investing in companies trading sea food or promoting animal slaughter.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Vipin Jain - Hi, I would like to draw your attention towards one point. Last year I went to the Mahavirji. I was very surprisesd to see the station name, it was written as 'MAHABIRJI' instead of MAHAVIRJI. I am very surpirse as , MAHAVIRJI is our one of the biggest pilgrimage and no one has taken initiative for correcting this. I am staying outside the India So I would like to request to take this matter with railway or concern authority. - Vipin Jain, E-Mail: jvipin@beximtex.com

Jayshri - I am honoring my father KACHARDAS POKHARNA today on India's republic day. Our father is a freedom fighter and has actively participated in the fight for freedom of India in his youth.  He got chance to spend time with Mahatma Gandhi, Vinobha Bhave and other great leaders of his time one on one. During freedom movement my Dad got beaten until he is unconscious and put in jail for sometime where he was treated with extreme brutality. His father (my grandpa) brought home cook food for my father .. but he gently refused to take it unless they were willing to also feed all the other prisoners home cook food ... he wanted to be treated equally and also share what he had. He followed Gandhian teaching in his day to day life also. Honesty is the main ingredient in his success of his life. He is very shy and does not share of himself easily so many people do not even know his achievements.  He is also favorite disciple of our Acharya Anand Rishiji.

If you want to salute or participate in honoring my Dad please send your emails to him on E-Mail : kmpokharna@gmail.com and I will make sure he will read your emails. He does surf internet today also and I do type his emails for him. - Jayshri

SEPARATE IN-FLIGHT SEATING FOR VEGETARIANS REQUESTED
The Managing Trustee of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation, Sri  N. Sugalchand Jain has written to the management of all the Airlines operating in the country to allocate a separate VEGETARIAN ZONE in the aircraft for pure vegetarians on the same lines of the erstwhile smoking and non-smoking zone.

At the time of having in-flight meals, it is a distasteful experience for pure vegetarians when the airhostess asks them if they are vegetarian or non vegetarian. To make matters worse the poor vegetarian suffers from nausea and loss of appetite when seated beside somebody who relishes non vegetarian food which emanates strong smell. It is precisely for such reasons that many pure vegetarians refuse to take meals or snacks served in flight.

Shri Jain has also suggested that all passengers may be asked for their food preference at the time of issuing Boarding Pass while check-in. Besides improving the comfort level of the vegetarian traveler, it also enables the airline staff to avoid asking irritable questions and serve the customer efficiently. The number of vegetarian or non-vegetarian meals could also be determined in advance and could probably help in the reduction of wastage of meals and thus cut down costs. It is an acknowledged fact that more and more people are turning to vegetarianism. In international flights to cater to the vegetarian customer, the vegetarian meals are further segmented into Asian, Jain, etc. which goes to prove the importance given to the vegetarian traveler who incidentally happens to be a high net worth individual. Shri N. Sugalchand Jain has exhorted the management of the airlines to respond proactively to the sensibilities of the increasing number of vegetarians. E-Mail: sugalchand@yahoo.com

DIKSHA CEREMONIES

(i) Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect: Two devotees, belonging to Jain Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect, Km. Karuna and Km. Rajul accepted Jain diksha at Pali near Jodhpur abandoning all worldly attraction and affection of their parents and relatives. A long procession was taken out earlier on the previous morning through the city, with both the ladies sitting in palanquins and wearing expensive dresses and ornaments. The diksha ceremony was held in the holy presence of eminent saints, Shri Roop muni, Shri Rameshh muni, Shri Naresh muni and Shri Amresh muni.   After the ceremony was over, the two of them were re-named as Sadhwi Karunprabh and Sadhwi Rishika. Eminent people from the community, including State Home Minister, Shri Gulab Chand Katariya, member of Parliament, Shri Pushp Jain and many other devotees, parents and relatives of the sadhwis were present on the occasion.

(ii) Shwetambar Terapanth sect: On the occasion of 77th diksha anniversy of Acharya Shri Mahapragya, four mumukshu ladies, accepted Jain sadhwi diksha at Bikaner on the 28th January, 2007. They were: (i) Priyanka Sukhani from Bikaner, (ii) Priti Chhajed (Samani) from Ganga Shahar, Bikaner, Chandra Marlecha from Pune and (iv) Sarita Kotecha from Bhusawal. The ceremony was held in the holy presence of Acharya Mahapragya and many other saints and sadhwis from Jain Shwetambar Terapanth sect. Earlier, Acharya Shri had made the holy entry (mangal pravesh) into Bikaner town on the previous day in a large procession, where large crowds were waiting on both sides of the road to receive his blessings.

AHIMSA TIMES INVITES NEWS CORRESPONDENTS FOR HELPING IN NEWS COLLECTION
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: ahimsa@jainsamaj.org.
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