Ahimsa Times October 2009 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org
Vol. No. 112
GANDHI ON AHIMSA ( NON-VIOLENCE )
Ahimsa is not a cover for cowardice, but it is the supreme virtue of the brave. Exercise of non-violence requires far greater bravery than that of swordsmanship. Cowardice is wholly inconsistent with non-violence. Translation from swordsmanship to non-violence is possible and, at times, even an easy stage. Non-violence, therefore, presupposes ability to strike. It is a conscious deliberate restraint put upon one's desire for vengeance. But vengeance is any day superior to passive, effeminate and helpless submission. Forgiveness is higher still. Vengeance too is weakness. The desire for vengeance comes out of fear of harm, imaginary or real. A dog barks and bites when he fears. A man who fears no one on earth would consider it too troublesome even to summon up anger against one who is vainly trying to injure him. The sun does not wreak vengeance upon little children who throw dust at him. They only harm themselves in the act.
PUSHKAR MUNI BIRTH CENTENARY CELEBRATED IN DELHI
Muni is remembered as most revered saint by Sthanakwasi Jain Samaj. Jain
organizations around the country organized programmes and camps to celebrate his
100th birth anniversary on 11th October, 2009 in Delhi. Upadhyaaya Ramesh Muni,
Up- Parvartak Dr. Rajendra Muni, Yuvamanishi Surendra Muni and Deepesh Muni,
Ravindra Muni, Paras Muni, Kamal Muni, Rishabh Muni, Suyog Rishiji, Mahasadhvi
Dr. Divya Prabhaji, Mamtaji, Suryaji. Prekshaji blessed the programme by their
august presence. The event which was organized by Sri D. C. Chhajed, General
Secretary of Ashok Vihar Sthankwasi Samaj, New Delhi.
Hundreds of followers from all over the country attended the programme, which
started with Navkar Mantra recitation. The programme was address by several
prominent political leaders of Delhi and many Jain Samaj patrons and activist
including Labour and Welfare Minister Sri Mangat Ram Singhal, Legislator Sri
Hari Shankar Gupta, Sri Mahendra Nagpal, Counselor Anesh Jain, Sri Annand
Prakash Jain, Sri Rikhab Chand Jain. Mrs. Nirmala Chordia of Surat recited
Mangla Charan. Chandan Bala Mahila Sangh presented their bhajan programmes.
Prof. Ratan Jain and other offered tributes to Pushkar Muni and shared their
thoughts and experiences about Pushkar Muniji Maharaj Saheb.
occasion Surendra Muni inspired documentary film Sadhna Ke Shikhar : Guru
Pushkar was also released. DVD of the film is being distributed around the
country free of cost. This documentary film was also telecasted on Sanskar T. V.
Channel on 11th October, 2009. A new website was launched under the domain name
www.gurupushkar.com. Sri Padam Mehta, Editor of "Jalte Deep" Jodhpur released
special edition of his paper on the occasion of Guru Pushkar Centenary. He also
read the message of Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot who could not attend the
programme due to the unforeseen reason. A Health Check Up programme was also
organized on the occasion. Sri D. C Chhajed C. A hosted the lunch for all the
guests and visitors.
MAHAVEER IS RELEVANT TODAY – DR. RAJENDRA MUNI
Speaking on the occasion of Bhagwan Mahaveer Nirwan Day Up-Pravartak Rajendra Muni of Jain Sthankawasi Samaj explained the Mahaveer philosophy and its scientific relevance in today world. Muni shri also explained in detail, how the most complex issue can be resolved through Mahaveer approach Mahaveer’s philosophy is eternally valid. The theory of Non Violence can stop all kinds of Scientific destructive activities and convert it to constructive and positive energy. He said "Marx Theory" failed to create positive living therefore ultimately failed. – From: D. C Chhajed, General Secretary, Ashok Vihar Jain Sangh, New Delhi.
MUNI SHRI KAMLESH HONOURED WITH "AHIMSA DIVAKAR" TITLE
Krantikari Rashtra-sant Shri Kamlesh Muni, disciple of Pravartak Shri Ramesh Muniji maharaj, who is the disciple of Jain Divakar Gurudev late Shri Chauth Mal Ji maharaj was honoured as "Ahimsa Divakar"in the presence of office bearers national committees of Shravak Sangh and a large gathering of devotees coming from all parts of the country, The Acharya expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by Kamlesh Muni in bringing unity in the sangh and establishing coordination amongst different sects.
NAMRAMUNI MUNI PROMOTES HEALTH AND EDUCATION IN KOLKATA
Maharaj asked to more than 7,000 Gujaratis who had assembled at the Netaji
Indoor Stadium to celebrate his 39th birthday to come forward and set up welfare
institutions in West Bengal. To fulfil his mission of right action, the Muni is
setting up a trust that will spread education and health care among the
underprivileged in this city, besides caring for abandoned and ailing animals.
The funds were raised by Shri Sthanakvasi Samasta Jain Sangh, that auctioned 14
objects signifying the dreams prophet Mahavir's mother Trishala had before his
birth. "These objects are elephants, lion, bullock, the ocean, Swastika, Vimana
(a flying object), a steamer, two garlands, fire without smoke, the moon, the
sun, Lakshmi, Matsya (fish) and a bowl full of diamonds and gems," explained
Vinay Shah of the Kolkata Jain Shwetambar Sthanak Gujarati Sangh. The trust will
use its resources for serving the needy regardless of their religion.On November
8, Namramuni will leave on foot to return to Mumbai where he has a large
SHRI VISHAL MUNI JI MAHARAJ OF STHANAKWASI SHRAMAN SANGH RELINQUISHES HIS TITLE OF YUVACHARYA -
Shri Vishal Muni, belonging to Shramanopasak Sangh of Shwetambar Stanakwasi sect, owing allegiance to Acharya Dr. Shiv Muni, who had been holding the title of 'Yuvacharya' relinquished the title of 'Yuvacharya' and informed tha acharya through a letter on the occasion of 68th birth centenary of the Acharya. He is the disciple of Bhishm Pitamah Raj Rishi Shri Sumati Prakash Ji maharaj, having been honoured as 'Nepal-Hind Gaurav'. Prior to his diksha, he belonged to a devoted Brahmin family of Nepal.
NEW CENTRE FOR HOUSTON'S, [US] JAIN COMMUNITY -
New Jain centre 'Preksha Meditation Center' built on 6,000-square-foot is due to open at Housten. Over $2 million raised entirely from voluntary donations has been spent in the construction. The facility's main room features a 3,600-square-foot cardinal-pyramid meditation hall, shaped to enhance the meditation experience. Beginning with only 40 followers at the inception of JVB Houston 10 years ago, the Jain organization has seen tremendous growth. Samanijis, (similar to Catholic nuns) were sent here from India to run the local organization, lead meditation, hold workshops, seminars, youth camps, and provide counseling. Both Samanijis have master's degrees in religion and Jainism, and have taken lifetime vows. Terapanth Acharya Mahapragya's disciples Samani Akshay Pragyaji has been the guiding force behind the project. Grand opening events include special speakers, meditation and yoga events, dinners, and cultural programs for three days.
SUPREME COURT BAN ON BUILDING OF WORSHIPPING HOUSES AT PUBLIC PLACES
The Supreme Court has issued an interim order and directed all the State Governments to ensure that no public places or road sides shall be permitted to establish any temples, mosque, church or gurudwara in its premises. This order shall remain in force till the apex court arrives at a final decision on this issue. The order shall apply to all the states in the union of India and the centrally-ruled states. The decision about removing all the encroachments, however, which have taken place in the past has yet to be taken by the Court.
NAKODAJI TEERTH, RAJSTHAN NEEDS BETTER MAINTENANCE -
Nakodaji Teerth is no less of importance for entire Swetamber Jain Community than Badrinath / Kedarnath to Hindu’s, Jerusalem to Christens and Makka Madina to Muslims etc. This auspicious and highly respected and believed teerth is situated in hills near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The place is visited by lakhs of dedicated pilgrims and devotees ( BOTH JAINS AND NON-JAINS) from all over the world. In fact most of the people repeatedly visit and consider it to be no less then Vaishno Devi and Tirupati for Hindu's. The number of people visiting and staying overnight is increasing year after year. Considering the requirements of infrastructural facilities in the temple complex some development have also taken place.
is no less of importance for entire Swetamber Jain Community than Badrinath / Kedarnath to Hindu’s, Jerusalem to Christens and Makka Madina to Muslims etc. This auspicious and highly respected and believed teerth is situated in hills near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The place is visited by lakhs of dedicated pilgrims and devotees ( BOTH JAINS AND NON-JAINS) from all over the world. In fact most of the people repeatedly visit and consider it to be no less then Vaishno Devi and Tirupati for Hindu's. The number of people visiting and staying overnight is increasing year after year. Considering the requirements of infrastructural facilities in the temple complex some development have also taken place.
But if we look at the expectation of today’s generation, the facilities available are hardly satisfactory. Immediate attention is required to paid in the following areas.
1. Basic Sanitary Facilities: -
Most of the toilets are extremely dirty and unusable. As local people are not available for the job, management can give Sanitary Contract to established organization like “Sulabh International” etc.
2. Water Problem: - Water is really scarce in the area. Substantial amount is paid for arranging water through contactors. This is not a permanent solutions. Since, the management has adequate financial resources problem can be permanently resolved. First method, could be, deep water tube wells in nearby areas. Secondly, the Government can be approached to provide exclusive water supply line for the temple. Plenty of potable water is available within 50 to 100 Km. radius of the temple. Nearby villages have fertile and agricultural land. Temple management can approach and compel State Government to solve this problem. Jain Community is very strong both politically and financially. If at all required, temple funds can also be used for water project. Thirdly, now a days it is also possible to install water treatment plant for the improvement of water quality.
3. Local People: -
Temple should create self employment avenues for local people. Whatever educational facilities exist, need modernization and improvement. This can be done on the lines of “Sai Baba” town in south.
4. Health Facilities: - Technically, there is no medical aid available in the area. What is sometimes available is just one retired doctor without any supporting staff. Temple should request some community member to run at least 20 bed hospital and it should also be open to local population. Once again money is not an issue at temple.
5. Bhojanshala: -
Grand Building is used for the purpose. But again the management is extremely poor. The place gets dirty, toilets are always stinking, wash basins are choked, Utensils not properly washed, food quality which used to be great a few years before, has substantially deteriorated. I feel present food charges are reasonable but if required these can be increased to bring improvements.
6. Dharmashala: - Number of room have been added but maintenance is poor. A lot can be learnt from Pawapuri Temple which is not very far away from this place.
7. Temple Building: -
In view of ever increasing number of people to the temple, it is important to provide separate entry and exit gates in the main temple. Present entrance is very small and used for both entry and exit. This is an emergency requirement as temple is fully packed at the time of “Aarti".
8. Security: -
Number of plain clothes security guards should be appointed, Cameras can also placed at critical points. Safe deposit vaults facility can also be provided.
9. Vehicle Parking: - Parking lots for all types of vehicles should be identified and structured. Presently it is chaotic, disorganized and unsafe for visitors.
10. Shops Out Side Temple Gate: - A few shops can be nicely constructed with in temple premises and allotted. Existing shops are spoiling the aesthetic look of the front gate of the temple.
11. Ornamentation of Surroundings Hills: - Some kind of plantation of on hills suitable to the environment and climate will improve the visual look of the place.
12. Staff Training: -
All the employees working in the temple complex should be in uniform and carry name card with designation etc. Proper job training should also given to the employees. There salaries and allowance should be structured and transparent. Individual tipping should be restricted.
13. Temple Accounts: -
Copy of temple accounts should be made public for better transparency. Cash handling procedure can be reviewed. Auditor’s can also be rotated. Besides, Statutory Auditor’s should also issue separately a long form report about the working of the trust and irregularities noticed during the year procedural checks.
Besides above there are many other smaller issues where attention can be paid to make the visitors comfortable. Each one of us is blessed by this Teerth and we have a duty to do this. I request the esteemed members of the management committee to consider my suggestions and make an attempt to implement them wherever possible. I look forward to have your response on this subject. Should you need any further information or my services in this regard you can always call me on (Anil Jain ) 98- 100-46108. E-Mail:
BH. MAHAVEER VIKLANG SAHAYATA SAMITI TO PROVIDE ARTIFICIAL LIMBS TO SRI LANKAN TAMILS -
In a bid to help Sri Lankan Tamils maimed by war, India will distribute artificial limbs at a month-long free medical camp in Jaffna in December. As a pilot project, 600 people who lost their limbs in mine blasts and other war-related incidents will be given artificial limbs at a cost of Rs 15 lakh. Jaipur-based Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti will provide the limbs at an average cost of Rs 2,000. BMVSS is being run by Dr D R Mehta former chairman of SEBI. A 15-member medical team would stay at the camp for a month and manufacture artificial limbs after taking measurements of the beneficiaries. BMVSS uses highly advanced technology in manufacturing artificial limbs. Unlike earlier artificial limbs, the new ones are much lighter. BMVSS is also planning to conduct similar camps in Iraq, Turkey, Palestine and the UAE.
According to French Charity Handicap International, which works with victims of war throughout the world, nearly 30,000 Tamil people were maimed. The organisation has a small factory in Batticaloa in Sri Lanka, producing artificial limbs.
JAIN MANUSCRIPTS TO BE AVAILABLE ON INSTITUTE OF JAINOLOGY WEBSITE
More than 4,000 Jain manuscripts, some dating back to the ninth century BC, are being immortalised in a digitised encyclopedia that will be available to all shortly. ‘Jainpedia’ is the creation of the Institute of Jainology , formed by the Jain Diaspora in Britain. The collection of manuscripts include scriptures from British institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum, British Library, Bodleian Library and Wellcome Trust. The manuscripts cover areas like hymns and prayers, accounts of the lives of the founders of Jainism, didactic literature, lexicography, poetics, philosophy, astrology, karma literature, texts on pilgrimage places and on daily rituals.
In view of scholarly interests, the institute has decided to make the collection accessible to a wider audience. “This question of access was multi-faceted - physical contact with these manuscripts can be difficult as some are rare, many centuries old and fragile. Even if one could get to them, many are in languages that have not been spoken for a millennia and more. To make them more intelligible, the digitised images will be contextualized with commentaries from modern scholars, audio and video material and translations of the original texts apart from material for schools and young people. Mr. Harshad Sanghrajka who is associated with the project since beginning says that, over 3 lakh people would benefit from the project. In particular, school children in England, where the institute has brought Jainism into the English National Curriculum will benefit. A series of lectures is being planned by the institute to create awareness about the website in Mumbai. From: S. K. Bhandari E-Mail:
JAIN INTERNATIONAL (JITO) LAUNCHES NEW DELHI CHAPTER
Jain International Trade Organisation is a worldwide body of Jain Businessmen, Industrialists, Knowledge workers and Professionals in various fields. In order to expand its network JITO has launched its Delhi Chapter. In Delhi, the body has prominent Jain Pradeep Jain, Parsvnath Developers Limited as President of JITO Delhi and Mr. D K Jain, CMD of Luxor Writing Instruments Ltd as Vice President. The Delhi chapter of JITO will act a platform to bring them together and explore new opportunities of trade. It will act as a stepping stone to unite and enhance integrity of Jains in Delhi. This will bring the prominent Jain businessmen in one platform and collectively innovative ideas and business concept will be brewed. This I believe will be a major thrust in India’s growth trajectory in coming years.Commenting on the occasion, Hemant Jain, said “I am sure that the Delhi Chapter of JITO will take forward the vision and mission of JITO main chapter and will be a harbinger of prosperity and success of Jain community”. Commenting on the occasion, G. H. Singhvi, CMD, Hindustan Fibres Limited said, “Inauguration of Delhi chapter is a significant milestone for JITO. Delhi is the next business hub after Mumbai. Being the national capital, it is also the hub of bureaucracy. The launch of Delhi chapter will not only benefit the Jain businessmen residing in Delhi but also the JITO in general.”The occasion was graced by Kamal Nath, Union Minister for Surface Transport, Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Honorable Chief Minister, Delhi. The ceremony was presided over by Shri Pradeep Jain “Aditya”, Honorable Minister of State for Rural Development.
HONOUR / AWARDS
MUMBAI UNIVERSITY AWARDED PH.D TO MRS. RAKSHA JITENDRA SHAH
The thesis highlights that-: Pratikramana is an innocuous spiritual tonic that helps shaping the mental, physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual growth of a true laity. The modern lifestyle has given rise to newer stress related diseases like B. P. Cardiac Problems, strained relationships, imbalance in society and deterioration of ethico-moral values.
The degree of Ph. D was awarded to free lance Journalist, Editor, Lecturer and Public Speaker - Mrs. Raksha J. Shah by The University of Mumbai for the thesis entitled , "PRATIKRAMANANA - A WAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT".
PRATIKRAMANANA - A WAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT’-
A reinterpretation of the Jaina Doctrine why has Pratikramana, one of the most essential rites advocated by the Jain Tirthankaras, been placed at the highest pedestal? How does it help a laity rise spiritually? Why is its observance criticized today? Why is it considered, to be a lengthy, complex, time consuming duty, or a burden levied by families? The thesis describes the systematized, scientific, methodical process of Pratikramana which assists in performing the most essential function of purification of the mind, body and soul.
This rite is a ‘holistic healer’ that assists in saving and accumulating the otherwise wasted energy. The power and benefits of the vibratory effect of the mantras and sūtras recited in this process, brings about a change in the aura and lesyā. The sūtras need to be recited only in the Prākrit language. Pratikramana could go a long way in helping modify the values in society, bringing back awareness and awakening, feelings of love, compassion, brotherhood ness and friendship in the minds and hearts of the people. Pratikramana is much more than just forgiving, forgetting and pardoning. The thesis brings out the true essence and significance of this miraculous power laden rite. - Dr. Raksha J. Shah, (Ph.D, M.A, B.Sc, LL.B),71-B/1, Adarsh, Saraswati Road, Santacruz (West), Mumbai-400054, India. Tel: 91-22-26490164, Fax: 9122-26490378 E-Mail :
MUMBAI JAIN PATRAKAR SANGH AWARDS TO DR. RAKSHA SHAH AND OTHERS
Two new awards, The Navin-Kokil award for the Best Story and The Bafna Award for the, best editorial were introduced last year at the 7th Deepchand Gardi Journalist Award Event hosted by Shri Mumbai Jain Patrkar Sangh, Mumbai. The winners of all the three awards were felicitated at the, ‘Utsav’ Hall of Hotel Samrat at Churchgate in Mumbai, on the 29th of September 2009. The Navin-Kokil award for Best Story was given to Smt. Parul B. Gandhi. The Bafna Award for Best Editorial was awarded to Dr. Raksha J. Shah. While, the 8th Deepchand Gardi Vidyavaridhi Journalist award-winners were: Smt. Sandhya Shah, Smt. Dhanlakshmi M. Gada and Shri Ramniklal C. Mehta. The President, Mr. Bhupendra Mehta welcomed the guests while the Vice-President Shri Jayantilal Shah introduced the guests, Shri Deepchand Gardi, Shri Navin Mehta and Shri Kishore Dave of Mumbai Samachar. From: Shri Jitendrabhai V. Virvadia,Shri Bhupendra Mehta and Shri Jayantilal M. Shah - Shri Mumbai Jain Patrkar Sangh, Mumbai.
SHANTI DHARIWAL, HOME MINISTER OF RAJASTHAN HONOURED IN CALIFORNIA -
The Home Minister of Rajasthan, Shri Shanti Dhariwal, during his recent visit to the United States of America was honoured by the Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA). with the title of 'Rajasthan Ratna' at a function called, "Rhythm of Rajasthan" in the city of California. The Regional President of RANA, Shri Raj Singh Nathawat and Media Chairman of RANA, Shri Prem Bhandari presented the award to Shri Dhariwal. Mr. L. N. Corbett, Senator from California, Shri Ajay Lodha, Chairman of Newyork branch of RANA, the present Chairman, Shri Rajiv Garg and past Chairman Shri Sanjay Bhandari alongwith other office-bearers were present on the occasion. Shri Dhariwal speaking on the occasion, mentioned that a new chapter will be established between the non-residents from Rajasthan settled in North America and the people of Rajasthan. A cultural programme was also presented by a specially invited group of folk artists from Rajasthan.
NITIN JAIN WINS AGAIN - INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE OLYMPIAD TEHRAN
Faridabad boy Nitin Jain has been declared the winner at the International Science Olympiad held in Tehran, Iran. Approximately, 100 students from 21 countries had participated in the Olympiad, which was held from October 17 to October 26. Nitin, a resident of Sector 21D, Faridabad, took part in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. Nitin, who will celebrate his 18th birthday shortly, had hit the headlines after securing the top slot at IIT-JEE and AIEEE this year. This time, he has not only won the gold at the Olympiad, but has also been awarded the “Absolute Winner Trophy” for the year. This was not his first brush with the Olympiad though. Last year, he had won the first prize in the same competition held in Indonesia. A first year student of Computer Science at IIT-Delhi, Nitin was chosen by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, the country’s nodal centre for Olympiad programmes in mathematics, astronomy and other sciences.
SEVEN MLA'S IN NEWLY ELECTED MAHARASHTRA ASSEMBLY FROM JAIN COMMUNITY
In the recently concluded elections of Maharashtra Legislative assembly, 7 MLAs from Jain community were elected. Here is the list of the elected MLAs.
1. Chainsukh Sancheti from Malkapur constituency (BJP)
2. Rajendra Darda from Aurangabad East (Congress)
3. Prashant Bumb from Gangapur (Independent)
4. Omprakash Pokarna from Nanded South (Congress)
5. Mangal Prabhat Lodha from Malbar Hill (BJP)
6. Suresh Dada Jain from Jalgaon City (Shiv Sena)
7. Prakash Mehta from Ghatkopar (BJP)
There are 288 seats in Maharashtra assembly. So the percentage of Jain MLAs stands 2%+. This is much more than the percentage of Jains according to census in population of Maharashtra, which is 1.3%. [Courtesy: Mr. Mahavir Sanglikar]
FIGHTING SPIRIT OF MRS. RUCHI JAIN
Ruchi Jain, a married female, showed sheer guts in performing a dance show on one leg. Recently, she participated in an unique multi-talent show, "Entertainment Ke Liye Aur Bhi Kucch Karega" being aired on Sony TV. She started with breaking of tiles by one hand (she is also a holder of 'Black Belt' in Karate) and than danced flawlessly on the song "Ae Maa Tujhe Salaam". Her sheer determination to dance on one leg (her left leg had been amputated above knee due to tumour and after about 3 - 4 failed surgeries) brought tears into the eyes of compere Miss Mona Singh ("Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin" fame) and Judge of the show Mrs. Farah Khan (famed Choreographer and Film Director) with umpteen number of people in the audience. Her request to come to the Judges chair for seeking their blessings was turned down by Mr. Anu Malik (famous Music Director) who rightfully along with co-Judge Mrs. Farah Khan got up from the Chair, went on to the stage and lauded her fighting spirit and blessed her (and also her husband, who has been supporting her to the helm). Kudos to Mrs. Ruchi Jain and her fighting spirit. Courtesy: Dr. Hasmukh Jain, E-Mail:
DIVYA JAIN, AN ACCOMPLISHED INDIAN CLASSICAL DANCER
Divya Jain is an accomplished Indian classical dancer and choreographer. Over last 20 years she has performed in many prestigious cultural, Inter-religious and charity events in India, USA and abroad including the Dharma Music Concert in the 2006 Montreal World’s Religions Congress in Canada, and the 2007 Monterrey World Religions Congress in Mexico. Divya has received Master of Arts degree in Bharat Natyam, a form of Indian classical dance; and several awards from a variety of institutions. She teaches dance at the Creations Dance Academy in Edison, New Jersey, USA; and hosts programs on television and radio stations. She has performed with many actors, artists and musicians from Bollywood.
She has exposed over 1,000 students to the richness of the Indian dances,
heritage and culture.
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
JAINA LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE: PEACE, HARMONY & NON-VIOLENCE -
Washington, Non-violence, the importance of relationship-building, and religious harmony, were key themes of the Federation of Jain Associations in North America’s Legislative Conference held from October 6-7 in Washington, D.C. The conference was supported by the American Jewish Committee and the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.
The conference events were spread over two days. Attendees included nearly 70 JAINA executives, members from North America, and India. The conference was coordinated by Dr. Sushil Jain, First Vice President of JAINA; Dino Teppara, Director of Legislative Affairs for AAPI; and Nissim B. Reuben, Program Director for Indian-Jewish American relations at the AJC. Dr. Jain is a retired U.S. Naval officer and Teppara served as a staff member to U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson for seven years.
On October 6, the AJC welcomed JAINA executive members, who met with Mr. Michael Owen from the State Department, whose portfolio covers India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan. Adrienne C. Bory, India Desk Officer with the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, discussed the facilitation of visitors’ visas to Jain monks, nuns, and artisans and the extension of the R visa. In the evening at the Washington Jain Center, Director Gerald Krell presented clips of his documentary, Three Faiths, One God, and provided a preview of his upcoming documentary on Asian religions. Yogendra Jain, Northeast Regional Vice President for JAINA, and author of The Jain Way of Life, shared the importance of a simple yet effective way to introduce Jainism in 30 seconds. On October 7, JAINA commenced its Capitol Hill legislative conference with an opening prayer and speech by the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin, who spoke fondly of his visit to India many years ago. A Jain prayer was offered by Dr. Manoj Dharamsi, Past President of JAINA; a Jewish prayer was offered by Mr. Reuben; and welcoming remarks were given by Ms. Lata Champsee, current JAINA President.
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society, focused on the human mistreatment of animals and the necessity for increased regulation of farming and domestication practices, during his presentation entitled “Non-Violence Advocacy.” He noted that society was becoming increasingly attentive to the mistreatment and misuse of animals for food and research purposes, but emphasized the need for further action. Mr. Prem Jain, JAINA Director and a Senior Vice President for Cisco, accepted an award for business leadership on behalf of the Jain International Trade Organization , presented by U. S. Congressman Ed Royce , current co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. Congressman Royce spoke of his visits to India and of his growing concerns of Middle East petro-dollars financing Islamist activities against India. By: Shreyans Parekh, Preeti Jain, Sunil Jain.
NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON MANUSCRIPTOLOGY AND PALAEOGRAPHY 2009
Bhogilal Leherchand Institute of Indology in collaboration with National Mission for Manuscript, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi organizing National Workshop on Manuscriptology and Palaeography 2009 from December 20th to January 10th 2010. Applications are invited from eligible candidates for admission to this Workshop. Contact: Dr. Balaji Ganorkar, Director, B. L. Institute of Indology, Delhi,
NON-VIOLENCE LEADERSHIP TRAINING CAMP TO BE ORGANIZED BY ANUVIBHA - ANUVIBHA -
plans to organize the Third International Nonviolence Leadership Training Camp at Children’s Peace Palace near Rajsamand from February 17 to 21, 2010. It is situated on top of a hill overlooking the famous man-made lake called Rajsamand. It is 60 kilometres from Udaipur (Rajasthan) – the city of lakes. If you are interested, please complete the information sheet given at the end and email it at your earliest. The fee for the course that includes board and lodging for four to five nights i.e. from 16th Feb to 19th Feb 2010, reference material and fee of trainers is $350 US dollars which is heavily subsidized. The duration of training is three days i.e. 17th February to 19th February, 2010.For further information contact: Dr. S. L. Gandhi, International Coordinator,Nonviolence Training Programme B-19, Anita Colony,Bajaj Nagar, Jaipur – 302 015,Rajasthan INDIA, E-Mail :
email@example.com, web :
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DIWALI MESSAGE & MENTION OF LORD MAHAVIRA
On a historic occasion of Deepawali President Obama, lighted a lamp in the White House and also released a video which included a clear mention of the significance of Diwali in Jainism. In the video at www.whitehouse.gov. Obama refers to Jainism at about 12 minutes and 45 seconds. He refers to the Lord Mahavira and the Tirthankaras in another video that you can watch at www.youtube.comfeature=channel He states ...In Jainism the occasion celebrates the Nirvana of Lord Mahavira, one of a long line of spiritual leaders known for achieving enlightenment by freeing themselves of base human impulses and emotions. ... Never has an American politician spoken so accurately about Jainism. In fact I don't remember many Indian politicians speak so clearly. From: Yashwant Malaiya E-Mail:
DIWALI CELEBRATIONS AT WASHINGTON
Indian community celebrated their most significant and vibrant festival, Diwali at prestigious and huge Patriot Center, George Masson University in Fairfax Virgina . The program was organized by United Hindu and Jain Temples Association a consortium of 15 Hindu and Jain Temples of Metropolitan Washington also known as UHJT. Seven thousand people attended the event. This is 17th annual celebration of Diwali Mela conducted by UHJT. According to President of UHJT Jay Bhandari this year Diwali Mela is organized in Virgina after 10 years. Since past ten year every year it was organized in Maryland. The event is sponsored, and promoted by popular South Asian TV channels TV Asia, Zee TV and Allstate Insurance Company.
The program begin With Ganesh Pooja followed by welcome speech by UHJT President Jay Bhandari. In his address he highlighted the importance of Diwali and suggest the crowd to make it a messenger of Unity and harmony. Chief Guest deputy chief of Mission Indian Embassy, Mr. Arun Singh also addressed the community. In his speech he Congratulated the community for keeping our tradition alive and gathered here to celebrate Diwali in such large number. Fourteen temples performed the cultural program including Bhangra, Garba, classical and devotional dances. Followed by Laxmi pooja by children. More than 100 vendors from neighbour states as well as from India came to sell their product and services including food bazar where more then 15 top Indian restaurants served 50 different varieties of delicious food, shops of fashion clothing Indian Jewellery, Handicrafts, Gifts, CD, Dvd, bollywood music, devotional songs ,books and much more. From Jay Bhandari, E-Mail:
STAMPS ON RANAKPUR AND DILWARA TEMPLES
Indian Postal Department has issued two beautiful stamps on World famous Jain Temples of RANAKPUR and DILWARA on 14th Oct. 2009. These both multicolored stamps depicts images of the Temples along with the unique architectures of these Temples. Miniature Sheet, First Day Cover and Information brochure of these Stamps have also been issued. Both the stamps are of the denomination of Rs. 5/- each. The First Day Cover and the Brochure are priced at Rs 2 each. Security Printing Press, Hyderabad printed 0.4 million stamps by wet offset process in the sheets of 24 and 0.4 million Miniature Sheet have been printed. These are available for sale at the Philatelic Bureaus of all the G.P.O. as well as big Post Offices of India. Courtesy: - Sudhir Jain, Universal Cables Ltd., SATNA (M.P.) 485 005, India.
Ranakpur Jain Temple - Ranakpur is a village located in Desuri Tehsil near Sadri town in the Pali District of Rajasthan in western India. It is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur, in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. The Ranakpur Jain Temples command huge respect from the Jain community worldwide. Built during the rule of Rana Kumbha, these temples have included Ranakpur in the list of five main pilgrim destinations of Jains in India. History has it that Rana Kumbha donated a vast stretch of land to Dhanna Shah so as to enable him to realize his dream of building a great temple. Today, these temples attract thousands of visitors every year from across the country and abroad. Temples of Ranakpur present a distinct style of their own. The ceilings of the temples are adorned with foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns. The top and bottom part of the domes are joined by Brackets with figures of deities on them. The most important amongst all the temples within the complex is the Chaumukha Temple. Dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath, it is a four faced temple which has a basement of 48000 sq feet. The temple boasts of four subsidiary shrines, 24 pillared halls and 80 domes standing on the support of nearly 400 columns (the total number of columns in the temple complex, however, is much larger, around 1444). Each of the columns is richly carved and interestingly no two columns present the same design. Moreover, the columns change colour from golden to pale blue with the passage of every hour during the day. So much for the artistic brilliance of the workmen! The temple is shaped like a Nalinigulm Vimana or heavenly aircraft that the Shah had seen in his dreams. The construction of the temple is extremely complex with four separate entrances leading to chambers inside. The chambers finally lead to the main hall which houses the image of Adinath encircled by several smaller shrines and domes. Another range of cells with individual roofs surround these shrines and domes yet again. Perhaps, the complexity of the structure was reason why the temple took around 65 years to complete.
Dilwara Jain Temple - Dilwara Jain temples are known world over for its extraordinary architecture and marvelous marble stone carvings, some experts also consider it architecturally superior to the Taj Mahal. It seems fairly basic temple from outside but every cloud has a silver lining, the temple interior showcases the extraordinary work of human craftsmanship at its best. These temples were built between 11th to 13th century AD, The beautiful lush green hills surrounding the temple gives a very pleasant feeling. The ornamental details of marble stone carvings is phenomenal and unmatched, The minutely carved ceilings and the pillars are just amazing. All this was done at a time when no transport or roads were available at a height of 1200+ Mtrs in Mount Abu, Huge blocks of marble stones were transported on elephant backs from the Arasoori Hills at Ambaji to this remote hilly region of Mount Abu. Dilwara temples is also a popular Jain pilgrimage attraction.
Dilwara Jain temples are known world over for its extraordinary architecture and marvelous marble stone carvings, some experts also consider it architecturally superior to the Taj Mahal. It seems fairly basic temple from outside but every cloud has a silver lining, the temple interior showcases the extraordinary work of human craftsmanship at its best. These temples were built between 11th to 13th century AD, The beautiful lush green hills surrounding the temple gives a very pleasant feeling. The ornamental details of marble stone carvings is phenomenal and unmatched, The minutely carved ceilings and the pillars are just amazing. All this was done at a time when no transport or roads were available at a height of 1200+ Mtrs in Mount Abu, Huge blocks of marble stones were transported on elephant backs from the Arasoori Hills at Ambaji to this remote hilly region of Mount Abu. Dilwara temples is also a popular Jain pilgrimage attraction.
Of the five shrines in this group, four are architecturally significant. They are built with white marble stones. Each has a walled courtyard. In the centre of the courtyard is the shrine with the image of the deity, Rishabhdev. Around the large courtyard, there are numerous small shrines, each housing a beautiful image of the Tirthankaras with a series of elegantly carved pillars from the entrance to the courtyard. The ministers of the Solanki rulers of Gujarat had constructed all these temples during 11th and 13th centuries A.D.
Vimal Vasahi is the oldest temple, which has been dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankara. Vimal Shah, minister of the then Solanki ruler of Gujarat, built it in the year 1031 A.D. The special feature of this temple is it’s ceiling which is circular in eleven richly carved concentric rings. The central ceiling of the temple is adorned with magnificent carving and it culminates into an ornamented central pendant. The pendant of the dome tapers down forming a drop or point, like a lotus flower. This is an astonishing piece of work. It symbolizes the divine grace coming down to fulfill human aspirations. Figures of 16 Vidya Devis (goddesses of knowledge) are carved on the ceiling.
The other Dilwara temples are the Luna Vasahi, Vastupala and Tejapala, named after the ministers of the then Vaghela ruler of Gujarat who built them in 1230 A.D. Inspite of being plain and austere on the outside, the interiors of all these temples are covered with delicate carvings. Its most notable feature is that the brilliant intricacy and delicacy of the marble carving is so fine that in places the marble becomes almost transparent.
Dilwara temples are one of the best examples of craftsmanship, the genius of carving out so brilliant and intricate a shape out of a block of stone, such that it almost comes to life! The temple is a tourist’s paradise and a meditative sanctum for the devotees.
DR. TRIPUTI JAIN CONDUCTING LIFE REGRESSION SHOWS ON TELEVISION
A therapist, Dr Trupti Jain, will take all the celebrity participants back to their past life and help them resolve a problem in their present life, which is believed to be due to one's deeds in their past lifetime. Jain has trained under the famous Dr Newton from Hyderabad who is an ace in past life regression. Sushmita Sen and Shekhar Suman may participate in the show, which is being hosted by Ravi Kishan, and the channel is looking out for other celebrities to do so.
AMAR JAIN'S EFFORTS BRING CHANGE IN UNIVERSITY RULES FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS -
Mumbai: A visually-impaired law student has finally won his battle against the Mumbai University after almost two years of perseverance. Amar Jain, a second year law student, refused to use a writer for his exams after a couple of bad experiences in the past. Well-versed in computers, Jain insisted on attempting his papers online in stead. However, the University rulebook did not permit any such liberty for a handicap student. After pursuing for almost two years, the controller of examination finally granted him the permission on Friday.
Jain, a student of the Government Law College, Churchgate, got a writer from a Hindi medium school to write his English paper in his class XII exams. He was disappointed to get only 55 marks because Jain had been a distinction student all his life. He decided to learn computers and was happy that he could attempt his own exams with the help of a screen-reading software. However, the University had not adopted the University Grants Commission (UGC)'s circular allowing blind students to use computers, which was passed in 2006.
With a little help from his principal, Parimala Rao, Jain approached the university. His application was forwarded to the Dean of Law, Mumbai University, which was then handed over to the controller of examination. However, nothing happened after that and repeated inquiries with the additional registrar's office at the examination house in Kalina were futile.
This year, Jain directly wrote to the vice-chancellor's office, on his new principal's suggestion. He approached the VC's office, early this month, and was pleasantly surprised by their quick response. "My letter was forwarded to the controller of examination this month. And they have finally granted me permission to write the exams using the screen-reader software this Friday. I am thankful to the controller of examination and the VC for finally making this provision available to me," said Jain.
The controller of examination, Vilas Shinde, however, said, "The letter came to me and within three days I passed the order. The state government had already issued a circular in the past allowing blind students to use computers or typewriters, but the university needs to release its own circular on the same. So the permission was not granted. The student should have directly approached higher authorities earlier."
Invitation to Write Articles
Readers are invited to write articles on various topics related to Jain Religion, Philosophy, Art, Culture, Way of life, Social issues etc. The selected articles will be displayed on web portal of Ahimsa Foundation (
www.jainsamaj.org / Literature Section ). Articles should be typed in MS Word and could be emailed with illustrations if any. PDF Files will not be accepted. Rejected articles will be returned within 45 days. Political and controversial issues will be rejected prima facie. Forward your articles or contact to Dr. Balaji Ganorkar at E-Mail :
firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Anil Jain at
IS MEAT EATING AN ACT OF VIOLENCE? By Renato Pichler, President Swiss Union for Vegetarianism.
Violence toward animals is today so commonplace that it is even subsidized with tax funds. Virtually no-one would allege that a slaughterhouse is a place of peace. But just as few are the opinion that the violence committed toward the so-called “economically useful animals” (live-stock) could contribute to the level of violence displayed between humans.
A glance at the goings on inside the slaughterhouses are proof enough that meat production without use of violence is simply not possible. The killing of sentient fellow creatures is practiced x-times daily. Most humans are in comfortable denial of this fact (“It’s not that bad” / “there’s nothing we can do about it” / “one has to kill, in order to live” etc.).
“Meat production” as an exceptional case - Meat production holds a privileged position in our society despite the obvious violence inflicted towards our fellow creatures. It is the only completely legal use of violence resulting in death(1), which is not only socially accepted, but also promoted by society (distribution of state subsidies and financially supported by our society through meat sales). It is viewed simply as “unavoidable”, just like human deaths during times of war.
The “suffering” amongst humans, which would result from the renouncement of the systematic use of violence toward “live-stock” through the renouncement of meat consumption, is socially classified as worse than the suffering endured by the animals being slaughtered.
Expert opinions - Interestingly enough, psychologists repeatedly discuss the possibility of whether violent computer games are causing children to become cruel. Even though the killings in such games, however realistically portrayed, are only fictitious, contrary to the real killings of animals, the violence against animals is only seldom integrated into the prevention of cruelty. However, at least those experts dealing daily with human violence, currently see a close relationship between violence toward animals and violence toward humans(2).
In Florida there is an independent police unit(3) which deals exclusively with violence toward animals and that with similar harshness as with social violence between humans. The reason: FBI investigations found that there was a similarity amongst nearly all serial murderers: They all (usually already as children) were violent toward animals. Once a basis of violence was laid, it is difficult to limit these only to certain forms of life, or situations. This is the case for those who torture animals and later humans, just like soldiers, who were trained to kill and later have to return to civilian life. Of-course not every soldier who had to kill many humans in war times becomes a mass murderer in civilian life but psychologically they are forced to carry an enormous load (the suicide rate of former soldiers of war is very high: the willingness to use violence is directed against oneself).
Conclusion - Violence should be avoided in all forms, since it is difficult to tolerate violence within some situations and to condemn it at the same time in other situations. There was a reason why the peace fighters Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Albert Einstein etc. refused to eat animals, precisely in order to avoid the necessary violence associated with meat production. If one is against practicing violence, then one morally cannot oblige others (e.g. butchers) to commit violence. Peace-loving humans therefore cannot condemn violence between humans and simultaneously look the other way when violence is inflicted toward animals. Courtesy : Mr. Manish Modi, E-Mail :
THIRTEEN IDOLS OF TIRTHANKARS STOLEN FROM JAIN TEMPLE AT JAM NAGAR
Theft of valuable panch dhatu idols of Shri Shanti Nath Ji and other tirthankars, gods and goddesses at a 90 year old Jain temple in Lal Bangla area of Jamnagar town in Gujarat took place recently in the last week of September. Several other expensive items, including four crowns, thirteen sidhichakra made of silver, other ornaments, all together costing about Rs. 3.50 lakhs were taken away by the thieves. The local police officials reached the place immediately on getting the information about the theft and started the necessary inquiry.
IDOLS STOLEN FROM JAIPUR JAIN TEMPLE
Jaipur, Oct 7 Two idols of Mahaveer Swami along with three Chattr (umbrellas) were among a few articles found stolen from a Jain temple .Thieves entered from rear gate of the temple located at Nehru Nagar, and stole the idols made of copper, three small umbrellas of silver, one donation box and one symbolic throne. Case has been registered with Shastry Nagar police station and investigation into the matter is on.
NEWLY PUBLISHED BOOKS
1. LIFE AND STORIES OF THE JAIN SAVIOUR PARSHVANATHA -
An English translation of Acarya Bhavadeva's PARSHVANATHA CARITRA , Eng. tr. By Prof Maurice Bloomfield ,Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 15 ,First published in 1919 ,Second Edition 2008 230 x 145 mm 264 pp ,Deluxe Hardcover edition Rs. 700. Lord Parshvanatha was the penultimate Tirthankara, or fordmaker. He lived about 800 years before Christ. This work is a hagiography on his life as Jina Parshvanatha and nine previous births. Acarya Bhavadeva's Sanskrit kavya, Parshvanatha Caritra, is known for its elegance of language and eloquence of storytelling. He composed this kavya giving enormous details on Jina Parshva's life, including several sub-stories that make for fascinating reading. This text is also a sort of Nitishastra, or book of ethical behaviour. In the early years of the 20th century, Prof Maurice Bloomfield, a leading American Sanskritist, came across this work and translated it brilliantly into contemporary English. The Sanskrit original is a jewel in the crown of Sanskrit literature. The English adaptation is a concise version of the mula patha. It is the first ever English adaptation of Jina Parshva's life. Courtesy: Yashodhar Modi, Hindi Granth Karyalaya , 9 Hirabaug, C P Tank, Mumbai.
2. A COLLEGE LEVEL TEXT BOOK ON JAINISM -A new and probably the first of its kind College Level Text Book on Jainism is now available at College Campuses in North America. This remarkable, extremely informative and balanced book is authored by Dr. Jeffery D. Long, Chair, Steering Committee, Dharma Association of North America and Associate Professor and Chair, Religious Studies, Elizabethtown College Co-Director, Asian Studies Minor, Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, USA 17022. Courtesy: Dr. Sulekh C. Jain, Houston, Texas, USA.
3.DISCOVER JAINISM -
A Gorgeous Coffee Table book on Jainism,By Colin Hynson,2007 300 x 210 mm 28 pp on 4 colour art plates,Deluxe Hardcover Edition US $ 10 .00.This is a gorgeous book! Beautifully produced and designed for young readers and Western audiences, giving them an informed peak into the Jain religion. Written by Colin Hynson, a renowned writer of textbooks in the UK, the book covers various aspects of Jainism and explains them with beautiful pictures and photographs. Information concerning the following topics is given in this book: What is Jainism, the birth of Mahavira, the two sects of Jainism, the history of Jainism, the path of attaining spiritual perfection, the three jewels, respect for life, Ahimsa, doing good, Jain Scriptures, Jain festivals and holidays, Jain centres of pilgrimage, Jain temples, Jain worship, Jain prayers, Jain monks and nuns, the five vows undertaken by a Jain, the role of Jains in India's independence struggle and how Jainism is practised around the world. From: Manish Modi E-Mail:
COMMENTS FROM READERS
From: Rahul Pandiya, E-Mail:
email@example.com - Dear Editor, I am a regular reader of your
newsletter & really appreciate the efforts that you are putting together to
bring the newsletter. It is really commendable. I wanted to make few suggestions
to you: - We all are aware that Jain population is being misrepresented in
various Census that have been conducted in India. In the light of same can you
start highlighting the importance of the same & process & appeal to get the
relegion reflected as Jain in the Census 2011 - Can you also appeal to all
readers to send the estimates of Jain population of their city. This will help
us in estimnating the correct Jain population. In my opinion it should be
anywhere around 20-25 million - This will help our community gain significance
in India. No political party can then afford to overlook us. Thereafter a
constituency-wise mapping can be done to understand which all constituencies
should essentially be represented by a Jain. Rahul Pandiya ,Moderator,Jain
Professional Group, Linkedin.
JAIN FESTIVALS - NOVEMBER 2009, COURTESY DR. RAJENDRA MUNI, NEW DELHI
Sri Arahnath Gyan Kalyanak
End of Ashtanhika Parv
Lokashah Janmotsav (S.S.)
Sri Sambhavnath Janm Kalyanak
Sri Kanji Swami Smriti Diwas
Punya Tithi Yuva Madhukar Shri Mishrimal ji M. S.
Sri Mahavir Tap Kalyanak
Diksha Diwas, Jaimalji M. S.(S.S.)
Sri Pushpadunt Janm, Tap, Gyan Kalyanak
Sri Arahnath Tap Kalyanak
Smirti Diwas, Jain Diwakar Shri Chothmalji M. S.(S.S.)
Sri Mallinath Janm, Tap Kalyanak
Sri Arahnath Janm Kalyanak
Janm Diwas, Yuva Madhukar Shri Mishrimalji M. S.(S.S.)
26.10.2009 to 02.11.2009
Kartik Ashtanhika Parv
Sri Mallinatha Sasthriyar - The Tamil Jain community has lost an illustrious jaina scholar prathishtaacharya , Sri Mallinatha Sasthriyar on 26-10-09 while sleeping. Sri Mallinatha Sasthriyar has authored several books on different aspects of Jainism. He has started a Samyak Darsan movement in Saidapet- Chennai, where he lived. As the president of the organisation he did a lot for the cause of religion and also for the community by offering scholarships, helping the poor to get admission in the school, college etc. As an orator he used to give lectures on Jainism. He also conducted religious classes, May his soul rest in peace. From: Prof. Dr. Kanaka Ajitdoss E-Mail :firstname.lastname@example.org
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