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Ahimsa Times - December 2004 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org

Vol. No. 54

December, 2004

SERENE ONE !
O Serene One! Give up all expectations, desires and prodigality.

SAINTS

ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYA URGES AUTHORITIES FOR GRACEFUL DEALING WITH SHANKARACHARYA
In a message issued from Siriyari, the place where he was having his Chaturmas, Acharya Mahapragya, the head of Shwetambar Terapanth sect, has urged the State authorities of Tamilnadu, to show due respect and deal gracefully with Sri Jayendra Sarsawati of Kanchi Kamkothi, against whom enquiry is presently going on. He mentioned that Kanchi Kamkothi is a highly reputed and very old religious center and Jayendra Shankaracharya, a respected dharm guru. Whatever has happened is within the purview of the Courts and only they have the powers to take a final decision in the matter. We need not interfere in the matter in any way. We are however, very much perturbed to see a religious leader behind bars, being treated in an insulting manner. It has caused agony to the entire religious world. We, therefore, earnestly request the authorities to find out a way so that graceful behaviour is maintained as a matter of tradition. Copies of this message have been sent to the President, Prime Minister, Home Minister and other dignitaries.

DIGAMBAR MUNI TARUNSAGAR JI ON HIS WAY TO PUNE
After completion of the chaturmas at Nashik, the revolutionary Jain Muni Tarun Sagarji is on the way of Pune. He will arrive in Pune on the 2nd January 2005. He is going to give his sermons for 10 days, from 7th January to 16th January in the Sanskar Mahotsav. The Sakal Jain Samaj of Pune is busy with hectic activities for the arrangements of the Sanskar Mahotsav. Sakal Jain Samaj expects about 40 to 50 thousand people to attend the Sanskar Mahaotsav. Various other programs including a seminar of Jain scholars, Publication of Marathi editions of Maharajshri's books etc. are also arranged. Please visit the website www.geocities.com for more details.

TEMPLES

KARNATAKA GOVERNMENT RELEASES RS. 25 CRORES FOR SHRAVANBELGOLA
Karnataka government has released Rs 25 crores for creation of permanent infrastructure for the 2006 mega religious event - Mahamastakabhisheka - to be held at the famous Jain pilgrim town of Sravanabelagola in Hassan district. Speaking to reporters after chairing a high level meeting of the 'Mahamastakabhisheka' committee here, Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh said the state has decided to build a 50-bed hospital and a 'yatri nivas' to provide accommodation to devotees in Shravanabelagola. Roads would be improved and an air strip be constructed at Hassan to facilitate air links for those attending the function held once in twelve years, Singh said. Centre has also agreed to provide Rs 3 crores. The state government has prepared a Rs 54 crore estimate and expects the expenditure to touch upto Rs 100 crore for the event.

STATUE OF GOMATESHWAR AT SHRAVANBELGOLA AS ONE OF THE NEW SEVEN WONDERS
www.new7wonders.com
is electing new 7 wonders of the world and in their list they have included the statue of Gomateshwar (Bahubali) at Shravanbelgola. Your vote will count a lot. Please vote for it. You can find it at the nominee list on the website.

JAIN RELICS FOUND IN PURULIA DISTRICT OF WEST BENGAL
Of all the places where relics of ancient Jain monuments can be found in the state, Pakbirra, a remote village in Purulia seems to be the place most sprinkled with them. Around 56 km from Purulia town and situated near the western border of Bankura, Pakbirra has an undulated landscape, surrounded by distant hills and folds. Crumbling shrines, decrepit sculptures and images strewn across the district, bear the testimony of a settlement that had disappeared over the years. These rare and intricately carved architectural relics speak volumes of the glorious past of Jain architecture that flourished here in the post-Goud era. According to recent studies, the relics date back to the ninth and tenth centuries AD. The variety and the elaborate sculptures suggest that the state might have been an important centre of Jain civilisation some thousand years ago. The 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira had come here to spread the words of Jainism in 6th century BC but scriptures found in the region showed that many residents of Bengal had already taken up Jainism.

The 23rd Tirthankara, Parashwanath had visited the region to propagate Jainism in the 8th century B.C. But, it was only after Mahavir's visit that Jainism took a firm root in Bengal. Surveying these historical sites, Mr Beglar found that only five of the 21 temples still remained there. Now, over the years only three are still existing. These three have been reduced to an absolutely ruinous state. The directorate of archaeology of the state has taken steps to conserve them and accordingly carried out renovation there. At least 48 intricately done sculptures can still be found there. Some of them are crumbling down in places but most of of them are intact. A greenish chlorite stone, found in abundance in the region, is the main material used for these sculptures.

Undoubtedly the most impressive of these sculptures is the colossal naked figure of a Jina. About 7.5 feet high, it is carved of polished black stone. The image with large closed eyes, long ears, closed lips, curly stresses flowing down the beard and shoulders have a overwhelming effect on the viewers.

Except the restoration of the dilapidated temples by the state archaeological department, nothing has been done to preserve the priceless sculptures properly. The Directorate of Archaeology, West Bengal thinks otherwise. He said the excavation project needs huge amount of funds and the department is as usual cash-strapped. The Jain community of the state has approached the Governors and the concerned minister several times for preservation of the heritage sites and has also proposed to build a museum at Pakbirra. Only a few of them have seemed to care about the proposal. Information Courtesy: Vidya Bhushan Maji, E-Mail: bhushan@civil.iisc.ernet.in

MAIN IDOL STOLEN FROM JAIN TEMPLE, BHANDUP, MUMBAI
November, 27th This eight-inch-tall idol of the tenth god of Jainism, Shri Sheetalnath Bhagwan made of five different metals, including gold and silver, was stolen on Wednesday.The Jain community in Bhandup west has been alarmed after the main deity of the Sheetalnath Jain Mandir in Pratap Nagar was stolen on Wednesday morning. "The statue is very important to the temple as well as every Jain residing here. Everyone is emotionally affected by its disappearance," said Pravin Hemraj Jain (43), the secretary of the temple.

The eight-inch-tall idol of the tenth god of Jainism, Shri Sheetalnath Bhagwan, was stolen between 9.35 am and 9.45 am from a little room on the first floor of the temple. At the time, a small group of people was offering prayers in the main room on the ground floor. Devotees point to the place where the idol stood "Around 500 people gathered around the temple when word spread about the theft. It is a very emotional moment for us. It has been a tradition to pray here every morning," said Jain. The statue, weighing 2.5 kg, was installed in the temple 40 years ago. It is made of five different metals, including gold and silver and is extremely precious to the community.The theft has been reported at Bhandup police station.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS
ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYA'S AHIMSA YATRA REACHES KISHANGARH IN RAJASTHAN
Ahimsa Yatra of Acharya Mahapragya reached Kishangarh, Rajasthan in the third week of the month. Hundreds of marble factories are here in this city. Thousand of people from every caste creed welcomed this tour of Ahimsa Yatra. There were various decorative gates welcoming the Yatra. On reaching the destination, the procession turned out in the huge crowd gathered to listen the discourse. Acharya Mahapragya addressing the crowd said, "Raw stones come from outside in Kishangarh's factories to get refined. A stone if not refined can not be useful in building a house or in any type of construction. There are various factories to refine these stones, but is there any factory for reformation of a man? So it is essential for the man himself to refine his instincts such as attachment, hatred, greed, anger etc. Reformation of such instincts will automatically save a man from indulgence in violence. Like a reformed stone, a reformed man becomes valuable for society. Non-violence means refinement." These thoughts were expressed by Acharya Mahapragya in K. D. Jain High School. Various administrative officers of the district & well-known person of the city attended the lecture. Yuvacharya Shree Mahashramanjee said in the lecture, "A person whose behavior is in accordance to religion on or spirituality will be pure & pious which will be on the theory of non-violence. A person who knows to forgive everybody can be a great man. Sadhvi Pramukha Kanakprabhajee said, "It is necessary to ponder over the causes of unnecessary violence to establish a non-violence based society." - News Source: Shri Prakash Barmecha, Terapanth Media Information Centre, E-Mail: terapanthtimes@yahoo.com

ACHARYA HEMCHANDRA MEMORIAL LECTURE AT NEW DELHI
Bhogilal Lehrichand Institute of Indology organised the lecture series - Acharya Hemchandra Memorial Lectures on 27th November 2004 at India International Centre, New Delhi. The most outstanding scholar of Jain and Prakrit languages, Professor W B. Bollee - the former professor of South Asian Institute, Heidelberg, Germany, was the invited speaker and awardee of Acharya Hemchandra Suri Award. The function was presided over by H. E. Heimo Richter, Ambassador, F. R. of Germany. Prominent speakers were Dr. L. M. Singhvi and Professor Namwar Singh. Prof. W. B. Bollee's paper Physical Aspects of Some Mahapurushas was highly appreciated by numerous indologists who attended the function. The Hemhandra Suri award which comprises of Rs. 51,000/-, a gold plated idol of Acharya Hemchanda Suri, and a shawl, was presented by Prof. L. M. Singhvi. The other recipients of the awards during previous years were scholars like: Prof. H. C. Bhayani, Prof. M K. Dhaky, Prof. V. M. Kulkarni, Prof. A M. Ghatge, Prof. S.R. Banerjee, Pt. Laxman Bhai Bhojak, Dr. G. V. Tagore and Dr. Nagin J. Shah.

RELEASE OF STAMP ON JAIN INDUSTRIALIST WALCHAND HIRACHAND
To mark the 121st birth anniversary of visionary Jain industrialist Walchand Hirachand, Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh released a Rs.5 postage stamp On 23rd Nov. 2004 at New Delhi. Prime Minister described him as a pioneer of India's automobile, shipping and aircraft manufacturing sectors. Industrialists like Hirachand were "no cronies, fixers or lobbyists" nor did they seek subsidies or favours, Manmohan Singh said, adding that they became business leaders because of their great adventurism, entrepreneurship and hard work. He said that Walchand Hirachand was a dreamer, a visionary, a great builder, a great leader of industry. Above all, he was a patriot, and in his own way, he was an inspiring leader of our struggle for freedom. The seeds of his entrepreneurship were sown in 1919 when he acquired a ship, S.S. Loyalty, from the Maharaja of Gwalior and set up Scindia Steam Ship. The founding day of the company is celebrated as National Maritime Day. Hirachand started building his empire with a small project for the railways in 1920. He also established companies like Hindustan Shipyard Ltd and Hindustan Aircraft in 1940 to make aircraft, which was acquired later by the government and renamed Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The group's flagship, Hindustan Construction Company, was set up in 1926, while in the year India got its independence, the first set of indigenously built cars rolled out from Hirachand's Premier Automobiles. He was also among the first to venture into food processing and set up Ravalgaon Sugar Farm Ltd and used modern techniques to produce sugar.

Hirachand, who died on 8th April 1953, was also instrumental in setting up industry lobbies such as the Indian Merchants Chamber, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Maharashtra Chambers of Commerce. He had established many religious, Educational and charitable institutions, Jain Boarding, Hostels etc. Among those present at the event were former Prime minister Chandra Shekhar, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, IT Minister of State Shakeel Ahmed and former ministers, Arun Shourie and Pramod Mahajan. Courtesy: Sudhir Jain, Universal Cables Ltd., SATNA (M.P.) 485 005

NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION TRAINING WORKSHOP BY HEMA & MANDA POKHARNA, CHICAGO - Drs. Hema and Manda Pokharna from Chicago bring Nonviolent Communications to Bangalore, India, with an intensive training session. The nine-day workshop is led by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, who is the Director of the Center of Nonviolent Communication, and by other certified trainers, including Hema and Manda Pokharna. Hema and Manda travel around the world teaching NVC, whose vision is a world where all people have their needs met and resolve conflicts peacefully. In this vision, people are trained using NVC to create and participate in networks of worldwide life-serving systems in economics, education, justice, healthcare, and peacekeeping. Training empowers participants to create life-serving systems within themselves and with others. About hundred participants from south Asia and other places throughout the world attended the programme. No tuition or accommodation fee was charged for the session which, took place from Dec. 13 to Dec. 22, 2004. For details, please visit www.cnvc.org or contact Hema or Manda Pokharna, E-Mail : ahinsa@mdiaccess.net

NATIONAL SEMINAR ON JAIN SANSKRIT LITERATURE
Department of Sanskrit, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (U. P.) is organising a three day National Seminar on Jain Sanskrit Literatures - Different Types & Aspects in the second week of February 2005. Interested scholars are invited to contribute their papers and participate in this seminar. Contact; Prof. S. P. Sharma, Chairman, Deptt. of Sanskrit, A.M.U. Aligarh Ph. (Res.) 0571-2743713

 

36TH WORLD VEGETARIAN CONGRESS HELD AT BRAZIL
The 36th IVU World Vegetarian Congress organised by International Vegetarian Union (IVU) at Brazil has come and gone. The final tally was about 500 in residence, representing a record breaking number of 32 different countries. The most frequently heard comment was: "this is the best food ever" (100% vegan of course), and many said that the location was the best ever too - the Costao do Santinho was in an idylic spot on Santa Catarina Island where the tree-covered mountains meet the sea. It has glorious beaches, an amazing variety of wildlife along the woodland trails and facilities of a very high standard in the resort itself. Add to that a tantalising choice of up to five lectures and two cookery demos at every session (in a mixture of English, Portuguese and Spanish), plus dance and fashion shows in the evenings, and there really was something for everyone.

The 2004 Congress already shows signs of having a much wider impact than just one week in Florianopolis. Until the last few years Latin America was rather a 'dead' region for IVU and this was the first time that anything on this scale had been attempted there. It was always going to be a gamble, but the IVU International Council provided as much support as it could, both practical and financial. The Council then, crucially, stood back and allowed the Brazilians space to run their own show - the result is that all the vegetarian leaders in Latin America will have gained enormous strength and confidence from the stunning achievement that was Florianopolis 2004. Even if you couldn't be there in person you can still share a virtual experience of the Congress - simply go to www.ivu.org where you'll find texts and photos of lectures, recipes and photos from cookery demonstrations, hundreds more photos of every aspect of the Congress including the stalls, the resort, dancing, food, people, wildlife, tours and the complete cruelty-free veg-fashion shows.

DIKSHA CEREMONY

1. Shri Gambhir Mal Jain, aged 50 years, belonging to Malpura in Rajasthan was initiated in Digambar sect with the blessings of Muni Shri Shrut Nandi Ji maharaj at Nivai (M.P.).

2. Lata Bahan, wife of late Shri Haresh Kumar Fateh Chand Sanghvi from Surendra Nagar (Gujarat) was initiated to Jain Shwetambar Sthanakwasi Ajaramar sect on the 12th December, 2004 in the holy presence of Guru Shri Bhav Chandra Ji Swami

INSTITUTIONS

PROF. CROMWELL CRAWFORD WISHES TO PLACE JAIN EDUCATION AT ACADEMIC LEVEL IN AMERICA AND EUROPE
Prof. Cromwell Crawford is visiting India from 21st December to 3rd January, with the objectives of promoting Jain education at academic level in American educational institutions. Prof. Crawford is associated with religious studies at Hawai University and is of strong belief that the introduction of Jain ideology will help the west in producing better businessmen and professionals. During this visit, Prof. Crawford will visit various Jain educational institutions based in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. He will also interact with eminent Jains at Delhi and other places. Prof. Crawford programs to send Jain scholars from US to India for further studies. After returning back, the scholars will be placed in the educational institutions of Unites States, Canada and Europe to teach the Jain philosophy. This visit of Dr. Crawford is at the initiative of Dr. Sulekh Jain who is also the trustee of Ahimsa Foundation. Prof. Cromwell Crawford is also a member of advisory board of Ahimsa Foundation. Jain Vishwa Bharati at Ladnu and Parshwanath Vidyapeeth at Varanasi are taking keen interest in the visit of Prof. Crawford. Several other Jain institutions have shown interest in this visit. All Jain educational institutions, who feel interested in this programme are requested to contact us with their proposals.

PRAGYA NIKETAN- AN UNIQUE INSTITUTION TO REHABILITATE AND EDUCATE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY-HANDICAPPED PEOPLE - As an unique experiment, probably the first of its kind in the country to provide higher education to blind and handicapped persons, a charitable institution, named "Pragya Niketan" was established in the year 1999 through the efforts of a highly devoted and learned lady, Dr. Kusum lata Bhandari at Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The blind boys and girls after their schooling in other schools, are admitted here and are provided with full-fledged facilities for boarding, lodging, recreations, games, sports, music etc. all free of cost. The students are coached for pursuing studies leading to B.A., B.Ed., M.A. and Ph.D. programmes. The Institution is run like a residential school and is duly recognized by Jai Narayan Vyas University at Jodhpur. The average expenditure on each student comes to about Rs. 10,000 per year, which is met by the Pragya Niketan through support received from charitable trusts, N.G.O.'s and individual donors. Presently, there are 30 students and efforts are going on to increase the capacity of intake. So far, 18 studnts have passed B.Ed. and others are studying for B.A. and M.A. courses. One student, having passed M.A. is working for Ph.D. He has passed NET examination and cleared RPSC examination for appointment as Lecturer in University colleges. With the help from this institution, many persons have been able to build their careers and earn employment in private companies and Government departments. Several of them having undergone vocational courses at this school, have started their own jobs. They can operate computers, do typing and manage STD booth.

BAN ON TOBACCO SALE AROUND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY FROM 1ST DECEMBER
According to a notification issued by the Health Department of the Government of India, the sale of Tobacco and all its products in the near vicinity of schools and colleges, located within 100 meters periphery has been completely banned in the whole country with effect from the 1st December, 2004. As there are a large number of such institutions in every locality, about 80 percent area in every town is going to be covered as prohibited for the sale of Tobacco products. It is to be noted that through a previous notification, the Government had imposed a ban on the sale of Tobacco products by persons below the age of 18 years. Thus this order will further tighten the ban for preventing the sale of these prohibited materials.

NEW BOOKS

PAVING THE WAY FOR PEACE: Living Philosophies of Bishnois and Jains, Publishers: Low Price Publications, A-6, Nimri Commercial Centre, Near Ashok Vihar Phase-IV, Delhi-52, Authors : Mr. Renato Pichler and Herma Brockmann. From that early age of 16, Renato Pichler has refused to eat meat. , His compassion for animals led him into the vegetarian community where, after finishing his studies in computer science, he got involved in founding the Swiss Union for Vegetarianism, an organisation of which he is now the President. In the year 2002 he was also elected Vice President of the European Vegetarian Union where he initiated a number of successful projects. Renato Pichler strongly believes that a world without slaughter will also be a more peaceful world - an aim to which he dedicates all his efforts. Herma Brockmann has been a vegetarian for 20 years. She has created the vegetarian organization Vegi-Info Belgium and is Honorary Secretary General of the European Vegetarian Union. Herma Brockmann's priority in her work for animals lies in information exchange across national and cultural borders. Long experience in working in an international environment helps her to initiate cooperation of people caring for animals across the globe, from India to South Africa and Russia.

About the Book : Mahatma Gandhi said "The greatness of a society is shown by the way it treats its animals". Compassion not excluding animals can lead to more peace because someone protecting animals will also respect the lives of fellow humans. The global meat industry is expected to grow considerably in 2005 leading to ever more animals losing the only possession they have: their lives. Even under the best conditions (which are very rarely met), slaughter involves extreme cruelty. Reducing the demand for meat implies reducing cruelty. This book has been written with the aim of showing that a life without meat is not only possible but brings about considerable benefits for humans, animals and nature alike. Courtesy: Pradeep Mittal, Low Price Publications.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF JAINA RELIGION TO INDIAN CULTURE (English), By Prof. Hiralal Jain, Eng. tr. by Nirmala Madan & Anuradha Mathur, Shri Shvetambar Murtipujak Jain Boarding (Ahmedabad) Series 20; 2004; 348 pp; Hardcover Rs. 400. In this book, Prof. Jain has chosen to write on the Jaina Religious Contribution to Indian Culture. In this endeavour Prof. Jain has been extremely cautious to adhere to a very objective methodology and this has resulted in this very illuminating and impartial study of the Jaina Contribution to Indian Culture. This book, in its first avatara in Hindi, was written at the behest of the Government of India and published by them. Credit should go to Dr. Jitendra Shah, who got the original work tr. into English and has now published it under the Shri Shvetambar Murtipujak Jain Boarding Series at a low price. The book is earnestly recommended for all students of Jainism, Indian Culture and Indian Philosophy. Courtesy: Mr. Manish Modi, Web: www.hindibooks.8m.com

GOOD HEALTH THROUGH FOOD AND REGIMEN, Author : Dr. T.L. Devraj Publisher: Lotus Press, New Delhi. 2004 Pages: 124; Price: Rs. 90/- The author discuss essential requirements of a good diet, effect of taste, smell, colour, touch and season and the role of vitamins. He is of the strong view that diseases can be prevented in their early stages and cured even in later stages by using suitable foods or diet and regimen.

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS

JAIPUR DOCTOR KARAN DOSHI APPOINTED ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BUSH
Dr. Karan Singh Doshi, Cancer specialist has been appointed as Adviser to the President of the United States, George Bush. Dr. Doshi is the first Indian adviser to a U.S. President. Governors of eight states in USA had sent proposals for his appointment and he will now represent Michigan and New Jersey states in the advisory Board of the President. He will guide research to treat and eradicate cancer. Dr. Doshi hails from Bhopal and after securing his MBBS degree, he joined army. He then passed M.D. in Radiology from Gwalior Medical College and left for USA for higher studies and research. He worked as Professor from 1975 to 1989 at West State University and contributed immensely to the cause of Cancer research. Then, he returned to India and joined Bhagwan Mahavir Cancer hospital, Jaipur as its first director.

BHAGWAN MAHAVEER AWARDS ANNOUNCED
The ninth Mahaveer Awards for the year 2003 were announced by the Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation, Chennai. The awards will be given under three different categories. Siddha Raj Dhaddha, a senior Gandhian, will receive the award for his service in the field of non-violence and vegetarianism. Uttrakhand Seva Nidhi Paryavaran Shiksha Sansthan, Almora ,Uttranchal, which supports educational activities in rural areas throughout the State receives the award for services in the fields of education and medicine. Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, Mysore, Karnataka,which provides cost- effective medicare to rural and tribal poor, gets the award for services for community and social welfare. Announcing this at a meeting, managing trustee of the Mahaveer Foundation Shri N Sughal Chand Jain said the awardees were selected by a jury headed by former Chief Justice of India, M N Venkatachaliah. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs five lakh, a commendatory scroll and a statuette.

TOWN PLANNER NIPUN JAIN AWARDED BY AMERICAN PLANNING ASSOCIATION
Town Planner Nipun Jain received word Monday that his office won a Planning Project Award from the American Planning Association, Massachusetts chapter. The award is given for work done to the Carriage Lofts project in the Upper Millyard. The award will be presented on Dec. 10, at the Tremont Boston Hotel. Thomas Bott, APA Awards Committee chairman and Kingston town planner, said he was impressed with new uses for buildings that had become functionally obsolete.

SIDDHARTH JAIN TAKES OVER AS ZEE-TURNER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Siddharth Jain - who was the chief operating officer of ZEE Turner, the distribution alliance between Turner International and ZEE Network - has been elevated as the chief executive officer of the Company. Jain replaces Dheeraj Kapuria, who was the CEO of ZEE Turner earlier. Kapuria, who had an additional responsibility as President of the international division, had been hopping between India and the US in his earlier stint. Jain played a key role in providing strategic direction to ZEE Turner's marketing efforts and in its business growth, besides overseeing the distribution sales for the company. Jain has also served the Indian Army during the early days of his career. Before quitting the Army in 1995, Jain received a couple of awards such as the "Sword of Honour" and Gold Medal from the Officers Training Academy (OTA).

MADHU JAIN MASTERS IN JAPANESE NIHONGA PAINTINGS
Madhu Jain has practiced for over ten years Japanese Nihonga paintings and probably, the only artist in this field in the country. The difference of Nihonga paintings with traditional work is its eco-friendliness. The traditional paintings make use of pigment, synthetic oils etc., whereas Nihonga paintings are produced from eco friendly colours derived from rock and mineral pigments. The pigments, derived from natural minerals, shells, corals, semi-precious stones, gold and silver, are applied with a brush with glue and water substrate on a handmade paper, called washi.

The gold and silver pigments, are either in the powder form or thin leaf or flakes, which are applied on the paper and pigments layered over them. Semi-precious stones are also used in the powder form and emit a shine when light is focussed on the painting. The gold leaf made in Japan is said to be the thinnest in the world at just about 1/10,000 mm in thickness. Rocks are crushed into very fine, sand-grain textures, and present different hues to the colours. Even the paper, washi, is a handmade paper made from flax fibre. Even resin, or Nikawa as it is called, is a special tree resin, that needs to be made fresh, every three days. Brushes too are made of special hair and can hold lot of water.

A recipient of the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award, 1999, for her contribution and achievements in the field, she studied the Japanese language for seven years for guidance by senior Japanese artists at the Aoyama Bunka Centre, Tokyo. Japanese believe that the art of using rock pigments for paintings had originated in India, centuries ago. Which is quite possible since mineral pigments and vegetable dyes were used for paintings in Ellora, Ajanta and miniature paintings. There is a temple near Kyoto in Japan, Horyuji temple of Nara, that has wall frescos similar to those in Ajanta and Ellora caves that are said to be made around the same period.”

SHRI R. K. JAIN ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF BHARAT JAIN MAHA-MANDAL
Bharat Jain Mahamandal is the oldest institution, established in the year 1899 to collectively represent all the sects of Jain community, Shwetambar Sthanakwasi, Terapanthi and Mandir-Margi and Digambar. The institution was originally named in 1899 as Jain Young Association, then it was renamed as Bharat Jain Maha-mandal in 1902. Eminent people from Digambar and Shwetambar sects have been representing this body in the past, contributing immensely to meet its objectives. The elections for the Chairmanship of this body are held every three years and Chairman is elected by rotation from amongst the above four groups. In the meeting held on the 2nd December, 2004, Shri R.K. Jain, a social celebrity, philanthropist and devotee of Acharya 108 Shri Vimal Sagar Ji Maharaj from Digambar sect, was elected unanimously as Chairman. His election was hailed by Sri Nirmal Kumar Ji Sethi, Sri Chainroop ji Bakliwal, Sri K.C. Jain, Sri Shikhar Chand Pahadia and everyone else in the country. Shri R.K. Jain is presently national Vice-resident of All India Digambar Jain (Dharm-Sanrakshini) Maha sabha and President of Maharashtra Prantiya Mahasabha.

REPORTS

JAINS' MINORITY STATUS TO BE DECIDED BY STATE GOVERNMENTS AND NOT BY CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
Nov. 25. The Central Government has clarified that the issue of minority for Jains is a subject matter of states and central government has no role to play. The decision on the minority issue for Jains was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs in the light of the Supreme Court's directive to the Union Government that it should give its view about the minority status of the Jain community. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also was attended by Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister, Sharad Pawar Agriculture Minister, K Natwar Singh External Affairs Minister, Communication and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran and Law Minister H R Bhardwaj. Jainsamaj has not shown any strong reaction on this decision.

KANCHI IS IN THE NEWS FOR WRONG REASONS
Kanchipuram was the capital of Pallava dynasty in 5-8th century AD. Early Pallavas patronized Jainism. It was a famous seat of Jainism and at this very place Acharya Bhatta Akalanka defeated Buddha bhiskhus by 8-day debate in the year 643 AD in the palace of King Hima Sheetala. Princes Akalanka and his brother Nishkalanka underwent training in Buddhism at Nalanda in their youth. Eventually, Nishkalanka was killed by Buddhists and his death wish to his elder brother was to marginalize Buddhism which is against theism of soul (Anatmavadi or shunyavada). The later era witnessed revival of Vedanta through seers like Adi Sankara and so called Bhakti movement unleashing terror and all kinds of dirty civil wars. (That was the worst period of our civilization. This encouraged foreign invasion from Arab world and slavery to Islamic rulers.) The temples now under Hindu custody at Kanchi puram were Jain temples. Once Jains were eliminated in the civil war, the famous Vardhamana Mahaveer temple became Varadaraja Perumal temple. The Neminatha temple became Kamakshi temple. Kamakshi is the new name of Kushmandini or Ambikaa yakshi of Bhagvan Neminatha. Both Vaishnavites and Saivites took charge of these temples respectively.

The brahmins regrouped in 18th century and took over charge of Kanchipuram temples and assets. Their mutt at Kumbakonam near TiruJinaPalli (the venerable seat of Jina Munis, now called Tiruchi) was eventually shifted here with the permission of Britishers on the pretext of performance of Kumbabhishekam to Kamakshi yakshi. They wrote fresh history, linked this mutt to Adi Sankara whose period itself was antedated from 8th AD to 5th century BC to be in close company with Mahaveer and Buddha. Adi Sankara was credited institution of four mutts in the country in the lines of Jinakanchi. But this present Peetam does not figure in it. But money and influence can rewrite history. You persist with a statement; it is bound to be accepted as a gospel truth. So this mutt keeps on trumpeting this false history at every opportunity. Truth can also be new and need not be old or ancient to be sacred. But the over millennium years gap between Adi Sankara and other two Sramanas is unpalatable to modern day rehabilitated Kanchi peetam. It is strongly believed that the decorated Balaji is in fact kayotsarga idol of Bhagvan Neminath, the cousin of Lord Krishna. Recently some one circulated the original idol in the net. Most of the present day Brahmins at these centers are descendants of Jains who shifted loyalty due to one or factors like fear or favour and lack of Punyoday. This message is aimed at arriving the truth through pages of history but in no way at hurting any one's sentiments. Courtesy: Dr. C. Devakumar E-Mail : cdevakumar@yahoo.com

MISCELLANEOUS

BIOTECH TO TRIGGER GREEN REVOLUTION
BANGALORE: November 21 2004 Biotechnology will spur the second `Green Revolution' in the country and it is already visible in cotton production, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said while speaking at the inaugural function of the second annual national conference of the Federation of Jain Educational Institutes (FJEI) at Jakkasandra, 40 km from Banglore. Pawar said the biotechnology revolution would be much bigger than the IT boom and benefit farmers by increasing agricultural yield. He said the introduction of genetically muted cotton had already resulted in 20 percent increase in production of cotton in India. There was need for greater awareness and enhanced knowledge on biotechnology across the country, he said and wanted the educational institutions play a main role.

Lauding the Jain Institutions across the country for their contribution in the field of education despite the community being a minuscule one, Pawar said that institutions should be renowned not because of its founders, but through its faculty and heads who strive for excellence. He underscored the need for continuous up gradation of skills of teachers so that they keep abreast with the latest knowledge and groom the students. Pawar also urged upon educational institutions across the country, especially those managed by the Jain community, to spread computer literacy in villages to prevent the digital divide. He suggested that these institutions should have mobile IT vans that visit villages and allow rural students gain first hand knowledge about computers. Pawar said steps should be taken to prevent high rate of school dropouts among girl children in rural areas. The girl student dropouts in India were as high as over 35 per cent as against a mere 15 per cent in China, he added.

The two-day conference was attended by over 1400 heads of Jain educational institutions across the country. The conference would be a platform to discuss the future plans of FJEI to upgrade these institutions with leading global educational schools. The conference was organised by the Jain group of institutions. Chairman and Vice President of FJEI, R. Chenraj Jain, Union Minister for State for Planning M. V. Rajasekharan, Minister for Large and Medium Industries, P G R Sindhia and Dharmadikari of Dharmasthala, Dr. Veerendra Heggade were present.

REVERSED BRAIN DRAIN HAS STARTED, SAYS NAVIN SHAH, CHAIRMAN-RANA
Mr. Navin Shah, the founder Chairman of Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) during his recent visit to Jodhpur mentioned in a Press Conference that it was indeed a happy situation to find many talented and brilliant non-resident Indians returning to serve their home country. Shah was born in Sirohi and educated in Jodhpur and Jaipur, prior to his departure for U.S.A. As chairman of RANA, he has taken upon himself the responsibility to inspire and motivate Indians settled abroad to help in the growth and development of their motherland. He has many development plans for Rajasthan in his mind and is confident of implementing them with the cooperation of the State Government. One of the major projects he has in mind is to actively support the cause of women's education in the State. According to him, a sum of about Rs. One crore has already been spent by RANA on development projects. He is also working on a rainwater project at Jaisalmer with the cooperation of Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. He added that a sort of reverse brain drain has already started now from USA. Non-resident Indians from Rajasthan have shown a keen interest in their home state and they want to see it as a prospering state in the country. There are about 1.12 lakh people from Rajasthan, of which more than 12000 are connected with RANA. Most of them are engaged in industry and a sizeable number of them are also doctors and chartered accountants. Physicians from Rajasthan are highly respected in USA.

PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH

DR. (PROF.) CROMWELL CRAWFORD
Dr. S. Cromwell Crawford is the Chairman and Professor of the Dept. of Religions at University of Hawaii, Honolulu. He has been there for thirty years and has guided many Ph.D. students in religious studies. He is a pure vegetarian and follows principles of Jainism. He is author of many books and research papers. Regularly invited to speak in JAINA and YJA conventions. He is an advisor to Jain Spirit magazine, Ahimsa Times, Jain web portal www.jainsamaj.org (Ahimsa Foundation) and several other religious institutions. Dr. Cromwell has done significant and somewhat pioneering research in Bioethics and Hinduism. He wants to present the same subject from Jain perspective. His latest two books on Bioethics and Hinduism were published by State University of New York Press and have been best sellers. Dr. Crawford is familiar with India, Indian culture and can speak Hindi also.

Dr. Crawford was born at Jhansi, Madhya Pradesh. His parents were English and served in the British army. His wife is a neurosurgeon from Hungary. Dr. Cromwell has been to India many times and also has been invited and decorated by Govt. of India.

REGRETTABLE

MAHARASHTRA MINISTER SURESH JAIN FAILS TO APPEAR BEFORE SAWANT COMMISSION - Pune : Sawant Commission is enquiring into the corruption charges leveled against Suresh Jain by prominent social crusader Anna Hazare. In this case Suresh Jain was to appear before the commission. Thoroughly displeased by the minister's attitude, Justice Sawant issued bailable warrant against minister Suresh Jain. The minister will have to appear before the commission on December 9 to get the warrant cancelled failing which a non-bailable warrant could be issued against him. The minister's counsel apologised for the "defiance" shown by the minister. As per provisions of the section, Sawant can lodge a complaint with the high court about the defiant behaviour of the minister. The high court then can file a case against the minister. Sawant also has the power to impose fine on minister Jain for his behaviour.

GODMAN CHANDRASWAMI (JAIN) DENIES HIS INVOLVEMENT IN RAJIV GANDHI MURDER
Chandraswami says that the investigation agency had been influenced by political considerations in naming him in the case. The CBI claims that they are looking into the charge that the controversial Godman had funded the LTTE to assassinate Rajiv. The charge had first surfaced when the Justice Jain Commission of Enquiry had indicated that Chandraswami had a role to play in the assassination. The Congress insists the Government has not influenced the investigating agency and that the law will take its own course. According to congress spokesperson "The matter is subjudice. Babloo Srivastava, an associate of Chandraswami told a T.V. channel that the news about Rajiv Gandhi's murder had been received within ten minutes of the incident and the tantrik had joyfully clapped on hearing this news.He then talked to a prominent Congress leader of Andhra Pradesh for about two hours. Babloo was arrested in Singapore last year and since then, he is confined in Barelli Jail.

SURENDRA JAIN OF DELHI ARRESTED FOR BEATING HIS WIFE
New Delhi, Dec 8 : Two Jain brothers Surendra and Sanjay have been arrested from Mangolpuri area of New Delhi for allegedly beating the Saroj, pregnant wife of Surendra. Saroj had complained to the police and her allegations after investigations were found true. Surendra's father, mother and sister, also accused, are absconding. The couple was married over a year ago and Saroj's in-laws had been harassing her for dowry ever since.

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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