Ahimsa Times August 2008 Issue www.jainsama.org
Vol. No. 98
On This Upcoming Auspicious Occasion of Paryushan & Das Laxan Parva
We Beg Forgiveness For Our Intentional and Unintentional Wrongdoing
WHY IS PARYUSHAN MAHAPARVE CELEBRATEDFOR EIGHT DAYS BY SHWETAMBAR SECT? - PARYUSHAN means: Festival of self friendship and realisation of soul. Festival of sacrifice, penance & endurance. Festival of soul purification & self search, time to keep aside the post, wealth & prestige & be with the God. The time to forget & forgiveness make the enemy a friend & increase the love and kindness.
1st Day of Paryusan: The day of making the mind & soul pure and concentrate in vitrag.
2nd Day of Paryushan: On this day with the help of our sweet & kind speech spread the fragrance of inspiring virtues & constructive activities. Donate with free hand & become a king.
3rd Day of Paryushan: To make the Mind (soul) & Body Pure and pious with the self of sacrifice & penance. Self control & self-friendship is also practice. Meditation for enlightment.
4th Day of Paryushan: Rare occasion of gaining Aatma Laxmi.
5th Day of Paryushan: The day of "KALPASUTRA" sacred document of Jainism. On this day Bhagwan Mahavira's birth is celebrated with special celebrations, a part of which is the auction of 14 items, dreams of by the Lords mother Trishala Devi, while she was carrying him.
6th Day of Paryushan: 'SWAN' floating in the MANSAROVAR of Jain Empire (Religion SASAN)
7th Day of Paryushan: Day of Divine message of Tolerance & power of endurance.
8th Day of Paryushan: 'SAVANTSARI':JiThe Day of the grand 'GATE WAY' of 'SALVATION' (Moksha).
Paryushana is a time of reflection on actions and meditation on the past year. Paryushana is marked by strict observance of the ten cardinal virtues: Forgiveness, Charity, Simplicity, Contentment, Truthfulness, Self-restraint, Fasting, Detachment, Humility and Continence. During the eight-day Paryushana festival, the Swetambaras recite the religious text, the Kalpa Sutra (including a section on the birth of Lord Mahavira), on the fifth day. During this festival, Jains of all ages visit the divine Temples/Derasar or Upashrayas to listen to the discourses and readings of Kalpa Sutra. In the evenings, Jains perform a kriya called Pratikraman, a form of meditation to reflect on spiritual journey.
Most Jains fast in some form or the other in these days. It is not and uncommon sight to see 8 day fasters, who do not consume anything in these eight days. Even water must be boiled and can be drunk only between 9-10 a.m. to 5- 6 p.m. (approx.) Every now and then one does come across a faster who has not eat for a whole month too!!! Penance and fasting are the key words in these days. Many Jains abstain from onions, garlic, potatoes, fermented food, root vegetables and green vegetables.
In the Swetambar sect, an 8-day festival is celebrated that ends either on Bhadrapada Shukla 4 or Bhadrapada Shukla 5. The last day is called Samvatsari, short for Samvatsari Pratikramana. Seven days are days of attainment and the eighth day is one of fulfillment or achievement. It is at this time that Jains embark on their respective annual pratikramana - a reflection on their spiritual journey for the past year.
On this day they also observe a unique custom, where they ask every individual they may have offended during the year for forgiveness. Old quarrels are forgotten and friendships and relationships renewed, as they fold their hands and ask for "Micchamidukadam" or forgiveness. Michchhami means to be fruitless (forgiven) and Dukkadam (Dushkrut) means bad deeds. Therefore the meaning of Michchhami Dukkadam is my bad deeds (with you) be fruitless. So concept behind saying or writing someone "Michchhami Dukkadam" is that if I have done any harm to you then those bad deeds to be forgiven (be fruitless).
The soul, in its pure form, has infinite perception, infinite knowledge, infinite vigor, and is non-attached. These attributes are not seen in a worldly soul because it is soiled with karmas. By following religious principles principals and activities, we overcome our karmas and uplift our souls to liberation. There are various kinds of religious activities, sometimes called rituals, and among them Pratikraman is the most important ritual. During pratikraman we repent for our non-meritorious activities on a daily basis. We realize our mistakes and ask for forgiveness which helps us to minimize the intensity of the karmaï¿½s bondage. Pratikraman is a combination of six avshyakas (essential rituals). The six Avshyakas are:
1) Samayik - a state of total equanimity
2) Chauvisantho - worshipping the twenty-four Tirthankars
3) Vandana - offering salutations to sadhus (monks) and sadhvis (nuns)
4) Pratikraman - realizing what we have done wrong and annotating on it
5) Kayotsagga - meditation of the soul
6) Pratyakhyan - renunciation
1) Samayik : In samayik, we stay in equanimity for forty-eight minutes. During samayik not only do we give up all worldly affairs, but we also stay away from attachment and aversion. This activity helps us to purify our passions and desires. To perform samayik, we put on simple, white clothes, and occupy a quiet place. While in samayik, we recite the Navkar Mantra, read scriptures, perform meditation, etc. Our samayik gives us a glimpse at the life of sadhus who live in samayik all of their life. It directly encourages us to lead the life of a sadhu or sadhvi.
2) Chauvisantho :Chauvisantho means adoration of the twenty-four Tirthankaras. By reciting it, we show our respect for the twenty-four Tirthankaras. While reciting this, we are reminded of how victorious these Jinas, who overcome inner enemies like anger, ego, greed, deceit, etc., were and such activity also and encourages us to be like them. It is also called Chaturvinshatistava.
3) Vandana: During vandana, we bow down to monks and nuns and express our reverence to them. They are our current religious guides, and preceptors. While bowing down, we become humble, and thus, help ourselves to overcome ego and anger. It also inspires us to become like them. (If there is no monk or nun then we bow down in the North-East direction to Arihantas who are currently living far away from here.
4) Pratikraman: Pratikraman is the combination of two words, Pra meaning return and atikraman meaning violation. Literally, it means returning from violations. As Jain householders, we are supposed to observe twelve minor vows. During Pratikraman we review our activities for any violations that may have occurred among these vows. In this way, we ask for forgiveness for our actions, purify our souls, and improve our future activities. If we have not taken these vows then we should wish that there will come a day when we can take those vows. Pratikraman is usually done twice a day; once in the morning, Raisi (morning) Pratikraman and once in the late evening Devasi (evening) Pratikraman. Those who are unable to perform daily pratikraman should do a Pakshik (fortnightly) Pratikraman. There are some who somehow can not find even that much time, they should do a Choumasi (quarterly) Pratikraman, every four months. However, if someone can not even do that, then they should do Samvatsari (yearly) Pratikraman, considered a must for every Jain. By repenting during the pratikraman, you lessen the bondage of karma to your soul and avoid committing the same sins in the future. If we do not repent for our deeds at least once a year, then the bondage of karmas to the soul becomes severe and even harder to shed off. In all truth, one should perform pratikraman as soon as one realizes he or
she has committed a sin.
5) Kayotsagga :The word kayotsargga is made up of two words Kaya meaning body and utsarga meaning to give up. Kayotsagga means to give up oneï¿½s physical comfort and body movements, thus staying steady, either in a standing or other posture, and concentrating upon the true nature of the soul as being separate from the body. This is a form of meditation and by practicing pure kayotsargga we slowly gain control over our mental, verbal, and physical activities.
6) Pratyakhyan: This is a formal renunciation of certain activities, which reduces to stops the inflow of karmas. This activity helps us to learn to control our desires and prepares us for a much bigger renunciation.
MAHAVIRA STATUE FOUND AT CHENNAI VILLAGE
Aug 08, 2008 An exquisitely carved statue of Mahavira, the Jaina pantheon, has been discovered at Panaipadi village in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district. R. Sivanandam, epigraphist. Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology made the discovery when a team under the guidance of R. Vasanthakalyani, epigraphist-cum-instructor of the Department, was on a regular survey camp of epigraphy to study inscriptions around Panaipadi.
The discovery confirms that the area covering present-day Villupuram district was an important centre of Jainism in Tamil Nadu. The sculpture, from the Chola period, was about 1,000 years old. The Villupuram area was a flourishing centre of Jainism. This could be seen, said Ms. Vasanthakalyani, from discoveries of a number of Jaina sculptures and beds near Ginjee, Thondur, Melsithamur, Sirukadambur, Thirunarungkondai.
JAIN RELIGIOUS CENTRE IN LEICESTER CELEBRATING 20TH ANNIVERSARY
The Jain Centre, in Oxford Street, is the largest Jain temple outside of India, and first opened its door to worshippers in 1988 after eight years of development. The 25th anniversary celebrations will now allow visitors of all faiths to see for themselves the splendor of the Jain Centre, which features 44 pillars, 13 arches and a dome, as well as beautiful traditional Jain carvings. Leicester City Councils cabinet member for culture and leisure, Councilor Andy Connelly, said: The Jain Centre is a magnificent building and is something Leicester is justifiably very proud of. The open day and guided tours will give people the opportunity to learn more about this fascinating building and Jainism itself. The 20th anniversary event is part of Leicesters Castle Park Heritage and Arts Festival, which takes place at venues across the city from August 18 to 25. Full details of all festival events are available on www.leicester.gov.uk
'SHRI SEVAYATAN' TRUST HONOURED BY THE CENTRAL MINISTER
'Shri Sevayatan', an institution, recently established in Jharakhand at Shri Sammet Shikhar Ji for the development and welfare of the whole place and provide sufficient amenities and safety to the pilgrims visiting the holy place has been honoured by the central Minister, Shri Subodh Kant Sahay at a ceremony held at Sammet Shikhar Ji. The honour was gracefully accepted on the behalf of Sevayatan by its President, Shri M.P.Ajmera. This institution has been established by the blessings of Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidhya Sagar Ji Maharaj and his disciple, Muni Shri Praman sagar Ji Maharaj. The latter is presently having his chaturmas at Sammet Shikhar Ji.
SOME LITTLE KNOWN FACTS - ACHARYA SRI VIDYANAND MUNI
Facts from a book called “Jain Dharma, Ahimsa and Mahatma Gandhi” authored by Acharya Sri Vidyanand Muni and published by Kund Kund Bharati, New Delhi.
1. Lala Lajpatrai was a Jain but felt that the principle of Ahimsa weakened our self-rule. But Gandhi Ji rebuked him and wrote him that there was no evidence to this fatalism. Gandhi Ji clarified that it was internal wrangling motivated by selfishness as the reason for downfall (page 12)
2. Gandhiji’s mother guided him all through his childhood and gave him three Jain vows of abstaining from wine, woman and non-veg (page 5).
3. Gandhiji was fond of a bhajan which expresses one’s aspiration to become a Digamber Muni and he used to sing this bhajan for others (page 10).
4. He retorted Winston Churchill “I would love to be a naked fakir but I am not one yet” (quoted from “the Life of M.K. Gandhi’ by I. Fisher, page 473).
5. “The main principle of Jains is compassion towards the living creatures of the world, in their entirety. I consider all of them Jains, who follow this principle of Ahimsa towards their fellow beings” Gandhiji in Dainik Navakal dated 27 Nov 1932. (Page 12)
6. The Jain population in the past (page 27). 40 crores in 1000 B.C. ,25 crores in 500-600 B.C. ,20 crores in 815 A.D (King Amoghavarsha period), 12 crores in 1173 A.D (King Kumarpal’s period) ,4 crores in 1556 AD (Badshah Akbar’s reign). ,(Quoted from “Jain aaNi Hindu” by Taatyasaheb. K. Chopre, page 47-48)
7. Trishul is the symbol of three jewels of Jainism. (Tirayana tisuladhariya – Acharya Virasena in the ancient and sacred book Dhavala 1-1-25). Courtesy: Mr. Dev Kumar . E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
TERAPANTH SAMANIS VISIT SWITZERLAND
Samani Prasanna Pragya Ji and Samani Rohit Pragya Ji visited Switzerland from 9th July to 14th July 2008. Smt Pushpaben Halai, a yoga instructor at JVB Centre London, accompanied them on the visit. They stayed at Shree BasantraJi Bhandari’s house in Geneva. During their stay in Geneva, in addition to informal sessions of religious discourses and discussions, five workshops of more than one and half hours duration were held in which on an average more than 15 people participated consisting of Jains and non-Jains. These workshops covered Meditation, Yoga, Relaxation, and recitation of hymns as well as presentation on various subjects including anger and stress management, improving intuition power and developing positive thinking. As a result more than 100 people in Geneva benefited by gaining deeper insights and attaining valuable tools for leading happy and healthy life.
MUNI TARUN SAGAR Ji HONOURED AS STATE GUEST BY MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT
Shri Dharampal Jain, National General Secretary of Tarun Kranti Manch announced at Sangli that the Government of Maharashtra has given necessary instructions to the Superintendents of Police and other concerned officers to provide appropriate security to Digambar Jain Muni, Shri Tarun sagar Ji Maharaj. Accordingly, four gun men will be attending on him whenever he moves out of his place of stay as long as he is in Maharashtra.
MODERNISATION OF DEONAR SLAUGHTER HOUSE AT MUMBAI
Maharashtra Government ( Bombay Municipal Corp.) has planned to Modernise Deonar slaughter house, near Mumbai by spending approximately Rs. 125-250 crore, which will result in the killing of more than 36 lakh animals every year for the production of beef not just for consumption within the country but for export to other countries. In 1971, the old slaughter house was shifted from Bandra to Devnar. Its objective was to provide hygienic meat for people of Mumbai only. Only physically unfit animals were to be used for killing with Valid certification from Doctors. It was decided by BMC at that time that meat will not exported from Devnar but it was not followed. In 1983, again BMC decided to stop export of meat from devnar. But the said decision was again reversed after shifting to Deonar for the sake of earning foreign exchange. The present capacity is to kill 4000 Animals every day. The strength of the plant is 1200 workers. 32 doctors are appointed for certification purpose. 50% of the meat gets exported to Arabian and gulf countries. 17 lakh litres of water is required daily for slaughter. Animals are captured from the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, M. P., Maharashtra and U.P. to be killed here in Mumbai. It is estimated that 10 crore animals have been killed till date. Total Animal Wealth of Rs.8000 Crore has been washed out.
Several Jain organisations and vegetarian groups have stalled the expansion of the city’s largest abattoir at Deonar, demanding an end to the slaughtering of animals to export meat .Earlier this month, several Jain associations met at Kandivli for an urgent meeting. Their aim was to thwart plans of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to expand and modernise the city’s largest abattoir at Deonar. The campaigners were mostly Jain associations, though they have been supported by Hindu and vegetarian groups. They also claim to have the backing of some Muslim corporators in the BMC who own and manages the abattoir. At the next meeting, organised by the groups at Ghatkopar, a Shwetambar Saint Chandrasekhar VijayJi announced that he will undergo ‘Santhara’, the Jain tradition of fasting to death, if the expansion plan for the slaughterhouse were not put on hold.
Sunil Cheddha of Vardhaman Sanskar Dham, one of the groups that participated in the meeting said, “When ChandrasekharJi announced his decision to fast, we had no option but to start our campaign. Other groups joined us and we met senior municipal officers to convince them to abandon their plan to expand the abattoir” .Among the groups that have joined the campaign with the Jains, are the Warkari Samaj and other Vaishnavite groups. They have also approached groups like the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) for support. The pressure from the groups has been so great that the expansion plan have been stalled for the time being and the issue will be put to vote again in the BMC.
The campaigners dug out municipal documents that traced the construction of the abattoir to the seventies. “The Deonar abattoir was set up to meet the demands for meat in Mumbai. But at present, 60 per cent of the meat processed there is exported, mostly to the Middle East,” said Mukesh Vardhan of a group called the Hinsa Virudhak Sangh.
“The meat exports started in 1973 when the BMC realised that the abattoir was under-utilised. The BMC is a public organisation and cannot use its facilities for commercial purposes,” said Yogesh Shah, another member of Hinsa Virudhak Sangh. When the exports started, a group called the Akhil Bharatiya Hinsa Nivarak Sangh filed a public interest petition in the Bombay high court asking for a ban on the trade. Though the court did not stay the exports, the petition was admitted in 1994. The petition is still pending hearing in the court.
The exports have not yet stopped but the activists hope to get a proposal banning the exports at the next meeting of the municipal standing committee where the proposal will be discussed again. “Senior municipal officials have promised that an order banning meat exports from Deonar abattoir will be passed. We will work to get the ban order passed,” said Shah.
In 1993 too, vegetarian
groups protested the export of meat from the Deonar abattoir. Though the BMC
promised to stop slaughtering animals for meat exports, the trade continued.
However, this time, the protesters are determined to stop the sale of meat
abroad. We have demanded representation in the committee that is looking at the
modernisation plans of the abattoir, to ensure that the promise to ban exports
is kept, said Cheddha. Our aim is to completely stop the slaughter of animals
for food. But at the moment, we will be happy if the expansion plan at Deonar
are abandoned, said Dhirajbhai Rambhia of the Kutchi Visa Oswal Jain community
that is part of the campaign. Readers are kindly requested to oppose the above
decision taken by BMC. To join protest contact E-Mail: email@example.com
Phone: +91-022-22620251, fax number- +91-022-22655923 . Courtsey: E-Mail :
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE ON JAIN PHILOSOPHY IN SEOUL - Seven day 20th World Conference of Philosophy ended on August 5, 2008 at the National University, Seoul (South Korea). First time in the 108 years of history of this conference, a round table conference on Jain Philosophy was also organized. The main theme of this conference was “Review of the Philosophy”. Jain community was represented by seven member delegation of ( Terapanth ) Jain Vishwa Bharati University, Ladnun.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON NON-VIOLENCE AT CALIFORNIA
Hamilton and Denise Brewart conference on rediscovering Gandhian Wisdom: Building a Peaceful Future will be held from 17th to 19th October, 2008. It is the third international conference of the Ahimsa Center at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (in Los Angeles area). It will focus on rediscovering the Gandhian wisdom grounded in Ahimsa and Truth to help us chart a more peaceful and more harmonious human future. This conference will bring together from all around the world leading Gandhian scholars and exemplars of Gandhian values. Collectively we will celebrate Gandhi’s gifts to humanity, and explore how we can apply his wisdom to find enduring solutions for the vexing political, social and personal problems.
ISSJS STUDY PROGRAM- 2008 COMPLETED ON JULY 26th 2008
After the departure of one-month program candidates on June 30th, the schedule consisted of a series of lectures in Jaipur on subjects associated with philosophy and doctrines of Anekant. These academic sessions delivered by Prof. Kusum Jain, Prof Sogani and Prof Bhargava, the most recognized Jain scholars. Lectures started from July 1st and lasted till July 5th.The period July 5th till July 14th was planned for independent research work by the scholars to prepare a presentable paper to the fellow scholars on some topics related to their study in the school. Ms. Lynna Dhanani, Ms. Smita Kothari and Ms. Jennifer Lett chose to stay back in Jaipur and conduct their study under the supervision of Prof. Sogani; Mr. Gollner, Mr. Nominian, Mr. Acosta, Mr. Smith and Ms. Angellica, Ms. Yuneikys and Ms. Nicole decided to conduct their research at Parashnath Vidhyapeeth, Varanasi; Ms. Farah Siah, Ms. Daniela and Ms. Sonia chose Delhi while Prof. Gelburd decided to conduct the study in Mumbai and Ellora. At Varanasi, the school organized lectures by Prof. Tiwari and Prof. Samtani. Parashnath Vidhypeeth director Dr. Pandey and his research scholars assisted the ISSJS scholars in their academic pursuits.
YOUNG JAINS OF DELHI ORGANISING APARIGRAHA CAMP ON 7TH SEPTEMBER
Young Jains, Delhi continuing with its success of last year's Uttam Tyag Diwas celebrations is organising "Aparigraha Camp" on 7th Sept, 2008 at various Jain Temples in Delhi and adjoining NCR areas. Old used/unused clothes, utensils, toys will be collected from 7 am to 12 pm through volunteers present at Jain temple centers namely Vaishali, Vasundhra, Gurgaon Park, Gurgaon Sadar, Rohini ahimsa apartments sec 9, Vikaspuri, Dwarka sec 12, paschim vihar, Pitampura, Ashok Vihar, Green Park, R.K. Puram, Vasant Kunj, Lodhi Road, Raghubarpura, Shanti Mohalla, Shankar Nagar, Kailash Nagar, Laxmi Nagar Krishan Kunj, Shakarpur Master block, Shakarpur Main Market, Rishabh Vihar, Bahubali Enclave, Surajmal Vihar, Bholanath Nagar, Bihari Colony, Yamuna Vihar, Preet Vihar, Vishwas nagar, Madhu Vihar, Noida, IIT Delhi, Lal Mandir, Dipty Gunj, Jain Balashram Daryaganj, Rajendra Nagar-Sahibabad, Kavi Nagar-Ghaziabad, Bhogal, Dilshad Garden etc . The material collected will be distributed with help of various Jain Tirth societies and Jain temples in far areas to help the needy mainly
IN Bihar, Orissa, M.P. Please come in big numbers to donate and help for the cause..
If you are interested in organising/volunteering a camp at your nearest temple, please contact Mr. Sandeep Jain 9818588013, Anurag Jain 9811913882, Gaurav Jain 9868356946, Paras Jain 9891095410, Vidyabhushan Upadhye 9818775899. Courtesy: Gaurav Jain 'Lakshaya' 9811981233.
APOWA TO ORGANISE AHIMSA RALLY ON OCTOBER 2ND
APOWA (Action for Protection of Wild Animals), Orissa in association with Orissa Vegetraian Council, Bhubaneswar, International Naturopathy Organization, Cuttack, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathana, Cuttack, Loka Sebak Yuva Mandal, Cuttack will conduct a grand "AHIMSA RALLY" in the historical city and state capital Bhubaneswar of Orissa on October 2, 2008, International Non-violence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. The rally will be inaugurated by Hon'ble Governor of Orissa.
In the rally nearly 5000 students, teachers, activists, volunteers etc will participate. In the rally the participants will carry banners, placards, posters depicting like Vegetarianism, prevention of cruelty to animals, environmental & ecological values, animal welfare etc. At the end of the rally a grand meeting will organize.
Recently, APOWA has received the prestigious 12th Mahaveer Awards from Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation, Chennai, for excellence in Human Endeavor in the sphere of Non Violence and Vegetarianism. The award was given by the Hon'ble President of India, Her Excellency Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil at Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi on 19th May 2008. The award consists of a cash prize, a Commendatory Scroll, a Memento and a statue of Lord Mahaveer. The APOWA was chosen from among 300 nominations from across the country by a jury headed by former Chief Justice of India MN Venkatachaliah.
We need your cooperation for supply us placards, banners, posters, brochures, T-shirts etc., if available with your organization. Kindly send it to the undersigned address. Contact : Mr.Bijaya Kumar Kabi, Director, APOWA,Village-Hatapatana, Po-Kadaliban, Dist-Kendrapara, Orissa, Pin-754222,Tel-06729 221908, Mob-09437439946
38th IVU WORLD VEGETARIAN CONGRESS HELD IN DRESDEn
Meetings of The International Council were held on 29 July, 2008. Saurabh Dalal was in the chair and he opened the meeting. Saurabh in his speech urged those assembled to congratulate themselves and IVU generally for our 100 years of promoting vegetarianism. Saurabh introduced the IC members and the agenda, before reviewing the five objectives of IVU. He reviewed the minutes of the previous IVU General Meeting during the 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress held in Goa. Stephen Walsh moved that the minutes be approved. Jennie McQueen seconded. The motion was approved with none opposed and one abstention. John Davis presented the IVU Biennial Report . Courtesy : www.herenow4u.de
VII INTERNAINAL PEACE CONFERENCE BY ANUVIBHA- 10TH TO 14TH NOV. 2008
Terapanth orgnisation "ANUVIBHA" which has been waging a campaign against violence and hatred in consonance with the goals of UNO for the last 25 years is going to organize the 7th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action in two parts at Jaipur from 10th November to 14th November, 2008. It will be held under the auspices of His Holiness Acharya Mahapragya, one of the most revered national saints and a celebrated Jain Acharya known for his historic Ahimsa Yatra and Yuvacharya Mahashraman, successor to Acharya Mahapragya. Courtesy: Dr. Sohan Lal Gandhi.
ONE-DAY CONFERENCE AT SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY, DALLAS, US
"Jainism in South India", Sept. 20, Free and Open to the Public ,The conference is sponsored by the South Asian Research and Information Institute in collaboration with the Department of Religious Studies, SMU. The presenters include: Dr. Alvappillai Veluppillai, Prof. Dr. Robert Zydenbos, Dr. Rangarajan, Vijayalakshmy, Dr. S. Palaniappan, Dr. Lisa N. Owen, and Ms. Eva-Maria Glasbrenner (M.A.).Information and registration is available at
www.sarii.org or www.smu.edu Dr. Steven Lindquist, Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University.
FAITH HEALING THROUGH PRAYERS
There is ample proof that prayer works. Many scientific studies have been conducted that validate this observation. A 1993 Israeli survey following 10,000 civil servants for 26 years found that Orthodox Jews were less likely to die of cardiovascular problems than "nonbelievers." And a 1995 study from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N. H., monitoring 250 people after open-heart surgery concluded that those who had religious connections and social support were 12 times less likely to die than those who had none. In an attempt to understand the depression that often accompanies hospitalization, Duke University researchers assessed 1,000 hospital patients from 1987 to 1989; patients who drew on religious practices, including prayer, were found to cope far better than those who didn't.
The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque is studying the power of prayer to heal alcoholics. And there is a prayer-and-healing study in progress at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, the nation's leading naturopathic-training institute. Certainly, following a spiritual or religious lifestyle might lead to better health; the devout may be less likely to succumb to the hazards of smoking, drinking, and sleeping around. However, for the non-believers, it is hard to understand how intercessory or non-local prayer works. This is the situation when the sick persons are prayed for and don't even know it. In the most widely publicized studies of the effect of intercessory prayer, cardiologist Randolph Byrd studied 393 patients admitted to the coronary-care unit at San Francisco General Hospital. Some were prayed for by home-prayer groups, others were not. All the men and women got medical care. In this randomized, double-blind study, neither the doctors and nurses nor the patients knew who would be the object of prayer. The results were dramatic and surprised many scientists. The men and women whose medical care was supplemented with prayer needed fewer drugs and spent less time on ventilators. They also fared better overall than their counterparts who received medical care but nothing more.
Even more outrageous experiments in distance healing involve nonhuman subjects. In a survey of 131 controlled experiments on spiritual healing, it was found that prayed-for rye grass grew taller; prayed-for yeast resisted the toxic effects of cyanide; prayed-for test-tube bacteria grew faster. "I adore these experiments," says Larry Dossey, M.D., perhaps the world's most vocal expert on prayer and medicine. "Because they don't involve humans, you can run them with fanatical precision and you can run them hundreds of times. It's the best evidence of all that prayer can change the world. And it operates as strongly on the other side of the Earth as it does at the bedside." In several experiments, volunteers visualized stimulating or retarding the growth of bacteria and fungi and achieved significantly positive results from as far as 15 miles away.
At the 'Mind Science Foundation' in San Antonio, Texas, researchers took blood samples from 32 volunteers, isolated their red blood cells (RBCS) and placed the samples in a room on the other side of the building. Then the researchers placed the RBCs in a solution designed to swell and burst them, a process that can be measured extremely accurately. Next the researchers asked the volunteers to pray for the preservation of some of the RBCS. To help them visualize, the researchers projected color slides of healthy RBCS. The praying significantly slowed the swelling and bursting of the RBCS. In another study at the Mind Science Foundation, volunteers in a room on one side of the building were asked to visualize volunteers in a room on the other side of the building becoming calmer or more agitated. Meanwhile, the "receivers" were hooked up to biofeedback-type equipment to gauge their reactions. The results showed that the "influencers" exerted a statistically significant effect on the receivers' moods. Experiments also showed that prayer positively affected: High Blood Pressure, Wounds, Heart Attacks, Headaches, and Anxiety. The processes that had been influenced by prayer were: Activity of enzymes, The growth rate of leukemic white blood cells, Mutation rates of bacteria, Germination and growth rates of various seeds, Firing rate of pacemaker cells, Healing rates of wounds, The size of goiters and tumors, Time required to awaken from anesthesia, Autonomic effects such as electrodermal activity of the skin, rates of hemolysis of red blood cells and hemoglobin levels.
At a Boston conference sponsored by Harvard Medical School, one of the participants predicted that in just 10 years patients will be questioned about not only their personal medical history but also their spiritual belief system. Certainly, the idea of distance healing is catching on even today. Cyberspace is full of fellow believers who post their requests on daily prayer chains. Those who believe in distance healing are not sure how it works, though theories abound. Some say it involves sending some kind of subtle, as-yet-unidentified energy to the person in need. Others, including Dossey, say quantum physics may play a role, or what Cambridge-trained biologist Rupert Sheldrake calls "morphogenetic fields," unabounded by space or time. In the absence of hard data, it remains a mystery or a miracle. The other kind of prayer, in which sick people pray for their own recovery, is far easier for science to explain. Given the proven health benefits of meditation — lowering blood pressure, reversing heart disease — it's not difficult to see how prayer, which can be equally meditative and relaxing, might induce the same effects.
Recent scientific investigation shows that prayer can be used as an alternative therapy as successfully as meditation, exercise, or herbalism. A study of 91,000 people in rural Maryland showed that weekly church attendees had 50 percent fewer deaths from heart disease than non-churchgoers and 53 percent fewer suicides. Churchgoers have lower blood pressure levels than nonbelievers, even after smoking and other known risk factors are taken into consideration. Many doctors believe that if they prayed with their patients before and after surgery or before administering a course of powerful drugs, this treatment might assist in the patient's recovery. Thirty medical schools in America are now offering courses in faith and medicine.
"Prayer works," says Dr. Matthews, associate professor of medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and senior research fellow at the National Institute for Healthcare Research in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Matthews has reviewed more than 200 studies linking religious commitment and health, cited in his book, 'The Faith Factor'. Dr. Matthews cites studies suggesting that people who pray are less likely to get sick, are more likely to recover from surgery and illness and are better able to cope with their illnesses than people who don't pray. Some evidence indicates that sick people who are prayed for also fare significantly better than those who aren't. In fact, some physicians report that people who are prayed for often do better even if they don't know they're being prayed for.
There are umpteen number of instances of Jain saints, nuns and even laymen, who having been seriously ill and near death bed have taken a vow for not eating food or even taking water for the rest of their life. This vow is called, 'Santhara". It is strongly believed by all the followers of Jain religion that death occurring after having taken a vow of santhara can lead to salvation and destroy all the evil karma. Recently, a lady living at Bhilwada in Rajasthan, who had been in the last stage of Cancer and doctors had left all the hopes of her survival, took Santhara and stopped all medicines, food and water. It is reported that she is alive even after 71 days and she has been fully cured of Cancer disease. It was a miracle for the doctors and everybody else. Unbelievable but true, this was the effect of prayers conducted by herself and her family members. Shri P. L. Jain E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shwetambar Murti-Pujak Saints
Jainacharya Shrimad Vijay Jayantsen surishwar Ji Maharaj, belonging to Shwetambar Murti-pujak sect, alongwith his group of disciples are holding their chaturmas at Gudur in Andhra Pradesh.
Acharya Shri Vinit Sagar Ji Maharaj at Bundi, Rajasthan.
Acharya Shri Devanandi Ji Maharaj at Chennai
Acharya Shri Kunthu Sagar Ji Maharaj at Bhind, M.P.
Upadhyay Shri Nirbhay Sagar Ji Maharaj at Bhagalpur, Bihar
Muni Shri Vibudh Sagar Ji Maharaj at Nagaur, Rajasthan
Muni Shri Prabuddh Sagar Ji Maharaj at Jabalpur.
Muni Shri Praman sagar Ji Maharaj at Gaya, Bihar.
Muni shri Pulak Sagar Ji Maharaj at Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Km. Neha, daughter of Smt. Raj & Subhash Chandra Shah accepted Jain diksha at Thane near Mumbai on the 1st June, 2008 in the holy presence of Acharya Shri Veershekhar Surishwar Ji Maharaj and Shri Yugprabh Vijay Ji Ganivarya Maharaj, belonging to Shwetambar Murti-pujak sect.
RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOK
Jainism: An Eternal Pilgrimage, By Bal Patil, Edited by Manish Modi and Tony Whittington,102 pp Deluxe Hardcover Edition; Price: Rs. 300, Jainism: An Eternal Pilgrimage is a lucidly written introduction to Jainism, which covers all aspects of Jainism, right from its ancient origins to its Universal History, from its 24 Tirthankaras to its preceptor lineage, from its mendicants to its laity, giving direct insights into the overall teleology of the Jain Dharma. The book is replete with Sanskrit quotations from primary sources, printed in Devanagari and explained in English.
Religions and communities of India ,Edited by PN Chopra, English ,Paperback Rs. 190. 'Religions and Communities of India' is one amongst many such books published on Indian religions. Reasonably priced and attractively printed, it does a fair job of providing brief information on various Hindu communities of India. It also touches in passing the other religions followed in India - Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism.
The book features some strange assertions and common mistakes, like claiming that Jainism rose as a protest against Brahmanism and that Mahavira was its founder; Chopra goes one further and claims that Jainism has been influenced by Zoroastrianism! Unfortunately, the author no sources from whence he attained such insights! The reason for such lapses becomes evident when one checks the bibliography. All secondary sources, and not a great selection either. What does make the book interesting is the short notes on most Hindu communities, as diverse as the Patels of Gujarat to the Kumaonis of Uttarakhand. An attempt is made to give some basic features of each ethnic community. Interestinly, even the Armenian community, living in seclusion in India, has been described.
Illustrated Shvetambara Agamas, edited by Amar Muni, These books are beautifully printed, with colour plates and gorgeous type setting. Each book has the Agama scripture text in Prakrit, with a Hindi translation and an English translation. Uttaradhyayana Sutra ,Antakriddasha Sutra , Kalpa Sutra , Jnatadharmakathanga Sutra (set of 2 books), Dashavaikalika Sutra , Nandi Sutra , Acaranga Sutra (set of 2 books),Anuyogadvara Sutra (set of 2 books), Upasagadasha evam Anuttaraupapatika Sutra , Raiapasenia Sutra , Aupapatika Sutra , Nirayavaliya Sutra evam Vipaka Shruta , Sthananga Sutra (set of 2 books) , Cheda Sutra , Bhagavati Sutra (set of 2 books) , Jambudvipa Prajnapti Sutra. Above books are available at Hindi Granth Karyalya, 9 Hirabaug C P Tank, Mumbai 400004 INDIA, Phone:
+ 91222382-6739. E-Mail: email@example.com
NEW JAIN WEBSITES
www.jaindoctors.com is an Online Database providing the Information of all the Jain Doctors around the world. You will find Jain Doctor's Detailed Information Like their Degree, Speciality, Contact Information like Tel No’s, Mobile No’s, Postal Address, E-mail Address, website address & the information of the hospitals they are attached.
www.jainca.in is an Online Directory providing the Information of CA's (Chartered Accountants) from Jain Religion residing in India and across the Globe. You will find more than 1,100 Jain CA's Detailed Information with their Contact details. The Information can be browsed according to their working areas like CA's in Practice, in Industry or in Business. You can Add/Update Freely.
is an Online Directory providing the Information of CA's (Chartered Accountants) from Jain Religion residing in India and across the Globe. You will find more than 1,100 Jain CA's Detailed Information with their Contact details. The Information can be browsed according to their working areas like CA's in Practice, in Industry or in Business. You can Add/Update Freely.
www.jaindictionary.com an Online dictionary providing the definitions of more than 3,600 Jain Words. This Website is updated regularly with new words.
www.jaintirthyatra.in is an Online Guide providing the 38 Jain Tirth Routes with information like Availability of Dharamshalas, Bhojanshalas, their Distance in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra & many areas. This website will benefit the Jain people to plan their Jain Tirth Yatra Trip according to their holidays & availability of time.
www.jaintirthmaps.com is a Guide providing 32 Maps for Planning your Jain Tirth Yatra according to state wise in India.
BAN IMPOSED ON SMOKING AT PUBLIC PLACES
Dr. Ambumani Ram Doss, Central Minister of Health and Family Welfare announced at a function held in the Sky Memorial Hall, Patna on the occasion of World Population Day on 2nd Aug. 08 that smoking at all the public places throughout the country has already been banned. But henceforth smoking will be prohibited anywhere on the city roads, parks, gardens, cinema halls, and other places used by the public. He reminded the audience that about 10 lakh people die in the country every year due to consumption of tobacco and to stop this evil, the ban has to be strictly and rigidly implemented and this was possible only with the full cooperation of people.
NAVIN JAIN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN JAIL FOR MURDERING WIFE
Mumbai, August 2 The Sewree fast-track court sentenced Navin Jain to life imprisonment for harassing and murdering his wife. Judge Kulkarni convicted Navin Jain (29) of dowry harassment and murdering his wife Mamta Jain (23). Though Navin’s family members — father Gautamlal Jain, mother Himatdevi Jain and brothers Jitendra Jain and Mukesh Jain — were also accused of harassing her, they were acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove its case against them. The court observed that the victim was subjected to ordeal only at her husband’s hands and role of others is not clear.
Mamta and Navin were married on June 23, 2005 and gold and silver ornaments worth Rs 20 lakh were given to the groom’s family as dowry. According to the police, 10 days after the marriage, Navin and his mother Himatdevi allegedly started harassing Mamta and demanded more dowry from her. Prosecution told the court that though Mamta had made several complaints to her family, they were never allowed to register a complaint with the police as she was threatened by her in-laws. However, on May 10, 2006, Mamta’s mother received a call from a neighbour saying that Mamta had committed suicide by hanging herself. Suspecting a foul play, Mamta’s parents registered a complaint with the police. Following this, all the five accused were taken into police custody. The police examined as many as 20 witnesses including neighbors and victim’s parents. The court, after hearing the case, sentenced Navin to life imprisonment.
SANGEETA BOHRA ELECTED CHAIR-PERSON OF ALL INDIA DIGAMBAR MAHILA MAHASABHA - Smt. Sangeeta Bohra, hailing from Katihar in Bihar has been elected as Chair-person of All India Digambar Jain Mahila Mahasabha, Calcutta. She was born at Katihar on the 30th November, 1966. She passed B.A. Hons. in English and was married to Shri Mahesh Bohra, son of Shri Dev Kumar Ji Raj Kumar Ji Bohra of Jaipur.
Play an active part in achieving the
Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)
The MDGS are a set of targets that will make our world a
better place for future generations. As a community, we need to
support these to really make the vital difference.
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha /
Balaji Temple / Hindu Forum of Britain /
Hindu Council / Institute of Jainology / International Society of
KrishnaConsciousness / National Council of Hindu Temples /
National Hindu Students Forum / Sewa International
For additional info, call Sewa International on 07977 986 910
READER'S QUESTIONS "YOU CAN ANSWER"
1. My Name is Paras Shah , I am from Mumbai. I need assistance for some Jain contacts in Columbus city of Ohio state as My son - Bhavin Shah is going for study at Ohio State University next month. Unfortunately his campus apartment allotted is without kitchen and we being Jains are strictly Vegetarian. I am looking forward for some Jain contacts where by we can find some way from columbus for paid meal services if at all any. To introduced my self - I my self is Secretary to Jain Social Group Airport International - India, I am also secretary to Jain International Trade Organisation ( jito - juhu chapter), i am taking privilege for asking some contacts in Columbus - Ohio for help to my son in case of difficulties. PARAS SHAH ,Paras Electronics,TEL: (022) 23879200 / 23879300.
2. My name is Basit Ijaz journalist from Pakistan. Please see the photo on the following link and let me know if he is Shri Atma Ram Ji. Please provide details on Atmaram Ji.
Gachhadhipati Shrimad Hembhushan Surishwar Ji Maharaj, disciple of Jainacharya Shri Ram Chandra Suri Ji Maharaj, belonging to Shwetambar Murti-pujak sect, left for his heavenly abode at New Delhi, where he had been having his chaturmasic stay. He was just only 61 yeras old. Hundreds of devotees arrived soon on hearing the sad news to pay their last homage. A four km. long procession was taken out chanting slogans about victory of Bhagwan Mahavir, carrying the body of the saint for going to the cremation ground at Punjabi bagh.