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Ahimsa Times January 2007 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org

Vol. No. 79

January 2007

Ahimsa is the highest ideal. It is meant for the brave, never for the cowardly.
-- Mahatma Gandhi --

GUJARAT FREEDOM OF RELIGION BILL: ASSAULT ON JAINISM-MR. BAL PATIL

MR. BAL PATIL

Following the pattern set by several Indian states that include Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the Gujarat state assembly has not simply passed an anti-conversion law but recently amended its contents, classifying two distinct Indian religious identities - Jains and Buddhists - as Hindus. Not only is such a classification an unwarranted assault on these distinct religions but it also amounts to a violation of the principles of plurality as guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.

The state of Gujarat has a population of close to five-and-a-half lakh Jains. It is a state with the third largest Jain population in India, the first being Maharashtra, with a Jain population of 13,01,842, and the second, Rajasthan, with 6,50,493 Jains, according to the 2001 census. The total population of the Jain religious community in India is 42,25,053. This means that there is one Jain among every 243 Indians. Though few in number, Jains are to be found in 34 out of 35 Indian states and union territories. Moreover, Jains are the only real religious minority after the Buddhists because they are a minority in every state. For instance, Sikhs, the other national minority, are a majority in Punjab and Christians, otherwise a minority, are a majority in the eastern Indian states while Hindus are a minority in Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and the eastern states.

Since the first census conducted under the British in 1873, Jains have been regarded as a significant religious community along with Christians, Muslims and Sikhs. Ironically, it is the Gujarat government's Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill 2006 that has suddenly awakened the Gujarat Jain community, which belongs mainly to the Shwetambara sect, to the dangers of being subsumed by the majority. (There are two major sects, the Digambara and Shwetambara, among the Jains, just as there are Shias and Sunnis among Muslims and Catholics and Protestants among Christians.) This section of the Jains, the Shwetambaras, have so far taken the position that while they remain Jains as far as their religious identity is concerned, they are Hindu by culture, whatever that means. There have also been some contradictions in their stance vis-à-vis their minority status itself: while they have been ambivalent in claiming this status in general, the religious heads of their educational trusts, like the Tapovan Trust, have not dithered in securing educational minority status for their institutions!

TEMPLES

Shri Shiv Raj Singh, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

MOHANKHEDA TO BE DEVELOPED AS GYAN TEERTH-DECLARES STATE CHIEF MINISTER
Mohankheda a small town, about 100 km. from Indore in Madhya Pradesh has already developed into a Jain pilgrimage centre, especially for the devotees of Dada Gurudev Shri Rajendra Surishwarji Maharaj. His death centenary was celebrated during the week starting from 15th December. The inaugural function was attended by a huge number of devotees, saints, sadhwis and leaders of the community. Shri Shiv Raj Singh, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh also joined the celebrations. While addressing a gathering, he spoke about the rich contribution of Dada Guru to Jain religion. He announced that his Government would accord all necessary support to develop Mohankheda into a ''gyan teerth'' (holy centre of knowledge) and an educational centre for the devotees, on the same lines as the ancient Nalanda and Taksha shila universities.

CONFERENCES, SEMINARS & EVENTS
SMT. INDU JAIN ADVISES THE MEMBERS OF JAIN SAMAJ TO PLAY ACTIVE ROLE IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Mrs. Indu Jain, Chairperson, Times of India group of Publications, during her address at the second International conference organised by Jain International Trade Organisation at Mumbai advised Jain community to take an active part in large numbers and play a positive role in the country''s affairs. If they can run their business establishments so well, there is no reason why they can not partake in country''s national policy matters and decision-making in order to help in building a strong nation. The conference was attended by a large gathering of politicians, industrialists, businessmen from different parts of the country and also from abroad. The total number of participants attending the conference is said to be over one lakh. Mrs. Indu Jain also advised the women to come forward and share the responsibility with their husbands in this nation-building task. The conference was inaugurated by Shri Vilas Rao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and was attended by a galaxy of leaders, including shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Uddhav Thakre, Working President of Shiv sena, ministers and film stars, including Hema malini and leaders of Jain community. The entire programme was conducted in the holy presence of progresssive saint, Muni Shri Nayan Padm sagar Ji maharaj. The conference ended with a recitation of ''manglik'' by the revered saint.

JAIN INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR AT MUMBAI - A ROARING SUCCESS
The industries and trade fair organised by Jain International Trade Organisation held at Mumbai from 4th to 7th January, 2007 was a great success and a highly successful event for the businessmen coming from within the country and abroad in large numbers. The total number of stalls was no less than 800 and more than more than 10,000 business establishments expressed their keen interest in business deals. The participating companies represented builders, marble, granite and other dealers in stones, diamonds, gems and jewellary, handicraft, textiles, engineering, automobiles, idols of Tirthankars and other gods and goddesses, computer hardware and software, interior decorators and others. The fair was inaugurated by Smt. Lata Behn Mahipat Rai. She expressed hope in her speech that a fair of this type would go a long way in the economic development of the country and will show a new direction to the business activities. It is estimated that business deals, amounting to few hundred crores were conducted in this fair. Courtesy: Rahul Jain, Mumbai., E-Mail ; rvjain@rediffmail.com

STUDY CIRCLE TO MEET ON 3RD FEBRUARY AT BLII
Dr. Jitendra B. Shah, Director, L. D. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad will deliver a lecture on the "Utility of Anekantavad in modern scenario" on Saturday, 3rd February 2007 at 3.30 P.M. in the BLII Library hall at Vijay Vallabh Smarak Complex, G. T. Karnal Road, P. O. Alipur, Delhi 110036. Dr. Kamala Jain (Former Professor, Deptt. of Philosophy, Jesus & Merry College, University of Delhi) will preside over the lecture. The lecture will be followed by dinner before sunset. for further information contact Mr. Balaji Ganorkar, Joint Director, BLII, Delhi. Tel: 91-11-27202065, 27206630.

WEST COAST RETREAT ORGANIZED BY yja FOR POST-COLLEGE KIDS
This camp organised by Young Jain of America is for post-college kids looking to have some fun in the snow while having a spiritual experience. When: February 17th, 18th 19th, 2007. Where: Big Bear California (3 hours from L.A.) at a luxurious mountain villa Who: Reserved for youth ages 21 to 26, (Hosted by Amit Jain & Shefali Shah) Why: To network, ski/snow tube, meet young professionals like yourself, and grow spiritually with our fantastic speakers. For registration information and to see pictures of the house we're staying in visit www.yja.org East Coast Winter Retreat - Hosted in Poconos, Pennsylvania ww This retreat is a chance to have a good time while exploring the mind, body, and soul. When: February 17th, 18th & 19th Where: Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania (In the Poconos) at a beautiful resort. Who: Open for youth of all ages, (Hosted by Parag Parekh & Ashil gosalia). Why: To ski, hang-out, do yoga, makes''mores and learn about the power of Ahimsa. For details, visit: www.yja.org

UNINVESITY OF OTTAWA, CANADA ANNOUNCES TO SEND A FULL CLASS OF STUDENTS TO THE NEXT INTERNATIONAL JAIN SUMMER SCHOOL IN INDIA - The Dean, George Lang and Prof. Anne Vallely of the Dept. of Religion at the University of Ottawa in Canada announced to send a class of 18 undergraduate and PhD students to the next International Summer School for Jain Academic Studies( ISSJS) in India .This Class will be coming to India to Study Jainism. Fourteen undergraduate Students and four PhD students have chosen Jainism as the subject of their study and research. For this the students will earn 3 or 6 credits from U of Ottawa. Prof. Anne Vallely herself is a graduate of 2006 ISSJS and is also an author of several books in Jainism. For several years she has been teaching Jainism at the University of Ottawa and will again spend full two months in India (June and July, 2007) not only to supervise the University of Ottawa Class but will to offer several lectures on Jainism to the next International Jain Summer School.

Commenting on this very positive development, Prof... Cromwell Crawford of University of Hawaii and the Academic Director of ISSJS said" Congratulation Prof. Vallely and please convey to Dean Lang and Dean Mareschal my appreciation for the confidence she and other administrators have demonstrated in the India International Summer School for Jain Studies, by accepting the proposal you have submitted. Without your enthusiastic support, this development would not have been possible. Cultivate your model in other locales. We together are trying to light as many fires as we can, and soon, the darkness that has hung over Jain studies in the West, will be a thing of the past. Source: Dr. Sulekh Jain, Director ISSJS.

JAIN ENGINEERS SOCIETY HOLDS ITS FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION AT INDORE - Jain Engineers Society, a social and service-oriented institution organised its first national convention at Indore on the 26th and 27th January, 2007. The society has established its chapters in various towns in India and also one in USA. The service activities undertaken by different chapters were reviewed during the convention and the activities now to be undertaken in different areas, like health, education, creating social awareness, apart from the impact of liberalisation and globalisation in the coming years were discussed. No registration fees were charged from the participants and they were accommodated in houses of the members of the host chapter in order to develop a sense of fraternity Those wishing to be enrolled as members of the society should possess a degree or diploma in any branch of engineering or technology. For details regarding enrolment and opening new chapters, Shri Rajendra Singh Jain General Secretary, Jain Engineers Society may be contacted at Modern Mansion, II Floor, 20, South Tukoganj, Agra-Bombay road, Indore. Mob.: 098260-75098.

HONOURS & AWARDS
ATUL JAIN AWARDED "ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR" HONORS BY VIRGINIA MINORITY SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Mr. Atul Jain has been awarded "Entrepreneur of the Year" Honors by Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council Fairfax, Virginia.--TEOCO Corporation, a leading provider of revenue and cost management solutions to communications and entertainment providers.

The award is presented to a leader in a minority-owned business enterprise who has built a successful business, demonstrated a commitment to community outreach, and has used his success to help other minority entrepreneurs develop their businesses. The award was presented during the VMSDC MIC Gold Star Awards Celebration in Richmond, Virginia, on December 5, 2006.

Jain founded TEOCO in 1994 to prove that a company could achieve financial success without compromising core values. The company has earned recognition as the premier provider of cost and revenue management solutions to the telecommunications industry and today serves over forty North American communications providers, including Qwest Communications, who supported TEOCO’s VMSDC Entrepreneur of the Year nomination. TEOCO also runs Respond, an Internet-based directory service that connects consumers with service suppliers.

About TEOCO - Founded in 1994, TEOCO is a leading provider of revenue and cost management solutions to communications and entertainment providers. Twice ranked in Inc. Magazine''s List of 500 of the fastest growing privately held companies, TEOCO has two lines of business: Communications & Entertainment Solutions and Respond. TEOCO’s Communications & Entertainment Solutions group combines the strength of their renowned BillTrak Pro™ software with in-depth auditing expertise to achieve unrivalled market penetration and industry leadership in the communications space. Respond is an Internet-based, pay-for-performance directory that enables local service professionals to attract new customers and to grow entrepreneurial businesses. TEOCO is widely recognized for its commitment to Principled Entrepreneurship with a particular emphasis on its core values of alignment with employees, clients and community. See more at www.teoco.com

NEW PUBLICATIONS
Abstract Thinking - by Acharya Mahaprajna, writes in Hindi (and Sanskrit) with great clarity. His sentences are short and his style direct. ... he only suggests, he never forces his view. He may assert his belief, but his language is conscious of relativity even in expression. He treads on ideas and counter ideas with the sensitivity of a classic Jaina monk...
Abstract Thinking [10.01] Bhavana Of Dissociation - The Attack Within
Abstract Thinking [10.02] Bhavana Of Dissociation - Samadhi Is The Process of Purification
Abstract Thinking [10.03] Bhavana Of Dissociation - A Process Of Evacuation
Abstract Thinking [11.01] Bhavana Of Righteousness - Dharma Bhavana
Abstract Thinking [11.02] Bhavana Of Righteousness - Who is Religious?

Anekant : The Third Eye - by Acharya Mahaprajna I salute Anekantavad for without it the world would never happen. Leave alone the pursuit of truth, even day to day transactions of society and family would not be managed without it.

The Quest For Truth - by Acharya Mahaprajna, So far, all quests for truth have remained quests for the methods to get to truth. No goal can be accessed without first identifying the method with which to do so. Truth is a goal, knowledge, the method. In this book I have tried to evaluate some problems on the anvil of anekanta. This holistic perspective is a significant tool for problem solving. The need is to understand the efficacy of this tool. Acharyashree Tulsi has been my inspiration. His one inspiration gives rise to many rays of thoughts. This book too is one resultant ray.
Source: www.herenow4u.de

NEW ARTICLES
HINDU, HINDUISM AND JAINISM
By Naresh R. Shah, E-Mail: Naresh-IndiraShah@msn.com - It should be pointed out that the word “Hindu” is not found in any of the classical writings of India. Nor can it be traced to the classical Indian languages such as Sanskrit or Tamil. In fact, the word “Hinduism” has absolutely no origins within India itself. Still, it persists, and traditions as diverse as Shaivism and Jainism, Shaktism, and Vaishnavism, have been described as “Hinduism”. This may work as a matter of convenience but ultimately it is inaccurate.

Sometimes Indians both inside and outside India think that we are preaching the Hindu religion, but actually we are not. One will not find the word “Hindu” in the Bhagavad Gita. Indeed, there is no such word as “Hindu” in the entire Vedic literature. This word has been introduced by the Muslims from provinces next to India

KHARVEL FESTIVAL: SHOWCASE OF ORISSA''S JAIN HERITAGE AT KHANDAGIRI, BHUBANESWAR

The caves on the Khandagiri, can be reached either by the walking from the road, or cutting directly across from Hathi Gumpha via steps that drop down from cave 17. The latter route brings you out at caves 1 and 2, known as the "Parrot Caves" for the carvings of birds on their doorway-arches. Cave 2, excavated in the first century BC, is the larger and more interesting. One can find some faint lines in Brahmini script in one of the caves, which are supposed to be 2000 years old. The Ananta Gumpha or Snake Cave has a decoration in the shape of a serpent at the entrance. It contains the best of the sculpture on Khandagiri hill. The best place to wind up a visit to Khandagiri is the modern Jain Temple at the top of the hill. Apart from some old Tirthankars in the shrine room, the building itself was erected during the 19th century on the site of a much earlier structure.

The week long national Kharavela festival coinciding with the traditional Magha Saptami Mela, is being observed at the foothills of historic Khandagiri and Udayagiri in Bhubaneswar. The festival commemorates the heroic and brilliant rule of the greatest Jain ruler of Kalinga, Kharavela and at the same time showcases the rich tapestry of Orissan classical folk dance, music, handicraft and handlooms.

The festival has been named after Kharavela, the mighty emperor of Kalinga, whose glorious activities and achievements have been inscribed in the Hati-gumpha (elephant-cave) dated 1st century B.C. in Udayagiri hills (Kumari-parvat). As a ruler, he is attributed in restoring the glory of Kalinga through his political and military achievements. Kharavela''s greatness in history rests not merely on conquests; rather he is remembered as a protagonist and patron of Jainism. The architectural and sculptural grandeur of the rock-cut caves hewed by Kharavela in Khandagiri and Udayagiri are indictive not only of his religious fervor but were regarded as the precursor of the temple architecture that followed during his reign

REQUEST FOR SUPPORT BY JAINA
We have published total 10 books from elementary level to college level students which include three reference books. We need to maintain a very high level of inventory of books (about $100,000) to support Jaina education activities in North America and also to finance future publications. Our objective is to continue to sell our books on a cost basis with no-copyright and any deficiency in the fund be financed through contribution.

We need your support to build the Temple of Knowledge (Jain Jnän Mandir) which can benefit every Jain family of North America and worldwide. We request generous contribution from individuals as well as from your society. In reality with this support, we are investing in the future betterment of our children and our religion. You may send your tax deductible contribution (for USA) to the Federation of Jaina – Education Committee, C/O Pravin K. Shah Chairperson, 509 Carriage Woods Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607 USA. Tele 919-859-4994; E-Mail: education@jaina.org All Päthashälä Education Information is available at Website – www.jaina.org

Jaina has an aggressive plan to publish various types of Jain ritual books (Pratikraman, Sämäyika, Stavan, Pujä, and Vidhis). If you can help us in the preparation and editing (English, Hindi, Gujarati, Präkrit, and Sanskrit languages) such material, please let us know. We also need help in web design, web-support, and book distribution. Please send an e-mail with your background and telephone number to E-Mail : education@jaina.org. List of the Current Active Members of JAINA Education Committee includes Pravin K Shah - Chairperson, Pradip Shah - Chicago, Darshana Shah - Chicago and Sudhir Shah – Connecticut. We very grateful to Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji, Panyas Shri Nandighosh Vijayji M.S., Muni Shri Ajay Sagarji M.S. of Koba, Dr. Sagalmal Jain, Pandit Dhirajlal Mehta, Smt Sundaben Vohra, Dr. Vimal Prakash Jain, Dr. Jitendra Shah of India for their continuous guidance to our activities.

MISCELLANEOUS
JAINISM FLOURISHED IN THE PRE-ARYAN AGE
Moodbidri: M Veerappa Moily speaking at two-day national seminar on "Jainism in South India" said credit for democratizing the realm of knowledge goes to Jain scholars and writers who experimented in Prakrith, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and other local dialects spoken by the mass. Thereby profound philosophical truths became accessible to commoners. Though Teerthankaras were ordinary mortals, achieved divinity by leading disciplined life. Life of Teerthankaras serves as an exemplary module for contemporary world which is evidencing moral degeneration, he remarked. Though Jainism originated in North India, it flourished in South. Jainism made the life of South India colorful and vibrant. Concepts like non-violence give universal appeal to Jainism. Instead of being nostalgic and highlighting the rich past of Jain religion, scholars should try to explore the origin of Jain epics and legends. History can be re-constructed by keeping Jain texts as reference works. Mr Veerappa Moily also stressed on the need to re-examine the secular works composed by Jain writers.

Meaningful dialogues between Orient and Occident cultures is necessary. By deconstructing the castles around the religions and philosophies, space for mutual dialogue should be created. Debunking the myth that Aryans were pioneers of Indian metaphysics, he said that Jainism flourished in pre-Aryan age also. Seals of  ascetic in Yoga mudra recovered from Indus valley during recent excavations testifies this fact. Asceticism advocated by Jainism is often misunderstood for negation and pessimism. Highlighting the concept of ''Anekantavada’ in Jain metaphysics, he said that logical thinking, rationalism and dialectic approach are contributions of Jainism. Delivering the key note address, scholar Ham Pa Nagarajaiah said that being merchants, Jains were exposed to art, literature and culture of various nations. By blending the alien elements with the native, Jains created marvellous art and architecture, he opined.

The programme was organised by Hampi Kannada University in association with Alva’s Education Foundation and Dhavala Mahavidyalaya. Former President of ICHR Dr M G S Narayanan, seer Bhattaraka Charukeerti Panditacharya of Moodabidare Jain mutt, MLA Abhayachandra, Dr Mohan Alva and also attended. Courtesy: Dr. Sulekh Jain, USA.

JAIN ACADEMIC DIRECTORY
It is proposed to publish a Jain Academic Directory of international standard. This directory will include brief introduction and full contact details of:
1. Jainology and Prakrit Departments / Jain Chairs in various Universities and available courses with them
2. Departments of Indology/ Oriental Studies in various Universities
3. Research Institutes where research on Jainology /Prakrit /Indology /Sanskrit is going on
4. Research magazines on related subjects
5. Publishers of books on Jainology, Indology,Prakrit and Sanskrit
6. Scholars and Writers of related subjects
7. Related Websites and Discussion Groups
8. Institutions who give awards to scholars
9. Libraries including electronic and online libraries.
10. Other related information contacts and resources.

The Chief adviser of this project is Dr. S. A. Bhuvanendra Kumar, Editor, Jinamanjari magazine published from Missisauga, Ontario, Canada. All Jain scholars may send us their bio-data and contact details to the address given below or E-Mail : jaindirectory@gmail.com & a CC to msanglikar@yahoo.com. You can send the information in Material Form also by Snail Mail to: Jain Academic Directory Project, C/o Jain Friends, Post Box No. 58, 199 Mumbai-Pune Road, Chinchwad East, Pune 411019. Cell: 91 989 020 3549, Courtesy: Shri Mahavir Sanglikar E-Mail: msanglikar@yahoo.com.

AN UNIQUE EMERGING CENTER FOR GLOBAL NON KILLING IN HAWAII, USA
The First Global Non killing Leadership Forum planned for November 2007 in Honolulu, Hawaii will call for founding a unique nonprofit Center for Global Non killing with an associated short-term Global Non killing Leadership Academy. Rooted in ahimsa inspiration from faiths and philosophies such as Jainism, the mission of the Center will be to assist measurable change toward a world in which human beings do not kill each other. Its motive will be “No more killing!”, “Everyone has a right not to be killed and a responsibility not to kill others,” “A non killing society is possible, “and “Everyone can be A Center for global non killing.” Eight workers in a small building will assist discoveries, education-training, and applications of non killing knowledge for problem-solving in cooperation with individuals and institutions throughout the world.

The Center for Global Non killing (CGNK) will carry forward the achievements of its predecessor Center for Global Nonviolence (CGNV) founded on October 2, 1994 (www.globalnonviolence.org). These include publication of the book Non killing Global Political Science (2002) by 1993 Anuvrat Award recipient Glenn D. Paige which is being translated into over 20 languages, including Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Sinhala, Mongolian, French, Portuguese, Galizan, Spanish, and Russian. Forthcoming are Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Arabic, Swahili, Pilipino, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and others.

Former Indian Prime Minister Dr. I.K. Gujral has advised, “This book should be read in every political science department and by the public.” Professor William Smirnov, Vice-President of the Russian and International Political Science Associations has declared, “The basic ideas in this unique book can and should be accepted as the basis for common values of humanity in the 21st century as well as a programme for their realization.” Information on the First Global Non killing Leadership Forum and the Center for Global Nonkilling can be obtained from Prof. Glenn D. Paige, President, Center for Global Nonviolence cgnv@hawaii.rr.com and Mr. Thomas A. Fee, founding Director, Center for Global Non killing, E-Mail :tomfeenj@aol.com.

PAK SCHOOL KIDS TO HAVE LESSONS ON JAINISM
Islamabad: The Pakistan government has decided to include brief lessons about religions including Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism in the revised national curriculum for history subject for middle school students. The students in classes VI to VIII will also be provided information about various civilisations of South Asia, starting from the Indus Valley civilisation. The education ministry has reportedly sent curriculum guidelines to the provincial textbook boards for formulation of books in detail for such classes. The curriculum''s main objective is to create awareness about various ancient civilisations that developed over centuries in South Asia, especially in areas now constituting Pakistan.

SIX HUNDRED YEARS OLD ASHTDHATU IDOLS OF BHAGWAN MAHAVIR RECOVERED FROM A U. P. RESIDENT - Three idols of Bhagwan Mahavir, made of ashtdhatu, supposed to be belonging to 13th or 14th century were recovered recently by police from one, Narendra Singh, resident of a village, Mainpuri in Agra district of U. P. The idols are estimated to cost quite a few crores of rupees. Narendra singh was caught by police carrying the idols in a heavy bag while going to Shalimar Bagh in Delhi for selling them.

VISHWA JAIN PARISHAD OPPOSES BILL ON RELIGIOUS INDEPENDENCE
The Vishwa Jain Parishad on behalf of Jain Shwetambar Murti-pujak saints submitted a petition to the Governor of Gujarat, Shri Naval Kishore Sharma showing their strict opposition to the bill recently passed by the Gujarat Assembly. A delegation of Jain devotees, on behalf of leading saint, Shri Suryodaya Sagar Ji maharaj and other 25 saints led by Shri Lal Chand Dev Chand Shah and Shri Sharad Chand Shah met the Governor in this connection. Various documents establishing the fact that Jainism was an independent religion were submitted along with the petition.

JITO TO LAUNCH AHIMSA CREDIT CARDS

Mumbai: In order to promote vegetarianism, a Jain business body has prepared to launch an "Ahimsa Credit Card". Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO), a global organisation for Jain community members, has planned to launch the first-of-its-kind credit card by the end of the current fiscal year. According to Secretary General Mr. Hemant Shah JITO in coordination with public sector banks launch a co-branded Ahimsa Credit Card in the next three months. "The Credit Card would be a medium to remind people about the benefits of vegetarianism through Ahimsa and a large number of commercial establishments run by members of the Jain community will participate in the venture to offer discounts and schemes.

EGGS IN SCHOOL MEALS SCHEME RUNS INTO CONTROVERSY
Karnataka : The central government’s directive to state governments to make provision for supply of eggs in midday meals served to schoolchildren as part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has come in for severe criticism in north Karnataka. In fact, the midday meal operations in Bangalore and Hubli-Dharwad, two of the largest cities in the state, face total derailment as Akshaya Patra Foundation of Iskcon have also threatened to dissociate itself from the scheme if the directive is not withdrawn. Several parents’ organisations in the region and seers of Siddharooda and Moorsavira mutts in Hubli have openly voiced their opposition to the move, which they see as an attack on the lifestyle of vegetarians and indirectly propagating non-vegetarianism. Vishwesha Teertha swamiji of Udupi’s Pejawar mutt also criticised the new policy as unwise. Eggs in midday meals has become all the more a sensitive issue as the majority Lingayat population in the region is professedly vegetarian.

Acharya Gunadhar Nandiji Maharaj, the builder of Jain Navagraha Teertha at Varur has also expressed his anguish on the subject in a programme. He directly asked L K Advani, who was the chief guest at the inaugural function: “How have you allowed it as leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha when you yourself, prime minister Manmohan Singh and President Abdul Kalam are all vegetarians?” The Acharya observed: “A vegetarian, Satvik diet is essential for preserving peace and harmony in society when we are witnessing terrorism all around us.” He went on to say: “Tamasik, non-vegetarian diet will only produce Nathu Ram Godses and Veerappans amongst us.” He threatened to launch an indefinite huger strike in front of Parliament House in New Delhi if the policy was not reversed. When deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa did not touch the topic in his speech, the Acharya forced him to commit that milk, instead of eggs would be served to the children.

Ashok Mehta, vice-president of the Hubli-based Mehta H P Jain Foundation said, Hoffkin Institute, Mumbai “Egg is harmful as food. It creates hyperacidity in the human body. Experiments on monkeys by Dr Mark Armstrong of Iova University, USA, also established a positive link between egg diet and athirosclerosis.”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Jain religious symbol - Manoj Jain, E-Mail : manoj_panchratan@yahoo.com, Through this letter I want to bring your attention to the fact that the Jain religious symbol (Teen Lok) is not being printed properly (as decided by all the sects of Jains during the 2500th Nirvan Year of Bhagwan Mahaveer Swami Ji) in the various Jain literature, books, posters, cards and cover pages. Everybody is using different shape, text content, size and color in this symbol. The different representation of the symbol conveys insufficient information among the readers. Also, the symbol looses its uniqueness. This is happening due to non-availability of fonts for the various symbols related to the Jain religion for the publishing industry. The printers and composers are using word processors/ page makers and other software tools for composing the books, posters, cards and other printing material.

The fonts for Hindi & other scripts and various religious symbols are available with the composers but the fonts for Jain religious symbols are not available with them. Hence, they can not print the desired symbols adequately. Many composers are making the images of the desired symbols or just drawing the desired symbol, which lead to different representation of symbol and coveys insufficient information to the readers. The quality of printing is also not very good. I think it will be in the larger interest of Jain community to properly represent our symbol in all future publications/ e-publications etc. This may be achieved by using the correct symbol in the publications/ e-publications and by making the people aware to ensure that correct symbol is printed in the books/ posters/ cards/ magazines etc. A TTF font has been developed for printing of the symbol, as the text. I am attaching the same (jainsymn.ttf) for your usage and further proliferation of the same.

May I request you to kindly provide this font as free downloadable from your website, so that people can download it and use it. Manoj Jain. IV Floor, D-320 Street No. 11, Laxminagar, Delhi 110092, Phone 011-22017981, Phone 9868869196.

SLAUGHTERING OF ANIMALS INCREASE IN PAKISTAN
Dr.Sandeep Kumar Jain, E-Mail : jeevdaya04@yahoo.co.in - Dear Animal Friends; May God bless you and your family. In three days of Eid ul Azha event in Pakistan opproximatly 10 millions Animals were salughtered which consists of 7 millions cows, 1 .5 millions camels and buffalows ,1.5 sheeps and goats as per the stetment of sheikh Muhammad Arshad president of Hide and Sikin Marchent Association of Pakistan .As per his statement slaughtering of Animals increased cows 10% and other animals 3% from previous year. The Animal save Movement Pakistan not only strongly protests this debacle, terrorist terrible uncivilized operation, but also wants to abolish it. With Love and Peace. Khalid Mahmood Qurashi, President,Animal Save Movement of Pakistan, H#1094/2 Hussain Agahi Multan 60000 Pakistan, Cell # 00923007368557

THE JAINA CONVENTION 2007

The JAINA Convention 2007 and Jain Education Committee are inviting teams to participate in the 8th Jain Academic Bowl at the 14th Biennial Convention of JAINA at Edison New Jersey. The convention will be held Thursday July 5thst through Sunday, July 8th. The tournament will take place on Friday and Saturday and final round will be held on Sunday.

Once again, JAINA Convention 2007 and The Jain Education Committee are very excited to host an event to increase interest and knowledge of Jainism. The previous competition was very exciting & rewarding for all participating teams and was overall a great learning experience. You are requested to fill out the enrollment form and submit to the JAINA Convention 2007 Jain Education Committee by April 15, 2007. Please see the attachments for details of the tournament format, rules, enrollment form and sample test packet. Also please see sample questions complied by YJA. Please verify the information with your teachers.

We are also requesting the Päthashälä teacher (or another knowledgeable member) to provide a minimum of one complete round
worth of questions (see attached sample questions) with proposed answers for each of the questions, which may be included in the tournament. All questions from past competitions may also be included.

The JAINA Education Committee will assist our committee and will coordinate the test materials and pre-agreed answers to eliminate any issues during the tournament. All answers are FINAL. Please contact Pradip and Darshana Shah if you have any questions. Phone: 815-935-1499, E-Mail : pradipks1@comcast.net

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF JAIN CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS AND ADVOCATES
All CA''s and Advocates are invited to be a part of a mega event. International Conference of Jain Chartered Accountants and Advocates on 20th & 21st January 2007. The venue is Birla Matushri Sabhagar, New Marine Lines, Mumbai 400020. India. Conference Theme-Integrity, Knowledge & Unity for a better tomorrow. The event is jointly organized by Jain Chartered Accountants Federation, Mumbai & Jain Advocates Federation, Mumbai. Registration for the conference and Membership to the federation is absolutely free of cost. To register for the conference please visit www.jainca.org. To enroll as a member of the federation please visit www.jainca.org For further details please visit www.jainca.org or E-Mail : jcaf_mumbai@yahoo.com & unite@jainca.org

JAINSPACE.COM - CONNECTING JAINS

This is a simple invitation to all Jains to come and mingle with other jains in the world. If you are a Jain, please go and register on JainSpace.com www.jainspace.com .Its free.The site has been created for Jains to interact and share events.

Some of the features are listed below - Meet Jains from all over the world, - Profiles with galleries and audio/video, - Personal weblogs and friends-lists, - Audio/video chat, IM and recorder, - SPAM-blocking and anti-SPAM system, - ZIP-codes search, matchmaking and so much more, - Share events such as marriages, seminars, - Contribute articles, news related to jainism

RAJASTHAN STATE''S HISTORY TO BE WRITTEN
To bring correctness in the State history, earlier written by colonial officials, Raj. govt. has decided to revisit all villages andtowns to collect fresh historical material and set the record straight. Under the project called ''''Aapno Dharti, Aapno Log'''' (our land, our people), school teachers would verify the history of all the villages and towns after talking to respective village elders. Education minister Ghanshyam Tiwari said the history written by British author Colonel James Todd during the days of the Raj was believed to be authentic but was controversial at certain points. He said the history written by Todd would also be restored.

The project, scheduled to be completed by 2008, would also delve into details of various monuments, historical and heritage sites, old idioms and phrases, folk dance, folk songs and all other cultural, social, economical and political aspects of the places. The state government''s decision, however, has not gone down well with the opposition and a section of historians. Historians say that the project is unprofessional because historians aren''t the ones collecting data. Former Congress CM Ashok Gehlot rejected the idea terming it an attempt on the part of the state''s BJP government to brush Rajasthan''s history with saffron. Under the project, the information would be collected by teachers at the village level using proforma prepared by the government. Source: Mr. Gaurav Jain ''Lakshaya''M: (+91)-9811-9812-33, E-Mail : gauravejainyji@gmail.com

10 IDOLS STOLEN FROM JAIN TEMPLE IN GURGAON
Ten idols have been stolen from a Jain Temple from Gurgaon Jain Temple on 27th January. The ten idols, all made of eight metals, were stolen from the Parasnath Diagamber Jain Temple. Although a few gold and silver idols were also existed at the same place, the thiefs could not take them out. Total there are about 100 idols in the temple. The incident of loot came to light when a devotee, Satpal Jain, reached the temple premise around 4.15 am and discovered the main gate of the hall broken. The guard was allegedly asleep when the theft occurred. Senior officials, including Gurgaon Range Inspector General of Police Mahendra Lal reached to Temple and recorded the theft.

DIKSHA CEREMONY
Sushri Snehlata gadia and Manju Bafna accepted diksha from mahasati Mainasunderi ji maharj at Pipar city n Rajasthan on the 11th October, 2006. The diksha was solemnised in the presence of Upadhyay Shri Man Chand Ji maharaj and other saints and sadhwais.

OBITUARY

Pandit Om Prakash Kaushik left for heavenly above on 13th Jan., 07. Kaushikji was actively associated by Anuvrat Movement of Terapanth. He was associated with Terapanth H. Q. at Delhi for a very long time. All prominent leaders & members of Terapanth attended the condolence meeting organised on 18-Jan. at Anuvrat Bhawan 21, Din Dayal Upadhyaya Marg New Delhi- 110 002. Condolence message from Acharya Mahapragyaji, Mahashramanji Sadhvi Kanakprabhaji were read and rich tributes were paid by Panna Lal Vaid, Nirmal Bhansali, Mangi Lal Sethia, Sayar Bengani, Suman Nahta, Sampat Nahta, Garzan Jain, Shanti Jain, Sukhraj Sehia. Source : Sri Sushil, Anuvrat Bhawan, 210, Dindayal Upadhyaya Marg, New Delhi - 110 002, Tel: 23236728,23212123, 23222965

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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