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Ahimsa Times - March 2001 Issue

Vol. No.21

March, 2002

ACHARYA TARUN SAGARJI HONOURED BY M. P. GOVERNMENT
The Government of Madhya Pradesh has honoured Digambar Jain saint, Acharya Sri Tarun Sagarji on his entering the state at Neemuch, with the status of a state guest. He will enjoy all the facilities as a state guest, specially security during vihars and other arrangements required to accommodate huge mass of people, both Jains and non-Jains coming to listen to his discourses.It is estimated that minimum 25,000 to 30,000 people attend his pravachan every morning and have his darshan. The state minister for general administration,Sri Ghan Shyam Patidar met him at Neemuch to pay his respects and inform him about the decision of the state government.This is the first time that such a status has been conferred to a Jain saint.

NEXT JAIN YOUTH CONVENTION AT CALIFORNIA
Jain Center of Southern California is hosting an event for Jain Singles with the purpose of providing a platform for them to make friends and form relationships by promoting interfaith interactions.The three-day convention will be held from Friday May 17 to Sunday May 19, 2002. This fun filled 3 days and 2 nights convention shall provide Young Jain Adults of ages 21 and above, the opportunity to make new friends with similar backgrounds, faith and interests. The main objective of this convention is to bring together and promote interaction among young generation who follow Jain beliefs and religious values.This weekend will be filled with a variety of social and fun activities that will satisfy the diverse interests of all the participants. For further details, please visit the site
www.jain21.com

POLIO CORRECTIVE SURGERY CAMP ORGANISED BY MAHAVIR INTERNATIONAL AT JODHPUR
A free Polio corrective surgery camp was organised by Mahavir International at Jodhpur for the third time to cure patients suffering from Polio by the use of latest surgical techniques. The internationally famed Polio specialist and surgeon, Dr. Adi Narayan Rao of Vishakhapatnam successfully performed 200 operations on Polio victims in the age group of 5 to 18 years. The camp was orgainised jointly with the Government of Rajasthan, Mahavir Viklang Seva Samiti and Lion's Club, Jodhpur. All arrangements of staying and food for the patients and their guardians, medicines, operations, calipers and other facilities were made totally free for all the patients. Mahavir International has been conducting such camps at different places in Rajasthan by utilising the services of best and most skilled surgeons available in the country so that patients in utter despair, who have lost all hopes of recovery to lead a normal life could be cured from the dreaded disease and made to run on their own feet. The organisation arranges the necessary after-care to the patients and carries out the follow-up activities.

JAIN PATHSHALA TEACHERS CONFERENCE- ORGAINISED AT CALIFORNIA
The programme is being organized by JAINA Education Committee of the Federation of Jain Associations in North America on May 25-27, 2002 and is being hosted by Jain Center of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA. Registration fee of $25 will be used to offset the cost of the educational material that will be given to all attendees. The conference is open to all Jain Pathshala teachers, Jain authors, Jain Scholars, Jain Website personnel, Language and arts teachers, and any person who would like to involve in Jain educational and cultural activities. Only Jain Vegan food (no kandmul and no dairy products) will be served during the conference. Objectives of the Conference are to promote and enhance learning and teaching of Jain philosophy among all Jains, to offer a platform for communication among Pathshala teachers of various Jain centers, Jain scholars and authors, web site moderators, educationalists, and JAINA education committee, to share effective teaching techniques and presentations styles to educate Jain philosophy to the "Digital Generation", to exchange of educational material and techniques, preparation of Home Study Course, and develop collaboration among USA, Canada, India, and other Nations. For more information, visit www.jaincenter.net

ACHARYA VIDHYA SAGAR JI HONOURED AT SIVNI
Acharya Shri Vidhya Sagarji Maharaj, an eminent Digambar Jain saint, accompanied with a large number of disciples were received with great jubilation by the entire Jain Samaj of Chhapara in the district of Sivni and was taken in a procession, having heavily decorated elephant chariots. The State Minister of Panchayat, Rural Development, tourism and Culture, Shri Ajay Singh and Minister for Forests and Transport, Shri Harvansh Singh alongwith several members of Parliament, Legislative Assembly and other dignitaries attended the function and paid their respects to the revered saint.

AVIOD MILK AND MILK-PRODUCTS RICH IN FAT CONTENTS
Eminent heart specialists of the country have come out with the news that if heart is to be saved, meaning that if heart diseases are to be avoided, use of milk and milk-products, rich in fat content must be stopped. Dr. Upendra Kaul, famous heart surgeon and general secretary, SAARC Cardiac Society, as well as the secretary of the society, Dr. Jagdish Chandra Mohan were spoke at a press conference, arranged at the time of a three-day meet of the SAARC Society members, representing several member countries, including Sree Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangla Desh, starting from 10th January, 2002. They said that there is a serious mis-understanding about milk in India that it is always good for improving and maintaining health. Actually, the fat content in milk is as high as in cow's meat or any other meat, and therefore it is equally harmful for the functioning of the heart in a human body. If at all necessary, one can take toned milk but not the whole milk. From the point of view of vegetarianism also, it is now being strongly believed that milk is not a vegetarian product and the followers of Mahavir, believing in ahimsa should abstain from taking any dairy products.

ALL INDIA DIGAMBAR JAIN CONFERENCE CONVENED AT NAGPUR
The National convention of All India Digambar Jain Conference was convened at Nagpur in the last week of January, in the holy presence of Acharya Shri Devnandaji Maharaj. Thousands of followers from Digambar samaj attended the Convention and listened to the discourse of the honoured saint. The Acharya during his discourses, described the sanctity and uniqueness of Jain art, culture and architecture, which convey their richness to the observer and pious and sacred thoughts imbibed from the Jain images during worship.

TOBACCO KILLS 2200 PERSONS EVERYDAY IN INDIA
Inspite of all the publicity and unstinted efforts made by the government machinery and many non-governmental organisations against the use of tobacco and tobacco products, it is sad and dis-heartening to note that its use is spreading, rather than getting reduced. The most sorrowful part of the story is that the popularity of tobacco items, socially gutka and pan masala is increasing amongst the literate and educated people and in the affluent society.The recent statistics show that every day, something like 2200 persons die in India on account of the use of tobacco, which comes to about 8 lakhs every year in our country alone, against the world figure of 30 lakhs deaths. It is understood that there are about 60 companies in the country, manufacturing cigarettes and over 1000 units producing gutka and pan masala, apart from thousands of units producing bidi. More than 10 lakh women work in these industries to earn their livelihood and make bide with their own hands at the grave risk to their health. A very large number of children in the age group of 10 to 18 years is also engaged in this work, which render them prone to heinous diseases, including cancer. An international conference is being held at Geneva in Switzerland on the 18th March to discuss this serious issue. Representatives of various government and non-government agencies from different countries, will take part in the proceedings and work out a plan to fight the menace by unitedly raising the demand for imposing a total ban on the manufacture and use of tobacco and its products.

DIKSHA CEREMONY
(i) Sushri Ridhi Jain was initiated to Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect and given Bhagwati diksha under Shraman Sangh headed by the Acharya Dr. Shiv Muni on the 27th January, 2002 at Shastri Nagar, New Delhi. Various eminent saints, like Upadhyay Shri Vishal Muni, Shri Suman Muni, Shri Amar Muni, Dr. Rajendra Muni and several distinguished guests graced the occasion with their presence. (Photos sent).

(ii) Jain Bhagwati Diksha was accorded to five disciples of Stanakwasi Jain sect, on 17th February, 2002 at Meerut under the order of Pravartak Shri Suman Muni on the occasion of his 61st birthday in the holy presence of Acharya Shri Shiv Muni, Dr. Vishal Muni and many other saints and sadhwis.

(iii) Shri Ashok Lookad, son of Shri Babu Lalji Lookad and Smt. Kamla Devi was initiated to Mandir-margi sampradaya of Shwetambar sect by Upadhyay Shri Mani Prabh Sagarji, at Mokalsar in the Jalore district of Rajasthan on 16th January, 2002. A large number of saints and sadhwis, including Upadhyay Shri Kailash Sagarji, Shri Mani Prabh Sagarji and Shri Mukti Prabh Sagarji, were present to bless the newly initiated saint, who was renamed as Muni Neelesh Sagarji.

(iv) Acharya Shri Sidhant Sagarji, disciple of Acharya Shri Sanmati Sagarji granted muni diksha and accepted to Digambar Jain order Shri Sreyans Sagarji on the 20th January, 2002 at Kanpur.

(v) Two sisters from Tated family of Village Kapasan in Rajasthan, Priyanka and Chandanbala was accorded Bhagwati diksha on the 25th February, 2002 in the holy presence of Acharya Shri Ram Lalji Maharaj, belonging to Sadhu margi Jain Sangh. Shri Nathu Lal Tated is the father of the two diksharthis. The diksha programme was held at Sri Ganga Nagar.

(vi) Sushir Lalit Oswal belonging to Mangalgaon and Sushir Harsha Chordia of Bjhosari, Pune were initiated by Param Vidushi Sadhiv Shri Kanchan Kanwarji M.S. belonging to Sthankwasi Jain Shraman Sangh at Sholapur (Maharahstra) on 6th February, 2002.

(vii) S. W. Snehlata, daughter of Shri Prakash Chandji, Chaturmutha and Km. Jayshri, daughter of Shri Anand Rao Jagtap were accepted as Sadhvi in Jain Sthanakwasi Shraman Sangh sect at Chennai on 17th February 2002 under the inspiration of Poojya Shri Satyasadhnaji M.S.

JAIN ARYIKA SHRI GYAN MATI JI ON ASTHA T.V. CHANNEL
Highly respected Digambar Jain Aryika, Shri Gyan Matiji Maharaj has been delivering discourses on Jainism every Sunday at 8 A.M. on the Astha channel of T.V. viewers may take advantage of the opportunity and listen to her devotional and spiritualistic discourses. Jain Muni Darpan programme can also be watched on Jain TV at 7. 50 am on every Sunday.

MAHAMASTAKABHISHEKA CERMONY AT KARKALA
A sea of humanity watched the pious, exhilarating, awe-inspiring and time-honoured ceremony of Mahamastakabhisheka (the great head-anointing) of the majestic, monolithic, granite statue of Bahubali, the symbol of ahimsa, satya, dharma, the embodiment of renunciation at the hillock of the serene town of Karkala. The ceremony began at an auspicious hour with priests chanting from religious texts. Pots of water were poured from a specially erected scaffolding over the head of the statue followed by the ritual pouring of different substances, including ghee, saffron, curds, flower petals and vermillion. As many as 1,008 kalashas (pots), an auspicious number, were used in the performance of the ceremony. Each pot was sponsored by one person, each of whom ascended the specially erected platform from one side and descended from the other. The Mahamastakabhishek was conducted under the guidance of Lalithakeerthi Bhattaraka Pattacharyavarya of Karkala Jain Mutt. Thousands of people sat all across the rock hill as the grey-black statue of Bahubali changed colour from white, crimson, brown to chrome yellow depending upon the substances used for the abhishek - milk, vermillion, turmeric, sandalwood paste, sugarcane juice, paste made of various medicinal herbs and tender coconut water. Each substance has its own significance. Water signifies cleansing, sandalwood paste to spread the fragrance of Bahubali's virtues, milk as a symbol of purity, sugarcane juice to relieve hunger and so on. A scientific explanation is given as to why these liquids and pastes are used - the chemical properties of these substances are believed to give the granite statue a protective coating from rain and sunlight that would last for 12 years until the next Mahamastakabhisheka. It was the desire of King Veera Pandya, who installed the Bahubali statue in 1432 AD that the Mahamastakabhiskek of Bahubali be ceremonially performed every 12 years so that the tradition of religious devotion is sustained. The celebration was the culmination of 10 days of ceremonies, which began on February 16, 2002.

SPECIAL COVERS ISSUED BY THE POSTAL DEPARTMENT FOR ANJANSHALAKA PRATISHTHA
(I). On 10th Feb. 2002 a special cover and special cancellation was issued at Malpura (Rajasthan) on the occasion of Anjanshalaka Pratishtha and Deeksha Samaroh. Special cover depicts colored picture of beautiful Shree Jinkushal Suri Gurudev Temple of Malpura. Indian Postal Department provided special cancellation which bears foot print of respected Gurudev.

(II). On 16th Feb. 2002 a special cover and special cancellation was issued at famous Jain pilgrimage center Karkala ( Karnataka) on the occasion of Mahamastakabhishek Mahotsava of 47 feet tall statue of Bhagwan Bahubali. Minister of State for Power Mr. Veerkumar Patil released this special cover and special cancellation issued by the Department of Posts.

III). On 8th Dec. 2002, a special cover and special cancellation was issued at New Delhi on the occasion of 70th Birthday of Osho- Bhagwan Rajneesh ( his actual birth date is 11th December 1931). Bhagwan Rajneesh was Jain. This Special Cover has an image of Osho with thousands of His Sannyasins in the Background and His message at the back of this cover that says: "I want to remind you that whether I am here or not, the celebration has to continue. If I am not here, then it has to be more intense and it has to spread around the world. Celebration is my religion. Love is my message. Silence is my truth."

FIFTY THOUSAND COWS MASSACRED EVERY DAY
The Convenor of Akhand Jyot Yatra, Mr. Mahendra Godara expressed his utter grief at the unconcerned attitude of the Central Government about the increasing number of cows being taken every day to butcher houses, even though the cow has been given the status of a mother in Hindu culture. Presently, the estimated number of cows cut every day is about 50,000. There are about 4000 legally operated butcher houses and innumerable illegal ones all over the country. The obtained from these places is exported in large quantities to middle east and African countries, providing high price at the cost of our valuable heritage of the country. The high value of desi Indian cow can be appreciated from the fact that 120 litres of milk can be obtained per day, if proper care about its feeding and nurturing is taken. This figure is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Every day, dozens of cows are carried in trucks for the massacre but very few are detected and seized. Recently, two trucks, carrying 88 cows were caught on the Udaipur highway in Banswara district of Rajasthan by the State police and handed over to local Gaushalas.

PT. RAVI SHANKAR, ANOUSHA SHANKAR CONDEMN ANIMAL CRUELTY
Pt. Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar have good reason to be concerned about animal abuse in India. Laws governing the transport and slaughter of India's cows, buffaloes and goats are being broken every day. Homeless dogs and cats are routinely stoned in the streets, when what they need is respect and a little food. Elephants in Assam, desperately searching for food as the forests are destroyed, have been found poisoned. There are 31 documented cases of intentional poisonings of elephants, but not one prosecution. Tigers, lions and other exotic animals are routinely displayed at rundown zoos and in hideous traveling shows in direct violation of India's animal protection laws. 'The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was written in 1960 and has never been updated,' says Ravi in the new advertisement, which will run on TV as a 30-second public service announcement. For more information please visit www.petaindia.com.

NOMINATIONS INVITED FOR EIGHTH MAHAVIR AWARDS
Bhagwan Mahavir Foundation invites nomination for the eighth Mahavir Awards for excellence in the following fields:Propagation of Non-violence and Vegetarianism, Education and Medicine & Community and Social Service. Each award will carry Rupees 5 lakh and memento. For further details contact
sugalchand@yahoo.com

FEDERATION OF AHIMSA INSTITUTIONS ANNOUNCED
At a national ahimsa conference held at New Delhi on 9th & 10th February, 2002 it was decided to constitute a Federation of all the institutions in the country, which are connected with ahimsa activities and programmes. It is reported that 226 institutions operating with similar objectives, which had participated, accepted to join the Federation name as Indian Federation of Ahimsa Organisations. They indicated their solidarity to work with a common aim of popularizing vegetarianism, animal compassion, animal protection and care, ban of export of meat, stopping government support to meat & other industries involving animal cruelty, encouraging jaivik agriculture, ecology and humanity. The chief guest on the occasion was Shri K. C. Pant, Vice-Chairman, Planning Commission. Other important guests present on the occasion, included Sahu Shri Ramesh Jain from Delhi, Shri Madna Raj Bhandari & Shri C. M. Chordia from Jodhpur, Shri Hasmukhlal Bhai Shah from Ahmedabad, Mr. Irn Dove from USA, Shri Deepak Sharma from Lucknow and Dr. S. K. Jain from Sagar. Shri Chiranji Lal Bagda is the secretary of Indian Ahimsa Fedration.

DEVELOPMENT OF MADHUBAN AREA AT PARASNATH ON THE WAY
Jharkhand Government has decided to take up on priority basis the development of Madhuban area at the foot hills of Parasnath Mountains in Girdih district. The place accommodates a large number of jain dharamshalas and Jain temples and is thronged with pilgrims coming to worship at Sammet ShikharJi temple. The various important decisions taken recently at a meeting headed by the Chief Secretary, Jharkhand State include building and widening roads approaching Madhuban, building dividers and welcoming gates on roads, providing sodium vapour lamps on approach roads up to Shikharji, improve bus facilities, provided adequate water supply and water filtration, removing unauthorised occupations along the roads, providing electric lighting on all roads up to Dak Bungalow stopping banning the sale of meat and wine in the entire area and opening a medical centre. All the activities are expected to be completed by April 2002.

JAINA 2003 CONVENTIONBEING ORGANISED AT CINCINNATI, OHIO
JAINA has made a decision to hold the 2003 Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio during July 4-6, 2003 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Dr. Bipinbhai Parikh, Anop R.Vora, Prabodh Vaidya, Kishor Shah, Keerti Shah visited Cincinnati on Sept. 29, 2001 at the invitation of the Jain Sangh of Cincinnati and Dayton. Cincinnati Convention Center is very impressive and has ample facilities to host as many as 10,000 visitors. It is surrounded by a number of well known hotels too. JAINA'S decision is based upon the availability of an excellent spot at a reasonable cost and also on the inte
rest level and enthusiasm shown by the local community of Cincinnati and Dayton.

McDONALD'S IS SORRY FOR USING BEEF
Fast food behemoth McDonald's has agreed to publicly apologise to "Hindus, vegetarians and others" for failing to disclose the use of animal products in foods it identified as vegetarian. The company will also donate $10 million to concerns to espoused by these groups as part of a settlement in a class- action lawsuit initiated by Indian-American attorney Harish Bharti. However, the McDonald's India clarified on Friday that it has never used beef, pork or animal extract in its vegetarian products sold in India. Starting next month, McDonald's will insert ads in newspapers apologising for its mistake. "We acknowledge that, uponour switch to vegetable oil in the early 1990s for the purpose of reducing cholesterol, mistakes were made in communicating to the public and customers about the ingredients in our French fries and hash browns," the ads will say "We regret we did not provide these customers with complete information, and we sincerely apologise for any hardship that these miscommunications have caused among Hindus, vegetarians and others," the settlement-ad will say. The lawsuit arose from an episode in April 2001 when some Indian-American vegetarians on the West Coast accused McDonald's of misleading customers by presenting its golden fries as vegetarian. Harish Bharti, who oversaw the effort, claimed, "We have forced a giant corporation to change its attitude and its way of thinking. I am proud of that," Bharti said.

DEVLOK GAMAN
(i) Acharya Kala Poorna Surishwar Ji passes away. The great Acharya of Murti-Pujak Sangh, Shri Kala Poorna Sagarji, breathed his last and left for his heavenly abode at 4.15 A.M. on the 16th February, 2002 at Kosholav town in Jalore District. His age was about 80 years. The Acharya commanded great respect from one and all and hundreds of people thronged to have his darshan every day. He was an apostle of austerity, renouncement, abstinence, self-restraint, self-introspection, purity, humility and spiritualism. He always maintained his serene and compassionate compasure and worked relentlessly for public consciousness about spiritualism, devotion, righteousness and liberation. He was born in Loonkar family at village Phalodi near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. He is said to have premonition about his death and had announced publicly at Palitana Chaturmas during the year 2000 that the next Chaturmas at Phalodi in the year 2001 will be the last one. And so it happened. His body was taken by his followers in chariots to Shankheshwar in Gujarat, his most favourite place of devotion and worship and his body was consecrated there in the presence of thousands of followers on 18th February. Mr. Dhirubhai the speaker of Gujarat Legislative Assembly was also present at Keshavana and Shankheswar.

(ii) Shwetambar Jain Shraman Sangh saint Pandit-Ratna Shri Udai Muniji left for his heavenly abode at Indore at the age of 74 years. He was born on the 13th June, 1928 at Ratlam. He was a great scholar and had served the cause of religion for the last 50 years.

(iii) Mahasati Shri Sugan Kunwarji breathed her last at Beawar on the 26th December, 2001after a protracted illness. She belonged to the famous Poojya Jay Mal Sampraday of the Sthanakwasi sect.

TWO JAIN CENTURION LADIES BREATHE THEIR LAST TOGETHER
Two 105 years old Jain widow ladies, extremely friendly to each other, breathed their last simultaneously at Mainpuri in U.P., as already decided by them in advance. The dead bodies of both of them were placed on a common platform and were set on fire and cremated together as desired by them. One of them was Missi Devi, wife of late Shri Rangi Lal Jain and other lady was Gunmala, wife of late Shri Ugrasen Raparia. They had announced earlier that since they had lived together for so many years, sharing their happiness and sorrows, they will also leave their bodies together.

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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