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Ahimsa Times - June 2002 Issue

Vol. No. 24

June, 2002

PRIME MINISTER TO SEEK GUIDANCE FROM ACHARYA MAHA PRAGYA
Muni Shri Lok Prakash Lokesh, young disciple of revered saint, Shri Maha Pragya, Acharya of Shwetambar Terapanthi Dharm Sangha, along-with a group of other saints and eminent persons from Tera panth community met Shri Atal Behari Vajpai, Prime Minister at his residence and acquainted him with the on-going Ahimsa Yatra being presently undertaken by the Acharya and his followers through the State of Gujarat. The group had entered Gujarat on the 2nd May and it is currently passing through Banaskantha District. The Prime Minister expressed his confidence in the programme and said that it would certainly help in bringing back much-needed peace amongst different communities in the region. He added that the nation was passing through a disastrous period of violence. We have to implement the philosophy of non-violence, peaceful co-existence and tolerance, enunciated by our great statesman. He showed his keen desire to meet Acharya Maha Pragya, when he reached Ahmedabad, so as to obtain his guidance in over-coming the turmoil. Home Minister, Shri Lal Krishna Advani has already paid a visit to the Acharya and hailed his Ahimsa Yatra.

COMMUNAL RIOT REPORTS OF GUJARAT BY HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH GROUP - NEW YORK
Three reports published by Human Rights Watch group of New York have been received through Mr. Pravin Shah, Raleigh NC , USA . These reports clearly describe the unimaginable atrocity and suffering to the innocent people. About 100,000 people are in refugee camps near Ahmedabad and other places. For further information about these reports, please visit website : www.hrw.org

List of Reports

  • HRW - Document on Communal Riot in Gujarat , April 30, 2002

  • Retaliatory attacks on Hindus, April 02, 2002

  • Massacres in Godhra and Ahmedabad, April 02, 2002

Jain organizations and Jain leaders at large have not actively participated in diffusing this communal riot and helping the innocent victims of this riot. During the natural disaster of Kutch , Jain community of USA and Canada have contributed few million dollars in relief activities. However on this man-made disaster of similar magnitude, they have kept themselves isolated. It seems that at this time they have lost the true Spirit of Bhagawan Mahavir's Ahimsa. It is hoped that now onwards, every Jain organization, Jain leaders, and individuals will get actively involved in the relief activities and will pursue to diffuse the communal tension that still exists between Hindu and Muslim communities in Gujarat, India.

"JAIN TEMPLES IN INDIA AND AROUND THE WORLD" - BOOK RELEASED BY PRIME MINISTER
On the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, Prime Minister, Shri A. B. Vajpai released a photo album depicting various Jain temples both in India and abroad at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. The book has been produced by Luxor Foundation. The Finance Minister and Home Minister were also present on the occasion. The book gives a detailed presentation of the Jain art, culture, philosophy and architecture in the form of photographs depicted in ancient Jain temples. The book has been dedicated to The prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpai. According to the sponsors, the book covers Jain temples in Japan, Hongkong, Canada, Nepal, America and England besides those in India . Rare photographs of temples have been collected and shown in the book, which is more in the form of an album.

ALL INDIA DIGAMBAR JAIN CONFERENCE CONVENTION
The Convention of the All India Digambar Jain Conference was held at village Jhadol, Sarada Tehsil, Dist. Udaipur from 18th to 23rd May, 2002 in the holy presence of various revered saints, namely, Acharya Shri Vardhman Sagar Ji, Muni Shri Sukumal Nandi Ji, Shri Shanti Sagar Ji, and others. Apart from the Conference proceedings, Five kalyanaks, Garbha, Birth, Tap, Kewal Gyan and Moksha were presented. A display in the form of tableaux on the birth of Bhagwan Mahavir was also arranged.

A Panch Kalyanak Pratishtha Mahotsava was also celebrated from 18th to 24th May, 2002 at Aaspur, Dist. Dungarpur in Rajasthan, arrangements for which were made by Digambar Jain Narsinghpura samaj, Aaspur. Still another celebration by Digambar community, called "Sri 1008 Rishabh Dev Jain bimb Panch Kalyanak Pratishtha Mahotsava was organised at Kannauj (U. P.) from 10th to 15th May, 2002 in the presence of Muni Shri Samta Sagar Ji, Praman Sagar Ji and Elak Shri Nishchay Sagar Ji. An unique image of Tirthankar, Shri Padam Prabhu Ji was installed on this occasion.

SEVEN LAKH PERSONS VIEWED EXHIBITION ON LIFE OF BH. MAHAVIR AT MUMBAI
Bombay Jain Mahotsava Samiti organised a five day exhibition on the life and philosophy of Bhagwan Mahavir at August Kranti Maidan, Bombay from 24th to 28th April, 2002 , as a part of 2601st Mahavir Janm Kalyanak Mahotsava. A large number of tableaux displayed at the exhibition were highly educative and impressive and were unique in their creativity, design and craftsmanship. The Speaker of Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha, Shri Arun Gujarati who visited the show, said that the display was simply marvellous and it would leave a deep impression on the minds of all the viewers. One of the tabloid showed a 50 feet tall Meru mountain (as described in Jain mythology) on which the devotees could climb and carry out 'abhishek' of Bhagwan Mahavir. The samosaran was built at a height of 30 feet and adjoining to it was a 200 feet long cave which contained the images of 24 Tirthankars. All the five Kalyanaks were presented through sound and light shows. Fifty Jain institutions had joined together to organise the whole programme.

JAIN TIRTHANKAR STATUES DAMAGED BY ANTI-SOCIAL ELEMENTS AT JALORE (RAJ.) - Some mischievous anti-social elements are reported to have entered a Jain temple situated in the Fort area of Jalore town in Rajasthan and broken three statues of Jain Tirthankars. On hearing the news, the entire Jain community of the town and nearby villages, showing their resentment and anger took out a silent procession wearing black badges on their arms through the city and handed over a Memorandum to the Collector and Superintendent of police, demanding immediate arrest of the culprits and an enquiry into the whole incident by C.B.I. They also demanded full protection of all the Jain temples, many of which were very ancient and were a national heritage, from any further damage and destruction. The Collector assured the people that he will look into the matter and see that all those who are guilty shall not be spared and proper enquiry shall be conducted. The security and safety of the temples would also be looked after. He requested the public to maintain peace.

SEMINAR ON JAIN EDUCATION AT LONDON UNIVERSITY
A Seminar was organised recently at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London University on "Varied aspects of Jain education and culture". Dr. N.L. Jain, Director, Jain Centre, Rewa presented his research paper on "Some important concepts about Jainism". A large number of papers from different countries were presented and discussed on the theme of the seminar. Nine celebrities were specially invited from five countries, including India , who represented both Digambar and Shwetambar sects.

JAIN TIRTHANKAR STATUES DAMAGED BY ANTI-SOCIAL ELEMENTS AT JALORE (RAJ.)

SOLAR RADIATIONS KEEP MAN ALIVE WITHOUT FOOD FOR YEARS-HIRA RATAN MANAK (JAIN)
A Kerala-based Mechanical Engineer from traditional Jain family, named Hira Ratan Manak has claimed that he can remain without food for the whole of his life. He has been moving round the country and abroad, spreading the message of Gayatri Mantra, that instructs to take the sun's rays for peace and strength. Manek started living only on solar energy to nourish himself since 1992. Ever since 1995, he has been living without food. At present, he is surviving only on water, tea and coffee. He has been carrying out all his duties in normal way and reported no loss of strength whatsoever. Further, he claims that since 1992, he had had no illness of any sort, not even a mild headache. He explains that a regular process of imbibing sun's rays through eyes, one can gradually achieve mental peace and later give up food completely.

In order to substantiate his claim, he had undergone a close observation for a period of 45 days by a team of 21 doctors at Ahmedabad in the year 2000. The Project to test his body and mind was funded by a California-based Trust. He went through the test programme without consuming anything but water and taking sun's rays. CT Scan and MRI Scan reports of his brain have revealed to the utter surprise of all the doctors an enlarged pinial gland, which in a man in sixties like him, should have diminished considerably, as well as very active neurons. According to him, the secret of it all is nothing but all-powerful energy derived from the sun. The brain as a photo-sensitive organ is a powerful recipient of energy and regular absorption precludes the need to rely on energy from food. He says that 25000 people around the world are practicing this process seriously, of which 3000 of them are only in Ahmedabad. He is proceeding next month to the United States , where a medical team will analyse the functioning of his brain and understand the theory and mechanism behind the solar energy for human survival.

NO SLAUGHTER HOUSE TO BE OPENED IN CHHATISGARH HENCE-FORTH - CHIEF MINISTER
The Chief Minister of Chhatis Garh, Shri Ajit Jogi at the concluding ceremony of nation-wide 2600th Birth Centenary celebrations of Bhagwan Mahavir, declared that no new slaughter house will be allowed to be opened in the State. He showed his dis-agreement with the policy of the Government of India to boost export of meat in order to earn foreign exchange. He said there was nothing to be proud of but it was a matter of shame to earn foreign exchange by killing animals in the land of Mahavir and Gandhi.

EXCAVATIONS AT JALORE (RAJASTHAN) REVEAL 8TH CENTURY IMAGES OF TIRTHANKARS
Recent excavations under the sand dunes at Sayala village in the District of Jalore in Rajasthan have brought out 32 images of various Jain Tirthankars and doormen. These are made in white marble and are supposed to belong to 8th century A.D. period. These statues will be kept for public viewing at the Bangar Government Museum at Pali in a specially prepared gallery.

MONIKA JAIN OF UDAIPUR WINS GOLD MEDAL FOR TOPPING IN M.Sc. (HORT.)
Mrs. Monika Jain wife of Shri Vijay Kumar Thakudia, resident of Udaipur, Rajasthan obtained first position in the merit list of M.Sc. (Hort.) examination of the Maharana Pratap Agricultural and Technical University, Udaipur . The Governor of Rajasthan, Shri Anshuman Singh honoured her with Gold medal at the Convocation of the University.

JAIN COMMUNITY AT SARNATH ANGRY FOR STOPPING IMAGE INSTALLATION CEREMONY
Jain community at Sarnath, near Varanasi has strongly resented the ban placed by local authorities on the installation of the image of eleventh Tirthankar, Shri Shreyans Nath Ji in the premises of Digambar Jain Dharm shala at Sarnath. When the installation ceremony of the eleven feet tall statue weighing 1000 kg. had been arranged, the Archaeological Department raised objection and prevented installation with the help of local authorities. Sarnath had been the birth place and place of worship of Shreyans Nath Ji. According to Jain mythology and it is regarded a holy place of worship by Jains. Refusal to allow installation has hurt the feelings of the Jain community there.

NOMINATION INVITED FOR PRIZES FOR BEST BOOKS
Prize of Rs. 51,000 announced for best book on Ahimsa by Digambar Jain Sahitya Sanskriti Sanrakshan Samiti. The book should relate to the principles of religion laid down by Bhagwan Mahavir and their application to find solutions to the problems of the present era. The presentation should be in modern style. It should be original and unpublished and should not contain more than 200 pages. Six copies of the manuscript may be sent to Shri Ravi Kumar Jain, D-302, Vivek Vihar, Delhi - 110095, latest by 30th October, 2002.

Prizes worth Rs. 2 lakhs announced for best books on Jainism by Bhagwan Mahavir Foundation, Chennai. Two prizes have been announced, each for Rs. 1 lakh, to the authors of best books in Hindi and English languages. The book should contain not more than 250 pages. Six copies of the manuscript may be sent to Shri Duli Chand Jain, Convenor, Bhagwan Mahavir Foundation, Post Box No. 2983, 11, Ponappa Lane, Triplicane High road, Chennai - 600 005, latest by 30th November, 2002. The Foundation may also give awards of smaller amounts to other books of merit.

PUNJAB SMALL INDUSTRIES CORP. ISSUES GOLD AND SILVER MEDALS
On the occasion of 2600th Birth Centenary of Bhagwan Mahavir, Punjab Small Industries Corporation has issued 24 Carat Gold medals having 99.9 % purity and 25mm. diameter, weighing 10 grams and silver medals of 50 grams weight, having diameter of 47 mm. The gold medal costs Rs. 5800/- and silver medal costs Rs. 700/-. Prime Minister Shri A.B. Vajpai released these medals for public sale.

CHATURMAS ANNOUNCEMENTS
Acharya Shri Vardhman Sagar Ji Maharaj at Udaipur . (Digambar)
Acharya Shri Hira Chand Ji Maharaj at Balkeshwar, Bombay (Shwetambar Sthanakwasi)
Mahasati Shri Ratan Kunwar JI at Ahmedabad (Shwetambar Sthanakwasi)
Acharya Shri Ram Lal Ji maharaj at Bikaner . (Shwetambar Sthanakwasi)
Pravartak Shri Roop Chand Ji Maharaj at Sojat City , Rajasthan.( Shwetambar Sthanakwasi)
Up-Pravartak Dr. Rajendra Muni and Sri Ramesh Muni at Jullundur , Punjab (Shwetambar Sthanakwasi.
Sadhwi Shri Siddh Kunwar Ji disciple of Raj. Pravartini Shri Yash Kunwar Ji at Pali, Rajasthan. (Shwetambar Sthanakwasi)
Acharya Gun Ratna Surishwar Ji Maharaj at Girdhar Nagar, Shahi Bag, Ahmedabad. (Murti-Pujak Sect)
Gachhadhipati Shri Ratnakar Surishwar Ji Maharaj at Ludhiana (Murti-Pujak)
Acharya Shri Padam Sagar Surishwar Ji Maharaj at Sadri (Raj. ) (Murti-pujak)
Shri Kamal Muni Kamlesh at Changalpeth (T.N.) (Shwetambar Sthanakwasi).

TIRTHANKARS' IMAGES RECOVERED FROM CAVES IN CHANDKHEDI, M. P.
It was indeed miraculous to see the Jain saint Shri Sudha sagar Ji Maharaj, disciple of Acharya Shri Vidhya Sagar Ji Maharaj belonging to Digambar Jain sect coming out from the caves at Chandkhedi Atishaya Kshetra in Madhya Pradesh in the afternoon of the 31st March, 2002, carrying three images made of 'sphatik mani' (clear transparent stone) and displaying thse before a huge mass of Jain followers to their utter surprise. The images were of a rare nature, simply marvellous,alluring and supernatural, as if heavenly or celestial in appearance. One of these was of Shri Chanda Prabhu Ji, 2.5 feet in height, second of Arihant Bhagwan and the third one of Shri Parshwa Nath Bhagwan. It is probably for the first time, that statues of such a clear crystal, majestic in appearance have been obtained in miraculous circumstances. The saint had earlier proclaimed that he had been advised in a dream to take these images out from a certain place inside the caves on a particular day and time, from the place, where these were safely stored for thousands of years. According to the saint, Shri Sudha sagar Ji, the history of Chandkhedi village is itself about 1200 years old and so the statues images would be much older than that.These images are presently kept in safe custody of the temple authorities and will be appropriately installed in due course. For the information of pilgrims, Chandkhedi is located at 55 km. from Ataru railway station on Kota-Guna line of the Western Railway.

PREVENT ANIMAL CRUELTY , PROMOTE VEGETARIANISM - JEEV DAYA MAHAMANDAL, PUNE
Shree Jeevdaya Mahamandal, was established in 1987 with the objective of preventing cruelty to animals in all walks of life. The organisation is engaged in relieving animals like cows, sheep, goats, etc from the clutches of butchers, slaughter-house and animal ponds. Adequate care of stray dogs and other orphan animals is taken by the society with the help of trained volunteers, providing them with food/fodder, shelter, & medical assistance, till the time they die a natural death. Till date, more than 6666 animals have been saved and as of now more than 425 animals are in the custody. The organisation also works for the promotion of vegetarianism by donating productive animals (like cows, Ox) to the people who are vegetarian or are willing to become 100% vegetarian. This scheme has yielded a very good response from the local residents and it is reported that approximately 4000 people have been converted to vegetarian diet. The institution is recognized by the Animal Welfare Board, Govt. of India Chennai.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS TO MARK PACKAGES AS VEGETARIAN
The Government of India has made it mandatory for manufacturers of all vegetarian edibles to mark clearly on each package that the article contained within is vegetarian. The new directives will come into force from June 2002. According the new directives, manufacturers will have put a green marking near the brand name or the main display panel on the package. The marking will be a circle filled with green colour in a square with side of twice the circle's diameter.

The Central Health and Family Welfare Ministry, New Delhi had published a notification in this connection in December, 2001 last year in its official gazette. The notification is related with `Food Adulteration Prevention (ninth amendment) Regulation. The notification also defines `vegetarian food'. In an earlier notification the government had defined non-vegetarian food clarifying that foods containing as even one constituents `parts or articles of animal origin of birds, fresh or marine water animals or their eggs, all animals etc. will be deemed as non- vegetarian. Under this milk and products however will not be considered as non-vegetarian. A similar circle in a square with same specifications as for vegetarian products will also be put on non-vegetarian with the circle being filled with brown colour. The consumers will have to look for circle filled with green or brown colour while purchasing packaged foods to know whether they are vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The signs will have to be put on containers, pamphlets, advertisements, or on any type of publicity of the products clearly near the brand name.

EDUCATIONAL LOANS FOR DESERVING JAIN STUDENTS
International Alumni Association of Shri Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya, a non-profit organization, is pleased to announce continuation of the educational loan program for Jain students graduating from US high schools. This is the third year of the program. During the first two years of program, They have already committed and awarded loans of $32,000. The loan of $4,000 ($1,000 per year) is awarded for undergraduate college studies to the selected students based on merit, community services and need. The application deadline for 2002 program for graduating high school seniors is June 30, 2002. For more information Please visit : www.iaamjv.org

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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