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Ahimsa Times - October 2002 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org

Vol. No. 28

October, 2002

DIWALI FESTIVAL TO CELEBRATE LORD MAHAVIR'S NIRVAN
Among Jain festivals, Diwali is one of the most important ones. For, on this day, we celebrate the Nirvan of Lord Mahavir who established the Dharma as we follow it even today. Lord Mahavir was born as Vardhaman on Chaitra Shukla 13 in the Naat clan at Khattriya-Kundalpur, more than 2600 years ago near Vaishali. He obtained Keval Gyan on Vaishakh Shukla 10 at the Jambhraka village on the banks of Rijukul river at the age of 42. He initiated his shaashan (Jaina-shaasan) on Shravan Krishna 1 at his first assembly at Rajgrah. After having preached the Dharma for 30 years, he attained Nirvan at Pavapuri, at the age of 71 years and six and half months. The day of his Nirvan is mentioned by many ancient authors. "Thus during the Krishna of Kartik month, during the Swati Nakshatra, on the night of the 14th (dawn of the Amavasya), Lord Mahavir became a Siddha." The first line of it was quoted in the Dhavala by Virsenacharya. Thus the Nirvan of the Lord occurred 605 years and 5 months before the Shaka king. Kalpsutra mentions that the King Chetak of Vaishali with several confederate kings, had a great lightening of lights, since they said, "Since the light of intelligence (Vardhaman Mahavir) is gone, let us make an illumination of the material matter.'' Thus we every year celebrate the famous "Dipalika", to reverently worship the Jinendra on the occasion of his Nirvan. A special request....please don't burst crackers instead, donate that money for a right cause.
DIWALI EVENTS - 2002,Nov. 2 - Saturday. - Dhan Teras , Nov. 3 - Sunday - Kali Chaudas , Nov. 4 - Monday Diwali , Nov. 5 - Tuesday - Bestu Varsh - New Year , Nov. 6 - Wednesday - Bhai Bij (Bhai Duj)

12th BIENNIAL JAINA CONVENTION TO BE HELD AT GREAT CINCINNATI, USA
The Federation of Jain Associations in North America in cooperation with the Jain Center of Cincinnati & Dayton will be organizing the 12th Biennial Jaina Convention at the Greater Cincinnati Convention Center from July 3-6, 2003. The theme of the convention is Jainism: the Art of Living. Preparation for the convention is now underway. The Jaina Convention is expected to be attended by more than 6,000 invitees. In addition to discourses from prominent international Jain scholars, the focus of convention will also be on participative events such as Yoga, Meditation, Art and Vegetarian Cooking. In the evening, professional entertainment is planned in conjunction with participative presentations from Jain centers across North America for short drama, songs & dances. For registration information please check on
www.jainaconvention.org , Haresh Hemani, E-Mail : 4cs@fuse.net.

VICE PRESIDENT OF INDIA INAUGURATED "UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD AND FORGIVENESS DAY FUNCTION
The Universal Brotherhood and Forgiveness Day, was celebrated at New Delhi by the Jain community as a national function. It was organised by Jain Mahasabha - Delhi and was inaugurated by Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the Vice President of India. In his address Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat said that immortal virtues of Non-violence, truth and non-possession (aprigraha) should not be observed merely as a routine ritual, rather these should become integral part of one's day to day life. He emphasized that his experience of last more than 50 years in public life speaks of what can be achieved through friendship, which can never be achieved by feeling of enmity. While supporting Jain's demand to ban opening of slaughter houses and export of meat, he said, to commit violence or to tolerate violence are two side of same coin. Jains should launch a countrywide movement against all sorts of violence and should unite all like-minded people in this movement.

In his key note address, Dr. L. M. Singhvi said that festival of forgiveness and friendship should not remain confined to people of any particular caste or religion, rather these should be celebrated as National Festivals. Shri Guman Mal Lodha, Chairman, Animal Welfare Board of India, criticized the increasing atrocities on animals and birds and strongly demanded total ban on meat export and opening of new slaughter houses. Prof. Ratan Jain, the Chief organizer of the function and Secretary General of Jain Mahasabha - Delhi, said that problems can be resolved through mutual dialogues and language of love and not by bullets.

DELHI CHIEF MINISTER MRS. SHEILA DIXIT INAUGURATES JAIN MATRIMONY MEET ON OCTOBER 13

A matrimonial introduction programme was hosted jointly by Ahimsa Foundation and Sanjog Magazine for the children from Jain community on 13th October 2002 at Rajendra Bhawan, New Delhi. The programme was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Mrs. Sheila Dixit. The meet was attended by prominent leaders from all sects of Jain Samaj. The leaders of Jain Samaj, Mr. Salekh Chand Jain, Mr. Fakir Chand Jain and Mr. L. L. Achha advocated strongly against the ruling dowry system in the community. Mr. Rajesh Jain, the Congress M.L.A. from Delhi strongly criticized & condemned the role of woman in the dowry system. He said, if the senior women at home come forward and raise their voice against this maniac, this problem can easily be taken care of.

On this occasion, The Ahimsa Foundation also honoured Mrs. Sheila Dixit, Mr. Buta Singh, Mr. Guman Mal Ji Loda and Mr. Rajesh Jain with "Rashtriya Gaurav" honour.

The details of all the participating candidates have been printed in "Sanjog" magazine. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the magazine by sending a payment of Rs. 100/- by a demand draft in favour of Ahimsa Foundation, 21, Skipper House, 9, Pusa Road, New Delhi - 110005.

125 HOSPITALISED FOR SUPSECTED FOOD POISONING NEAR PUNE
Pune, Sept 09: Nearly 125 persons were hospitalised for suspected food poisoning after they consumed food at Sthanakvasi Jain Sravak Sangh in Akurdi. Police said the people after consuming food to break their fast started feeling uneasy. They also complained of headache and started vomiting following which they were admitted to Government-run Yashwantrao Chavan Hospital and Lokmanya Hospital in Akurdi. All the affected people were out of danger.

INTERNATIONAL JAIN SANGH TO ORGANISE WORKSHOPS AT NEW JERSEY ON 19 & 20 OCTOBER
A two day workshop is being organised by International Jain Sangh at Ramada Limited Hotel, 2989 Hamilton Boulevard, South Plainfield, NJ 07080. The discussions in the programme will include the philosophy of Karma in Jainism (Saturday, 10/19/2002), the essence of world religions - eastern and western (Sunday, 10/20/2002). For further details please contact Phone: (908) 753-8900.

YOUNG JAINS 5th INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION
The Young Jains UK 5th international convention was a landmark event, that saw over 250 delegates dedicating their week-end to the learning of Jain fundamentals, in an innovative, creative and interactive way. Participants spent 2½ days, from 23rd - 25th August, "Tasting the Mango," a title derived from a famous quote of Bhagvan Mahavir's, the last Jain thirthankar. Each session was delivered confidently and clearly, leaving the participants with a greater understanding of Jain principles. Different challenges were set for the delegates to be completed either during the week-end or within the following ten days, which consolidated the ideas shared by them. Many different tools and techniques were adopted, such as acting and role-playing in workshops, setting challenges where delegates were required to complete the given tasks. Music ranging from Brandy to Michael Jackson, and visuals were used to further enhance the interest in the sessions.

JAINA-WORLD COMMUNITY SERVICES PRESENTS SHRAMA YATRA
The programme of Shram Yatra is being organised at BIDADA, Kutch, Gujarat from Dec.15, 2002 to Jan. 22, 2003. It would provide opportunity to individuals for voluntary and humanitarian work in the field of mental, dental, occupational therapy and other areas. Interested participants may contact for more information & Registration: (Deadline October 31) Ramesh Shah 440-442-4596 or Dilip Shah 215-567-3025. The Ground Package of $121/- Includes: Return Ticket from Bombay to Kutch (Air conditioned), minimum 7 days stay with breakfasts, lunches & dinners, laundry & hot water & lodging, entertainment, visit to temples & sight seeing, voluntary work of ones choice and Certificate.

SANCTION FOR RS. 48 CRORES RECEIVED SO FAR AGAINST THE GRANT OF RS. 100 CRORES FROM GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.
On the occasion of the inauguration of 2600th Birth Kalyanak Centenary celebrations of Bhagwan Mahavir, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpai, Prime Minister of India had announced a grant of Rs. 100 crores for maintenance and development of Jain temples and other monuments, animal care and protection, and educational and social purposes. However, the sanction has so far been received only for Rs. 48 crores for the years 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. The projects to be benefited from this grant are as follows:

1. Animal care and protection Rs. 10.0 crores
2. Development of Mahavir Vanasthali at New Delhi Rs. 05.00 crores
3. Repair and maintenance of 30 Jain monuments, to be arranged through C.P.W.D., such as Vaishali, Pavapuri, Ranakpur, Delwara, Achal garh, Jaisalmer, Hastinapur, Kesariya Ji etc. Rs. 19.31 crores
4. Repair and maintenance of 54 Jain monuments through Archaeological Survey of India Rs. 10.97 crores
5. Development work at Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun Rs. 01.97 crores
6. T.V. Serials Rs. 00.62 crores
Total Rs. 47.87 crores

It is hoped that the Ministry of Culture would now sanction further sum of Rs. 50 crores for the year 2003-2004 for taking up and completing various schemes under consideration.

SADHWI CHANDANA JI HONOURED WITH "ACHARYA SHRI" TITLE AND "DEVI AHILYA NATIONAL AWARD

Prominent Jain Sadhwi from Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect, Shri Chandana Ji disciple of Acharya Shri Amar Muni, who has totally devoted herself to development of backward communities and relief work for earth-quake stricken people of Gujarat, specially for education and medical services has been honoured with the title of 'Acharya Shri' at Indore, where she is holding her chaturmas.

Shri Chandana Ji was also separately honoured with prestigious 'Devi Ahilya National Award' for her humanitarian services and animal welfare activities, first at Rajgiri in Bihar and later in Kutch region of Gujarat. She was also honoured with 'Mahavir Award' in the year 1995. She is the founder of an Unique institution called 'Virayatan', at Rajgiri which is engaged in providing medical services and other human welfare activities to the poor people of the region. A grand function was arranged in her honour at Ravindra Natya-Griha at Indore for giving away the award to her.

SHRI LOKESH MUNI REPRESENTS JAIN SAINTS AT ALL-RELIGIONS CONFERENCE AT NEW DELHI
An All-Religions Conference (Sarva Dharma Sammelan) was organised recently at New Delhi in the memory of Late Shri Krishna Kant, Vice-President of India. Muni Lok Prakash Lokesh, a prominent and progressive saint, belonging to Shwetambar Tera Panth Sect represented the entire Jain saints community in the Conference. When approached, he started with a recital of Navkar Mantra, Mangal Path and few verses from Uttaradhyayan Sutra and then briefed the audience about the ahimsa yatra of Acharya Shri Mahapragya, who is presently having his chaturmas at Koba, near Ahmedabad. The programme was attended by a large number of persons, including the Prime Minister, Shri A.B. Vajpai, Deputy Prime Minister, Shri L.K. Advani, Vice-President, Shri B.S. Shekhawat, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Shri K.R. Narayan, Shri R. Venkataraman, Shri Narsimha Rao, Shri I.K. Gujaral, Shri Chandra Shekhar, Shri Devegauda, Dr. Man Mohan singh, Smt. Sushma Swaraj and many others from political, social, religious and business circles.

JAINISM GROWING AMONGST ADIVASIS OF VADODARA IN GUJARAT
CHHOTAUDEPUR (VADODARA DIST) Forget the conversions to Christianity. Forget, also, the re-conversions by the champions of Hindutva. It is Jainism which is fast growing into a major religion among Adivasis of the Vadodara and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat,thanks to vigorous campaign by a number of Jain organisations, all belonging to the Shwetamber sect.Though Christian missionaries and various Hindu religious sects, like the Swaminarayan, Jay Yogeshwar, Pragat Purushottam, Ramanand, and Kabir Panthi sects, and the Swadhyaya Parivar have been active in the area for many decades, lately Jainism has been attracting more and more converts.

According to a rough estimate of the Jain missionaries, more than two lakh Adivasis in Chhotaudepur, Jetpur Pavi, Naswadi, and Sankheda talukas of the Vadodara district, and Halol and Jambughoda talukas of the Panchmahals district have embraced Jainism in the last six years. As many as 60 Jain temples have come up, and religious schools are running in 40villages to teach the neo-converts. What began as a de-addiction and vegetarian movement 40 years ago, with the efforts of an Adivasi convert to Jainism, Jain Indradin Suri of Salpura village in Jetpur Pavi taluka, has now transformed into a Jain missionary movement', says Purushottam K. Jain, manager of the Parmar Kshatriya Jain Dharma Pracharak Sabha of Bodeli.

The Sabha is one of the two local organisations involved in conversion activities. The other is the Parmar Kshatriya Jain Seva Samaj at Pavagadh in the Panchmahals. The Vijay Vallabh Mission Trust of Ludhiana in Punjab is also active here. Its main functionary in the adivasi belt is Yashobhadra Vijayji Maharaj. Jain businessmen from all over the country, especially the Oswals of Ludhiana, regularly visit the area, according to neo-Jains.

What is the attraction of Jainism for the tribals? It is the anti-addiction and non-violent teachings of the faith which have impressed the tribals, replies deputy mamlatdar of Chhotaudepur Parsinh NarsinhRathwa, who has himself converted to Jainism. Rathwa says the tribals regard Jainism as "a reform movement''.

PLANNING COMMISSION DISAPPROVES OPENING OF 4000 NEW SLAUGHTER HOUSES
It is heartening to note that the Planning Commission has announced its disapproval for starting 4000 new slaughter houses in the country with the objective of increasing meat-exports. The Commission has made it clear that it has no intention to allow any new slaughter-houses during the tenth five year plan period. It has also not received any fresh proposals from Animal Husbandry or Dairy Departments in this respect.

MANEKA GANDHI URGES INDORE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION TO STOP SENDING ANIMALS FROM CITY TO JUNGLES
Smt. Maneka Gandhi, M.P. has urged the Municipal Corporation of Indore, through a letter addressed to Shri Nitesh Vyas, Commissioner, Nagar Nigam not to send animals, like dogs, cows, oxen etc. to jungles but to retain them in properly developed places. For stray dogs in particular, a programme of Vasectomy should be taken up immediately.

MUNI LOKENDRA VIJAY NOT GUILTY: DECLARES KOKAJE COMMISSION

The Kokaje Commission formed by Rajasthan Government to investigate the rape charges against Muni Lokendravijay Ji by Naina Jogani has found the late Jain muni not guilty. Lokendravijayji had committed suicide in 1997 in the light of the charges levelled against him.

PRINTING OF COLOUR CIRCLE COMPULSORY TO DISTINGUISH ITEMS AS VEGETARIAN
Since long it was the demand of Jain community that every packed food items should be clearly marked as Vegetarian or Non-vegetarian. From July 2002, Government of India has made it compulsory to print a colour circle on every packed food items to distinguish whether it is pure vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Sign of GREEN CIRCLE denotes that the item is vegetarian and BROWN CIRCLE denotes that it is Non-vegetarian. Although, only colour circle is not sufficient, and clear words should be printed, whether the item is VEGETARIAN or NON-VEGETARIAN. But for the time-being, it is required that we should propagate amongst the vegetarian community that they should check the GREEN CIRCLE on the packet before purchasing any packed eatable items.

NIRMAL KR. SETHI RE-ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF ALL-INDIA DIGAMBAR JAIN ( DHARMA-SANRAKSHINI ) MAHASABHA
At a General Body Meeting of the Mahasabha held on 18th August, 2002 at Udaipur, Shri Nirmal Kumar Sethi was elected the Chairman for another term. The elections were held in the holy presence of Acharya 108 Shri Vardhman Sagar Ji Maharaj and Head Ganini, Aryika 105 Shri Suparshwa mati Mata Ji. Shri Chainroop Bakliwal was declared as the General Secretary and Shri Gaj Raj Gangwal as Vice-Chairman of the Maha sabha.

OPEN UNIVERSITY AT KOTA RENAMED AS VARDHMAN MAHAVIR UNIVERSITY
A official Bill to re-name Kota Open University as 'Vardhman Mahavir Open University' has been passed by voice vote in the State Vidhan Sabha of Rajasthan. Shri Shailendra Joshi, State Minister for Higher Education said that the renaming of the University has been done in the eternal memory of 2600th Birth Anniversary of Bhagwan Mahavir.

THIRD CONVENTION OF MAHARASHTRA JAIN ITIHAS PARISHAD
The third Convention of Maharashtra Jain Itihas Parishad will be held on 25th and 26th January 2003 at Kankavali in Sindhudurg district in south konkan (Maharashtra). This region was ruled by Jain Kings (Shilahars) and there are many interesting places including ancient Jain Mandirs to visit in this area. Kankavali is central place for Konkan, South Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. You can reach Kankavali by train from Mumbai and Goa or by bus from all major cities of Western Maharashtra and North Karnatak and Goa. For participation as scholar or visitor please contact: msanglikar@yahoo.com or phone on 0251-404149 (Shrenik Annadate, Editor Teerthankar)

GOLDEN JUBILEE MEDAL PRESENTED TO MR. KESHAV CHANDARIA BY CANADIAN GOVT.
On the occasion of the fiftieth Anniversary of the accession of her majesty the queen to the Throne the Golden Jubilee Medal was presented to Mr. Keshav Chandaria, by Government of Canada. This medal is awarded to people who have made significant contribution to Canada, to their community, and to their fellow Canadians at home or internationally. E-Mail:
keshav@comcraft.com

WEB SITE ON JAINISM IN HINDI LANGUAGE
Bipin Patil, a young Jain from Samdoli village near Sangli, South Maharashtra has just launched a website tirthankar.8k.com on Jainism in Hindi language. Probably it is the first Jain website in Hindi language.

MAHAMASTAKABHISHEKHA OF BHAGWAN BAHUBALI AT GOMMATAGIRI NEAR MYSORE
Mysore, (Karnataka) September 15: The 53rd Mahamasthakabhishekha (Head anointing ceremony) of the 18 feet high idol of Bhagawan Bahubali has been organised at Gommatagiri on the 29th of September 2002 under the Guidance of His Holiness Sri Devendrakirthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of the Jain Muth Huncha. Dr.Prabha Mandal convener of the Masthakabhishekha committee said this while addressing a press conference at Mysore. Gommatagiri is a place near Mysore (20 Kms from Mysore) famous for its monolithic statue of Sri Bhagawan Bahubali situated at the top of a hill called Shravana Gudda. The standing snakes with their hoods on either side of the statue are very attractive and unique of the Gommata sculptors seen in India. Though no any inscription is available throwing light on the space it is said that Chengalvas and Kongalvas enshrined the place. An annual mahamastakabhisheka cermony is celebrated every year during the September or October months. A row of the foot prints of the 24 tirthankaras are seen carved and installed near by the hill in the recent decades. The model of Samavasarana can be found in the place. It can be recalled here that the idol of Bhagawan Bahubali was discovered about 55 years back by Late Sri C.B.M.Chandriah when he was on his way to some other place. Its only due to the efforts of Sri C.B.M.Chandaraiah that this place was improved. Special busses are running from Mysore for the convenience of the visitors and pilgrims.

TORONTO STAR NEWS PAPER PUBLISHES BOOK REVIEW "JAINISM AND NEW SPIRITUALITY"
Toronto Star - the largest circulation newspaper in Canada recently published a full-page review of Dr. Vastupal Parikh's new book "Jainism and the New Spirituality". This is probably the first time Jainism has been given full-page treatment in any Western daily. When contacted, Dr. Parikh said, "Jainism is virtually unknown in the Western world. One of my objectives in writing this book was to raise the profile of Jainism in Western media through an easily understandable book on Jain principles and practices. A broader understanding of Jain principles of Ahimsa, Aparigraha, and Anekantavada has now become crucial for the redemption of the World burdened with violence, environmental destruction and social injustice. I am glad that the Star has demonstrated an appreciation of this Jain message by giving such a prominent and positive review." For more information about the book, viewers can see website
www.peacepublications.com

STAMP ISSUED ON TRIBHUVAN TILAK CHUDAMANI tEMPLE AND BHATTARAK SWAMIJI
On the occasion of Third year Pattabhisheka Vardhanthyutsava of His Holiness Swastishri Bhattarak Charukirti Panditacharyavarya Swamiji of Sri Jain Math, Moodbidri (Karnataka), a special cover has been issued on 29th August 2002 at Moodbidri and Indian Postal Department has provided a special pictorial cancellation. This beautiful special cover depict photographs of famous Tribhuvan Tilak Chudamani Temple (Thousand Pillars Temple) and Bhattarak Swamiji. Special cancellation bears line sketches of Tirthankar with cow & lion drinking water jointly in the same pot.

REQUEST FOR YOUR HELP FOR CANCER TREATMENT
Mr.Shekhar S Salunke. B.No.04, Shivyogi Nagar, Near Banthnal Math, Dist: Solapur Maharashtra India is requesting for help to meet the medication expenditure towards the cancer treatment for his mother ( surgery, chemotherapy and radiology ) which seems to be tremendous. Your help however meagre may help him save his mother. Whatever the meagre amount may be sent to him.

PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES OPENING OF AYURVED UNIVERSITY AT JODHPUR
Shri Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan announced at Jodhpur that the Planning Commission has accorded its approval to open Ayurved University here at Jodhpur. It would be the country's second and Rajasthan's first Ayurved University. The necessary legislative action has already been taken and the University would be established very soon with the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor. The Chief Minister assured that in spite of the paucity of funds with the State Government, necessary finances will be made available for this purpose.

OVER 25 PEOPLE KILLED IN TERRORIST ATTACK ON AKSHARDHAM AT GANDHI NAGAR
A most heinous and shameful crime was committed by terrorists on the evening of 24th September at the grand temple of Swamy Narayan, called Akshardham temple at Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat, killing over 25 persons and injuring more than 75 people. The persons killed included 4 women and 6 children. The terrorists entered the temple complex carrying automatic fire-arms and were dressed in army uniform. The fight between the terrorists and commandos, who were flown from Delhi went on though out the night , both sides having got engaged in pitched battle right inside the complex. Finally, two terrorists were killed by the commandos. Four army personnel were also reported to have lost their lives in the struggle.


BURGLARIES IN JAIN TEMPLES, GUJARAT
ROBIN DAVID & SACHIN SHARMA , TIMES NEWS NETWORK, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2002

AHMEDABAD/VADODARA :
Temple security at Gujarat first came into focus after terrorists killed nearly 40 innocent people at the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar on September 24. However, trustees of Jain temples in Gujarat say security has been uppermost on their minds, especially since there has been a sudden spurt in burglaries over the past few months. One of the worst-hit has been the Opera House Society temple on Ahmedabad's Juna Vikas Gruh road, where thieves first struck on July 26 and then on August 25, getting away with jewellery worth over Rs 60,000. Then, last month the Pankaj Society Jain temple in Ahmedabad was targeted with the culprits getting away with jewellery worth Rs 35,000. In both these temples, located in the posh Ellisbridge area, the authorities have started considering security measures. "Temple trust officials say the focus of the police seems to have shifted from preventing crime to quelling communal violence and tracking terrorists. As a result, burglars are having a field day. "In fact, the loot is worth much more than what gets registered," says insurance claims consultant Darshan Parikh, himself a devout Jain.Police commissioner K R Kaushik admits the burglaries are a concern. "We are looking into the temple security issue after the Akshardsham attack." The police have made some arrests in these cases but have not been able to recover the loot. One of the biggest breakthroughs has been the arrest of four people by the Bharuch police. It led to the detection of a series of such robberies across the state from Navsari in South Gujarat to Nandasan in Mehsana district of North Gujarat.They were also involved in a major robbery at the Anastu Jain temple near Vadodara, where they had beaten up three persons and looted Rs 3.5 lakh. The Vadodara police recovered gold and silver valuables amounting to Rs 2.7 lakhs from the four accused persons. The same gang was involved in burglaries at Jain temples in Navsari and Padamla near Vadodara and at the Nandasan Tribhuvan Jain Tirth near Kadi. Sub-inspector, R V Nandasana of Kanbha police station said, "Their modus operandi is to pelt stones on a temple and create a scare before looting and then fleeing with the valuables.News courtesy: Mr.J.V.METHA E-Mail : MehtaJ@MacEwan.ca

NEMI CHAND JAIN ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF ALL-INDIA SHWETAMBAR STHANAKWASI JAIN CONFERENCE
At a controversial, General Body meeting of the Jain Conference held recently at Sadri in Rajasthan, the elections for the post of Chairman were conducted and Shri Nemi Chand Jain was unanimously elected as the Chairman for the next session. Shri Jain hails from Pali. He has been a highly devoted and virtuous person, staunch devotee of Shri Marudhar Kesari Ji Maharaj and now that of the present Acharya Dr. Shiv Muni. He has been Vice-Chairman of the Conference at national level for the last two and a half years and member of the Jain Conference for over 25 years. He has been the Chairman of several religious and social bodies and business organisations and is actively involved in various humanitarian activities.

KHAMBAT TOWN IN GUJARAT IS PROUD OF HAVING THE OLDEST JAIN TEMPLE
The sprawling town of Khambat situated on the bank of Bay of Cambay can boast to be one of the oldest towns of the present civilisation. According to mythological information available from Jain literature, it used to be a flourishing town in the period of 22nd Tirthankar, Shri Nemi Nath Ji and 23rd Tirthankar Parshwa nath Ji. The town has all along been richly populated by Jain trading community. At present, there are 72 Jain temples in the town, most of them being very old, belonging to 10th to 12th century period. It can also feel proud of having the oldest Jain temple of Parshwa Nath Ji, built possibly during the period of Bhagwan Parshwa Nath, by a staunch follower, named Ashadi, who eventually became the first Ganadhar of Bhagwan Parshwa Nath and thereafter attained Moksha. The image in the main temple is made of Neelum stone. This temple is called Sthamban Parshwa Nath Ji temple, the reason being that this temple, in spite of being repeatedly attacked by foreign invaders from time to time, could not be destroyed or damaged and it stood like a 'sthamb'.

POSTAL STAMPS ON GANDHIJI AND SAINT SHRIMAD RAJCHANDRAJI
On the occasion of 133rd Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a special cover has been issued by the Indian Postal Department on 2-10-2002 at Patna. This special cover is also related to JAINISM. In the picture printed on the special cover, Gandhiji is sitting with renowned Jain spiritual Saint Shrimad Rajchandraji. Significance of picture is - before going to U.K. for higher studies, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi met the Jain spiritual leader Shrimad Ramchandraji, who preached him the principles of TRUTH & NON-VIOLENCE, which eventually led him to become a "MAHATMA". Indian Postal Department also provided a special cancellation on this cover which bears most beloved slogan of Mahatma Gandhi "ISHWAR ALLAH TERO NAAM, SABKO SANMATI DE BHAGWAN".
Courtesy: Mr. Sudhir Jain, E-Mail : mrsudhirjain@yahoo.com

NEW JAIN BOOK PUBLISHED
'Jain Law' by Late Shri Champat Rai Jain, Bar-At-Law. Published by Shri Bharatvarshiya Digambar Jain (Dharm Sanrakshini) Maha sabha, Shri Nandishwar Floor Mills Compound, Mill Road, Aish Bag, Lucknow- 226004 U.P. Price: Rs. 40/-.

FIFTH INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON SCIENCE IN JAINA SCRIPTURES
The seminar will be held on 11-14 October 2002 at Pratapgarh in the state of Rajasthan, India. About fifty research papers shall be presented by eminent scholars from different parts of India. The papers will cover subjects like Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Medical and Health Science, Doctrine of Karma, Astrology, Astronomy, Architecture, Environmental Science, Axiom of Relativity (Anekantvad & Syadvad), Psychology, etc. as related to Jaina Scriptures. For further information, please contact at nlkachhara@yahoo.com and/or browse at
www.jainkanaknandi.org/seminar

INTERNATIONAL PREKSHA MEDITATION CAMP
A 10 days residential camp is being organized from 21st October to 30th October 2002 in a newly built campus of Preksha Vishwa Bharti, Koba, on the highway of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. This complex is designed in a fashion and style that is most suited to hold such spiritual self-realizing events. The greatest attraction of this camp is that after a long span of about 10 years, Acharya Shri Mahapragya himself will enlighten souls of participants though his most vibrant and awakening auto-suggestions during the meditation sessions. Most befitting pyramids have been constructed in the campus for meditation. These pyramids are one of their kinds and claimed to be the biggest pyramids in India. This is a wonderful and once in a lifetime not to be missed opportunity. The camp is open for both national as well as international participants. For further information contact : International Preksha Meditation Camp, Preksha Vishwa Bharti, Ahmisa Nagar, Koba - Patia, Gandhinagar 382 009, Gujarat, India ,Phone: +91 79 327 6271 / 2 Mobile: 98250 27928, E-Mail :
prekshacamp@yahoo.com

SAMMET SIKHARJI PILGRIMAGE ORGANISED BY JAINA, USA, JANUARY 18 - FEBRUARY 2, 2003
JAINA, USA is organising a pilgrimage to Samet Sikhar Ji and nearby pilgrimage centres. This 16 day Yatra of many holy places is being organised in cooperation with Veerayatan, a Jain institution located at Raj giri in Bihar. Jains consider Shree Samet Sikhar as their most sacred place of pilgrimage. Samet Sikhar Ji is the holiest of all holy places for Jains, where 20 Teerthankars of current Chaubisi attained Salvation (Nirvana). Travelling through Bihar has always been considered a difficult endeavour and a Sangh Yatra is the only real choice for most people.

The tour also plans to visit Temples of Delhi, Shouryapuri (Agra), Aligadh (KanjiSwami Ashram), Ayodhya, Banaras, Rajgir, Guniyaji, Pawapuri, Kundalpur. Lachhwad (Kshatriyakund), Champapuri and Bodhigaya. In addition to the above-mentioned Temples, the group will also be spending 2 nights at Veerayatan.

Those interested to join this Pilgrimage, may please contact Mr. Anil Shah of East Brunswick, New Jersey or contact Dilip V Shah, E-Mail : dilipvshah@aol.com, Chairman, JAINA Pilgrimage Committee (215) 561-0581.

NEW TELEVISION CHANNEL "JIN AASTHA"
To spread the preachings, thoughts and philosophies of Jainism on an enduring, ongoing, concrete basis a new 24 hour satellite television is being planned under the name of 'Jin Aastha'. Initially the channel will be available on ‘C-Band' throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.

'Jin Aastha' will be a chaste platform on which all organizations constituent of the universal Jain Sangh can congregate. 'Aastha Trust has stepped in to sponsor programs of 'Jin Aastha' and will actively support the channel. Aastha Trust initially proposes enlisting contributions from 51 financially sound individuals or organizations of an amount of Rs. 10 Lakhs each being contribution and co-sponsorship towards the cause of 'Jin Aastha'.

K. R. CHANDRA AWARDED WITH ACHARYA VIDHYANAN SHAURASENI PRAKRIT PURASKAR
Dr. K. R. Chandra, the Ex-Head of the Prakrit and Pali Deptt. School of Languages, Gujarat University, has been awarded with the Acharya Vidyanand Shauraseni Prakrit Puraskar for the year 1999, for his outstanding contribution to the linguistic criticism of the Shauraseni Prakrit literature and fixation of original text of the Ardhamagadhi Agam literature. The award consists of a citation, a gold medal, and Rs. 51,000/-

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR ANCIENT INDIAN JAIN LITERATURE ESTABLISHED
Under the guidance and inspiration of Sri Nandighosh Vijayji Maharaj a desciple of Vijay Sarvodaysuriji Maharaj a Research Institute to explore the ancient Indian religious and philosophical traditions with a view to re-establish the religious culture amongst the youth, was recently inaugurated at Ahmedabad by by famous Mathematician and scientist, Dr. P.C. Vaidya. Well known Jain scholar Dr. Madhusudan Danki inagurated its website. Sri Shrenik Bhai; Kastur Bhai; Lal Bhai; Editor of Gujarat Samachar, Shri Shanti Lal Shah and others were the other dignitaries present on the occassion.

SAD DEMISE
Shri Paras Mal Bhansali, an eminent industrialist from Jodhpur, a philanthropist and social worker, who was the Chairman of Shri Jain Shwetambar Nakoda Parshwa Nath Teerth at Balotra in Rajasthan breathed his last at Bombay after a protracted illness on the 26th September, 2002. He was associated with several religious, social and business organisations and was a pride for Jain society.

DEVELOK GAMAN
Jain sadhwi, Shri Nirdosh Wani, disciple of Shri kushagra Nandi Ji Maharaj left for her heavenly abode at the age of 103 years at Delhi. She had taken 'santhara' prior to her death on the 25th July. The procession carrying her body in a palanquin was attended by thousands of followers from Jain community at Delhi.

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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