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Ahimsa Times - April 2003 Issue

Vol. No. 34

April, 2003

NEW CONTROVERSIES ADDED TO AYODHYA EXCAVATION BY JAINS & BUDDHISTS
New controversies are being raised each passing minute as a special team of the Archaeological Survey of India carries out an excavation at the disputed site here to determine whether a temple lies buried underneath. The Jains and the Buddhists have renewed the demand for their representatives in the process of excavation being carried out from March 12 on the directive of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court. Muslim parties in the dispute have, meanwhile, demanded that the excavation should not be treated as a 'precedent' and are seriously contemplating to move court in this regard. Babri Masjid Coordination Committee chairman Syed Shahbuddin declined to comment on the court order.The excavation should not be made a precedent and should be confined to the Ayodhya issue only, he said. He might move an application in this regard in the court on March 24, he informed. He said the excavation being carried out by the ASI should be done under the supervision of a commission deputed by the court. As ASI was under the Central government, it could come under pressure from officials, he said. Such a commission, he said, could have archaeologists and historians from both the communities. Recently, Sunni Waqf Board had raised the question of the labourers belonging to a particular community and in a memo given to the ASI team leader B R Mani said if the issue was not resolved, they would raise the question in the court on March 24 when the special bench would hear the Ayodhya case.

Jains have, meanwhile, voraciously demanded the inclusion of their representative at the excavation site. Manager of the Digambar jain temple Sudhir Jain said since there were several Jain temples in Ramkot, the area where the disputed site is located, there were possibilities of archaeological findings related to the Jain religion. He said Ayodhya was sacred to Jains since five Tirthankaras including the first Jain Tirthankar Lord Rishabdev, Ajitnath, Abhinandan Nath, Samitnath and Anantnath had taken birth in Ayodhya. Since there were 400-year Jain temples in the Ramkot area, Jain representative should be included at the excavation site, he said. Jain said he could not enter the excavation site as he did not possess a pass. He would raise the issue at the 'Mahamastabhishek' ceremony on March 26 on the occasion of Lord Rishabhdev's anniversary. Buddhists too have demanded the inclusion of their representative at the excavation site. Baudh Parishad spokesman Harishankar Safriwala claimed the existence of ancient Buddhist viharas in the Ramkot area and said the unearthing of findings related to Buddhist religion could not be ruled out. He, therefore, said Buddhists should be allowed access to the excavation site. Many Hindu organisations including the VHP have, meanwhile, welcomed the excavation which was carried out today amid tight security.

BAN ON COW SLAUGHTER TO BE IMPOSED SOON, SAYS THE PRIME MINISTER
Addressing an election meeting held on 20th February, 2003 at Mandi town in Himachal Pradesh, the Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpaee said that a total ban in cow slaughter shall be imposed soon in the entire country. He added that he would like to die rather than eat cow-meat. (Courtesy Jinwani, March, 2003).

JAIN TV & JAMIAT ULAMA-I-HIND TO SET UP 'IRAQ RELIEF FUND'
The Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind and Jain Television have jointly set up the "Iraq Relief Fund". Both organisations have jointly issued a public appeal for collection of relief material which can be sent to Iraq. They also propose to send a medical relief mission consisting of doctors, relief workers and medicines to Iraq. Mr. Jain, who recently visited Iraq said the US-led military strikes were nothing compared to Iraq's degradation by the sanctions imposed by the United Nations following the 1991 Gulf War. Iraqi children born after 1991 have been deprived of immunization, medicine and nutrition -- resulting in the death of several hundreds of thousands of children," Mr. J. K. Jain is also a surgeon and a member of Indian Parliament.

JAIN SAINT-CHANDRA PRABH SAGARJEE IN FAVOUR OF INSTALLING OF RAM IDOL AT AYDHYA
A Jain saint Chandra Prabh Sagarjee said today said that even if remnants of Jain temple were found during excavations at the disputed site of Ayodhya, an idol of Ram must be installed in the temple.

Sagarjee said Ayodhya for long has been centre of Jainism and Hinduism and first Tirthankar Adi Nath was born in this very the holy city. Ayodhya is as much as a holy city for Jains as for Hindus and there should be no dispute over the issue, he added. Sagarjee appreciated the role of the government to have taken the course of excavation as it will work as a solvent factor in the disputed matter. He said this will pacify the sentiments of a large section of Jain society too.

U. P. GOVERNMENT DECLARES JAINS AS MINORITY COMMUNITY
The State Government of Uttar Pradesh has declared that Jain community will hence-forth be considered as the one belonging to Minority in line with the Sikh, Buddh, Muslim, parsi and Christian communities. Decision has been taken according to the section 1994 of the Uttar Pradesh Minorities Commission. The Jain community, specially the people from Digambar sect had been strongly urging the Government continuously since the year 1995. Earlier, the Chief Minister, Ms. Mayawati at an inauguration ceremony of Jain cultural gallery in Lucknow museum held on 25th October had assured the people of early decision in the favour of Jains.

SCHOLARSHIPS ANNOUNCED BY SAHU JAIN TRUST
Sahu Jain Trust a philanthropic organization belonging to The Times of India Group has announced the 2003-2004 need-cum-merit based educational scholarships in the following categories (A) Inland Scholarship: for pursuing Technical Trade Courses, Professional Courses, Graduation, Post Graduation and other Courses. (B) Overseas Loan Schoalrships for higher studies. Last date for obtaining the application forms 20.5.2003. Last date for applying - 30.5.2003. Application Forms will be available free of charge or can be had by post sending a 9"x 4" self addressed stamped (Rs. 5/-) envelope to the Secretary, Sahu Jain Trust, Times House, 7, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-1100 002. For more information please visit sahujaintrust.timesofindia.com

THIRUPARIKUNDRAM JAIN TEMPLE NEEDS IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Thiruparikundram Jain temple 5 kms away from Kanchinpuram is totally abandoned and in bad shape, it is a massive huge temple which is approximately 2863 years old as per the script on the temple. This temple is also connect with old surang ( underground tunnel) with Varadharajaperumal temple in Kanchipuram which is also suppose to be Jain temple converted in to Hindu temple. Thirupatrikundram temple is today locked and the main idols of Parshwanath, Adinath and Mahaveer are in broken state.

PROGRAM ON JAINISM AND WORLD RELIGIONS AT NEW JERSEY ON MAY, 17 & 18TH
A two day program on Jainism and World Religions will be held on May 17 & 18, 2003, in Ramada Limited Hotel, South Plainfield, New Jersey, near Rutgers University. The program will be conducted by Mr. Pravin K Shah, Chairman, Education Committee of the Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA). Prof. Magliola and other scholars will also join the discussions. The first day will cover the Philosophy of Jainism in detail and the second day discussions will compare similarities and differences among major religions. For further details contact Mr. Naresh Jain, Vice President, International Jain Sangh, E-Mail : njain52253@aol.com

ASIA FOR ANIMALS -2003 CONFERENCE TO BE HELD AT HONG KONG IN MAY
A conference of Animals lovers and Animal welfare personnel is going to be held in May 2003 at Hong kong. Ms. Maneka Gandhi former Union Minister of India and internationally renowned environmentalist and animal Rights activist will be Among the main speakers .This time, it is confirmed by organising committee that all the foods served during the conference will be vegetarian. In the previous conference held in Manila in Philippines the participants were a day before the conference were served non-vegetarian food. While for the vegetarians it was difficult to find suitable food. Information source: Dr.Sandeep K.Jain,President, People For Animals Ludhiana. E-Mail: jeevdaya@rediffmail.com

ANNUAL FARE AT SHRI MAHAVIR JI FROM 15th TO 18th APRIL
The famous fare, which is a regular feature every year at Mahavir Ji, at the Digambar Jain temple complex in Rajasthan is going to be held from 15th to 18th April this year. The fare will form a part of Mahavir Jayanti celebrations. A national Kavi Sammelan has been planned on the 16th April and a large Ratha Yatra (Chariot procession) on the 17th April. Preparations for the celebrations are in full swing.

INTERNATIONAL RELIGIONS MEET HELD AT BANGALORE
An International religions conference was organised jointly by the Art of Living International Centre and Ved Vigyan Maha-Peeth at Bangalore from 15th to 20th January, 2003. Participants from about 80 countries representing various religions and faiths joined in the deliberations. The Conference was attended amongst others by the Vice-President, Deputy Prime Minister, Central and State Ministers and the Chief Minister of Karnataka., Shri Kamal Muni Ji 'Kamlesh' participated in the Conference on behalf of Jain religion and spoke about the Jain thoughts and philosophy, spreading the message of Lord Mahavir about truth and non-violence across all the nations.

YOUTH CONFERENCE AT BANGALORE ANNOUNCES COLLECTION OF RS. 2 CR. FOR FAMINE-STRICKEN PEOPLE OF RAJASTHAN
The All India Shwetambar Sthanakwasi Jain Yuva Conference has decided a target of Rs. 2 crores to be collected for meeting the acute famine conditions prevailing all over northern and western Rajasthan and else-where. This amount will be spent for humanitarian services and for animal care and protection. The national President of the organization, Shri Inder Chand Bohra made this announcement. He explained at length the two projects, the "Jeev Daya Project" and the "Jai-Jinendra Project", through which this amount of Rs. 2 crores will be collected. He called upon all the youth members of the organization to join hands and offer their full cooperation in achieving the target. Smt. Shakuntala Mehta, the national Woman President of the Conference also urged all the members to work for the success of the projects undertaken by the Conference.

THREE-DAY SEMINAR ON ARDH-MAGADHI AGAM LITERATURE AT LADNUN
A Seminar was organised by Jain Vishwa Bharati at Ladnun in Rajasthan from 15th to 18th February, 2003 on "Ardhmagadhi-Agam Literature". About 50 scholars of Ardh-magadhi, Sanskrit and Prakrit took part in the deliberations of the seminar and presented their research papers on subjects ranging from Philosophy, History, Art, Culture, Grammar and Literature to Science, Astrology, Ayurved and other allied subjects. The Convenor of the programme was Dr. Hari Shankar Pandey.

LIST OF INVITED GUEST SPEAKERS FOR JAINA CONVENTION 2003
Following is a short list of invited guest speakers for the Jaina Convention to be held in July, 2003: His Excellency Indian Ambassador Lalit Mansingh, Acharya Shri Chandanaji, Shri Jinchandra Vijayji , Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji, Shri Amarendra Muni, Shri Manek Muni, Shri Roop Chandji Muni, Shadhvi Shubhamji, Balbhadraji, Samanji, Samaniji, Mr. Rakesh Zaveri from Bombay, Prof. Dr. John Cort, Dr. Sushma Singhvi from Jaipur, H.H.Devendra Keerthi Bhattarakji, Dr. Hukumchandji Bharill, Dr. James Weldon, Dr. Kumarpal Desai, Mr. Dulichand Jain, Dr. Sagarmalji Jain and many more! Information courtsey : Dr. T.J.Salgia , Founding member and past president of JAINA, E-Mail : tsalgia@worldnet.att.net

DR. KUMARPAL DESAI RECEIVED THE FIRST EVER 'JAIN GAURAV AWARD'
The Bharat Jain Mahamandal, an organisation of the Indian Jains having a standing of hundred and two years has instituted a special award entitled 'Jain Gaurav' to be bestowed upon a person who has made outstanding contribution towards the progress of the Jains in India. This award has been sponsored by the Chaitanya Kashyap Foundation and is to be administered by the Bharat Jain Mahamandal. In the very first year of its institution, the award is to be bestowed on Dr. Kumarpal Desai whose varied contribution in the field of literature, education, journalism, philosophy of religion and social service is very well-known. It carries a cash prize of Rs. 1,25,000/- to be given to a person who has made significant contribution, thereby bringing laurels to the entire Jain community of India. Dr. Kumarpal Desai is presently the Dean of Arts faculty of the Gujarat University and also the Director of the Gujarat University School of Languages, Ahmedabad.

MR. NIRAJ JAIN NOMINATED FOR SAHU ASHOK JAIN MEMORY AWARD
Renowned Jain Scholar and Archeologist Shri Niraj Jain of Satna, M.P has been selected for fourth Sahu Ashok Jain Memory Award of Rupees. one hundred thousands. The award giving ceremony has been organized on 13th April 2003 at Pared Ground, in front of Red Fort, New Delhi. This award was started three years ago in the memory of late Sahu Ashok Jain, Chairman of Times of India Group and Bhartiya Gyanpeeth under the auspicious guidance of Pujya Acharya Vidhyanandji Maharaj. Every year this Award is given to one prominent Jain personality of good repute in various fields.

Shri Niraj Jain has Written more than two dozen books on various religions and spiritual topics. Most popular are - Jain Monuments at Khajuraho, Gomatesh Gatha (translated in Kannada, Marathi & Gujrati), Manavata kee Dhuri, Ratangiri ke Bahubali, Karahta Kundalpur, Rakshabandhan etc. Hundreds of his articles have been published in various magazines, papers etc.He is well known orator of Jain and Hindu Philosophy and regularly invited for delivering talks. He is associated with many national committees related to Jainism such as Shree Digamber Jain Mahasabha, Akhil Bhartiya Vidwat Parishad, Shravanbelgola Managing Committee etc. Information courtesy Mr. Sudhir Jain, E-Mail : mrsudhirjain@hotmail.com

MR. SUDHIR JAIN AWARDED SILVER MEDAL, PHILATELIC EXHIBITION
Mr. Sudhir Jain, eminent collector of Stamps, coins etc. on Jainism, has been awarded Silver Medal in the National Philatelic Exhibition INPEX held at Bhubaneswar from 26-02-2003 to 03-03-2003 for his collection "JAINISM THROUGH PHILATELY". He had exhibited 80 sheets of stamps, covers, cancellations on Jainism. Contact Mr. Sudhir Jain, E-Mail : mrsudhirjain@yahoo.com

PROF. K. M. LODHA FROM CALCUTTA HONOURED WITH "MAHATMA GANDHI AWARD
An eminent religious leader, thinker, philosopher, scholar and a literary celebrity on Jainism, Ex-Vice Chancellor of Jodhpur University and former Head of the Department of Hindi at Calcutta University as well as President of Sri Jain Ratna Hiteishi Shrawak Sangh, Calcutta has been honoured by the Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan with Mahatma Gandhi Award of Rs. 2 lakhs for his unique contribution in the fields of literature, education and culture. Ahimsa Foundation conveys its congratulations to Prof. Lodha on this occasion. (Courtesy Jinwani, March, 2003)

DIPAK C. JAIN TO ADVISE THAI PM, THAKSIN SHINAWATRA
Prime Minister Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra has appointed Mr. Dipak C. Jain to his board of advisors. For 10 years prior to becoming Dean, Professor Dr. Dipak C. Jain served as Kellogg Academic Director of the Sasin Program, Thailand . He has also been teaching last several years at Sasin's Executive MBA and MBA programs. Mr. Jain is also overseeing the groundbreaking "Branding Thailand" project, a joint effort by Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University. This is a marketing study on how to strengthen Thailand's competitiveness in the global market, undertaken at the behest of Kellogg alumni Finance Minister Dr Somkid Jatusripitak.

ASHOK KUMAR JAIN ELECTED MAYOR OF DELHI
Ashok Kumar Jain of the Congress was elected Mayor of Delhi by defeating Omkar Singh Thapar of the BJP with an overwhelming majority. Jain, an industrialist and owner of amusement park Aapno Ghar, defeated Thapar by a margin of 86 votes. He received 107 of the 130 votes cast in elections while Thapar got 21 votes. Jain, who has been elected to the MCD from Hauz Khas, was the Chairman of the South Zone ward Committee. Earlier, he was the Vice Chairman of the Delhi Cantonment Board between 1979 to 1983. A resident of Mehroompur Village, Jain was the Metropolitan Councillor between 1983 to 1990.

MR. C. P. JAIN CMD NTPC BECOMES SCOPE CHAIRMAN
National Thermal Power Corporation Chairman and Managing Director Mr. C. P. Jain is elected to the coveted post of Chairman of the Standing Conference Of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), the apex chamber of public sector companies. Outlining his priorities, Mr. C. P. Jain said that his focus will be mainly on placing public sector and its performance in proper perspective before the Government. Jain, a chartered accountant by qualification, began his career in a large private industrial house and moved to public sector after nearly seven years. Mr. Jain joined NTPC as executive director (Finance) in June 1991 and became director (Finance) in September 1993. Since September 2000, he is the chairman and managing director of the company, which accounts for over one-fourth of the total power generation in India.

DESIGNER, MADHU JAIN HOSTS FASHION SHOW AT SINGAPORE'S ST. JAMES POWER STATION
She has been the driving force behind the revival of Indian handicrafts for the past fifteen years. Designer Madhu Jain has reinvented the Indian ethnic ethos. Wearing Jain's creations is like taking a leaf out of our cultural milieu. Jain is now looking forward to a joint show with Kavita Bhartia, Ranna Gill and Anshu Sen Arora on April 1 at Singapore's St James Power Station, a heritage site, a part of the Mercedes Benz promotion. Her work range includes the Banni (one of the purest forms of mirror work from Sindh and Gujarat) embroidery, to the Kalamkari technique that recreates the magic of the Pahari School of paintings with Radha-Krishan motifs on the pallu. Madhu Jain has worked hard to bring fashion to the masses. According to Madhu Jain, Indians should not restrict this country as a sourcing ground.

INDIAN COOKING CALLED BAD FOR HEART- EDMONTON JOURNAL, CANADA
Indo-Canadians are being warned that their traditional cooking is heavy on clarified butter and whole milk yogurt is bad for their hearts. The issue has become something of a crusade for Edmonton Hindu priest Acharya Shiv Shankar Diwivedi. He's been seeing too many people in their 40s and 50s suffering heart attacks, and has made heart-healthy living a major theme in his preaching. "The south Asian community is not doing much exercise and they're following the tradition of heavy and rich food," Diwivedi said in an interview this week. Many resist change because the food is what their forefathers ate, he says. However, in India life was less stressful and much more vigorous physically, he reminds them. Indo-Canadians have a higher than average risk of heart attack, says Dr. Sunil Desai, a pediatric oncologist. And while the rich diet and lack of exercise are part of the problem, there may also be a genetic predisposition among Indo-Canadians to heart disease, Desai says. "What we call normal cholesterol for the white population may not apply to the Indian population," he says. Neelam Makhani, a dietitian with Caritas hospitals, says that while many Indo-Canadians are vegetarian, their cooking involves a lot of deep frying in clarified butter. The other problem, she says, is that south Asians use homogenized milk to make yogurt, one of their staple foods. Source : Edmonton Journal, Maynard S. Clark, E-Mail : MaynardClark@yahoo.com

NEW FINDINGS SHOW ANCIENT ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE OF JAINS IN A. P.
Many inscriptions have been lately found in Andhra Pradesh through archeological studies which corroborate the facts about the entry of Jain religion in Andhra Pradesh region in the pre-historic era and the presence of several Jain temples, Jain Matha, statues, pillars, caves and rock inscriptions scattered all over the State from ancient times. The inscription at Hathi Gupha, said to be installed by King Kharwel is an ample proof of these facts. According to this inscription, which was written in 2nd century, B.C., Nanda, the king of Magadha, after his victory over Kalinga in the year 424 B.C., took away a Jain statue of the first Jina and installed it there in Magadha. Later, this idol of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev was brought back by King Kharwel and was re-installed in Kalinga. According to historical records, both the Maurya King Nanda and Kushan king Kharwel were staunch followers and protectors of Jainism. A list of 101 villages, located in different parts of the Andhra Pradesh region has been made available where Jain temples, matha, ancient pillars having inscriptions thereon have been found. In fact, in every nook and corner of Andhra Pradesh, the remnants of Jain religion are found scattered. It has been established through research that Jain religion had entered Andhra in the 6th century B.C. Courtesy: Pt. Gulab Chand Aditya, through: Jain Gazette, 20th March, 2003.

NEW WEB SITE ON JAINISM
A new web site, covering essential aspects of Jain religion has been inaugurated recently by Shri Deep Chand Gardi at Bhav Nagar, under the name of www.jainuniversity.org. Main contributors of the programme include Shri Shrenik Bhai Kastur Bhai, Dheeru Bahi Shah, Shri Kumarpal Desai and Dr. Jitendra B. Shah. The web site appears to have been built mainly for teaching principles of Jainism. Though it has already been inaugurated, it is still in the early stage of development. For more information, contact: Mukesh Jasu, Kapasi at 0278-2428953.

JAIN WEBSITE www.jainworld.com IN RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
www.jainworld.com is now available in the Russian language as well.

DIKSHA CEREMONY (JAIN INITIATION)
Su-Sri Payal Khivsara, daughter of Shri Vijay Kumar Ji Khivsara and grand daughter of Shri Uttam chand Ji Khivsara from Surat was initiated to Shwetambar Jain Sthanakwasi sect by sadhwi Sri Kusum Bai Ji Maharaj in the divine presence of Acharya Shri Hira Chand Ji Maharaj, Shri Mahendra Muni Ji, Mahasati Shri Sushila Kunwar Ji and other sadhu and sadhwis on the 8th February, 2003 at Surat. A large number of devotees and distinguished guests, including Shri Mofat Raj Ji Munot, Convenor of Sangh-Sanrakshak Mandal were present on the holy occasion to witness the celebrations.

CHATURMAS DECLARED FOR 2003
The chaturmas of highly revered Digambar Jain saint and Acharya Shri Pushpadant Ji maharaj has been declared to be held at Mumbai this year. He will be holding his stay during the chaturmas period at Gulalwadi-Kika street in the 160 years old Digambar Jain temple of Bhasgwan Shri Parshwa Nath Ji.

The Chaturmas of Sadhwi Shri Anand Shree, disciple of Acharya Tulsi, belonging to Terapanthi Dharm Sangh declared to be held at Silchar (Assam) during the Maryada Mahotsava held at Bombay in the holy presence of Acharya Shri Mahapragya.

BOOK - "MEDITATION: THE FIRST AND LAST FREEDOM"- OSHO
Price: Rs. 300, Meditation is indigenous to all religions and this book offers 63 step-by-step guides to both ancient and modern techniques. From ancient Buddhist, Taoist, Sufi and Hindu practices to Osho's own modern Dynamic Meditation end Mystic Rose Meditation, these methods will help any spiritual seeker further along the path to fulfillment. A practical how-to-guide, the books spotlights more than 60 meditation techniques from Zazen, the ancient Buddhist practice, to Osho's own revolutionary techniques designed scientifically and specifically for the modern-day seeker.

DISCUSSION GROUP
Following note has been received from Mr. C. Dev Kumar through 'Jain List' about roller-coaster history of Jainism. The note makes an interesting reading and is therefore appended below for the viewers to comment.

Sub: Jainism over the ages: Its roller-coaster history

Dear Friends!

Jai Jinendra! We must learn from history and try to preserve our identity. Kindly spare a minute to read this letter and advise me for due correction of my attitude and facts; thanks.

Let me clarify the following:

I believe, we must respect tradition and local culture for the sheer social harmony. If we are doing a service in a part of the world, we must involve local people and harmonise our activities suited to their customs, language and tradition. When we take over a Jain temple, let us preserve it as it is! Let us not change it to our liking.

I am hurt by the turbulations Jainism had to go through right from Bhagwan Adinath times. We learn, after 10th Tirthankar, it was completely lost and such a discontinuity occurred again and again till Lord Shantinath arrived the scene. Luckily thereafter, I learn it was preserved continuously. We know with due pain the division that visited our great religion and the scars left behind. I salute the Jains of America to rise above the sects. I am yet to be ready!

In another column to Jainlist, I have argued as to why we should not indulging in comparing here and there the Jaina thoughts seen in Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. Jainism has been looted (I hope this word is acceptable) since Lord Munisvrata Nath times. Lord Rama and Lord Krishna would have never liked themselves to raise their status above Tithankar within 63 shalakha purushas. Lord Buddha began as the devotee of Lord Parshvanath and chartered a different course to distinguish Himself from His contemporary Lord Mahavira; the ego hardly gives you the chance.

Jain philosophy, symbols (How many of us know that trishul represents ratnatraya = the three jewels) rituals, festivals (Just to name two; Shivratri and Diwali - whose festivals are they today?), contributions in science, jyotisha and medicien and many such ideas have been taken away without due acknowledgements. For instance, the Siddha medicine in Tamil is of Jaina origin. The Arhata food has been renamed as Saiva- food in Tamil Nadu! Till 50 years ago it was called Arata food in Ceylon! I don't know of today! Come medieval times. Jains faced the worst-ever sufferings. The foreign invaders were directed specifically against Jains, Jain monuments and temples. Whole of north India was subjected to this unfortunate ill treatment. A century or two reduced the majorities Jains to a mino.

Down south, so-called Bhakti movement uprooted Jainism. We have no trace of native Jains or ancient Jain monuments in Kerala. We all know the ground realities in Tamil Nadu once the leader in South for the glory of Jainism. Andhra, we have nothing in terms of ancient continuum. We lost the heritage of TirukkuRal as a Jaina book. Many were compulsorily converted to Saivism but for good have carried the lofty ideals of vegetarianism, non-violence, nayavada and compassion with them. Nayanar and NeeRu Poosi Nainar are sects of such history. Many of the Muslims in Tiruchi and Tanjavur region were vegetarians at least up to seventies till the gulf opened the employment channels. If we were in sufficient numbers or the link between north and south was not snapped due to political division, worst ...

In another front too, Jainism was attacked and diminished its stature. Its unholy alliance with Brahminism in medieval times and adaptation of varnasrama; puja and other rituals in the style of Vedic Hindus. Institution of Mutt etsc must have been warranted at that time. These heritages must be renovated with modern ideas and direction as well.

Within the religion, the will and strength to sustain the lofty ideals were also tested again and again. Many of our Munis could not give the catholic touch to the religion and it was denied to common masses. It is easily said than done, though.The ordeals of German scholars in 19th century to get our agamas was a case of over-protection, I suppose. We missed another golden chance. We can't blame the modern Indians and the world if they think Jainism was insignificant because of communication gap.

Even in free India, the national emblem signifying Jaina tradition is attributed to Ashoka's Buddhism (I can post my article "Jaina Flavour in Indian National Emblem"). Vote-bank politics naturally ignores the due status of this great religion. It is treated as a sect of Hinduism. I have hardly seen an article by Mahatma Gandhi ever referring to the contribution of Lord Mahavira; he talks of Ahimsa and Syadvada or Anekantavada as the contributions of Hinduism; so much for adherence of Truth Please send your comments to theahimsa@jainsamaj.org

JAINISM TODAY - BY PROFESSOR PRADEEP PHALTANE
There is a teerthakshetra called Baubali in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. This district is stronghold of aboriginal Marathi Jains. Their traditional occupation is agriculture. They are Digambars. Before one and half century there were no `outsider Jains' in this area. But some Gujarathi Shwetambar Jains migrated there140 years ago. Some of them visited the kshetra Bahubali and and told to manager that they were also Jains but of Shwetambar tradition and requested him to allow to worship in the Parshwanath temple on the hill. The manager asked them to meet Jinsen Bhattarak of Kolhapur and to get the permission from him. The Bhattarak gave them the permission and the outsider Jains started to worship there.

After some years they again met Jinsen Bhattarak and asked him to give a permission to install a small idol of Parshwanath of Shwetambar tradition. The Bhattarak again gave permission to do it. Then they changed the big idol of lord Paeshwanath to a Shwetambar idol. Few years later they started to say that this is temple of Shwetambars only and went to the court to prove it. In court, they were able to prove it and the temple was theirs. Then they banned entry of Local Jains to the temple. All this happened because the local Jains at that time were not aware of their own tradition.

In 1981-83 the outsiders tried to capture the entire hill and for it they used politics, non-violence, money and created a rift between local Jains and Hindus. Actually the outsiders acted like the Pakistanis who had captured hills of Kargil recently. But the local Jains were awaken and this issue became a national issue. They were succeeded to defeat the outsiders. Although they suffered, they won. But remember that it was stronghold of local Jains. But in other places, it is not possible as local Jain community is a minority there. So the local Jains everywhere should beware of the outsiders.

Professor Pradeep Phaltane, Director, Institute for Jain Social Studies, 163, Yashwant Nagar, Talegaon Dabhade, Pune 410507, Phone: 02114-228155 E-Mail: prof_phaltane@yahoo.com

BAIL APPLICATION OF MANGILAL BHIMRAJ JAIN REJECTED IN SOLVENT SCAM CASE
The bail plea of key solvent scam accused Mangilal Bhimraj Jain was rejected by Judicial Magistrate court. Jain, who owns Paras Petrochemicals at Nandurbar in Maharashtra, is accused in the solvent scam which was unearthed in September 2002. He was arrested on February 6th . He was later remanded in judicial custody. The scam came to light after seizure of a solvent tanker on September 8, 2002. Though the sale invoice seized from the tanker driver stated that it was a chemical that would be used as raw material by Parshwa Industries in Sirohi district of Rajasthan, investigations revealed that the sale invoice was bogus and there was no such company in Sirohi. The probe also showed that the consignment had come from Paras Petrochemicals in Nandurbar district in Maharashtra.

BARODA JAIN TEMPLE LOOT: POLICE INVESTIGATION TO CONTINUE
Police has prepared a sketch of some armed men who robbed valuables from a Jain temple in the Panchmahals recently. They are investigating the role of local gangs in this robbery. Several Gujarati-speaking armed men first assaulted the priest and guard of a Jain temple in the Panchmahals and then looted nine idols and cash of Rs 3.50 lakhs. Panchmahals police has prepared computer sketches on the basis of information from two Sadhvis, who were present at the temple when the incident took place.

MURDER ATTEMPT CASE OF NIRAJ JAIN, VHP YET TO BE RESOLVED
Assassination of former Minister of State for Home, Haren Pandya in Ahmedabad has once again drawn attention to the attempt on Niraj Jain's life in July last year. Jain, who is currently with the BJP is an active VHP leader. Mr. Jain says that if a detailed probe is ordered, police will find involvement of international gangsters. According to Mr. Jain, police must crack on underworld dons who have made Gujarat as their work station. In the case of attempt on the life of Mr. Niraj Jain, police is still to conclude the case. Mr. Niraj Jain was fired at by some one when he was entering in his car on July 2nd 2002 and the culprits sped away on a motor cycle. Jain sustained injuries on his shoulders and was hospitalized for several days.

DEVLOK GAMAN
1. Sadhwi Shri Basant Mala Ji belonging to All India Swetambar Sthanakwasi Jain Shraman Sangh breathed her last at Belgaon. She had been run over by a fast-moving truck, about 12 km. away from Belgaon, while going on vihar from Pune to Bangalore for Chaturmas. She was accompanied by other sadhwis, who also suffered from severe injuries. Sadhwi Basant Mala Ji died on the spot. A large number of followers and eminent persons arrived from Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Calcutta etc. to join the funeral function. Later condolence meetings were held at different towns all over the country.

2. Shri Nitin Muni, newly-initiated Jain saint belonging to Acharya Ram Lal Ji's sampraday of Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect breathed his last while in sleep in the night of 28th January, 2003 at Deshnok in Bikaner division of Rajasthan.

3. Vetaran saint Shri Hukami Chand Ji Maharaj, disciple of Acharya Shri Samrath Mal Ji Maharaj and follower of Gachhadhipati Shri Champa Lal ji maharaj breathed his last and attained Devlok at the age of 92 years at Jodhpur in Rajasthan on the 5th February, 2003. He was initiated as Jain sadhu at the age of 61 years.

 

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