Ahimsa Times - May 2003 Issue
Vol. No. 35
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
"Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe."
MAHAVIR JAYANTI CELEBRATIONS ALL OVER INDIA
On the occasion of 2602nd Birth Kalyanak Mahotsava of Bhagwan Mahavir, Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated on the 15th April, 2003 at Ahimsa Gram, Cross Maidan, Church Gate as Ahimsa Day in the holy presence of various eminent saints and sadhwis from different sects. The prominent of these were Acharya Shri Mahapragya Ji from Terapanth sect, Acharya Shri Chandranan Sagar Surishwar Ji, Muni Shri Vimal Bhadra Surishwar Ji, both from Murti-Pujak sect, Elacharya Shri Nirbhaya Sagar Ji from Digambar sect and Mahasati Dr. Dharma Sheela Ji from Sthanakwasi sect. A large number of distinguished guests, devotees and followers from Jain community participated in the programme which was organised jointly by Bharat Jain Maha Mandal and Acharya Mahapragya Pravas Vyavastha Samiti, Bombay. In the morning, a large procession was taken out through the city in the usual manner, jointly by all the sects with chariots depicting tablaux about the life of Mahavir, banners about non-violence and children singing Jain devotional songs.
Similar celebrations, consisting of prabhat pheri, processions, discourses, seminars, prayers and religious musical evenings were held in all the towns and cities, like Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Indore, Jodhpur and others with great enthusiasm and devotion with a sense of compassion, detachment, humility and tolerance. At most places, the celebrations are organised
jointly by all the sects.
PRESIDENT'S GREETINGS ON THE OCCASION OF MAHAVIR JAYANTI
The President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in his message on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti said,"On the auspicious occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, I extend my greetings to all my fellow citizens. May Lord Mahavira's noble teachings inspire us to work for peace, non-violence and harmony among our people. Let us emulate his preaching of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct. On this day, we should take a vow to re-dedicate ourselves to work for the welfare of humanity."
VICE-PRESIDENT GREETS NATION ON THE OCCASION OF MAHAVIR JAYANTI
The Vice-President Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat has greeted the nation on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti. In his message he said "I convey my good wishes to the people of India on the joyous occasion of Mahavir Jayanti. Bhagwan Mahavira, through his enlightened teachings, showed us the noble path of non-violence, universal love and peaceful existence to save mankind from ignorance, turmoil and moral decay. His teachings have the power to provide answers to the problems faced by mankind.
PRIME MINISTER GREETS NATION ON THE OCCASION OF MAHAVIR JAYANTI
The Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee greeted the nation on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti. In his message Shri Vajpayee said that Lord Mahavir preached the principle of 'ahimsa', which ought to be the guiding force for humanity for all times to come. May the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti rekindle in our hearts the spirit of selfless service, dedication and devotion, as symbolised by Lord Mahavir, the Prime Minister added. The Prime Minister hoped that the festival would encourage people to strive for the good and well being of humanity in general.
ON THE EVE OF MAHAVIR JAYANTI INTER-FAITH MEET HELD AT VICE-PRESIDENT'S HOUSE
To mark the beginning of Mahavir Jayanti celebrations, Jain Mahasabha-Delhi, an apex organisation of Jains, organized an inter-faith meet at Vice-President House, 6, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi. The Hon'ble Vice-President Shri Bharon Singh Ji Shekhawat inaugurated the function by lightening the lamp of Ahimsa (non-violence) before the statue of Bhagwan Mahavir. In his inaugural address, while advocating the relevance of religious harmony, the Vice-President said that immortal teachings of non-violence, trust and compassion as preached by Bhagwan Mahavir about 2600 years ago perhaps were never so relevant before as they are today. He emphasized that the teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir should be observed in our day to day life. In his welcome address Prof. Rattan Jain, secretary general of Jain Mahasabha said that in the history of mankind we learnt that people have been killed not by weapons but also in name of establishing superiority of religious scriptures. On the occasion an unanimous resolution was passed demanding the "An Inter-religion Co-ordination Forum"be formed to sort out religious disputes.
RS. 100 CRORES DELIVERED TO JAINS
BY GOVT. OF INDIA
The distribution of Rs. 100 crores allocated by the Government of India on the occasion 2600th centenary year of Bhagwan Mahavir has been completed. Out of 100 crores 91 crores are distributed for the following projects and balance 9 crore are applied towards establishment costs. This information has been received from Mr. L. L. Achhha, General Secretary, Bhagwan Mahavir 2600th Janm Kalyanak Mahotsav Mahasamiti, Bhagwan Mahavir Kendra, Near South Campus, Delhi University, Benito Juarez Road, New Delhi- 110021.
JAINISM AND WORLD RELIGIONS - A TWO DAY PROGRAM AT NEW JERSY
The International Jain Sangh invites you to a two day program on Jainism and World Religions to be held on May 17 & 18, 2003, Saturday and Sunday, in Ramada Hotel, 2989 Hamilton Boulevard, South Plainfield, New Jersey, near Rutgers University. This program is designed for those who communicate with people of other religions, inter-religious couples and their parents, religious teachers, and persons interested in interfaith activities or learning of other religions. For details, contact: Naresh Jain, INTERNATIONAL JAIN SANGH (IJS), Fed ID 22-3655912, Tel: 732-493-0093) 42 Cotswold Circle, Ocean NJ 07712.
NEW ASHTAPADA JAIN TEERTH AT SUSHIL VIHAR, RANI ON VARKANA ROAD, PALI, RAJASTHAN
A new Jain pilgrimage centre has been recently established at Rani village on the Varkana Road in Pali District of Rajasthan with the inspiration of Acharya Shri Vijay Sushil Surishwar Ji Maharaj. A large complex is in the offing, consisting of Main temple of Shri Mahavir Swami, Navgraha temple, Kalpa Sutra shala, Gyan Mangir, Upasray Hall, Vyakhyan Bhawan (Hall for holding discourses by saints), Boarding and lodging accomodation for pilgrims and other facilities. The entire region is famous for its religious sentiments and large population of Jain community, specially from Swetambar Murtipujak sect and a number of other religious centres of pilgrimage are located around within a distance of 30 to 35 km. Ranakpur is 31 km., newly built Anand Dham is only 10 km., apart from Muchhala Mahavir and miraculous temples at Narlai, Nadol, Sumer and Amba Ji Nagar.
PANCH KALYANAK PRATISHTHA MAHOTSAVA AT PANIPAT
Under the auspices of Mahavir Jayanti, Panch Kalyanak Pratishtha Celebrations were held in the holy presence of Revered Muni Shri Saurabh Sagar Ji Maharaj and Shri Prabal Sagar Ji maharaj of Digambar Jain sect at Panipat from 10th to 16th April, 2003. An idol of 1008 Bhagwan Shri Chandaprabhu Ji was installed on this holy occasion at Model Town temple. The programme was organised by entire Digambar Jain Samaj of Panipat. These Kalyanaks consist of five worships, one performed every day, (i) Garbh Kalyanak Purvardh, (ii) Garbh Kalyanak Uttarardh, (iii) Janm Kalyanak, (iv) Tap Kalyanak and (v) Moksh Kalyanak. It is believed that these Kalyanak-worships enable conversion of a life-less stone into a revered idol of Bhagwan.
SOUTH INDIAN JAIN TEMPLE OF ADINATH BH. AT VICHUR IN A SORRY STATE
An ancient Jain temple in Tamilnadu, which is just 35 kms from chennai, having Digambar Idol of Shri Adinath Bhagwan is in a totally sorry state. In this village there is not even a single jain family either local or outsider. The village people want to remove thirthankar idol and put a hindu amman(devi) temple. It is heard that the village head/s want to sell that idol to some deserving people to fetch a good price and at the same time by doing that he can take over this place for a devi temple. This is going to happen any time in this week or within this month. Can anyone reach there and do some thing or can any Jain mission or trust come and take stock of things? For details, contact: email@example.com
UNIQUE JAIN TEMPLE OF MAHAVIR SWAMI IN BIKANER
One of the oldest Swetambar Jain temples, having the bronze idol of Bhagwan Mahavir, measuring 18 feet in height is located in the heart of the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan. The story about this temple goes that the idol which was being carried on a carriage had to be stopped here as the carriage could not be moved any further. It was decided to instal the idol in one of the old temples but the entrance door was observed to be too short in size for the idol to be taken in. However, when it was being taken inside, the entrance door got enlarged by itself. A large idol of Parshwa Nath Bhagwan is also installed in a near-by hall. In another corner, both deities, Bhairu Ji and Bhomia Ji have been installed side by side. The temple draws a large number of followers and worshippers every day. It is supposed to be more than 2500 years old.
CORRESPONDENCE COURSE IN PRAKRIT
Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra Shri Mahavir Ji, through its Apabhransha Sahitya Academy is offering from this year a correspondence course in Prakrit. The course commences from 1st July, 2003. It will include lessons on Prakrit, Sanskrit, Hindi and other languages and related subjects prepared by eminent teachers, research scholars and learned persons from different institutions. Those interested to join may obtain application form and details from the Academy office, Digambar Jain Nasia Bhattarak Ji, Savai Ram Singh Road, Jaipur - 302 004.
JAIN SUTRA IN ENGLISH AND HINDI RELEASED
Inspired by Acharya, Dr. Shiv Muni Maharaj, belonging to Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect, following Jain Sutra have been translated into Hindi and English in memory of Pravartak Shri Padam Chand Ji Maharaj:
1. Shree Vipak Sutra (Including Nirayavalika Sutra)
2. Shree Aup-patik Sutra
The two books were released at Kurukshetra by Dr. Shiv Muni in the holy presence of S.Shri Amar Muni Ji, Dr. Suvrat Muni Ji, Pankaj Muni Ji, Puneet Muni Ji and veteran sadhwi Shri Rajmati Ji Maharaj and Mohan Mala Ji maharaj on the 6th April, 2003.The books are well-illustrated and include the original in Prakrit along-with the translations in two languages. For obtaining these books, Shri S.S. Jain sabha, Kurukshetra (Haryana) can be contacted. Tel. 01744-220581, 225287.
VICE-PRESIDENT CALLS ON SHRI ROOP MUNI TO ENQUIRE ABOUT HIS HEALTH
Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Vice-President of India called upon the Shere-Rajasthan saint, Pravartak Shri Roop Chand Ji Maharaj at Udaipur to pay his respects and enquire about his health after a heart surgery recently. Shri Shekhawat and his family are very much devoted to the saint. Maharaj informed the Vice-President that 248 cow-sheds (Gau-shala) have been opened and are being run under his control, which accomodate about 80,000 cows. Other political leaders of Rajasthan, including Shri Gulab Singh Shaktawat, Shri Kailash Meghwal and Shri Gulab Chand Kataria were present to pay their respects.
NEW PUBLICATIONS ABOUT JAINISM
Guardians of the Transcendent: An Ethnography of a Jain Ascetic Community explores the many facets of what constitutes a moral life within the Terapanthi Svetambar Jain ascetic community, and examines the central role ascetics play in upholding the Jain moral order. By Anne Vallely, Published by University of Toronto Press, Year: 2002, Price: Hard Cover C$70 Paperback C$27.95
From Liberation to Ecology: Orthodox and Diaspora Discourses"in Jainism and Ecology (Harvard University Press, 2002;
"Jain Women in North America": an Encyclopedia of Women and Religion (forthcoming, Indiana University Press 2003);"
"The Jain Plate: The Semiotics of the Diaspora Diet"in South Asians in the Diaspora, (forthcoming E.J. Brill Publishers, 2004).
"Jainbadri (Shravanabelgola) Ke Bahubali Tatha Dakshin Ke Anya Jain Tirtha": (Hindi) By Surendranath Shripal Jain; edition 2003; 73 art pages Rs. 250.00, This is a art book on the jain tirtha shravanabelagola and its surrounding areas. It has 60 pages of colour photographs and is printed on art paper. To buy
Shri Abhishek Rakhecha, son of Shri Bal Chand Ji Rakhecha belonging to Indore was initiated to Jain saintly order in the Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect in the holy presence of Shri Champa Lal Ji Maharaj at Jodhpur on the 11th April, 2003. The Bhagwati Diksha ceremony was held in a solemn and serene atmosphere. A large gathering of followers, relatives and friends of the family to which Shri Rakhecha belonged, witnesses the programme.
S.Shri Praneet Jain, Puneet Jain and Rajeev Jain belonging to Adampur, Tohana and Panipat respectively accepted Jain Diksha in Shwetambar Sthanakwasi Shraman sangh sect in the presence of Shri Prakash Chand Ji Maharaj, Shri Padam Chand Ji Maharaj, Shri Shanti Chandra Ji Maharaj and 28 other saints and a number of sadhwis at Tohana in Punjab on the 15th February, 2003. A large colourful procession was taken out in the morning to celebrate the occasion. More than 25,000 followers attended the programme.
NEW TRAIN "TIRTHANKAR EXPRESS"TO RUN FROM SECUNDARABAD TO BIKANER
The railway ministry has launched a new express train named "Tirthankar Express"which will run from Secunderabad to Bikaner via Ahmedabad and Jodhpur. News Courtesy: Nilesh Jain, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
JAIN CALENDER (MARCH TO SEPTEMBER, 2003)VIR NIRVAN SAMAT: 2529-2530
Vikram Samvat: 2059-2060
K 8: Varshitap begins (March 26, 2003)
S 1: Ugadi (Bharata Digvijaya (April 2)
S 7: Ayambil Oli Begins (April 8, 2003)
S 12: Ratnatraya Vrata begins (April 12, 2003)
S 13: Lord Mahavira's Birth (April 15, 2003)
S 15: Ayambil Oli Ends (April 16, 2003)
S 3: Akshaya Tritiya ( May 4, 2003 )
S 4: Varshitapa ends ( May 5, 2003 )
S 10/11: Mahavira Kevalgyan (May 11/12, 2003)
K 14: Shantinath Nirvana ( May 29, 2003 )
S 5: Shruta Panchami ( June 5, 2003 )
S 7: Neminath Moksha ( June 6, 2003 )
S 8: Ashtanhika begins ( June 6, 2003 )
S 14: Aashaada Chaturdashi ( July 12, 2003 )
S 15: Ashtanhika ends ( July 13, 2003 )
K 1: Vira Shashan Jayanti ( July 14, 2003 )
S 5/6: Neminath Janma ( Aug 3, 2003 )
S 7: Parshvanath Nirvan, Moksha Saptami ( August 4, 2003 )
S 15: Rakhi ( Aug. 12, 2003 )
K 1: Shodashakaran vrata beginds ( Aug 13, 2003 )
K 12/13: Paryushana Athai begins (Aug 24/24, 2003)
S 1/2: Mahavira Janma reading (Kalpasutra) ( Aug 28, 2003 )
S 3: Rot Tratiya ( Aug 30, 2003 )
S 4/5: Paryushana (Samvatsari)(Aug 30/ Sept 1, 2003 )
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 is 20.5.2003 and last date for applying is 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, visit: sahujaintrust.timesofindia.com
MUSICAL NITE BY RAVINDRA JAIN AT HOUSTEN
JVB Preksha Meditation Center, Houston proudly presents a musical nite by Ravindra Jain, the Maestro and his Orchestra on Saturday May 24, 2003, 7 pm at Westside High School, 14201 Briar Forest, Houston, TX 77077. TICKETS: $15(Open seating), $25, $50, VIP $100 and Sponsors $500plus; available at: JVB Preksha Center Houston Tel 281 596 9642.
MR. NIRMAL CHANDRA JAIN APPOINTED RAJASTHAN GOVERNOR
The renowned advocate and social worker of Jabalpur, MP Shri Nirmal Chandraji Jain has been appointed the Governor of Rajasthan. He was the Member of Parliament for the Sivni (MP) constituency from March 1977 to September 1979. He was appointed the Advocate General of MP and held the prestigious post for a number of years. He was a member of 11th Finance Commission of India from July 1998 to July 2000. Born in a reputed Terapanthi Digamber Jain family on 24th Sept. 1928, Shri Nirmal Chandra Jain completed MA, LLB and started practising law at the M P High Court (Jabalpur) in the year 1951.News Courtesy Mr. Sudhir Jain.
PROFESSOR BHAGCHANDRA JAIN, DIRECTOR, PARSHVANATH VIDYAPEETH HONOURED
On 20th April 2003 Prof. Bhagchandra Jain "Bhaskar", the former Head of the Department of Pali and Prakrit, Nagpur University and Director, ParshvanathVidyapeeth,Varanasi was honoured by the Ahimsa International Deputymal Adishvarlal Jain Literary Award at the hands of Shri Vijay Goyal, the Central Minister, Government of India at Delhi. Dr, Jain is an eminent scholar of Jainism and Buddhism who has contributed several books. Jain Sanskriti Kosh, the Encyclopaedia of Jainism in three volumes is his latest contribution which covers the history , philosophy, literature , and Culture of Jainism. News courtesy Mr. Amit Jain, E-Mail :
INFOSPACE FOUNDER MR. NAVEEN JAIN ALLEGES IMPROPRIETY, LEAVES BOARD
Naveen Jain, the founder and former chief executive of InfoSpace Inc., resigned from the Board of Directors over the weekend. In a letter to the Board, Jain said he was concerned about clear and convincing evidence of improper actions by management and by certain directors that require prompt investigation and decisive action."Mr. Jain, who is being sued by the company for allegedly breaching his fiduciary duties, is the largest shareholder. InfoSpace, which packages directory information, sports scores and other content for Internet sites and wireless companies, called Jain's assertions "pure fabrication"and "simply not true."
GOLD ORNAMENTS STOLEN FROM JAIN TEMPLE AT MULUND, MUMBAI
Gold ornaments worth Rs 70 lakhs were stolen from the Jain Derasar, Mulund, Mumbai. The ornaments worn by the main idol were found missing after the temple was closed in the afternoon. When the temple re-opened at 4 p.m. the pujari noticed the theft. According to the trustees the temple is having proper security arrangements and visitors are not allowed in the afternoon.
As per the members of the temple they do not not intend to lodge a complaint as there are several people working in the temple and the police may target innocent staff of the temple.
BHAGWAN MAHAVIR COIN ISSUED BY THE GOVT. OF NEPAL
To commemorate 2600th Janam Kalyanak Year of Bhagwan Mahavira, Nepal Government has issued Rs. 250 coin of fine silver - 999, which weighs 20 grams. This coin can be procured for a price of Rs. 550 from Pradip Jain, Post Box 128, Mithapur, Patna 800 001 (India), Ph : 0091-612-2225929, Fax : 0091-612-2238010, E-Mail:
SPECIAL COVER ISSUED TO CELEBRATE LORD MAHAVIR JAYANTI 2003
Special cover released on this Occasion to mark the Bhagwan Mahavir Jyanti. This Special Cover is available for sale at the Price Rs. 15/- each. Postage by regular mail Rs. 10/- with each order and by registered mail Rs. 35/- with each order. Contact Mr. Pradip Jain,
ELEVEN JAIN IDOLS STOLEN FROM THE OUTSKIRTS OF BHOPAL
Recently, eleven idols were stolen from a famous Jain Shwetambar Mahavir temple situated at Manua Bhan Ki Tekri on the outskirts of Bhopal. The police suspect the hand of some professional gang and have announced an award of Rs 15,000 for providing a clue leading to the arrest of the thieves. The temple was closed at 7 pm as usual that evening. However, the next morning, the locks of the temple were found broken and the idols missing. Maheshdas Bairagi, the temple priest lodged a complaint with the Kohe-Fiza police. The idols made of 'ashtadhatu' (eight alloys) were 6 to 12 inches tall. Interestingly, the thieves did not take away the donation box.
MR. AJIT JAIN MAY HEAD BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY CONGLOMERATE
Mr. Ajit Jain a Harvad MBA is likely to be appointed successors to legendary investor Warren Buffet. Ajit Jain, who heads Berkshire Hathaway's reinsurance business, is most popular choice of the short-listed successors. Although Mr. Buffet has not officially named potential successors, but people close to the company have identified Mr. Ajit Jain as most popular choice.
WE NEED A REAL ALL INDIA JAIN ORGANISATION - PROFESSOR PRADEEP PHALTANE
There are many All India Jain Organizations. Although they claim that they represent Jains in all over the India, actually they are organizations of a single Jain caste of a specific state in India. For example:
Digambar Jain Mahasamiti: This Delhi based organization claims that it represents All Digambar Jains in all over India,but actually it is the organization of Khandelwals. There are some Agarwals too in this organization, but Khandelwals are dominating. The head office of this organization is in a Khandelwal Digambar Jain Mandir in Delhi. Then what else we can expect from this organization?
Bharat Jain Mahamandal:
It is said an organization of all Jains in allover India, but it is domintated by Gujaratis and Marwaris. The head quarter of this organization is in Mumbai, (Maharashtra), but there is no single member from Marathi Jains in this organization. The president of this organisation is appointed from Shwetamber Murtipujak, Sthanakwasi, Terapanthi and Digambar sect alternatively. The first three sects are dominated by Oswals. So for three years, the presidents are generally oswals and when there is a Digambar president, again he is a Marwari, not Marathi or South Indian. It should be noted that when this organization was founded, there were many Marathi Jains in it, but they were expelled later.
Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana: It is also an Oswal dominated organization. Although It's main base is Maharashtra, the Marathi Jains are kept away from this organization.
Digambar Jain Mahasabha:
Purely it is organization of orthodox Khandelwals.
Sthanakwasi Jain Conference:
Purely organization of Oswals, no place for Sthanakwasi Agrawals or Porwals.
So we can see that there is no place to South Indian, Marathi or any other Jains in any so called All India Jain Organizations. All these are caste based organizations. Is it democracy? We need a real All India Jain Organization which will give representation to aboriginal Jains of all states of India. It is possible only if the aboriginals come into contact with each others. The true unity of Jain community is not in unity of various sects, but in the unity of Jains of various linguistic groups.
Professor Pradeep Phaltane, E-Mail:
Director, Institute for Jain Social Studies, 163 Yashwant Nagar, Talegaon Dabhade, Pune 410 507, Phone 02114-28155.
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: