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Ahimsa Times - November 2003 Issue

Vol. No. 41

November, 2003

"WHEN ANGER IS CONQUERED, THE SPIRIT OF FORGIVENESS SPRINGS IN THE SOUL."

ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYA HONOURED WITH INDIRA GANDHI EKTA AWARD
For his unstinted efforts to establish peace, goodwill, respect for each other and to promote non-violence through his AHIMSA YATRA passing through the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, and helping to remove tension in the riot-hit areas of Gujarat, Acharya Mahapragya, Head of the Jain Tera Panthi sect has been honoured with Indira Gandhi National Unity Award for the year 2002. The award has been received by his representatives at New Delhi on the 31st October. Jain Samaj should feel proud for the contribution made by a revered saint towards peace and non-violence in the country.

 

PRESIDENT KALAM ISSUES "SPIRITUAL DECLARATION" AT SURAT
President Abdul Kalam attending a two-day seminar on the theme of 'Mental Unity' held at Surat in the presence of Acharya Mahapragya, stressed the need to bring religious amity and cooperation amongst different religious sects and issued a "Spiritual Declaration" by common consent. The seminar was attended by 17 important leaders from different religious sects and the declaration was the outcome of the discussions held at the programme. The President urged upon the leaders to take all necessary action to implement the declaration in its true spirit, as fast as possible. The main items in the declaration included reflection and contemplation to bring and maintain peace and goodwill, organising prayers for peace, addressing moral and ethical value-based messages for global transmission, holding spiritual and religious meetings of religious leaders and followers on a regular basis for inculcating ethical values amongst masses and proper communication and arranging developmental activities by various sects to promote religious and communal unity and mutual understanding. Those who took participated in the seminar included Dr. Thomas Dabre, Dr. J.S. Negi, Maulana Bahiduddin, Sayyad Mohammad, Sayyad Jilani, Brahma Kumari Sudesh Didi, Rahul Baudhi, Swami Jitatmanand, Swami Neerajanand and Swami Bal Gangadharnath. President Abdul Kalam spent his 73rd birthday at Surat with Acharya Mahapragya.

AHIMSA DAY CELEBRATIONS AT THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
Ahimsa or Non-violence in all its modes is the first and foremost precept of the Jain philosophy. To commemorate this principle, most relevant in this day and age, the Institute of Jainology organised a celebration in the Atlee Suite, Portcullis House, at the House of Commons, London on 14th October 2003. House of Commons which was hosted by Mr Stephen Pound, MP, and Chairman of the Labour Parliamentary Friends of India. After an auspicious prayer, Mr Pound welcomed the audience to this first Ahimsa Day Celebration. A short video film "Quest for World without Violence" was then screened showing several Nobel Peace Laureates recounting their experiences of having used non violence to support their cause. This included, Simon Peres, Desmond Tutu and Dalai Lama. Finally the excerpts from Mahatma Gandhi's life were shown followed by Indian national anthem sung and played by the major artists in India.

Mr Peter Luff, MP, and Chairman of the Conservative Friends of India. having recently returned from a visit to India, related personal experiences of his visit. Professor Richard Gombrich, Boden Professor of Sanskrit at the Balliol College, Oxford, and H E High Commissioner of India, Mr Ronen Sen. Dr Singhvi's subject was the influence of Jainism on Mahatma Gandhi. Dr Singhvi reviewed the two historical spiritual tracks, Vedic and Shramanic traditions. He then corrected the misconception that the Jain faith was founded in the 6th century BC by stating that it was much older, perhaps nine to ten thousand years old.

Professor Gombrich started with the statement 'Aggression and violence are not commended by any of the world's great religions or ethical systems'. It is Indians above all who have demonstrated that non-aggression is by no means the same thing as passivity, and that to renounce aggression does not mean renouncing the possibility of having an impact on the wider world. Teachings of two of the world's greatest spiritual leaders in the fifth century before the Christian era: Mahavira and the Buddha had left this legacy in India and then went to express the Buddhist concept of Ahimsa. Mr Mahesh K Shah, and Mr Harshad N Sanghrajka, both Trustees of the Institute of Jainology gave informative talks on the activities of the Institute and the Jain Diaspora, respectively. The programme was attended by several distinguished guests including Lord Corbett, Lord Bhatia, Baroness Flather, Ministers of State Rt Hon McNulty and Rt Hon Tom Gareth and several other MPs like Mr Barry Gardiner, Mr Tom Watson, Andrew Dismore. News courtesy: Jay S Mehta.

HISTORIC MOMENT FOR JAINS AND HINDUS AT THE WHITE HOUSE
October 23, 2003, Washington DC: This day marked a historic time for Hindus and Jains in the United States. The White House celebrated its first ever Diwali event. Among the 100 guests, were representatives of various civic organizations and prominent government officials. In a ceremony rich with tradition, a lamp was lighted by Mr. Karl Rove, special advisor to President George W. Bush, in front of the Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi to invoke their blessings during this age-old festival of lights celebration. Addressing the guests in the Indian Treaty Room where the original U.N. Charter was also signed, Rove said, "I just spoke with the President who called from Pearl Harbor; he sends his Diwali greetings to you and to the Hindu and Jain community worldwide. "He added, "The President would have been here today, had it not been for his trip to Asia and Australia."

Leading the invocation was Dr. Anant Rambachan, professor of Religion at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota who also conducts congregational worship services at the Hindu society of Minnesota. An active participant in inter-faith dialogue, Mr. Rambachan highlighted the significance of Diwali and its relevance in today's environment. He said, "The establishment of a utopian rule, referred to as Ramrajya, followed Rama's defeat of Ravana and his return to his home. It was the inspiration for Gandhi's vision of an ideal community. In the kingdom of Rama, the state was no longer violent and oppressive towards its citizens. Nations lived in peace with other nations and all suffering was overcome. Human beings were generous and charitable towards each other. The kingdom of Rama as presented to us in the Ramayana, is an alternative political, economic, social and religious order. It is a vision what a human community should look like when we recognize God as supreme and ultimate."

Mr. Neil Patel, a political appointee serving in the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney was the Master of Ceremony. Speaking next, underscoring the historic importance of the event, Mr. Gopal Khanna, Chief Financial Officer at The Peace Corps, addressed those in attendance. Mr. Khanna said, "This celebration symbolizes the Bush Administration's recognition of America's rich religious and ethnic diversity. Today's event establishes a tradition that will, for generations to come, strengthen America as a nation that remains committed to, secularism and inclusion in it's mainstream, people of all faiths. "Mr. Khanna continued, "This historic White House celebration happened because of a conversation Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal, National President of the Association of Indians in America, had with President Bush about six weeks ago. During that meeting Dr. Agrawal urged the President to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali at The White House." The President promised Dr. Agrawal that he would look into the matter and, to the delight of the growing Indian American community, we are here celebrating this event together today. When asked about the highlights of the event, Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal responded, "There were at least two very significant items; the event was held at The White House within six weeks of the request to the President and representatives from all major Indian organizations were present at the event including Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and Christians. It was truly an elegant affair." He added "President Bush deserves our sincere 'gratitude' for creating history by opening the door of The White House for a Hindu ceremony. We are sure that the tradition will continue and this is the beauty of America."

The Association of Indians in America commissioned a Commemorative Silver Coin struck in honor of the occasion. The coin depicts the deities Ganesha and Laxmi on one side with the reverse side bearing the inscription "First Diwali At The White House 2003".

A UNIQUE EXPERIMENT BY CHILDREN OF LONDON - SPONSORED BY MAHAVIR FOUNDATION
Sunday , 9th of November saw a unique experiment by the students of Chandana Vidyapeeth (Jain School) in London. Boys and girls, as young as five-six years olds, demonstrated their abilities in reciting various Jain verses in front of the elders of the Jain community in London. Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth is instrumental in teaching Jain values to the new younger generation and is running classes for Jainism. Recently an event was organised - with the help of Mahavir Foundation - at the Kingsbury High School in London. The event was the "Sponsored Samayika". The Jain Samayika was attended by 60 or so young children, their parents and other well-wishers. Sutras of Samayika were recited by some 30 children. They not only spoke the original sutras but translated them as well. There was a complete ritual of Samayika together with related story, skit and the slide show. It was heart-warming to see children doing all this when many of Jain elders even do not know the meaning of Samayika.

The whole programme was received with enthusiasm and proved that children have capacity to recite and explain various sutras of Jainism. That day, being a day of Pilgrimage to Palitana, a large picture (patta) was displayed and people also did the worship ritual. Mahavir Foundation is currently in the process of building a Jain Centre/Derasar in London. Report By - Vinod Kapashi, Surendra Mehta, E-Mail : smmehta@ntlworld.com

JAINA YATRA 2004 TO VISIT JAISALMER, ABU, GIRNAR AND PALITANA
It is reported that JAINA YATRA for the year 2004 to Teerthdhams of Rajasthan and Gujarat will start on January 18 and visit Ranakpur, Jaisalmer, Abu, Sankheshwar. Palitana and Girnar. Those interested to join the yatra may contact JAINA.

SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED BY V. R. GANDHI FUND FOR ADVANCED STUDIES IN JAINISM
Seven scholarships have been awarded by Shri V R Gandhi scholarship fund for advanced studies in Jainism. The committee has awarded these seven scholarships of Rs. 15,000 for advanced studies, Ph.D. and M.Phil in Jainism.

JAINA TEERTHODHAR COMMITTEE SPONSORS HEALTH CAMP FOR 1200 SADHUS AND SADHWIS
JAINA
Teerthodhar Committee was a sponsorer of the health camp in the month of September 2003. These Health camps and medical camps were organised by Shri Navkar Sarvar Kendra of Ahmedabad. They provided ayurvedic treatment & nirdosh (ahinsak) medicine for around 1200 Sadhu-Sadhvijis.

WORLD'S BIGGEST ASHTADATHU JAIN IDOL TO BE CONSECRATED AT AMARKANTAK
Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh): The world's biggest ashtadathu Jain idol of Bhagawan Adinatha will be consecrated at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh on the 6th November 2003 under the guidance of Santhashiromani Acharya Sri Vidyasagarji Maharaj in the presence of his sangh. The Second Jain Kumbha celebration will also be held on the same day under the guidance of the Acharya. Sri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the Vice President of India and lakhs of devotees from all over the country are expected to throng at the place and witness this historical event. It can be recalled here that the Acharya Vidyasagarji and his sangh had undertaken the chaturmas at Amarkantak. Under the guidance of the Acharya the Sarvodaya Tirtha is under development at Amarkantak.

The new temple to be built at Amarkantak is on the same lines similar to the Aksharadhama temple of Gujarat. More that Rs. 20 crores is expected to be spent on this mega project which is spread over an area of four acres. The temple is designed and constructed by more than 300 artists since 2 years under the guidance of Sri C.B.Somapura the Chief architect of the Aksharadhama temple. The ashtadathu idol of Bhagawan Adinatha measuring about 10 ft in height and weighing 28,000 kilograms will be installed on the Kamala Simhasan made of ashtadathu weighing around 24,000 kilograms. The foundations of the temple are being worked out with the advanced engineering skills so that the temple survives for centuries to come. The temple measuring around 144 feet height, 424 feet length and 111 feet width will be constructed here. With a view of assembling all the Jains at a single place. The Second Jain Kumbh has been organised here under the guidance of the Acharya. It can be recalled here that the First Jain Kumbh was organised at Kundalpur three years back under the guidance of Sri Vidyasagarji. The deliberations of the function will begin on 5th November and the consecration of the idol will be held on the 6th November 2003. Besides the Vice-President of India, the Chief ministers and Governors of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan have also been invited to grace the occasion. Courtesy: Jaina Voice.

MASTABHISHEKA CEREMONY OF BHAGWAN BAHUBALI AT GOMMATGIRI
Thousands of devotees performed the annual Mastakabhisheka to Bhagawan Bahubali with traditional fervour and splendour On October 12 to mark the 54th annual masthakabhishekha of the unique monolithic statue of Bhagawan Bahubali situated atop the rocky hill glittering in the backdrop of brilliant blue skies. Bahubali seemed to change colours when ghee, milk, vermilion, turmeric, tender coconut, sandalwood paste cascaded down the five-metre tall statue. The statue glistened and turned yellow and red as the devotees continued to pour coloured water on it. The idol of Bahubali is situated a top the hillock on a diversion road located at a distance of 12 Kms from Yelawal road on the Mysore - Mercara main road. The masthakabhishekha celebrated at Gommatagiri is an annual event that draws thousands of devotees from all over the country. Unlike other places of Karnataka including Shravanabelagola, Venur, Karkala and Dharmasthala where the ritual is performed once in 12 years. Gommatagiri is the only place where the abhishekha is done every year. Swasti Sri Devendrakeerthi Bhataraka Swamiji of Hombuja Jain Math supervised the Mastakabhisheka and the priests performed the rituals from a specially erected platform behind the statute. Chants of sacred hymns and shlokas echoed atop the 50-metre tall hillock and the priests awaited the advent of the auspicious time to pour milk followed by tender coconut, water mixed with vermilion, turmeric and ashtagandha or sandal paste. This holy event was witnesses by more than 8,000 devotees. Courtesy: Jain Heritage Centres News.

JAIN STATUES DE-FACED BY BABAR AT GWALIOR FORT BEING REPAIRED
The ancient fort at Gwalior, built on the Gopanchal hill, possesses the unique distinction of having a large number of massive stone statues of Jain Tirthankars sculptured on the fort wall running over a length of more than one km. Some of these statues had been built inside the caves dug out in the fort wall. There are total of 26 caves so dug out, having statues carved out inside. It is believed that these statues, which are 20' to 40' tall, were built by Tomar rulers, named Veeram Dev, Dungar Singh and Kirti Singh in the medieval period during 14th and 15th century (between Samvat 1398 to 1536). One of the statues of Bhagwan Parshwanath ji, is 42 feet tall and 30 feet wide, in Padmasan posture. Though Gwalior rulers belonged to Rajput clan, they were staunch followers of Jain religion. Later, when Babar, the first Moghul emperor, occupied the region, being prejudiced by the Jain culture, ordered for destroying all the Jain statues. However, the statues, being giant structures, could not be completely destroyed but most of them were de-faced and these de-faced statues had been standing and remaining in obscurity for more than 500 years and no one had ever bothered to repair and set them right.

Eventually, The Government of India accepted these as items of national heritage as well as religious importance and the work of repairing the broken statues has been taken up recently by the Archeology Department as a part of 2600th birth Janm Kalyanak celebrations of Bhagwan Mahavir. The work is now in progress. Side by side, the development work of down-hill area along the fort-wall, which constitutes building approach road, steps leading to the fort-wall and developing the plain area into a children's park, erecting a pillar at the entrance, building a hall for discourses, a Jain temple, a community centre, a guest house, a dispensary and a school has been taken up by the local Jain community, particularly the Digambar Jain Atishay Kshetra Committee at Gwalior. Mr. P. L. Jain, editor of Ahimsa Times recently visited this site at Gwalior. Ahimsa Times also requests all Jains to come forward and contribute for this project. For details, contact: Shri Digambar Jain Atishay Kshetra, Gopanchal Parvat Sanrakshak Trust Parshwa nath Vanasthali, Near Phool Bag, Gwalior - 474002. Gwalior is on Delhi-Madras main line, 317 km. from Delhi and 97 km. from Jhansi.

NEWLY ESTABLISHED MODERN FACILITIES FOR STAY AT SAMMET SHIKHARJI
It is heartening to learn that a guest house has been built recently at Madhuban at the foot hills of Sammet Shikhar ji mountain by the cooperation and support of devotees from Uttar Pradesh and it is now available for boarding and lodging of pilgrims visiting Shri Sammet Shikhar ji. Though there are a number of dharm-shalas belonging to different sects, this is a newly built modern facility, equipped with all furnishings, attached toilets with running hot water, telephone, colour television etc. Generator, Cafetaria and recreation facilities are also available in the premises. Reservations can also be made by e-mail. For details contact: Uttar Pradesh Prakash Bhawan, Post. Madhuban, Dist. Giridih (Jharkhand) Pin code: 825329. Phone: 06558-23266; Fax: 06558-232367. E-Mail: upprakashbhawan@hotmail.com

HOSPITAL NAMED AS BHAGWAN MAHAVIR HOSPITAL IN NEW DELHI
A newly established 200 bed hospital in Peetampura region of Delhi has been named as Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital. Mrs. Sheela Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi had made this announcement recently. The Jain community of Delhi was highly pleased by this announcement. The representatives of Bhagwan Mahavir 2600th Janm Kalyanak Mahotsava Samiti, including Shri Salekh Chand Jain, Shri Anand Prakash Jain, Shri Swaroop Chand Bardia, Shri Sukh Raj Sethia and Shri Shanti Jain and others called upon the Chief Minister and thanked her profusely, showing their gratitude for this announcement. This hospital has been furnished with most modern medical equipment and its capacity is expected to be soon raised to 500 beds.

ANCIENT JAIN IDOLS FOUND FROM A TEMPLE AT KOTA
Hundreds of years old Jain Tirthankar idols belonging to Shri Adinath Ji, Parshwanath ji and Mahavir Swami were recently obtained from an under-ground cellar at Shri Manaksagar ji Shwetambar Jain temple in Rampura area of Kota on the 28th October, 2003. One of the idols of Shri Parshwanath Ji is made of white marble, has 18" height and is believed to be 1800 years old. The temple itself, from where these idols were obtained is over 500 years old and main idol of Shri Chanda Prabhu Ji is installed here.


REQUEST
HISTORY OF JAINISM & JAINS IN NORTH AMERICA

JAINA has decided to compile the "History of Jainism & Jains in North America". During the past century, lots of efforts have gone in bringing Jainism in North America but nothing noteworthy has been recorded. There is a rich history of how Jainism is known over fifty states of America and ten provinces of Canada and how Jains throughout America have established themselves. Each of the more than seventy-five Jain organizations in more than sixty cities have their own stories as part of their contribution in the growth and development of Jainism. Now, it is necessary to put everything into one huge docu-book for the benefit of the future generation.

For this great project of importance, call is given for support and cooperation and thus help in writing the true exhaustive history. Anyone having any information like articles & books written by you and/or others, details about Jain artifacts with you and/or at other places, history of local centres, timeline of milestone of events, etc. which can be used in making this publication complete and comprehensive. Any info-material used will be suitably acknowledged with credit. For detailscontact Mr. Jaswant Mehta, E-Mail : jvmehta2000@yahoo.com

NOODLES, PIZZA ETC. RESPONSIBLE FOR LIVER ENLARGEMENT & OVER-WEIGHT OF CHILDREN
At a conference on Fatty Liver diseases, organised jointly by Post-Graduate Institute, Chandigarh and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New delhi, on 18th and 19th October, 2003, Dr. S.K. Yacha from Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute, Lucknow, submitted his findings in a research paper that the incidence of enlargement of liver is fast-growing in urban school-going children, which is causing them to gain excessive weight. The main reason for this tendency, according to the studies carried out by him, is the large consumption of modern food items, specially, noodles, pizza, berger and coke. More than 200 specialists in Gasto-enteriology took part in the conference and they unanimously agreed with Dr. Yacha's findings. According to Dr. Yacha, the over-weight children are found to often suffer not only from lever enlargement but also from hyper-tension, sugar and coronary problems. A survey of school-going children in Delhi had shown that over 60 percent of the children were over-weight. There is therefore urgent need to create awareness amongst parents to provide their children with balanced food and avoid the use of harmful items mentioned above. Medical practitioners too, have a responsibility to help in creating this consciousness and to take active part in this educational campaign.

NEW MUSEUM AT AGRA TO HOUSE RECENTLY EXCAVATED JAIN IDOLS
Agra, a new museum for housing newly excavated Jain idols is coming up at Fatehpur Sikri near the well-preserved ruins of the Mughal emperor Akbar's capital, built for himself in the 16th century. The museum, with impressive Mughal-style architecture, will have five big halls and is nearing to completion. A delegation of prominent Jain leaders visited the site recently and said the museum decided to name it after the 24th Tirthankar of Jainism, Lord Mahavir. In fact, foreign tourists have already started visiting the place, which showcases idols excavated at the Vir Chabili hillock here by the Archaeological Survey of India. Ashok Jain, who led the Jain delegation, said: "The ASI has been carrying out extensive excavation work in the area for the last couple of years, during which a large number of Jain idols have been recovered.

"Since there was no proper place to display them, the Jain community came forward and built the museum which has enough capacity to accommodate artifacts found in Mathura, Kagaraul, Kheragarh and Sikri." The ASI excavations lend credence to the theory that Jains had a flourishing empire that extended from Mathura to Bateshwar much before the Mughals came. The hillock where the idols were found, close to the main Fatehpur Sikri complex, was the focus of the ASI's excavation work. Fatehpur Sikri is close to Agra, the city famous for the Taj Mahal. Dharamvir Sharma, a former ASI superintending archaeologist, worked at the site for over two years during the course of which scores of rare Jain idols were recovered. According to Ram Nath, renowned scholar and author of over 40 books on Mughal architecture, says: "Medieval Agra occupied a central position in the geopolitical structure of northern India, and its situation was strategically more important than that of Delhi." The Jains have several important sites in the Agra region, notably Sheoripur near Bateshwar, Fatehpur Sikri and Firozabad.

JOIN PARLIAMENT OF WORLD'S RELIGIONS-2004 AT BARCELONA, SPAIN
The fourth Parliament of world's Religions will take place in Barcelona, Spain, from July 7 through July 13, 2004. This parliament will also be one of the most significant events of the Universal Forum of Cultures in Barcelona with the support of UNESCO. The 2004 Parliament registration badge will also provide access to a wide range of performances, exhibits and other activities of the Universal Forum of Cultures.

The Parliament of World's Religions is an international gathering where people of spirit, faith and goodwill gather for inter-religious encounter, dialogue and creative engagement with the critical issues facing our world. It offers an exceptional opportunity to engage in the many facets of the theme: Pathways to Peace: the wisdom of listening, the power of commitment. An anticipated 10,000 social activists, religious and spiritual leaders, educators and performers from over 85 countries are expected to attend the 2004 Parliament in Barcelona. This event will inspire, challenge, and energize people across the world that is committed to peace, social justice, and the international inter-religious movement. For more information on the Parliament and its theme, visit its website www.cpwr.org.

United States based Jain organisation, "JAINA" has decided to send a delegation to the Parliament in Barcelona and participate actively to promote the teachings of Jainism in this international interfaith event. Naresh Jain and Hema Pokharna of JAINA Interfaith Committee will organize this event. Dr. Pokharna is also on the Board of the Council of the Parliament of World's Religions in Chicago. Their E-Mail : njain52253@aol.com & ahinsa@hydeparkaccess.com respectively.

PARSHWANATH JAIN TEMPLE AT BHOPAL BURGLED
Bhopal, October 3: Unidentified thieves broke into the famous Parshwanath Digambar Jain Temple in Shahpura and escaped with the idols of Lord Chandraprabhu and Parshwanath, 11 chatras and donation box. The stolen idols were made of expensive 'ashtdhatu'. The miscreants had locked the guard and gardener inside a room. There is resentment among members of the Jain community following the incident. A delegation of the community met SP and District Collector in this connection. According to the sources the devotees found the locks of the main gate broken. The stolen idols were six inch tall and were very expensive. Lock of the donation box was found to be broken and the cash was missing from it. A 10-inch high idol of Lord Mahavir was found outside the temple. It is being presumed that the thieves intended to carry it away also but had to leave it behind since it was too heavy.

JAIN TEMPLES AGAIN DAMAGED IN TAMILNADU
According to the report received from Jains Raj, two Jain temples have been devastated recently due to lack of care by the local Jain society. One of these is Samanar Malai (Jain hill) which was devastated more than two months ago. The other is Thirumalai Jain temple from where Panch Dhatu Jain Idols were stolen in a systematic manner. So far no police action has apparently been taken. The idols are being stolen regularly and no action is taken by the local authorities. No one usually comes forward even from the local community or the pravasi community. Vichur temple is also getting ruined and no one has taken any step. News courtesy: Jains Raj, E-Mail : jains_raj@yahoo.com

JAIN PILGRIMS ROBBED AT OGNAJ VILLAGE DERASAR, NEAR AHMEDABAD
A gang of around 20 men robbed Jain pilgrims sleeping at the dharmashala of Panchginashwer Kevaliadham Jain Derasar in Ognaj village, near Gota on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city. The gang made off with Rs 1. 33 lakh worth of jewellery and Rs 22,000 in cash. The robbers struck around 1 am when most of the pilgrims were asleep. According to Ahmedabad police it was an Adivasi gang that robbed the pilgrims on a pilgrimage to a Jain temple in Kalol on foot and were armed with lathis. They beat up some of the pilgrims brutally, including the five security men present at the dharmashala." Around 400 pilgrims were resting in tents and in the dharamshala behind the Jain Derasar, but the dharamshala, which was attacked, had only around 70 persons, many of them women. About three sadhvis were also beaten up by the gang wearing banian and shorts and armed with lathis. Incidentally, the derasar has an expensive alarm system installed but since the looters attacked the dharamshala and not the temple, the alarm could not be raised, said the police. In fact, many sleeping in the tents nearby did not even learn about the robbery until the police arrived at around 2.15 am.

DELHI CM SEEKS BLESSINGS FROM ACHARYA SHRI ANAND SAGAR JI MAHARAJ
Chief Minister of Delhi Mrs. Sheila Dixit seeking blessings from Acharya Shri Anand Sagar Ji Maharaj (Maunpriya) at New Delhi on October 5th, 2003 at Shri Agarwal Jain Digambar temple complex, Raja Bazar, Connaught Place. On this occassion she also launched two books "Vani Veena" and "Beej Mantra" authored by Acharya Shri Anand Sagar Ji Maharaj.

THIRTY-FOUR IDOLS STOLEN FROM JAIN TEMPLE AT TIKAMGARH
The cases of theft of idols and other expensive materials from Jain temples are continuously occurring. For the last few months, in every issue of Ahimsa Times, one or more such cases are being reported but in hardly any of the instances, the culprits have been brought to book. Still another incident occurred recently at a village, Kakarvaha in Tikamgarh district of M.P., where 34 rare and expensive statues of Jain Tirthankars were burgled from a Digambar Jain temple in the night of 15th September, 2003. Thirty-three of these statues were made of Ashta dhatu and brass and belonged to 15th century and later period. One was recently installed. The umbrella of the idol was also taken away. The matter had been reported promptly by the temple authorities and Jain community of Tikamgarh. A memorandum had also been sent to the State Chief Minister urging him to arrange for early recovery of the stolen idols and to provide due protection to the temples. News Courtesy: Jinendu.

LALU PRASAD PERFORMS TANTRIK RITUALS AND SEEKS BLESSINGS FROM JAIN ACHARYA
Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav, President of Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) visited a small town, named 'Ahore' in the far-flung region of south-western Rajasthan in the night of 6th November, 2003 to obtain blessings from a Jain Muni, Acharya Shri Hemendra Suri Ji belonging to Shwetambar Jain Murti-Pujak sect. After flying to Jodhpur, he drove straight to Ahore, about 120 Km. away, sought blessings from the Muni and performed a mystical ritual and incantation (Anushthanic Tantrik Yagya) in the presence of the saint in the night at 10 P.M. Five pundits were present at the Upasraya, where the Jain Muni was staying, who helped Lalu Prasad in performing the ceremony. The saint blessed the distinguished visitor and wished him victory in all his efforts and fulfillment of his wishes.

ROW OVER BHAGAWAN MAHAVIR'S BIRTH PLACE
A fresh controversy over the birthplace of Lord Mahavira has cropped up following the Bihar government's participation in a mahotsava "to promote Kundalpur (Nalanda) as the Lord's birthplace". The Bhagwan Mahavira Janmabhoomi Kundalpur Digambar Jain Samiti organized the three-day mahotsava at Kundalpur, which concluded on October 10. According to historians and Jain followers of different sects some other places in Bihar are also associated with the birthplace of Lord Mahavira.

BACHHAN SELECTED "HOTTEST VEGETARIAN" AT PETA ON-LINE CONTEST
The noted film super-star, Amitabh Bachhan won the On-line contest organised by PETA-India as "Hottest Vegetarian Alive" for this year, defeating many well-known personalities, including President Abdul Kalam, film actor Richard Gere, model John Abrahim, film actor Madhawan, industrialist Anil Ambani and cricketer Anil Kumble. More than 37,000 persons cast their votes on-line in this unique contest.

NEW BOOKS PUBLISHED
"THE JAINS TODAY IN THE WORLD" Author: Pierre Amiel of France.
Pierre Amiel became a Jain more than 20 years ago. He came to attend JAINA convention in Pittsburgh in 1993, attended several Jain functions in London and Leicester, corresponded with many Jains world over, without ever visiting India, learnt several Indian languages ( Hindi, Gujarati) and single-handedly devoted his life in spreading Jainism to the French speaking world in 45 countries. Previously, he had translated 2 Jain books from English to French ( Bhagwan Mahavira , and Aspect of Jainism). For the last 4 years, he himself was writing a book on Jainism "THE JAINS TODAY IN THE WORLD" This is a very comprehensive book on Jain philosophy, culture and the community. After much hard work, this book was released by the India's Ambassador to France on Oct 28th in the presence of a large gathering of Jain scholars, publisher, Jain community in Paris and the Embassy staff. Pierre can be reached at: Pierre Amiel, "LE LANGUEDOC", 122, Boulevard Gambetta, 0600, NICE, France. E-Mail: amiel.pierre@club-internet .fr  News courtesy: Dr. Sulekh Jain.

"TATTVARTHA SUTRA"
A Classic Jain Manual for Understanding the True Nature of Reality. Author: Umasvati
Translated by Dr. Nathmal Tatia, Foreword by L. M. Singhvi , ISBN: 0-7619-8993-5 1994 384pp
Price: $ 40 + shipping for a cloth-bound , The book can be obtained in USA from Rowman Littlefield Publishers. It can also be purchased online here: www.rowmanlittlefield.com

JAIN MATRIMONIAL PARICHARY PUSTIKA
An introductory book containing matrimonial profiles of Jain boys and girls is going to be printed by Alok Jain Sadbhavana Network. The book can be obtained from Alok Jain Sadbhavana Network, Chitchor Sari House, Link Road, Moti Nagar, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh -470002 (Tel: 9425171951). Candidates interested in placing their profiles in the book may also contact at above address. The registration fee is Rs. 100/-.

------------JAINS IN NEWS------------

SH. SATISH KUMAR JAIN, NEW DELHI NOMINATED FOR "MAN OF THE YEAR - 2003" AWARD BY AMERICAN BIOGRAPHICAL INSTITUTE

A well known social figure, writer, journalist in the national and international Jain community. Mr. Satish Kumar Jain has been nominated for the prestigious "MAN OF THE YEAR - 2003" Award by the American Biographical Institute, U.S.A. for his meritorious and accomplishments, contributions and achievements in various fields. Born on October 22, 1930 in a rich and respectable family at Nihtaur in district Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh. Shri Jain joined central government service in the year 1957 and retired from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests from New Delhi as consultant in 1987, A very hard working and sincere officer, his services were throughout highly appreciated by the senior officers.

SANTOSH JAIN'S ACHIEVEMENT INCLUDED IN LIMCA BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS
The Marvik La pass located at a height of 18,634 feet above the sea level happens to be the highest road in the world and driving a two-wheeler in this tough terrain is one of the challenging tasks for any mountaineering expert. As part of the 57th Independence day celebrations the Government of India had organised a 2200 Kms long rally from Chandigarh to the Marvik La Pass. About 80 mountaineering experts from all over India had participated in this adventure and have successfully completed their way through this tough terrain. Santosh Jain of Mysore happened to be one of the members of the group that completed the task in just 8 days. This achievement will be included in the limca book of world records. On their way to the Marvik La Pass the mountaineer's have to pass through the Rowtang (13044 ft above sea level), Nabila (1557 ft above sea level), Chauralacha La (16042 ft above sea level), Tanging La (17500 ft above sea level), Bardung La (18380 ft above sea level) and other passes to reach the destination. By courtesy: Jain Heritage Centres News Service.

PROF. RAJMAL JAIN OF ISRO LAUNCHED SOXS ON BOARD GSAT2 FROM SHRIHARIKOTA
Prof. Rajmal Jain, a senior scientist in Physical Research Laboratory, Indian Space Research Organisation, Ahmedabad launched "Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS) onboard GSAT2 Indian spacecraft by GSLV-D2 rocket from Shriharikota. The SOXS mission is dedicated to study the solar flares, a powerful explosions on the sun that affect the earth and its terrestrial environment. Among these affects few are communication disturbance, failure of satellites, hazards to astronauts, geomagnetic storms and failure of power in high latitude zones are widely known. Additionally, the health and hazards on the Earth as well as heavy rains and droughts are also connected with the sunspot cycle has been now established. Thus fundamental understanding of the solar flares, their cause and process of energy released by them is of utmost importance. Many developed countries have also shown interest in the study of solar flares. Prof. Jain initiated first Indian space borne solar astronomy experiment - SOXS and delivered the whole payload in record time of four years. The SOXS payload onboard GSAT2 is functioning satisfactorily and providing data for research, which is being carried out under his supervision. He is also Principal Investigator of SOXS mission. Prof. Rajmal Jain can be approached at rajmal@prl.ernet.in & rajmal@prl.ernet.in

JAIN IRRIGATION TO RECEIVE LARGE PROJECT ORDERS FROM ANDHRA PRADESH
Jain Irrigation is likely to awarded massive orders by the Andhra Pradesh government in micro irrigation projects. Seven companies are bidding for the order for installing drip and sprinkler irrigation system. According to Mr. Anil Jain, Managing Director of the company the orders will be executed over the next two years. Jain Irrigation Systems is into agriculture projects, food processing, and plastic products.

IMA CONFERS BEST MEDICAL TEACHER AWARD TO DR. H. A. PARSHWANATH
Dr. H. A. Parshwanath, a renowned pathologist and theatrist was honoured with the prestigious "Best Medical Teacher Award 2003" by the Karnataka state branch of Indian Medical Association on 17th October 2003 at Bangalore considering his distinguished and meritorious service in the field of medical profession. Dr. Parshwanath has served the teaching profession since 32 years in various capacities in all the four Government Medical Colleges in Karnataka (Bellary, Hubli, Bangalore and Mysore). He is also the recipient of post doctoral WHO (World Health Organisation) Fellowship and visited England and Denmark on the study programmes. He is an academician and has participated in many state and national conferences in the faculty of pathology and has presented the scientific papers. He is also well known for his histrionic talents as a prolific writer on heritage of Jainism, Karnataka, Kannada theatre and a recipient of the coveted Karnataka Nataka Academy Fellowship. He is serving as the Professor and HOD of Pathology at Mysore Medical College. He has also promoted prominent Jain portal www.jainheritagecentres.com.

JAIN PHARMABIOTECH ISSUES A REPORT ON DRUG DELIVERY IN CANCER AT SWITZERLAND
Jain PharmaBiotech released a report on October 16 at Switzerland, titled "Drug Delivery in Cancer: Technologies, Markets, and Companies." Drug delivery remains a challenge in management of cancer. Cancer drug delivery is no longer simply wrapping up the drug in new formulations for different routes of delivery. Innovative methods of cancer treatment require new concepts of drug delivery in cancer. The focus now is on targeted cancer therapy. The report describes various drug delivery methods including micro spheres, polyethylene glycol and liposome's. The role of monoclonal antibodies, antisense oligonucleotides, RNAi and gene therapy (as a form of drug delivery) is discussed in new therapeutic approaches to cancer. Cancer markets from 2002-2012 are analyzed. The value of the cancer drug delivery technologies in 2002 is estimated at $2.6 billion. This will rise to $15.4 billion by the year 2007 and $23.5 billion by the year 2012 when drug delivery technologies will constitute more than half of the oncology market. Profiles of 105+ companies involved in this area and their collaborations are included in the report. For further information about this report visit: www.pharmabiotech.ch

MALLIKA SARABHAI ( JAIN ) SURRENDERS PASSPORT
Ahmedabad: As per the court directions the noted dance artist Mallika Sarabhai presented herself at the Naranpura police station, where a case of alleged cheating has been registered against her. Sarabhai also surrendered her passport to the police, as per the court's instructions. The District and sessions court on October 29 had granted her anticipatory bail and directed her to make herself available for further investigation of the complaint. MUMBAI: Noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, accused in the US visa racket, on Wednesday said she was falsely implicated in the case. Addressing a press conference organised by various social organisations to extend support to the danseuse here, she said I was crucified by the lies against me after contributing so much for the country." Sarabhai said she had been falsely implicated by Manushi Shah as she had refused to help her migrate to a foreign country illegally. Even the FIR registered against her by Shah said that the money and passport taken from the complainant had been returned. "The allegations against me about using Darpana Academy of Performing Arts to send girls to the US was baseless" She added.

BETTING RACKET RUN BY MUKESH JAIN & MANOJ JAIN BUSTED BY DELHI POLICE
New Delhi: The Crime Branch has busted a cricket betting racket being run from a North West Delhi apartment by arresting two brothers on the day of the Australia-New Zealand match in Guwahati. Mukesh Jain (32) and Manoj Jain (30) were arrested. The arrests were made on a tip off that a betting racket was being operated from Mangol Puri using modern electronic gadgets and interlinks with distant locations of cricket bookies and punters from Delhi and other parts of the country as well as international links. The two brothers were found carrying out betting using television, mobile phones, pager, calculator and computers in their apartment. The documents and a handwritten booklet showed that more than Rs 16 lakh were at stake for the match. During interrogation, the two revealed that they were connected to more than 30 sub-locations at Delhi and other places. The total money at stake was Rs 2-3 crore.

KEEMTI LAL JAIN & RENU JAIN CHARGED FOR RUNNING IMMIGRATION RACKET IN PUNJAB
The Jagraon Police in Punjab claim to have busted a new kind of immigration racket. Trader couple Keemti Lal Jain and Renu Jain, who ran a garment store and were allegedly the brains behind this racket, are absconding. By the time the racket was unearthed, the gang had allegedly netted Rs 2 crore from 11 such "paper marriages" in this year alone. Each family reportedly paid amounts ranging from Rs 11-20 lakh to buy a "safe" passage to foreign lands. After the marriage, the girls and their families would disappear leaving the boys waiting. A large number of fake immigration certificates, marriage certificates and visa documents have been recovered from Mohinder, the travel agent and alleged kingpin, apart from Rs 4 lakh in cash from a locker.

Describing revealing the modus operandi, Jagraon police said the couple found prospective victims from among their customers. "They would lure the victims by talking about some Canada-settled Indian girls on a visit here, who would take boys abroad for money," he said. They would convince their victims with fake documents in the girls' names. One such victim from Moga is recuperating in a hospital after a failed suicide attempt when he came to know of the deceit. His family had sold off their land to raise Rs 17 lakh for the deal. Interestingly, while the brains behind the racket minted lakhs, the actors, those who posed as the "bride", her "mother" and "father, were paid pittance - ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 3,000 each. Most "brides" hailed from Ghas Mandi of Jalandhar.

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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