World Over + 1 Lakh Readership
Ahimsa Times - May 2004 Issue
Vol. No. 47 May, 2004

"THE ESSENCE OF PREACHING IS PRACTICE AND THE FRUIT OF PRACTICE IS EMANCIPATION"

UTTARANCHAL JAINSAMAJ DOES NOT WANT CONFRONTATION WITH TEMPLE COMMITTEE
Mr. Suresh Chand Jain, President of Uttaranchal Jain Samaj in a press conference on 4th May at Press Club, Dehradun clarified that there is no controversy regarding construction of Jain temple at Badrinath. No Jain temple is under construction at the moment. The reports in print media are misleading and creating unnecessary confusion in Jain community. As per the information available, a few years back Shri Adinath Nirwan Kalyanak Trust of Mumbai constructed a Jain Dharamshala at Badrinath after seeking necessary approvals from Badrinath Temple Management Committee. Thereafter the Dharamshala Committee decided to establish a Jain tirthankar idol within dharamshala complex. But, some local residents opposed to this move of Jain dharamshala. Considering the objections from local population plans to place Jain idol were dropped. Due to some confusions a member of Badrinath Temple Management Committee obtained a court stay order against the construction of Jain temple within dharamshala complex. This stay order was vacated subsequently by the court. The appeal against vacation of stay is also dismissed by the court. Mumbai Trust or any other Jain organisation has not initiated any litigation from their side. Presently no temple is under construction.

Since the first Jain tirthankar Bh. Adinath lived in this part of Himalaya, the Jain community is deeply and emotionally attached with this place. According to Mr. Suresh Chand Jain, Uttaranchal Jain Samaj does not support construction of Jain temple at Badrinath unless all other organisations of the area approve of the construction. All members of Jain Samaj appreciate the views of Shri Suresh Chand Jain and request the media not to misguide the people. Source: Jain Gazette, 20th May 2004.

SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES, LONDAN LAUNCHED CENTRE OF JAINA STUDIES
On the 16th of March 2004, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has launched a Centre of Jaina Studies at the Department of the Study of Religions. The launch was attended by influential members of the Jaina community and academics who came to participate in the 6th International Conference on the Jainism at SOAS which was opened with a public lecture on the history of the ancient Jaina Canon by Professor Nalini Balbir of the Sorbonne in Paris.

The aim of the Centre, which is the first of its kind outside India, is to promote the study of Jaina religion and culture by providing an interdisciplinary platform for academic research, teaching and publications in the field of Jaina Studies. The Centre organises course on Jainism, academic conferences, workshops, seminars, symposia and exhibitions. It has also established its own publication series. The Centre was launched by the Chair of the Department of the Study of Religions, Dr Ulrich Pagel, Prof J.C. Wright of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, who is the Honorary President of the Centre, and by it's Chair Dr Peter Flügel of the Department of the Study of Religions. For further details contact: Centre of Jaina Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG, www.soas.ac.uk Information courtesy: Dr. Atul K. Shah, E-Mail : office@jainspirit.org

JAIN SCHOLARS IN DEMAND FOR TEACHING IN JAIN SCHOOLS IN USA
There is an acute shortage of qualified Jain scholars, who have attained good degree of proficiency in teaching basics of jainism, Jain philosophy, Jain Agams, Jain history and other related subjects and who are prepared to go and teach in Jain schools and Pathshalas located in various towns of USA. They should also possess good working knowledge of English language. Those who are assigned this task will be appropriately remunerated. A data-base is being prepared for this purpose and those, who are interested to take up the assignment on short term or long term basis may send their curriculum-vitai to:

Prof. P. L. Jain, 44, Sardar Club Scheme, Jodhpur-342011 (Raj.) E-Mail : ahimsatimes@jainsamaj.org. For further details, contact Prof. P. L. Jain at 0291-2438082.

COURT SUMMONS PARENTS OF 8-YR-OLD SADHVI, PRIYAL BAGRICHA-SHWETAMBAR MURTIPUJAK SECT
A city court has issued summons to seven people, including the parents of Priyal Bagricha, an eight-year-old Jain girl who was ordained a Sadhvi two months ago. Summons have also being issued to trustees of the organisation that ordained her. The family court has asked Santosh Kumar and Seema, Priyal's parents, to be present in court on May 27, 2004, when it hears an application filed by a lawyer asking for Priyal's guardianship.

A Jain monk who presided over the ordainment ceremony and a Sadhvi who has taken Priyal under her wing have also been called to court. Although the lawyer, Rajendra Parekh, asking for guardianship of Priyal is not related to her, he has asked for her custody under the Guardians and Wards Act. I am willing to look after her. Her parents, who are her natural guardians, have treated her cruelly. A child who is not mentally capable of rational judgement has been forced to become a Sadhvi, he said. Priyal, whose family is based in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, underwent 'Bal Diksha', a ritual where children are ordained into monastic orders, in Malad, Mumbai on March 11. Priyal was initiated into the order at a ceremony held by Chandravadan Jeevanlal Kothari Sangh, an organisation of the Shwetambar Murtipujak sect. Meanwhile, Priyal's whereabouts are not known. It is learnt that she was sent to a monastery in Nigdi near Pune after the ceremony. Nirupbhai Kothari, a member of the Sangh has said that his organisation has not received the summons yet.

Priyal wanted to become a Sadhvi. It is not unusual in our community to ordain children, he said. But other Jains did not agree. J K Jain of Bharatvarsha Digambar Jain Mahasangh said it was wrong to push children into Diksha. They do not know anything about Diksha or religion, he said. Dr Bipin Doshi, a lecturer on Jain philosophy at Mumbai University, said that Bal Diksha was common since the time of Mahavir, the founder of Jainism. Jains believe that children who take Bal Diksha receive enlightenment at a young age. They do not believe it is cruel. But I do not support the practice, he said.

VIEWS FROM READERS

WHY STOP BAL DIKSHA
From Nishith shah
What we jains are ?? Have we to be afraid of the court for right causes? Thier are so many good examples in Swetamber sector after Baldiksha, also who took diksha have so much good believe than and than he or her get diksha. Guru who are also make sure about them. We all Jain sectors are not so closed, that's why court is making summons against the monks ( who followed Mahavir's agna) It is really shamefut to all of us. If Govt. came in to religious sector than it is also bad, because in the past, religious Gurus used to help kings to drive the Kingdom in right directions. If parents of those child diksharthis who wish to be initiated are happy than why should the courts come in the way at the instance of some people, who do not understand or accept Mahavir's philosophy. I wish all sucess to balsadhvi for her good and fast thinking to take diksha and get moksha as soon as possible.

From Jyoti Kothari
Court summons parents of 8-yr-old Sadhvi: Bal deeksha observed in the jain community since time immemorial.The govt must not interfior into the religious matters of a community.There are many rituals in various communities which may not be justified by the present systems, it does not mean that the Govt. should interfare. Many examples are there where bal sadhus performed extra-ordinorily. Examples of Atimukta Kumar, vajra swami, Dada jina Datta suri, Manidhari Jina Chandra suri are only few to qoute.So many times courts had judgements in its favor, but the matter comes repeatedly because of some so called revolutionists. It is indeed true that the gurus also had to have discerning capacity to judge one's Vairagya. The gurus may not try to just enhance their Singhara or disciples. If they commit wrong the whole society is to suffer. We should frst protest to the govt. not to interfare into the religious matters & also make some rules to regulate this type of vulnerable matters.

COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE STAMP ON INDRA CHANDRA SHASTRI
The Department of Posts released here today a commemorative postage stamp on Dr. Indra Chandra Shastri. The stamp is in the denomination of Rs.5/-. Dr. Indra Chandra Shastri was a great philosopher, exceptional author and an authority on poetics. A pursuer of individual spiritualism who was inspired by Jain Anekanta, he was a man of courage and dedication and remained a fervent champion of rationalism. Born on May 27, 1912 at Dabwali Mandi, now in Sirsa district of Haryana, Dr. Indra Chandra Shastri came to Bikaner for education where he studied Sanskrit and Prakrit. He campaigned against Bal Diksha, a practice of forcible adoption of poor children by Jain ascetics in Rajasthan, prevalent in those days. This resulted in the tabling of a bill in the Assembly of Bikaner. As a recognition of his pioneering efforts and creative talent, he was awarded the 'Sahitya Seva Samman, by the Hindi Academy. He was also conferred the 'Sahitya Ratna Alankaran' by the Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University. The President of India awarded him a 'Certificate of Honour' on August 15, 1986. Dr. Indra Chandra Shastri passed away on November 3, 1986.

BI-ANNUAL YJA MEET IN JULY AT SAN FRANCISCO
The Young Jains of America (YJA) Bi-annual Conference will be held in San Francisco from July 1 through 4, 2004. YJA Convention 2004 showcases over seventy unique educational sessions to participants under the banner Y Jain? To See. To Know. To Realize. This exciting theme focuses on teaching youth how to apply the principles of Jainism in their daily lives. Participants will learn the importance of Jain principles, and the value of applying these concepts in their lives. Donations have helped in funding conventions in the past and they again look for support this year. For donations, details and registration go to YJA website www.yja.org . Courtesy: Dr. Tansukh Salgia.

FIRST JAIN CHAPLAIN IN NORTH AMERICA
Dr. Bruce Costain, (aka Balbhadraji) is a Canadian Citizen now lives in United States practicing and propagating Jain philosophy for over twenty years. He has visited almost all Jain center in North America and provided discourses on Jain philosophy to people of all ages and also participated in children's camp where he taught basic things to young Jains, has become the first official Jain Chaplain in North America. He completed Hospital Chaplain Program in August 2003 at the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education in Nashville, Tennessee. For a further understanding, he traveled several countries including India. He came in contact with Gurudave Shri Chitrabhanuji in 1980 and since then got involved in Jainism and its philosophy of life and did his PhD from University of Toronto. Recently the second edition of his "Applied Jainism" book which is a combination of his Master Thesis and PhD Dissertation is published. Visit www.jainway.web.edge.net or E-Mail: jainway@bellsouth.net for more info or ordering the book. Courtesy: Dr. Tansukh Salgia.

A MEMORIAL TO BE BUILT TO REMEMBER SHRI VIRCHAND RAGHAVJI
WJC and JAINA have recently jointly founded "Shri Virchand Raghavji Gandhi Memorial Samiti". The Samiti is formed to suitably modify the current VRG's birth home with modern amenities in Mahuva, Gujarat and to have a permanent memorial in it and to take necessary steps that the Samiti may feel appropriate for raising awareness of his mission, his memorial and pursue with the Government of India the matter regarding issuing the commemorative postal stamp in his honor. Vir Chand Raghavji was responsible in closing down the slaughter house in Sametshikhar, abolishing poll tax on Jain pilgrims at Shatrunjaya and sending money and shipload of grains to India from U.S.A. in the worst famine of 1896-97, raising awareness in the West of the importance of Jainism as an ancient vibrant world religion, propagating the relevance of Jain tenets Ahimsa, Anekant and Aparigrah and spread Bhagwan Mahavir's message across the world. He also defended the Indian culture under the unjust criticism in the Parliament and later on, in spite of lot of odds, by attending the first ever Parliament of World Religions held at Chicago in 1893 and visiting England, France, Germany and other places during 1895 and his subsequently also to U.S.A. He sacrificed his brilliant legal career, lived and died for the cause of Jainism and service to humanity.

For this VRG Memorial, a sufficient funds are required to be collected. The names of donors who donate US$250 and/or equivalent will be engraved in a brass plaque or so, to be kept in VRG Memorial and a list of such donors will be published in Jain Digest and or in Jain Magazines for acknowledging their contribution. Your generous, tax-deductible contribution to this worthy cause will be greatly appreciated. Contact Pravin C. Shah, 28 Dyckman Ave., New Hyde Park, N.Y. 11040; Tel. 516-248-8265 or E-Mail: kenpet007@hotmail.com "for more details. Indian friends can donate to World Jain Confederation (WJC), Shah & Nahar Industrial Estate, 338/340 A Wing, 3rd Floor Lower Parel (West), Mumbai 400 013. Tel./Fax No. 91-22-5663 5823 or E-Mail: wjc@vsnl.net.

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SCHOLARSHIPS FOR HIGHER STUDIES
The latest and revised edition of the useful book `Scholarships for Higher Studies' is now available. This new edition contains full details of various scholarships for students of Medical, Engineering, Management, IT, Science, Humanities, Agriculture, Research and other branches. Also gives details of Scholarships for higher education abroad, especially in North America, Europe and Russia. All the information published in this book is collected directly from the trusts/institutions which offers the scholarships. This book is published by Jain Friends. In the book you will find a separate list of institutions offering scholarships especially to Jain students. The original price of this book is Rs. 60, but it is available just for Rs. 35 (Including postage) for members of this discussion group. You can receive a copy of this book by sending a Money Order of Rs. 35 to: Secretary, Jain Friends, Modern Teles, Jagannath Complex, 199 Mumbai Pune Marg, Chinchwad East, Pune 411019. Courtesy: Dr. Sulekh Jain.

DIGAMBAR JAIN MAHASABHA OPENS BRANCH IN BANGKOK
At a meeting of Digambar Jains held on 17th April, 2004 at Bangkok in Indonesia at the residence of Shri Amar Chand Gangwal (Kuchaman, Rajasthan), a Chapter of Shri Bharatvarshiya Digambar Jain (Dharm-Sanrakshini) Mahasabha was formally inaugurated there. Shri L. L. Jain was nominated as president of Mahasabha's this chapter. Other office bearers are - Shri Pramod Jain (Luharia) and Amar Chand Gangwal. The meeting was addressed by Shri Nirmal Kumar Sethi on behalf of Mahasabha. It is the third branch outside the country, the other two being in Kuwait and North America.

ACHARYA MAHAPRAGYA HONOURED WITH MAHATMA VIBHUSHAN
During the halt at Ratlam, while on the return path of Ahimsa Yatra to Rajasthan, Shri Mahapragya, Acharya of the Terapanth sect, was honoured with "Mahatma Vibhushan" by a large group represented by various Jain organisations, as a mark of respect for his contribution to the cause of Ahimsa and Ekantawad. A "Ahimsa Declaration" was also signed by thousands of devotees present on the occasion, in which they took a vow to observe non-violence in all respects.

Saturday, May 22, 2004: Acharya Mahaprajna's contribution to Ahimsa and humanity is finding recognition everywhere and with all religions. This fact was proved with the news that religious head of Adichunchagiri Samsthana Mutt, Sri Sri Sri Balgangadharnath Mahaswamiji has dedicated three educational institutions under the Mutt to Acharya Shri. According to information brought by Shri Moolchandji Nahar, President of Karnataka Jeevan Vigyan Academy, Bangalore when he came to pay respects to Acharya Shri Mahaprajna at Hamirgadh today. Shri Nahar informed that His Holiness Shri Balgangadhar Swami was so highly impressed with Acharya Shri's efforts for progress of Ahimsa and by the light of knowledge in Acharya Shri's eyes that the head of one of the most important religious organizations in Karnataka had accepted Acharya Shri as his "Guru". In recognition of Acharya Shri's efforts for spreading the peace message, Shri Balgangadhar Swami has dedicated three educational institutions to Acharya Shri. On June 3, 2004, Shri Balgangadhar Swami will rename a college as Acharya Mahaprajna Women's College, one hall as Jeevan Vigyan Hall & a library as Acharya Mahaprajna Library. This recognition of Acharya Shri by the head of a religious institution of another religion once again gives substance to His greatness and humility.

ADINATH JAIN TRUST,CHOOLAI DISTRIBUTION TRI CYCLES TO DISABLED
A total of 125 tri-cycles, wheel chairs and sewing machines were distributed to disabled persons and economically weaker sections here recently. The Principal City Civil and Sessions Judge N Jeyapaul distributed the machines and lauded the community services of Adinath Jain Trust. The Adinath Jain Trust has proposed to construct a building in Choolai for a permanent artificial limb clinic for poor at an estimated cost of Rs 35 lakh.

THEF FROM VIJAY VALLABH SMARAK, DELHI SOLVED, 13 IDOLS RECOVERED
New Delhi, April 23 With the arrest of five persons, Delhi Police today claimed to have solved the theft of 13 antique idols from a Jain temple here, earlier this month. Avnish Rana, Rustam Sheikh, Sunil Rana, Mustaq and Sanjay Sangwan were apprehended near Mukhmailpur bus stand in north-west Delhi and all 13 idols worth several crores in the international market recovered from them, police said. The idols had been stolen from the medieval era Vijay Vallabh Smarak shrine on April 7. Police claimed the entire episode had been plotted by 19-year-old Avnish Rana, a student of Jain Bharati Mrigavati Vidyalaya that is part of the shrine. Son of a Delhi Transport Corporation bus driver, he allegedly stole money from the doantion box in the temple before hitting upon the plan to make big money by stealing the idols. The idols were distributed among the accused for safe-keeping, but were all recovered unscathed, police said.

VIRENDRA KUMAR (JAIN) ELECTED TO FOURTEENTH INDIAN PARLIAMENT FROM KERALA
Veerendra Kumar represents Janata Dal (Secular) and also owns the largest circulated Malayalam daily Matrubhumi. Mr. Kumar (born on 22nd July, 1936), comes from Kozikode, Kerala. He is a political leader, writer and former Union Minister has shown his command in almost all areas of life. An orator, thinker, author, parliamentarian, he has been steering the social, political, economic, cultural and literary scenario of Kerala for a long time. Born to MK Padmaprabha Gowder and Marudevi Amma, Veerendra Kumar inherited the tradition of Socialist Party from his father, who was a famous planter and Socialist Party leader. Veerendra Kumar overjumped the rudimentary political spectacle of Socialist Party and rose as a leader of Socialist Front. Contacts with Ram Manohar Lohia and other leftist leaders enabled him to develop his intellectual and philosophical capacity.

MP Veerendra Kumar endearingly called Veeran is the Chairman and Managing Director of "Mathrubhoomi" for the last eighteen years. He made it one of the most popular dailies in Kerala. Proficient in English, Malayalam and Kannada languages, Veeran has authored several works. He is considered as a good writer in Malayalam literature. Several awards have been given to Veerendra Kumar for his contributions in the field of instructive literature. Some of the prominent ones are, C Achutha Menon Award, Odakkuzhal Award, First Bharat Soorya Award, Kerala Sahitya Academy Award, Koduppunna Award, Dubai Kairali Kalakendram Award for Religious Integration, Contact Address: MP Veerendra Kumar, Managing Director, Mathrubhoomi Printing and Publishing Company Limited, Kozhikode-673001. Information Courtesy: Mr. Mahavir Sanglikar, E-Mail : msanglikar@yahoo.com

MR. PUSHP JAIN RE-ELECTED TO FOURTEENTH INDIAN PARLIAMENT FROM RAJASTHAN
Mr. Pushp Jain, sitting BJP M.P. from Pali district of Rajasthan has been re-elected to Indian parliament. First elected in 1999 parliamentary election, Mr. Pushp Jain is by profession an advocate. Son of Shri Johri Lalji Jain, Mr. Jain was born on 4th April 1956, at village Jaytaran, Distt. Pali, Rajasthan, received his law degree from Jaipur Law College. Actively involved with several social organisations from childhood days; zonal chairman of Mahavir International. Address: 1, North Avenue, New Delhi-110 001, Tel. (011) 23792687.

SCHOLARSHIP BOOK COMPILED BY MR. MAHAVIR SANGLIKAR
The latest and revised edition of the useful book `Scholarships for Higher Studies' is now available. This new edition contains full details of various scholarships for students of Medical, Engineering, Management, IT, Science, Humanities, Agriculture, Research and other branches. Also gives details of Scholarships for higher education abroad, especially in North America, Europe and Russia. All the information published in this book is collected directly from the trusts/institutions which offers the scholarships. This book is published by Jain Friends. In the book you will find a separate list of institutions offering scholarships especially to Jain students. The original price of this book is Rs. 60, but it is available just for Rs. 35 (Including postage) for members of this discussion group. You can receive a copy of this book by sending a Money Order of Rs.35 to: Secretary Jain Friends, Modern Teles, Jagannath Complex, 199 Mumbai Pune Marg, Chinchwad East, Pune 411019, Mahavir Sanglikar Cell: 989 020 3549.

HIGHER STUDIES SCHOLARSHIP BY SAHU JAIN TRUST
Applications are invited by Sahu Jain Trust for the financial year 2004-2005 from meritorious students pursuing engineering, medical, computers and other lines of education. The scholarship amount ranges from 150/- to 1,000/- rupees per month. Interested candidates may write to Sahu Jain Trust, Times House, 7, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, New Delhi - 110002. Please do not forget to send five rupees pre stamped envelope along with your application. For more information visit: www.sahujaintrust.timesofindia.com

JAIN RELIGION RECOGNISED BY OHIO BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
In recognition of Ohio's bicentennial in 2003, the Religious Experience Advisory Council of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission was established to celebrate the state's diversity of religion and faith traditions. The end result of the council's efforts, "Religion in Ohio: Profiles of Faith Communities" book edited by Tarunjit J. Butalia and Dianne Small (to be published in June 2004) tells the story of Ohio's religious and spiritual heritage going back to the state's ancient and historic native populations, and including the westward migration of settlers to this region, the development of a wide variety of faith traditions in the years preceding the mid-twentieth century, and the arrival of many newer immigrants in the last fifty year's, each group bringing with it cherished traditions. Documenting the religious pluralism in Ohio, this book included chapters on the historical experiences and beliefs of over forty Christian groups, as well as Native American, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Baha'i, Jain and Zoroastrian faiths. Member of each faith or denomination wrote chapter of one's own religion. Operating under the auspices of the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio, the largely untold story of Ohio religious experiences is gathered here in one volume so that those experiences may by appreciated for their breadth and diversity. Dr. Tansukh Salgia who was the member of this council, has, with the help of his wife Bharati, written the Jain chapter. Contact E-Mail: tsalgia1@netzero.net for info about book. More information about the book writes to E-Mail: jwilson1@ohio.edu or wants to purchase on line at www.Amazon.com.

PROTEST AGAINST KILLING OF PIGEON IN SHOOTING COMPETITION - Portugal
Protests have now started against the killing of more than fifty thousand pigeons in Portuguese shooting competition. The competition is permitted by laws only in Spain in the entire European Union. The annual event is attended by 200 to 300 shooter from different countries. At least 2,500 pigeons are used in each day of these pigeon shooting events. The pigeons are first mutilated (their tail feathers are removed so that they may fly in an erratic way, which serves to test the ability of the shooters) and are afterwards locked in fully closed boxes where they are kept until shooters give an order for the boxes to be opened. When the animals, panicking with the confinement, see the boxes opening, they desperately try to fly back to their freedom, but are immediately shot.

"ANIMAL" an animal protection agency has been fighting pigeon shooting for years now. After the approval of the Animal Protection Law, in 1995, ANIMAL succeeded in cancelling judicially several pigeon shooting competitions, namely with many injunctions sustained by Portuguese courts. For some years after the approval of this law, the practice of pigeon shooting in Portugal was interrupted due to the persistence of ANIMAL but lately some legal maneuvering forced some courts to vacate the injuctions obtained by ANIMAL. The Portuguese organisation ANIMAL appeals to all animal loving individuals and organisations around the world to record their protest with the President of the Portuguese Parliament. Please write to the President of the Portuguese Parliament, sharing with him your opposition to the practice of pigeon shooting in Portugal stressing out that to ban pigeon shooting is a moral demand to which the Portuguese Parliament should accept. The Honourable Mr. João Bosco Mota Amaral, President of the Portuguese Parliament, E-Mail: gabpar@ar.parlamento.pt . Appeal made by Miguel Moutinho E-Mail: miguel.moutinho@animal.org.pt.

ESSAY COMPETITION "JAINISM THEORY AND PRACTICE" ORGANISED BY MUMBAI UNIVERSITY
Mumbai University, Mumbai, India has organized an Essay Competition under "Dinesh Mody Prize 2004" on "Jainism Theory and Practice" in Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi or English. It should be the writer's original, unpublished contribution, not more than 40 legal size pages and three copies are required to be sent to Asst. Registrar, Scholarship Section, Room No. 35, 1st Floor, Vidyanagari, Santa Cruz (East), Mumbai 400 098. Write "Jainism Theory and Practice 2004" on envelope together with your Name, Address inside the envelope. Entries should reach by 30 October 2004.

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GUJARAT, AN EYE-OPENING ARTICLE BY MIRA KAMDAR
Mira Kamdar, an author and a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York, USA has written an article: "What is happening in Gujarat? / Mallika's Mahabharata", courtesy Tehelka. Email the editor Email :mody@sympatico.ca , if anyone is interested in receiving this article. Tehelka has done a full package on Mallika Sarabhai's case and the hounding by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Visit www.tehelka.com

BOOK REVIEW

JAINA MONUMENTS OF ANDHRA (English), By Dr. G. Jawaharlal, 2002 253 x 190 mm 135 pp 50 colour plates
81 85616 86 8 Hardcover Rs. 1500.00. This book is based on Jaina iconography and architecture found scattered in Andhra Pradesh. It provides a scholarly study of Jaina art and architecture in Andhra Pradesh. The book is informative and analytically written. The author, an eminent epigraphist, relies on traditional accounts as well as epigraphic evidences to present his facts. He does not hesitate to describe in detail the large-scale conversion of Jaina monuments into Hindu temples. There is ample photographic evidence of this in the colour plates. The book shall be highly useful to researchers and students of Indian and particularly Jaina art. The price of the book is surprisingly high since it has been published with contributions from the jñana khatas (temple funds specially set aside for promoting Jaina literature) of Svetambara Jaina temples in Andhra Pradesh. The book is well organised, with an excellent introduction, detailed appendices & bibliography.

"HISTORY OF JAINISM & JAINS IN NORTH AMERICAN" BEING COMPLIED BY JAINA
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. There is a rich history of how Jainism is known over fifty states of America and ten provinces of Canada and how Jains have established themselves. Over seventy-five Jain organizations 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, a call is given for support and cooperation and thus helps in writing the true exhaustive history. Anyone having any information like articles & books written by you or others, details about Jain artefacts, history of local centres, timeline of milestone of events, etc. which can be used in making this publication complete and comprehensive, everyone is earnestly requested to provide details. You can send such info-materials to Mr. Jaswant Mehta at his email address of Email:
jvmehta2000@yahoo.com or mail at: Jsawant Mehta, #203, 2910 - 109 Street, Edmonton, AB, T6J 7H4.

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KARNATAKA GOVERNMENT RECOGNISES JEEVAN VIGYAN: INCLUDES IT IN SCHOOLS
The principles of Jeevan Vigyan (Life Science) & Preksha Meditation are slowly but surely finding recognition everywhere. This was confirmed today with the news that Karnataka state government had decided to include training in Jeevan Vigyan as part of the course curriculum for the primary and secondary school students of the state. Secretary of Karnataka Jeevan Vigyan Academy, Bangalore, Shri Lalit Jain met Acharya Shri Mahaprajna at Hamirgadh, a small village about 20 kms from Bhilwara, especially to deliver this good news. Shri Jain informed that following wide spread following of Jeevan Vigyan generated in Bangalore through the efforts of Jeevan Vigyan Academy at Bangalore, Karnataka state government and its educational body, The Department of State Education, Research & Training (DSERT) had recognized the value of Jeevan Vigyan and decided to introduce the same in its schools. Jeevan Vigyan Academy, Bangalore initially started Jeevan Vigyan training with the blessings of His Holiness Shri Balgangadharnath Swami, the religious head of the Adichunchagiri Mahasamsthana Mutt. It was introduced in around 1750 schools being run by the Mutt with training provided to 2150 teachers. Following its, success in these educational institutions, the course will now be introduced through trimester system in around 2.60 lac schools of Karnataka State government. 58,000 teachers will receive training in the first phase of implementation with all cost of training to be borne by the state government. Students from std. 5 to std. 9 will be the beneficiaries of this new course in the initial period.

SHRI BALGANGADHAR SWAMI DEDICATES THREE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS TO ACHARYA SHRI MAHAPRAJNA
Acharya Mahaprajna's contribution to Ahimsa and humanity is finding recognition everywhere and with all religions. This fact was proved with the news that religious head of Adichunchagiri Samsthana Mutt, Sri Sri Sri Balgangadharnath Mahaswamiji has dedicated three educational institutions under the Mutt to Acharya Shri. According to information brought by Shri Moolchandji Nahar, President of Karnataka Jeevan Vigyan Academy, Bangalore when he came to pay respects to Acharya Shri Mahaprajna at Hamirgadh today. Shri Nahar informed that His Holiness Shri Balgangadhar Swami was so highly impressed with Acharya Shri's efforts for progress of Ahimsa and by the light of knowledge in Acharya Shri's eyes that the head of one of the most important religious organizations in Karnataka had accepted Acharya Shri as his "Guru". In recognition of Acharya Shri's efforts for spreading the peace message, Shri Balgangadhar Swami has dedicated three educational institutions to Acharya Shri. On June 3, 2004, Shri Balgangadhar Swami will rename a college as Acharya Mahaprajna Women's College, one hall as Jeevan Vigyan Hall & a library as Acharya Mahaprajna Library. This recognition of Acharya Shri by the head of a religious institution of another religion once again gives substance to His greatness and humility.

VIEWS FROM READERS
Jainism's Perspective of Vegetarianism
From Dr. C. Devakumar
Time and again, many questions have been raised as to why we should be vegetarian in our outlook and food habits. Let me attempt to give the Jaina logic. Jainism is the religion that supports all life. It is not limited to the welfare of human beings alone. The soul and its liberation from bondage is the center of all actions. The soul in reality does not need any support from non-souls. However, it is habituated and conditioned to assume material way of life from time eternal. It must break this web of illusion and ignorance. If one is convinced and determined, one can severe all dependence with non-souls. Such a person would dare and care to interfere with none. He would abstain from worldly activities, go fasting for days together and meditate only on his soul. This is one category of people for whom there is minimal and rare occasional need of food. May such divine sages and seers guide us too. We as householders must always serve their supreme cause.

There is another category of people who know and trust the true path of liberation but are not in a position to abandon worldly life. They are constantly contemplating of that noble path, adore it and longing for such a sublime life. Since, they are involved with material world, they need to eat to survive and sustain their life. Vegetarianism is one such way of life prescribed for these two categories of people. Here vegetarianism includes not only food habits but also the various processes of food production, storage and distribution. In Jainism, the concurrent internal intentions more than external manifestations of an act are important. An apparent act of surgery or service in armed forces or an act of defending one's family or friends against murderous attack is not measured in terms of violence associated with such act but by the noble intention behind.

Why vegetarianism?
Now let us get some facts clearly. The self-awakened man respects the life of others as precious as his. Live and Let Live is his central philosophy. This is the fundamental tenet of Jainism. The bonded souls are distributed in various states and forms throughout universe. For our understanding and identification, some taxonomic keys have been provided in Jainism. These are for example, senses (sense of touch, sense of taste, sense of smell, sense of hearing and sense of sight) vital-forces (controlling five senses, mind, body, speech, respiration and life span) mobile and immobile orders etc. In terms of senses, there are five categories viz. one-sensed, two-sensed, three- sensed, four- sensed and five- sensed organisms. Bonded souls have 4 to 10 vital forces. The soul-character if one may state, so increases from lower to higher strata. Plant kingdom (which includes a lot variety of microbes) falls under the least strata in both categories. They are immobile. Plants have one sense of touch and four vital forces (force controlling life span, respiration, body and impulses). Human beings and celestials form the highest strata.

The laity or the householders cannot survive without the support of food and the least they can do is to depend on plant kingdom for this purpose. Even here, the self-awakened person must take adequate precautions in the selection of right plant, its part, and its growth stage and package of practices in their cultivation, harvest, storage and distribution. His need must precede his greed. His material needs would become minimal as he makes spiritual progress. He should not waste food and the consequence of feeding himself and others should not promote actions contrary to the religious spirit. His actions must stem from the feeling of equanimity and compassion as much as possible. He must ensure ecological balance, preservation of environment and inevitable harm to minimum number of plants. As should be clear, all plants or their parts are not qualified as food. There is another important fact of bonded souls. There is one category called nigod souls that thrive in a common tissue. Their life span is less than a second and they are infinite in number in a microscopic unit of tissue. They live and die together again and again. They share a common mass called body. Many plants accommodate them in their parts. In any given time (i.e in minutes), this tissue harbors many times the souls in unit space. It is said that the number of souls in a tiny tissue may exceed the entire human population. So we must not eat such plant parts. Care should be taken to avoid eating of parts in active growth stage such as leaves, flowers etc. Also, we should not facilitate proliferation of such nigod souls in our food materials by means of method of preparation, preservation and disposal of food. There are well-established descriptions and descriptions about these in Jain scriptures.

Why not eat non-vegetarian food?
Jains have been advised not to eat body or its parts of organisms having two or more-sensed for many reasons. One cannot get their flesh without harming or killing the organism. As mentioned earlier, their consciousness level is higher than that of one-sensed organism. So, they can sense bodily changes much faster and in high pitch. No self-awakened person would like to hurt them without reason. He has option of vegetative source as food. Eating non-vegetarian food is prone to mental and physical afflictions. It always harbors many microscopic organisms in infinite number per unit volume. Many varieties of the microbes are probably so small that they can't be observed with the available modern electron microscopy. They are of mobile in nature but microscopic in form. In that sense, they are microzoa or tiny animals. In that sense, you are not killing one animal but infinite number in one stroke.

Some arguments
Plant and animal products have one commonality viz. both are derived from life. So why not eat both? This is too generalized statement to be treated at par. We know that all plants are not edible. Even within a plant, a particular part has medicinal application but not another. The traditional medicine prescribes leaves of some plants but not their roots. Though it may sound harsh to cite this example to counter the argument of giving equal edible status for both plant and animal products, one treats differently two young women with due social respect. One is his wife and another his sister. Another question is the availability of choice based on principles of compassion and less harm to fellow beings (necessarily not limited to a single species called Homo sapiens). The ingenuity of human beings being so high and evolved, if there is a will, surely there is a vegetarian way.

Killing animals or eating flesh has been granted religious sanctity in some religions. A section of people perhaps even some Jains shun agricultural profession as it necessarily involves some inadvertent killing or displacement of organisms. Another religion gives license to eating flesh products but not killing. These measures may appear to be sanitized on the face of them, but they promote the trade of killing or agriculture as ultimate consumers. An act is said to commence or be completed within the frame of mind or speech or physical actions, if one indulges in it directly or gets it done or sanctions it by his muteness or endorsement. Non-violence is the essence of a religion and so such practices do not qualify religious sanctity. I therefore would like to warn innocent but intelligent people not to become prey to such covet designs.

Another important talisman is the role reversal i.e. think of you in place of the victim and re-evaluate your actions. Imagine a scene. You are about to slaughter a lamb. A divine force appears before you and spells you to become a lamb and the lamb to a man. Then it asks your opinion. Will you recommend slaughtering of you, now the lamb by the lamb? Please pause a moment and spare the devil in you. In the ocean of transmigration the bonded souls have assumed all sorts of forms and bodies and varieties of relationship. Think this way: the organism I am willing to sacrifice to save or feed my son was verily my father in another birth. Will I do it again? Think over. Such train of thoughts would cool our greed and make us sane. Whenever you feed yourself with material food, concurrently feed yourself with the thought on the noble path of liberation so that our dependence on plants comes to an eternal end one day.

DIKSHA CEREMONY
Shri Ruby Bansal will be initiated to Jain order of saints and will be accepting Jain Bhagwati Diksha in the Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect in the holy presence of Acharya Shri Shiv Muni on the 21st May, 2004 at Ropar (Punjab). Devotees from all over the place will join the celebrations. Shri Rubi Bansal is 26 years old and holds degree of B.Com. (Computers). He has also studied Jain Shastra and has keen interest in meditation and Dhyan Yoga.

DEVLOK GAMAN
Shri Shravan Sagar Ji Maharaj disciple of Shri 108 Sambal Sagar Ji Maharaj belonging to Digambar sect attained Devlok on the 17th February, 2004 at Sammed Shikharji. He had taken the vow of 'samadhi' prior to his death.

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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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