Ahimsa Times - January 2006 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org
Vol. No. 67
Ahimsa Foundation Wishes A Very Happy & Prosperous New Year 2006
All the all Patrons & Readers
PRESIDENT KALAM DECLARES OPEN FIRST MAHAMASTHAKABHISHEKA CEREMONY
The hills of Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri in the town of Shravanabelagola resounded with chants of"Bhagawan Bahubali ki jai" as President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Sunday, 22nd January 2006 declared open the first Mahamastakabhisheka of the millennium and reiterated the relevance of the Jain tenets of non-violence in a strife-ridden world.
Mr. Kalam said the practice of truth, ahimsa and vairagya that are the tenets of Jainism was relevant in modern times and the message of peace and non-violence as enunciated by Bahubali should be taken to all parts of the country. Addressing a vast gathering of Jain munis, nuns, acharyas and devotees who have assembled here from all parts of the world, the President said the spiritual congregation symbolised the continuity of a great tradition, which started in the 3rd century B.C. by Chandragupta Maurya, who settled here with 12,000 sages and munis performing austerities.
It is a beautiful sight of people of multiple faiths and affiliations gathering to celebrate a great cultural event. The most sacred meaning of life consists of helping the establishment of peace and harmony on earth. This can only be achieved through the practice of truth, ahimsa and vairagya by all of us," the President said.
The Mahamastakabhisheka is held once in 12 years and Sunday's inauguration marked the launching of the events and rituals that will lead up to the grand event of the anointment of the 57-foot statue that will be held from February 8 to 19. The President combined his speech - replete with philosophical connotations and cultural traditions - with poetry and expressed his appreciation of the evolution and ascent of the human soul as propounded in Jainism.
Mr. Kalam went nostalgic at the sight of the Jain Munis who congregated here and described his spiritual experience when he visited Pavapuri and recalled the contribution of Jainism to Indian philosophy, thought, literature and science. He said great poets such as Pampa, Ranna and Ratnakara Varni had enriched Kannada literature, while Jain rulers contributed immensely to the field of art and architecture.
"With his everlasting smile and benign looks, Gomateshwara Bahubali declares ahimsa and vairagya as the solution for all the ills of this world. I am happy that Mahamastakabhisheka has become an auspicious festival not only for the Jains but also for people from different religions. This is a great unifier and I wish that this message of unification is taken and all the sects in every religion forget the differences and follow the twin principles of ahimsa and vairagya," he said.
The President also noted that five satellite towns had emerged around Shravanabelagola for the festivities. He said that there should be physical connectivity, electronic connectivity, knowledge connectivity which would lead to economic connectivity of the cluster of villages around the satellite towns."Economic development under the blessings of Gomateshwara, will become an example of how living conditions can be improved through the provision of urban facilities in rural areas," he said.
Governor T.N. Chaturvedi said Bahubali and his life is a testimony that non-violence and renunciation hold the key to peace and prosperity. Speakers including revolutionary Jain muni Acharya Tarun Sagar gave a clarion call for spreading non-violence and animal rights and said the 18th century saw the end of slavery, 19th century gave independence to nations, the 20th century gave rise to women's rights and said the 21st century should usher in liberation of animals and establishment of animal rights. Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of Sri Digambara Jain Math, Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash, and thousands of devotees were present at the ceremony venue.
OVER HUNDRED CRORES TO BE SPENT ON MAHA-MASTAKABHISHEK CEREMONY AT SHARAVANBELGOLA
The festival to be held at Shravanbelgola in Karnataka, on the lines of an internatioanal event, for the worshipping ceremony of Bhagwan Bahubali will cost as much as Rupees 1000 million (hundred crores). Out of this amount, rupees 75 crores have been sanctioned by the Central Government and 25 crores is to be borne by the Government of Karnataka. The celebrations will commence from the 8th February and will go up to 22nd February, though the inaugural ceremony will be held on the 22nd January itself. About 30 lakh pilgrims, devotees and tourists are expected to participate in the celebrations. It is understood that devotees belonging to Swetambar sect will not be permitted to perform worhip of Bhagwan Bahubali, though they could witness the celebrations.
MAHAMASTAKABHISHEKA LIVE ON SANSKAR TV
SANSKAR TV is the official channel to cover the Mahamastakabhishekha of Bhagwan Bahubali. Viewers all over the world can watch the program live on "Sanskar TV". Shravanabelagola, the world-famous pilgrim center of Jains in South India, is readying itself to host the Mahamastaka Abhisheka of Lord Bahubali. Programmes will be broadcasted live on 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th & 13th February 2006 from 10.00 A.M. Source: Press information contact, Mr. Pradeep Nambiar- 9321027318, E-Mail : email@example.com
NEWLY DEVELOPED SIDDHANT KSHETRA - DELHI-JAIPUR HIGHWAYS, GURGAON, HARYANA
Shree Panch Balyati Tirthankar Jin Mandir,Jain Nagri, Shikohpur, Delhi-Jaipur Highways, Gurgaon, (Haryana) Pracheen tirthsthala Nandanvan has been converted into a new spiritual center at Shikohapur village in Haryan with the blessings of Param pujya acharya Ratna Shri 108 Bahubali sagar ji maharaj. Siddant Tirth Kshetra is a recently developed Atishayukt Tirth. It is located on Delhi-Jaipur Highway near Gurgaon (Haryana). The place is blessed with the natural beauty. As the tender sunrays touch the shrine in the morning and while sun is setting, the scenic beauty becomes divine and the place becomes more lively and attractive. The prime attraction of Shree Panch Balyati Tirthankar Jin Mandir is Panch Pahadi idols. On the top of the Punch Pahadi, there is an idol of Bhagwan Mahavir Swami ji, which is 15.25 feet in height. Amongst other idols of Bhagwan Vasupujya ji, Bhagwan Mallinath ji, Bhagwan Nami Nath ji and Bhagwan Parshwa Nath ji are of 9.25feet high. There is a temple in the center of the campus. The Punch Kalyanak pratishtha took place during January 2004. Tyagi Tapovan, Pravachan Hall, Sahitya Sadan, Modern DharamShala, Dining Hall and a well-maintained park for children is there. The facility is being used by the visitors and as well as by the ascetics & saints who stay over there. The place is very well-connected. It is 44 kilometers away from Delhi. From Gurgaon it is only 12 kilometers away. It is on the way while going from Delhi to Tijara. The tirth is being managed by Trust - Bahubali Adhyatmic Anusandhan . Contact Phone numbers: - 95-124-3090628.
INDIA'S TALLEST STATUE OF BHAGWAN PARSHWA NATH BUILT IN KARNATAKA
A 61-feet granite statue of Lord Parsavnath, the tallest in the country, was installed on a 41-ft high platform on Friday, amid elaborate rituals and singing of devotional songs by thousands of devotees in Varoor village, about 15 km from Hubli in Karnataka. The statue of the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, at a total height of 102 feet, including the platform, is taller than the 39 feet monolith of Lord Bahubali at Shravanabelgola in Hassan district. Architects plan to carve a five-feet wide lotus flower around the feet of the statue. According to Rashtriya Santh Gundhur Nandi Maharaja, under whose guidance the installation ceremony took place, the area has been named as Navagraha Kshetra as nine other statues of 30-feet each would soon be installed around the main statue. A model of the Sumeru mountain, a statue of Sun God and a Padmavathi temple were also being built in the complex, he added.
CONFERENCES & CELEBRATIONS
BLII, DELHI CONDUCTS LECTURE SERIES ON"JAIN CONTRIBUTION TO THE DRAMA LITERATURE"
As the eighth lecture of the Series at Bhogilal Leherchand Institute of Indology , New Delhi, Dr. Ashok Kumar Singh, Assoc. Prof. of B. L. Institute of Indology delivered his lecture on the topic Jain Contribution to the Drama Literature on 7th Jan 2006. Dr. Singh presented the survey of Jain literature on Drama in historical perspective underlining its specific features and according to the language of the work, i.e. in Prakrit, Sanskrit, Apabhramsha, Gujarati and Hindi. He also discussed the theme of the works classified in to religious, philosophical, social etc. The scholars present appreciated the effort and opined that one like this is necessary so that scholars may have an idea about the Jain contribution to the different aspects of the literature. Dr. Balaji Ganorkar appealed to the scholars to take up the works of editing and translation of Jain Drama Literature. Courtesy : Balaji Ganorkar E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, Mob : 91-98-11666314, 91-11-27202065
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF MAHAVIR INTERNATIONAL TO BE HELD AT JODHPUR
The 21st International Convention of Mahavir International will be held this year on the 11th and 12th February, 2006 at Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The place attracts a large number of tourists from different countries during this period. There are about 300 centres of this institution in India and abroad and various types of humanitarian services are provided, including free medical help to the needy, Polio surgery for its complete eradication, eye camps, animal welfare, blood bank, removing social evils and spreading the message of Bhagwan Mahavir across the world. Members of Mahavir International from various centres in India and abroad (single or couple) are invited to participate in the convention. For details, they may contact: Secretary, Mahavir International, Jodhpur Centre, 658, Ashok Bhawan, Jaljog circle, Residency road, Sardarpura, Jodhpur-342011 (Raj.), India. Ph.: 91-291-3952654.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JAIN RELIGION
in 11 Volumes (English),Ed. by Chanchreek Jain ,2005 220 mm x 140 mm 4500 pp approx. ,Hardcover Rs. 7000 for the set. Jainism is an ancient religion. It is the oldest living religion in the world. Jainism did not spread widely beyond India like Buddhism, but the 20th century saw Jain diaspora settle all over the globe and today Jainism is a truly global religion with its followers and temples present in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America. This set of 11 volumes is a highly systematic study of Jainism. The encyclopedia has been designed to thoroughly cover all aspects related to Jainism. Jain epistemology, ontology, history, social anthropology, doctrine, dogmas, philosophy, orthodoxy, art and architecture, contribution to Indian culture and traditions, are all covered in this book. This work is a contemporary masterpiece. Each topic is dealt with comprehensively and presented in a lucid manner. Publication is available with ,Sri Manish Modi, Hindi Granthalaya, 9 Hirabaug C P Tank, Mumbai 400004. E-Mail : email@example.com
JAINISM IN SOUTHERN KARNATAKA (English),Upton 1565 AD,By Dr. Shakuntala Prakash Chavan ,Foreword by B D Kane. 2005 220 x 145 mm 324 pp + 16 colour plates ,Deluxe hardcover edition Rs. 580. This brand new work traces the development of Jainism in South Karnataka from its emergence in this region, 4th century CE to 1565 CE. Dr Shakuntala Chavan has examined various inscriptions, literary works and monuments. She has reconstructed the historical events that came to pass and how they shaped the development of Jainism in this region. Jainism is represented very strongly in well-organised centres such as Shravanabelagola, Mudabidri, Karkal, Venur and Humcha. Chavan traces the evolution and history of these centres, and the bhattaraka tradition which has ensured the safety and continued well being of these centres of Jainism in South Karnataka. She has also presented a scholarly account of Jain religion and philosophy, the teachings of Mahavira, the role of Tirthankaras in Jainism, and the unique religious, ethical, linguistic, cultural, political and anthropological impact of Jainism on medieval India, especially on medieval Karnataka. Publication is available with , Sri Manish Modi, Hindi Granthalaya, 9 Hirabaug C P Tank, Mumbai 400004. E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
'UTOPIA TODAY - REALITY TOMORROW - A vegetarian world'
Thirty five authors - nutritionists, medical doctors, authors of bestsellers, founders of important organizations, researchers, IT-specialists, philosophers, sci-fi fans, generously contributed to this book. The authors come from a variety of countries, cultural backgrounds and religions but they all have one thing in common: the conviction that a more compassionate world is not only possible but inevitable if humanity is to prosper. The authors share their individual ideas of how tomorrow's vegetarian world will be, whilst looking at a more compassionate future from many different angles. The result is a cocktail of good vibes, light and hopes. The Book can be purchased from the EVU, Bahnhofstr. 52, CH-9315 Neukirch-Egnach. You can also write to Renato Pichler, President of the European Vegetarian Union, E-Mail: email@example.com , www.european-vegetarian.org
HONOURS, EVENTS & AWARDS
SATYA PAL JAIN EX. BJP M.P. ELECTED DEAN OF PUNJAB UNIVERSITY
Shri Satya Pal Jain, Ex MP and National Convener of the Legal Cell of the BJP has been unanimously elected as Dean of the Faculty of Law, Punjab University Chandigarh. Shri Jain, a Senior Advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court, is also a member of the National Working Committee of the BJP and has been a member of 11th and 12th Lok Sabha in 1996 and 1998, is the first BJP worker to be elected to this post. It is interesting to note that Shri Jain was refused admission in the Law Course by the same Department of Law of the Punjab University in July 1975, inspite of the fact that his name appeared in the Open Merit List for admission to LLB Course, because of imposition of emergency in the country. On the same day, he was arrested under DIR for opposing emergency and was detained in Chandigarh Jail for about one year. Later, after release from the Jail, Mr. Jain did Law from Garhwal University Srinagar in 1979. After 30 years, Mr. Jain has become the Dean of the same faculty, which had denied him admission in its department.
Dr. Jaykumar Jalaj honoured by Sahitya Academy Samskriti Vibhag
Dr. Jaykumar Jalaj honoured by Sahitya Academy Samskriti Vibhag
Dr. Jaykumar Jalaj has been honoured at Ratlam on 17th December by Sahitya Academy Samskriti Vibhag, Govt of Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of the publication of 11th edition of his Hindi book Bhagavan Mahavir Ka Buniyadi Chintan. The book was written on the request of Govt of MP on the occasion of the 2600th birth anniversary of Bhagavan Mahavir and published by Sahitya Academy Bhopal in 2002. Prakrit Bharati Academy Jaipur published its English (4th edition) ,Urdu (2nd Edition), Gujarati (2nd edition) ,and Marathi and Kannad translations. Dr. Devendra Deepak, Director of Sahitya Academy Bhopal honoured the author in presence of a huge jain-non jain gathering. Contact Mr. Jaykumar Jalaj at E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPREME COURT CAN NOT OVERRIDE CONSTITUTION
The media is playing game and all Jains should know all about it, the intellectual elite who controls media want you to believe it by sensationalizing such news. But they can't fool the nation of Jain minority. The Indian constitution cannot be changed it is wishful thinking on part of Hindu's. But all Jains should not fall for such propaganda crap. The recent supreme court decision on minority is not on fundamental recognition Jains as minority religion but on newly proposed minority groups those who are not in constitution but for quota reservation. Jains have nothing to fear. As Jain religion enshrine in Indian constitution in Article 25 cannot be changed unless the parliament has 2/3 majority. So it is a wake up call for all Jains to unite and fight to protect what is guaranteed in constitution. The Jains should form a political party, a vote bank a viable, Jain United Front and we align whoever supports our cause. Please don't listen to any self righteous Gurus. There are too many of those to be counted the day of reckoning is here in this new age niceties don't work unless we show our militancy. So let us struggle for sake of Jain unity . If you believe in Xatriya Dharma then we have to fight to restore our dignity. Courtesy: Shan Parisa, E-Mail email@example.com
VRINDA KARAT UNDER HEAVY CRITICISM FOR HER ALLEGATIONS ON SWAMI RAM DEV
For last couple of weeks, Communist party leader, Mrs. Vrinda Karat is under heavy criticism by all other political parties, leaders of various communities and the public in general for her allegations against Swami Ram Dev Ji and his Divya Yog Pharmacy at Hardwar. She has alleged that the medicines made there under the name of Ayurvedic medicines contain crushed bones of animals as one of the constituents. It is being reported at various forums and the press that she has made these charges at the instance of multi-national companies, just to defame the Swami Ram Dev and the ancient Ayurveda system of medicine, while they themselves add bone powder in all tooth pastes manufactured by them. According to information available from newspapers, this fact has been authenticated by a report published in an American magazine,"The Earth Island Journal". This magazine has further added that soft drinks, manufactured by multinatioals contain small quantities of animal's meat. Mrs. Karat ought to have thought over the matter ten times before throwing a challenge on Swami Ram Dev.
AMISH COMMUNITY IN U.S.A. LIVES LIKE JAIN SAINTS
Much has been written on how difficult it is to live without electricity. I agree to the fact especially we have taken electricity granted since birth. However we must spare the thought for our monks and nuns who do not use electricity and other comforts throughout their life time even in this materialistic era. Interestingly there is an entire community of people in USA -"Amish" who do not use electricity, vehicles or machines and live life very simply and strictly. Those who feel that it is impossible to survive without electricity and modern amenities would do well to check out the following links. It gives an insight as to how this people have successfully withstood the modern evils and lures amidst the worlds largest materialistic nation and yet live happily. www.800padutch.com; www.religioustolerance.org Courtesy: Anish Shah.
"JAIN ENLIGHTENMENT" FILM-MAKER TO PRODUCE SERIES FOR WORLDWIDE TV NETWORKS
After six weeks traveling across India filming exclusive interviews with Jain experts, scholars and eminent figures like Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Maharaj, Archarya Mahapragya, Rashmi Durlabji, N. K. Sethi, Vivak Jain Kala, D. R. Mehta, Surendra Bothara, Dr. S. L. Gandhi, Kamal Kumar Barjatiya, etc., filmmaker Vinanti Sarkar started with Mahaveerji's Temple in Jaipur. She arrived on Diwali to celebrate the auspicious night when Mahaveeraji's purified soul left the body and achieved complete liberation in a cave in 527 B.C. Although many Americans have heard of "nirvana," signifying the release of the soul from this earthly life, how many people know the story of the 24 Tirthankas who received "moksha" as siddhas, gaining pure consciousness, as liberated souls?
As part of this spiritual sojourn, she discovered the magnificent treasures of Annasagar Lake Temple in Ajmer, and the newly constructed outer space-like Digambar temple site on her way back from the Pushkar Fair. A car ride brought her to Ranakpur where filming continued by sunset and sunrise and then on to Mt. Abu. Vinanti recalled: "For some unknown reason, there was no sign of any fears, no negative or petty vibes, as I was inspired daily by divine inner strength to overcome any obstacles. Doors opened for filming the most sacred chambers in the temples." Invited by N.K. Sethi, she flew to Shravanbelgola in Karnatika State to attend the Women's Conference, and stayed at the VIP Guest House. After climbing the mountain steps, she was greeted by the 17.38 meter high monolithic stone statue of the Bhagwan Gomateshwara Bahubali, considered the world's largest. For three days she filmed colorful dances relating to the life story of Bahubali by exquisite young dancers.
She then went to Palitana and was able to film the historical grandeur of the ancient temples displayed in magnificent splendor during sunrise. Within the next twenty four hours, she found herself walking in the ancient Jain temples at Ellora. While at Delhi, she was granted two hour film interview with Mrs. Indu Jain, Chairman of Times of India .Courtesy: Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIA LOST TEN MILLION FEMALES DUE TO ABORTION
Washington, Jan 9 : An estimated 10 million female foetuses have been aborted in India over the last two decades, according to a study of birth rates by British medical journal Lancet. A team of researchers from Canada and India analysed information from 133,738 births in 1997 across India, and determined that fewer females are born as second or third children to families who do not yet have a boy, compared to those who already have a boy. The statistics according to birth order were striking, according to the study that is being published online Monday. The sex ratio for the second birth when the preceding child was a girl was 759 girls per 1,000 males, and for the third child was 719 girls if the previous two children were girls. But if the previous children were boys, there were from 1,102 to 1,176 girls born for every 1,000 males. The girl rates dropped even more precipitously for children born to more educated mothers - with schooling beyond Class 10 - where only 683 to 756 girls were born for every 1,000 boys if the previous births were girls.
The data on female fertility, taken from an ongoing Indian national survey of six million people, showed that only 13.1 million girls were born that year. According to natural sex ratios from other countries, there should have been 13.6 to 13.8 million girls born in 1997, indicating a shortfall of 590,000 to 740,000 female babies. The authors of the study - Indian-origin Prabhat Jha of St. Michael's Hospital at the University of Toronto, and Rajesh Kumar of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, - suggest that the use of widely available ultrasound and other diagnostic tools in India, followed by abortion of female foetuses, explained the discrepancy."We conservatively estimate that prenatal sex determination and selective abortion accounts for 0.5 million missing girls yearly," he said."If this practise has been common for most of the past two decades since access to ultrasound became widespread, then a figure of 10 million missing female births would not be unreasonable."
Prenatal sex determination has been illegal since 1994, but the law is often ignored, the study said. Other statistics supported the finding, the study said. Among children six years old or younger in India, the number of girls per 1,000 boys has dropped from 962 in 1981 to 945 in 1991 and 927 in 2001. The practise of aborting female foetuses appears to be even more widespread in China, where only 847 to 877 girls were born for every 1,000 boys in 2002. The authors ruled out infanticide as an explanation for the lower numbers, pointing out the wide availability of ultrasound and other diagnostic procedures."To have a daughter is socially and emotionally accepted if there is a son, but a daughter's arrival is often unwelcome if the couple already have a daughter," Shirish Sheth of the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai wrote in a Lancet editorial.Daughters"eventually belong to the family of her future husband", Sheth wrote.
In this context, it is worth-while mentioning that Aryika Prashanthmathi Mathaji has recently called upon Jain women at Shravanabelagola in Karnataka to unite and fight against female infanticide. Presenting her views on the contribution of Aryika Mathajis, Jain nuns, to the Jain way of life at the ongoing Jain scholars sammelan here yesterday, she said that for centuries, the Jain community had followed the tradition of imparting education to daughters, started by Bhagwan Vrishabnath. Quoting the contribution of Vrishabnath's daughters Brahmi and Sundari, who together helped evolve the Brahmi script, she said imparting modern education along with dharmic values would aid women facing the hard realities of life. Courtesy:"Dr. C. Devakumar" E-Mail: email@example.com
'Fight female infanticide as women play crucial role in society' - Muni Tarun Sagar Ji has recently written a very effective and interesting book, named "The girl" on this subject, which has been translated into English by Dr C.P.Mathur, Director CPCMRS. An extract of the book is: Some people say, we have no daughter but two sons. They say so in such a pride that having no daughter is something like pride and vanity, and of honor. Keep in mind; he who has no daughter has no heart because heart is where there is submission, modesty and simplicity. He, who does not have a daughter, is normally harsh. They say, we do not have a daughter, so we need not bow; need not to beg at any door, need not to entreat before anyone. The daughter is a challenge to your pride. She forces you to bow at the feet of someone. So, there should be a daughter.
JAIN FRIENDS ANNOUNCES ON-LINE JAIN LIBRARY
Jain Friends, a non-profit socio-religious Jain organization is going to publish a collection of at least 1000 books and 3000 articles and essays on Jain Philosophy, History, Sociology, Literature, celebrities, vegetarianism and a lot of other subjects related to Jainism at its website www.jainfriends.tripod.com. These books, articles and essays are written by renowned Jain scholars. This online Jain library will be very helpful not only for students of Jainism, but also for the scholars, writers, editors who can use it as a reference library. Each chapter of every book and all articles and essays will be listed in major search engines like Yahoo and Google. There will be an internal site search engine also. This will help the readers to search any specific subject, title or author easily. Jain Friends would like to publish articles and essays of other scholars and writers too. They can send their articles/essays preferably by email . You can send typed manuscripts also to: Jain Friends, Shantinath, 964 Samdoli, Dist Sangli, 416 427, Maharashtra.
MAIL FROM READERS
IRREGULARITIES AT THE RANAKPUR TEERTH - SAVE THE RANAKPUR SHRINE - SAVE OUR PROUD HERITAGE -Mihir Dhiraj Shah. Ph : 93462 39660, E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently had the opportunity to visit our derasar at Ranakpur. It was indeed an enriching experience to be able to visit this temple of ours. The beauty of the architecture, the rich history of the temple, the generations attached with this temple are some of the facts which have left an indelible mark on our mind. We spent almost 4-5 hours in the temple and the surroundings appreciating the temple. But during this time, we also happened to notice some of the things which were really disturbing. These things are very common at any of the other shrines but seeing them happen at a JAIN teerth was quite a shocking experience. I would like to bring to light few things which are really objectionable and should be looked into at once.
1. The first thing that we observed was that the pujaris were performing more of a guide's role rather than of pujari's. I do understand the fact that the entire working of the temple is handled by them and they are given full rights in the year in which their turn comes but they are doing this to earn money and are openly asking for it from the visitors, especially foreigners. I would hate to call them pujaris of a Jain derasar. They are thugs in disguise.
2. We somehow digested this and moved ahead thinking that at least there are people around to tell the history and the finer points of the temple. Then we saw that the first level (or the first floor) of the temple had been closed for the visitors. Upon asking the reason and the rationale behind the same, we didn't get any satisfactory answer from anyone. But we somehow accepted the rule.
3. But the most shocking moment came, when we saw some foreigners upstairs. On further observation we saw that all the foreigners were being taken upstairs by the guides (pujaris) through the door which was otherwise kept closed. This intriguing act totally took us aback. On showing this to one of the pujari, he still denied the fact and told us that going upstairs is prohibited. But later we also somehow managed to go up, spent some time there, had a look at the beautiful surroundings and satiated our thirst for beauty and over all view of the temple.
We also took this matter to the pedhi over there, but the response over there wasn't very encouraging. We didn't get to meet the manager, Mr. Premaran Tank and could only talk to the cashier, Mr. Poonamchand Goswami. They were very reluctant in talking to us and acted as if they are sitting on top of whole lot of other malpractices. Nevertheless, we still entered a complain in the complain register over there. Now that I think of it, we were told that the basement is kept closed for the visitors, but who knows if its kept open only for the foreigners. Or it is also possible that, some illegal activities might be going on over there.
It is really disturbing to know that one of our finest shrines has fallen prey to the bureaucracy of the generations who are handling it. Being a Jain, I would have taken immense pride in telling everyone that the 16th generation of the temple's owners, pujaris and artisans are taking good care of the temple that their ancestors had built and taken care of, but it gives me immense pain in saying that this is not the case. I would make a humble request to all of you, to pursue this at your level and to look into this matter and other malpractices going around in the temple.
ERRORS IN NCERT BOOKS - From: Dileep Patil, E-Mail: email@example.com - It was surprising to read december issue of the paper especially about the ncert having mentioned in 9th standard books about Jain Samaj it is really shocking there is no point in just protesting there has to be immediate writ petition in court against NCERT to withdraw the book and also publicly they should apologise to students and Jain Samaj in this regards. It looks that NCERT is infiltritated with people of dubious background I feel ashamed about how children learn from such people , these are the people grow the seeds of hatredness in the minds of people this should be nipped in bud and the person should be black listed , we wish to see more matter in this regard in next issue. Thanks.
SILVER FOILS ARE NOT VEGETARIAN - From From: Mr. Pandya Virendra, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - At the end of a meal, do you like to eat a pan, sweet, or perfumed sopari? And then if these things are decorated with silver foils, what more can we want? Many sweets also are decorated with silver foils. The silver foils are not very expensive. They are sold by weight. Ordinarily, you can buy a packet of 160 foils for a price between Rs. 100 to 200. That is, approximately one rupee per foil. Not only the sweets, now a days it is also applied on fruits. Some Ayurvedic medicines also are wrapped in silver foils.
What do you think? - how are these silver foils made? Hold your breath. They are made by hammering thin sheets of silver in middle of booklets made of a bull's intestines. In other words, after slaughtering a bull, quickly his intestines are removed, and sold to the manufacturers of foils. The skins made of old intestines are of no use. Even one-day-old intestines can not be used, because within a few hours they stiffen.
The foil manufacturer removes blood and stools from the intestines, and cuts them into pieces. Then he puts one piece over another, making a booklet out of it. At his home, or in the factory, he puts one silver (or gold) sheet in-between each page. Then he hammers it hard until those metal sheets turn into thin wafers.
The intestines of bulls are so strong, that even repeated hammering do not destroy them, or they do not let the foils move around inside. Because of the hammering, some tissues of the intestine mix with the foils. After that the foil manufacturer sells the bundle of foils to the sweets manufacturers. Some small foil manufacturers sell the foils to the temples.
This foil is not only dirty, it also is non-veg. Even the meat-eaters do not eat intestines. Use of these foils turn even sweets into non-veg food. A few years ago the Indian Airlines learned about this, and since then stopped using them on the sweets served in their planes.
By now, a pan-lover vegetarian person may have eaten equivalent of many miles of oxen intestines! For them, here is an another bad news - the Chuna that they apply on pan, also is not vegetarian! That is made from the shells of living insects. These insects are taken from the ocean, killed, and removed from the shell. Then the shells are softened in water, dried, and ground into white powder. When you put this Chuna in your mouth, you are participating in killing of many insects. This is no different from taking life of a goat or a pig.
MATUSHREE RATNAMMA HEGGADE OF DHARMSTHALA DIED IN ROAD ACCIDENT
Matushree Ratnamma Heggade, mother of Padmabhushan Rajarshi Dr. Virendra Heggade, Kshetradhikari, Shreekshetra Dhamsthala (Karnataka) died on 21st Jan. 2006 in a road accident near Karkala. She was 78 years old and most respected lady of whole Karnataka. Wife of 20th Heggade of Dharmsthala Shreekshetra Late Shri Ratnavarma Heggade, Ratnammaji was known for establishing 39 feet high Bahubali statue at Dharmsthala in the year 1982. She was a good writer, scholar, orator, kind hearted charity minded lady and honored many times by various organizations at different places of India. Recently she was honored at Sravanabelgola on 20th Nov. 2005 during All India Jain Mahila Sammelana . She was going to famous Jain pilgrimage center Karkala by car and med with an serious accident and died on the spot. Large number of dignitaries, well wishers and nearby villagers attended her funeral which took place at 3 A.M. on 22nd January 2006. We pray God for rest peace to her soul. Source: Mr. - Sudhir Jain, E-Mail : email@example.com
Founder of Rajasthan Patrika Shri. Karpur Chand Kulish (Kothari) is no more - Veteran journalist, poet and founder of Rajasthan Patrika Karpur Chand Kulish passed away on 17th January 2006 following prolonged illness.He was 80. He is survived by two sons and a daughter. Kulish, who was born on March 20, 1926 in Tonk district of Rajasthan, started his career in 1945 as a clerk in a government department. Later, he switched over to writing and participated in various poetry competitions organised by All India Radio and received royalties for his works from the national broadcaster. He joined Hindi daily ''Rashtradoot'' in 1951 as a clerk but the then Editor elevated him to the post of city reporter in recognition of his journalistic skills. He left 'Rashtradoot' in 1956 and started the first eveninger of the state ''Rajasthan Patrika.'' It has now become a broadsheet daily with multi-city editions. Kulish also undertook a ''yatra'' during the Emergency across Rajasthan for seven months, highlighting the plight of the people and prominently carried the same in ''Rajasthan Patrika.'' The noted poet and scribe was conferred with All India Editors Conference Award (1999), B D Goenka Award (1987), Haldighati Award (1983) and Dr Hedgewar Pragya Award in (1993) apart from other laurels from the Central Hindi Institute and the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Purashkar, presented to him by former President K R Narayanan. He has also been awarded the highest honours of ''Sahitya Vachaspati'' for his compilations on Hindi literature. Kulishji was a voice for the entire Jain Samaj. In his death we have lost a prominent leader, guide, philosopher and philanthropist of Jain community. We on behalf of Jain Samaj pray for the departed soul.
Respected Jain Sadhwi, Shri Suparshwa Vijay Ji met with a road accident on Pali-Sumerpur highway in Rajasthan while on her vihar on the 22nd November, 2005. She was hit by a fast-running truck and was crushed to death on the spot. She had accepted Jain diksha 15 years ago.
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