Ahimsa Times - February 2006 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org
Vol. No. 68
Mahamastakabhisheka: The bathing of a God - February 8 was a big day for Shravanabelagola in Karnataka. It marked the millennium's first Mahamastakabisheka, the head anointing ceremony of revered Jain icon Lord Bahubali, or Gomateshwara. As with all things holy, the day-long ceremony began with prayer. Jain monks carried the holy water from the Digambar Jain mutt to the venue. To the chant of hymns, the pontiff Charukeerthi Bhattarka filled a giant pot with rice and sealed it with silver coconut, signalling the inauguration of the spectacular event.
At an auspicious moment, two monks hoisted the first pot on the shoulders of a devotee from Rajasthan called Ashok Kumar Patni. The latter had the privilege of pouring the first stream of holy water on the head of the world's tallest free-standing statue.
The ceremony, which comes once in 12 years and lasts over six hours, began at 10.41 am when the 1,024-year-old monolith was anointed. Priests climbed the special scaffolding and assisted pot-holders in anointing the statue with water, coconut, sugarcane juice, rice flour, herbs, milk, sandal paste, turmeric, precious stones, and 52 varieties of flowers from around the world. Patni, a marble trader, won the right to pour the first pot by bidding the highest amount of Rs 1.08 crore.
Dressed in saffron and white, thousands of devotees gathered at the Chandragiri and Vindyagiri Hills for the grand event. As trumpets marked the beginning of the rare, auspicious ceremony, thousands looked up to witness the anointing.
For six hours, 108 jal kalashas (pots) were poured on Bahubali by devotees from around the world. 1,000 litres of milk, 3,000 litres of water, 250 kilograms of turmeric and sandal were poured on the gigantic statue, which kept changing colour, much to the awe of the world media that had gathered to document proceedings.
The statue of Gomateshwara, often referred to as the 'monk on the hills', has attracted millions of people, from devotees and tourists to lovers of art, since it was erected in 981 AD by Chavundaraya, prime minister and commander-in-chief of the Talakad Ganga kingdom. It was erected in memory of Lord Bahubali, a victorious king who renounced all worldly pleasures for spiritual pursuits. Bahubali stands erect in the Kayotsarga pose, arms dangling free. He is visible to a distance of around 16 kilometres, and continues to hypnotise a thousand years after he first set his sights on humankind.
The last Mahamastakabhisheka venerating Gomateshwara Bahubali took place on December 19, 1993. Little about the ceremony has changed, except for the finale in recent years that has included an enormous shower of flowers from a helicopter.
The stone sculpture symbolises renunciation, self-control and subjugation of the ego as the first steps towards salvation. The nude form -- also referred to as Digambara -- of Lord Bahubali, represents complete victory over earthly desire that hampers one's spiritual ascent towards the divine. The rite of the sacred bath occupies an important place in Hindu practice as well as Buddhist and Jain.
The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018. Until then, all we have are our pictures to remind us of its magnificence. Report Courtesy: Mr. Gaurav Jain, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
RAJASTHAN'S ASHOK PATNI OFFERED FIRST KALASHA ABHISHEKA FOR RS. 1.08 CRORES
The anointing ceremony began at 10.35 a.m. with abhisheka and offerings. The first abhisheka was performed by Ashok Patni of Rajasthan with 500 tender coconuts, 300 kalashas of Ikshurasa and other ingredients. The much sought after honour of offering the first kalasha at the Mahamastkabhisheka Mahotsava celebrations was offered to Mr. Ashok Kumar Patni from Rajasthan. Mr. Patni, hailing from Kishanganj, was chosen by Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka for the honours, in recognition of the philanthropic act of his family donating a sum of Rs.1.08 crores toward the 100 beded Bahubali Children's Hospital constructed by the mutt and which was inaugurated by President APJ Abdul Kalam on Jan 22. Ashok Kumar Patni had made the donation in the memory of his father late Ratanlal Kavrilal Patni. The second kalasha performer was Babulalji Vijayakumar from Hyderabad, who gave away Rs 1 lakh.
THE PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT LIGHTS THE CEREMONIAL LAMP AT THE LORD'S FEET - The second milleneum's first Mahamastakabhisheka on Sunday, January 22 got off to a colourful start with President A P J Abdul Kalam lighting the ceremonial lamp at Shravanabelagola, the site of the 17-meter high statue of Jain Lord Bahubali, claimed to be the world's tallest monolith. The lighting of the lamp is a traditional Indian way of signaling that the darkness is dispelled as an auspicious function begins. Inauguration of an event as important as Mahamastakabhisheka by a Muslim President signals the dispension of all borders that humans have erected around themselves in the name of religion, sect, region, race and others.
In Karnataka, where A P J Abdul Kalam has spent many years as a scientist in the Defence Research and Defence Organisation, he is seen as an epitome of tolerance, hard work and sincerity. The father of the Indian missile programes has journeyed from a small village to the Presidential Palace and Karnataka has a share in his success. It is no wonder then that the religious dignitaries at the prestigious Mahamastakabhisheka must have felt very honoured to have a sworn vegetarian secular President gracing the inauguration of the grand affair. While at Shravanbelagola, Kalam also inaugurated a Children's hospital, another sector he cares a lot about.
VICE PRESIDENT SHEKHAWAT VISITS SHRAVANABELAGOLA
While delivering his address at Shravanbelgola on 6th February, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat exhorted the prosperous to contribute a part of their earnings for the poor and the downtrodden, which, he said, would be the "true homage to Lord Bahubali on this occasion. Inaugurating the Rajyabhiseka ceremony of Lord Adinatha, the first Tirthankara and father of Bahubali, as part of the Mahamastakabhisheka Mohotsav, he said "if all prosperous people start following the principles of Ahimsa and Aprigrah (Sacrifice) and adopt a poor family or a village and work for their uplift, poverty in our country can be eliminated easily". If the Munis and Acharyas can inspire millions of pilgrims visiting the place on the occasion "to contribute a part of their earnings to help the poor, they would be rendering a great service to humanity", he said. Shekhawat also laid the foundation stone for a girls' hostel here.
GRAND SPECTACLE UNFOLDS AT SHRAVANABELAGOLA - It was a sight for the gods to behold as the visual splendour of the Mahamastakabhisheka unfolded to a sea of humanity, which danced in rapture at the changing colours of Gomateshwara atop the Vindhyagiri Hill to give a spectacular start to the first grand anointment of the new millennium. The 58-ft-tall world's largest monolithic statue was the cynosure of all eyes as the grey-coloured granite figure turned reddish-brown only to appear in a dazzling white before it turned to golden-yellow.
The riot of colours and the exoticism associated with the event held the devotees spellbound as the cascading milk, vermilion, tender coconut, turmeric, saffron and different varieties of ashwagandha enveloped the magnificent Gomateshwara, whose benign smile seemed appreciative of the event. Devotees cutting across religious beliefs, who witnessed the event, felt blessed at the feet of Lord Bahubali, whose message of peace and non-violence holds good even today. The pilgrims' progress to the Vindhyagiri Hill located 3,300 ft above sea level commenced at the crack of dawn as young and old wound their way up the 624 steps chanting "Bhagavan Bahubali Gomateshwara ki Jai" at every step, paused for breath, and made their way up again to catch a glimpse of what is for many a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The anointing ceremony began at 10.35 a.m. with abhisheka and offerings of water and tender coconut. The first abhisheka was performed by Ashok Patni of Rajasthan. The first part of the elaborate ritual continued till 2.15 p.m. and the devotees rejoiced in the pious act of making divine offerings and spent time in prayer and meditation. But the spectacle for which Mahamastakabhisheka is renowned began soon afterwards, and the 5,000-strong devotees privileged to be near the statue were thrilled along with the thousands of others who milled around the Vindhyagiri Hill and Chandragiri Hill to catch a glimpse of the spectacle. A unique feature of the event was the use of "Iksharasa," reckoned to have been first partaken by Bahubali after his enlightenment. This signalled the commencement of the colourful event that turned out to be celestial in its grandeur and intensity.
As the anointment ceremony unfolded, Shravanabelagola became a picture of oriental ritual as described by travellers of yore. The presence of over 160 Jain monks from across the country added to the ambience. In all, 108 kalashas, 500 tender coconuts, 300 kalashas of Ikshurasa, 300 kalashas of milk, 100 kg of milled rice, 25 kg of sandalwood paste, 25 kg of turmeric paste and other ingredients were offered to the Lord of the Vindhyagiri with the grand finale for the day being the showering of petals brought from six countries. The "sacred bath" culminated with the setting sun bathing the statue in a red hue.
Located 120 km from Bangalore, Shravanabelagola became prominent when the first empire builder of India, Chandagupta Maurya, abdicated the throne, embraced Jainism and came down to Shravanabelagola with the Jain pontiff Shrutikevali Bhadrabahu in the 3rd Century B.C. Like a true Jaina, he fasted to attain salvation. It was between 978 A.D. and 993 A.D that the present statue was conceived by the commander-in-chief of the Ganga dynasty, Chamundaraya. According to the Jain tradition, the first great anointment of the statute took place in 981 and this is the 86th Mahamastakabhisheka. Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji supervised the conduct of the Mahamastakabhisheka in the presence of Sri Vardhaman Sagar Muni and Acharya Gunanandhi Muni.
MAHAMASTAKABHISHEKA: 38 JAINS INITIATED AT THE MEGA DEEKSHA
SHRAVANBELGOLA: Rani Jain, a 26-year-old girl from Chatarpur, Rajasthan, was one among 36 Jains nuns initiated at the Jain muni deeksha at Shravanbelgola.. The rigors of becoming a Jain nun or monk was keenly felt by the crowd who watched spell bound as Rani's flowing locks were plucked by the arikas after the Brahmacharini sought the permission of the gathering to become a nun. She was then initiated at the Panchakalyana Vedike at the Tyaginagarin in Shravanbelgola. With dharmic fervour, 36 Jains, including 13 women, were initiated as monks in the presence of acharyas, arikas, the Shravanabelagola pontiff Swasthishri Karmayogi Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji and the Bhattarakas of Moodabidri Jain Kashi Maha Samsthan and the Kanakagiri Jain Mutt. The initiation ceremony began at 4.30 AM with the managalasnana and keshalonchana, the manual plucking of the hair, before the participants were initiated. At the ceremony, two women were initiated as Brahmacharinis, while eleven Brahmacharinis were initiated as Arikas. Eight Ilak monks were initiated as Kshullaks and six Kshullaks as Munis. Kshullika 104, Gurumathimataji, was initiated as Arika by Prathama Ganini Arika Sri 104 Vijayamathi Mataji. Eight Brahmacharis were elevated to the rank of Ilaks and the remaining Brahmacharinis as Kshullikas. The devotees, a large number of whom belonged to the Sangha of Acharya Shri 108 Viragasagar Maharaj followed by Prathama Ganini Sri 104 Vijaymathi Mataji and Acharya Sri 108 Varadhattasagar Maharaj were initiated by the plucking of hair, the anointing of their heads with holy water, and placing of grains and Jain symbols amidst the chanting hymns.
Former Prime Minister, H. D. Deve Gowda participated in the special programme during the Mahamastakabhisheka at Pancha Kalyan mantap in Tyaginagar. Deve Gowda along with his wife Chennamma took the blessings of Acharya Vardhamanasagar munimaharaj, Krantikarimuni Tarunsagar Munimaharaj and Charukeerthi munimaharaj. Later, the former prime minister participated in mahamastakabhisheka atop Vindhyagiri Hills and anointed Lord Bahubali with Kalasha of holy water. Deve Gowda was taken in a palanquin to Vindhyagiri.
102 YEARS OLD ATTENDS BAHUBALI MAHAMASTAKABHISHEKA FIFTH TIME
102 years old Rao Manikchand Shah Indikar, a freedom fighter and a Jain devotee, hailing from Indi in Bijapur attended for the fifth time Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony of Lord Bahubali. Recalling his first visit to the site he remembered that in earlier days they could complete the ceremony in just two hours and also circle the statue. Shah has been conferred with 'Teerthabhaktha Gourav Sanman' award by the Shravanabelagola Charukeerthi Bhattakra two years ago for his efforts in developing the Parswanath temple at Bijapur.
PRECIOUS IMAGE OF ANTIQUITY OF BAHUBALI AT NEW YORK - A little known metal figure of Bahubali standing on a lotus in full bloom, discovered around North Karnataka and preserved in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, could be the revered one's earliest image still in existence, says Prof Hampa Nagarajaiah.
So far, the earliest known sculptures of Bahubali come from the two Jaina caves at Aihole and Badami in Bagalkot District (Karnataka). The two sculptures of Bahubali, one each from Aihole and Badami Jaina caves, are reliefs and not independent images. The beliefs are datable to the late 6th century CE, the period of Badami Chalukyas.
But, one more image has recently come to light which is far older than the bronze image in the Prince of Wales Museum and the reliefs in the Jaina Caves at Aihole and Badami. The veteran art-historian Umakant P Shah has noticed a metal image of Bahubali tracing it from the individual collection of Prof Samuel Eilenberg. Considering and contemplating the stylistic features of this brilliant metal image, it may be assigned to the late 4th century CE. In other words it belongs to the Kushan epoch. Thus, it has become the earliest Bahubali image discovered so far. The extraordinary nude figure of Bahubali in the raised up position of meditation without any ornament is fascinating. It depicts the youthful and robust Bahubali standing on a double lotus in full bloom, broader at the base. Bahubali has a pleasing countenance. Madhavi creepers entwine his legs and arms. Indeed it is curious that this majestic image had remained largely unnoticed, except for a handful of scholars. Source: www.deccanherald.com
SWETAMBER STHANAKWASI SAINTS DECLARE YEAR 2006 CHARTURMAAS PROGRAMME
Acharya Sh. Shivmuni
Kavichakra Chudamani Sh. Chandan Muni
Sh. Rattan Muni
Ludhiyana (Rupa Mistri Gali)
Sh. Amar Muni
Sh. Jitendra Muni
Sh. Ravindra Muni
Sh. Tarak Rishi
Dr. Suvrat Muni
Sadhvi Sh. Kaushalya
Sadhvi Sh. Santosh Kumari
Sadhvi Sh. Chandra Prabha, Sh. Om Prabha etc.
Sadhvi Sh. Sushil Kumari
Sadhika Sh. Rashmi
Rohini Sec. 5, Delhi
Sadhvi. Shiva (Samta)
Sadhvi Sh. Anil Kumari
Kaithwada - Delhi
Sadhvi Sh. Madhurta
Sadhvi Sh. Sumitra, Sh. Santosh, etc.
Sadhvi Sh. Vinayshri
HUBLI (KARNATAKA): THE 58-FEET STATUE OF BAHUBALI AT SHRAVANABELAGOLA IS NOT THE TALLEST ONE - It may no longer be the tallest monolith. Another Jain Tirthankara statue in Hubli boasts of being three feet taller. And this is no tall claim. Weighing 185 tons and 61-feet-tall, the monolithic statue of Parshwanath Teerthankar standing on top of a 48-foot pedestal is no doubt the tallest monolith in the world. Says a priest, Gunadhara Nandi Bhattaraka, "There are some differences. Bahubali was a great warrior so his body has been made like that of a wrestler. Parsvanath attained enlightenment when he was 16 years old so his statue bears a child-like countenance." The work on the statue began almost a year ago and even though it was ready, its weight had made it difficult to prop it up. Some of the cranes that had been brought to the place for the purpose could not hold the load and were sent back. It was finally an American company called Petron, which came to the rescue. They used a crane with a capacity to lift 800 tons of load to make the statue stand upright. From: Yashwant Malaiya,E-Mail: email@example.com
SIDDHACHAKRA YANTRA MAYA JINALAYA COMING UP AT DHANKAGIRI HILLS IN GUJARAt
nder the auspices and blessings of Sadhvi Charuvratasriji Maharaj, the old glory of Dhankagiri is being revived. Earlier in ancient times the Dhankagiri hills were part of Shatrunjaya and Vimalachal region. The topography changed and Dhankagiri hills got separated from the Shatrunjaya and Vimalachal region. Behind Girnar Hills, there is a place called Patanvav. It is at the foothills of Dhankagiri hills. It is at this place the very first of which kind in the whole world - Shri Siddha Chakra Yantramaye jinalaya is coming up, the construction, which is being done, in accordance of the AAGAMA SHASTRA principle of Vasthu.
The Shape of this temple, inside and outside will be like a Lotus and the ariel view of this temple will look exactly as Shri Siddha Chakra Yantra. In this temple all the Gods, Goddesses, Grahas, Dusdigpal, Asthamangal, Siddhas, Tirthankaras, Arihants, Demigods will be manifested just as they are placed in Siddhachakrayantra. It is said that the Siddhachakrayantra has potential to usher in all types of prosperities and gains besides bringing happiness and peace to the whole region state - country. Ancient record reveals that this place housed several temples, which were built in Gold, and the Statues were decorated with the precious and semi-precious stones. Historical events say that they were victim of looting and plundering Northwestern conquerors like Mohd. Gajani, Mohd. Gour, Allahuddin Khilji, Nadir Shah and the like. For details about the project, visit www.dhankagiri.org Courtesy: Mr. Bipin K. Sheth
MAHAVIRA HALL AT CHINESE NANPUTUO TEMPLE
Situated at the foot of Wulaofeng (Mountain of Five Old Men) and facing the sea, Nanputuo Temple is deemed to be one of the must-go tourist places in Xiamen, Fujian Province. This temple was once called Puzhao Temple (Universal Grace Temple). It was first built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and was later destroyed in the warfare during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). During the reign of Qing Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722), a naval general ordered it to be rebuilt into a Buddhist Temple and named it Nanputuo Temple. It is also said that this Temple was built in honor of an Indian monk called Bodhidharma (known to the Chinese as Da Mo). The temple covers 30,000 square meters with four main buildings on the north-south axis. The buildings include.
Mahavira Hall: Mahavira Hall is built in 1921 and features the statues of the Trinity of the Three Ages (Sakyamuni, the Buddha of the Present; Kasyapa, the Buddha of the Past; and Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future), Avalokitesvara (Guanyin Bodhisattva, the Goddess of Mercy) and Avalokitesvara's disciples. most of the attractive murals on the wall depict Buddhist stories and figures from India.
Devajara Hall:Also called the Hall of Heavenly Kings (Tian Wang Dian), Devajara Hall is the location of the statues of four ferocious Heavenly Kings. In the center of the hall stands a fat Buddha, Maitreya or Milefo. With a broad smile, bare chest and exposed paunch, Maitreya represents the Buddha of the future, also known as the Laughing Buddha.
Dabei Hall: The Dabei Hall is an octagonal tower which was rebuilt in 1928. Inside, four Statues of Avalokitesvara are enshrined on a lotus-flower base. The Bodhisattva with his arms crossed in front of his chest has 48 hands stretching out. Each hand features a miniature scared eye. Two banyans are planted on each side of the hall.
Sutra-Keeping Pavilion: The Sutra-Keeping Pavilion was built in 1936 and houses thousands of Buddhist scriptures, Buddha images from Burma, ivory Sculptures, wood sculptures, bronze bells, incense burner and other works of art. One particular porcelain Avalokitesvara in the Pavilion is said to be very precious.
The many rooms flanking the main buildings include dormitories, libraries and study rooms for monks. Vegetarian food is also served in the temple. The dishes' unique colors, fresh tastes and poetic names make them popular with the tourists. If you happen to visit this temple do find out more about the history and origin about this temple.
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
MAHAVIR INTERNATIONAL REVIEWS ITS ACTIVITIES AT ITS INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION HELD AT JODHPUR - The 21st International Convention of Mahavir International was held for the second time at Jodhpur on the 11th and 12th February, 2006 to review its activities organised in the past and chalk out programmes for the near future keeping in view the need for further spreading humanitarian and animal welfare activities. The programme was inaugurated by Mr. Lakshmi Narayan Dave, Minister of Environment and Mines, Rajasthan Government. in the presence of a large number of delegates coming from different centres and a galaxy of distinguished guests. The reports presented by various centres and zones were reviewed and discussed at length and guide-lines were laid down for its future activities and programmes. It was stressed that besides providing assistance for medical relief, eradicating Polio and other diseases, helping in draught and flood-relief operations, arranging for the supply of fodder and cerials for animals and birds, the organisation should also take up intensive programmes for protection of forests and environment control, spreading education and literacy amongst the masses and stopping foeticide. An attractive and informative souvenir was also brought out on the occasion. The elections for the apex body were also organised, coinciding with the convention, for the years 2006-2007 period. Shri Pushp Jain, Member of Parliament from Pali in Rajasthan was elected as the new International President for the next two years in place of Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha.
BHOGILAL LEHERCHAND INSTITUTE OF INDOLOGY CONDUCTS REFRESHER COURSES
20TH KM., G.T. KARNAL ROAD, P.O. ALIPUR, DELHI-110036 (INDIA) - Applications are invited from eligible candidates for admission to the following refresher courses: 1. Prakrit Language & Literature (Elementary) With Manuscriptology 21.5.2006 - 11.6.2006 2. Prakrit Language & Literature (Advanced)* 21.5.2006 - 11.6.2006.
JOIN NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION INTERNATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM, DECEMBER 2006 AT PUNE - The Second Nonviolent Communication International Intensive Training (IIT) in India will be held from December 10 to 19, 2006. IIT will be held in Navalveeravatan, Pune, located in a quiet environment, 60 kilometers from Pune in Maharashtra state. An International Intensive Training is a Nonviolent Communication "immersion experience." The purpose of an IIT is to live the process of Nonviolent Communication in a community setting over an extended period of time, using this as an opportunity to develop Nonviolent Communication consciousness and skills. The format includes presentations, discussions, exercises, sharing, small groups, simulations, and informal practice during meals, walks, etc. Interested participants are requested to wait until their registration in the IIT has been confirmed before booking travel reservations. They may obtain one from E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or download one from our website www.cnvc.org/iit-schedule.htm#iitapps CNVC, 2428 Foothill Blvd, Suite E fax: +1 818 957-1424, La Crescenta, CA 91214. Phone: +1 818 957 939. For additional information, or to apply for this IIT, contact: Hema Pokharna, PhD, Manda Pokharna, MD, 5050 South Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60615, USA Tel: 773 955 2414, E-Mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Webpage: www.journeysoflife.org
DELHI VISION MEET TO BE ORGANISED BY YOUNG JAINS OF INDIA
The theme of the programme to be organised by Young Jains of India at Delhi on the 26th February, 2006 is Progress Through Jain Way of Life. The topics to be discussed will be related with progress achieved through ahimsa, aparigraha and anekantwaad. The Objectives of the meeting in brief are as under:
To let the new entrants know about an overview and need of YJI so as to make them clear about the vision of YJI.
To have one to one dialogue with Dr. D.C. Jain and Dr. Sudeep Jain on Vegetarianism and Jain History.
To do further networking. 100 persons are expected to participate.
To keep the momentum of Indore Convention going.
To identify future leaders of YJI.
When we look into the Jain youth movement in India, it is observed that there is not a single organization representing the Jain youths & Professionals - irrespective of the sects and sub-sects. However, the same is not true in other countries like the USA, UK, Canada, etc. Organizations such as JAINA, YJA (Young Jains of America) and YJUK (Young Jains of United Kingdom) plays a vital role in uniting the Jain community and serving the needs of Jain youths and Professionals. In order to fill this lacuna among the Jain youths and Professionals in India and with an intention of providing a platform to them at the national level, a new organization titled 'Young Jains of India (YJI)' has been floated early last year by Dr. Manoj Jain (Renowned leader in health care quality improvement residing at Memphis USA) and Manish Kasliwal (a senior executive @ Motorola Inc. residing at Mumbai).This OPEN-FORUM meeting is being arranged to inform people about YJI mission , Jainism, Jain Values and JWOL (Jain Way Of Life). For details, contact: Gaurav | 9811981233; Aklank | 9810953377 groups.yahoo.com/group/yjin/ E-Mail : email@example.com
JAYA GOMMATESA - BY MR. BAL PATIL - In less than 100 pages, in Jaya Gommatesa, Bal Patil invites the reader to take a general view of the beginnings of Jainism, of essential tenets of its doctrine in particular of ahimsa, of its founders, main groups and sects, cults and ceremonies, monuments. He draws attention to the holy days and festivals, as well as to the numerous holy places that are spread all over India and testify to the antique and lasting grandeur of the Jain Faith and community. In Jaya Gommatesa, Bal Patil focuses on Sravanabelagola, on the history of Gommatesvara (Bahubali) and the colossal statue of the hero, which consecrated in 981, crowns the summit of Indragiri, 470 feet above the plain. He points to the replicas that have been carved centuries ago in Karnataka or are being carved nowadays in Karnataka & Maharashtra, and draws attention to the less known cave images of Gommatesavara that can be admired in Badami, Aihole, Ellora.
To conclude, Bal Patil gives some details concerning the festival that is celebrated, every twelve years, to honour that heroic prince and ascetic who, to this day, is renowned as an exceptional incarnation of right faith, doctrine and conduct.
In our world, which is torn asunder by misery, by deadly conflicts and wars, the 2006 Sravana Belagola celebrations invite the new century to medicate on Bahubali's courage, on the greatness of non-violence.
KAILASH- MANSAROVAR - DIARY OF A PILGRIM, BY MR. NILESH D. NATHWANI
This is a story of an unforgettable odyssey to the holy Mount Kailash and the sacred Mansarovar (Place where Bhagwan Adinath attained salvation) describing mysteries connected with the land capturing the intangible air of faith and pilgrimage. This travelogue takes us on a journey to the wild, seldom travelled northern route visiting the remote cities, towns and monasteries of mysterious Tibet. It is a gripping story of pilgrims who aspire to see Gods living in the wilderness of a remote holy land. This is an engrossing, touching and remarkable account of a picturesque travel with nice imagery describing majestic mountains, turquoise lakes and virgin rivers of Tibet. Written in a brilliant style, it is a dramatic record that succeeds in imparting onto the readers some of the intensely experienced emotions that will remain long in memory. This book has been included in the Tibetan Travel Classics, Pilgrims Publishing, Varanasi, India and Pilgrims Book House, Kathmandu, Nepal. The book is a travelogue with a difference. It is not devoid of practical details concerning items to be carried by the traveler or the manner in which government and non-government agencies can help him. But essentially it is an odyssey of spiritual wanderings intermingled with geography, history, tradition and an enduring sense of faith and belief.
Some of the photographs are truly fetching and are characterized by professional finesse. A highly recommended reading for potential travelers and even for arm-chair pilgrims who will be inspired by its evocatively devotional content." Price Rs. 225.
THREE VOLUMES OF DHAVALA GRANTHAS RELEASED IN KANNADA AT SHRAVANBELGOA
Three volumes of Dhavala granthas, the core spiritual texts of the Digambar Jains, were released in Kannada on February 17 as part of the ongoing Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations. The Angamas or Dhavala granthas, as they are commonly known, is a compilation of the teachings of Lord Mahaveer compiled by Jain disciples over a period of time. For decades the holy teachings were out of reach of the devotees in the South, since they were written in Prakrit, according to Jain monks. Realising the need for making these teachings in the local language, Shravanabelagola's Charukeerthi Bhattaraka endeavoured to have these granthas translated into Kannada. As a result 39 volumes of the Dhavala grantha is in the process of translation under the National Institute for Prakrit studies and Research. Six of the volumes have been released and tomorrow, three more volumes would be released.
HONOURS & AWARDS
JASVANT MEHTA HONOURED WITH ALBERTA CENTENNIAL MEDAL IN CANADA
It is a great honour for the Jain community and also for the entire Indian community living in Canada. to see a fellow Indian, Mr. Jasvant Mehta being awarded by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta "The Alberta Centennial Medal" for his significant contributions to his fellow Albertans. News courtesy: Dr. Sulekh Jain, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIBHUTI JAIN OF PUNJAB AWARDED IN BEST CADET COMPETITION - Lone Cadet from the Punjab Vibhuti Jain from 19 Punjab NCC Battalion, Ludhiana, have been awarded the bronze medal in the in the best cadet competition at the ongoing Republic Day camp in New Delhi, for securing the third position in senior Wing (Girls divn.) category. The best cadet competition is one of the most prestigious and keenly contested events at the Republic Day camp in Delhi. One cadet each is adjudged as the best in the senior as well as junior division Army, Navy and Air Force wings and the girls division. Several aspects, including performance drill, firing, obstacle course, personality, general knowledge and camps attended are considered during selection. Vibhuti Jain of 19th Punjab Battalion Ludhiana (Best NCC cadet from Punjab, Hry, H.P. & Chd) has been adjudged IIIrd in All India Best Cadet Competition in the Senior Girl Cadet category at the prestigious Republic day Camp at Delhi .She Got Second prize in rifle shooting competition held during the camp. She is pursuing studies in +1 Medical stream at Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana.Another student from this School Jessica Singh (Junior Wing) also participated in RD Camp at N. Delhi. News Courtesy : Mr. Sandeep Kumar Jain, E-Mail : email@example.com
CHAKRESH JAIN ELECTED PRESIDENT OF JAIN SAMAJ NEW DELHI
At a meeting of general body, held on 11the February 2006 at Veer Nagar, New Delhi, Mr. Chakresh Jain was elected president of Delhi Jain Samaj an institution which represents to all the sects of Jains in Delhi. This institution which is one of the oldest in Delhi organizes Mahaveer Jayanti celebrations at Lal Quila. The nomination of Mr. Chakresh Jain was unanimous after several rounds of discussions within senior leaders of the community. Earlier for the post of President following eight nominations were received : S/Sh. Swadesh Bhushan Jain, Naresh Madipuria, Anand Prakash Jain, Padam Parshad Jain, Rikhab Chand Jain, Chakresh Kumar Jain, Nanak Chand Jain, Subhash Oswal. Out of these 3 candidates viz. Sh. Padam Parshad Jain, Sh. Chakresh Kumar Jain and Sh. Subhash Oswal withdrew their names thus leaving the remaining 5 contestants. The house desired unanimity and therefore after lengthy deliberations Mr. Chakresh Jain was requested to accept the position. Mr. Chakresh Jain is a dynamic young leader of the community and known for his non-sectarian approach. He is also associated with several other Jain institutions.
DR. KAPOOR CHAUDHURY OF JODHPUR HONOURED WITH NATIONAL RATAN AWARD
Dr. Kapoor Chaudhury, an eminent surgeon at M.D.M. Government Hospital, Jodhpur has been honoured by the International Study Circle with National Ratan Award at a seminar held recently at New Delhi. He has also been given a Gold medal and a Certificate of Medical Excellence on this occasion. Dr. Chaudhury has carried out extensive research and study in the field of rehabilitation of Cancer patients and their rights. He has also produced several documentary films about the treatment of Cancer patients.
NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR HEALTH EXCELLENCE FOR A JODHPUR HOSPITAL
One of the prominent private hospitals at Jodhpur, Manidhari Hospital and Maloo Neuro Centre has been given the "National Achievement Award for Health Excellence" by a well-known society of doctors, 'Data Collect'. This is one of the five hospitals in the country, which has been given this award for the first time in the whole of Rajasthan. This hospital has also been awarded ISO-9000 Certification for its high quality of medical services and patient care. The hospital is headed by Dr. J.C. Maloo who happens to be a neurologist.
ASHOK JAIN & NIRMALA JAIN AWARDED SAHITYA AKADEMI AWARDS
New Delhi, February 20. Eminent journalists, Ashok Jain and prominent Hindi writer Nirmala Jain were among the 20 persons awarded the Sahitya Akademi Prize for Translation for the year 2005. While Ashok Jain was honoured for Antahstha, Marathi translation of The Insider, the autobiography of former prime minister late P V Narasimha Rao. Nirmala Jain bagged the award for Sach, Pyar aur Thodi Si Shararat, the Hindi translation of Khushwant Singh's autobiography, Truth, Love and Little Malice.
AWARD NOMINATIONS INVITED BY BHAGWAN MAHAVEER FOUNDATION
Nominations are invited for the Eleventh Mahaveer Awards for Excellence in Human Endeavour in the community service in fields such as: Propagation of Non-Violence and Vegetarianism, Education and Medicine, Community and Social Service. The jury would also consider other appropriate spheres of social service. Each of the three awards consists of a cash component of Rs. 5 Lacs, a Commendatory Scroll and a Memento. Only individuals who are Indian Nationals and institutions based in India and doing work of a very high standard in India would be eligible for these awards. Normally only work carried out during recent times would merit consideration. One major criteria for making the Award would relate to the benefits reaching the Economically and the Socially backward sections of the community e.g. SC / STs and women. For further information contact: Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation, P.B. NO. 2983, 11, Ponnappa Lane, Triplicane, Chennai - 600 005, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
KARNATAKA HERITAGE NEEDS ATTENTION - The Mahamastakabhisheka ensures that once in every 12 years, lakhs flock to Shravanabelagola. After all, it is one of the oldest and most important Jain pilgrim centres in India. But there's much more to Shravanabelagola than just the Bahubali statue. For instance, the Chamundaraya Basadi, a temple that dates back to the 19th century AD. This is on top of the Chadragiri hill, which is directly in front of the Gomateshwara statue. While the state government has been trying hard to get world heritage site status for the Bahubali statue, it needs to look at other interesting sites like these as well.
The Chandragiri hill alone has 14 temples, most of them dating back to the 10th century AD. One can visit these places as a place of tourist interest. But for Jains, it's a very important place as all the 24 thirthankaras are installed here," says Chhaya Venkatraman, a teacher. But perhaps very few know that Shravanbelagola is not just a pilgrim centre for Jains, but also an interesting site for archaeologists, historians and tourists alike.
SECOND CENTURY B.C. JAIN STUPA AT TAXILA IN PAKISTAN IN RUINS - Just a few dozen meters from the Shrine of the Double-Headed Eagle at Taxila in Pakistan sits the Jain Stupa, a relic of the Sirkap city period (2nd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D.). The shrine is badly ruined and nothing of the superstructure survives. The persepolitan columns with lion ornamentation that sit on the four corners were brought here from the ruins of the courtyard. For details, contact: Mr. Atul Bafna, E-Mail: email@example.com
1,000-YEAR-OLD BAHUBALI STATUES DISCOVERED NEAR SHRAVANBELGOLA
KAMBADAHALLI: Two statues of Lord Gommateshwara, both over 1,000 years old, have been discovered at the Jain temple at Kambadahalli, a little known ancient Jain centre situated 20 km away from Shravanbelgola. These came to light during the ongoing excavation of the temple by the Archaeological Survey of India. The headless statues were found two-foot deep inside the compound wall of Bandara Basadi (a Jain temple) at Kambadahalli. Kamabadahalli, also known as Shri Kshethra Kambapuri, is an ancient Jain centre established by Jain monks during the fifth century. As per the records and inscriptions found at Kambadahalli, the history of the temples here goes back 1,500 years. The sculpting of the 58.8-feet-tall statue of Gommateshwara in Shravanbelogla in 981 AD depicts him with curly hair, whereas the Gommateshwara statues recovered before 981 AD show him as having long hair reaching the shoulders. The statues recovered in Kambadahalli have long hair falling on the shoulders and tendrils encircling the thighs. This proves that the statues found have been sculpted before the 9th century, say historians. Its a coincidence that the statues are found at the time of Mahamastakabhisheka. Devotees are now thronging Kambadahalli to see these Jain temples and statues.
RARE JAIN HERITAGES ARE AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK
Those who visit New York can find rare Jain heritage items in the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 1000 Fifth Avenue. These were obtained from Various places in India during early nineties and installed in the museum. The Fourteen Auspicious Dreams of the Jina's Mother: Page from a Dispersed Kalpa Sutra (Book of Rituals), ca. 1465. This page is not entirely characteristic of Jain painting: the illumination is larger, the range of color wider, and the ornamentation more elaborate than usual. The work's provenance is Jaunpur in Central India, not Gujarat in western India, the primary Jain center. Nevertheless, the patterned surface made up of flat unmodeled forms outlined with wiry black lines, the use of mainly primary colors, the stylized facial type in which the far eye projects beyond the profile (a device derived from earlier painting styles), and the elaborate borders with scrolling foliate designs convey the essence of Jain style. It is one of the most important indigenous (pre-Mughal) Indian painting traditions to survive.
ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE FROM A JAIN MEETING--LAST QUARTER OF 16TH CENTURY- This photograph shows a section of a carved wooden dome with miniature balconies and supports that once crowned a meeting hall in a Jain temple in Gujarat. The carvings symbolize the splendors of the celestial realms that all Jains hope to attain eventually by accruing merit in their successive lives. Every surface of the teak has been carved with figures, whose size indicates their importance, and with animal and floral forms. The large figures represent the rulers of the eight cosmic directions, who are responsible for the orderly working of the universe and for the protection of the temple and its worshippers. Each has four arms and is flanked by female attendants.
At the center of the dome is a large pendant covered with flower designs that terminates in a lotus. Within the concentric circles that lead the eye up to the center of the dome are bands of decoration: floral patterns; a realm of birds and animals; kinnara (half avian-half human) musicians; another band of flowers; the rulers of the eight directions; and then a parade of elephants. Traces of pigment suggest that all these intricately carved images were once brightly painted. Eight large struts with voluptuous females, now lost, once completed the ensemble. At the beginning of the twentieth century, many late medieval Jain temples were renovated and rebuilt because the wood structures were badly in need of repair and enlargement. It was at this time that two American collectors, one of whom was the president of the Metropolitan Museum, rescued this part of a temple ceiling and presented it to the Museum.
STANDING JAIN TIRTHANKARA, CHALUKYA PERIOD (CA. 475-800), 9TH CENTURY - The tirthankara is shown in a specific Jain meditation pose known as kayotsarga (the position of "abandoning" the body), erect and symmetrical, with feet slightly apart and firmly planted on the ground, the body's weight evenly distributed on unbent legs. The hanging arms and hands never touch the body. Animating and energizing this sculpture is the distinctive physiognomy, suggestive of a portrait. The singular expression is not that of concentration or the withdrawn serenity of meditation, but suggests that this enlightened, gentle being, his face radiating a lively intelligence, is poised to deliver some great compassionate message. The wide sloping shoulders flow gently into the elegant curves of the canonically correct long arms and large hands. The broad chest tapers to a narrow waist and, in profile, the stomach is full. Muscle, bone, and vein are not depicted. Instead, the expansive pressure of the sacred inner breadth (prana) makes the skin taut and smooth. The contours of the body are elegant and masterfully controlled.
SEATED JAIN TIRTHANKARA, SOLANKI PERIOD (CA. 900-1250), CA. FIRST HALF 11TH CENTURY- This superb white marble sculpture represents one of the twenty-four tirthankaras ("crossers of the ford") or jinas ("victorious ones", i.e., conquerors of desire) of the Jain religion.
|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:firstname.lastname@example.org.