Ahimsa Times September 2007 Issue
Vol. No. 87
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered.
- forgive them anyway
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior
Motives. – be kind anyway
If you’re successful, you’ll win some false friends and true
Enemies. – succeed anyway
If you’re honest and frank, people may cheat you.
- be honest and frank anyway
What you spend years building, someone could destroy
Overnight. – build anyway
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.
- be happy anyway
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
- do good anyway
Give the world the best you have and it may never be
Enough - give it anyway
You see, in the final analysis, it’s between you and god, it was never between you and them anyway
PRESIDENT, MRS. PATIL INVITES DELHI JAIN SAMAJ TO CELEBRATE KSHOMAVANI DIVAS
About hundred and twenty prominent members of Delhi Jain Samaj attended Kshamavani Divas celebrations at the President House on 27 September 2007. The programme started with the introduction speech of Mr. Naren Bhiku Ram Jain. While talking about the importance of Kshamavani Divas in Jain culture, he also congratulated Mrs. Pratibha Patil on her accepting the Presidentship of India. He also thanked her for inviting Jain Samaj.
Mrs. Prabha Kiran Jain, Mr. Sudip Jain talked about Paryushan and Kshamavani rituals. Mr. M.P. Jain, General Secretary, Mahavir Kendra, Mr. Chakresh Jain, Leader Digambar Samaj, Mr. Salekh Chand Kagji and Mr. Subhash Owal from Sthanakwasi Sect, Mrs. Trishla Jain, Mr. Naresh Madipuria, Mr. Sanjay Bafna, Mr. Trilok Kothari, Mr. Nirmal Sethi, Mr. Puneet Jain, Mr. Ravi Jain, Mrs. Sudha Jain honoured the President with flowers and shawls. Mrs. Patil in her address to the community said, Jain philosophy was also adopted by Mahathma Gandhi in his mission to achieve freedom for the country. She also said that Jain philosophy which propagates vegetarianism and non-violence can bring peace and harmony in the entire country. She also profusely thanked the Jain community for accepting her invitation to visit Rashtrapati Bhawan. About two hours programme ended with the vote of thanks by Mrs. Trishla Jain and dinner hosted by the President. This programme was organised by Mr. M.P. Jain, Mr. Naren Bhiku Ram Jain, Mr. Ravi Jain and Mr. Subhash Oswal. .............................Please click here for some more photographs of the programme
CHILD DIKsHA AMONG JAIN COMMUNITY IS NOT TO BE TREATED AS A CRIME - A COURT DECISION
Disposing off the case against Jain Terapanth Acharya Mahapragya, Yuvacharya Mahashraman, Sadhwi Pramukha Kanak Prabha Ji, Office-bearers of Jain Shwetambar Terapanth Sabha and the parents of four children accepting diksha voluntarily, at Semad village of Gogunda Tehsil in Udaipur division of Rajasthan, Mr. Brajendra Kumar Jain, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Udaipur delivered his historic decision after hearing both sides of the case that Diksha granted to children in accordance to age-old Jain religious practices can not be considered as a crime according to the provisions of Juvenile court or from the point of view of any Indian law. It is a fundamental right of each and every indian citizen (Section 25 of the Indian Constitution) to follow his religion and perform his religious activities. The judgement of the honourable judge also mentioned that the tradition of collecting food from different houses is a part and parcel of Jain religion. Certain strict codes have been specified by Bhagwan Mahavir himself in Jain scriptures for collecting food and the practice is being followed for the last 2600 years or even more. Therefore, the practice of collecting food, called 'gochari' cannot be called beggary. Calling 'gochari' by Jain sadhus as bhiksha or beggary is a gross insult to the entire Jain community. .......................................Click here to view some photographs of Acharya Mahapragyaji's chaturmas programmes.
UPADHYA MANI PRABHA SAGARJI UPSET WITH RAJ. GOVt. ATTITUDE ON 'KESARIAJI TEERTH'
On 10th May 2007, Government of Rajasthan has issued an ordinance to amend " Rajasthan Public Trust Act", with the intention of delaying the handing over of Kesariyaji teerth to the members of Jain community as per the decision of Supreme Court. Although, this amendment does not mention about 'Kesariaji Teerth' but it will help the government to continue to hold control of Jain Teerth.
We all know that, after 50 years of court litigation, on 4th January 2007 Supreme Court decided that Kesariaji is a Jain Religious Institution and directed State Government to deliver the control to appropriate 'Jain Sect' within four months. Now, instead of constituting a committee of exclusively Jain members for handing over temple management it is adopting technicalities and creating confusion in the matter. Not only this, government has also now filed a review petition with Supreme Court. First the amendment ordinance of 10th May and thereafter filing of review petition with Supreme Court is directly against the entire Jain community and effect the rights of Jain community to manage their religious institutions. Upadhya Mani Prabha Sagarji can be contacted at Mahaveer Bhawan, 15-1-486, Peel Khana, Hyderabad - 500 012, Andhra.
DR. SHIV MUNI HONOURED WITH "RASHTRA SANT" TITLE BY PUBJAB CHIEF MINISTER
On the occasion of the inauguration of 'AMAR JAIN HOSTEL' at Chandigarh, Punjab Chief Minister, Prakash S. Badal, honoured Acharya Shiv Muni with the title " Rashtra Sant " for his exemplary services to the entire mankind. He praised Acharyaji's role for bring peace in Pubjab state and spreading vegetarianism outside Jain community. He also hoped that this students hostel will provide the much needed facilities to student along with vegetarian food. Inauguration programme was attended by all prominent Jain Samaj and several other political leaders and members of community. Sthanakwasi Jain saints, Shri Tarak Muni and Shri Dinesh Muni also attended the programme and blessed the members.
MUNI SHRI TARUN SAGAR JI UNDERGOING MEDICAL TREATMENT AT KOLHAPUR
Eminent Digambar Jain saint, muni Shri Tarun Sagar Ji maharaj has not been keeping well these days according to the reports received from Kolhapur, the place where the munishri is staying for the chaturmasic period. Sometime back, he had undergone thorough medical examination including an M.R.I. and the results were not found to be positive. The tests indicated that he had been having increasing tendency towards some sort of brain sickness. Presently, he has been undergoing treatment for the same at Kolhapur Apollo hospital. The local doctors as well as the devotees had advised him to move to Mumbai for better care, investigations and treatment but he declined to be moved and preferred to stay back at Kolhapur, strictly following the code laid down forJain sadhus. According to the latest information received from Kolhapur, he has now been showing remarkable signs of improvement and it is hoped that he would recover fully quite soon. The members of Ahimsa Foundation pray for his quick recovery, sound health thereafter and long life.
JAIN TERAPANTH SADHVI FASTS TO DEATH FOR SALVATION AT SURAT
Sept. 5: Jain Sadhvi Anandshree ji breathed her last after undertaking santhara [a ritualistic fast ] unto death to attain salvation. This process, is said to purify the body after a person determines that his worldly duties are over. A 'Palki Yatra' (palanquin procession) was taken out for her cremation. A crowd of saints and faithful followed the palanquin. Tejash Bhai, a member of the Terapanth religious group, said that the Jain community had come out in full force to pay their respects to 67 year old Anandshree ji maharaj, who was suffering from cancer for the past two years. Anandshree ji was a disciple of Acharya Shri Mahapragya. At the age of 19, Anandshree ji took 'Diksha' (initiation, by obtaining preaching) by travelling across India on foot. Muni Shri Dharmesh Kumar ji also reached there to give moral support & boast up to Sadhvi Anandshree ji in her spirtual practice of penance.
JAIN MUNI DELIVERING PARYUSHAN DISCOURSE AT VEER NAGAR JAIN STHANAK DELHI
Jain Saint Upadhyay Shri Ramesh Muni, Up Pravartak Dr. Rajendra Muni, Yuva Manishee Shri. Surendra Muni, Shri. Rupendra Muni and Shri. Dipesh Muni are conducting chaturmas programmes at Shri. S.S. Jain Sabha, Veer Nagar, Jain Colony, Delhi - 7. The daily discourse is being attended in large number by Jain Community from Delhi and other parts of the country. Before settling down for chaturmas at Veer Nagar this group had moved to other parts of Delhi. Dr. Rajendra Muni and Ramesh Muni are extremely popular and have large following all over the country. Shri Surendra Muni is a prolofic writer and has written a number of useful and educative books on Jainism, moral and social progrsss. To view the photographs of...............................please click here
JITO LAUNCHES COUNTRY-VIDE SHRAM AROGYAM PROJECT FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT OF JAIN SAINTS
The 0ffice bearers and members of Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) announced their plans, while holding a community function at Yogi Sabhagraha in Dadar, Mumbai. Their plans include launching of a country-vide project to provide adequate facilities for free treatment of Jain saints and sadhwi, irrespective of their sect or sampraday, to which they belong to. Welfare groups may have to be organised for this purpose in different parts of the country and the expenditure is supposed to be born by JITO. Those who were present on the occasion included S/Shri Hemant Shah, President, Champalal Vardhan, Vice-President, Shanti Lal Kanwar, Prithwi Raj Kothari, Premal Kapadia, Gajendra Patni, Navin Chand Mehta and others. A new wing of JITO, Jain International Women's Organisation (JIWO) was also inaugurated on this occasion.
CALCUTTA LAL MASJID IMAM WELCOMES KAMLESH MUNI IN LAL MASJID
For the people of Calcutta, it was a rare occasion, when Jain Muni, Kamlesh was invited to Lal Masjid to address six thousand members of Muslim Community gathered for friday prayers. In the joint communiqué issued after the felicitation programme several current issues were raised. It was agreed that the leaders all religions should meet and try to take analogous views on social programmes. For example, all religious leaders should work together, spread of western culture should be stopped, media should play more proactive role, women should be careful about their dressing, sex education is not required in schools, saving people offrom alcoholism & drugs etc.
Imam in his welcome address said Muslims should not be part of terrorism. The true Muslim does not believe in terror, violence and attitude of revenge. At the request of Kamlesh Muni, Imam also requested Muslim samaj for the protection of cows. Imam also suggested his community to accept the invitiation of Muni Kamlesh to visit Jain Sthanak. CPI(M) MLA Sri. Sudhanshu was also present on the occasion. News Courtesy : Mr. Diwakar Deepti, Ratlam. Mr. Motilal Bafna, E-mail: email@example.com
BAHUBALI STATUE WITH FLOWING HAIR FOUND NEAR BANGLORE
A life-size Bahubali image of ninth century having long flowing hair has been discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India while restoring the Panchkuta Basati in Kambadahalli, Mandya district. According to Hampa Nagarajaiah, an authority of Jainology, shoulder-length hair style also resembles the Bahubali relief found in the Badami cave dating back to 6th century. Another distinct feature of the image is the ‘Madhavi’ creepers entwining the feet. Commonly Bahubali images are seen with creepers entwining both the legs and the arms. The monolithic structure has been carved in light bluish soft stone. The five-and-half-foot image has not been moved to any protected area. It remains standing among the other images unearthed by the ASI, outside the temple premises in the village.
BUDDHA AND JAIN IDOLS FACING NEGLECT IN ORRISA
Paradeep, Orrisa: Century-old Buddha and Jain idols, which have been worshipped in different temples of Jagatsinghpur district, are running to seed due to lack of maintenance causing concern among researchers and historians. Legend has it that Buddhism and Jainism once flourished in the district and other coastal districts. Excavations carried out in the different places of Mahanadi deltaic region have led to discoveries of monasteries, rare images of Buddha, Jain bricks and terracotta potteries. Buddha and Jain idols have been worshiped by locals as Hindu gods in more than 25 temples. Pareshwar temple, a 16th-century monument at Paradipgarh believed to be built by the kings of the Sandha dynasty, clearly exhibits the Buddhist and Jain influence.
NEWS, PROGRAMMES AND EVENTS ABROAD
RELIGIONS FOR PEACE CALLS ON MYANMAR GOVERNMENT TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT AND ENTER PEACEFUL DIALOGUE
(NEW YORK, 25 September 2007)—Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition, has issued the following statement calling on the military government of Myanmar to exercise restraint and enter into peaceful dialogue with Myanmar’s religious communities and other groups:
“The Buddhist religious community of Myanmar, demonstrating immense courage, has taken to the streets in peaceful protest seeking political and economic reforms. The Buddhist monks of Myanmar are demonstrating the power of religious communities as a force for peace. The world’s religious communities of all faiths must stand with the Buddhist monks of Myanmar in their peaceful protest. The world’s religious communities share the belief that we all are part of the human family and are only as secure as the most vulnerable among us. Right now, the Buddhist religious community of Myanmar faces a grave and imminent threat of violence because it chose to speak out for peace. All people of faith, their religious communities, and leaders must raise their voices against violence and speak out in support of the people of Myanmar and their religious communities.
The Myanmar authorities must exercise restraint, eschew violence, and enter into peaceful dialogue with the country’s religious communities and other groups. The international community must work together urgently to ensure a peaceful outcome in Myanmar. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should use all tools at his disposal to avert a violent crackdown on peaceful protestors by the Myanmar military or its proxies. He should also encourage meaningful, peaceful dialogue between the military and all sectors of Myanmar society, including the Buddhist religious community and the opposition National League for Democracy. Violence against the religious communities in Myanmar should trigger immediate action by the United Nations Security Council, as well as regional mechanisms, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).”
Founded in 1970 as an international, non-sectarian organization, the global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders, including Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Indigenous leaders from all regions of the world; more than seventy national and four regional inter-religious bodies; and affiliated networks of religious youth and women of faith. For further details contact :Contact: Ms. Andrea Louie, Religions for Peace, E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANNOUNCEMENT - JAIN PROGRAM "MANGALAM" ON TV ASIA
It gives me great pleasure to announce the starting of our Jain program "MANGALAM" on TV Asia from September 16th 2007. I humbly request your help in spreading the word during this Paryushan/Das-laxana Parva and Mahavir Jayanti celebrations. You can make announcements and distribute the flyers. This program is mainly for Jains of north America. “MANGALAM” -The JAIN TV Program will be Weekly for Half an Hour on Sunday Morning at 9AM starting September 16th , 2007. I hope to have your full support. Thanks and Jai Jinendra. For more information please contact: Dr. Mamta Shah, Chairperson. Phone: 516-487-1852, E-Mail: Mshaha8087@aol.com
JAIN CENTER INFORMATION WEBSITE WWW.JAINMAPS.COM
This website allows you to view basic information on temples across the United States. This is a great resource for those living away from home at college or in the city that you work in during Paryushan to know where the closest temple is.
JAIN WAY OF LIFE, A GUIDE TO COMPASSIONATE, HEALTHY, AND HAPPY LIVING
By: Yogendra Jain, Published by JAINA (200 pages) ,This book is ideal for Jains and Non-Jains as a simple and easy to understand guide for blending Jain practices with a North American lifestyle. First unveiled at the 2007 JAINA Convention by Dr. Dipak Jain, this handbook quickly sold hundreds of copies and continues to be a popular buy for individuals, families, Pathshalas, and Jain Centers across North America. To order, visit www.jwol.org . This handbook is a perfect Paryushan gift for a Tapasvi or a prabhavana gift. It is a must read for a Non-Jain spouse as well as your college bound kids and Jain professionals.
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL FOR JAIN ACADEMIC STUDIES ( ISJS) DELEGATION VISITS SEVERAL UNIVERSITIES IN USA AND CANADA
In spite of its antiquity and its profound contributions to the society, Jainism is not well-known outside India. At the same time its message and its principles could provide the answer to the ills of our civilization mired in discord, violence and bloodshed. In recognizing this, a group of academicians and philanthropists in USA, Canada, UK and India joined hands to promote the study of Jain history and philosophy. The group has established a program of Jain studies offered through an organization named “International School for Jain Academic Studies" (ISJS). The program runs a fully subsidized summer course of about 8-week duration in India for students and faculty from around the world. Starting in 2005, three summer courses have been offered to a total of 54 participants. The summer course of 2007 attracted 14 full-time students from the University of Ottawa in Canada who received a one course credit toward their own academic program at the University for taking this summer course. ........................................To read further please click
PARYUSHAN : A FESTIVAL OF SELF-RENEWAL
A major Jain
festival, explaining how it can heal all our relationships and reinvigorate us
to face the future with courage and responsibility. It provides us unique
opportunity to raise the quality of our lives. Paryushan or Das Lakshana Parva is the single most important festival in the Jain religion. This year it is observed from September 8 to 25, 2007. The Shvetämbar sect observes it for the first 8 days, the period being known as Paryushan Parva, while the Digambar sect observes it for the last 10 days where it is known as Das Lakshana Parva. During these eight or ten days, the entire Jain community becomes engrossed in an atmosphere of enthusiasm and felicity and religion.
The purpose of life according to Jain teachings is to realize oneself, to experience wholeness, peace and reverence for all life. Therefore, the real purpose of Paryushan is to purify our soul by observing and correcting our own faults, asking for forgiveness for the mistakes we have committed, and taking vows to minimize our faults. During Paryushan we should strive to minimize our worldly affairs so that we can concentrate on our true-selves. Generally, festivals are celebrations and jubilation characterized by excitement, enthusiasm, and enjoyment; but the Jain festivals are characterized by renunciation, austerities, study of the scriptures, repetition of holy hymns (sutras/stavans), living a total compassionate life, meditation, and expressing devotion for the Tirthankars.
During these pious days we should not become a cause (Nimitta) of suffering for any living being. However recent technological advances have created a new environment for violence not visible to Jain leaders and common people. The use and abuse of animals raised for food and slaughter far exceeds our imagination. The cruelty to dairy (milk) cows and other animals has reached its peak behind the walls of dairy farms and slaughterhouses.
At the end of festival next morning before breakfast the fast, every Jain must go personally to everyone he or she can reach on foot and beg for forgiveness and offer forgiveness to acquaintances, friends, relatives and business contacts. To those who cannot be reached personally, a letter is sent, in which we seek forgiveness. Particular attention is paid to people with whom there is some outstanding problem or dispute. Unless and until forgiveness has been exchanged the fast cannot be broken.
The Jain Forgiveness Prayer: (Khamemi Savva Jivva): ‘I forgive those who have injured me and I beg for forgiveness from all whom knowingly or unknowingly I may have harmed. I declare friendship with all living beings, I have enmity towards no one.’ From : P RADIP JAIN, Post Box 128, Mithapur, Patna 800 001, Ph 0612 2225929, E-Mail : email@example.com
JAIN EKTA MANCH, MUMBAI WANTS THE ABATTOIRS SHUT DURING PARYUSHAN
The Jain Ekta Manch has demanded for closing of slaughter houses during the Jain Paryushan festival and stopping the export of meat . The Jain Ekta Manch, an umbrella organisation of 50 Jain sanghs form the western suburbs of Mumbai , handed over a memorandum to the mayors of Bombay and adjoining areas requesting them to shut the butchse houses during the Jain Paryushan festival period every year. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has issued orders for closing down the abattoirs in Deonar on September 8 and 15. Five . Jairaj Phatak, the Municipal Commissioner has informed that it is not possible to close the abattoirs on all days of paryushan. Five Lakh of animals are slaughtered per day in India, out of which the meat of two lakh animals is being exported per day. The Ekta Manch has therefore ddemanded that the government should modify its meat export policy and should ban meat export immediately.
CONFERENCES, SEMINARS & EVENTS
VI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PEACE AND NONVIOLENT ACTION ORGANIZED BY NGO ANUVRAT GLOBAL ORGANIZATION (ANUVIBHA)-
ANUVIBHA that has been waging a campaign against violence and hatred in consonance with the goals of UNO for the last many years and will celebrate its Silver Jubilee. Many events have been planned in conjunction with the main celebration on 30th Dec. 2007, with the decision to organize the VI ICPNA on this occasion in two parts.
PART I - INTERNATIONAL DIALOGUES ON CHALLENGES OF VIOLENCE, HUNGER AND POVERTY : VOLVING SUSTAINABLE COUNTER MEASURES (23RD DEC. TO 25TH DEC., 2007) This first part is a vitally significant three-day dialogue (23rd Dec. to 25th Dec. 2007) on the Challenges of Violence, Hunger and Poverty.
PART II - 1st INTERNATIONAL NONVIOLENCE TRAINING CAMP (in association with Ahimsa Samvaay Kendras of Jaipur and Rajsamand) Venue : CHILDREN’S PEACE PALACE – ANUVIBHA, RAJSAMAND, NEAR UDAIPUR (INDIA) THE SECOND PART of this three-day conference is the Nonviolence Training Camp which will be held from 26th Dec. to 28th Dec. 2007.
FIRST PART OF VI ICPNA INTERNATIONAL DIALOGUE ON' Challenge of Violence, Poverty and Hunger.: Plenary Sessions -- The following plenary sessions have been planned: 1. The Challenge of Violence and its Many Facets - Terrorism, 2. Is Religious Reconciliation Possible? 3. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – The Effective Ways to Achieve Them. 4. Nonviolence – The Only Way to Human Survival. 5. Nonviolence Education and Training – Models and Approaches. 6. The Problem of Poverty V/s Mahapragya’s Model of Nonviolence Oriented or Nonviolence Relativist Economics (ahimsa sapeksha arthshastra) 7. Hunger – Can it be Really Combated? 8. The Role of Religion in fighting Poverty and Violence. 9. Anuvibha’s Balodaya Model of Education for creating Responsible Citizens of the Future. ...................................Please click here for further details
DR. SOHAN LAL GANDHI TO SPEAK ON "JAIN CONTRIBUTION TO INTERFAITH HARMONY" AT UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY on Thursday 4 October 2007
Dr. Sohan Lal Gandhi, President of ANUVRAT Global Organization- UN NGO works under the leadership of Acharya Mahapragya, the head of ANUVRAT's transnational center for peace and nonviolent action, as an important NGO associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations. ANUVRAT's work focuses on strategies to inculcate a culture of peace and nonviolence among children and youths, where thousand of children have benefited from periodical camps. Dr. Gandhi is confirmed official speaker and guest of the President of the General Assembly at the 61st United Nations Informal Interactive Hearing of the General Assembly on Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace on Thursday 4 October 2007. Dr. Gandhi will speak on "Jain Contribution to Interfaith Harmony" as part of the ministerial and highest possible level of speakers, attending the three plenary meetings: Thursday morning 4th October and two on Friday, 5 October. He will also be attending the afternoon meeting on 4 October 2007 as an informal interactive hearing with representatives of civil society, including representatives of non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to be chaired by the President of the General Assembly.
JINENDRA KUMAR TO RECEIVE SHREE SANGH SEVA PURASKAR
Ahmedabad, : Noted journalist Jinendra Kumar Jain has been selected for the ''Shree Sangh Seva Puraskar-2007'' by Udaipur-based Shree Jain Vishwa-Bharati, a registered world university. The award will be presented to Mr Jain, who is the editor of local Hindi daily ''Young Leader'' at the hands of Jain spiritual leader Acharya Shree Mahapragnaji, at a function to be held in Udaipur on September 22, a release said here today. The function will be chaired by Swadesh Bhushan Jain, Chairman of ''Punjab Kesri'' news daily. '' Bahubali Shantilal Shah, Manging Director of Gujarat Samachar will be present at the function as the chief guest. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 1,25,000, a certification, and shawl.
RAJEEV JAIN NAMED CEO OF BAJAJ FINANCE
Bajaj Auto Finance Limited has appointment of Rajeev Jain as Chief Executive Officer. Rajeev is a management graduate by profession and has 15 years of experience in consumer lending industry. He comes with the experience of managing diverse consumer lending businesses viz. auto loans, durables loans, personal loans and credit cards. In his previous assignments he has worked over four years with GE and eight years with American Express. He joins Bajaj Finance from AIG, where he was Deputy CEO for its consumer finance business.
DR. RAVSAHEB PATIL APPOINTED AS CHAIRMAN OF INSTITUTE FOR JAIN STUDIES
Noted Jain scholar and author Dr. Ravsaheb Patil (Solapur) was appointed as the first Chairman of Institute For Jain Studies, Pune. The main activity of Institute for Jain Studies will be to provide information and study material to all those who want to study any subject that is related to Jainism. The information will be provided mainly through Internet, i.e. website, online books, online courses, discussion groups, emails etc., and also by printed literature and correspondence courses. The subjects on which information will be provided include Jain History, Jain Literature, Prakrit Languages, Jain Literature in Sanskrit, Jain Mathematics, Jain Ayurveda, Jain Astrology, Jain Sculpture, Jain Monachism, Jain Community, Jain Philosophy, Ahimsa and Vegetarianism etc.The institute will also start a short period Certificate Course in Jainology . Contact Details: Institute For Jain Studies,Post Box No. 58,mJagannath Complex,199, Mumbai-Pune Road,Chinchwad East, Pune 411019,India. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Courtsey: Mahavir" E-Mail : email@example.com
SUPREME COURT ADMITS PLEA AGAINST FEMALE FOETICIDE
The Supreme Court admitted a petition seeking direction to the Union HealthMinistry to take foolproof and effective measures to curb the growing female foeticide in the country. Admitting the petition by a social activist, Prabhakar Deshpande, the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan tagged it for hearing with another similar petition. In his petition, Deshpande contended before the bench, which also included Justices R.V. Raveendran and D.K. Jain, that on an average, one million female foeticides take place in the country annually through illegal abortions and this was heavily skewing the gender ratio of the society. Deshpande contended that female foeticide continues at an alarming rate because of the government's failure to effectively implement the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test Act of 1994. Contending that the government has neither the requisite manpower nor the necessary funds and infrastructure to implement the act, Deshpande sought the court's direction to the government to increase its manpower and hike funds for the purpose. He also sought the court's direction to the government to limit the number of ultrasound machines in the country to a bare minimum, to be installed only at major government hospitals so that the machines could not be misused by unscrupulous doctors and health workers to determine the sex of an unborn child.
GITA SHOULD BE DECLARED AS A NATIONAL SCRIPTURE - ALLAHaBAD HIGH COURT. MANY LAW EXPERTS, JURISTS AS WELL AS JAIN COMMUNITY OPPOSE -
Allahabad High Court has, in a petition filed by Shyamal Rajan Mukherji, has said that in accordance with Section 51(B) and (F) of the Constitution, just as national flag, national bird, national flower, and national song have been declared by the Government, Sri Mad Bhagwat Gita should also be considered as a national 'scripture'. The non-violent movement for achieving country's freedom was truly inspird by Bhagwat Gita and therefore, it is the duty of every citizen to protect the national heritage and follow the ideals propounded in the holy scripture. It is now the responsibility of the State to accord its acceptance to Gita as a national scripture. The Court further mentioned that all communities, which are native of India, such as Sikh and Jain are a part of Hindutva. As such, Gita represents every sect of the Hindu religion. This decision was announced by Justice Shambhu Nath Shrivastava in the favour of the petition. Most of the advocates and jurists including the former Chief Justice of India, Justice V.N. Khare and the present Law Minister, Dr. Hans Raj Bhardwaj have shown their disagreement with the court advice, saying that such a decision would be wholly unconstitutional and uncalled for. The announcement made by the Allahabad High Court has also been opposed by several Jain and Sikh organisations, saying that the Court's advice given to the Government is baseless and unconstituional and should not be accepted.
NEEM ACTIVE TOOTH PASTE SAFE FOR USE
In view of a report recently published in an Indian newspaper that Neem tooth paste was unsafe to use and it contained high levels of harmful bacteria along-with a ‘chemical found in anti-freeze’, clarification was sought from the manufacturers of the said tooth paste, giving reference to the findings of the Canadian Health Department, Toronto about the ‘Neem tooth paste-active’ being unsafe to use and that the use of this tooth paste may trigger fever, urinary tract infections and gastro-intestinal symptoms etc. The manufacturers have informed that proactively action has been taken to get the product currently on the Indian market tested by independent agencies to verify the claims made by the report of the Canadian Health Department. Samples of the product manufactured in the last two years were sent by them to an independent agency to verify presence of harmful bacteria and the test reports have made it clear that there is no Diethylene Glycol (DEG) or harmful bacteria in the ‘Neem Active’ brand toothpaste manufactured by the company. Therefore the product is safe for use. Furthermore, the company is in contact with the Canadian Health Department to clarify the issue, especially due to the fact that Neem Active Toothpaste has not been exported by the company to Canada since the year 2000. The company further clarified that each batch of Neem Active Toothpaste undergoes stringent quality assurance process and testing, and meets stringent statutory norms for bacteria.
MINORITY STATUS GIVEN TO JAIN COMMUNITY IN WEST BENGAL
Shri Abdul Sattar, Minister for Minority Affairs in West Bengal Government announced recently that The Government of West Bengal has accepted the request of Jain community and has agreed to award minority status to the entire Jain community living in the state on the same lines as in case of Muslim, Bauddh, Parasi and Sikh communities.
NEW BOOKS RECEIVED
THE JAINA SOURCES OF THE HISTORY OF ANCIENT INDIA
(100 BCE – 900 CE) ,By Dr Jyoti Prasad Jain English First published in 1964. Revised ed. 2005 220 x 140 mm 222 pp , Jaina sources have made key contributions to the history of India. Especially since the first century BCE to the 10th century of the Common Era has been a period of extraordinary importance for India and her rich culture. This work presents a brief survey of the important Jain literary sources of ancient Indian history, like the Kathakosa and Jain puranic literature. Since the author was a trained academic, he has studied the problems of dating Mahavira and the events centered on his life. He has also presented discussions on the Vikrama Era, the Shaka Era and the earlier Shaka Era. He has shed light on the Sarasvati Movement, and has very lucidly traced the origin and development of Jain scriptures. He has covered the great masters, Kundakunda, Samantabhadra and Umasvami, to the age of the Nyaya scholars such as Akalanka Deva down to the Rashtrakuta Age and later political, historical and narrative literature composed by the Jains. The author concludes with a balanced survey of the cultural contribution of Jains to the great Indian culture. Three appendices at the end of the book add value to this work. A lucidly written book, distinguished by a crisp writing style and a balanced and scholarly approach. Courtesy: Yashodhar Modi.
IS VARAKH (Silver foil) VEGETARIAN? -Sandeep Shah
A couple of years ago, Indian Airlines, the domestic air-carrier of India had issued instructions to its suppliers to supply sweet without silver foil called VARAKH. Do you know why? This is what, I would like to bring to your notice. If you keenly observe this VARAKH under a microscope don't be perturbed if you happen to see traces of blood, stools and saliva of a cattle or ox. VARAKH is a silver foil and we have no second questions on this, but to prepare this VARAKH important parts of the CATTLE/OX is made use of Intestines of Cattle / OX are obtained from the slaughterhouse. This is obtained after butchering to death the cattle/ox for beef and the part, which cannot be consumed: the intestines are pulled out of the animal and handed over to the manufacturers of VARAKH. Before handing over the intestines, they are washed in the slaughterhouse to get rid of the blood and other remains on these intestines in the limited facility that is present in the Slaughterhouse. We are not sure how neatly this job is carried out. Intestines are cut into Small pieces and then are bound together as pages in a notebook.
A silver block is placed in the middle of these bound intestines, and the whole thing is Placed in a leather bag and sealed. Experts, who know how to make VARAKH, pound the bag with wooden sticks, till the entire bag flattens out. The silver block would by this time be turned into silver foil. This Silver foil would now be separated from the intestine pack and will be placed on paper. This is VARAKH, which reaches the market ready for use. Even staunch vegetarians, who shy away from egg, unknowingly consume this as a part of sweet, pan and aeronaut. Some unknowingly consume this because of the additional taste that VARAKH provides. Now the question is "Why the intestines of the cattle/ox? Why not something else?" The reason behind using the intestines of the cattle/ox for preparing the VARAKH is because of the elasticity of the intestines. They do not get cut even after a severe pounding. In India, on an average an estimate indicates that 2,75,000 kilos of "VARAKH" is consumed. Can you estimate how many cattle / ox are sacrificed for just a bit of taste?
Courtesy: Sandeep Shah , Mahavir path, Baramati, 413102 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR'S COMMENTS -
According to an article written by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi and published in Rajasthan Patrika dated: 25th September, 2007, it would be alarming to know that in order to produce 1 Kg. of varakh, 12,500 animals are required to be killed, every year, 30,000 (30 tons) varakh is required every year for sweets alone, leave apart its use in other ways like, pasting on idols, using for wrapping pan, vegetables and fruits. It has been well-established that there is no material available so far which can be utilised to make varakh except fresh intestines of animals, like oxen, cows and camels. Companies and individuals proclaiming that varakh is now being made by machines is a hoax and commercial propaganda to mislead people. Industrial Toxicology research Centre has carried out a lot of studies on the micro-constituents found in varakh and they have established that varakh commonly available in the market contains small amounts of metals, like lead, chromium, nickel and cadmium which are not only poisonous but these can even lead to illness like Cancer. It is therefore high time that people, specially in India, who are so fond of consuming sweets in large quantities should think about the possible consequences and stop buying varakh and sweets which are covered with varakh. P. L. JAIN, E-Mail : email@example.com
KESARIYAJI TIRTH - Why cannot we maintain our own private army to protect Jain Temples of Heritage and Spiritual values? Are we coward or infighting only? Instead of building and constructing new temples and spending billions of rupees why cannot we utilize these money to protect our ancient temples? The other day I read news in Gujarat Samachar, a gujarati daily published from Ahmedabad that some Maharaj Sahebs are advocating for Golden Jain Temple at Palitana and 1.5 kgs of Gold was collected within one hour as well as crores of rupees were registered in BOLI. Have we gone mad in building only temples just to satisfy someone's whims? These money can certainly be utilized to save and protect our ancient temples. But we lack will power either to combat our own internal guiding forces or external forces like governments.
Unless we are united this is going to happen. We should take weapons in our hands to fight against evil forces like what Muslims, Sikhs, Christians are going. Do not go on fast. Nothing will happen. To protect Ahimsa one has to carry out Himsa and that is allowed in Jain Philosophy. There are examples in Jain History where monks have also pull down their white clothes and fought war against kingdoms. The present Bania community is not true Jains. They are not Kshatriya.
They lack killing instinct. Micchami Dukkadam if I have said in bitter wording. Chandra Prakash Shah UK , E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
SHAH: TRUSTED LIEUTENENT OF MAHARANA PRATAP - Most of us know about the donations made by Bhama Shah to Maharana Pratap, but we do not want to speak anything about Bhama Shah's role in battle field. Recently I watched a news on TV about Maharan Pratap's statue at Parliament of India. The statue is accompanied by his four generals, one of whom is Bhama Shah, holding a sword in his hand like other three Generals. Now let us see Bhama Shah's role in the battle field. Bhama Shah, the son of Bharmal –– Kiledar of Ranthambhore, came of the Oswal family of Chitor and was born on the 25th June, 1547 A.D. By dint of merit and ability, he won the favour of his young master and rose by degrees to higher position and ranks. He under the leadership of Pratap, fought gallantly at the fierce and famous battles of Haldighati (1576 A.D.) and made several desperate attacks upon the divisions of the Mughal army at Nadol, Diver, Ranakpur, etc., being impressed with his valourous actions and rare ability of civil and military acumen, Pratap entrusted the management of Finances and the State forces to him. He well stood to the task. He not only consolidated Pratap's authority in Mewar but also overran nearly the whole of Malwa. In this exploit he exacted tribute amounting to 25 lakhs of rupees and 20 thousand Asharfis and presented the entire collection to the Rana at the village of Chulia. Besides this huge amount he was providing countless concealed hordes of silver, gold and jewels, of which he maintained confidential notes with him, time and again, to lessen the financial stringency of the State, occasioned by frequent wars and aiding in Pratap's scheme of the consolidating programmes of his new capital –– Chawand. For all this Bhama is remembered with esteem as a brave and benevolent `Saviour' Minister of the State. So Jains should not forget about Bhama Shah's role in battle field. Courtesy:-Mahavir Sanglikar.
NEED TO RE-DEFINE MINORITIES - YOGINDER SIKAND
There has been much discussion in the media and political circles about how precisely to define religious minorities in the Indian context. The Hindutva lobby vociferously advocates that the very category should be scrapped, alleging that it promotes 'divisiveness' and undermines 'national unity'.
This reflects its visceral hostility to minority rights and its monolithic, majoritarian understanding of Indian nationalism. Some recent judgments of the supreme courts and state high courts have also tended to give a very restrictive interpretation of the term 'minority' and of minority rights, and these, critics argue, have given further impetus to the Hindutva lobby's case. And now there is talk of the government perhaps moving a constitutional amendment in parliament to do away with the notion of national-level minorities and replacing it with a definition that would specify minorities at the state level instead.
On the face of it, this proposal might sound innocuous, but, as several minority spokesmen point out, it is a major assault on minority rights. Mujtaba Farooq of the Jamaat-e Islami Hind, a leading Indian Muslim organisation, describes the possible amendment as a 'conspiracy', and adds that the fact that the draft of the bill is still unavailable adds weight to his contention as the 'secrecy' which surrounds it would provide minority organisations little time to analyse, critique and protest against it. He argues that it may well be that the amendment would reflect and reinforce certain recent judgments of the supreme court that he says aim to restrict minority rights. Suleiman Seth, president of the Indian National League, echoes the same fears. He contends that sections of the judiciary, the media and the political class 'are out to do away with India's social, political and cultural diversity' and sees the proposed amendment as reflecting their agenda. He describes it as 'being against the spirit of the Indian Constitution' and as part of a larger process of dilution of minority rights that he says sections of the judiciary are involved in.
Syed Shahabuddin, former MP and a leading Muslim politician, points out that in India no community is a majority throughout the country at every level of governance. Hence, he says, there is a need to define minorities and their rights at each level, including the panchayat, block, district, state and national levels, rather than defining them only at the state level, as the proposed amendment might do. If the amendment is passed, it would lead to a situation wherein Muslims in Kashmir, a Muslim majority state, would lose their minority rights and would not enjoy the privileges under Article 30 of the Indian constitution regarding educational institutions. A Kashmiri Muslim would not be considered a member of a minority community when he or she seeks admission to a Muslim minority educational institution outside Kashmir. The same anomalous situation would prevail in the case of Christians in Christian-majority Nagaland and Sikhs in Sikh-majority Punjab, for instance.
Dr. J.K. Jain, a Jain leader, also voices similar concerns. He argues, 'The affairs of the country are not being run as per the preamble of the constitution, which talks of social, political and economic justice'. 'We cannot implement even the first line of the constitution, and at the same time there are moves to undermine minority rights through possible constitutional amendments as this!', he explains. 'Minorities are being reduced to the status of beggars, living at the mercy of the state or the majority for their rights, which are increasingly sought to be curtailed. Every organ of the state is being pressed into service to insult and humiliate the minorities and deprive us of our rights', he insists.
Says MP Raju, a senior advocate and leading Indian Christian legal scholar, 'Even if the amendment is not made, we still have to raise our voice against efforts to curtail minority rights by defining minorities at the state level, in the face of certain recent supreme court judgments that seek to redefine minorities in this way and to do away with the minority character of an institution if it does not have at least half of its seats filled by that particular minority. That would, for instance, mean that practically all Christian educational institutions in north India would at once cease to be considered as minority institutions as they have well below less than half Christian students'. He critiques these judgments, most notably in the TM Pai case, as reflecting a 'restrictive, rather than expansive, interpretation of minority rights'. He argues that if minorities were to henceforth be defined state-wise rather than at the national level, it would represent 'over-federalism' as well as a 'non-harmonious interpretation of the Indian constitution', adding that minority rights need protection at both the state as well as national levels.
Besides the ominous implications of the proposed constitutional amendment for minority rights, it is the perceived arbitrary manner in which the government is said to be going ahead with it that has raised the ire of human rights and minority rights activists. Surely, the draft of an amendment of such import must be first made public and publicly discussed and debated before it can go ahead. - Mr. Yoginder Sikand is associated with the Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
Muni Shri Milap Chand Ji maharaj breathed his last on the 27th September, 2007 at the age of 71 years after a prolonged illness, having accepted the vow of santhara with samadhimaran. He belonged to Swetambar Sthanakwasi sect and was the disciple of Gyan Gachhadhipati Shri Prakash Chand Ji maharaj. He had accepted diksha in the holy presence of Shri Champa Lal Ji maharaj at Ajmer. He was born in Oswal Jain Bohra family in Pisagan village, Ajmer district. Currently, he had been staying at Balotra town in Rajasthan for the last seven years due to his failing health. Hundreds of devotees from different places in Rajasthan arrived at Balotra to participate in the procession and have his last darshan. The procession was taken out through the town in a specially decorated palanquin and was attended byquite a few thousand people.
Muni Shri Sangeet Kumar Ji, disciple of Acharya Shri mahpragya Ji, belonging to Swetambar Terapanth sect left for his heavenly abode on Friday, the 28th September, 2007 at the age of 61 years at Siriyari, a small town in Pali dist. of rajasthan. This is the place where the first acharya of Terapanth sect, Acharya Bhikshu had left for Devlok and his samadhi attracts thousands of devotees every year. A large number of devotees came from far and nearby places had his last darshan and attended the procesion carrying the body of revered sadhu.
MISSING - KANRAJ GULECHA (SURESH) - ANDHRA PRADESH
Kanraj Gulecha is missing from 5th September 2007 from Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. If any information is available with you about his whereabouts please contact his elder brother Mr. Tej Raj Gulecha, at 12/5, Second Floor, Dickenson Road, Bangalore - 560042. Telephone : 094 484 74208 / 098 440 66064, Fax : 080-41135897.
Physical Details - Height - 5' 8", Age - 43 Years, Color - Wheatish. Appropriate award for information. Information can also be given to the Editor, Ahimsa Times, 9, Pusa Road, New Delhi - 110 005, Telephone - 98-100-46108.