Bhagwan Mahavir Memorial Samiti
Bhagwan Mahavir Memorial Samiti was formed in 1974 to celebrate the 2500th Nirvan Mahotsava of Bhagwan Mahavira. It aim at providing opportunity to harness the enthusiasm of the people to arrange suitable activities befitting the aims and objectives for the occasion and to commemorate and perpetuate. His memory in the capital. It also envisaged to establish a National and International centre to propagate. His philosophy of Ahimsa, Truth, Aparigraha and Anekanta doctrine to reach every corner of the world.
A committee of prestigious Jain shresthis belonging to all the four Jain Sampradays from all over India was formed to collect funds and to raise a suitable memorial building to perpetuate his memory. The foundation stone of the proposed memorial was laid on 26th February 1978 by the then Prime Minister, Shri Morarji Desai. The building was built at an approximate cost of Rs. one crore in 1984, which is known as "Bhagwan Mahavir Kendra".
Some of the aims and objectives of the Samiti are to provide in the memorial a central library on Jainology and indology, facilities for study and research in these disciplines and various other branches of study, a museum of Jaina art, architecture, paintings and collect manuscripts of historical importance. These also include activities such as organizing of public lectures, seminars and study courses on the life of Mahavira and on other aspects of Jainism for their contribution to the development of Indian culture and literature, for the benefit of people at large, The Samiti is presently organizing an exhibition entitled 'Tirthankara' on the occasion of inauguration of Bhagwan Mahavir Kendra. The exhibition and the Kendra is being inaugrated the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
This unique presentation consists of photographs of about 125 art objects drawn from various museum and private collections thereby making it one of its kind in the world. It includes some of the Digambara stone images and bronzes, which have not been displayed earlier.
Apart from this, it has beautiful colour and black and white photographs of stone and bronze sculptures, going back to ca. 2nd cent. B.C. and ca. 13th cent A. D. respectively. It also offers a splendid retrospect of Digambara and Shvetambara sculptural tradition as seen from the Jain caves, temples and repositories through a large range of black and white representations. The display is especially made rich by colourful reproductions of Jain monumental paintings, Jain patas, banners, charts and other artifacts. It also includes the Lokapurusha-cosmic man-Vijnapti patras, pilgrimage patas, Tantric and mystic diagrams which claim to be landmarks in the Jain art of the world. Many of these belong to art connoissers of India and abroad.
Thematically, the exhibition revolves round the Jain symbol of the Swastika, the four arms of which denote proper knowledge (Samyak-jnana), perception (samyak-darshana), conduct (samyak-charitra) and austerities (tapas) in a chronological sequence as far as possible.
Another interesting feature of this exhibition is that it includes a unique panorama of material on Jain art-drawn from the collections in abroad. We have taken the liberty of including some of their colour photographs exhibited in the exhibition 'Peaceful Liberators' at Los Angeles and London in 1994/95. This is rare opportunity to see this treasure in India under one roof for the first time. This exhibition has been conceptualized and executed by Dr. Shridhar Andhare, Museologist and his team including Jain Art scholars and historians.
For further information Contact :
Shri Deep Chand S. Gardi - President, Address : Bhagwan Mahavir Memorial Samiti
Benito Juarez Marg, New Delhi, Tele : 26888154, 26113988