Ahimsa Times September, 2005 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org
AHIMSA TIMES - SEPTEMBER 2005 ISSUE - www.jainsamaj.org
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We take opportunity of this Paryushan Samvatsari,
to thank you for all the love, kindness and friendship showered on us.
We also ask for your forgiveness for any indiscretions, knowingly or unknowingly, committed by us.
KHAMEMI SAVVE JIVA
We forgive all the living beings,
SAVVE JIVA KHAMANTU ME
We seek pardon from all the living beings,
MITTI ME SAVVA BHUTESU
We are friendly towards all the living beings,
VERAM MAJJHAM NA KENVI
And we seek enmity with none,
And we ask for forgiveness from all!
JAINISM - A TRADITION WHICH JAINS MUST REVIVE & REINVIGORATE
Prof. Cromwell Crawford: Jainism is a religion waiting to be reborn. The likelihood, though, is that its rebirth will take place in the West, rather than in the East. Throughout the ages, Jainism has always been ahead of itself. The ancient saints possessed ideas and ideals which could not be fully understood or appreciated in the pre-modern world, and therefore they had to await present developments in order to come into their own. It is this historic fruition of Jainism to contribute toward the making of the new millennium that supplies the motivation for Jains to revive and reinvigorate their tradition To illustrate the premise that Jainism has ideas and ideals that are eminently relevant to contemporary issues, we take a look at developments in the areas of ecology and theology.
It is common knowledge that people everywhere are facing an environmental crisis in the areas of global warming, biodiversity, waste, pollution, population, and nuclear proliferation. We have thrown ourselves all the way back to our primitive beginnings in which the dominant problem on earth was coping with the environment. The only difference between our tribal beginnings and the situation today is that the problems now are of our own making. We have found little difficulty to make the earth accessible, but never manageable. Now the price of our survival is the management of our planet. This calls for a new philosophy in the comprehension and management of our planet.
Jain philosophy has all of the elements to address the present crisis. These include: The Principle of Equality; The Principle of Non-Violence; The Principle of Consequentially, The Principle of Responsibility; The Principle of Reciprocity; and The Principle of Restraint. The relevance of these principles to the environmental problems cited above is clear, even on the briefest descriptions. First, the Jain religion is built on the bedrock of equality, which is not limited to socio-political considerations, but is a universal concept, including all selves: earth-bodied, water-bodied, vegetable organisms, insects, birds, and animals. Second, the principle of equality provides the rationale for the second principle of non-violence. Ahimsa is the first of five anuvratas or minor vows a householder must observe. All religions accord a place of honour to non-violence, but when the Jain sages declared 'ahimsa parmo dharmah,' they were affirming ahimsa as the lynchpin of all religion. Third, the doctrine of samaiya is also correlated with the doctrine of karma. Numerous scriptures warn of the consequences of doing harm by thought, word and deed. Fourth, karma underscores the principle of responsibility. Jainism grants homo sapiens a superior status, but since responsibility is seen as a dimension of human character, people are held answerable for their stewardship of the natural environment. Here superiority is not a license for the strong to exploit the weak, but an obligation for them to protect and to preserve. Fifth, the principle of reciprocity is rooted in Jain ethical notions of equality, individuality and mutuality. Recognising that life forms occupy heterogeneous bodies, and that they are all individualised through their karma, it follows that our perceptions of others is bound to be inadequate, and efforts must therefore be made to overcome the inadequacy and to become aware of other beings in all of their idiosyncratic differences. This is the Jain version of the Golden Rule.
'The fanatic is usually a person who does what he thinks God would do if God knew all of the facts of the case' Finally, there is the principle of restraint, which arises from the essentially ascetic ethos of Jainism. Restraint is not some masochistic form of aberrant behavior. It grows out of an understanding of the human condition. Ignorant of the true nature of the jiva, humans identify with the ajiva and become immersed within it through the seduction of the senses. The trouble here is that the senses can never be satisfied; hence cupidity and suffering go hand in hand. To save people from the pain and disappointment of looking into the bottomless pit of human wants, Jainism includes aparigraha into its five vratas or abstinences. It means freedom from slavery to avarice and unnecessary luxuries which burden the environment.
A second area in which Jainism has something important to contribute to the modern world is in respect to the way we think in matters of religion, given the emerging pluralism of global existence. Eminent scholars warn us of 'the clash of cultures' in which fanaticism poses as the chief threat to world peace. Fanaticism wears three masks: racism, religious bigotry, and ethnic hatred. These three hatreds are the root cause of almost all of the fighting around the globe, as is most evident in the current atrocities of ethnic cleansing going on in the former Yugoslavia. Clashes between Hindus and Muslims in India, and between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Ireland tell the same sorry tale. In America, religious fanaticism is behind the bombing of abortion clinics, the burning of black churches, and the desecration of Jewish synagogues. The fanatic is usually a person who does what he thinks God would do if God knew all of the facts of the case.
What is needed to end all cultural wars is a Jain type of ethic of anekantavada. This notion highlights the role of relativity in all human thinking, especially when it comes to matters of religion. Anekantavada fosters a mind-set that says: things are not always as they seem; that contradictions abound in our everyday perceptions; that we all occupy subjective worlds; and that sincerity is no guarantee for truth and certainty.
'The environmental and theological ideas of Jainism are but two examples of the rich legacy of this ancient religion which Jains must revive and reinvigorate'
The environmental and theological ideas of Jainism are but two examples of the rich legacy of this ancient religion which Jains must revive and reinvigorate, because it is in the present Western sky that its star can be seen in brightest form. In a real sense it is only now that that star is born, for it takes a modern view of life in this universe, fully to appreciate its wisdom and worth. Moreover, though Jains are newcomers to the Western world, they are already among the wealthiest and best educated of North Americans and Britons. These communal assets and qualifications make the challenge of a Jain revival, not just a matter of opportunity but of obligation, for to whom much is given, much is required The land which has given us the gift of life and has nurtured us in faith, has sacrificed much to see its sons and daughters leave for distant shores. It is now our duty to make that sacrifice count for something, or else we will count for nothing.
HURRICANE KATRINA VICTIM'S RELIEF FUND LAUNCHED BY WORLD COMMUNITY SERVICE. JAINA REQUESTS CONTRIBUTIONS FROM COMMUNITY MEMBERS
World Community Services of Federation of Jain Associations in North America has launched Hurricane Katrina Victim’s Relief Fund” to raise the fund to help the victims of this disaster. After hitting Florida, Katrina came ashore as a Category 4 storm with wind of 145 mph. Entire gulf coast of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and northwest Florida suffered a major blow. Thousands of homes and businesses were washed away in the raging waters. World Community Services has already allotted $5,000 from its funds for relief operation and channeled the funds to Jain center of Houston to help evacuee’s families at the Astrodome. Rajni Shah is the president of Jain Center of Houston and he can be contacted at E-Mail : rshah4@...
Previously also JAINA had raised over $200,000 for Tsunami victims, $750,000 for Gujarat Earthquake, $100,000 for Latur Earthquake Fund, more than $70,000 for Kutch Cyclone Relief Fund and then for the Turkey earthquake Fund, Orissa and Kosovo. This time we request your generous help for this humane cause.
Jains in North America have always shown our generosity all over the world in the time of need as steadfast believers of “Jiv Daya” and “Ahimsa”. All donations collected will be distributed through Jain Society of Houston or Jain Society of South Louisiana. Shalin S. Shah is leading this effort in Louisiana and can be contacted at shalin112@... for more information. Santosh C. Shah, a leader of JSSL since establishment in 1982 is currently in Houston and is assisting the Houston Jain community in their efforts. We request you to send your contributions payable to JAINA on receipt of this appeal and mail to:Prakash Mehta , 2960 Mother Well Ct, Oak Hill, VA 20171,703-352-8340,703-318-8252 H, E-Mail : Pmehta@...
WE REQUEST ALL INDIA-BASED SWETAMBER AND DIGAMBER ORGANISATIONS TO GENEROUSLY COME FORWARD AND JOIN JAINA IN ITS ENDEAVOUR TO SERVE HUMANITY. THERE IS LOT OF IDLE MONEY WITH JAIN TEMPLES, SOME OF IT MAY BE USED.
KANCHI IS IN THE NEWS FOR WRONG REASONS
Kanchipuram was the capital of Pallava dynasty in 5-8th century AD. Early Pallavas patronized Jainism. It was a famous seat of Jainism and at this very place Acharya Bhatta Akalanka defeated Buddha bhiskhus by 8-day debate in the year 643 AD in the palace of King Hima Sheetala. Princes Akalanka and his brother Nishkalanka underwent training in Buddhism at Nalanda in their youth. Eventually, Nishkalanka was killed by Buddhists and his death wish to his elder brother was to marginalize Buddhism which is against theism of soul (Anatmavadi or shunyavada). The later era witnessed revival of Vedanta through seers like Adi Sankara and so called Bhakti movement unleashing terror and all kinds of dirty civil wars. (That was the worst period of our civilization. This encouraged foreign invasion from Arab world and slavery to Islamic rulers.) The temples now under Hindu custody at Kanchi puram were Jain temples. Once Jains were eliminated in the civil war, the famous Vardhamana Mahaveer temple became Varadaraja Perumal temple. The Neminatha temple became Kamakshi temple. Kamakshi is the new name of Kushmandini or Ambikaa yakshi of Bhagvan Neminatha. Both Vaishnavites and Saivites took charge of these temples respectively.
The brahmins regrouped in 18th century and took over charge of Kanchipuram temples and assets. Their mutt at Kumbakonam near TiruJinaPalli (the venerable seat of Jina Munis, now called Tiruchi) was eventually shifted here with the permission of Britishers on the pretext of performance of Kumbabhishekam to Kamakshi yakshi. They wrote fresh history, linked this mutt to Adi Sankara whose period itself was antedated from 8th AD to 5th century BC to be in close company with Mahaveer and Buddha. Adi Sankara was credited institution of four mutts in the country in the lines of Jinakanchi. But this present Peetam does not figure in it. But money and influence can rewrite history. You persist with a statement; it is bound to be accepted as a gospel truth. So this mutt keeps on trumpeting this false history at every opportunity. Truth can also be new and need not be old or ancient to be sacred. But the over millennium years gap between Adi Sankara and other two Sramanas is unpalatable to modern day rehabilitated Kanchi peetam. It is strongly believed that the decorated Balaji is in fact kayotsarga idol of Bhagvan Neminath, the cousin of Lord Krishna. Recently some one circulated the original idol in the net. Most of the present day Brahmins at these centres are descendants of Jains who shifted loyalty due to one or factors like fear or favour and lack of Punyoday. This message is aimed at arriving the truth through pages of history but in no way at hurting any one's sentiments. Courtesy: Dr. C. Devakumar E-Mail : cdevakumar@...
ANTI-SOCIAL ELEMENTS ATTEMPT TO OCCUPY LAND AT PAWAPURI PREMISES IN BIHAR
After Girnar, trouble is now brewing at Pawapuri in Bihar, the place of worship and a pilgrimage centre for the Jain community, from where Bhagwan Mahavir attained salvation. Close to the lotus temple in which the foot-prints of Bhagwan Mahavir are built, the office of Digambar Jain Siddh Kshetra is located. The ground in front of this office belongs to the Digambar Jain committee. Some anti-social elements have been trying to usurp this land and take its illegal possession probably for the purpose of building some temple of their own. They have also reportedly filed a criminal case in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bihar Sharif, making allegations against the Secretary, Bihar State Digambar Jain Teerth Kshetra Committee, Manager, Pawapuri Ji Digambar Siddh Kshetra and the Manager, Shri Rajgir Siddh Kshetra. It is also reported that attempts to occupy the land have been going on repeatedly in the recent past. When the matter was reported to the police, the miscreants instigated and misled the local Hindu community to start building a place of worship there. The present conditions have been causing ill-will and mis-understanding amonst the two communities, giving rise to chances of breach of peace any time.
ORNAMENTS LOOTED FROM EAST DELHI DIGAMBAR JAIN TEMPLE
On August 27th, four armed men looted cash and ornaments worth over several lakhs from the Jain Digambar temple in Preet Vihar, East Delhi. Four persons broke open the locks and entered the temple at around 2.30 A.M., injured the guard and the sewadar when they told the robbers that the keys were with the priest. Robbers took away gold and silver ornaments, and several canopies from the idols. The robbers also broke open the locks of three donation boxes. The incident came to light when three women came to offer prayers at the temple in the morning. Theft case has been registered at the Preet Vihar police station.
THIEVES STEAL FROM SHWETAMBER JAIN TEMPLE AT ANDHERI, MUMBAI
Hours after Lord Mahavir’s birthday celebrations on September 6, it was the thieves turn to collect their ‘prasad’ at the Shwetamber Jain Temple at Andheri. They stole Rs 50,000 from the temple in the early hours, just after the celebrations came to an end. As celebrations continued till midnight, it is suspected that the incident happened between 2 A.M. and 4 A.M.. “Due to the ongoing Jain festivals, far more devotees had visited the temple and the thieves stole Rs 45,000 from the donation boxes and jewellery worth Rs 5,000 from the idols,”
SCIENCE OF LIVING TO BE INTRODUCED IN ALL DELHI SCHOOLS
At a national seminar held in the holy presence of Acharya Mahapragya Ji at New Delhi, Smt. Sheela Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi mentioned that the study of 'science of living' (Jeevan Vigyan), as a subject in schools, as enunciated by Acharya Mahapragya, will lead to much-needed value-based education and it would help in solving the basic problems facing the country. It would encompass human values, ethics and moral education, health and yoga. This subject would soon be introduced in all Delhi schools. The seminar was attended by Shri Arjun Singh, Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India. He said that the subject of scince of living would be extremely useful for the development of of people and building a healthy society. The progress of the country, at the present juncture, would be much-enhanced when the value-based education system is introduced in our teaching institutions all over the country. It would help in over-powering the divisive forces of communalism, casteeism and terrorism. He further added that it is now necessary to impart a new shape to our existing educational system in which moral education and ethics are given maximum emphasis. Acharya Mahapragya, giving his blessings, expressed his view that education and society were closely linked to each other. The role of education has to be to develop people such that they can make the society vibrant. In the backdrop of science of living, both the individual and society have to given a balanced attention. Only if the individual improves, the society can improve. Other distinguished people who addressed the seminar were Shri S. Ranganathan, Chief Secretary to Delhi Govt., Mrs. Ranganathan, Vice-Chancellor, Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnu and others.
CONFERENCES AND PROGRAMS
JAINA PRESIDENT MR. KIRIT DAFTARY FELICITATED AT DELHI BY DIGAMBAR JAIN MAHASABHA - The new JAINA president Mr Kirit Daftary recently visited Delhi on a special mission to develop better understanding and interaction amongst different sects of Jains. During the visit he also paid his respect to Acharya Vidyanandji and Acharya Mahapragyaji and talk to several prominent members of Jain community. Shri Nirmal Sethi, the president of All India Digambar Jain Sabha coordinated the visit and also hosted at his residence a felicitation program in his honour on 11th September. Speaking at the programme Mr. Daftary thanked Nirmalji for his efforts to sort out problems at Girnarji, representing to Government on minority issues for Jains and developing better understanding in all Jain faiths. He also suggested that the use of fresh flowers should be avoided in such programmes as it leads to hinsa. Mr. Daftary distributed a DVD "Kshamapana" to all the guests present on the occasion. Dr. (Mrs). Daftary who happens to be a medical professional, speaking on the occasion said, " the behavior of parents is very important in the development of character in a child. Better understanding and communication is required in parents and children " Mr. Sethi thanked Mr. Daftary for joining the programme. Mr. Sethi also praised the JAINA for organizing the 13th Biannual Convention of JAINA meticulously and successfully. Sahu Shri. R.P.Jain speaking on the occasion put forward several suggestions to improve the general environment in the Jain system. He also hope that in future a working relationship will develop between JAINA and India based Jain Institutions. He suggested that with the availability of technology it is possible for Jains to cross the border much easily. He also suggested the need for setting up distance learning educational programmes to spread the message of our Tirthankars out side India. He also thanked the team of Ahimsa Foundation for launching the web portal www.jainsamaj.org and producing for last five years the news magazine "Ahimsa Times", which has circulation of over 75000 readers.
AHIMSA NATIONAL CONFERENCE HELD AT BANGALORE
A three-day national conference on ahimsa was organised at Bangalore from 26th to 28th August, 2005. The theme of the conference was " compassion, vegetarianism and environment". The subjects covered during the conference included protection, tending and nourishment of animals and birds, use of natural fertilisers, vegetarianism, promoting the use of cow-urine and cow-dung and environment control. About 30 institutions connected with ahimsa, compassion and vegetarianism participated in the proceedings. Need for imposing tight control on the killing of cows was discussed at length. Mr. S.R. More, Minister of Urban Development and Local bodies, Government of Karnataka, speaking on the occasion of inaugural session, assured the participants that Karnataka Govt. will hence-forth strictly and rigidly enforce the law, banning the killing of cows. Eminent persons who took part in the deliberations included S.Sri Nemi Chand Chopra from Delhi, Prakash Yogi from Patanjali Yoga Dham, Thakur Baba from Orissa, Raju Patel Sama from South Africa, apart from S.Sri Chauth Mam Goenka, Uttam Chand Duggar, Dev Kumar Jain and Shanti Lal gadia from Bombay. Saints from Mukti Dham and other places were also present. A rally of school children and other devoted people was also taken out in the town on this occasion.
AHIMSA & VEGETARIANISM
GOVT. OF PUNJAB ORDERES TO SHOOT BLUE BULLS IN THE NAME OF SAVING CROPS
The move of Punjab Govt. to order Shooting of "Neel Gai" or Blue Bulls in the name of saving crops is really shocking. Blue Bulls are numbering 3000-4000 in state. These are protected under schedule IV of Wildlife Protection Act 1972. These are shy creatures and come out of forests only due to lack of availability of sufficient quantity of food and water, due to human aggression and encroachment into their habitat. It is worth mentioning that due to massive cultivation /encroachments into forest land the habitat has suffered. Blue bull had vanished from southern India due to bad management of forests and wildlife.
The shooting orders of one or another species will give a free access to other protected wildlife. The privacy and habitat of animals like Deer, Black buck, Sambhars, Cheetal and Birds etc. will be disturbed. Dr. Sandeep Jain has been informed by an animal lover of Nepal that this animal has been included into Red data Book in that country. Millets and grasses should be sown and plenty of water may be provided inside the forests, so that these creatures may not be forced to come out of their natural habitat. Better forest and wildlife management should be ensured, so that the wild animals may remain into their habitat and their habitat is not encroached upon. Punjab has lowest forest cover as well as number of wildlife. News courtesy: Dr. Sandeep K. Jain, Former Member, Animal Welfare Board of India & President, People For Animals, Ludhiana. E-Mail: jeevdaya@... URL: www.awbi.org
HONOURS & AWARDS
INDORE'S YOUNGSTERS IN THE LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS FOR CLIMBING SAMMET SHIKHAR - Indore's two teenagers, Sakshar and Sakshi Jain, who were born as twins, have got their names registered in the Limca Book of Records, the Indian equivalent of Guinness book of world records, for climbing the 4,500 foot Sammet shikhar Ji mountain in Jharkhand, 43 and 27 times respectively at the age of 11 years. Now, both of them aged thirteen, are studying in ninth standard in an Indore school. These teenagers have been climbing the mountain, which is a 27 kilometer track for one side, barefoot since 2000 when they were just eight-year-old. Presently, the boy, Sakhshar Jain, has climbed 63 times and his sister, Sakshi Jain, 47 times. They cover this distance within nine hours. Earlier it used to take them eleven hours to cover the same distance. "I started climbing the mountain since the age of eight. Now I am thirteen-year-old and till date I have climbed sixty three times. By the age of fifteen I'll will try to climb the mountain 108 times," says Sakshar Jain, the boy. Their parents--Kashmira and Ajay Jain say "The way children showed courage and climbed the mountain made us proud. I am happy to hear that they have planned to climb the mountain 108 times," says Mangilal Jain, the grandfather of children. Courtsy: Mr. Yashwant Malaiya, E-Mail : ymalaiya@...
CANADA'S HIGHEST HONOUR TO TWO INDIAN JAINS
An Indian Jain, Prof. Harish Jain of Hamilton, Ontario has been conferred the highest honour as "Order of Canada" for his life-time achievement and service by the Government of Canada. According to the bio-data released with the award, Harish Jain had a strong national presence as advocate for the rights of visible minorities. He was policy advisor to the Parliamentary Committee on the participation of visible minorities in Canadian society, appointed by the former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau in 1983. Jain was instrumental in vastly improving the representation of visible minorities in Canada. Similarly, Dr. Chandra kant Shah of Toronto, Ontario has also been declared Member of "Order of Ontario" by the Government of Province of Ontario for his contributions to Health field in Ontario state. The investiture ceremony for Dr. Shah took place on the 20th September, 2005. Courtesy: Jasvant Mehta; Regional V.P., JAINA and Chair, History of Jains in North America, E-Mail : jvmehta2000@...
NEW PUBLICATIONS ON JAINISM
THE SELF-REALISATION - (English transliteration of Atma-siddhi by Srimad Raj Chandra) - Srimad Raj Chandra AShram, Agas. (Gujarat) P.122; 2003; Price Rs. 45/- , This book is an excellent attempt to put the best of Srimad Raj Chandra's writings ito English language, so as to make it useful to English-knowing spiritual aspirants in the wider world. The book explains the 142 verses given in 'Atma-shuddhi', which form the fundamental philosophical truths about the human soul and the means for its liberation. It analysys the causes and effects of the soul's delusion and suggests the way to dispel it and attain the state of self-realisation. The book is thoroughly realistic and practical for all, who have the courage and patience to follow the teachings. It is in two parts, one, gives in short the life of Srimad Raj Chandra and the other describes verse by verse each of the 142 verses, given in 'atma-siddhi', with explanation in English.
AHIMSA: THE SCIENCE OF PEACE (English) By Surendra Bothra, (Revised Edition) 2004 220 x 140 mm 192 pp
Dr. John Cort, who has reviewed this book, is Associate Professor of Religion at Denison University, Ohio, USA.
"Ahimsa is the foundation of Jain ethics. This is an obvious, uncontroversial statement, with which all Jains would agree. But what do we mean by ahimsa? How do we put it into practice as the basis for living in the contemporary world in a morally responsible manner? Here we will find a range of expressions and opinions. Surendra Bothara's book will be essential reading for all Jains seeking ways to make ahimsa relevant to their lives, whether in traditional Jain communities of India or in the new global community of Jains living throughout the world. Ahimsa has traditionally been expressed through rituals. There are the regular formal rituals such as pratikraman, specific fasts and expressing Michchami Dukadam to others at the time of Paryushan. Courtesy: Manish Modi; Web: www.hindibooks.8m.com Hindi Granth Karyalaya, 9 Hirabaug C P Tank,
MUMBAI 400004 FUNDAMENTALS OF JAINISM (English), By J P Jain Sadhak, 2005 225 x 145 mm 348 pp
81 7027 243 2 Hardcover Rs. 500,This is a brilliant work explaining the overall teleological hierarchy of Jain doctrine and how it fits into the contemporary world. The author examines the basic principles and philosophy and Jainism, tracing its antiquity from literary and archeological sources. It discusses Jain ethics highlighting the role of samyak darshana, rational perception, samyak jñana, rational knowledge and samyak caritra, rational conduct. It evaluates anekanta, which synthesizes divergent views, syadvada, a system of relative expression, and emphasises the importance of non-violence in all acts of mind speech and body.
The book further examines the nature of the self (ego), the characteristics of the bahiratma, antaratma and paramatma and complex relationship between karma pudgala, insentient matter, and self. The work concludes that the Jain concept of absolute undifferentiated consciousness that transcends the "cloud of unknowing" is more realistic than the divergent viewpoints of Vedanta and Buddhism. To order books please write to E-Mail : manish.modi@....
THE STORY OF PAESI (Prakrit - English), SOUL AND BODY IN ANCIENT INDIA, A Dialogue on Materialism in Ancient India, By Prof. Willem Bollée , Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Series Volume 2 , Published by Hindi Granth Karyalay, Mumbai , 2005 245 x 160 mm 450 pp ,The Story of Paesi or Paesi Kahanayam is a lively dialogue between the monk Keshi and prince Paesi based on the Raiapasenia Agama. Interestingly, the Paesi Kahanayam is the only larger legend common to both Jain and Buddhist canonical literature. It is also found in the Dighanikaya. The monk Keshi and the prince Paesi (Sanskrit - Pradeshi) discuss the corporeality of the soul, whether it dies with the body or is distinct from the body. The prince is a materialist and argues in favour of the corporeality of the soul but the monk convinces him that the soul and body are distinct and while the body is corporeal, the soul is eternal.This dialogue is set in the 6th century BCE, the age of reflection on and discussion of the soul. While the present literary form dates some centuries later, the discussion is still as relevant today, after two millennia.
READER'S VIEWS :
MINORITY STATUS TO JAINS -READER'S VIEWS
Mr. Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh - It is for those who feel minority status goes with something called untouchability / un acceptability. Minority status is something like declaring some animals as rare species & policies favouring them or benefits are given to them to prevent their decline. It is recent alarming news that In Jaipur in dudu village 19 idols of Jain tirthankars are stolen. Police arrived almost 18 hours after the incident & police officials feels they must be stolen for selling to foreign smugglers. From past few months numerous Jain temples in Mumbai are too been targeted. In Jain shwetambar temples in mumbai from tirthankars idols forehead sticked Golden plate ( which is supposed to be of pure gold) are being majoritily stolen. On current our sufferings at Girnar ( in Gujarat/ in india) nobody is ready to hear us from Government of india. Some fanatics wants to play with our heritages & sentiments & we should tolerate because we are ahimsa lovers . Minority status would have strictly pressurised government to stop these fanatics on attacking our 22nd Jain tirthankars nirvan Land. Nobody is ready to listen our plea because, we are suffering from identity crisis. What people who are opposing minority status have to say about this. By bagging minority status we mean to protect jain heritages , values , its identity. We are not proposing minority status for any college admission seats or financial support , for we are financially very sound universally. So Minority Status = survival ( protecting Jainism & respecting its own identity). And those who still misrepresent that Hinduism is mother , its humble request please study some history books that Jainism has its own origin & identity & its pretty old than Hinduism too. If so many version of Ramayana are given preference than why Jain Ramayana is not. Why we don't have any holidays on Mahavir Jayanti . No intention to hurt anybody but to convince that minority status is must for Jainism survival . Why one forgets today Muslim community being labeled as minority has prospered & are actually near majority but still termed minority. Minority is not some thing we demanding for our luxury but its our present necessity for our survival in today's crucial periods. Time has come to realise individual responsibilities & only joint effort of each & every jain for minority status national wise could help in protecting our heritages, values, identity. Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh.
Mr. K. P. Shan, E-Mail : shanbog66@... - I am really surprised by the unwarranted opposition for minority status to Jainism, especially by the educated Jains. Apparently this is due to ignorance as to what benefits are likely to accrue to Jain community, if it is provided a minority status. Rather than applauding the efforts of people like Shri Bal Patil for moving Supreme Court, our own people are involved in leg pulling. They would rather taken offence on terms like "Jain Comics" but don't mind if Jainism is clubbed with Hinduism. The issue of minority status for Jains needs to be understood in proper perspective. I would like to build up on the issues already put up by Sh. Bal Patil, Manish Modi and Pankaz Jain.
Supreme court cannot override the constitution. The media is playing game and all Jains should know all about it, the intellectual elite who controls media want you to believe it by sensationalizing such news. But they can’t fool the nation of Jain minority. The Indian constitution cannot be changed it is wishful thinking on part of Hindu’s. But all Jains should not fall for such propaganda .The recent supreme court decision on minority is not on fundamental recognition Jains as minority religion but on newly proposed minority groups those who are not in constitution but for quota reservation. JAINS HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR. As a JAIN religion enshrine in Indian constitution in Article 25 cannot be changed unless the parliament has 2/3 majority. So it is a wake up call for all jains to unite and fight to protect what is guaranteed in constitution. The JAINS should form a political party, a vote bank a viable, JAIN UNITED FRONT [J.U.F.] and we align whoever supports our cause. Please don’t listen to any self righteous GURUS. There are too many of those to be counted the day of reckoning is here in this new age niceties don’t work unless we show our militancy. So let us struggle for sake of JAIN UNITY. If you believe in Kshatriya Dharma then we have to fight to restore our dignity.
Mr. Sanjeev Nayyar, E-Mail :exploreindia@... - Jains not a Minority, read SC judgment: Through a August 05 judgment, the Supreme Court held that Jains are not a minority. The Judgment Highlights are:
a. According to a 11 judges bench speaking through CJ Kripal "for the State Government to decide as to whether the Jain community should be treated as a minority community in their respective states after taking into account their circumstances/conditions in that state". It is also informed that the State Governments of Chhatisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal have already notified Jains as 'minority' in accordance with the provisions of the respective State Minority Commissions Act.
b. The expression 'minority' has been used in Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution but it has nowhere been defined. Minority as understood from constitutional scheme signifies an identifiable group of people or community who were seen as deserving protection from likely deprivation of their religious, cultural and educational rights by other communities who happen to be in majority and likely to gain political power in a democratic form of Government based on election.
c. The National Minorities Commission does not have the power to define who is a Minority.
d. After the verdict in the eleven judges' Bench in TMA Pai Foundation case (supra), the legal position stands clarified that henceforth the unit for determining status of both linguistic and religious minorities would be 'state'.
e. The so-called minority communities like Sikhs and Jains were not treated as national minorities at the time of framing the Constitution unlike Muslims, Christians. Sikhs and Jains, in fact, have throughout been treated as part of the wider Hindu community, which has different sects, sub-sects, faiths, modes of worship and religious philosophies.
f. The word 'Hindu' conveys the image of diverse groups of communities living in India Thus, 'Hinduism' can be called a general religion and common faith of India whereas 'Jainism' is a special religion formed on the basis of quintessence of Hindu religion.
g. Commissions set up for minorities have to direct their activities to maintain integrity and unity of India by gradually eliminating the minority and majority classes.
h. In a caste-ridden Indian society, no section or distinct group of people can claim to be in majority. All are minorities amongst Hindus.
i. Our concept of secularism, to put it in a nutshell, is that 'state' will have no religion. The states will treat all religions and religious groups equally and with equal respect without in any manner interfering with their individual rights of religion, faith and worship.
Mr. BAL PATIL, E-Mail : president@... - The press and media reports on the recent Supreme Court Judgment of the Three-Judge Bench of the Chief Justice, R.C. Lahoti, Justice D.M. Dharmadhikari and Justice P.K. Balasubramanyam are misleading. The reports were headlined stating that SC. declares Sikhs, Jains part of broader Hindu religion. Such reports appeared in leading English dailies like the Hindustan Times, The Tribune, The Times of India, and the local language newspapers.
2. Actually the observation that the Sikhs and Jains are part of the wider Hindu community occurs on P.15 of the Judgment. It is pertinent to note that from page 10 to page 22 the Judgment contains observations that are not part of the decision as the Court notes:
Before parting with this case, the Court cannot resist from making certain observations which are considered necessary in order to remind the National and state commissions for Minorities the scope and nature of their functions under the provision of the Act and the role they have to play in constitutional perspective.
3. The other observations which are not part of the Judgment and hence not Judicially relevant are:
i) The Hinduism can be called a general religion and common faith, whereas Jainism is a special religion formed on the basis of quintessence of Hindu religion.
ii)However, Gandhi, Nehru and Patel destroyed the cabinet Mission Plan (proposed by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad) and accepted partition instead. Azad did his utmost to prevent the partition of India but he failed to persuade Nehru and Gandhi not to accept partition.
4. These observations although made extra-Judicially have grave implications because the general public takes any declaration made by the Supreme Court as the law of the land. And as can be seen from the press reports and news Channels giving the wrong impression that the Supreme Court rejected the Jain demand for backward community status how damaging such extra-Judicial remarks can be.
5. It is in this perspective that the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Bal Patil & Anr. Vs. Union of India has given the wrong message to the country against the Jain Community, the National leaders of the country whom we call Founding Fathersâ€ and the statutory functionaries Viz the National and State Commissions for Minorities who are said to be the cause of fissiparous tendencies.
6. As a matter of fact these extra-Judicial observations are quite irrelevant and uncalled for in view of the central issue of the matter, namely, a prayer to take a decision on the recommendation made by the National Commission for Minorities that Jains be declared a minority religious community on par with the other notified communities, Muslims, Christions, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis).On this issue the present Supreme Court decision has said that:
i) Before the Central Government takes a decision on the claims of Jains as a minority under section 2 (c) of the Act, the identification has to be done on a state basis. This power is to be exercised on the consideration of social cultural and religions conditions of the Jain community in each state.
ii) The state has to be regarded as a unit for determining religions minority for the purpose of Article 30 of the Constitution.
7. The facts of this petition are as follows:
Dakshin Bharat Jain Subha, a century old Jain organization in western India made a petition through its Convener of Jain Minority states Committee, Bal Patil in the Bombay High Court in 1997 that the Jain community as recommended by the National Commission for Minorities, The Division Bench of the Bombay High Court directed the Central Government to take on expeditious decision.
8. As the Government failed to take decision, a second petition was filed in the Bombay High Court which was disposed on the ground that the matter will be decided after the 11 Judge Bench in TMA Pai Foundation matter takes decision.
9. Thus Bal Patil made a Special Leave Petition to the Supreme Court which was admitted after being taken of the purview of the 11-Jndge Bench. In 2004 a Division Bench of the Supreme Court ordered the Central Government to take a final decision in the matter within four months, and in case of its failure to take a decision permitted the petitioner to be heard on merit.
10. The Government of India made an erroneous and irrelevant Affidavit in response to the above order that the minority Status is to be determined by the States concerned. Later on a 3-Judge Bench was constituted the latest SC. Decision is the outcome of this Bench.
11. In the aforementioned context the following facts regarding the Jain minority religions right need to be noted.
i) The Jain demand for minority status is almost a century old, when in British India the Viceroy and Governor General of India, Lord Minto took a decision in principle of giving representation to important minorities in the Central Legislature, Seth Manek Chand Hirachand from Mumbai, an eminent Jain leader from Mumbai and the then Acting President of the Bharatvarshiya Digamber Jain Subha made an appeal in 1909 to the Governor General for the inclusion of the Jain community for representation in the Council. Seth Manek Chandâ€™s petition was transferred to the Government of Bombay and the Secretary to the Government of Bombay stated in his reply dated 15th oct.1909 as under.
I am directed to inform you that a number of seats have been reserved for representation of minorities by nomination and that in allotting them the claim of the important Jain Community will receive full consideration.
ii) In a Memorandum by the Representative of the Jain Community to the Constituent Assembly in March/April 1947 a strong appeal was made for the inclusion of the Jain community as a minority religious community.
iii) In his speech on 3rd Sept.1949, Jawahar Lal Nehru said: No doubt India has a vast majority of Hindus, but they cold not forget in fact there are also minorities Mustions, Christians, Parsis and Jains. If India were understood as Hindu Rashtra it meant that the minorities were not cent per cent citizens of the country:
iv) Jainism is mentioned as a religion along with Buddhism and Sikhism in explanation II of the Article 25 of the India Constitution relating to Fundamental Right to religions freedom. On this issue Jawahar Lal Nehru, the than prime Minister, in his letter dated 31.01.1950 assured a Jain Deputation that they need not have any misgivings on this clear constitutional position.
v) Our National Anthem Jana Gana Mana by Tagore clearly enunciates Jains in its second stanza: Hindu Bauddha, Sikh Jain parsik, Musalman, Christans as a distinct religion denomination.
vi) The Government of India Census counts Jains in India as a major religious community right from the first census in British
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