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Fwd: JAIN ENLIGHTENMENTfundraising to edits first film in series: "In Search of Lord Bahubali" educate world on peace and forgiveness

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  • Mahavir Sanglikar
    ... culturaldiversityfilms@msn.com . ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2006
      --- Vinanti Sarkar <culturaldiversityfilms@...>

      > From: "Vinanti Sarkar"
      > <culturaldiversityfilms@...>
      > To: <msanglikar@...>
      > Subject: JAIN ENLIGHTENMENTfundraising to edits
      > first film in series: "In Search of Lord Bahubali"
      > educate world on peace and forgiveness
      > Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 12:15:50 -0500
      > Dear Mr. Mahavir Sanglikar:
      > For Immediate Release March 06
      > VERGES
      > After 6-weeks of R & D and location filming "JAIN
      > ENLIGHTENMENT - A Way of Life" (over 90 hrs of film
      > footage) from the festival of Diwali in November to
      > mid-December 2005, a second three weeks trip was
      > required to film the Mahamasthakabhisheka
      > celebrations (over 20 hrs of film), in
      > Shravanbelgola, State of Karnataka, during February
      > 8-11 2006.
      > Unfortunately, film footage from Kirit Mehta,
      > ASAATHA TV and Kamal Kumar Barjatiya, Rajshree
      > Pictures, dated back to 1993 and 1980s, so to do
      > justice to the first project: "In Search of Lord
      > Bahubali," the Jain Enlightenment crew flew to India
      > to record their own spectacular film footage.
      > Returning to New York, the target is to raise funds
      > for the final professional editing with special
      > effects, and produce a 56 min film for US and
      > worldwide TV, to premiere during Mahavir Jayanti in
      > April. A short edit of 3 minutes can be reviewed on
      > the website: www.jain-enlightenment.org. It offers
      > a direct appeal to Jains in America and worldwide to
      > invest (estimated editing budget $25,000) and be
      > part of educating North and South America and EU
      > about Jain Dharma. Contact and Donate to Jain
      > Enlightenment, C/o Filmmaker Vinanti Sarkar, 425
      > East 51st Street, Suite 7E, New York, NY 10022, USA.
      > Tel/Fax: 212-759-4568. Email:
      > Ondine Verges' Yatra
      > On day three of the Mahamasthakabhisheka, atop the
      > Vindhyagiri hill, a special visitor, 18-years-old
      > French actress Ondine Verges caught the attention of
      > thousands of devotees, and became the object of many
      > curious eyes, especially as she braved the blazing
      > heat of the sun and participated in the religious
      > ritual ceremony. She spent over four hours, in the
      > scorching sun, at times, under straw mats, without
      > drinking water but mesmerized with everything and
      > everyone around her.
      > Surrounded by the global media, she confessed: "This
      > fascinating trip to Shravanbelgola, via Paris to
      > Mumbai/Bangalore, was at the invitation by New York
      > filmmaker Vinanti Sarkar, director/producer of the
      > JAIN ENLIGHTENMENT film/TV series. Knowing English,
      > French and Spanish, I was invited to host and anchor
      > the first film on Lord Bahubali, which will be
      > produced in the popular "Reality TV" programming
      > format for U.S. and worldwide television networks.
      > Ondine has acted in number of French independent
      > films, docu-dramas and children's movies. She is
      > known for her acting in "Faux Amis", a French movie,
      > which narrates the story of how keeping bad
      > companions can totally spoil the lives of young
      > teenagers.
      > "People in West know only about the Statue of
      > Liberty in New York. I will explain to them, the
      > incredible story of Bahubali, performed in colorful
      > charm by exquisite young children dancers from the
      > ages of 5-15. Why should only the people in India
      > know and learn about this great sage of true penance
      > and the first man to attained moksha. I have heard
      > of "Nirvana" which is in tune with moksha There are
      > so many lessons to be learned by viewers in West
      > through the times and life of Lord Bahubali,'' she
      > added.
      > "This is my fourth visit to India, but this is my
      > very first trip to Shravanbelgola. I am sure, I
      > will come back to this pilgrim village, though
      > today, it looks like a small town now with all these
      > thousands and thousands of pilgrims. I plan to
      > return in the next 12 years, which dates 2018," she
      > added, smiling to herself, "with my husband and
      > children, I suppose. Twelve years is a long time !"
      > "I am here to know more about the ancient Jain
      > culture and philosophy, while exploring this
      > festival - celebrated once every 12 years. I am
      > sure, this Mahamasthakabhisheka will remain a life
      > time memory for me,'' Ondine Verges, told media
      > journalists (Times of India, Indian Express, Jain
      > Samachar, etc.). She interviewed young Jains of her
      > own age and talked with writers and scholars, in
      > order to understand in more detail what was really
      > happening.
      > "This film will celebrate the story of Lord Bahubali
      > who propagates a life of penance, non violence,
      > peace and brotherhood. There is so much we can
      > teach the world about Jain Dharma. For me,
      > understanding the significance of this ritual became
      > important. What I learned was that this granite
      > stone sculpture symbolizes renunciation,
      > self-control and subjugation of the ego as the first
      > steps towards spiritual salvation. Bahubali's life
      > is a testimony that non violence and renunciation
      > hold the key to peace and prosperity in today's
      > world."
      > Invited to accompany the priests and devotees,
      > Ondine climbed the special wooden scaffolding behind
      > the giant sculpture, where she was transformed to
      > become one pot holder and anointed the statue with
      > water. She was explained the religious significance
      > of the 108 jal kalasha (pots) being poured on
      > Bahubali by devotees from around the world.
      > "First, I stood high above the sea of humanity,
      > stunned at the rapture and excitement as I became
      > part of the riot of colors and exoticism associated
      > with this religious ceremony that held me
      > spellbound. I watched the cascading of milk,
      > sugarcane juice, tender coconut water, rice flower
      > acting like mist, herbs, turmeric, sandal paste,
      > saffron, vermilion and different varieties of
      > ashwagandha, precious stones and 52 assortment of
      > flowers from around the world."
      > "Next, I found myself standing below - at the feet
      > of the spectacular ever-changing colors of the 58 ft
      > tall monolithic grey colored granite statue of Lord
      > Bahubali. It was a breathless experience admiring
      > the anointing ceremony of the 1,024 years-old statue
      > being bathed by devotees, as his body was enveloped
      > and transformed into dazzling snowy white
      > (milk/coconut and rice flower), to golden-yellow,
      > sandalwood mahogany and bleeding red (saffron),
      > whose benign smile seemed appreciative of the
      > event."
      > "It was a magnificent sight, as I stood belittled in
      > front of the world's tallest 'monk on the hill.'
      > Someone explained that the statue was erected in the
      > Kayotsarga pose, arms dangling free and I became
      > fascinated by his changing benign look and smile."
      > Later, Odine learned that over 1,000 litres of milk,
      > 3,000 litres of water, 250 kilograms of turmeric and
      > sandal wood were used to keep the enchantment of
      > changing colors, much to the awe of the world media
      > that had gathered to document the proceedings,
      > nearly 200 strong !
      > "I was repeatedly told 'Bahubali's image signifies
      > the teachings of Ahimsa as the solution for all ills
      > in this world.' As we looked around, I was shown
      > devotees cutting across different religious beliefs
      > and sects: Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, etc. who felt
      > blessed at the feet of Lord Bahubali, transforming
      > the ceremony into a great unifier. The rite of the
      > sacred bath occupies an important place in Hindu
      > religious practice, as it does in Buddhist and Jain
      > dharma.
      > Bahubali's nude form represents complete victory
      > over earthly desire that hampers one's spiritual
      > ascent towards the divine. His life is a testimony
      > that non violence and renunciation hold the key to
      > peace and prosperity in today's world."
      > Miraculously enough, she was bestowed with blessing
      > from Charukeerthi Munimaharaj, and they had a few
      > moments discussing the religious rituals, which
      > fascinated the young actress. Speaking to media
      > journalists around them, Swamiji said, "People from
      > the film industry have always been far from this
      > event. There is no restriction for anyone who
      > wishes to visit VindhyaGiri for
      > Mahamasthakabhisheka. We are happy that foreign
      > participation which increased with over 500 foreign
      > journalists, NRIs and movie and television actors.
      > The event is indeed gaining international attention
      > rapidly."
      > "A young Jain I befriended explained that the
      > festivity represented the "awakening vision" which
      > encourages faith and motivates efforts to emulate
      > Jains in the hope of achieving similar omniscience,
      > purity and bliss. This in turn awakens a deep
      > longing for true insight and knowledge."
      > One gentleman explained: It is a very important step
      > to overcoming passions, such as desire, hatred,
      > pride, anger and greed - they all stem from partial
      > one-sided understanding of things presumed to be the
      > whole truth. How many times have we embarrassingly
      > realized the inappropriateness of our anger,
      > jealousy, pride, or greed when we came to see the
      > "full picture"?
      > Another woman emphasized: Greed for money vanishes
      > when it is understood that money can't buy health,
      > friends or happiness. Excessive pride gives way to
      > humility when we come to appreciate the wonderful
      > qualities and accomplishments of others. Anger and
      > hatred disappear when we realize that other objects,
      > situations, or persons are no threat to us. To the
      > extent that we appreciate that the knowledge from
      > which the destructive passions arise is partial, we
      > are encouraged to restrain ourselves until our
      > understanding increases.
      > The Jains of Kenya Mr. Mahavir Sanglikar ,
      > msanglikar@...<mailto:msanglikar@...>
      > Location: Jains originated in India. They live in
      > many other countries of Africa and the Middles East.
      > The first Jains came to Kenya in the 1880s as
      > business employees, but moved into their own
      > business enterprises. In recent decades, many Jains
      > have resettled from India or Africa to Europe and
      > North America.
      > History: Jainism is an ascetic faith that began in
      > India, emphasizing salvation through self-denial,
      > rejecting materialism and personal pleasure. It
      > preceded Buddhism in its rejection of Brahmin
      > domination, the caste system and Hindu monism
      > (oneness of all things).
      > Identity: The primary identity of the Jains is the
      > Jain religion. Most comprise two religious groups,
      > Digambaras and Svetambaras. The latter make up 80%
      > of Kenyan Jains. Jains are also distinguished by
      > socio-religious communities. The Visa Oshwal are
      > the largest comprising 70% of all Kenyan Jains. 10%
      > of Visa Oshwals are Hindu, rather than Jains. The
      > next major community are the Dasa Oshwals. Shah is
      > the most common surname common to all sects of
      > Jainism. Jains are prominent in education and
      > medicine, with strong service in health, notably eye
      > care.
      > Language: Jains speak the Cutchi dialect of
      > Gujarati. Some speak other Indian languages for
      > interchange with other Indian communities in
      > business and professional circles. Many are fluent
      > in English and Swahili.
      > Political Situation: In Kenya, and other countries
      > of Africa, Jains are lumped together with all the
      > other Indo-Pakistani peoples as "Asians." In recent
      > years, some Asians have begun using the term "South
      > Asian" to refer to themselves. Each group of the
      > peoples from the Indian subcontinent consider
      > themselves as separate ethnic and religious group.
      > Because of the caste system of India, each religious
      > group makes up a separate people group, even if they
      > speak the same language as other Asian groups with a
      > different religion.
      > In Kenya there is a general resentment of the
      > African peoples against the "Asians," who are
      > prominent in business, and generally wealthy, at
      > least in comparison to the general African
      > population. Their strong group identity and tight
      > social structures within each group accentuates this
      > separation, not only from the Africans, but from
      > other Asian groups. Some families still send their
      > children to India for education. Many Jains are
      > Kenya citizens, but many have dual citizenship or
      > have chosen British or Indian citizenship. They are
      > discriminated against in various ways by the
      > government Increasing restrictions of ownership,
      > citizenship, business opportunities, etc., have been
      > imposed on Asian peoples. Citizenship of children
      > has enabled some families to retain their family
      > businesses in the children's names as restrictions
      > on foreign ownership have increased Numbers of all
      > the Asian groups have diminished steadily since the
      > late 1960s.
      > Customs: Jains have a strong extended family and
      > community identity. They gather for community
      > meeting and low-ritual worship at their own temples.
      > The Jain temple near Old Town, Mombasa, is an
      > elaborate temple providing guided tours and an
      > introduction to Jainism. They also provide a
      > ministry of hospitality, as do the Sikhs, with food
      > for visitors, free or for a donation. Jains are
      > involved in wholesale and retail business in a
      > variety of goods, but notably textiles, fruits and
      > vegetables. They are also prominent in medical and
      > related professions.
      > Religion: The Jains claim theirs is the oldest
      > religion in India, dating back to 3000 BC, and
      > perhaps 4000 BC. The founder of the formal religious
      > system of Jainism is considered to be Nataputta
      > Vardhamana, known as Mahavira (Great Man), born in
      > 599 B.C. He, however, is considered the 24th
      > Tirthankara (ford-finder) or Savior. The
      > Tirthankaras were originally humans, but are
      > considered to have attained a state of perfection or
      > enlightenment and are now gods of the Jains.
      > Though he was a member of Kshatriya (noble or
      > warrior) class, Mahavira espoused a philosophy of
      > non-violence (ahimsa). He renounced his worldly
      > possessions and wandered barefoot around India for
      > 30 years. Mahavira resisted the attempts of the
      > Brahmin priestly class to claim ruler ship status as
      > the Aryan invasion was being consolidated in the
      > caste system. He and his followers related to all
      > castes and occupations of people.
      > Buddhism arose a few decades later as a "middle
      > way," between Hindu caste-oriented monism and
      > ascetic Jain deism or atheism. Jainism affirms the
      > objective reality of the physical world, whereas
      > Hinduism tends to deny physical reality in
      > emphasizing the idealism of spiritual oneness. Thus
      > Jains strongly believe they gain positive karma
      > (merit) by denying the pleasures of the five senses.
      > Most Kenyan Jains have a more moderate view,
      > accepting a high standard of living, traveling by
      > motor car, rather than walking, and sometimes eating
      > meat.
      > Christianity: There are no known Christians among
      > the Jain community in Kenya. Some are open for
      > social concourse with Christians, in professional
      > circles, but very closed to change in their social
      > and religious identities.

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