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  • atul bafna
    On December 18, in the midst of the controversy and frenzy surrounding the now-cancelled Bangladeshi artefacts show in Paris, excavators working at the
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 29, 2008
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      On December 18, in the midst of the controversy and frenzy surrounding the now-cancelled Bangladeshi artefacts show in Paris, excavators working at the Damdampir site in Manirampur Upazilla of Jessore dug up a terracotta plaque bearing the image of the female Tirthankar (saint) of the Jain religion, Mallinath, believed to be the most ancient relic discovered from this part of the world. According to officials of the archaeology department, the plaque is at least 1800 years old and is currently being kept at the Khulna Museum.

         The 15cm by 7.5cm by 2.2cm red and orange terracotta plaque, where the figure is holding two heads of a snake in both hands, bears further significance because Mallinath is believed to be the only female Tirthankar of the Jain dynasty. Born to King Kumbha Raja and Queen Prabhavati Rani at Mithila she is believed to be the 19th of the 24 Jain Tirthankars, the final one being Lord Mahavira. Mallinath was born on the fifth day of the Shravan Sukla month of the Hindu calendar.

         ‘The statue appears to be that of a female but does not have any breasts,’ says Shihab Uddin Md Akbar, Khulna regional director of the archaeology department. Akbar informs that according to historical books and records, the two sects of the Jain religion, Shvetambar and Digambar, were divided over whether Mallinath was a female. ‘Digambaras believed that Mallinath was a male while shvetambars believed that she was Malli Kumari, but as she became a Tirthankar, her name was changed to Nath and portrayed as a male,’ he says.

         He, however, adds that more research has to be done in this area.

         According to the regional office of the archaeology department, excavation work on the site began in mid-2004, after the site was declared ‘Protected Monument Area’ through a gazette notification in 1996.

         ‘In 1996, while laying the foundation for a madrassah on a government khas land, the construction workers discovered walls and old bricks,’ says Golam Ferdous, assistant custodian of Khulna archaeology department, ‘they informed the local chairman about the discovery who in turn informed the archaeology department.’

         The excavation team, comprised of eight to nine workers, initially thought that it might be a Muslim establishment but as they dug deep, they retrieved square shaped cells, which pointed to a Budhhist monastery. ‘Digging deeper, we found a stronger resemblance to Hindu temples,’ says Mahbubul Haque, research officer of the archaeology department, ‘finally, after the statue was discovered from a pedestal, we now believed that the excavation area was once a Jain temple.’

         Ferdous said that the bricks they retrieved were 36 by 26 by 6 cm, which is evidence that the site belonged to a pre-Muslim period.

         Besides the seven-inch-long terracotta image of Mallinath, more antiques, including earthenware, from the 200-year-old Jain dynasty, have been discovered at the site.

         Bricks ornamented with lotus flower imprints on its body, various flower motifs as well as other designs, earthen stoves, sandstones and black stones believed to be broken parts of Ganesh and Pancha Naag plaques, roulette wares and antimony rods have all been discovered at the site over the last year.

         ‘The site, one bigha and 10 shatak (0.17 hectares), went through two constructions at two different periods as well as two renovations at a different period,’ says Akbar.

         The fact that the site dates back to the pre-Muslim period is based on some observations, say archaeologists. The offset design of the temple, the temple facing east, lotus decorations (which is prevalent in all Jain temples), a water reservoir (dighi) close to the temple whose width is north-south faced, the brick size and design, the boundary wall which has block on the west side, terracotta plaques and an ancient plant in the middle of the water reservoir called keli kodom, which blooms only in winter, all indicate towards it.

         ‘The flower is white in colour with a tinge of yellow and comes in the size of an apple. It blooms in a pack and hang like grapes. The smell is heavily intoxicating,’ inform locals.

         The Khulna Archaeology department informs that only Taka four lakh had been allotted for the excavation work and the locals were involved to speed up the work.

         The officials inform that not only was the inclusion of untrained workers unavoidable due to financial constraints, local knowledge of the different colours of the soil signifying different periods actually came of much help. There was not much resistance from the religious elements in the village either, say officials.

         The excavation work was completed this month, however, it remains a protected area. It will be made open to the public next year.

         The archaeology department officials believe that the Jessore area is rich in artefacts as they have news about more historical valuables found in places called Bhorotbhaina under Keshabpur Thana and Dhanpata, Khedapara in Manirampur - both under the Jessore district. These places require immediate conservation.

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    • atul bafna
      Loard Mahaveer the greatest Enlightened One of this world .Lord Mahaveer was reborn 27 times to became the enlightened one karma even does not leave any one
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 16, 2008
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        Loard Mahaveer the greatest Enlightened One of this world .Lord Mahaveer was reborn 27 times to became the enlightened one karma even does not leave any one there is a saying...
        The seed cannot know what is going to happen; the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that he has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed. Nothing can be guaranteed. Thousand and one are the hazards of the journey, many are the pitfalls - and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell, which is its security, it starts moving. Immediately the fight starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very, very soft and dangers will be many. There was no danger for the seed, the seed could have survived for millennia, but for the sprout many are the dangers. But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why. Great is the journey of life to be carried, but a dream possesses the seed and the seed moves. The same is the path for man. It is arduous. Much courage will be needed.
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        Lord Mahavir was the Twenty fourth and the greatest of all Tirthankaras of the Jain religion. According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were born as human beings but they have attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self-realization. They are the Gods of Janis. Tirthankaras are also known as Arihants or Jinas. Tirthankara - One who establishes the four-fold order (Monk, Nun, Layman, and Laywoman) of religion. Arihant - One who destroys his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion, ego, etc. Jina - One who conquers his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion, ego, etc.. Mahavir was born in 599 B.C. as a prince in Bihar, India. At the age of 30, he left his family and royal household, gave up his worldly possessions, including clothing and become a monk. He spent the next twelve years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires and feelings. He went without food for long periods.
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        He carefully avoided harming or annoying other living beings including animals, birds, and plants. His ways of meditation, days of austerities, and mode of behavior furnish a beautiful example for monks and nuns in religious life. His spiritual pursuit lasted for twelve years. At the end he realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. This realization is known as keval-jnana. He spent the next thirty years traveling on bare feet around India preaching to the people the eternal truth he realized. He attracted people from all walks of life, rich and poor, kings and commoners, men and women, princes and priests, touchables and untouchables. He organized his followers, into a four-fold order, namely monk (Sadhu), nun (Sadhvi), layman (Shravak), and laywoman (Shravika). Later on they are known as Jains. The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain the total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of one's self. This is also known as liberation, nirvana, absolute freedom, or Moksha.
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        He explained that from eternity, every living being (soul) is in bondage of karmic atoms that are accumulated by its own good or bad deeds. Under the influence of karma, the soul is habituated to seek pleasures in materialistic belongings and possessions. Which are the deep-rooted causes of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, greed, and such other vices. These result in accumulating more karma. He preached that right faith (samyak-darshana), right knowledge (samyak-jnana), and right conduct (samyak-charitra) together will help attain the liberation of one's self. At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows: Nonviolence (Ahimsa) - not to cause harm to any living beings Truthfulness (Satya) - to speak the harmless truth only Non-stealing (Asteya) - not to take anything not properly given Chastity (Brahmacharya) - not to indulge in sensual pleasure Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha) - complete detachment from people, places, and material things. Jains hold these vows at the center of their lives. The monks and nuns follow these vows strictly and totally, while the common people try to follow the vows as far as their life styles will permit. At the age of 72 (527 B.C.), Lord Mahavir died and his purified soul left the body and achieved complete liberation. He became a Siddha, a pure consciousness, a liberated soul, living forever in a state of complete bliss. On the night of his salvation, people celebrated the Festival of Lights (Diwali) in his honor. Significant points of the life and teachings of Lord Mahavir. The spiritual power and moral grandeur of Mahavir's teachings impressed the masses. He made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate ritual complexities. His teachings reflected the popular impulse towards internal beauty and harmony of the soul.
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        He said that, "A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has perfect perception (Anant-darshana), perfect knowledge (Anant-jnana), perfect power (Anant-virya), and perfect bliss (Anant-sukha)." Mahavir's message reflects freedom and spiritual joy of the living being. Mahavir was quite successful in eradicating from human intellect the conception of God as creator, protector, and destroyer. .
        He taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of the positive Lttitude of life. Lord Mahavir also preached the gospel of universal love, emphasizing that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, and form how spiritually developed or under-developed, are equal and we should love and respect them.
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        Jainism doesn't believe in God as the creator of this universe. God is a liberated soul (Siddha) who has attained Moksha. A role model as well as a teacher. Every human being and every living being has the potential to attain Moksha and thus become God. Philosophical principles of Anekantvad (Non-absolutism or multi sidedness) and Syadvad (Relativity of truth) are unique only to the Jain system of thought. Karma theory has its roots in Jainism and is thoroughly described. Jainism says that the future of a man is in his own hands. All its rituals, religious practices and beliefs are beneficial from a scientific perspective too. Ahimsa and Vegetarianism are preached and practiced very thoroughly by Jainism
        more at my home page at http://jainism.co.nr

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      • atul bafna
        जैन भाइयों और बहनों से एक आग्रह : इस बार की जनगणना में धर्म के
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 9, 2011
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          जैन भाइयों और बहनों से एक आग्रह : इस बार की जनगणना में धर्म के खाने में जैन जरूर लिखें | हमारे धर्म को मानने वालों के संख्या की गणना बहुत जरूरी है|इससे हमारे मंदिरों और तीर्थों पर हो रहे अन्य धर्मावलम्बियों के कब्जे की कोशिशों में कमी आएगी |अपने सारे online groups , मोबाइल groups में इसका सन्देश को पहुंचाएं| सारी social networking sites पर इसे अपना status बनायें


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