My Views On Conversion to Jainism
In reply of the renowned scholar Kancha Illaiah, Hem Raj Jain has suggested that oppressed classes may try Jainism. That is a good concept, and some great Jain Acharyas have already executed this idea. For instance, late Acharya Nanalalji Maharaj successfully initiated hundreds of thousands of people from Meghwal/ Balai (Bhangi) community into Jainism in Malawa region of North India. These neo-Jains are known as Dharmpals, and are staunch Jains.
Similarly, another great Jain Acharya converted about one lakh of butchers (Hindu Khatik) into Jainism. That was a great work, as the butchers were directly involved in killings of animals, and it was their occupation. They threw away this occupation and adopted other non-violent occupations. These people now are known as Veervals.
Acharya Vijay Indra Din Suri, who was born in a tribal community, converted about Half a Million tribals into Jainism in Gujarat. These converted tribal people are known as Kshatriy Parmar Jains.
In Eastern states of India like Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar, there is a community known as Saraak, which was follower of Jainism in ancient and medieval times and was converted to Hinduism thereafter, is now again returning to their original religion, i.e. Jainism. Thanks to the missionary work of some great Jain monks and activists.
All the neo Jains I have mentioned above are following Jainism in right manner.
Now, my views about Hem Raj Jain’s article. Although his concept is right one, there are many flaws in his thinking. He has mentioned Jainism as a sect of Hinduism. That is not a right thing and this issue has been discussed for a lot of times. Then why he thinks so? Some of his views clearly indicate that he is a Saffron man, probably belonging to RSS. These people always want to keep oppressed people away from Hinduism. No matter if oppressed people adopt Jainism, Buddhism or Sikhism, their only wish is that they should not get converted to Islam and Christianity.
These people always mention that Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are sects of Hinduism, but they never talk about the status of Vedic religion in Hinduism. Why they never say that Vedic religion is a sect of Hinduism? Their theory is: Jainism is a sect of Hinduism, Hinduism means Vedic Religion, and so Jainism is a sect of Vedic religion.
Hem Raj like to use the word ‘transformation’ instead of ‘conversion’. But he should know that both the words have the same meanings. By the way, why these people do not ‘transform’ the oppressed people to the Vedic religion instead of showing them the Buddhist or Jain way?
Hem Raj has mentioned that 85% of 1200 millions India are Hindus. It is the biggest fake statement in his article. Deduct 12% Muslims, 2.5% Christians, 2% Sikhs, 1% Jains, 1% Buddhists, 16% Dalits, 8% Tribals, and 1% others from 100 and the Hindus remain at 56.5%. This percentage too will decrease soon to make Hindus a minority religion as Kshatriyas, the main pillar of so-called Hinduism is awakened and many of them are going away from Hinduism.
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