Friday, December 31, 2010

Vegetarian way of life a useful resolution

By Vlad Mazak

This has not been a good year for the meat, dairy, and egg industries.

In January, ABC News provided extensive coverage of cow abuse by the dairy industry. The BP oil spill in April called attention to an even-larger Gulf "dead zone" caused by the massive amounts of animal waste dumped every day by the Mississippi River. A month later, a UN report urged a global shift toward a vegan diet to reduce world hunger and climate change.

In June, FDA asked factory farms to stop routine use of antibiotics that lead to drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans.

August witnessed the largest-ever recall of more than a half-billion eggs harbouring salmonella.

Finally, this month, President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to replace fatty animal products and other junk foods in school lunches and vending machines.

According to the School Nutrition Association, 65 per cent of U.S. schools now offer vegetarian lunch options.

Vlad Mazak
Vancouver Sun

Jain monk Janakmuni Maharaj passes away

Jain saint Janakmuni Maharaj Saheb passed away in Mumbai on Thursday morning after prolonged illness. He was 78. He died at 9.09 am at Hingwala Upashray in Ghatkopar, in the presence of a large number of followers.

"Maharaj Saheb was suffering from a heart ailment for the last couple of months. He was taken to Asiad Hospital in Mumbai a month back after he suffered a massive heart attack in Rajkot," said Dinesh Doshi, secretary of Rajkot Sthanakvasi Jain Sangh.

Janakmuni was born on the 13th of August, 1933 in the Pransva village in Junagadh district. He was keenly interested in the significance of Jain Agam (scriptures). He renounced worldly life at the young age of 18. He took diksha at Veraval in Junagadh under the influence of his religious preceptor, Saursashtra Kesari Shri Pranlalji Maharaj Saheb.

After taking to monastic life, he went to Rajasthan for further study of the Agam, became a scholar of the Jain scriptures and wrote many books. His profound knowledge of the Jain scriptures is evident in his books.
The Jain monk, who had lakhs of followers both in India and abroad, was honoured with several awards including Agam Diwakar (Shining Sun of Scriptures) in 1968, Gujarat Saint Shiromani in 2002 and Bahushrut in 2005.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

M P Veerendra Kumar Wins Sahitya Academy Award

M P Veerendra Kumar Wins Sahitya Academy Award

M P Veerendra Kumar, the famous writer, publisher and politician have won the prestigious Sahitya Academy award for his travelogue in Malayalam.

Read more about M P Veerendra Kumar at Famous Jains blog at:

-Mahavir Sanglikar

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dalits of Maharashtra looking towards Jainism

-Prof. Pradeep Phaltane, Pune

A Dalit caste in Maharashtra, which is in search of a new religious identity, is looking towards Jainism! This caste is second largest one in Dalit community in Maharashtra. It has a good population in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh also. Interestingly, its population in Maharashtra alone is about 65 Lakhs. This number is larger than the official number of Jain population in entire India!

In marriage ceremony rituals in this community, they have started to remember Teerthankar Suparshwnath and Mahaveer in the Mangalashtakas. In a latest development, activists from this community have started to put picture of Teerthankar Mahaveer on their letterheads, posters etc. A renowned journalist and writer from this community is presently writing a novel on an ancient Jain Acharya, who belonged to them.

A leader of this community, who is a professor with Doctorate, said to this author, “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar connected his people with Gautam Buddha. I want to connect my people with Teerthankar Mahaveer”.

An interesting fact is that this Dalit community was follower of Jainism in ancient times. Not just follower, but it gave many monks, great Acharyas and even a Teerthankar! We can find many literary proofs in Jain canonical texts and elsewhere about it. As this community was staunch Jain, and even savior of Jainism, the Brahmanical forces banned it and declared it as untouchables after decline of Jainism.

I myself am writing a book on their Jain tradition and their history, which will be published soon.
This community is poor and their literacy rate is lower. In last few decades many people of this community have got converted to Christianity and Islam. Many became victims of Hindutwa forces. But now the intellectuals and activists from this community have found their origin. In near future, their will be a socio-religious revolution in this community. This revolution will change their lifestyle. It will also affect the political and social scenario of Maharashtra.

I have talked about this subject with many Jain monks and Acharyas. There was a positive response from some of them. I am regularly in touch of activists from this community. Now I am working on action plan. This community needs a psychological support from Jain community.
For more details, please contact:

Prof. Pradeep Phaltane, Pune
Institute for Jain Social Studies
163 Yashwant Nagar
Talegaon Station
Dist Pune 410507
Maharashtra, India
Mobile Phone: 91 988 152 5766

Read my articles at:

Ancient Jain Idols Recovered

Karwar: Ancient antique panchaloha idols of Chandranatha and Parshwanatha were recovered by the Bhatkal police. They were stolen from Padmavathi temple (a Jain temple or Basadi) at Haduvalli village in Bhatkal taluk in August last year.

Raman Gupta, Superintendent of Police, showed presspersons here on Tuesday the recovered idols. He said Vijayanand Sambanna (48) of Harihar in Davanagere district was arrested in this connection and the other accused Nasrulla, alias Munna of Harihar and Ashok Joshi of Hospet were reported to be absconding. Bhatkal taluk has some ancient Jain temples administered by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Mr. Gupta said the idols of Chandranatha and Parshwanatha were estimated at Rs. 30 lakh and the value of these antique pieces in the international market could be much higher. The antique idol of Chandranatha weighed 17 kg and two-foot tall and Parshwanatha weighed 15 kg and was 1.5-foot tall.

He said Vijayanand was an autorickshaw driver in Harihar, he was a Commerce graduate. Later he worked as a sales man in a private company at Harihar. He was transferred to Hospet in Bellary district. There he came in contact with Ashok Joshi who used to buy stolen antique idols from Vijayanand. Nasrulla and Vijayanand had stolen idols from Shirur, Hiryadka, Bhatkal, Bidkalkatte, Kundapur and Yerlapadi in Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts since 2000, said Mr. Gupta.

On August 7, 2010, Vijayanand and Nasrulla allegedly came to Bhatkal on a motorcycle and visited the Padmavathi temple in the afternoon. Nasrulla broke open the door of the temple and both lifted the idols and left for Harihar. Next day, they sold the idols to Ashok Joshi in Hospet for Rs. 1,15,000 which was divided by Vijayanand and Nasrulla among them.

Vijayanand was taken into the custody by Bhatkal police and was interrogated.

Based on his information, police seized the idols from the house of Ashok Joshi. Mr. Gupta said that the idols would not be returned to the temple authorities unless a closed-circuit camera was installed there.

Additional Superintendent of Police V.B. Gaonkar, Bhatkal DySP M Narayan amongst other police officers were present.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Radha Krishna Idol in Jain Temple| Secularism or Cowardness?

Radha Krishna Idol in Jain Temple| Secularism or Cowardness?

According to news published in Gujarati and Marathi dailies, an idol of Radhakirshna was established in a Jain temple at Mumbai.

The news says that it is first time that a non-Jain idol was established in a Jain temple.

This temple is situated at Pawandham in Mahaveer Nagar area of Kandivali. The idol was established in presence of Jain monk Namramuni and Vaishnavite Acharyas Dvarakesh Lal and Yadunath.

This idea was promoted by Kapol International Trade Entrepreneurs.

The news says that it will promote secularism.

My comments:
Well, if these Jains really love secularism, they should establish idols of Gautam Buddha, Shiv Shankar, Jesus and Mary etc. also. They should not hesitate to put photographs of Mecca and Madina on the walls in the temple. But they will never do it. Their so called secularism is limited to Vaishnavites. Many members of the sect involved in such activities are Hindutwa minded and work according to the wish of RSS. Such Jains are always under pressure of Bramhinism.

Finally, RSS won! A secret letter of RSS circulated in 1994 said that idols of Rama or Krishna should be established in Jain temples. Now these Jains have actually fulfilling RSS wish.

Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hai!

-Mahavir Sanglikar
Email: Cell: 91 962 372 5249

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Leopard sanctuary in Gujarat?

By Rishi Banerji

Gujarat may soon boast of its very own sanctuary dedicated to another wild cat, the leopard. With the recent leopard attacks on humans in Mandvi taluka of Surat, a political leader has requested the state government and forest department to build a sanctuary, exclusively for the leopards.

Jagdish Parekh, president of Mandvi Nagarpalika, has taken up the task to create a dedicated sanctuary for leopard conservation and protection. Parekh has already identified a piece of land, located on the banks of river Tapi in Mandvi, for the same. The 250 sq km area known as Singhwaay Farm is owned by the state agriculture department, of which only two acres of land is being utilised by the department as a rabbit breeding centre, cow research centre and staff quarters.

"The remaining land is unused and if the government plans, it can create a very good sanctuary at the site. With constant reduction in forest cover, leopards have nowhere left to go. Thus they attack human settlements and their animals. Leopards are an essential part of the wildlife cycle and they need to be protected," Parekh said.

He added that the leopard is an identity of south Gujarat and with the region boasting of the maximum number of these cats, a sanctuary could help in their proper conservation. Apart from protecting the animal, the sanctuary could also be a tourist attraction, he said.

If the government doesn't help, Parekh has plans to create a small private sanctuary/zoo of 100 acres and has held talks with the Jain community in Mumbai and Gujarat, who are willing to help him. Parekh has been fighting for a sanctuary since two years, but has still not received any positive response.

"We are also ready to develop a sanctuary with funds collected through donations. There are around 200 leopards in and around Mandvi and I want to do something to prevent their extinction", adds Parekh.

Sadly, with repeated clashes between humans and the animal, the state forest department has issued orders to kill the leopards responsible for the attacks. With the leopard population on the rise and human settlements eating into their habitat, the situation has come to a head in the region. In the past month alone, four people including an 11-year-old girl have been killed in leopard attacks.

Jain community alerts sadhvis and munis

Alarmed by the rising casualties in road accidents, Jain spiritual leaders have asked members to be more careful

-Dhwani Pathak

Jain munis and sadhvis have been asked to walk carefully on highways when they are on a ‘vihaar’. A word of precaution has been circulated among the Jain sanghs following the Ahmedabad-Borivali highway accident which killed two sadhvis.

Following the Monday morning accident near Dahisar in Maharashtra, a lot of nuns and monks have stopped midway  fearing the same fate. This is the first road mishap after this year’s paryushan.

According to Jain tradition, the munis and sadhvis resume their walk only after Dev Diwali after the rains have stopped.

For the last three years, the sadhvis and munis are being instructed to affix to their walking sticks radium strips which reflect light. This could help prevent accidents. Says Jasmin Shah of Sarva Dharma Rakshak Sewa Trust, “It has been made compulsory for all munis and sadhvis on vihaar to have radium strips so that vehicle drivers can spot them from a distance.”

These radium strips are also affixed to their clothes and wheelchairs or tricycles as the case may be.Apart from this, they have also been asked to not travel in the dark. Acharya Kulchandrasurishwarji Maharajsaheb says, “Early morning is risky for sadhujis. A lot of these accidents happen when vehicles try to overtake in the wrong manner.”

Adds Shah, “Sadhujis and sadhvijis will now be travelling only after 6 am so that they can walk for 10-15 km and reach their destination by 8.30-9 am.”

Various sections of the Jain community have asked the state government to step up the security of the Jain spiritual leaders who walk on highways.

Says Yuvak Mahasangh president Piyush Jain, “The government should take concrete steps in this direction. Sign boards should be put up on the roads on which they walk and instructions be given to every driver who passes through toll booths. Pamphlets could be distributed among them as part of an awareness campaign.”

According to Maharajsaheb, “Often the truck drivers’ licences are not checked. Traffic police and the concerned area police should step up security.”

The community wants a separate lane for pedestrians built.

JIWO Honours CWG Women Medalists

The Jain community raised a toast to the 18 women who brought laurels for the country at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The women were honoured with gold medals for their effort at a function organised by the Jain International Women's Organisation (JIWO), a unit of Jain International Trade Organisation here on Saturday.

Five of the 18 women, who made it to the function, received the medals, each weighing 40 gm, from Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan. Speaking on the occasion, he traced the history of Jainism and the community's contribution to Indian culture and society.

He congratulated the Jain International Trade Organisation for organising a daylong event ‘Happy Women Happy World' which included sports and colourful cultural programmes for women.

JIWO wanted the governments to increase outlay for women in their budgets and passing of Women Reservation Bill at the earliest.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fashion Designer to Become a Jain Ascetic

-Srinivas Sirnoorkar,Gulbarga

In February, a fashion designer, his wife and their young son would be expected to travel to Dubai for the month-long shopping festival, Bali in Indonesia, or Cape Town in South Africa.

Instead, in eight weeks, couturier Kiran Maru, his wife Jyothi and son Bhavya are taking a journey into Sanyas (renunciation).

Thirty-six-year-old Kiran has decided to free himself from worldly pleasures and pressures. He, wife Jyothi (34) and eight-year-old Bhavya are all set to become Jain ascetics by renouncing all their material possessions. Their move towards asceticism has brought great joy to the Jain community here and elsewhere.

The three will attain the highest order of spiritualism for the noble cause of preaching and propagating one of the oldest religions on February 23, 2011, with Acharya Bhagawant Kalapuran Surishwar formally initiating them into the ascetic world at Adhoi in Kuchch district of Gujarat.

Kiran from Adoni in Andhra Pradesh and Jyothi, a Kannadiga from Belgaum, married 10 years ago and are settled in Mumbai.

“They were passionately discussing the tenets of Jainism and were planning to take sanyas to attain moksha (liberation) which is the ultimate goal in our religion. Over the last couple of years, they have been preparing for the ultimate by renouncing one pleasure after another of the material world,” said Manilal Shah, Kiran’s cousin.

The Marus were given a rousing reception by the Sankeshwar Parshvanath Jain Sangh when they were here recently to seek the blessings of their elders before taking up sanyas.

The three Shwetambars have already undertaken the ‘aparigriha vruta’, a religious ritual of not accepting anything from anybody, and have been undergoing vigorous training of the life of sanyas ashrama. After attaining sanyas, each of them will be moving independently all over India to preach and spread the universal values of Jainism. For the rest of their life, they will have to live on the alms and eat only once a day.

Manilal Shah said Bhavya, who has studied up to third standard, has also been given due training and he has been mentally prepared to take up ‘bala sanyas’ to become an infant ascetic. Ten years ago, a young commerce graduate Sapna from Gulbarga had taken the Deeksha.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two Jain MLCs Elected in Maharashtra

Manish Jain (Jalgaon constituency) and Rajendra Jain (Gondia-Bhandara constituency) were elected as members of Legislative Council of Maharashtra.

Both the candidates belong to NCP (Nationalist Congress Party )

Jain Vishva Bharati BA Part III Results Declared

Jain Vishva Bharati University (JVBU), Ladnun, Rajasthan, has declared the result of Bachelor of Arts (BA) Part III Department of Distance Education (DDE) exam. The exams were held in 2010. To know more about the results, candidates can visit the university's official website:
Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (JVBI) was founded in 1970. Government of India notified Jain Vishva Bharati Institute as Deemed University under University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956, in 1991. Thereafter, the name of the institute has been changed as Jain Vishva Bharati University (JVBU) as per the Notification issued by UGC in 2006.
Category of Exam
Arts - Bachelor of Arts (BA) Part III Department of Distance Education (DDE) Exam
Where to Go for Result

Contact address:
Jain Vishva Bharati University
Jain Vishva Bharati Institute
Nagaur - 341 306
Phone: +91-1582-222110, 224332
Fax: +91-1582-341306

Saturday, December 4, 2010

All Politicians Should Follow Teaching of Jainism: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Gwalior: Dec. 3, 2010

Union minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia has urged all politicians to follow divine teachings of Jainism termed as 'Kshama Diwas' (forgiveness) at least once every year, and practise values like secularism, tolerance, forgiveness and public service.

It is interesting that the young and enthuastic minister and his family follow Jain values. One of his uncle is renowned Jain monk. Yashodhara Raje Scindia, sister of Madharrao Scindia has wished to become a Jain nun.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Padma Awardees from Jain Community

Padma Awardees from Jain Community
I have just published a list of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan Awardees from Jain community at my blog at: .
Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civil award in India, while Padma Bhushan ranks at number 3. Until now, 5 Jains have got Padma Vibhushan, while the number of Padma Bhushan Awardees from Jain community is 28. The number may increase as I have to confirm about some persons.
I will publish a list of Padma Shree awardees at the blog soon.
Please have a look at:
Padma Vibhushan Awardees from Jain community:

Padma Bhushan Awardees from Jain Community:


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sangeet Ratna Award to Harsshit Abhiraj

Famous Music Composer Harsshit Abhiraj was felicitated by All India Marathi Sahitya Parishad by conferring Mahatma Phule Sangeet Ratna Award on him.Renowned Dalit writer Ratanlal Sonagra and Social Worker Vijay Kolate presented the award.

Harsshit is a Jain by birth and deeds. To know more about Harsshit Abhiraj and his work, please visit:

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Prince Of Wales Vistis JAINPEDIA At The Victoria And Albert Museum

Jain Community celebrates launch of JAINpedia exhibitions and website


London 18th November 2010
The Institute of Jainology (“IoJ”) was delighted to receive His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London to view the JAINpedia exhibition and see the JAINpedia online digital resources.

The IoJ is an international organisation established in 1983. In 1990 the presentation of the ‘Jain Declaration on Nature’ to H R H Prince Philip, repositioned Jainism as the eight faith of the world and marked its entry to the World Wide Fund for Nature. The JAINpedia project created by the IoJ will be a first for Jain heritage as there is no other online public resource that has worked with the key holders of Jain artefacts in the UK or worldwide. The project now in its third year has exhibitions running at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Library, and still to come at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

The event yesterday began with The Prince being greeted by Mr Paul Ruddock, Chairman of the V&A, and Mr Nemu Chandaria, Deputy Chairman of the IoJ and then introduced to the Directors of the IoJ and key staff at the V&A.
Mr Nemu Chandaria commented, “the Jain community is grateful to His Royal Highness for visiting the JAINpedia exhibition. His warmth and interest in the project and the Jain community has made this a very special day for us.”
The Prince was guided through the V&A exhibition by curator Nick Barnard and JAINpedia expert Prof. Nalini Balbir of the University of Paris. He spent several moments discussing Jain cosmology and 15th century manuscripts featuring the lives of the Jain teachers. His Royal Highness was then shown how the manuscripts are made available through the JAINpedia site.

Over 100 members of the Jain community were invited to meet His Royal Highness during the visit as well as stakeholders from the British Library, the Wellcome Trust and the Bodleian Library. The event concluded with speeches from Beth McKillop, Deputy Director of the V&A, Mehool Sanghrajka Director of the IoJ and the JAINpedia Project and finally by Wesley Kerr, Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund London Committee, who are supporting the JAINpedia project.

To find out more about the project please visit or contact the JAINpedia team on  020 8236100.

The event with The Prince of Wales on the 18th November at the Victoria and Albert Museum was photographed and videoed.  Any media who wish to have a copy of the pictures and/or video need to contact Bansri Mehta on 020 8236 1001.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha to Honour Achievers


BELGAUM: The Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha will honour 19 achievers with different awards during its 91st quarterly session which is scheduled for November 27 and 28 at Borgaon in Chikkodi taluk of Karnataka.

The names of awardees are as follows- Prabhakar Kore (Education), Padmaraj Dandavati of Bangalore (Journalism), Kamalkumar Jain of Pune (Research), Gajkumar Shah of Nasik (Marathi literature), Balasaheb Lokapur of Bagalkot (Kannada literature), Sunil Patil of Sangli (Ideal youth), Balasaheb Patil of Borgaon (Ideal Activist), Malagouda Managanve of Chinchawad (Ideal Father) and Revati Narade of Bangalore (Law).

Annasaheb Khot of Shamanewadi (Ideal Devotee), Ravasaheb Patil of Solapur (Journalism), Mahaveer of Shravanabelagola (Ideal Teacher), Sudhatai Patil of Rangoli (Ideal Mother), Sumitra Inchal of Belgaum (Women's Service), Ravindra Devamure of Ichalakaranji (Youth Service), Asha Patravali (Ideal Youth, Lady) and Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Co-operative Credit Society of Sangli (Co-operative sector). Special awards would be presented to P S Dharaneppagol, Vinod Kamboj and H V Parshwanath.

The programme will be held in the presence of Charukeerti Bhattarak Pattacharya Swamiji of Shravanabelagola and Surendra Kumar of Dharmasthala. Ministers Umesh Katti, Laxman Savadi and Govind Karjol, ministers from Maharashtra, Hasan Mushrif and Satej Patil, MPs Suresh Angadi, Ramesh Jigajinagi and Ramesh Katti, MPs from Maharashtra, Sadashivrao Mandalik and Raju Shetty will be present at the award distribution function on November 28.

Besides, MLAs from both States - Prakash Hukkeri, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Abhay Patil, Kakasaheb Patil, Mahadevrao Mahadik, Sa Re Patil, Sanjay Patil, and MLC Mahantesh Kavatagimath will be present, said Ravasaheb Patil, president of Dakshin Bharat Jain Mahasabha in the release.

Know about Famous Jains Worldwide at:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The 2014 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Brussels ?

BRUSSELS (EJP)---Brussels, the city which headquarters the EU bodies, has presented its bid to host Parliament of the World Religions in 2014, the largest interreligious gathering in the world held once every five years in a different city.

Nearly 8.000 people from around the world are expected to attend the one-week event whose objective is to promote the dialogue between the various religions, faiths and convictions.

The previous gathering in Melbourne, Australia, in 2009, had gathered representatives of the three monotheists religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, but also of Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Jainism, Animism and Baha’i.
Brussels is competing with Guadalajara, Mexico, and Dallas in the United States.
Members of the management board of the Chicago-based Parliament of the World Religions stayed in Brussels earlier this month to visit the city’s infrastructures and to appreciate their capacities. They also met representatives of religious groups and political authorities.

According to Peter De Wilde, head of Flanders’s tourism bureau, which works together with Brussels International (BITC) in the bidding process, this kind of event is very important for Belgium because of the economic fallouts.

"Brussels has much to bring to the world owing to the fact that it’s a town of junction and consensus", said Miguel Mesquita da Cunha, who chairs the Steering Committee Brussels 2014.

The choice of the next host city should be known in January 2011.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jain Studies professorship in Florida University

Washington: The Florida International University (FIU) has established the Bhagwan Mahavir Professorship of Jain Studies, the first of its kind in the western world, with a $600,000-donation from the Jain Education and Research Foundation.

Nathan Katz, FIU professor who specializes in the religions of India, was named the first Bhagwan Mahavir Professor of the endowed professorship in the Department of Religious Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences, the university announced on Wednesday.

"Dr Katz is a pioneer in the field of Indo-Judaic Studies and has been involved in the Jewish-Hindu dialogue for decades, making him a great candidate for this professorship" said Kenneth G. Furton, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The endowment is part of a larger initiative by the Jain community to establish an academic education centre for Jain studies and research at FIU.

The proposed Bhagwan Mahavir Interdisciplinary Centre for Religious Pluralism would offer courses in Jainism, provide research opportunities and collaborate with universities throughout the world, the university said.

"The centre will link FIU with other universities globally in a number of projects, including study programmes in India, working with secondary schools and community organizations on religious pluralism, summer institutes, faculty and student exchanges, and lecture series, among other projects," Katz said.

The endeavor is being led by Dipak C. Jain, renowned scholar and chairman of the Jain Education and Research Foundation.

"FIU's faculty shows excellence in the dissemination and application of knowledge," said Samani Charitra Prajna, a faculty of the FIU in Department of Religious Studies.

"The diverse ethnic student body has freedom of thought and expression. This professorship will open new horizons and be a truly worlds ahead initiative for FIU."

Founded in 1965 and Miami's only public research university, the FIU has more than 38,000 students and has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a "High Research Activity University". IANS

Articles invited for Jainology Blog

Articles invited for Jainology Blog
In recent few months, the Jainism Articles and Essays blog at has become very popular. So far more than 350 articles on various aspects of Jainology including archeology, history, sociology, biographies, literature, philosophy etc. have been published on this blog. Most of the articles on this blog are written by renowned scholars of Jainology and Indology.
The number of page views in last month (October 2010) was more than 20000. Most of the visitors to this blog come through search engines.  The highest numbers of visitors are from India, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia etc.  By the way, the average number of countries from where visitors are coming is 105. The visitors include scholars and students of Jainology, history &  indology; students of competitive examinations, writers, journalists and others.
We are looking for more articles for publishing on this blog. If wish to write for the blog, you are welcome. It is your chance to get a widespread readership. You can write on anything that is related to Jainolgy. The article must be scholarly.  Just have a look at the blog at  and you will get the idea about what we want.
Please send your articles as world document attached to email, with your contact details.  Send to

-Mahavir Sanglikar

(Please share this page)

Seminar to revive Saman Suttam

A group of Jain scholars in the city have organised a national seminar on Jainism with the aim of reviving a 36-year-old book that seeks to unite all the sects of the religion. The seminar, which began on Thursday and will conclude on Friday, involves 15 academic presentations on Various Facets of Saman-Suttam, a book compiled from other Agamas (religious scriptures) by 300 Jain Acharyas and scholars from both the Digambar and Shvetambar sects. The book, commissioned by freedom fighter and human rights advocate Vinoba Bhave, was completed in 1974. 

"Bhave's aim was to create a single text that explained the essence of Jain philosophy common to all sects," said Dr Geeta Mehta, a Jainology professor at KJ Somaiya Centre for Studies in Jainism, which has organised this seminar at its campus.

Written in the form of 756 Prakrit verses, the book has been translated in English, Hindi and Gujarati over the years. But it did not bring about a unity between sects as it had intended. "Each sect preferred to refer to its own texts rather than one which belongs to all," said Dayanand Bhargav, a Jaipur-based professor of Vedic religion.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wesleyan Animal Studies Human-Animal Studies Fellowship 2011

Subject: Animals and Society Institute-Wesleyan Animal Studies Human-Animal Studies Fellowship 2011

The Animals and Society Institute and Wesleyan Animal Studies invites applications for the fifth annual summer fellowship program for scholars pursuing research in Human-Animal Studies.

Beginning in the summer of 2011 and going forward, this interdisciplinary program will enable 6-8 fellows to pursue research in residence at Wesleyan University at the College of the Environment. Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut is a selective private, coeducational, non-sectarian school of liberal arts and sciences known for the excellence of its academic and co-curricular programs. Wesleyan’s College of the Environment was created in 2009 with a belief in the resilience of the human spirit and a desire to engage students and scholars in discussions about environmental issues and their social and political impact.

The fellowship will be hosted by Wesleyan faculty Lori Gruen and Kari Weil. Gruen is chair and associate professor of philosophy, associate professor of environmental studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies at Wesleyan, and author of Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge, Feb. 2011). Weil is a visiting professor of letters at Wesleyan, and author of Thinking Animals: An Introduction (Columbia, 2011).

The fellowship is designed to support recipients’ individual research through mentorship, guest lectures, and scholarly exchange among fellows and opportunities to contribute to the intellectual life of the host institution. All fellows must be in continuous residence for the duration of the program, May 23 – July 1, inclusive.

The fellowships are open to scholars from any discipline investigating a topic related to human-animal relationships. Selected topics from previous years’ programs include:

Analyzing one County’s Attempt to go “No Kill”

Animal Ethics in Cold War Literary Culture

Animal Experimentation and Animal Welfare in Twentieth Century Anglo-American Science

Animal Research in Theory and Practice

Animals and Colonialism

Cloning Extinct Species of Mammals

Ethics and Politics in Environmental Discourse in India

Gender Relations in Cattle Ranching

Genetically Engineered Pigs

Human Animal Relationships at the Duke Lemur Center

Inter-species Identity and Alterity in a Video Game

Legal Personhood, Animal Advocacy, and Human-Animal Relationships

Literary Representations of Dogs

Media Representations of the 2007 Pet Food Recall

Science and Policies Affecting Elephants in Captivity

The Animal Rights Movements in France and the United States

The Human-Animal Relationship for Veterinary Students

Victorian Quaker Women’s Contributions to Feminist-Animal Ethics

Xenotransplantation and Black Market Organs

Application deadline: January 15, 2011

Amount of Award

Scholars selected to participate in the fellowship program will be awarded a stipend of $3,000 to help cover travel costs, housing, living expenses, books, and other research expenses. The Wesleyan hosts will help coordinate housing for the fellows.


Applicants must (1) possess a Ph.D., J.D., M.S.W. or equivalent, or be a doctoral student at the dissertation stage; (2) have a commitment to advancing research in Human-Animal Studies; (3) be actively engaged, during the fellowship program, in a research project that culminates in a journal article, book, or other scholarly presentation, and (4) submit a follow-up report six months after the fellowship’s completion.


Applicants should email electronic copies of the following items to

Cover sheet with the applicant’s name, mailing address to be used for future correspondence, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, present rank and institution name, date Ph.D. or J.D. or M.S.W. received or expected, citizenship status, title of project, history of fellowships and grants received during the past five years.

One paragraph abstract

Project proposal of up to three pages (single-spaced) that describes the project and indicates work completed on the project to date. As the description will be considered by a panel of scholars from a variety of disciplines, it should be written for non-specialists.

Curriculum vitae of up to three pages.

Two letters of recommendation (pdfs of original letters recommended)

Applicants are responsible for contacting referees and supplying them with a description of the project.

Selection Process

The selection committee includes members from a range of disciplines connected to Human-Animal Studies.

Applications are evaluated on the contribution that the completed project will make to Human-Animal Studies, the qualifications of the applicant to complete the research, and how well the applicant’s project complements the other projects. In addition, we favor projects that include policy and practice implications.

Applicants will be notified by e-mail and letter March 2011.

The fellowship program will be directed by Ken Shapiro, Executive Director of Animals and Society Institute, Margo DeMello, Program Director, Human Animal Studies Program, and Wesleyan professors Lori Gruen, and Kari Weil. Please address all correspondence to us at the following address:

Committee on Fellowships

Animals & Society Institute
403 McCauley Street
Washington Grove MD 20880

Margo DeMello

Program Director, Human-Animal Studies
Animals and Society Institute
2512 Carpenter Rd, Suite 201A2
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Check out Teaching the Animal

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jainism’s Contribution to Literature Immense – Hampana

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (SP)

Mangalore, Nov 3: Noted scholar, Prof Hampa Nagarajaiah (Hampana), said that Jain litterateurs have, from time to time, embraced the language of the land they lived in, and always made coordinated efforts to provide new dimensions to the literature in the local language. He analyzed that because of their endeavours to gel with the local culture and language, both Jainism and Jain literature have remained sublime.

He was speaking after presiding over a three-day state level symposium on ‘Jainism, Literature and Culture’ that went under way at the old senate hall of Mangalore University at Mangala Gangotri near here on Tuesday November 2. The symposium is being held under the aegis of Kannada Study Centre of the university and Shrut Samvardhan Samsthan, Meerut.

“We always need to have affection towards Kannada. At the same time, we should remain responsive and receptive to changes, without being averse to them. The language should be open for all and available to everyone. This alone can ensure that newness and changes can be brought in the present literature. About 70 percent of words we use are in fact, Sanskrit words. As these words have become one with Kannada, it is impossible now to distinguish or separate them from our language. Likewise, many English words have become part of our language. We should accept these facts,” he said.

He opined that the contributions of Jain poets like Pampa, Ranna, Janna and Ponna towards enriching Kannada literature and giving a new dimension to it, can never be overlooked.

Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamiji of Moodbidri Jain Mutt, who was present at the symposium, said that Jainism has always held values like non-violence and other values high. “Jainism has gained popularity and fame because of its strict policy of non-violence. Jain poets have contributed largely for the progress of Kannada and Telugu literature,” he opined.

University vice chancellor, Prof T C Shivashankara Murty, who inaugurated the programme, recalled the invaluable contributions made by Jain poets to Kannada literature. He hailed Jainism as a religion that is firmly seated on the principle of non-violence, not being aggressive, and not looking down upon anyone. He however, expressed his concern at the fact that the religion has of late, not retained the following it did in the past.

University registrar, Dr K Chinnappa Gowda, head of Kannada Study Centre, Prof Sabiha Bhoomi Gowda, and several others were present.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Literary contribution of Jains lauded

 BIJAPUR: The credit of establishing the first ever women's university in the world goes to the Jain community, said literary figure Ham Pa Nagarajaiah.

Inaugurating the two-day state level seminar on Kannada Jain Literature and Women, organised jointly by Karnataka State Women's University and Shrut Samvardhan Samsthan, Meerat (UP), here on Tuesday, he said it was in 860 AD at Vedal in Tamil Nadu that the first women's university was established, during the regime of Rashtrakutas, in which more than 900 students studied.

Contribution of Jains to Kannada literature is immense. Jain poets gave language diversity to Kannada, he said.

Participating as chief guest, Hampi Kannada University former vice chancellor M M Kalburgi lamented that despite the state having a rich treasure of Jain scripts and presence of a number of Basadis, the Jain community is reduced to a minority in Karnataka. Basadis are neglected and Jain literature is not accorded the status it deserves, he noted.

Evaluation registrar Mahesh Chintamani, Kannada department head Vijayashri Sabarad, S S Vijaydevi and M Nagaraj were present.

Photo caption: Literary personality Pa Ham Nagarajaiah inaugurated Two days state level seminar on Kannada Jain Literature and Women arranged jointly by Karnataka State Womens Universityand Shrut Samvardhan Samsthan, Meerat ( U.P) on Tuesday at Bijapur.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Mysore, Oct. 6 (KCU&KK)- The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, in association with Bharathavarshiya Digambar Jain Tirth-Kshetra Committee will be organising a three-day international conference Yuga Yatri — Jainism through the ages, a historical perceptive from Oct. 8 to 10 at Dasara Exhibition Grounds here.

Disclosing this at a press meet at the Directorate here yesterday, its Director Dr. R. Gopal said, the programme to be inaugurated by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa will be attended by over 500 scholars including 150 delegates from India and abroad.

He added that the event also features essay competition, interactions and release of books, not to mention a photo expo and documentary on Jainism.

Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Mutt, Sri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattakara Swamiji of Shravanabelagola, Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade and Committee President R.K. Jain will grace the occasion.

The following books will be released on the occasion: 'Progress of Archeology in Karnataka' by Kannada and Culture Minister Govinda M. Karjol, 'Naada Habba Mysore Dasara' by Higher Education Minister Dr. V.S. Acharya, 'Mysoru Jilleya Ithihasa Mattu Puratatva' by Tourism Minister G. Janardhan Reddy, 'Tipu Sultan-The tiger of Mysore' by Haj, Wakf and Minority Welfare Minister Prof. Mumtaj Ali Khan, 'Belagavi Jilleya Ithihasa Mattu Puratatva' by Major and Medium Irrigation Minister Basavaraj Bommai, 'Jainism Through thge ages-abstract volume' by Forest Minister C.H. Vijayashankar and 'Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar III' by Kannada and Culture Secretary B.R. Jayaramaraje Urs.
Medical Education Minister S.A. Ramdas will preside over the function and litterateur Prof. Hampa Nagarajaiah will preside over the conference.

Leader of Opposition Siddharamaiah, MPs H. Viswanath, R. Dhruvanarayana and Cheluvarayaswamy, Mayor Sandesh Swamy, MLAs V. Sreenivasa Prasad, Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa, H.S. Shankaralingegowda, Tanveer Sait, S.R. Mahesh, H.P. Manjunath, M. Sathyanarayana, K. Venkatesh and Chikkanna, MLCs Marithibbegowda, B. Siddaraju, Thontadarya, Sandesh Nagaraj, Chikkamadu, Prof. K.R. Mallikarjunappa and G. Madhusudan will be the chief guests. Programme Co-ordinator Vinod Bakliwala and Convenor Sudheer Kumar were present at the press meet.

News Courtasy: Satr of Mysore

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bhagwan Mahaveer International Peace Award

Sarhad, Pune based renowned institution working for peace and harmony between people living in Punjab & Kashmir and rest of India, has decided to present Bhagwan Mahaveer International Peace Award from next year. This was announced by Sanjay Nahar, Founder President of Sarhad.

This award will be presented to the person who has devoted his/her life to promote non-violence on International level, especially who is working for peace and progress in South Asia. Simultaneously, 5 persons will be awarded by Bhagwan Mahaveer Life Time Achievement Award. All these awards will be presented every second year, starting from 2011.

The list of awardees for year 2009-2011 will be declared in January 2011. A selection committee headed by Dr. Abdul Kalam, ex-president of India, is being formed. There will be 11 members in the selection committee, out of which 6 members will be from all over India and 5 from the rest of the world.

A special center of Sarahad Research Center for Counter Terrorism, Conflict and Peace Management will be formed which will research, publish and implement useful teachings of Bhagwan Mahaveer for uniting and bonding people, states and countries.

Read About Sanjay Nahar and other prominent Jains at:

-Mahavir Sanglikar

Monday, September 13, 2010

7th Jain History Conference on 21-23rd January 2011

7th Jain History Conference will be held on 21, 22 and 23 January 2010 at Walchandnagar, District Pune of Maharashtra. Scholars of Jain History from everywhere will present their research papers in the conference.

Walchandnagar is 125 KM. away from Pune and you can go there by public or private vehicles.

If you are interested in reading your research paper, you are welcome. The research papers must be associated to Jain history. The subjects may be Religious/ Political/ Social history, archeology, art, literature, contribution to Indian culture, regional history, ancient / medieval/ modern history, Prehistory etc. The research papers should be in Marathi or Hindi language.

For more details, please contact any of the following persons:

Pro. Dr. Gajkumar Shah
President, Maharashtra Jain Itihas Parishad: 0 962 302 4372

Shrenik Annadate
Secretary, Maharashtra Jain Itihas Parishad: 0 986 750 8814

Jaykumar Kshirsagar
Chief Secretary of the Conference: 940 313 5921

Sunday, September 5, 2010

UK Jains Prepare To Celebrate Traditional Festival

UK Jains Prepare To Celebrate Traditional Festival
By Emma Foster, Community Newswire

Jains across the UK are preparing to celebrate their most important festival, Paryushan and Daslakshana.
It is a festival of forgiveness and repentance celebrated by two Jain sects at different times.

The Shvetambara Jains call the festival Paryushan, and they will begin their celebrations on Saturday. It lasts for eight days, ending on September 11 with the Universal Day of Forgiveness.

The Digambara Jains will celebrate the Daslakshana festival from September 12 to 21.

The theme of the festival is reflection and it is supposed to be a time to take stock of actions and repent for any misdeeds or violence. Fasting is common, with many Jains not eating for the entire eight days.

Tushar Shah, president of the Oshwal Association of the UK (OAUK), a Jain community organisation, said: "During Paryushan, people all over the UK make an effort to do something at least to connect to their heritage.
"At our branches in London, the energy is of deep introspection and reflection, and we can literally see a transformation happening among our members during this period.

"Fasting for eight days without any food whatsoever is not easy, yet more than 100 accomplish this every year. This shows their discipline and determination."

There are approximately 35,000 Jains living in Britain, and there are temples and community centres all over the UK in London, Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

Where the community does not have a base, they often hire a local school or community hall to celebrate.
Every day during the festival there will be prayers and lectures from learned people, many of whom come from India especially for this occasion.

Dr Peter Flugel, director of the Centre for Jaina Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, said: "It is extraordinary that this living tradition is so alive and vibrant in the UK, despite being so far from its homeland in India. Jains are very committed to keeping their culture alive."

Lord Dholakia said: "The Jains are an important national barometer for peace in Britain and their presence in the country is critical to our diverse culture."

Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. The Oshwal Association of the UK is a Jain charity with about 25,000 members. For more information visit

Saturday, September 4, 2010

God Did Not Create the Universe : Stephen Hawking

British physicist Stephen Hawking says God was not necessary for the creation of the universe, just as Charles Darwin eliminated the necessity of God from biology.

In an exclusive interview, the science monthly Eureka of The Times of London released Thursday excerpts from Hawking’s new book “The Grand Design.” He asks the question “Did the Universe need a creator?” in a book whose title seems to imply the intelligent design theory.

Hawking`s answer? No.
He says the Big Bang was the inevitable result of the laws of physics, not something explained by the hand of God or coincidence. “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.

Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist, he writes.”

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

His new book breaks from his previous views on religion expressed in his 1988 bestseller “A Brief History of Time.” Back then, he said God could co-exist with a scientific explanation of the universe, saying, “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God.”

Co-authored with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, “The Grand Design” deconstructs the Newtonian view that the universe could not have risen out of chaos but was created by God.

Hawking said the first reason is the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting a star other than the sun.

“That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions – the single sun, the lucky combination of earth-sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings. Not just other planets like the earth, other universes may exist,” he said.

You don't need a God to create a universe: Stephen Hawking

You don't need a God to create a universe:
Stephen Hawking
September 3rd, 2010 11:10 am ET

By Dennis Bodzash

Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has created quite a stir of late in his most recent book, The Grand Design, in which he argues that the Big Bang, which created the universe as we know it (at least according to scientists), did not require divine help.

In fact, the book sets out to contradict Issac Newton, the deeply religious founder of modern physics, who believed that God created the universe. Hawking's latest work also contradicts his earlier book, A Brief History of Time, in which Hawking seems to accept that there could have been some divine intervention involved in the creation of the universe.

However, for Hawking, recent scientific advances since this book (especially the discovery of other planets/solar systems) have helped dispel the notion that we humans, and even our solar system itself, is anything special. Instead, as scientists make more and more discoveries, we continually seem to become more and more a cosmic accident.

In his new book, Hawking explains his belief that the law of gravity is what can spur spontaneous creation, thus the Big Bang, and therefore everything that exists today.

Obviously, such statements will get some people riled up at the mere thought of them. However, the good thing about living in a democratic society is that, for the most part, free inquiry, and free choice, are both equally valued, which means that we can investigate what we want and believe what we want without risk of persecution, unlike in the past.

So what do you think? Did God create the universe? Did the cosmos create itself? Is there even a God at all? Drop a comment (you don't have to be a member) and make your opinion heard!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ordinary people and their lives inspire filmmaker Sona Jain

How in the world did you manage to make a movie like this? You’re not even married,” writer-director Vishal Bhardwaj had said after the screening of my film, For Real,” says 34-year-old filmmaker Sona Jain. “I am single and yet managed to decode the life of a married couple. I guess it’s because I wrote it from a child’s point of view,” she adds. The film, which took nine years to complete, is what Jain describes as a “side-effect of her years in New York as a film student”.

If she managed to capture the layers marriages and relationships contain, Jain says it’s because she is a people watcher. “I love to meet and interact with people. The beauty of life lies in the dynamics of human interaction,” says Jain, having already garnered critical acclaim at various international festivals for her film. Seen from the eyes of a six-year-old, For Real is an entertaining yet moving take on everything that is going around her. Revolving around the lives of a busy workaholic father and a mother who has lost her sense of being, For Real is a movie that zooms into the lives of real people. “These writings are my take on relationships. An artist never gives up the child in her,” she says. “For Real happened when I got homesick and started writing stories about Delhi and of this little girl. When you are writing without any agenda, magical things may happen.”

Jain Tirthankara idol found in riverbed near Vedaranyam

NAGAPATTINAM: An 11th-century idol of a Jain Tirthankara has been found in a riverbed near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district.

The stone idol, about two feet tall, was found without its head. Experts who inspected it felt that the head could have been knocked off by vandals. However, the possibility of accidental wreckage could not be ruled out as well, they added.

"The Tirthankara is found on a pedestal in a sitting, meditative (dhyana) posture. The pedestal has been carved like a lion throne. In the rear side, floral symbols have been carved. The sculpture could be that of the 24th Jain Tirthankara belonging to the later Chola period," said G Thillai Govindarajan, a member of the team that found the idol.

The idol was found in the riverbed of the Mulliyar at Panchanathikulam near Vedaranyam in a face-down position. Villagers who were not aware that it was an idol were using it as a washing stone for years. However, B Jambulingam, working as a superintendent in Tamil University, Thanjavur, and Govindarajan, headmaster of a panchayat union middle school, found the idol during one of their recent field studies.

Some other parts of the idol were also found damaged, including one of the arm-rests of the throne, Govindarajan said. Images of yakshas' have been carved on either side of the Tirthankara. Similar idols of Jain preceptors have been found in many places in Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Nagapatinam areas, indicating the prevalence of Jainism in this region. Sithannavasal in Pudukottai is an abode of Jainism.

Courtasy: Times of India

No Jain temple was burnt in Kashmir: officials

Shujaat Bukhari

The temporary structure housing a Jain temple in a local hotel was not burnt by a mob but was dismantled as a local hotel's contract with a Mumbai-based travel agency which built the structure on its premises has not been renewed.

In the wake of reports in newspapers around India that the only Jain temple in Kashmir had been burnt by mobs leading the ongoing protests in the Valley, hotel and State officials told The Hindu that no such incident had taken place.

According to Ghulam Mohiuddin, manager of Silver Star Hotel in Lasjan on the outskirts of Srinagar, the temporary structure was built as per contract with Gem Tours and Travels, a Mumbai-based travel agency, which wanted to provide a place where Jain tourists from other parts of India could worship while visiting Kashmir.

“But the three-year contract ended and was not extended, so the structure was also dismantled,” he said. The temple was established to attract Jain tourists. “As the situation in the Valley worsened and the tourist inflow declined, the contract was not renewed and we thought there is no need for this,” he added. The 8x8 pre-fabricated structure was dismantled in the presence of the priest, Hans Raj, on August 10.

Mr. Mohiuddin categorically denied that the temple was burnt or destroyed by a mob. “This is just not true. It is a fact that a large mob passed through this area also but no one entered our premises so the question of touching the temple does not arise,” he told The Hindu. Before the hotel management decided to remove the structure, the owners of the travel agency were contacted through the priest Hans Raj, who hails from Uttar Pradesh. “The idols were removed and properly handed over to them when they arrived in Srinagar the next day,” he said, adding the rumours seemed to be a conspiracy to spread hatred against Kashmiris.

Deputy Commissioner (Srinagar) Meraj Kakroo also rubbished reports about the Jain temple being attacked. “The report about the burning of the temple is baseless and mischievous,” he said. He added that no proper temple existed and “as per our information, it was an internal arrangement made by the hotel owners.”

Members of the community said there is, in fact, no Jain temple in Kashmir. While there were 40-odd Jain families living in the Valley prior to militancy, only five have stayed back. “There is no Jain temple here, though a family has set up one in their house,” Amit Jain, a businessman, said.

Repeated attempts by this correspondent to get a response from Gem Tours and Travels drew a blank. However, a local news portal, Kashmir Dispatch, reported that a team from the Doshi family, which built the temple, flew in to Srinagar the day after it was dismantled.

“They packed the idols in cardboard boxes and returned to Sabarmati,” it said. “It was not burnt and [the newspaper which said it was] will come out with a corrigendum,” the portal quoted Jyotin Doshi, Chairman of Gem Tours, as saying. “The structure was broken; we don't know by whom, we had a contract with the hotel for five years under which the temple was built on the hotel property,” he said.

Courtosy: The Hindu

Vineet Jain Becomes PTI Chairman

The Board of Directors of Press Trust of India (PTI), the premier news agency of the country, has elected Vineet Jain as the new Chairman. The announcement was made at the 62nd annual general meeting of the PTI shareholders held at New Delhi. Jain succeeds Vijay Kumar Chopra, Editor of the Punjab Kesari Group.

Jain is the Managing Director of The Times of India (TOI) Group. Prior to being announced the Chairman Jain held the position of Vice Chairman in the PTI Board. Under his leadership the TOI Group has witnessed phenomenal growth in the print sector and expansion to the newer ventures in online, radio and television service. This is Jain’s second stint as the Chairman to PTI board, earlier he served as the PTI Chairman in 2002-2003.

Simultaneously M.P. Veerendrakumar, Chairman and Managing Director of the Mathrubhumi Group has been named as the Vice Chairman for the year. He is former Member of Parliament and Union Minister as well as served as President of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS).

Other members on the board of PTI are are Vijay Kumar Chopra (Hind Samachar), N. Ravi (The Hindu), R. Lakshmipathy (Dinamalar), Aveek Kumar Sarkar (Ananda Bazar Patrika), Shekhar Gupta (Indian Express), K.N. Shanth Kumar (Deccan Herald), Mahendra Mohan Gupta (Jagran Prakashan), Hormusji N. Cama (Bombay Samachar), Riyad Mathew (Malayala Manorama) and Sanjoy Narayan (Hindustan Times). The Directors from outside the newspaper industry are Professor E.V. Chitnis, Justice S.P. Bharucha and Fali S. Nariman.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moodbidri Jain Swamiji calls for removal of ignorance

By Team Mangalorean- California

Milpitas(CA), August 10, 2010: The swamiji of Moodbidri jain Math HH Charukirthi Bhattaraka Panditacharyavarya took part in the decennial celebrations of the Milpitas Jain Mandir here on Tuesday.

He was the chief guest in the programme organised by the Jain committee of California to inaugurate the new Yag mandal vidhan and inauguration of newly constructed Samosarana mandir.

In his benediction speech the swamiji said that "Samosaran represents human attainment of keval gyana and preach and teach all the creatures including animals and human beings. The Lord teaches how to attain moksha and how to live with each other in harmony and world peace, compassion, live and let live policy is very important in our life, swamiji said.

He further added "Samosaran means equality, friendship, and removal of ignorance and getting the good knowledge in the omniscient person, right faith, right knowledge and right character. There is no colour, no creed, no small and big who is heartly very kind and good, they only reach samosarana. So today, first time in USA, Samosarana has been built for the world peace and friendship" Moodbidri Swamiji said.

On this auspicious occasion, all religious leaders, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Budhist were present and gave their wishes. The City Mayor presented the Jain Mandir President, Pravin Jain with a memento and Manish Mishra, Vidhan Acharha, Manoj Haran, Prof. Deepak Jain of Kellog School of Management. More than 1000 people attended this auspicious function.

According to spokesman for the temple Mr Sunil Vora there were prayers led by monks and scholars visiting from India. He said the celebrations and the parade also helped in creating awareness about the temple, and Jainism.

Milpitas Mandir known officially as the Jain Center of Northern California, it is just one of two Jain temples in the state; the other is in Los Angeles. Nationwide, there are about 65 Jain temples, known as bhawans, or community halls.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jain Girl to Become Jain Nun

22-year-old rich girl chucks it all for sainthood
M R Venkatesh, Chennai, Jul 19, DH News Service:
Monday, July 19, 2010

As the medical world on Monday remembered the angelic Nurse Florence Nightingale for her deep compassion and devotion in tending the sick as ‘Nurses Day’, the Jain community here sprang a surprise.

In a different kind of compassionate response to cure men of the “sickness within”, Deepa, a 22-year-old commerce graduate, who could have gone miles for an MBA and a plum job, stunned her parents when she announced that she plans to “give up this world for a better tomorrow”.

Deepa, hailing from a well-to-do business class family in the city, whose forefathers had migrated decades ago to old Madras from Sojat district of Rajasthan, did not wish to go in search of more riches or gold.

Deepa’s father Tarachandji Garadia runs a profitable jewellery shop in Sowcarpet in North Chennai, the mini-Rajasthan in Tamil Nadu’s capital. The young girl could have got all that she wanted.

But a reflective Deepa chose to follow in the footsteps of her younger sister, Rekha, who has already taken ‘Diksha’ (initiation into monk-hood as per Jainism’s religious tradition) three years ago.

After getting the parental nod, including of her grieving mother Vimala Bai Garadia, the spiritual aspirant Deepa, clad in bridal attire, symbolically for the first and last time in her life, announced at a press conference here about her intent to become a ‘Jain Muni’.

“Deepa thinks that this world is so full of evil and ugliness; she strongly feels the only way to go to heaven as per our Jain tradition is to renounce the world and do some good to society as a monk,” Sangeetha, a close relative of the young girl told Deccan Herald. The ceremony for Deepa’s formal initiation into a life of renunciation – Diksha – has been fixed for July 21, Sangeetha added.

Former Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, S Sripal, a Jainism scholar himself, said when women take ‘Diksha’, “the hair on their head would be plucked”. The initiated girl would then have to don white attire and go barefoot, along with the other woman saints in the fraternity.

22 Year Jain Girl set to become a nun

CHENNAI: A 22-year-old Jain girl here will renounce the world in a diksha ceremony here on July 21 to become a monk. Deepa, a BCom graduate and resident of Sowcarpet, announced her plan here on Monday.

“World is full of sin and only sin. No one can live here without causing problems to others,” said Deepa.

She said she wanted a closer view of the spiritual life and alsoachieve the state of Supreme Being, which is called as Jina in Jainism.

She believed she would be able to help the poor and needy by becoming a monk and said she was not interested in living the usual life of a human being in this world.

Deepa, who has three sisters and a brother, said, “The whole family supported me in my decision to become a monk, after initial refusal.”

After the diksha ceremony, Deepa would not cook her food and would have to go to different Jain or vegetarian households and receive food. She would not take food or water between sunset and sunrise. She would have to walk bare feet everywhere and would not stay more than a few days at a place. Her name would also be changed.

In Jain tradition, becoming a monk is important for achieving salvation or moksha.

From Indian Express, Chennai

Friday, July 16, 2010



His Holiness Bharata Gaurava Swasti Sri Deevendrakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji, the pontiff of Humcha Jain Mutt passed away this morning.

Humcha (Shimoga District, Karnataka), 14 July 2010: His Holiness Bharata Gaurava Swasti Sri Deevendrakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji, the pontiff of Humcha Jain Mutt passed away this morning. He breathed his last due to cardiac arrest at around 5.00 am here at Humcha.
Aged about 63 years, Devendrakeerthi Swamiji was consecrated to the Bhattarakha seat at Humcha at an young age of 22 years in 1969.

He had an erudite knowledge on Jain philosophy and was know for his scholarly discourses on Jainism across the world. He is one among the few Jain pontiffs who had taken keen interest for the propagation of Jainism globally.

Many Jain temples have been constructed under his guidance and leadership in India and abroad. He was also instrumental in the renovation of numerous ancient Jain temples in Karnataka which would have been impossible without His guidance. Popularly called as Devendrakirthiji, he had a huge followership in India and overseas cutting across religions.
Representative at the World Parliment of Religions - He represented Jainism and delivered discourses at World Parliament of Religions held at Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Monterrey (2007) and Melbourne (2009).

Grief in Karnataka - The news of the sad demise of Sri Devendrakirthi Swamiji spread rapidly across Karnataka and the Jain samaj is in a state of shock. Phones calls and SMS started flowing around leaving the Jain samaj in a state of grief.

Last Rites at Humcha - Leaders of the Jain samaj, devotees and many religious leaders started pouring in to Humcha to have a last glimpse of the great guru. People from across Karnataka had assembled at Humcha to attend the last rites of Devendrakirthiji. The last rites were completed by around 6.30 pm today.

His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhattakalanka Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Sonda Jain Mutt, His Holiness Swasti Sri Lashmisena Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Narasimharajapura Jain Mutt, His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhanukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Kambadahalli Jain Mutt, His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Kanakagiri Jain Mutt and His Holiness Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Moodabidri Jain Mutt attended the last rites of Swamiji.

Condolences Pour In - Condolences have started pouring from across Karnataka and the messages express the distress spread in the Jain community. People from all over Karnataka have mourned the sad demise.

His Holiness Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt has said that, "the sad demise of Sri Deevendrakeerthiji is a great loss to the Jain community ".
His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Kanakagiri Jain Mutt has condoled the death of Sri Deevendrakeerthiji and said that, "Sri Deevendrakeerthiji was a great scholar of Jainism. It is a great loss to Jainism at large and Jain Samaj of Karnataka in particular".

Dr. H.A.Parshwanath, (Jain scholar and editor-in-chief of 'Jaina Voice' a popular Jain monthly magazine on the internet and Professor of Pathology, SDM Medical College, Dharwad) in his condolence message said that, "The death of Sri Deevendrakeerthi Swamiji has created a lacune in the religious space of Karnataka which is difficult to fill by any one else." He recollected the pleasant spent with hi in many religioud functions and discourses.

Condolence Meeting at Badrinath - A group of 75 pilgrims from Karnataka who are on a Jain pilgrimage to Badrinath and other Jain pilgrim places conducted a condolence meeting at around 7.30 am as soon as they heard the news. Sri Y.C.Bhujabalaiah an advocate from Bangalore coordinated the meeting.

About Humcha - Humcha or Hombuja or Hunchadakatte is the well known Padmavathi shrine in Karnataka. It is at a distance of 55 Kms from Shimoga the nearest district centre. It can be rated as the most popular abode of all the Padmavathi shrines in the world. - Jain Heritage Centres News Service

Inputs from: Nitin H.P. (Mysore), Sri M.R.Sunil Kumar Jain (Mysore), Dr.H.A.Parshwanath (Mysore).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer school on Jainism attracts foreign participation

VARANASI: Is the millennia-old city on verge of witnessing confluence of Jainism and Buddhism and spreading the philosophy of two old religions to other parts of the world?

While Sarnath (where Buddha preached his first sermon) has emerged as international centre for Buddhist studies, now Parshwanath Vidyapeeth (PV), an external research centre of Jain studies recognised by Banaras Hindu University (BHU), in association with International School of Jain Studies (ISJS) looks all set to promote research on various aspects of Jainism besides exposing students (research scholars) and teachers to real life experience of peaceful co-existence of various religions in the city.

"We have established ISJS-PV global centre for ahimsa (non-violence) and Indic research and special summer schools are being also hosted for foreign scholars, who get first hand experience of rituals and traditions of different religion that the city offers," said Shagun C Jain, vice-president (PV) and chairman ISJS-PV global centre, in a press conference on Sunday. "The numbers of foreign students (from under-graduate to Ph D level) visiting the PV centre during international summer school have also increased from seven (2005) to around 60 this year," he added.

It may be mentioned here that ISJS-PV global centre for ahimsa and Indic research was established in 2009 while ISJS had been conducting annual summer schools at PV centre for the last five years in the months of June and July each year.

The whole idea is to attract foreign students and teachers and give them practical inputs of various aspects of Jainism and other religions that co-exist peacefully in one of the oldest living cities of the world, said Prof SL Jain, director, PV on the occasion. The centre is also initiating efforts to link Jain philosophy with modern life style, making it relevant for addressing various issues including terrorism and environmental pollution, added Prof Jain, who was also the former dean, faculty of Arts, BHU.

As per reports of the centre, the first group of 14 scholars (under graduate level) visited the centre on June 7 while the second batch of 15 members arrived on June 14 this year. Presently, a group of 11 senior scholars that arrived on June 23 (for 10-days visit) is staying at the centre, getting practical and theoretical inputs on various aspects of Jainism.

So far, the programme has attracted around 60 foreign scholars from 11 countries in the world. "A majority of them (over 50 per cent) come from North American countries like the US and Canada, but recently scholars from Asian and European countries including Thailand, Czech republic, Slovenia, Denmark and Norway have also shown interest in summer schools," said Shagun C Jain, hinting at the popularity of summer schools.

From TOI

Monday, June 14, 2010

Centre favours giving minority status to Jains: Khurshid

Bangalore, Jun 13 (PTI)

The government is in favour of giving minority community status to Jains, Union Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said today. He said a decision of a 11-judge Supreme Court had become a hurdle in taking action on the matter.

"Government is seized of the matter", he said at a Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) national conference here, adding, the Government is in discussions with Attorney General with regard to constituting a 11-judge SC bench on the issue.

Constitutionally, it's imperative for the Jains to get the minority community status, the Minister said.Praising the community for its enterprising spirit, he said, "If there is any example of any community being majority community despite being in minority, it's the Jain community", Khurshid said.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jain, Darda Elected as M.P.

Vijay Darda (Congress) and Ishwar Lal Jain (NCP) were elected today as Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament of India.

Both the candidates belong to Jain community and are from Maharashtra

Jain Monuments Found in Andhra Pradesh

Vijayawada, Jun 7 (PTI)

Ancient Jain monuments were found by a team of archaeologists in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district.

"The team, which visited the hills around Dannanapet and Chittivalas villages for three days from May 29-31, found 'rocky beds' in the caves at four places," G Jawaharlal, former deputy director of Archaeology Department of Andhra Pradesh, who led the team of researchers told reporters today.

Each cave consisted of five rocky beds, which belonged to Jain monks dated back to the second or third century BC, he said.

The monks used to fast until death on the rocky beds to get 'moksha' (salvation).

Jawaharlal said Bhagavan Mahaveer visited many places in Andhra Pradesh to propagate the philosophy of Jainism and he also stayed many days around these hills before visiting other parts of the state. .

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jains Campaign on Census

Jinal Shah Tags : Census, Jains Posted: Mon May 17 2010, 00:26 hrs Mumbai:

Ahead of religion entry in February, activists write articles, circulate emails, posters, cellphone messages across community

Rajesh Shah (name changed), 52, of Ghatkopar refused to sign on the census form last week. He had resolved to register himself as a “Jain” in the religion column. The data collector had a hard time explaining that religion will only be included in the second round next February.

The city’s Jains want to make sure they get counted in Census 2011; they feel previous figures have not been a true representation of their population.

The Census will involve the task of preparing, for the first time, the National Population Register (NPR) and Jains feel this is the perfect opportunity. “This is the right time to make Jains aware of their right to be counted as Jains,” said Nitin H P of Bangalore, who has started a website on Jain heritage. “The religion column will be added in the second round; we have time to educate people.”

Jains from across India have been carrying out awareness campaigns, using the Internet, SMS campaigns, pamphlets and announcements at religious discourses, with the Jain Samaj in many cities having requested priests at temples to educate people.

In the South, activists have written in periodicals like the one from the Jain math of Shravanabelagola, and on websites such as and In the North, Young Jains has campaigned with posters in 50 temples urging people to register themselves as Jains, not Hindus.

“Over the years, knowingly or unknowingly, a lot of Jains have enrolled themselves as Hindus under the misconception that Hinduism and Jainism are similar,” said Yogesh Jain of Young Jains.

In Mumbai, Yuva Jains has sent more than 3,000 messages across the community. “We have a database of cellphone numbers of Jains in Mumbai,” said Rajen Parekh, 31, of Yuva Jains.

Of emails being circulated, one reads: “1st April, 2010 marks a historic day for the people of our country, India. Over next 1 year, everything - good or bad, small or big is going to be counted. Are we going to make ourselves count as Jains .Will India’s Jain Population dwindle further or are we going to make our presence felt through sheer Numbers? - Onus is on all the Jains.”

The ‘Report on Religion: Census of India 2001’ showed the Jain population at 42 lakh, a 26 per cent growth from 1981-91 to 1991-2001, but many in the community contested the number.

“According to many organisations, activists, Jain scholars and leaders, the actual population should at least be around 35 to 40 million. But this is not seen in the Census data due to many reasons like ignorance among data collectors as well as Jains,” said Nitin H P.

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